Shocks & Struts
Shocks & Struts; Ball Joints; Tie rod ends; Idler arms; Pitman arms; Rack & pinion units; Coil springs; Bushings; Power steering pumps; Drive Belts; Wheel alignments
In a vehicle, shock absorbers reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and increase in comfort. While shock absorbers serve the purpose of limiting excessive suspension movement, their intended sole purpose is to dampen spring oscillations. Shock absorbers use valving of oil and gasses to absorb excess energy from the springs. Spring rates are chosen by the manufacturer based on the weight of the vehicle, loaded and unloaded. Some people use shocks to modify spring rates but this is not the correct use. Along with hysteresis in the tire itself, they dampen the energy stored in the motion of the unsprung weight up and down. Effective wheel bounce damping may require tuning shocks to an optimal resistance.
Spring-based shock absorbers commonly use coil springs or leaf springs, though torsion bars are used in torsional shocks as well. Ideal springs alone, however, are not shock absorbers, as springs only store and do not dissipate or absorb energy. Vehicles typically employ both hydraulic shock absorbers and springs or torsion bars. In this combination, "shock absorber" refers specifically to the hydraulic piston that absorbs and dissipates vibration.
The MacPherson strut is a type of car suspension system which uses the axis of a telescopic damper as the upper steering pivot. It is widely used in modern vehicles and named after Earle S. MacPherson, who developed the design.
Earle S. MacPherson developed the design of the strut in 1949 partially based on designs created by Guido Fornaca of FIAT in the mid-1920s. It is possible the MacPherson was inspired by the suspension on the French Cottin-Desgouttes that used the same design, but with leaf springs. Cottin-Desgouttes front suspension was in turn inspired by J. Walter Christie's 1904 design and he was inspired by plants.
The first car to feature MacPherson struts was the 1949 Ford Vedette, and it was also adopted in the 1951 Ford Consul and later Zephyr. MacPherson originally created the design for use at all four wheels (Mitsubishi Starion, for example), but production applications used it only for the front suspension, where it provides a steering pivot (kingpin) as well as a suspension mounting for the wheel. In 1957 Colin Chapman of Lotus applied the design to the rear suspension of the Lotus Elite. As a result, strut suspension at the rear of an automobile are now commonly called Chapman struts.
MacPherson struts consist of a wishbone or a substantial compression link stabilized by a secondary link which provides a bottom mounting point for the hub or axle of the wheel. This lower arm system provides both lateral and longitudinal location of the wheel. The upper part of the hub is rigidly fixed to the inner part of the strut proper, the outer part of which extends upwards directly to a mounting in the body shell of the vehicle.
To be really successful, the MacPherson strut required the introduction of unibody (or monocoque) construction, because it needs a substantial vertical space and a strong top mount, which unibodies can provide, while benefiting them by distributing stresses. The strut will usually carry both the coil spring on which the body is suspended and the shock absorber, which is usually in the form of a cartridge mounted within the strut (see coilover). The strut also usually has a steering arm built into the lower inner portion. The whole assembly is very simple and can be preassembled into a unit; also by eliminating the upper control arm, it allows for more width in the engine bay, which is useful for smaller cars, particularly with transverse-mounted engines such as most front wheel drive vehicles have. It can be further simplified, if needed, by substituting an anti-roll bar (torsion bar) for the radius arm. For those reasons, it has become almost ubiquitous with low cost manufacturers. Furthermore, it offers an easy method to set suspension geometry.
The following products, sold and installed on non-commercial vehicles by LENTZ USA, are accompanied by a limited warranty. Please contact the store manager for more details.
Should a warranted part fail to perform during the time of ownership, simply return to any LENTZ USA Service Center with your receipt for warranted repairs. See the back of your receipt for warranty details.
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