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Multilink Axle


In rear-wheel-drive motor cars with front-mounted engines there are actually, no more great leaps in quality to be expected. The development has, as least for the time being, reached its target. The constructions have become very compact and almost every single chassis-technical finesse is flexible enough to be accessible, at least in the construction. If one rules out the spring/shock absorber element, this suspension can almost be compared to that of the racing car, only that these are even more sophisticated and have more space.

How it works

If you have a closer look at the above figure, you can recognise all five guides, or at least a small part of each one. To go back to former suspensions, we'll try to put them into some kind of order. Assuming that this rear axle runs to the left or forwards. In your minds eye, you can imagine an upper wishbone, consisting of, guide No.3 (forwards) and No.5 (almost at the rear). The lower one is then developed with the guide No.1 (forwards) and No.6 (at the rear). The No.2 guide influences primarily the steering behaviour of the rear wheel when the springs are compressed or when they rebound. All that's left now, is No.4, which is the stabiliser.

The above figure 2, once again shows more clearly the component No.6 which is mostly hidden in figure 1. It is called the spring guide because here the coil spring and the shock absorber are engaged. In spite of its width in the middle, towards both ends it is tapered down. Don't be mislead, it only holds the wheel at a distance. As far as this is concerned, the wheel can execute all possible movements. If it was joined to the superstructure by a sort of folding hinge, one could do away with the part No.1. One then speaks of a four-link suspension.

Why are these guides apparently arrangened so topsy-turvy? Because one has probably, using a computer, calculated the camber, the steering angle and other values in every possible wheel position. One must assume that this rear axle, when only a few degrees, is movable, the same as the front axle. Additionally, in principle, the steering axis inclination and the caster also exist, although in very small measures. Without exact measurements, there's not much more to be said about this axle, except that the question of material also plays a role. Since in the suspension, the application of light-metals has a double advantage. 08/06

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