TYPES USED ON TOYOTA VEHICLES
HERE IS A QUICK REVIEW OF THE SUSPENSION TYPES FOUND ON TOYOTA AND SCION VEHICLES:
MACPHERSON STRUT: developed by Earle S. MacPherson in 1947, it is the most widely used front suspension system today, and it can be used for rear suspension, too. The MacPherson strut combines a shock absorber and a coil spring into a single unit. The combined spring/shock assembly eliminates the need for a separate upper suspension link. This provides a more compact and lighter suspension system that makes it ideal for front-wheel drive vehicles, or vehicles where space is an issue.
DOUBLE-WISHBONE SUSPENSION, also known as an A-arm suspension, is another common type of front independent suspension. It can be used for front or rear suspension. A double-wishbone design uses two wishbone-shaped control arms (or “A”-shaped) to guide each wheel's up-and-down motion. By varying the length of the upper and lower A-arms, the wheel can be made to remain perpendicular to the road surface through out its travel. Each arm has three mounting positions -- two at the frame and one at the wheel hub – and each joint is hinged to guide the wheel's motion. In all cars, the primary benefit of a double-wishbone suspension is control. The geometry of the arms and the elasticity of the joints give engineers control over the angle of the wheel and other vehicle dynamics, such as lift, squat and dive.
MULTI-LINK SUSPENSION is a rear suspension consisting of at least four links, or "arms," and no struts. Because multi-link suspensions assign specific wheel-locating duties to each element, they provide great flexibility for optimizing both ride and handling.
RIGID AXLE is a simple non-independent suspension, consisting of a rigid transverse member with wheel hubs solidly bolted to it. The axle can be attached to the body by leaf springs, or by a combination of suspension arms and links.
The specific type of suspension used on each Toyota or Scion car, truck or SUV is based on the intended use of the vehicle. In other words, for a truck that can carry heavy loads, it will have a rigid rear axle. On a Camry, where ride is important, it will feature 4-wheel MacPherson strut suspension. Scion tC, by comparison, features front MacPherson strut suspension and rear double-wishbone suspension. It is all based on the engineers matching the optimum suspension system with the vehicle.
WAYS TO IMPROVE EACH TYPE
At TRD, when it comes to suspension, it’s all about the physics of keeping all four tires in touch with the road for maximum traction and optimum control. This is improved by refining the damping characteristics of the shock absorbers. Another way is to reduce body roll in corners by increasing roll stiffness – this is accomplished by installing a stiffer (more rigid) stabilizer bar. Another way TRD components can enhance handling – by allowing you to lower the vehicle closer to the ground. The lower the vehicle, the lower its center of gravity – and that makes the vehicle more responsive when cornering or in evasive maneuvers.
Please take a look at the TRD Parts Catalog to see which components are available for select Toyota and Scion models.