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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2001, 09:48 AM
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independent suspension

What is independent front/rear suspenion? I was looking at the BDS website and came across this term a couple of times but they never defined it. Can anyone explain?

93 YJ/4.0L/30s (Soon to have about 7" of lift!)
"Drive it like a wild man!"
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2001, 10:48 AM
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Re: independent suspension

Basically, instead of a solid axle going straight from wheel hub to wheel hub with a differential in the middle, an independent suspension setup is a center differential with A-arms or other such hardward providing individual suspension for each wheel. It allows the differential to be tucked up higher and be attached to the vehicle, but also makes for some major downfalls.

Who needs a road...if there's a perfectly good JEEP trail somewhere else!?
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-26-2001, 10:02 PM
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Re: independent suspension

The Hummer's got independent suspension as does the Jeep Liberty (and Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, and other mini-utes). Works realllly nice for on-road (as much as the Hummer can be tolerated on-road), but the aforementioned problems with off-road deal with lack of articulation as well as a lowering of effective ground clearance.

On a solid axle vehicle, if there is 12 inches of clearance under the axle, there will always be 12 inches of clearance under the axle. However, on an independent suspension vehicle, there might be 12 inches of clearance under the differential at rest, but when you move the suspension, the clearance will change... that means that the 11 inch rock you always cleared before might smack your differential if your suspension is compressed...

In addition, (as you scream, 'does he EVER shut up?') the solid axle tends to have another bonus. When you push one wheel up, the axle tends to have a 'lever-effect' on the opposite wheel, pushing it down.

Thank you for attending Independent Suspensions 101. Make sure to leave your test papers on the desk as you leave.

There's always room for Jello...
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