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Leaf springs

Suspension Tuning & Optimization

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Discussion and questions related to the course Suspension Tuning & Optimization

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I know this is a corner case, but I thought I'd point out a vehicle that uses leaf springs and used in high performance applications: the Corvette.

Up until the previous generation (C7, so the last of the front engine), the Corvette used transverse leaf springs (I believe made of fiberglass or other composite) on a double wishbone suspension.

Yup, it's a weird one, but thought it was worth pointing out.

You're right Matt! The Corvette came to mind as I was writing that part of the course, but as you say it's more of an edge case. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to point that one out! Transverse leaf spring, on the front axle of all places. Certainly.... unique 😉 In saying that, they wouldn't have stayed with the concept for so long if it didn't suit their design requirements!

Some Corvette models used a transverse leaf spring at both ends. It was a common practice with many vehicles way, way back in the day, and quite a few actual race cars used a similar arrangement, with the leaf forming the top link, into the sixties.

There are many good reasons for using this, as Tim surmised, and they can work very well.

I'm sorry, but this is hardly an edge case. Solid rear axle and leaf spring suspension setups are found in all kinds of racing around the US. After having followed the course, I gained a lot of insight and practical knowledge, but now I'm struggling to apply it to the rear suspension setups on the cars that I use for autocrossing: a 1977 Trans Am (solid axle, leaf springs) and a 1993 Buick Roadmaster Wagon (solid axle, triangulated 4-link trailing arm). I can make informed purchasing and tuning decisions regarding the front double A-arm setups (which are identical between the two cars), but the course covered nothing about panhard bars, torque arms, traction bars, or Watts links and how those can be used to tune the instant center or roll center at the rear. Also how the roll center can even be determined in either of those setups.

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