1

Wm Harbin
Technical Director
BND TechSource
Vehicle Load Transfer
2
Vehicle Load Transfer
Part I
General Load Transfer
3
 Within any modern vehicle suspension there are many factors
to consider during design and development.

 Factors in vehicle dynamics:
• Vehicle Configuration
• Vehicle Type (i.e. 2 dr Coupe, 4dr Sedan, Minivan, Truck, etc.)
• Vehicle Architecture (i.e. FWD vs. RWD, 2WD vs.4WD, etc.)
• Chassis Architecture (i.e. type: tubular, monocoque, etc. ; material: steel, aluminum,
carbon fiber, etc. ; fabrication: welding, stamping, forming, etc.)
• Front Suspension System Type (i.e. MacPherson strut, SLA Double Wishbone, etc.)
• Type of Steering Actuator (i.e. Rack and Pinion vs. Recirculating Ball)
• Type of Braking System (i.e. Disc (front & rear) vs. Disc (front) & Drum (rear))
• Rear Suspension System Type (i.e. Beam Axle, Multi-link, Solid Axle, etc.)
• Suspension/Braking Control Systems (i.e. ABS, Electronic Stability Control,
Electronic Damping Control, etc.)

Factors in Vehicle Dynamics
4
 Factors in vehicle dynamics (continued):
• Vehicle Suspension Geometry
• Vehicle Wheelbase
• Vehicle Track Width Front and Rear
• Wheels and Tires
• Vehicle Weight and Distribution
• Vehicle Center of Gravity
• Sprung and Unsprung Weight
• Springs Motion Ratio
• Chassis Ride Height and Static Deflection
• Turning Circle or Turning Radius (Ackermann Steering Geometry)
• Suspension Jounce and Rebound
• Vehicle Suspension Hard Points:
• Front Suspension
• Scrub (Pivot) Radius
• Steering (Kingpin) Inclination Angle (SAI)
• Caster Angle
• Mechanical (or caster) trail
• Toe Angle
• Camber Angle
• Ball Joint Pivot Points
• Control Arm Chassis Attachment Points
• Knuckle/Brakes/Steering
• Springs/Shock Absorbers/Struts
• ARB (anti-roll bar)
Factors in Vehicle Dynamics
5
 Factors in vehicle dynamics (continued):
• Vehicle Suspension Geometry (continued)
•Vehicle Suspension Hard Points (continued):
• Rear Suspension
• Scrub (Pivot) Radius
• Steering (Kingpin) Inclination Angle (SAI)
• Caster Angle (if applicable)
• Mechanical (or caster) trail (if applicable)
• Toe Angle
• Camber Angle
• Knuckle and Chassis Attachment Points
• Various links and arms depend upon the Rear Suspension configuration.
(i.e. Dependent vs. Semi-Independent vs. Independent Suspension)
• Knuckle/Brakes
• Springs/Shock Absorbers
• ARB (anti-roll bar)
•Vehicle Dynamic Considerations
• Suspension Dynamic Targets
• Wheel Frequency
• Bushing Compliance
• Lateral Load Transfer with and w/o ARB
• Roll moment
• Roll Stiffness (degrees per g of lateral acceleration)
• Maximum Steady State lateral acceleration (in understeer mode)
• Rollover Threshold (lateral g load)
• Linear Range Understeer (typically between 0g and 0.4g)
Factors in Vehicle Dynamics
6
 Factors in vehicle dynamics (continued):
• Vehicle Dynamic Considerations (continued)
• Suspension Dynamic Analysis
• Bundorf Analysis
• Slip angles (degrees per lateral force)
• Tire Cornering Coefficient (lateral force as a percent of rated vertical load per degree slip
angle)
• Tire Cornering Forces (lateral cornering force as a function of slip angle)
• Linear Range Understeer
• Steering Analysis
• Bump Steer Analysis
• Roll Steer Analysis
• Tractive Force Steer Analysis
• Brake Force Steer Analysis
• Ackerman change with steering angle
• Roll Analysis
• Camber gain in roll (front & rear)
• Caster gain in roll (front & rear – if applicable)
• Roll Axis Analysis
• Roll Center Height Analysis
• Instantaneous Center Analysis
• Track Analysis
• Load Transfer Analysis
• Unsprung and Sprung weight transfer
• Jacking Forces
• Roll Couple Percentage Analysis
• Total Lateral Load Transfer Distribution (TLLTD)
Factors in Vehicle Dynamics
7
 While the total amount of factors may seem a bit overwhelming, it may be
easier to digest if we break it down into certain aspects of the total.

 The intent of this document is to give the reader a better understanding of
vehicle dynamic longitudinal and lateral load transfer as a vehicle
accelerates/decelerates in a particular direction.

 The discussion will include:
Part I – General Load Transfer Information
• Load vs. Weight Transfer
• Rotational Moments of Inertia
• Sprung and Unsprung Weight
Part II – Longitudinal Load Transfer
• Vehicle Center of Gravity
• Longitudinal Load Transfer
• Suspension Geometry
• Instant Centers
• Side View Swing Arm
• Anti-squat, Anti-dive, and Anti-lift


Vehicle Load Transfer
Part III – Lateral Load Transfer
• Cornering Forces
• Suspension Geometry
• Front View Swing Arm
• Roll Center Heights
• Roll Axis
• Roll Stiffness
• Anti-roll bars
• Tire Rates
• Roll Gradient
• Lateral Load Transfer

8
Load vs. Weight Transfer
9
 In automobiles, load transfer is the imaginary "shifting" of
weight around a motor vehicle during acceleration (both
longitudinal and lateral). This includes braking, or deceleration
(which can be viewed as acceleration at a negative rate). Load
transfer is a crucial concept in understanding vehicle dynamics.

 Often load transfer is misguidedly referred to as weight
transfer due to their close relationship. The difference being
load transfer is an imaginary shift in weight due to an
imbalance of forces, while weight transfer involves the actual
movement of the vehicles center of gravity (Cg). Both result in
a redistribution of the total vehicle load between the
individual tires.
Load vs. Weight Transfer
10
 Weight transfer involves the actual (small) movement of the
vehicle Cg relative to the wheel axes due to displacement of
liquids within the vehicle, which results in a redistribution of
the total vehicle load between the individual tires.

 Liquids, such as fuel, readily flow within their containers,
causing changes in the vehicle's Cg. As fuel is consumed, not
only does the position of the Cg change, but the total weight
of the vehicle is also reduced.

 Another factor that changes the vehicle’s Cg is the expansion
of the tires during rotation. This is called “dynamic rolling
radius” and is effected by wheel-speed, temperature, inflation
pressure, tire compound, and tire construction. It raises the
vehicle’s Cg slightly as the wheel-speed increases.
Load vs. Weight Transfer
11
 The major forces that accelerate a vehicle occur at the tires
contact patch. Since these forces are not directed through the
vehicle's Cg, one or more moments are generated. It is these
moments that cause variation in the load distributed between
the tires.

 Lowering the Cg towards the ground is one method of
reducing load transfer. As a result load transfer is reduced in
both the longitudinal and lateral directions. Another method
of reducing load transfer is by increasing the wheel spacings.
Increasing the vehicles wheel base (length) reduces
longitudinal load transfer. While increasing the vehicles track
(width) reduces lateral load transfer.
Load vs. Weight Transfer
Rotational Moments of Inertia
12
y
x
z
Vertical
Lateral
Longitudinal
Roll
(p)
Yaw
(r)
Pitch
(q)
Cg
Moment of Inertia
 Polar moment of inertia
• A simple demonstration of polar moment of inertia is to compare a
dumbbell vs. a barbell both at the same weight. Hold each in the
middle and twist to feel the force reacting at the center. Notice the
dumbbell (which has a lower polar moment) reacts quickly and the
barbell (which has a higher polar moment) reacts slowly.
13
Wd
o
2
= Ι
d
1
d
1
C

L

d
2
d
2
C

L

W

W

Example:
W = 50 lb (25 lb
at each end)
d
1
= 8 in
d
2
= 30 in
2 2
1
3200 ) 8 ( * 25 * 2 in lb⋅ = = Ι
2 2
2
000 , 45 ) 30 ( * 25 * 2 in lb⋅ = = Ι
Moment of Inertia
 Sum the polar moments of inertia
• The total polar moment of inertia for a vehicle can be
determined by multiplying the weight of each component by
the distance from the component Cg to the Cg of the vehicle.
The sum of the component polar moments of inertia would
establish the total vehicle polar moment of inertia.

• A vehicle with most of its weight near the vehicle Cg has a
lower total polar moment of inertia is quicker to respond to
steering inputs.

• A vehicle with a high polar moment is slower to react to
steering inputs and is therefore more stable at high speed
straight line driving.

14
Moment of Inertia
 Effects of polar moments of inertia
• Here is an example of a V8 engine with a typical transmission
packaged into a sports car.
15
Example:
W
Eng
= 600 lb
W
Tran
= 240 lb
d
Eng
= 40 in
d
Tran
= 10 in
d
Eng

d
Tran

d W d W M Tran Tran Eng Eng
o
2 2
) ( ) ( ) ( + = Ι

2 2 2
000 , 984 ) 10 ( 240 ) 40 ( 600 ) ( in lb in lb in lb M
o
⋅ = + = Ι

Moment of Inertia
16
Example:
W
Eng
= 600 lb
W
Tran
= 240 lb
d
Eng
= 70 in
d
Tran
= 40 in
d
Eng

d
Tran

 Effects of polar moments of inertia
• Here is an example of a V8 engine with a typical transmission
packaged into a sedan.
d W d W M Tran Tran Eng Eng
o
2 2
) ( ) ( ) ( + = Ι

2 2 2
000 , 324 , 3 ) 40 ( 240 ) 70 ( 600 ) ( in lb in lb in lb M
o
⋅ = + = Ι

17
Load Transfer
18
Load Transfer
 Load Transfer

• The forces that enable a road vehicle to accelerate and stop
all act at the road surface.

• The center of gravity, which is located considerably above
the road surface, and which is acted upon by the
accelerations resulting from the longitudinal forces at the
tire patches, generates a moment which transfers load.

• As asymmetric load results in differing traction limits, a
vehicles handling is affected by the “dynamic load
distribution”.
19
Load Transfer equations & terms

Load Transfer

g
on Accelerati Vehicle Weight Vehicle
Force Inertial
*
=

Wheelbase
CG Force Inertial
Transfer Load
height *
=
a m = F Law Second s Newton : '
F = force
m = mass
a = acceleration
g = a
g
= acceleration due to gravity
= 32.2ft/sec
2
= 9.8m/sec
2

a
x
= acceleration in the x direction
a
y
= acceleration in the y direction
a
z
= acceleration in the z direction
Weight = mass * a
g
20
Load Transfer
 Load transfers between the Center of Gravity and the road
surface through a variety of paths.

• Suspension Geometry
• Front: Location of instant centers
(Side View Swing Arm)
• Rear: Instant centers, Lift Bars
(Side View Swing Arm)

• Suspension Springs
• Front: Coils, Air Springs, leafs or Torsion bars and Anti-
roll bars
• Rear: Coils, Air Springs, leafs or Torsion bars and Anti-
roll bars

21
Load transfer (continued)

• Dampers (Shock Absorbers)
• During transient conditions

• Tires
• During all conditions (where the rubber meets the road)

Where and how you balance the load transfer between the
Springs, Geometry, Dampers and Tires are key determinates as
to how well the car will accelerate and brake and the stability
associated with each condition.
Load Transfer
22
Load Transfer Control Devices
 Dampers (Shock Absorbers)

• Along with the springs, dampers transfer the load of the rolling
(pitching) component of the vehicle. They determine how the
load is transferred to and from the individual wheels while the
chassis is rolling and/or pitching.

• Within 65-70% critically damped is said to be the ideal damper
setting for both handling and comfort simultaneously. Most
modern dampers show some digression to them as well,
meaning they may be 70% critically damped at low piston
speeds but move lower to allow the absorption of large bumps.
Damping is most important below 4 in/second as this is where
car control tuning takes place.

23
Load Transfer Control Devices
 Springs
• Along with the dampers (shock absorbers), springs transfer the load
of the sprung mass of the car to the road surface. During
maneuvers, depending on instant center locations, the springs and
dampers transfer some portion of the (m x a), mass x acceleration,
forces to the ground.
• Spring Rate is force per unit displacement for a suspension spring
alone .
• For coil springs this is measured axially along the centerline.
• For torsion bar springs it is measured at the attachment arm.
• For leaf springs it is measured at the axle seat.
• The spring rate may be linear (force increases proportionally with
displacement) or nonlinear (increasing or decreasing rate with
increasing displacement).
• Units are typically lb/in.
24
Load Transfer Control Devices
 Anti-roll bars
• [Drawing 1] shows how an anti-roll bar (ARB) is twisted when
the body rolls in a turn. This creates forces at the four points
where the bar is attached to the vehicle. The forces are shown
in [Drawing 2]. Forces A on the suspension increase [load]
transfer to the outside tire. Forces B on the frame resist body
roll. The effect is a reduction of body roll and an increase in
[load] transfer at the end of the chassis which has the anti-roll
bar. Because the total [load] transfer due to centripetal force is
not changed, the opposite end of the chassis has reduced [load]
transfer. [6]
Drawing 2 Drawing 1
Direction of Turn
A A
B
B
25
 Bushing Deflection (suspension compliance)
• All of the calculations shown in this presentation do not include
bushing deflection. There are many rubber bushings within a vehicle
suspension to consider when analyzing suspension compliance.
Load Transfer Control Devices
26
Load Transfer Control Devices
 Frame/Chassis Deflection
• All of the calculations shown in this presentation are made under
the assumption that the frame or chassis is completely rigid (both in
torsion and bending). Of course any flexing within the frame/chassis
will adversely effect the performance of the suspension which is
attached to it.
Sprung and Unsprung Weight
 100% Unsprung weight includes the mass of the tires, rims,
brake rotors, brake calipers, knuckle assemblies, and ball
joints which move in unison with the wheels.

 50% unsprung and 50% sprung weight would be comprised
of the linkages of the wheel assembly to the chassis.

 The % unsprung weight of the shocks, springs and anti-roll
bar ends would be a function of their motion ratio/2 with
the remainder as % sprung weight.

 The rest of the mass is on the vehicle side of the springs is
suspended and is 100% sprung weight.
27
Sprung and Unsprung Weight
28
Springs Motion Ratio
 The shocks, springs, struts and anti-roll bars are normally mounted at
some angle from the suspension to the chassis.
 Motion Ratio: If you were to move the wheel 1 inch and the spring were
to deflect 0.75 inches then the motion ratio would be 0.75 in/in.






29
Motion Ratio = (B/A) * sin(spring angle)
Springs Motion Ratio
30
 The shocks, springs, struts and anti-roll bars are normally mounted at
some angle from the suspension to the chassis.
 Motion Ratio: If you were to move the wheel 1 inch and the spring were
to deflect 0.75 inches then the motion ratio would be 0.75 in/in.





Motion Ratio =
(B/A) * sin(spring angle)
Wheel Rates
31
 Wheel Rates are calculated by taking the square of the motion ratio times
the spring rate. Squaring the ratio is because the ratio has two effects on
the wheel rate. The ratio applies to both the force and distance traveled.

 Because it's a force, and the lever arm is multiplied twice.
• The motion ratio is factored once to account for the distance-traveled differential
of the two points (A and B in the example below).
• Then the motion ratio is factored again to account for the lever-arm force
differential.
Example: K
|
A----B------------P
• P is the pivot point, B is the spring mount, and A is the wheel. Here the motion
ration (MR) is 0.75... imagine a spring K that is rated at 100 lb/in placed at B
perpendicular to the line AP. If you want to move A 1 in vertically upward, B would
only move (1in)(MR) = 0.75 in. Since K is 100 lb/in, and B has only moved 0.75 in,
there's a force at B of 75 lb. If you balance the moments about P, you get
75(B)=X(A), and we know B = 0.75A, so you get 75(0.75A) = X(A). A's cancel and you
get X=75(0.75)=56.25. Which is [100(MR)](MR) or 100(MR)
2
.

Wheel Rate (lb/in) =
(Motion Ratio)
2
* (Spring Rate)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
-2.49 -2.22 -1.95 -1.68 -1.42 -1.15 -0.89 -0.63 -0.36 -0.10 0.16 0.41 0.67 0.93 1.18 1.44 1.69 1.94 2.19 2.44
W
h
e
e
l

R
a
t
e

(
l
b
/
i
n
)

Rebound to Jounce (in)
Wheel Rate vs. Wheel Position
Coil-over Shock
ARB
Wheel Rates
32
 Since the linkages pivot, the spring angles change as the components
swing along an arc path. This causes the motion ratio to be calculated
through a range. The graph below shows an example of these results for
both coil-over shock and anti-roll bar for an independent front suspension
from rebound to jounce positions.



K
W
= Wheel Rate (lb/in) =
(Motion Ratio - range)
2
* (Spring Rate - linear)
K
W
= MR
2
* K
S
Example:
Coil-over K
S
= 400 lb/in (linear)

Coil-over MR

= 0.72-.079 in/in

ARB K
S
= 451.8 lb/in (body roll)

ARB MR

= 0.56-0.61 in/in

Ride height

0
50
100
150
200
250
300
-2.49 -2.22 -1.95 -1.68 -1.42 -1.15 -0.89 -0.63 -0.36 -0.10 0.16 0.41 0.67 0.93 1.18 1.44 1.69 1.94 2.19 2.44
W
h
e
e
l

R
a
t
e

(
l
b
/
i
n
)

Rebound to Jounce (in)
Wheel Rate vs. Wheel Position
Coil-over Shock
ARB
Wheel Rates
33
 In longitudinal pitch, the anti-roll bar (ARB) rotates evenly as the chassis
moves relative to the suspension. Therefore, the ARB only comes into play
during lateral pitch (body roll) of the vehicle (it also comes into play during
one wheel bump, but that rate is not shown here).



K
W
= Wheel Rate (lb/in) =
(Motion Ratio - range)
2
* (Spring Rate - linear)
K
W
= MR
2
* K
S
Example:
Coil-over K
S
= 400 lb/in (linear)

Coil-over MR

= 0.72-.079 in/in

ARB K
S
= 451.8 lb/in (body roll)

ARB MR

= 0.56-0.61 in/in

Ride height

Spring Rates/Ride Frequency
34
 The static deflection of the suspension determines its natural frequency.

 Static deflection is the rate at which the suspension compresses in
response to weight.



0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
w

=

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
c
y
c
l
e
s
/
m
i
n
)

x = Static Deflection (in)
Ride Natural Frequency vs. Static Wheel Deflection
x
188
= ω
Spring Rates/Ride Frequency
35
 Ride frequency is the undamped natural frequency of the body in ride.
The higher the frequency, the stiffer the ride.

 Based on the application, there are ballpark numbers to consider.
• 30 - 70 CPM for passenger cars
• 70 - 120 CPM for high-performance sports cars
• 120 - 300+ CPM for high downforce race cars

 It is common to run a spring frequency higher in the rear than the front.
The idea is to have the oscillation of the front suspension finish at the
same time as the rear.

 Since the delay between when the front suspension hits a bump and the
rear suspension hits that bump varies according to vehicle speed, the
spring frequency increase in the rear also varies according to the
particular speed one wants to optimize for.

Spring Rates/Ride Frequency
36
 Once the motion ratios has been established, the front and rear spring
rates can be optimized for a “flat” ride at a particular speed.

37
Vehicle Load Transfer
Part II
Longitudinal Load Transfer
38
Center of Gravity
39
 Locating the center of gravity in the X-Y (horizontal) plane is
performed by placing the vehicle on scales and identifying the
corresponding loads.
• X, Y, positions are noted
• % Front, % Rear, % Left, % Right, % Diagonal (RF,LR)

 Locating the center of gravity height (h
cg
) can be achieved by
raising one end of the vehicle and identifying the load change
on the un-raised end which is a result of the height change on
the raised end.
Center of Gravity Location
40
Center of Gravity Location


W
R

l
R
l
F

L
C
g

W
F

SCALE SCALE
Center of Gravity
Horizontal Plane Location
41
Center of Gravity Location
100 % ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
tot
LF RF
front
W
W W
W
100 % ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
tot
RR LR
rear
W
W W
W
100 % ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
tot
LR LF
left
W
W W
W 100 % ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
tot
RR RF
right
W
W W
W
100 % ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
tot
LR RF
diag
W
W W
W
42
Center of Gravity Location
100
3542
880 880
% 7 . 49 ∗
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
front
W
100
3542
891 891
% 3 . 50 ∗
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
rear
W
100
3542
891 880
% 50 ∗
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
left
W
100
3542
891 880
% 50 ∗
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
right
W
100
3542
891 880
% 50 ∗
|
.
|

\
|
+
= =
diag
W
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
Weight
total
= 3542 lb

W
RF
= 880 lb
W
LF
= 880 lb
W
RR
= 891 lb
W
LR
= 891 lb
43
Center of Gravity Location
L
W
W
L
W
W
tot
r
tot
f
f
∗ = ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
− = 1 
L
W
W
L
W
W
tot
f
tot
r
r
∗ = ∗
|
|
.
|

\
|
− = 1 
44
Center of Gravity Location
98
3542
1782
98
3542
1760
1 in 3 . 49 ∗ = ∗
|
.
|

\
|
− = =
f

98
3542
1760
98
3542
1782
1 in 7 . 48 ∗ = ∗
|
.
|

\
|
− = =
r

Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
W
tot
= 3542 lb

W
F
= 1760 lb
W
R
= 1782 lb
L = 98.0 in
45
Center of Gravity Height Location

− = = L W WL M Horizontal
f R R
0 :
( )
θ θ θ θ
θ θ θ
cos cos cos sin 0
cos cos sin 0 :
L W L W L W h W or
L W W L W h W M Raised
f f R cg
f f R cg R
∆ − − + =
∆ + − + = =

46
Center of Gravity Height Location
The center of gravity height above the spindle centerline is:
h W
L W
W
L W
above h
tot
f
tot
f
cg


=

=
*
*
sin *
cos * *
2
θ
θ
θ
θ
θ
cos
sin
tan =

=
L
h
h
CGtotal
on level ground is:
(where r
t
= tire radius)
t
tot
f
cg
r
h W
L W
total h +


=
*
*
2
47
Center of Gravity Height Location
The center of gravity height
above the spindle centerline is:
12 * 3542
9604 * 62 . 22
98 . 6 sin * 3542
98 . 6 cos * 98 * 62 . 22
11 . 5 = =
98 . 6 cos
98 . 6 sin
98
12
98 . 6 tan = =
h
CGtotal
on level ground is:
(where r
t
= tire radius)
89 . 11
12 * 3542
9604 * 62 . 22
in 17 + =
Example: C3 Corvette
W
tot
= 3542 lb

W
F
= 1760 lb
W
R
= 1782 lb
L = 98.0 in
r
t
= 11.89 in
Dh = 12 in
DW
F
= 22.62 lb
48
Longitudinal Load Transfer
49
Longitudinal Load Transfer
 Longitudinal (vehicle fore-aft direction) load transfer occurs
due to either positive (acceleration) or negative (braking)
acceleration.

 Load transfer is associated with each of these accelerations.
This is due to the acceleration forces acting between the tire
contact patches at the road surface and the vehicle center of
gravity height which is above the road surface.
50


Longitudinal Load Transfer
The vehicle load distribution on level ground is shown in the
following equations.
A B
W
F

W
R

l
R
l
F

L
C
g

W
T

|
.
|

\
|
=
L
W = W W = L W Axle Front
R
F
R
F


|
.
|

\
|
=
L
W = W W = L W Axle Rear
F
R
F
R


51


Longitudinal Load Transfer
The vehicle load distribution on level ground is shown in the
following equations.
A B
W
F

W
R

l
R
l
F

L
C
g

W
T

lb = W W = L W Axle Front F
R
F 1760
98
7 . 48
3542 =
|
.
|

\
|
=

lb = W W = L W Axle Rear R
F
R 1782
98
3 . 49
3542 =
|
.
|

\
|
=

Example: C3 Corvette
W
T
= 3542 lb

W
F
= 1760 lb
W
R
= 1782 lb
L = 98.0 in
l
F
= 49.3 in
l
R
= 48.7 in
52


Longitudinal Load Transfer
The load transfer can be most easily determined on level ground, at
a speed low enough such that aerodynamic resistance force would
be negligible (zero). The equations are then solved for the static
load at each axle and any load transferred due to acceleration or
deceleration.
A B
W
F
+/- ∆W
W
R
+/- ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel
F
a

W
T

h
cg
L
h
a
a
W
L
h
a m =
L
h

F
= W
cg
g
x
T
cg cg
a
T * * = ∆
53


Longitudinal Load Transfer
The load transfer can be most easily determined on level ground, at
a speed low enough such that aerodynamic resistance force would
be negligible (zero). The equations are then solved for the static
load at each axle and any load transferred due to acceleration or
deceleration.
A B
W
F
+/- ∆W
W
R
+/- ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel
F
a

W
T

h
cg
lb =
L
h

F
= W
cg
a
T 2 . 286
98
17
* ) 2 . 32 / 15 ( * 3542 = ∆
Example: C3 Corvette
W
T
= 3542 lb

L = 98.0 in
h
cg
= 17 in
a
x
= 15 ft/sec
2
a
g
= 32.2 ft/sec
2

54
|
.
|

\
|
− ∆ − ∑
L
h
a
a
L
W = W W = 0 = M(B)
cg
g
x R
T F *

Longitudinal Load Transfer
In forward acceleration the load on the front axle can be
found by solving the moment about point B of the figure.
A B
W
F
- ∆W
W
R
+ ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel F
a

W
T

h
cg
55
Longitudinal Load Transfer
In forward acceleration the load on the front axle can be
found by solving the moment about point B of the figure.
Example: C3 Corvette
W
T
= 3542 lb

W
F
= 1760 lb
DW = 286.2 lb
l
R
= 48.7 in
L = 98.0 in
h
cg
= 17 in
a
x
= 15 ft/sec
2
a
g
= 32.2 ft/sec
2

A B
W
F
- ∆W
W
R
+ ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel
F
a

W
T

h
cg
lb = W W = 0 = M(B) F 8 . 1473
98
17
*
2 . 32
15
98
7 . 48
3542 =
|
.
|

\
|
− ∆ − ∑
Check: 1473.8 lbs + 286.2 lbs = 1760 lb
56
Longitudinal Load Transfer
In forward acceleration the load on the rear axle can be
found by solving the moment about point A of the figure.
A B
W
F
+ ∆W
W
R
- ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel F
a

W
T

h
cg
|
.
|

\
|
+ ∆ + ∑
L
h
a
a
L
W = W W = 0 = M(A)
cg
g
x F
T R *

57
Longitudinal Load Transfer
In forward acceleration the load on the rear axle can be
found by solving the moment about point A of the figure.
A B
W
F
+ ∆W
W
R
- ∆W
l
R
l
F

L
acceleration
force
C
g

accel
F
a

W
T

h
cg
Example: C3 Corvette
W
T
= 3542 lb

W
R
= 1782 lb
DW = 286.2 lb
l
F
= 49.3 in
L = 98.0 in
h
cg
= 17 in
a
x
= 15 ft/sec
2
a
g
= 32.2 ft/sec
2

lbs = W W = 0 = M(A) R 2 . 2068
98
17
*
2 . 32
15
98
3 . 49
3542 =
|
.
|

\
|
+ ∆ + ∑
Check: 2068.2 lbs - 286.2 lbs = 1782 lbs
58
Longitudinal Acceleration Pitch
 The vehicle pitch angle , if no suspension forces oppose it (no
anti-dive, anti-lift, or anti-squat), is a function of the load
transfer (∆W) and the wheel rate (K
W
).
• If the front wheel rate is K
Wf
and the rear is K
Wr
then the load
transfer (∆W) would be divided between the left and right
wheels. Therefore vertical displacements (Z) of the sprung
(body) mass at the wheel locations are as shown.



Z
R
Z
F

 
C
g

C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

(Jounce and Rebound are also known as Bump and Droop)
59
Longitudinal Acceleration Pitch
K
W
=
Z

K
W
=
Z
Wf
F
Wr
R
2 / 2 / ∆ ∆
π
θ θ
180

L
K
W
+
K
W
=
L
Z
+
Z
=
L
K
W
+
K
W
=
Wr Wf
deg
F R Wr Wf
rad
*
2 / 2 / 2 / 2 / ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆
Z
R
Z
F

 
C
g

C
g

(no anti-dive, anti-lift, or anti-squat)
60
Longitudinal Acceleration Pitch
in =
Z
in =
Z F R
62 .
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
455 .
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
= =
deg 63 . *
98
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
01097 .
98
62 . 455 .
98
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
=
=
π
θ
θ
180

+
=
+
=
+
=
deg
rad
rad
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
K
Sf
= 400 lb/in MR
f
= 0.759 in/in K
Wf
= 230.26 lb/in

K
Sr
= 600 lb/in MR
r
= 0.724 in/in K
Wr
= 314.35 lb/in
DW = 286.2 lb
L = 98.0 in
Z
R
Z
F

 
C
g

C
g

(no anti-dive, anti-lift, or anti-squat)
K
W
= MR
2
* K
S
61
Suspension Geometry
Instant Centers
 Instant Center (IC)
• Simply put, an instant center is a point in space (either real or
extrapolated) around which the suspension's links rotate.
• “Instant" means at that particular position of the linkage.
• "Center" refers to an extrapolated point that is the effective
pivot point of the linkage at that instant.
• The IC is used in both side view swing arm (SVSA) and a front
view swing arm (FVSA) geometry for suspension travel.

62
Front View Geometry Side View Geometry
Swing Arms
 Swing Arms
• There are many different types of vehicle suspension designs.
All of which have instant centers (reaction points) developed
by running lines through their pivots to an intersection point.

• A swing arm by definition has an minimum of two pivot points
attaching a suspension component to the vehicle chassis or
underbody. To simplify the concept, imagine a line running
from the IC directly to the suspension component. This line is
referred to as the swing arm.
63 FVSA
Swing Arm


SVSA
Swing Arm
Swing Arms
 Swing Arms
• The side view swing arm controls force and motion factors
predominantly related to longitudinal accelerations, while the
front view swing arm controls force and motion factors due to
lateral accelerations.
64
FVSA
Swing Arm


SVSA
Swing Arm
65
 Shown is a schematic of a solid rear drive axle with the linkages
replaced with a swing arm. In a solid drive axle the axle and
differential move together and are suspended from the chassis
using springs and/or trailing arms.
Side View Swing Arm
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
66
 Shown is a schematic of an independent rear suspension (IRS)
with the linkages replaced with a swing arm. In an IRS the
differential is mounted to the chassis as the half shafts move
independently and are suspended from the chassis using
springs, control arms and trailing arms.
Side View Swing Arm
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
67
Anti- Geometry
68
Anti- Geometry
 Anti-squat
Anti-squat in rear suspensions reduces the jounce (upward)
travel during forward acceleration on rear wheel drive cars only.

 Anti-dive
Anti-dive geometry in front suspensions reduces the jounce
(upward) deflection under forward braking.

 Anti-lift
Anti-lift in rear suspensions reduces rebound (downward) travel
during forward braking.


69
Anti-Squat Geometry
70
Anti-squat geometry
 Anti-squat
During forward (longitudinal) acceleration the vehicle load
transfer tends to compress the rear springs (suspension
jounce) and allow the front springs to extend (suspension
rebound). Anti-squat characteristics can be designed into the
rear suspension geometry.

Anti-squat geometry produces a side view swing arm (SVSA)
that predicts suspension component behavior.


C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

71
Anti-squat geometry
 Anti-squat
Geometry that produces an instant center (IC) through which
acceleration forces (F
za
and F
xa
) can act to reduce or eliminate
drive wheel spring deflection during acceleration.

C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
72
 Instant center locations are projected onto the longitudinal axis
of the vehicle. This provides the location where the forces
transmitted during acceleration effectively act.

 The resultant horizontal and vertical components of the
tractive force transmitted through these instant centers
determine the load percentage transfer that acts through the
suspension linkages, with the remaining load acting through
the suspension springs.

Anti-squat geometry
73
Anti-squat geometry
The percentage of anti-squat is now determined relative
to the 100% (h/L) angle.
If a suspension has 100% anti-squat, all the longitudinal
load transfer is carried by the suspension linkages and
not by the springs (h/L line would be parallel to the swing
arm line).
L
h
=
d
r e
=

β tan
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
74
 The magnitude of the vertical (F
za
) components determines, in
part, the ability for the driver to accelerate without spinning
the tires.

 The magnitude of the vertical (F
za
) components also dictates
the load % transfer that is transmitted through the springs and
dampers to the road surface and the load % that transfers
directly through the suspension linkages.
Anti-squat geometry
75
 The load transfer during acceleration is as shown:




 The tractive effort (F
x
) at the drive wheels is calculated as:

L
h
a
a
W
=
L
h
a m =
F
x
g
T
za
x
g
T
x xa
a
a
W
=
F
=
F
Anti-squat geometry
(1)
(2)
76
 By examining the free body of the rear suspension and
summing moments about the contact patch, the equation
below is derived.



 Since F
xa
is the Tractive Force.

d
r e

F
=
F
0 = r e
F
- d
F
0 =
M
xa za
xa za R

− ∑
d
r e
a
a
W
=
F
x
g
T
za

Anti-squat geometry
(3)
(4)
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
77
 Equating equations (1) and (4) results in an equation which
indicates the relationships for 100% anti-squat.






 The angle the instant center (IC) must lie on for 100% anti-
squat is:




d
r e
=
L
h

d
r e
a
a
W
=
L
h
a
a
W
=
F
x
g
T
x
g
T
za



L
h
=
d
r e
=

β tan
Anti-squat geometry
(5)
(6)
78




 If the tan β < h/L then squat will occur.

L
h
=
d
r e
=

β tan
Anti-squat geometry
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
79
 Anti-squat rear solid axle
• Shown is a SVSA of a solid rear drive axle. The torque reaction is
taken by the suspension components.
Anti-squat geometry
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
L
h

d
e
= squat Anti = % 100
100 *
/
/
/
tan
%
L h
d e

L h
= squat Anti =
β
80
 Anti-squat rear solid axle
• Shown is a SVSA of a solid rear drive axle. The torque reaction is
taken by the suspension components.
Anti-squat geometry
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
% 125 100 *
100 / 20
45 / 25 . 11
/
tan
% = =
L h
= squat Anti
β
L
h

d
e
= squat Anti = % 100
Example: Solid Axle
e

= 11.25 in

d = 45 in
L = 100 in
h = 20 in
81
 Anti-squat independent rear suspension
• Shown is a SVSA of an independent rear suspension (IRS). The
torque reaction is taken by the chassis.
Anti-squat geometry
L
h

d
r e
= squat Anti =

% 100
100 *
/
/
/
tan
%
L h
d r e

L h
= squat Anti

=
β
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
82
 Anti-squat independent rear suspension
• Shown is a SVSA of an independent rear suspension (IRS). The
torque reaction is taken by the chassis.
Anti-squat geometry
L
h

d
r e
= squat Anti =

% 100
Example: C3 Upgrade
e

= 15.62 in

d = 32.84 in
L = 98 in
h = 17 in
r = 11.89 in
% 5 . 65 100 *
98 / 17
84 . 32 / 89 . 11 62 . 15
/
tan
% =

=
L h
= squat Anti
β
C
g

e
d
L
F
za

F
xa

F
x

F
z

IC
h
b
r
W
T

100% Anti-squat
Line
83
Anti-squat geometry
 Anti-squat effects on longitudinal pitch angle

100 * %
*
= on compensati pitch
Wf
Wr
K
K
L
h
L
h
d
r e
|
.
|

\
|
+

(
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
.
|

\
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|
+


L
h
K d
r e
K
L
h
K Wf Wr Wr
x
g
T
a
a
W
L
= (rad) angle Pitch *
2 *
1
*
2 *
1
*
2 *
1
* *
1
θ
84
Anti-squat geometry
 Anti-squat effects on longitudinal pitch angle

Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
e – r = 3.73 in W
T
= 3542 lb

d = 32.84 in K
Wr
= 314.35 lb/in
L = 98 in K
Wf
= 230.26 lb/in
h = 17 in a
x
= 180 in/sec
2
r = 11.89 in a
g
= 386.4 in/sec
2
(
¸
(

¸

|
.
|

\
|

\
|
+
|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|
98
17
*
) 2 * 26 . 230 (
1
84 . 32
73 . 3
*
) 2 * 35 . 314 (
1
98
17
*
) 2 * 35 . 314 (
1
180 *
4 . 386
3542
*
98
1

= (rad) angle Pitch θ
squat Anti deg rad = (deg) angle Pitch % 5 . 65 @ 45 . 0
180
* 0079 . 0 =
π
θ
% 28 100 *
4103 .
1136 .
% = = on compensati pitch
Check: (1-.28)*.63deg = .45deg
85
Anti-squat geometry
 Anti-squat effects on longitudinal pitch angle

Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
e – r = 3.73 in W
T
= 3542 lb

d = 32.84 in K
Wr
= 314.35 lb/in
L = 98 in K
Wf
= 230.26 lb/in
h = 17 in a
x
= 180 in/sec
2
r = 11.89 in a
g
= 386.4 in/sec
2
(
¸
(

¸

|
.
|

\
|

\
|
+
|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|
98
17
*
) 2 * 26 . 230 (
1
0 *
) 2 * 35 . 314 (
1
98
17
*
) 2 * 35 . 314 (
1
180 *
4 . 386
3542
*
98
1

= (rad) angle Pitch θ
squat Anti deg rad = (deg) angle Pitch % 0 @ 63 . 0
180
* 011 . 0 =
π
θ
If e-r/d = 0, then Anti-squat = 0
86
Longitudinal Acceleration Pitch
in =
Z
in =
Z F R
62 .
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
455 .
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
= =
deg 63 . *
98
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
01097 .
98
62 . 455 .
98
26 . 230
2 / 2 . 286
35 . 314
2 / 2 . 286
=
=
π
θ
θ
180

+
=
+
=
+
=
deg
rad
rad
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
K
Sf
= 400 lb/in MR
f
= 0.759 in/in K
Wf
= 230.26 lb/in

K
Sr
= 600 lb/in MR
r
= 0.724 in/in K
Wr
= 314.35 lb/in
DW = 286.2 lb
L = 98.0 in
Z
R
Z
F

 
C
g

C
g

(no anti-dive, anti-lift, or anti-squat)
K
W
= MR
2
* K
S
Check: if e-r/d = 0,
then anti-squat = 0
0.63˚ @ 0% Anti-squat
Previous Slide
No. 60
87
Anti-dive Geometry
88
Anti-dive geometry
 Anti-dive
During braking (longitudinal deceleration) the vehicle load
transfer tends to compress the front springs (suspension
jounce) and allow the rear springs to extend (suspension
rebound). Anti-dive is usually designed into both front and
rear suspensions (Anti-dive at the front and Anti-lift in the
rear).

Anti-dive geometry produces a side view swing arm (SVSA)
that predicts suspension component behavior.


C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

89
Anti-dive geometry
 Anti-dive
The total longitudinal load transfer under steady acceleration or
braking is a function of the wheelbase (L), CG height (h), and
braking force (W
T
)*(a
x
/a
g
).
C
g

L
h
W
T

W
T
(a
x
/a
g
) = braking force

+ ∆ load
- ∆ load
L
h
a
a
W
=
L
h
a m = load x
g
T

90
Anti-dive geometry
 Anti-dive
The total longitudinal load transfer under steady acceleration or
braking is a function of the wheelbase (L), CG height (h), and
braking force (W
T
)*(a
x
/a
g
).
lb =
L
h
a m = load 2 . 286
98
17
* 180 *
4 . 386
3542
= ∆
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
W
T
= 3542 lb

L = 98 in
h = 17 in
a
x
= 180 in/sec
2
(.46 g)

a
g
= 386.4 in/sec
2
91
Anti-dive geometry
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
W
T
= 3542 lb

L = 98 in
h = 17 in
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0
A
x
l
e

L
o
a
d

(
l
b
f
)

Deceleration (g's)
Load Transfer vs. Deceleration
Front Load (lbf)
Rear Load (lbf)
L
h
a
a
W
=
L
h
a m = load x
g
T

92
Anti-dive geometry
 Brake Bias (brake force distribution)
• The following factors will affect the load on an axle for any given
moment in time:
• Weight distribution of the vehicle (static).
• CG height – the higher it is, the more load transference during braking.
• Wheelbase – the shorter it is, the more load transference during braking.
• The following factors will affect how much brake torque is developed at
each corner of the vehicle, and how much of that torque is transferred
to the tire contact patch and reacted against the ground:
• Rotor effective diameter
• Caliper piston diameter
• Lining friction coefficients
• Tire traction coefficient properties

C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

93
Anti-dive geometry
 Brake Bias (brake force distribution)
• Braking force at the tire contact patch vs. the total load on that tire
will determine the braking bias.

• Changing the CG height, wheelbase, or deceleration level will
dictate a different force distribution, or bias, requirement for a
braking system.

• Conversely, changing the effectiveness of the front brake
components without changing the rear brake effectiveness can also
cause our brake bias to change.

C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

94
Anti-dive geometry
 Brake Bias (brake force distribution)

C
g

J
O
U
N
C
E

R
E
B
O
U
N
D

0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0
%

o
f

V
e
h
i
c
l
e

L
o
a
d

T
r
a
n
s
f
e
r

%

o
f

T
o
t
a
l

B
r
a
k
i
n
g

F
o
r
c
e

Deceleration (g's)
Typical Brake System Bias
% Front Load
% Front Braking
% Rear Load
% Rear Braking
95
Anti-dive geometry
100 * ) (% * ) / ( * tan % braking front h L = dive Anti f β
 Anti-dive (front) and Anti-lift (rear) suspension
• Shown is an SVSA with lines (100% Anti-dive/lift) representing the load transfer
during braking. If the IC’s are below these lines, the percentage of anti will be
below 100%. If the IC’s are above these lines, the percentage of anti will be above
100%.
C
g

L
IC
r
h
b
r
W
T

a
x
b
f
IC
f
%FB x L
100% Anti-dive
Line
100% Anti-lift
Line
1 - %FB x L
100 * ) % 1 ( * ) / ( * tan % braking front h L = lift Anti r − β
 Anti-dive (front) and Anti-lift (rear) suspension
• Shown is an SVSA with lines (100% Anti-dive/lift) representing the load transfer
during braking. If the IC’s are below these lines, the percentage of anti will be
below 100%. If the IC’s are above these lines, the percentage of anti will be above
100%.
96
Anti-dive geometry
Example: C3 Corvette Upgrade
tan b
f
= .1124

tan b
r
= .4894
L = 98 in
h = 17 in

% front braking @ .46g = .71

% 46 100 * ) 71 (. * ) 765 . 5 ( * 1124 . % = = dive Anti
% 82 100 * ) 29 (. * ) 765 . 5 ( * 4894 . % = = lift Anti
 Anti-dive (front) and Anti-lift (rear) suspension
• Since Anti-dive and Anti-lift are a resultant of braking force, and the
braking force changes due to brake bias, the % Anti changes as the rate
of deceleration changes.
97
Anti-dive geometry
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0
%

A
n
t
i
-
d
i
v
e

&

A
n
t
i
-
l
i
f
t

%

o
f

T
o
t
a
l

B
r
a
k
i
n
g

F
o
r
c
e

Deceleration (g's)
Anti-dive & Anti-lift vs. Brake Bias
% Anti-dive
% Front Braking
% Anti-lift
% Rear Braking
98
Design factors in
Anti-dive and Anti-Squat

Since load transfer is a function of deceleration rate, and
the brake forces are shared, anti-dive geometry on the drive
axle may need to be more aggressive than anti-squat
geometry.

Swing arm length and angle dictates the rate of change of
geometry forces.
99
Design factors in
Anti-dive and Anti-Squat
For an independent suspension a percentage of 100% would
indicate the suspension is taking 100% of the load transfer under
acceleration/braking instead of the springs which effectively binds
the suspension.

However, in the case of leaf spring rear suspension the anti-squat
can often exceed 100% (meaning the rear may actually raise
under acceleration) and because there isn't a second arm to bind
against, the suspension can move freely.

Traction bars are often added to drag racing cars with rear leaf
springs to increase the anti-squat to its maximum. This has the
effect of forcing the rear of the car upwards and the tires down
onto the ground for better traction.
100
References:
1. Ziech, J., “Weight Distribution and Longitudinal Weight Transfer - Session 8,”
Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Western Michigan University.

2. Hathaway, R. Ph.D, “Spring Rates, Wheel Rates, Motion Ratios and Roll
Stiffness,” Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Western Michigan
University.

3. Gillespie, T. Ph.D, Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics, Society of Automotive
Engineers International, Warrendale, PA, February, 1992, (ISBN: 978-1-56091-
199-9).

4. Reimpell, J., Stoll, H., Betzler, J. Ph.D, The Automotive Chassis: Engineering
Principles, 2nd Ed., Butterworth-Heinemann, Woburn, MA, 2001, (ISBN 0 7506
5054 0).

5. Milliken, W., Milliken, D., Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, Society of Automotive
Engineers International, Warrendale, PA, February, 1994, (ISBN: 978-1-56091-
526-3).

6. Puhn, F., How to Make Your Car Handle, H.P. Books, Tucson, AZ, 1976 (ISBN 0-
912656-46-8).
101
Next…
Part III - Lateral Load Transfer
Thank You!
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