Suspension, simplified, is the group of mechanisms that enable a vehicle to have its tires remain in contact with the ground as much as possible. In racing, it is important to have a good suspension design, as all cornering, acceleration, and deceleration forces come from the contact patch between the tires and the road. Suspension also plays a large part in providing ride comfort, mitigating body roll, and controlling ride height.
Working on the suspension team, one can expect to be working closely with the chassis team, as the design of the two are closely related and both very important in determining the mechanical grip, handling characteristics, and drivability of the car.
In addition, the suspension team works closely with the controls team in order to facilitate brakes and steering.
What We Do
We determine the suspension kinematics and design all components related to the suspension of the car such as uprights (or knuckles), rockers, and control arms. Researching tire data provided by the FSAE Tire Test Consortium assists with optimal tire selection. Additionally, the Suspension team is tasked with ordering and assembling the wheels.
In the past, cars used solid axles in the rear with independent suspension in the front. Recently the cars have transitioned to fully independent suspensions.
The car has double wishbone pushrod suspension in the front and rear. Each corner is independently sprung, and the front and rear have hydraulic anti-roll bars. The hydraulic sway bar is a new addition for car 43 and deviates from the typical torsion bar. Car 43 uses Keizer aluminum wheel shells with custom centers and Hoosier 18x6-10 LC0 tires.