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Suspension is the term given to the system of shock absorbers and linkages that connects a

vehicle to its wheels. The job of a suspension system is to contribute to the cars handling and
braking for a better safety driving, and to keep the driver as isolated possible from bumps,
vibrations, etc. It is important for the suspension to keep the wheel in contact with the road
surface as much as possible, since all the forces acting on the vehicle do so through the tires.
The suspension also has the important task to protect the vehicle itself and any cargo from
Analyzing the current suspension there are several points that could be improved in order to
optimize the functionality of the suspension.
Design of suspension system
such as the three dimensional solid modeling of each component. The use of solid modeling
techniques allows us the computerization of many difficult engineering calculations that are
carried out as a part of the design process. Simulation, planning, and verification of processes
such as machining and assembly of the components of the suspension are some of the tasks
analysis of the stresses acting on each component to reveal the state of stress and failure on
the device.
The use of NX6 is very important, but the use of other tools is also necessary. These will be the
knowledge acquired in engineering mechanisms and design from our current and prior classes
such as mechanical design, mechanics of material, dynamics, etc.
Weight and loads:
Various tools were used in the development of our design. The NX software is used for tasks
that will be performed in NX. Also this software will be used to perform an engineering

Weight is one of the main constrain that engineers must consider in mechanical design of any
component. First of all, when you design the suspension components of a minibaja, all possible
load scenarios must be taken into acount. This is highly important since the sum of the forces of
each different scenario will be distributed not evenly. After that, depending in the geometry of
the components, one or several spots will experience a max stress. Loads can be presented
considering two types. One is the static load where the weight has that important roll, and the
second one is the dynamic load that will be the one exerted by several race circuit conditions.
The weight of the components will be added up to find the resultant static load, and the
calculations will be focus at the critical points in the material. We will start the calculations
with the static load followed by the dynamic load in order to find these critical spots.
Average weight:

components range Average
Frame (50-80) 65 97
Driver (75-115) 95 100
Engine and
(40-65) 52.5 75
Suspension and
(40-65) 52.5 90
TOTAL 265kg 362kg
(Table 2-1)
Materials selection is another important point to cover. There is a huge range of different
properties that can be achieved with the use of engineering materials, from composites to
many different alloys. We focused in three major goals when we try to find the best material
that meet our needs, such goals are: the material deformation with several impacts, the cost of
the material, and manufacturability. In the second place but not less important, we consider

the weight of components and the operating temperature since this project is design to operate
at a temperature of 23.9 degrees Celsius. The material which best match these requisites was
the alloy steel 4130 which is also known as chromoly. Steel 4130 properties are explained in
detail in the following paragraphs.


Properties chart:

Modulus of
Yield strength

Alloy ti-6AL-
114 830 900 14 4.43
400 760 960 2 19.3
Steel alloy
207 220-250 400-500 23 7.85
AISI 4130
210 360.6 560.6 28.2 8
Stainless alloy
193 205 515 40 8
(TABLE 2-2)

AISI 4130 chromoly has Average properties that match a wide range of operating
scenarios, unlike it fails in extreme loaded conditions, those extraordinary cases were
calculated assuming top speed impacts, neglecting any driver maneuvers and without
applying braking.
Since the elongation range is considerably wide, we have found out that chromoly can be
an excellent option. A big range in the plastic region will give us a warning when the
components must be replaced, and it will also help us to avoid a sudden fracture. Also, the
yield strength is high enough to withstand several scenarios with considerable load range
without being deformed.



Horizontal impact
with a magnitude
of 80325 N
Static load
Horizontal force
Vertical load due to the weight of the
vehicle with a magnitude of 1252 N

The suspension designed for the
control arms that are attached to the
upright and the hub that is mounted on
the spindle, as shown in Figure 3.1. The
frame of the existing cart will have to be
modified in order to hold the top arm,
the bottom arm, and the shock absorber.
The following paragraphs will go more
in detail in the description of each
individual part.

Figure 3.1: Front view of the complete assembled
Load due to falling
Highest suspension load generated due to
a fall of .5 Meters which has a magnitude
of 11,014.4 N
cart consists of two single

The top arm will be connected by a ball joint to the upright, and will be pinned to the frame,
and was designed to have an adjustable length. The top arm will consist of one solid shaft
that will have a nut fixed in the center and it will be threaded on both sides. The solid shaft
will fit into the two shafts that will have a hole at the ends. Both shafts will have an inner
thread and the ends will be secured by two additional nuts, one on each side. The top arm
was designed adjustable in length to take advantage of the track and the environment in
which the cart will be placed. For example, if the track only requires the cart to take right
turns the length of the arm can be adjusted to change the angle of the tire which will
minimize over steer. The range of the length of the upper arm can be adjusted between the
lengths of 420 millimeters and 480 millimeters. The ball joint that will have to be placed at
one ends of the arm will have to be placed into the arm by force. The following image
shows the finished arm.

Figure 3.2

The bottom control arm is considered a reinforced single arm. The bottom arm, like
the top arm, will be pinned to the frame and will be attached to the upright with a ball joint.
The bottom arm will also hold the shock absorber in place at approximately two thirds of
the whole length away from the frame. The bottom arm will have two connections that
were designed so that the shock will not have touch the top face of the arm. The dimensions
of the shock that we used will be given further on. If a shock with different dimensions is

used, then the extrusions should be modified accordingly. In order to reduce the weight of
the bottom arm, material will be removed between the connection at the pin and the shock
absorber connection. In order to reduce the stress concentration we added two solid shafts
that form an X. The lower arm also contains a reduction in cross-sectional area. This was
done so that the bottom arm does not limit the tires turning angle. The ball joint that will
connect the arm to the upright will be put in by force, and the appropriate dimensions for
the lower control arm will be given further on.
Figure 3.3

The upright will hold the upper control arm, the lower control arm, the spindle, the
tie rod and the brake caliper. The control arm connections will be aligned vertically with
the spindle. The hole in which both the upper arm ball joint and the bottom arm ball joint
was given a diameter of 11 millimeters which will give a clearance of 1 millimeter. The hole
in which the spindle will be placed will be approximately in the center of the spindle. The
hole will perforate the upright. The upright has a small extrude of a thickness of 5
millimeters. This will not allow the hub to come into contact with the upright and cause
friction. In order to avoid a direct impact to the tie rod, the upright was designed to hold
the tie rod between the control arms and at the position farthest away from the front of the
cart. Additional extrudes were placed on the upright toward the front of the cart in order to
mount the brake caliper.


Figure 3.4

The spindle will be placed by force into the upright. The spindle has three different
diameters. The largest diameter will be inserted into the upright. Then the following
diameters hold the hub in place. There is a gradual decrease of diameter in the two smaller
diameters in order to avoid the concentration of stress in the shoulder. The spindle will
also have a thread at the smallest diameter with a length of approximately 25 millimeters.
This will allow the tire rim to also be placed here and reinforced with a nut.

Figure 3.4

The hub will be mounted on the spindle and will also hold the disk. The main shape
of the hub consists of a large X which will hold the tire rim in place. The hub also has an
area in which the disk will be mounted. The hub was also designed with holes which allow
the disk to be tightly secured. The inside of the hub will also include the gradual decrease of
diameter between the two smaller diameters in order to match the design of the spindle.

Figure 3.5

The disk that will be used in this suspension will be mounted on the hub in order to
reduce the length of the spindle. The disk will be close to the upright so that the brake
caliper can be mounted on the upright and perform its action.
Figure 3.6

The material in which the parts where analyzed was using AISI 4130. Its ultimate tensile
strength was 560.5 MPa and its yield strength is 360 MPa. After some research we came
across AISI 4330 which has the same yield strength as the material before. However it has a
higher ultimate strength than the one stated above. We suggest using AISI 4330 in the
bottom arm which will be subjected to a higher stress under normal conditions.

In comparison with the original design this new design has many pros and cons. One of the
advantages that our new design has is that the whole design has calculations behind it.
Another advantage is that our design has an adjustable upper arm that will allow the driver
to take advantage of the track and the environment in which the cart will be placed. Also
our design has a completely different lower control arm. The lower control arm is a single
arm that has a larger cross-sectional area that will reduce the normal stress of the part.
Also when taking into account the spindle, we added a chamfer in order to reduce the
stress that a shoulder will cause between the hub and spindle. Another advantage to this
design is that we placed the tie rod in the back of the assembly. The reason for this is to
protect the tie rod from a frontal impact. However there are some details that will make
our design less ideal.

One of the disadvantages to our design is that the lower arm compared to the current
design will weight a significantly more. Also another disadvantage to this design is that if
the upper arm were to be modified to a smaller diameter, it may fail even in static load.
Also another disadvantage to our design is that all of the parts must be machined.

The 3D modeling was created using the software NX6 which has been a very helpful and handy
tool in the design. Within the next pages we can appreciate a series of pictures where every
component of the suspension is described. Also there are a couple is images where every single
component has been assembled in order to appreciate the final look of this suspension


Frontal left side view

Down side view


Upside view

True shading


Just like any other design, this prototype suspension has some drawbacks, in other words there
are some limitations in its design. The following points do explain and develop such limitations:
It is very important for engineers to design for manufacturability. In other words the
components, parts or the entire assembly being designed need to be relatively easy to
manufacture. If a component can be easily manufactured, it means the productions costs can
be taken to a minimum and production speed can be improved. For this project it was taken
into consideration to design the components of the suspension to be ease to manufacture. In
other words most of the parts can be fabricated with basic tools.
The most challenging part to manufacture is the lower arm of the suspension. The frame of this
arm needs to be machined in order to obtain the best results. This lower arms was designed to
save weight, therefore mass was removed in designated points of the arm without scarifying
the integrity of the structure while some reinforcement were added where the mass was
removed. Such reinforcement is tubular in shape and need to be welded in place in an X shape
which adds some degree and difficulty to manufacture. The end link which attaches to the
upright is another point of the lower arm which is a little complex to fabricate. This is because it
is necessary to place a ball joint in this place which will hold the lower arm and upright
together. This ball joint base needs to be manufactured with very strict standards of
measurement in order to provide the best performance.
The upright is one of the most important parts of this system since it connects all parts of the
suspension together. Thus it was important for our team to come up with an efficient, strong,
light weight model. The model proposed is a very exceptional piece which its benefits are low
mass, light weight, improved use of space and durability. The drawbacks of this part are the
awkward shape of this part which increases the difficulty in manufacturability. The upright
needs to possess several connection links that need to be strong enough to hold the critical

loads which the cart is going to be put into. Such links need to be welded in place, which means
change in geometry is going to be present leading to creating stress concentration factors.
Materials used as described before are going to be AISI 4340 and AISI 4130(most commonly
used as chromoly). Both steels are widely used in the industry which facilitated the ease of
access to them. Machinability of both alloys is considered to be done by conventional methods,
and best with the alloys in normalized and tempered conditions. Respecting to welding both
alloys is noted for their weld ability by all commercial methods. Materials are not really
considered as drawbacks.


After an in depth analysis of each individual part of our suspension unit design we have come to
requirements. Some of the optimizations we have in mind include further analyzing the upper
control arm and possibly increasing its diameter; and also considering finding a more
appropriate ball joint for this part. In the optimization section of this report it was mentioned
that because of the increase in height of the bottom arm, we will need to find a more adequate
ball joint for this component that will adapt more to the modified dimensions and increase its
performance. After further review of our analysis we took notice that our spindle and upright
did not fail in any of the presented scenarios. This implies that the two parts that we designed
do not need additional modifications to improve their performance. Putting aside the analysis
of our design, we can say that each of our group members have become more familiar with the
useful tools that were applied during the design process. This includes the NX6 software,
knowledge acquired during lectures, as well as applying basic concepts of design. Furthermore
we had to use knowledge acquired from prior classes not just our current ones.

the conclusion that if we optimize our design it will be a good choice for this