Rubber bushes

December 5, 2006 at 5:41 am Leave a comment

No, not the trees, the rubber bushes in the front suspension of your car.

Prior to the introduction of radials, cars didn’t use a great deal of rubber to isolate the car body from the suspension. When radials were fitted to these cars, they gave a bone-shaking ride, particularly noticeable when driving over the joins in a concrete road. Thump! Thump! Thump! Repetitively.

Another characteristic was the ride obtained on a corrugated dirt road, only too common in Australia. The car would tramp all over the place. So rubber bushed suspensions were introduced to absorb some of the thumps and bumps coming through the front end, due to the different enveloping capacity of radials to absorb and transmit shocks. Fore and aft compliance of the front axle was introduced by means of rubber bushes, but the resilience of the rubber had to be controlled to control the amount of movement under shock loads, of the axle.

You can still feel the joins in a concrete road, but fortunately car, road making, and tyre making techniques have improved to the extent that the tyre slap is not extremely intrusive in the modern passenger cabin. Marvellous stuff, rubber.

Entry filed under: Tyre Technology. Tags: , .

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