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Motorsport Wheel Alignment: McPherson Strut

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McPherson Strut


00:00 - While this course is not intended to teach you how to design a suspension system for your car, it's still important for you to have an understanding of the common suspension system designs you'll come across as well as how they work so that you'll know what to adjust.
00:15 This is a pretty broad topic as there are a multitude of designs out there, as well as unique variations on a particular system that certain manufacturers have put into their own vehicles.
00:27 We will start with the MacPherson strut which is probably one of the most common front suspension designs that you'll come across on modern cars.
00:35 The MacPherson strut utilises a lower control arm or lower control arm along with a secondary link to locate the hub.
00:43 This arrangement provides both lateral and longitudinal location for the wheel.
00:48 The upper part of the hub is then rigidly attached to a strut which includes the damper and spring.
00:55 The top of the strut is attached to the chassis using a mounting hat that allows the strut to rotate as the steering is turned.
01:02 This style of suspension is relatively simple and low cost so it's been adopted by the majority of passenger car manufacturers.
01:11 There's also less bushes or joints in a MacPherson strut system compared to the likes of a double wishbone suspension design, which also means less components to wear.
01:22 One of the downsides of the MacPherson strut design is that there inevitably will be some amount of camber change and wheel track change as the wheel moves through its range of travel.
01:33 While the MacPherson strut will initially provide negative camber gain as it begins to move through bump travel, due to the geometry of the strut and lower control arm, this will turn into positive camber further into bump travel which we don't want.