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McPherson Struts

Particularly low unsprung mass!

Shock absorber with dome-bearing instead of upper suspension arm

If one wishes to design a suspension system, particularly for the front axle, simply, at a reasonable price and using as little space as possible, one cannot ignore the McPherson strut. Just how elegantly the wheel guide gets by the axle drive shaft, can be seen above in figure 5. As a further development of the double-wishbone-wheel suspension, the upper wishbone is left out here and the wheel guidance is partially transferred to the damper. It is also accordingly dimensioned, e.g., with a thicker piston rod. It ends on top with the so-called dome-bearing which allows the rotation of the complete damper. The commonly used coil spring is also completely pivoted with the steering movements. Instead of a spring coiled around the damper, a torsion bar spring suspension on the remaining lower wishbone is also possible. We then speak of a 'shock strut'.

Sloping swive-axle, possibly with adjustable inclination

The distinguishing mark of the McPherson strut is the wheel bearing directly linked to the damper casing. If this is screw-mounted (figure 4), the angle between the two is possibly adjustable. By the way, the steering- swivel axle is independant of the piston rod axle. It connects the middle of the dome-bearing on top, with the ball-head on the wishbone below. One can recognise their direction, by the coil spring which is arranged as shown in the above figure 2, as a rule, slanting to the damper. The lower wishbone can be still replaced by a simple suspension arm (figure 6). The second part forms the stabiliser, which is screwed on directly. In the remaining figures it has its own suspension arm to the respective wishbone.

Through greater friction on the plunger, the McPherson-strut does not react as sensitively as other suspensions.

Patent from 1949 Earl S. McPherson(1891-1960) Chief engineer GM

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