Transverse leaf spring and solid axle front suspension of early Ford cars

Transverse leaf spring and solid axle front suspension of early Ford cars is a type of automotive front suspension that has been most common in early Ford Motor Company products. “Suicide front axle” is a term that has been used for it.[1]

The configuration consists of a one-piece axle (solid front axle), to the ends of which the steerable front wheels are mounted. The axle receives its vertical and transverse support from a transverse leaf spring (leaf springs were often used for support in more than one direction), and its longitudinal support from fore-aft links sometimes called “radius rods” which are attached (via pivots) to the ends of the axle at their forward end and to the sides of the chassis (again via pivots) at their aft end. The ends of the transverse leaf spring can either tie to the top of the rods, or to the top of the solid axle. The transverse leaf spring is attached at its center to the center of the chassis’s front cross member.

1919 Ford Model T

Advantages and disadvantages

In addition to simplicity lightness and compact shape, at least in some directions, since only the small end of the spring was attached to the wheel, it gave low unsprung weight. In addition to its contribution to ride and handling, this reduced wheel bearing loads and therefore allowed smaller cheaper bearings.

Apparently the control of wheel motion was inferior to that of other suspension designs, even those of the first half of the 20th century. The modern Corvette leaf spring design does not use the spring for location.

Corvette leaf spring Corvette leaf spring commonly refers to a type of independent suspension that utilizes a fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) mono-leaf spring instead of more conventional coil springs. It is named after the Chevrolet Corvette, the American sports car for which it was originally developed and first utilized. A notable characteristic of this suspension configuration is the mounting of the mono-leaf spring such that it can serve as both ride spring and anti-roll spring. In contrast to many applications of leaf springs in automotive suspension designs, this type does not use the spring as a locating link. While this suspension type is most notably associated with several generations of the Chevrolet Corvette the design has been used in other production General Motors cars, as well as vehicles from Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz. Fiat produced cars with a similar configuration, using a multi-leaf steel spring in place of the FRP mono-leaf spring. Design The C5 Corvette's rear suspension ...
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