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Video History-Suspension 1
Video History-Suspension 2
Video History-Suspension 3
Video History-Suspension 4
Video History-Suspension 5
Video History-Suspension 6
Video History-Suspension 7

Video Undercarriage 1
Video Undercarriage 2
Video Steering Wheel 1
Video Steering Wheel 2
Video Steering Lock
Video Steering
Video Safety Steering
Video Rack Pinion Steering
Video Steering Ratio 1
Video Steering Ratio 2
Video Steering Ratio 3
Video Ball Steering
Video Worm Roller Steering
Video Hydraulic Power Steer. 1
Video Hydraulic Power Steer. 2
Video Electr. Power Steer. 1
Video Electr. Power Steer. 2
Video Electr.-hydraulic Pump
Video Torque (power steer.)
Video Electr. Stab. Program
Video Finger Steering
Video One-piece Track Rod
Video Four Wheel Steering 1
Video Four Wheel Steering 2
Video Four Wheel Steering 3
Video Dry Joint
Video History
Video Suspension control 1
Video Wheel positions
Video Suspension
Video Spring systems
Video Electr. Air Suspension
Video Center of Gravity
Video Oblique/lateral drift angle
Video Elasto-kinematics
Video Elk Test
Video Wheel Bearing 1
Video Wheel Bearing 2
Video Wheel Bearing 3
Video Wheel Bearing 4
Video Ind. pulse sensor
Video Wheel sensor 2
Video Transversal Axis
Video Suspension Carrier
Video Below View
Video Adj. suspension
Video Stabilizer 1
Video Stabilizer 2
Video Double-wishbone 1
Video Double-wishbone 2
Video Double-wishbone 3
Video Air suspension truck
Video McPherson Strut 1
Video McPherson Strut 2
Video McPherson Strut 3
Video McPherson Strut 4
Video Trailing Arm
Video Twist-beam Rear Axle
Video Space Arms
Video Multilink Axle
Video Semi-trailing Arm Axle
Video Rear-wheel Drive
Video Electr. Stab. Program
Video ABS/ESP-Hydr. Unit
Video One-arm Swing. Fork
Video Formula-3 Racing Car
Video Pend. Wheel Suspen.
Video Torson Crank Suspen.
Video DeDion Axle 1
Video DeDion Axle 2
Video Rigid Axle 1
Video Rigid Axle 2
Video Rigid Axle 3
Video Rigid Axle 4
Video Rigid Axle 5
Video Self steering axle
Video Track rod joint
Video Springs
Video Coil Spring 1
Video Coil Spring 2
Video Coil Spring 3
Video Leaf Spring
Video Torsion Bar Spring
Video Rubber Suspension
Video Hydropn. Suspension
Video Air Suspension 1
Video Air Suspension 2
Video Shock Absorber 1
Video Shock Absorber 2
Video Shock Absorber 3
Video Shock Absorber 4
Video Shock Absorber 5
Video Single-tube Damper 1
Video Single Tube Damper 2
Video Double-tube Damper
Video Shock Absorber Piston
Video Friction Absorber
Video Tyres
Video Wheel Positions

Video Tyre Calculation
Video Inch -> mm
Video Slip
Video Axle Load Distrib.
Video Payload Distrib.
Video Roller Resistance 2

Video Wheel suspension 1
Video Wheel suspension 2
Video Wheels 1
Video Suspension 1
Video Suspension 2
Video Suspension 5
Video Steering 1
Video Steering 2

          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Torsion-beam Rear Axle

More simplicity and effectivity is hardly possible.

The torsion-beam suspension shows, as far as the economics are concerned, the last construction of a rear-axle front wheel drive, which actually, cannot be surpassed. It is developed from the trailing arm axle. The first cars to have this axle were the Audi 50 and the Golf I. Not only is it more lightweight than almost all of the others, but also makes fewer demands on the stability of the bodywork. In the meantime, it has been adopted by almost all the manufacturers of cars in the compact range.

The wheel guide consists basically, of three parts and two shock absorber struts.

Two stable, pressed-steel trailing arms are connected to the car body at only two pivot points. Welded between the two is an, in itself, slightly twistable cross-beam which can appear with vastly differing cross-sections, even inside of one model range. Shown above in figure 1 is the most advanced version, with a U- or V- profile (see also figure 5). Although this cross-beam replaces the stabilizer, in sport versions it can additionally, still be built into the cross-beam (see figure 5).

Has the target of quality and lightweight perhaps already been achieved?

The VW-Golf, originally equipped with this construction, now has a considerably more complicated multi-link rear axle. The question being asked is whether, because of the costs and the weight, the development should be reversed. In any event, the fact is, that the, currently (2009) leading, Toyota-Prius-Hybrid, with it's relatively low weight, despite the large battery, is also going back to the torsion-beam.

This simple construction can also be further developed.

Since it's first appearance, this relatively simple construction has gone through a number of changes. To keep the wheel-housings as small as possible to enable easy loading, the dampers and coil-springs are mounted separately (see figure 6). Because of the fuel tank, the cross-beam has been moved further to the rear. Rubber bearings have been inserted into the two pivot points with different rigidity for the front and for the rear (see figure 2). Thus, when the springs compress, the entire axle can countersteer a little. This must be observed when replacing the bearings.

From way back to the peak of development.

Actually, it was a little revolutionary, when in 1974, the first torsion-beam rear axle appeared. Thereby, VW, who was anything but the leader as far as front wheel drive was concerned, placed themselves on the pole position from the word go. The axle did in fact, like a number of VW inventions at that time, come from Audi. Here, because of the shorter wheel-base and the position of the tank, the cross-beam is shifted a little to the rear, this is why we speak of a twist-beam suspension.

A further development of British and French front wheel drive rear axles.

It evolved from the trailing link axle, as was used, e.g., in French front wheel drives and of course, even earlier, it was the standard in British cars. The principle of the cross-beam itself, but not the shape, comes from a predecessor rear axle from Audi, this was used at the time of the DKW (F-series), indeed, there it was mounted diagonally into the rear axle parallelogram.

Cross-beam as a stabilizer substitute.

This cross-beam replaces not only the internal storage of the two trailing arms, but also, at least in the lower performance models, the stabilizer. It is essential in a front wheel drive because, in contrast to the engine-weighted front axle, it artificially weakens the rear axle. Thus, a well balanced driveability and, in addition, a lower tendency to tilt is achieved. The cross-beam reacts to the eneven spring compression of the two rear wheels. By the way, as simple as the construction looks, in the beginning there were difficulties with the manufacture, because the various possible coilings had to produce the identical spring strength, otherwise the car would react differently in right-hand- and left-hand curves. 06/11

The worst enemy of this axle is probably the all wheel drive.               Top of page               Index
2001-2015 Copyright programs, texts, animations, pictures: H. Huppertz - E-Mail
Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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