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Birdman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birdman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Off-Road Suspension Design Literature
    Posted: Aug/06/2010 at 10:24am
Does anyone know of any good off-road suspension design books?  Something that perhaps discusses the advantages/disadvantages of different suspension systems or the effects caused by changing different suspension design parameters such as camber gain, caster, etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/06/2010 at 10:59am
The number of books written properly from an off-road point of view is little. But perhaps there are common threads that carry over from road to off-road. Since they are so popular with students, consider getting a copy of "Engineer to Win" by Carroll Smith which is $20 or so on Bargain sites. I have not read this book so I can't give you a review but people like his style of writing, which falls somewhere between reading an ASME Technical Journal and an opinion column in a newspaper. For instant gratification, you can watch this Youtube video about suspension basics and alignment and browse through the multitude of suspension arrangements in neat images here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GT Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/06/2010 at 12:11pm
The Carroll Smith books are a good starting point to learn the basic terms for suspension, but Smith was an open-wheel asphalt kind of guy, so most of his caculations don't relate very well to the off-road world.  It is fairly entertaining reading however, as dry technical writing goes anyhow.
 
An old team leader from GT once wrote a short design manual on suspension design, and what you are talking about, I'll see if he'd be willing to post it in the file sharing area for folks to browse through.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Old Greg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/06/2010 at 4:43pm
I'll third the Carroll Smith recommendation; the books of his that I've bought are in three way tie as the best $20 I've ever spent on a book.

But I have to disagree with GT Steve on the relevancy of asphalt-centric books to off-road suspensions: Vehicle dynamics are vehicle dynamics no matter what surface you're running on.  I will admit, asphalt race cars rarely come across half buried sewer pipes, but then, while you're airborne your suspension geometry stops mattering quite so much.  You just need to use your common sense to recognize the problems you'll be facing at a Baja competition, then design your car to mitigate the bad things that will inevitably happen when you encounter said problems at speed.

In fact, I recommend "Race Car Vehicle Dynamics" By Bill and Doug Milliken.  It's The Bible of asphalt car suspension design, but there (probably) isn't a single equation in it that doesn't directly apply to Baja.  It's a lot more book than you seem to be looking for; you sound as if you just want 'rules of thumb'.  But if you're genuinely interested in understanding why a Baja car does what it does, you really ought to read (and understand) it and sooner, rather than later.  Read Smith first though, his books have a much easier learning curve and are much more practical where RCVD is purely theoretical.

PS: The effect of changing your camber gain is entirely dependent on your particular tires and the surface they're running on.  It's not an answer you're ever going to find in a book.  There were a few posts on these forums not too long ago than indirectly pointed to some tire testing data from Auburn University's Baja team.  Combine that data with RCVD and you'll get most of the answers you're looking for (eventually).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 5:52am
@birdman. Try this website as well. It gives you systematic reasoning behind why some suspensions are better (or worse) than others. You don't need erudite mathematical books to teach you some of the basics of linkages. You could learn in other ways, for example you could make a-arm templates out of carboard and simply pin them to other pieces using thumb tacks, move them around and see how travel/wheel center vertical affects angles with different lengths of a-arms.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 6:01am
RCVD is an elective course in some schools in the senior years of engineering. There's a reason why graduate students sit in for these classes as well. The scope of the material is often beyond that of someone seeking basic insights into why things work they way they do. Which is what the first year newbie in baja seek.

The mini baja vehicle is like a glorified version of an RC buggy except plastic parts won't work at the larger scale. It is still like a toy though. My theory is that engineering professors with doctorates in colleges don't find any interest or motivation to waste their time writing texts on the science of toys. Good engineering level literature on off-road vehicles seem to center in on vehicles with serious agricultural and military applications and they must be funded by national organizations. Those books dive right into the performance characteristics and vehicle-terrain interactions. The math and dynamics involved here is also complex and graduate level.

Most of the stuff needed for baja understanding comes right out of Physics, Mechanics of Materials, Statics and Dynamics and another pivotal course in engineering - vibrations! If you have a chance to study vibrations in school, don't miss on the opportunity.


Edited by RonGeorge - Aug/07/2010 at 6:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 12:55pm
Along with what others have said, one of my favorite books on vehicle dynamics is "How to make your car handle" by Fred Puhn. The book is like 30 years old but its a great read.
 
Most books are geared towards on road applications, it is your job to understand the theory behind vehicle dynamics and translate what you think is important for an offroad vehicle. Just don't get too caught up in the theory behind dynamics, in offroad racing, testing is your biggest help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Old Greg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 3:59pm
In defense of RCVD:
  • The equations require nothing more than High School math (trig, algebra) and an understanding of Leibniz notation.  The math is below Calculus I level.
  • All the complicated subjects it deals with are explained in depth.  Prior knowledge is not required.
  • Only chapters 5-9 are math intensive, the book has 23 chapters.  Chapter 10 in particular should be required reading for newbies.
That some schools choose to teach the contents of RCVD to Seniors, in no way means that it is beyond the ability of a Freshman.

I do agree with you though, Ron.  Like I said: it's more book than he's looking, and he ought to read Smith first.  But I think it's a very worthwhile endeavor for those with the necessary drive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birdman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 7:17pm

Through my searches for suspension design book written from an off-road perspective, I've come to the same conclusion as RonGeorge: there aren't many.  I thought I would just check and see if anyone had found the holy grail.  I did the suspension design on our car for my senior design last year.  This year I will be entering Grad school, and would still like to help out with Baja(It's just too much fun).  When I did the design last year I went off of intuition and some advise from a Formula guy.  Since then I have taken a vehicle dynamics course, but suspension and handling weren't covered very well.  I'll check out the books and links that have been suggested.  Also, we've been using a program called WinGeo to do some suspension design analysis, what have other teams been using?  I can't imagine doing any of this by hand!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Waffles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 9:44pm
trouble is, most VD books are written from the standpoint of tires which use camber to help control heat buildup.  Most high performance tires have little sidewall roll, which is very different from atv tires, which (in my opinion) should be treated like motorcycle tires.  With those, your goal is to camber the tire to load the tire radially as opposed to in shear.

are there any three-wheeler or motorcycle dynamics books out there?

my .02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 10:33pm
Single track, two wheeler dynamics should be significantly different from that of vehicles with 4 wheels. Even a simple bicycle's dynamics is 10 times more complex than a race car because of the degrees of freedom involved (typically about 24) and ofcourse, the non-linear effects of the tire.  You can open a book on motorcycles and learn about common topics like suspensions and so on but I'm not so sure about applying other topics to cars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Old Greg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/07/2010 at 11:47pm
Originally posted by Waffles Waffles wrote:

Are there any three-wheeler or motorcycle dynamics books out there?


Motorcycle Dynamics by Vittore Cossalter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony Rivera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/10/2010 at 3:50pm
The July/August edition of 4WD Toyota Owner magazine has a very detailed write up (about 6 pages of tiny text) on how roll centers and roll axis and such effect handling, and how things should be set up for desert racing vs. rock crawling. It is by far the best write up on suspension I have seen published in any magazine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 96DXCivic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/31/2010 at 3:46pm
Theory Of Ground Vehicles by J.Y. Wong has a lot about off-road vehicles. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2010 at 1:27am
Originally posted by 96DXCivic 96DXCivic wrote:

Theory Of Ground Vehicles by J.Y. Wong has a lot about off-road vehicles. 


The book goes indepth into modeling soil mechanics to study vehicle-terrain interaction. You would probably need a master's level civil engineer on your team who has some computer knowledge and some fancy equipment to measure shear strength of the soil to determine tractive effort, vehicle sinkage due to slip and so on. The interaction between soil and tire is very complex. As good as it sounds, few teams would have the time or funding to go out there and do such a mathematical analysis. I think there's more incentive to use the book when you engineer tractors and tracked military vehicles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 96DXCivic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2010 at 12:48pm
Yes but there is still a lot to be learned from the book if you read it and I believe that it could be helpful. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2010 at 1:28pm
Originally posted by 96DXCivic 96DXCivic wrote:

Yes but there is still a lot to be learned from the book if you read it and I believe that it could be helpful. 
 
I agree but learning is one thing, applicability is another. I've read a lot of pages from the book in question. The author states several times that such complicated terrain analysis is in the realm of supercomputers with immense processing power. You can try to model soft terrain in other simpler ways but you'll be making hundreds of assumptions about the true mechanical nature of the soil. None of them may be accurate. If you want to get into terramechanics, its a good book to follow. I advise you to read a book on soil mechanics first to understand the basics. If you're a civil engineering student, it might be a good elective to take in your senior classes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birdman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/14/2010 at 1:29pm
Has anyone read Competition Car Suspension:A Practical Handbook by Allan Staniforth?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cvargas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/29/2010 at 4:21pm
Mod note: Merged this thread with "Off-Road Suspension Design Literature"
 
Hello all,

I've tried doing a search and looking through the forum to see if there was a recommended book list for reading regarding the basics of designing an off road vehicle. Does anyone know of any books that would be good for that?

Thank you

Carlos


Edited by Mod Squad - Sep/01/2011 at 1:00pm
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RACE CAR VEHICLE DYNAMICS                                    

FUNDAMENTALS OF VEHICLE DYNAMICS                 

ADVANCED VEHICLE TECNOLOGY                              

BRAKE TECHNOLOGY HANDBOOK                             

TIRES, SUSPENSION AND HANDLING

CAR SUSPENSION AND HANDLING

THE AUTOMOTIVE CHASSIS

CHASSIS ENGINEERING

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN (SHINGLEY)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cvargas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/29/2010 at 5:58pm
Hey thanks a lot! I'll most definitely be buying these!< id="gwProxy" ="">< ="jsCall;" id="jsProxy" ="">
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cvargas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/29/2010 at 7:30pm
I already have a lot of those books on order haha. I figured a lot of the basic suspension knowledge from asphalt cars would carry over but I'm looking for a book geared toward off road suspension design if there is one like that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p.lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 10:45am
Originally posted by cvargas cvargas wrote:

I already have a lot of those books on order haha. I figured a lot of the basic suspension knowledge from asphalt cars would carry over but I'm looking for a book geared toward off road suspension design if there is one like that.
 
You'll read the thread that Old Greg linked and quickly understand that there is a dearth of books on off-road suspension. People have made some suggestions for finding tidbits of info here and there, but there doesn't seem to be a theory, technical, practical, or how-to book out there for us (maybe some texts if you want to design tractors and tanks).
 
So the burden is on you to take the tire/asphault suspension books (RCVD and others) and figure out what applies to us and what doesn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote collinskl1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 11:10am
By the way, Chassis Engineering isn't worth the money in my opinion.  I read it in an hour, didn't learn much of anything, and banished it to the shelf.  RCVD is the vehicle dynamics bible though.  It should be mandatory reading.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pedro UFPBaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:14pm
See also especifical off-road literature:

-Theory of Ground Vehicles (Wong)
-Terramechanics and Off-Road Vehicle Engineering (Wong)
-Off the Road Mobility of Automobiles (Ageikin)


And books that helps to make the final adjustment.

-Tune to Win by Carroll Smith
-Olav Aaen's Clutch Tuning Handbook






Edited by Pedro UFPBaja - Sep/30/2010 at 4:25pm
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Mod note: Merged "Vehicle Suspension Dynamics Literature" with this thread.

 
Not sure if this has been posted before, did a search on here but couldn't find anything.

I'm a drivetrain guy, and when talking with people who know their cars suspensions I feel my knowledge is a little lacking.

Could you guys recommend some good books and or tutorials I can take a look at to increase my knowledge of suspension dynamics?

FYI I have basic knowledge of things like toe, caster, camber, how different shock settings effect handling, but I'm looking for something fairly intuitive to help me understand more advanced concepts like roll centers, kickup, true ackerman etc.

If at all possible I'm looking for something written in the context of off road racing, although I understand pretty much all books are written in the context of on road mechanics.

Any help would be appreciated.


Edited by Mod Squad - Sep/01/2011 at 1:02pm
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The concepts that you brought up are certaintly the controversial type. There are plenty of Vehicle dynamics guys/gals on the forum so don't be afraid to ask here, even if you make a fool of yourself by asking, I do it all the timeWink.
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Mod Note: Merged with suitable thread
 
This year our team has been budgeted a few extra bucks to start a Baja library. Does anyone know of any useful and relevant books to go on our wish list?


Edited by Mod Squad - Sep/08/2011 at 9:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote collinskl1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 10:09am
Mod Squad... can we make one of these book threads sticky?  It might help with some of the repetition.
 
Then again, maybe not.
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I'm starting a new search button campaign because of how many threads we have like this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neilan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 12:24pm

Search, then go buy then entire Carroll Smith Series including the fastners and plumbing, four books total.

edit-five books total, 4 "to win" books and the fastners

Edited by neilan - Sep/01/2011 at 12:29pm
OSU lead fabricator? or something like that

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mod Squad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 12:29pm
Originally posted by collinskl1 collinskl1 wrote:

Mod Squad... can we make one of these book threads sticky?  It might help with some of the repetition.
 
Then again, maybe not.
Do you want it because it is an important topic that should be easy to access, or because people don't search/ search sucks?
 
The search does suck*, but cwru_bdf10 didn't even try. Searching "design literature" would have given a relevant thread.
 
*We're looking into changing the default search time from "Last 6 months" to "Any Date". Haven't found that switch in the admin panel yet...
 
Also, we're trying to add a Google search box. I'll make a sticky to help point out ways to search better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote collinskl1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 12:47pm
I think the books topic is something a lot of people are curious about/search for, so having it be highly visible would be good.  The FSAE forum has a similar thread stuck to the top, and seems to do well.
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I've made the thread a sticky and merged every thread I could find regarding suspension literature.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 1:32pm
Can we make all 5 of the Fast and the Furious movies required literature?
-Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neilan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by tp tp wrote:

Can we make all 5 of the Fast and the Furious movies required literature?
 
Too Soon.....
OSU lead fabricator? or something like that

-Bo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red_Beard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by neilan neilan wrote:

Originally posted by tp tp wrote:

Can we make all 5 of the Fast and the Furious movies required literature?
 
Too Soon.....


I don't know...  Paul Walker is a Master at Acting Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote collinskl1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 2:48pm
Seriously, as mentioned in some other thread previously... I think Dust to Glory should be mandatory cinematic veiwing.
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... and the 8th simple machine: a bigger hammer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red_Beard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/01/2011 at 2:58pm
Originally posted by collinskl1 collinskl1 wrote:

Seriously, as mentioned in some other thread previously... I think Dust to Glory should be mandatory cinematic veiwing.


Should be mandatory? 

Where have you been man?  Its been mandatory for the past 6 years!

That movie is our gospel!


Edited by Red_Beard - Sep/01/2011 at 2:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ukraine Train Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/08/2011 at 8:23am
Originally posted by Tony Rivera Tony Rivera wrote:

The July/August edition of 4WD Toyota Owner magazine has a very detailed write up (about 6 pages of tiny text) on how roll centers and roll axis and such effect handling, and how things should be set up for desert racing vs. rock crawling. It is by far the best write up on suspension I have seen published in any magazine.


Do you still have this issue by chance? Care to scan the article for us?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p.lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/12/2011 at 3:29pm
Originally posted by Ukraine Train Ukraine Train wrote:

Originally posted by Tony Rivera Tony Rivera wrote:

The July/August edition of 4WD Toyota Owner magazine has a very detailed write up (about 6 pages of tiny text) on how roll centers and roll axis and such effect handling, and how things should be set up for desert racing vs. rock crawling. It is by far the best write up on suspension I have seen published in any magazine.


Do you still have this issue by chance? Care to scan the article for us?
 
Maybe 4WD Toyota Owner magazine would give us a PDF of the article that Tony Riviera was talking about and permission to post it on the forum. It was the July/August 2010 magazine, and the article was called "Ultimate Suspension Guide". The backorder copy of the edition in PDF on a disk only costs $7.
 
I'll shoot them an email and see if they'll do it for free in the interests of higher education.


Edited by p.lewis - Sep/12/2011 at 3:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2011 at 12:15am
Originally posted by p.lewis p.lewis wrote:

 
Maybe 4WD Toyota Owner magazine would give us a PDF of the article that Tony Riviera was talking about and permission to post it on the forum. It was the July/August 2010 magazine, and the article was called "Ultimate Suspension Guide". The backorder copy of the edition in PDF on a disk only costs $7.
 
I'll shoot them an email and see if they'll do it for free in the interests of higher education.


I think I have the copy saved with me. I'll look in my boxes and let you know.
After I had read it, I did not feel it was a 'great' first exposure to the newbie on suspension principles but there are some practical matters in the article that concerns real world rigs much bigger than Baja SAE cars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2011 at 4:37pm
@p.lewis - Did the magazine folks get back to you? I found the back issue with me. Did you want me to share it? I could scan it but first let me know if there are any ill-consequences of doing so. Don't want this to come bite my rear end later.
-Ron George
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/18/2011 at 5:45pm
Looks like someone has already posted it:

http://www.4wheelunderground.com/Suspension-411.html
-Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tony Rivera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/20/2011 at 3:36pm
This is not Off-Road related, and certainly not for beginners, but it sure is interesting.

http://www.ukipme.com/mag_vehicledynamics.htm

I just signed up for monthly subscription (free!)

They also have many other magazines, including:
Automotive Testing,
Crash Test Technology,
Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology,
Engine Technology,
Industrial Vehicle Technology,
Professional Motorsports,
Tire Technology,
and many others...

http://www.ukipme.com/mag_index.htm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/19/2011 at 12:44am
Originally posted by tp tp wrote:

Looks like someone has already posted it:

http://www.4wheelunderground.com/Suspension-411.html
 
Without any of the accompanying images and graphics in the original article.
-Ron George
Systems Engineer (Cummins Turbo)
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