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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

WHEEL ALIGNMENT
& ECS

Chonan Technical Service Training Center

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

CONTENTS
WHEEL ALIGNMENT

NECESSITY OF WHEEL ALIGNMENT --------------------------------------------------------WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ALIGNMENT ------------------------------------------------EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS -----------------------------------------------------------------HEIGHT MUST BE RIGHT ------------------------------------------------------------------------DIAGNOSIS PROCEDURE FOR ALIGNMENT ---------------------------------------------CAMBER -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CASTER ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TOE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STEERING AXIS INCLINATION (SAI) ---------------------------------------------------------INCLUDED ANGLE ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------STEERING OFFSET --------------------------------------------------------------------------------SET BACK ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------THRUST ANGLE -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STEERING CENTER --------------------------------------------------------------------------------TOE OUT ON TURNS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------DIAGNOSIS BY VEHICLE SYMPTOM ---------------------------------------------------------INTEGRATED FRAME AND BODY (MONOCOQUE) --------------------------------------SUSPENSION SYSTEMS --------------------------------------------------------------------------FRONT SUSPENSION ------------------------------------------------------------------------------REAR SUSPENSION --------------------------------------------------------------------------------SPRUNG WEIGHT AND UNSPRUNG WEIGHT ---------------------------------------------SIMPLIFIED SUSPENSION MODEL ------------------------------------------------------------OSCILLATION OF SPRUNG WEIGHT -----------------------------------------------------------

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SEMI-ACTIVE ECS
SEMI-ACTIVE ECS (Electronic Controlled Suspension) ---------------------------------SKY HOOK SYSTEM ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------SKY HOOK DAMPER - ADVANTAGE OF REVERSE TYPE DAMPER ----------------SYSTEM PERFORMANCE -------------------------------------------------------------------------CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF SHOCK ABSORBER -------------------------ECS SHOCK ABSORBER --------------------------------------------------------------------------DAMPING FORCE CHARACTERISTICS -------------------------------------------------------SEMI-ACTIVE CONTROL ---------------------------------------------------------------------------CONSTRUCTION OF SEMI-ACTIVE ECS -----------------------------------------------------INPUTS & OUTPUTS ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------INPUTS
1) ECS CONTROL MODULE POWER SUPPLY --------------------------------------------2) ALTERNATOR 'L' TERMINAL ---------------------------------------------------------------3) BRAKE SWITCH --------------------------------------------------------------------------------4) ECS MODE SWITCH (SPORT/NORMAL SWITCH) -----------------------------------5) VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR ------------------------------------------------------------------6) STEERING SENSOR ---------------------------------------------------------------------------7) THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR -----------------------------------------------------------8) ACCELERATION SENSOR (G-SENSOR) --------------------------------------------------OUTPUTS
1) ACTUATOR RELAY ----------------------------------------------------------------------------2) ECS LAMP ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3) SOLENOID VALVE (PROPORTIONAL TYPE) -------------------------------------------DTC LIST -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE -----------------------------------------------------------------WIRING DIAGRAM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT

NECESSITY OF WHEEL ALIGNMENT


Wheel alignment is just adjusting the relationship between the suspension and steering

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


components, the wheels, and the frame of the vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers determine which
angles are adjustable from the factory based on need and feasibility. Various adjustment
mechanisms such as shims, cams, threaded rods and slotted frames usually provide enough
adjustment, providing height is correct, to bring the vehicle into specification. When the angles are
all as specified, the car or truck is properly aligned, and the best possible compromise has been
achieved among minimum rolling friction, maximum tire mileage, stability of the car on the road,
and steering control for the driver. Vehicle accident, road shock and general wear and tear can
make some of these angles out of spec. When that happens, control of the vehicle may be
threatened, and the tires may begin to wear unevenly and rapidly. The car needs to be realigned to
have all the proper angles restored.
The warning signs suggesting the need for alignment are:
-

Irregular wear on tires. Look closely at all four of your tires. If one or more of them
demonstrate excessive wear on one side, or wear in a cupped, scalloped or diagonal stripe
pattern at edges or across the tread, or uneven wear but with "feathered" edges on the
treads, an alignment could be needed.

Unusual steering feeling. If the steering feels stiffer than it used to, or if the wheel does not
return to the center position when released, or if the car feels skittish the wheels may be out
of alignment.
If the steering wheel pulls to one side when the front wheels are pointing straight ahead, an
alignment is almost certainly needed.
While driving, if the car wants to pull to one side, tends to wander or weave, or is subject to
front end "shimmy", you should have the alignment checked immediately.
There are three basic wheel angles such as Camber, Caster and Toe which determine
whether a vehicle is properly aligned and goes where it is pointed. These three angles must
be set properly for the alignment to be correct.
Four-wheel alignment is essential on vehicles with front wheel drive (FWD) and
independent rear suspension. The rear wheels should follow the fronts in a parallel path. If
the rear wheels are pointed in a slightly different direction, they affect tire wear and the
vehicle's stability.

Common alignment errors to avoid are:


-

Failing to perform an accurate vehicle inspection, including height measurement, to


assure a quality alignment.

Failing to pull the rear turn-plate pins during a thrust alignment.


Overtorquing rear hub attachment bolts, causing possible full or partial contact shim
deformation.

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


-

Remembering to inspect the vehicle for the presence of a rear shim prior to cutting a new
one.

Other facts should be known about wheel alignments:


-

A wheel alignment should always start and end with a test drive.
The front end and steering linkage should be checked for wear before performing an
alignment.
The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns.
Pulling problems are not always related to wheel alignment, problems with tires, brakes
and power steering can also be responsible. It is up to a good wheel alignment technician to
determine the cause.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ALIGNMENT


Before a wheel alignment, a thorough inspection of the entire undercar, including suspension parts,
bushings, steering linkage, ball joints and wheel bearings, wheels and tires as well as the vehicle's
frame and ride height. Loosened or bent parts need to be checked. Once this inspection is
complete, the car will be checked and adjusted on the alignment machine in order, camber, caster
and toe, beginning with the rear wheels.
Items to be checked before the measurement of wheel alignment are :
-

Tire inflation pressure (under standard condition)

Uneven wear of tires or difference in tire sizes

Ball joint play due to wear

Tie rod end play due to wear

Front wheel bearing play due to wear

Lengths of left and right strut bars

Deformation or wear of steering linkage parts

Deformation or wear of parts related to front suspension

Chassis-to-ground clearance

Alignment checks are recommended whenever steering, suspension parts, or some front-wheel
drive (FWD) driveline components are replaced, or when new tires are installed, or when
customers complain of vehicle pulling or abnormal tire wear such as scuffing, cupping or more
accelerated wear on one side of the tire.

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The type of alignment performed usually is conditional upon the amount of adjustment that's
feasible on a particular vehicle, as well as the shop's equipment capability. On solid-axle, rearwheel-drive (RWD) vehicles, for example, a thrust alignment is usually performed so the front
wheels are aligned to the rear axle. The drive direction of the rear axle is referred to as the thrust
line, which should in theory be the same as the geometric center of the vehicle.

Thrust line
Geometric
center line

A four-wheel alignment involves adjusting the rear wheels to achieve proper camber and toe and a
thrust angle as close to zero as possible, then adjusting the front wheels to the same vehicle
centerline. Four-wheel alignments are recommended for most FWD cars, MPV(Multi Purpose
Vehicles), some SUV(Sport Utility Vehicles) and RWD vehicles with independent suspension.

EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
To perform a four-wheel alignment, a four-sensor machine is required. Turnplates or rear slip
plates at all four corners are needed during both four-wheel and thrust alignments. The rear
wheels must be allowed to relax to their normal position to achieve proper readings whether they
are to be adjusted or not.
In addition to providing caster, camber and toe readings, alignment machines can be used as a
diagnostic tool. Diagnostic angles such as Steering Axis Inclination (SAI), Included Angle (IA),
Setback and Turning Radius can help the technician to identify problems that otherwise might be
overlooked. When the SAI reading is combined with the camber reading, the sum of the two
angles equals the IA. Using SAI/IA and camber will help identify a bent or shifted component. The
optimum setting on all vehicles for Setback is zero, so either a positive or negative Setback
reading indicates cradle shifting or some other component has moved.
Turning Radius, also referred to as toe-out on turns, is determined by the steering arms relative to
the lower steering pivot. When the vehicle is steered into a turn, the steering arms cause the
wheels to turn at different angles, creating a toe-out condition. If the turning radius is incorrect,
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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


inspect the steering arm and lower steering pivot components for damage. Using the turnplates on
alignment equipment, a technician can check for a bent steering arm by measuring the amount of
toe-out on turns for each wheel and compare them.

HEIGHT MUST BE RIGHT


Some of today's alignment equipment also can diagnose ride height, which is critical to proper
alignment and suspension geometry. Ride height is the angle that all wheel alignment angles are
built around and should be kept within manufacturer specifications for optimum performance of the
entire steering, suspension and driveline system.
When vehicles have been modified from the manufacturer's original design, factory alignment
settings may no longer apply. Altering tire sizes may upset the spindle's distance from the ground,
which can have an effect on scrub radius. Raising or lowering vehicle height may alter the
suspension and steering systems' geometry during deflection and cause excessive toe change or
stress some parts beyond their limits.
Weak, sagging springs can force the entire steering and
suspension system to go out of proper alignment, which spells
problems for any vehicle. A correct alignment with a sagged
suspension can still produce tire wear and handling problems
during dynamic operation. The best way to fix the ride height is
to replace the springs (Note: springs should only be replaced
in matched pairs). Changes in riding height will affect camber
and toe so if springs are replaced or torsion bars are adjusted,
then the wheel alignment must be checked to avoid the
possibility of tire wear. It is important to note that the only
symptom of weak coil springs is a sag in the riding height. If
the riding height is good, then the springs are good.

[Camber change by
a sagging spring]

Air suspended vehicles may have a specified procedure that is necessary to achieve the correct
alignment height prior to adjustment. On some air suspension systems, it is first necessary to
allow the air in the air spring to reach shop temperature prior to alignment.
Failure to detect incorrect chassis height can often lead a technician to a wrong diagnosis, such
as attributing the lack of adjustment range to a bent frame.

DIAGNOSIS PROCEDURE FOR ALIGNMENT

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Tire, brake and driveline problems are often mistaken for an alignment problem by the vehicle
owner, so the customer should be consulted as to what made them think the vehicle needs
aligning. Begin by asking the customer a few simple questions, such as: What is your vehicle
doing to make you think you need an alignment? Does it pull? When does it pull? Is the steering
wheel straight? Are the tires worn unevenly?
Next, verify the problem with a test drive and a complete inspection of the tires and the wear
patterns they display that indicate a steering or suspension problem. If the customer is getting new
tires, examine the old ones for unusual wear before they come off the vehicle. Explain to the
customer how new tires will experience the same wear as the old ones unless the underlying
cause of the problem is corrected.
If a loose steering or suspension part is discovered, show the customer the actual problem. If
possible, demonstrate a properly functioning part on a similar vehicle in the shop for comparison.
Due to the hectic schedule in most shops, this step is sometimes overlooked even though people
learn best from hands-on experience.
It's essential to always be precise when discussing factory specifications for steering and
suspension components. Some chassis parts must exceed a listed tolerance for looseness to
actually require replacement. In many cases, the part can be within its tolerance range but still
contribute to tire wear, alignment and handling problems. Some amount of looseness within this
spec could create problems for the driver of the vehicle, but the replacement is not required until
the tolerance is reached. When making a service suggestion to the customer, explain that
although the ball joint may be within its listed tolerance, the looseness could allow wheel
movement and create alignment angle changes. A part that is loose, but still within its listed
tolerance, should never be described as bad.
Some steering components such as tie rod ends may not have a listed tolerance. Inspection of
these components may rely entirely on the technician's judgment, using hand pressure or some
other approved method as a measure of excessive looseness.

CAMBER
Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when
viewed from the front of the vehicle. The front wheels of the
car are installed with their tops tilted outward or inward. This is
called camber and is measured in degrees of tilt from the
vertical. When the top of a wheel is tilted outward, it is called
positive camber. Conversely, inward inclination is called
negative camber.

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[Camber]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


On many vehicles, camber changes with different road
speeds. This is because aerodynamic forces cause a change
in riding height from the height of a vehicle at rest. Because of
this, riding height should be checked and problems corrected
before setting camber. For many years the trend has been to
set the camber from zero to slightly positive to offset vehicle
loading, however the current trend is to slightly negative
settings to increase vehicle stability and improve handling.
If the camber is out of adjustment, it will cause tire wear on
one side of the tire's tread. If the camber is too far negative, for
instance, then the tire will wear on the inside of the tread. On
many front-wheel-drive vehicles, camber is not adjustable. If
the camber is out on these cars, it indicates that something is
worn or bent, possibly from an accident and must be repaired
or replaced.

[Camber wear pattern]

Positive Camber

Vehicle load

Slight positive camber results in a dynamic loading that allows


the tire to run relatively flat against the road surface. Positive
camber also directs the weight and shock load of the vehicle
on the larger inner wheel bearing and inboard portion of the
spindle rather than the outboard bearing. Positive camber in
moderation results in longer bearing life, less likely sudden
load failure, and as a side benefit, easier steering. Excessive
positive camber wears the outside of the tire and can cause
wear to suspension parts such as wheel bearings and
spindles.
Giving the wheel positive camber causes the load to be
applied to the inner side of the spindle, reducing the force
acting on the spindle and the steering knuckle.
The reactive force, which is equal in size to the vehicle load, is
applied to the wheel perpendicularly to the road. this is divided
into perpendicular force to the axis of the spindle and parallel
force to the axis of the spindle which forces the wheel inward,
helping to prevent the wheel from slipping off the spindle. The
inner wheel bearing is made larger than the outer one in order
to bear this load.

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Inner
wheel
bearing

[Vehicle load
& Wheel bearing]
Vehicle load

Outer
wheel
bearing

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[Vehicle load & Wheel bearing]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

Negative Camber
Variations in negative camber can be used to improve the
handling of a vehicle. A setting of 1/2 negative on both sides
will improve cornering without affecting tire life greatly. This
negative setting compensates for the slight positive camber
change of the outside tire due to vehicle roll, thereby allowing a
flatter tire contact patch during cornering. Excessive negative
camber wears the inside of the tire and similar to positive
camber, it can cause wear and stress on suspension parts.

Rear Camber
Rear camber is not adjustable on most rear wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are built with zero
camber setting and are strong enough not to flex or bend under normal load. Most front wheel drive
vehicles have a manufacturers specification calling for a slight amount of rear camber, usually a
small amount of negative camber for cornering stability. If the manufacturers specification allows, a
setting of 0 to -0.5(30) is preferred for tire wear and ride stability. If rear camber settings change,
defected rear suspension parts are necessarily replaced. However, most vehicles can be adjusted
by using an aftermarket type of adjustment, such as shims, cam bolts or bushings.

Road Crown and Camber


A crowned road means that the outside/right hand side of the lane is lower than the left side of the
lane. This improves the drainage of the road but adversely affects vehicle handling. Road crown
must be compensated for in alignment settings because a vehicle driving on a crowned road leans
to the right, causing some weight transfer to the right, and the camber changes slightly more
positive. This combination creates a pull or drift to the right. Most alignment technicians adjust the
vehicle with a slightly more positive camber, usually 1/4(15), on the left to compensate for the
road crown. This slightly more positive camber will not cause a noticeable pull when driving on a
flat road. However, if camber is unequal from side to side with a difference greater than 1/2(30),
the vehicle will pull to the side with the most positive camber. If the specifications allow, 0 to
0.5(30) is usually best for tire life and vehicle handling.

Causes of Camber Changes


- Ride height
Always check a ride height specification prior to
beginning alignment. Changes in ride height from
specifications affect camber.

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Pulling to
the right
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[Misaligned Camber]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


- Sagging of spring
As a vehicle ages, the suspension has a tendency
to sag. Excessive vehicle weight or abuse can
cause springs to weaken.
- Sagging of cross-member or sub-frame
Another factor to consider is sagging of crossmember or sub-frame. Modifications to the vehicle
such as raising or lowering the suspension or
changing the total weight of the vehicle can also
affect camber.

Problems Caused by Incorrect Camber


-

Vehicle pulls to one side

Rapid wear on inside or outside of tire tread

Increased wear on the wheel bearings.

Increased wear on ball joints (incorrect camber creates


increased leverage on spindle and spindle support
resulting in increased loads on ball joints).

CASTER
Caster can be defined as the forward or rearward tilt of the steering knuckle pivot points, is also
called the steering axis. Caster is measured in degrees, from the steering axis to true vertical, as
viewed from the side. On strut equipped vehicles, the line extends through the lower ball joint to the
center of the upper strut mount.
The caster angle is formed by the steering axis and a true vertical line passing through the spindle.
The purpose of caster angle is to provide directional control stability for the front wheels to travel a
straight course with minimal effort. Proper caster angle also helps to return the front wheels to a
straight ahead position after a turn. Caster has little affect on tire wear.
Purpose of Caster are :
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-

To aid in the directional control of the vehicle by helping the front wheels maintain a
straight ahead position

To help return the front wheels to straight ahead position after a turn.

To offset the effects of road crown on vehicle direction.

To operate in concert with the vehicle suspension design, camber angle and steering axis
inclination angle to provide the desired camber change during vehicle turns.

Many front-wheel-drive vehicles, caster is not adjustable. If the caster is out spec, it indicates that
something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident, and must be repaired or replaced.

Positive caster
Positive caster is when the top of the steering axis it tilted
rearward. The caster line intersects the ground ahead of the
contact patch of the tire, which provides good directional control.
However, excessive positive caster can cause two problems.

The first is that excessive caster will cause a high level of road
shock to be transmitted to the driver when the vehicle hits a
bump and it causes hard steering.

Forward

The second problem is that a tire with positive caster has a


tendency to toe inward when the vehicle is being driven. If one
side has more positive caster than the other, this causes it to
toe inward with more force than the other side. This will cause
a lead or pull to the side with least amount of positive caster.

[Positive Caster]

Negative caster
Negative caster is when the top of the steering axis
is tilted forward. This places the point contact ahead of
the point of load, which provides easier steering at
slower speeds.
However, it can cause difficulty in returning out of a

turn and wandering & weaving at high speeds and


is affected by any road surface variation such as
small road irregularities or bumps. If the caster is
too negative, the steering will be light and the
vehicle will wander and be difficult to keep in a
straight line.
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Forward

[Negative Caster]
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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

Zero caster
Zero caster is when the top of the steering axis is
exactly vertical. If the vehicle has unequal caster,
the vehicle pulls to the side with the least positive caster.

A maximum side to side variation of 0.5(30) is


recommended on most vehicles.

Forward

[Positive Caster]
Movement of spindle while turning
With positive caster, the spindle of inner wheel
moves down and the spindle of outer wheel moves
up while turning.
However, it causes the spindle to rise and fall as
the wheels are turned in one direction or the other.
Because the tire cannot be forced into the ground
as the spindle travels in an arc, the tire/wheel
assembly raises the suspension.
That is why steering effort increases when the
positive caster goes up.

[Spindle movement while turning]

TOE
The toe measurement is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of
the tires. Toe-in, or positive toe, is defined as the front of the tires being closer together than the
rear of the tires. Toe-out, or negative toe, is when the rear of the tires are closer together than the
front of the tires. Zero toe is when the tires are parallel to each other.
Since most alignment specifications show toe as
total toe of both wheels, it is important to
understand that 1/2 of the total toe should be
applied to each front wheel. A minus (-) indicates a
toe-out and toe-in is shown as a positive (+).
Toe-in : B > A, Toe-out : B < A
It is important to note that although toe has
historically been measured as a distance in

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[Toe & Toe angle]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


milliliters or decimal inches (B-A), it is becoming
more common to express toe in degrees (,). The
idea is that the angle, rather than an arbitrary
distance, determines the side slip of the tire. This
should not be affected by the tire size, but rather
should be constant for a given measurement.
Ex) Toe-in (B-A) mm(in.) : 02mm (00.08 in.) or 0.09 0.09 (each of ,)

Role of Toe angle


The main function of toe angle is to cancel out the camber thrust generated when camber is
applied. When the front wheels are given positive camber, they tilt outward at the top. This causes
them to attempt to roll outward as the car moves forward, and therefore to side-slip. This subjects
the tires to wear. Therefore, toe-in is provided for the front wheels to prevent this by canceling
outward rolling due to camber. Since camber approaches zero in most recent vehicles, the toe
angle value is also becoming smaller.
Suspension rigidity and Toe angle
During driving, forces from various direction are brought to bear on the suspension, with the result
that the wheels tend to toe out. In order to prevent this, some vehicles are given a slight toe-in even
when the camber is zero.

Effects of Toe
Excessive toe increases tire scuffing and results in tire wear and drag on the vehicle. Excessive
toe-in, or positive toe, increases scuffing on the outside of the tire. Excessive toe-out, or negative
toe, increases scuffing on the inside of the tire, and in some cases can cause a darting or
wandering problem.
Early indication of toe tire wear can appear as a feather edge
or scuff on the edge of the tire tread surface. Toe tire wear can
also be found on rear tires as a cupping, feather edge or
smooth edge on the tire tread surface. Too much toe in will
cause the feather edge to point in while toe out will cause the
feather edge to point out. Toe is adjusted by turning the tie rod
turnbuckles.

[Toe wear pattern]

Variation from factory specs is usually caused by worn or bent suspension parts or changes in
caster, camber settings. Toe angle can also be affected by body structure or frame damage.

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Toe adjustment
a. Front Toe adjustment
To adjust front toe-in, change the lengths of the tie rod connecting the steering knuckle.
Increasing the tie rod length : increases toe-in.

Increasing
rod length
increases
out.

the tie
:
toe-

[Increase of Toe-in]

[Decrease of Toe-in]

b. Rear Toe adjustment


Rear wheel alignment of an independent rear
suspension is accomplished by adjusting the camber
and toe angle. The method of adjusting the camber
and toe angle differs depending on the type of
suspension. Some models have no mechanism for
adjusting the camber.
By turning the eccentric cam, the arm can be moved to
the left or right to change the direction of the wheel,
thus adjusting the toe-in.
As with front toe-in, if the length of the rear arms are
not made the same in order to adjust the toe-in of the
rear wheels separately, the angles of the left and right
wheels will differ no matter how correct the toe-in is.
For this reason, first of all, correct the angles of the left
and right wheels, then adjust the toe-in.

16

[Correct adjustment]

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

STEERING AXIS INCLINATION (SAI)


The axis around which the wheel rotates as it turns to the right
or left, is called the steering axis. Steering Axis is an imaginary
line through the upper and lower ball joints (pivot joints) on
short & long arm suspensions (ex. Double Wishbone type
suspension). This axis is found by drawing an imaginary line
between the top of the shock absorbers upper support
bearing and the lower suspension arm ball joint (in the case of
strut type suspensions).

SAI

Steering Axis Inclination (SAI) is the angle between the


centerline of the steering axis and vertical line from center
contact area of the tire (as viewed from the front). SAI is also
referred to as KPI (King Pin Inclination) on trucks and old cars
with king pins instead of ball joints.
Steering offset, or Kingpin offset is the distance between the
wheel center and the point at which the steering axis intersects
the road surface. It is negative when the point of intersection is
between the center and the outside of the wheel.

Steering offset
[SAI of MacPherson Strut
type suspension]

SAI provides good driving and handling characteristics through


directional stability and weight projection. Directional Stability
is the tendency of a wheel to straighten from a turned position
and remain straight.

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Center
[SAI of Service
Double Training
Wishbone

type suspension]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


Since the wheel turns to the right and left with the steering axis
as its center and the offset as the radius, a large offset will
generate a great moment around the steering axis due to the
rolling resistance of the tire, thus increasing steering effort.
If the offset is too large, the reactive forces acting on the
wheels during driving of braking, will generate a moment
around the relevant steering axis, causing the wheel to pull to
the side pull especially at very slow speeds. This moment is
proportional to the size of the offset. As the offset approaches
zero, less moment is generated around the steering axis when
a force is applied to the wheel, and the steering is less
influenced by braking or road shock
Thus, since it has a tendency to maintain or seek a straight ahead position, less positive caster is
needed to maintain directional stability. A vehicle provides stable handling without any defects of
high positive caster because of SAI.

SAI/Camber/IA Troubleshooting Charts (MacPherson Strut type suspension)


SAI

Camber

Included Angle

Problem Area

Equal to Specs

More than Specs

More than Specs

Bent Spindle and/or Strut Body

More than Specs

More than Specs

More than Specs

Strut Tower IN at Top and Spindle or


Strut Bent

Less than Specs

More than Specs

Equal to Specs

Bent Control Arm or Strut OUT at Top


and Bent Spindle or Bent Strut Body

Less than Specs

More than Specs

Less than Specs

Bent Control Arm or Strut OUT at Top


and Bent Spindle or Strut Body

Less than Specs

More than Specs

More than Specs

Bent Control Arm or Strut OUT at Top


and Bent Spindle or Strut Body

Equal to Specs

Less than Specs

Less than Specs

Bent Spindle and/or Bent Strut Body

Less than Specs

Less than Specs

Less than Specs

Strut Top or Bent Control Arm and


Bent Spindle or Strut Body

More than Specs

Less than Specs

Equal to Specs

Strut Tower IN at Top

SAI/Camber/IA Troubleshooting Charts (Double Wishbone type suspension)

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SAI

Camber

Included Angle

Problem Area

More than Specs

Equal to Specs

Less than Specs

Spindle/Knuckle or Upper Control


Arm and/or Control Arm Mount

Less than Specs

Equal to Specs

More than Specs

Bent Lower Control Arm and/or


Lower Control Arm Mount

Equal to Specs

More than Specs

More than Specs

Spindle/Knuckle Assembly

Less than Specs

More than Specs

Equal to Specs

Bent Lower Control Arm

Less than Specs

More than Specs

More than Specs

Spindle/Knuckle Assembly
Bent Lower Control Arm

Equal to Specs

Less than Specs

Less than Specs

Spindle/Knuckle Assembly

More than Specs

Less than Specs

Equal to Specs

Bent Upper Control Arm

Measuring Procedures
SAI should always be measured after you have adjusted the camber and caster to the proper
specifications or as close to the specifications as possible. Check for worn suspension parts. SAI is
best measured with the front wheels off the ground, brakes applied and alignment equipment
leveled and locked. Raise the vehicle underneath the lower control arms but do not relax the
suspension. Not raising the vehicle from the turntables can cause the control arm bushings to
move when wheels are turned, resulting in an inaccurate reading.
However SAI is typically not adjustable. The most likely cause for SAI being out is bent parts which
must be replaced to correct the condition. A maximum variation side-to-side of 1.0 may also
indicate vehicle damage.

SAI

Camber

INCLUDED ANGLE
Included angle is not directly measurable. It is the combination of
SAI and camber. Viewed from the front, the included angle is SAI
plus camber if the camber is positive (Included angle will be
greater than the SAI). If the camber is negative the included angle
is SAI minus camber (Included angle will be less than the SAI).
The included angle must be the same from side to side even if the
camber is different. If a side-to-side variation greater than 1.5
exists, then something is bent, most likely the steering knuckle.
SAI + Camber = Included Angle (I/A)
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Training
Center
[Included
Angle]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

STEERING OFFSET
Steering offset, or Kingpin offset is the distance at the road
surface between the tire line and the SAI line extended downward
through the steering axis. The line through the steering axis
creates a pivot point around which the tire turns. Therefore this
distance must be exactly the same from side to side otherwise the
vehicle will pull strongly at all speeds.
Positive steering offset is when the tire contact patch is outside of
the SAI pivot, while negative steering offset is when the contact
patch is inboard of the SAI pivot (front wheel drive vehicles usually
have negative steering offset).

Steering offset (+)


The greater the steering offset (positive or negative), the greater the steering effort and the more
road shock and pivot binding that takes place. When the vehicle has been modified with offset
wheels, larger tires, deflated tires, height adjustments and side to side camber differences, the
steering offset will be changed and the handling and stability of the vehicle will be affected.
Steering offset is designed at the factory and is not adjustable. If you have a vehicle that is pulling
even though the alignment is correct, look for something that will affect steering offset.

SET BACK
Front set back is when one front wheel is set further back
than the other wheel. And rear set back is when one rear
wheel is set further back than the other wheel. Excessive
set-back is normally created by frame or chassis errors.
These errors are brought about in most cases by front
end collision and in some cases by a manufacturing
tolerance error. If the frame is adjusted incorrectly, or
damage is present, it is not unusual to also see a
reduced positive caster reading on the side with the
setback condition.

Set Back

Rear setback may be caused from frame, chassis, and rear chassis mis-alignment due to collision.
If the vehicle has a setback condition, the vehicle may pull to the opposite side of the setback.
Excessive setback can cause an alignment pull to the side with the setback. If the rear axle is
positioned correctly and all other parts and systems of the vehicle are in good working order, a
setback condition will also create different wheelbase measurement side to side.

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THRUST ANGLE
Thrust angle is the angle formed by the thrust line and the geometric centerline. The geometric
centerline is a line drawn between the mid-point of the front axle and the mid-point of the rear axle.
If the thrust angle is not zero, then the vehicle will "dog track" and the steering wheel will not be
centered. When toe is different on either of the rear wheels, it creates a thrust angle that causes
rear axle steer. The thrust line dictates the position of the front wheels when driving straight ahead.
It is therefore the most accurate reference when measuring or adjusting the front wheels.
Inspection of the tires can help in diagnosing some wheel alignment failures. The tire wear patterns
associated with improper alignment include single shoulder wear, cupping and feather edging.

Thrust
Angle

Thrust line
Centerline

[ Positive Thrust Angle]

STEERING CENTER
Steering center is simply the fact that the steering wheel is
centered when the vehicle is traveling down a straight and
level road. When setting steering center, the rear toe
should be set first bringing the thrust angle as close to the
vehicle centerline as possible. Then the steering wheel is
locked in a straight ahead position while the front toe is
set. Before locking the steering wheel, the engine should
be started and the wheel should be turned right and left a
couple of times to take any stress off the power steering
valve. Of course, you should always road test the vehicle
after every alignment as a quality control check.

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[ Steering center]

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

TOE OUT ON TURNS


If the right and left steering angles
were the same, they would have the
same turning radius (r1 = r 2), but
each wheel would turn around a
different center, (O1 and O2).
Smooth turning would therefore be
impossible due to side-slipping of
the tires. The result is that, even
though the air pressure in each of
the tires might be equal, and even
though the other wheel alignment
factors might be correct, the tires
would undergo unusual wear.

[At same turning radius (=)]

For this reason, the inside front


wheel must steer at a sharper angle
than the outside wheel. This is also
known as the Ackerman effect. In an
actual vehicle, Toe Out On Turns is
accomplished by the steering
linkage is modified in such a way
that the proper steering angles of the
left and right front wheels are
attained, to achieve the desired
turning radii. The steering arm is
either part of the steering knuckle or

[At different turning radius (<)]

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WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


part of the ball joint and is not
adjustable.
To check toe out on turns, make sure that the readings are at zero on each side when the wheels
are straight ahead and then steer the wheels to the left so that the inner wheel is at 20, the out
wheel should be less than 20, optimal reading is 18. Repeat the test in the other direction, If there
is a problem with the toe-out, it is due to a bent steering arm that must be replaced.

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DIAGNOSIS BY VEHICLE SYMPTOM


Vehicle
Symptom

Vehicle
Symptom

Possible Cause
Excessive wheel/rim runout.

Premature
Tire Wear

Power steering reaction bracket loose.

Front End
Shimmy

Tires out of balance.


Incorrect wheel alignment.

Steering gear adjustment loose.

Incorrect tire inflation.

Tires out of balance.

Brakes dragging.

Tires out of round.

Mismatched tires or Radial Pull.


Pulls To
One Side

Frame bent.

Worn steering/suspension components.

Control arm bushing worn.

Ball joint tight or seized.

Power steering valve not centered.

Bent steering knuckle or supports.

Broken or sagging springs.

Damaged suspension components.

Uneven sway bar links.

Front tire pressure low.

Incorrect wheel alignment.

Idler arm bushing too tight.

Incorrect tire inflation.

Power steering fluid low or belt loose.

Wrong tires for vehicle.

Power steering pump defective.

Worn shock/strut.

Steering gear out of adjustment.

Vehicle
Wandering

Incorrect wheel alignment.

Premature
Tire Wear

Worn or defective shocks/struts.

Steering gear box (rack) mount loose.

Wheel bearings worn or loose.

Hard
Steering

Possible Cause

Improper vehicle height.


Rack & Pinion or steering not positioned
correctly.

Incorrect tire inflation.

Stabilizer bar missing or defective.

Suspension/steering system worn.

Worn steering components.

Uneven or sagging springs.

Worn strut rod or control arm bushings.

Improper torsion bar adjustment.

Worn suspension components.

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INTEGRATED FRAME AND BODY (MONOCOQUE)


The integrated frame and body type of construction also referred to as unitized construction,
combines the frame and body into a single, one-piece structure. This is done by welding the
components together, by forming or casting the entire structure as one piece, or by a combination
of these techniques. Simply by welding a body to a conventional frame, however, does not
constitute an integral frame and body construction. In a truly integrated structure, the entire framebody unit is treated as a load-carrying member that reacts to all loads experienced by the vehicleroad loads as well as cargo loads.

[Integrated frame and body]


Integrated-type bodies for wheeled vehicles are fabricated by welding preformed metal panels
together. The panels are preformed in various load-bearing shapes that are located and oriented so
as to result in a uniformly stressed structure. Some portions of the integrated structure resemble
frame-like components, while other resembles body-like panels. This is not surprising, because the
structure must perform the functions of both of these elements.
An integrated frame and body type construction allows an increase in the amount of noise
transmitted into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. However, this disadvantage is negated
by the following advantages:
-

Substantial weight reduction, which is possible when using a well-designed unitized body

Lower cargo floor and vehicle height

Protection from mud and water required for drive line components on amphibious vehicles

Reduction in the amount of vibration present in the vehicle structure

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SUSPENSION SYSTEMS
If a car is running on perfectly smooth, level road, it will receive hardly any shock from the surface
of the road. However, since there are generally many holes and bumps in most roads, the car is
continually subjected to road shock. If there were no preparations made to reduce this shock to a
tolerable level, several problems would arise. The passengers would experience uncomfortable
vibration, oscillation, and jolting. The vehicle would be difficult to handle and severe shock could
damage the vehicle or the passengers as well as the baggage being carried. In order to improve
both riding comfort and driving stability, an arrangement of springs and rods is therefore provided
between the wheels and the vehicle body to reduce the amount of shock and oscillation that is
transmitted directly to the body.
The suspension system works with the tires, frame or unitized body, wheels, wheel bearings, brake
system and steering system. All of the components of these systems work together to provide a
safe and comfortable means of transportation. The suspension system functions are as follows:
-

Provide a smooth, comfortable ride by allowing the wheels and tires to move up and down
with minimum movement of the vehicle.

Work with the steering system to help keep the wheels in correct alignment.

Keep the tires in firm contact with the road, even after striking bumps or holes in the road.

Allow rapid cornering without extreme body roll (vehicle leans to one side).

Allow the front wheels to turn from side to side for steering.

Prevent excessive body squat (body tilts down in rear) when accelerating or with heavy
loads.
Prevent excessive body dive (body tilts down in the front) when braking.

NONINDEPENDENT SUSPENSION (Solid Axle)


The non-independent suspension has
both left and right wheels attached to the
same solid axle. When one tire hits a
bump in the road, its upward movement
causes a slight tilt in the other wheel.

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[Non-independent suspension]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION
The independent suspension allows one wheel to
move up and down with a minimum effect on the
other wheels. Since each wheel is attached to its
own suspension, movement of one wheel does
not cause direct movement of the wheel on the
opposite side of the vehicle. With the independent
front suspension the use of ball joints provides
pivot points for each wheel. In operation, the
swiveling action of the ball joints allows the wheel
and spindle assemblies to be turned left and right
and to move up and down with changes in road
surfaces. This type of suspension is most widely
used on modern vehicles.

[Independent suspension-4 link system]

FRONT SUSPENSION
A big difference between the front and rear suspensions is that the front wheels have to be steered.
When a car corners or goes over bumps, it is subjected, via the wheels, to a variety of forces. The
suspension must be able to prevent these forces from deflecting the car from the course selected
by the driver. Also, it must not allow the wheels to wobble, move forward, backward and sideways,
or alter their angle of tilt to any serious degree, as this would interfere with the handling of the car.

a. MacPherson strut type


The strut type suspension is composed of the lower arms,
strut bars, stabilizer bar and strut assemblies. The coil
springs are mounted on the strut assembly, and the shock
absorber is built into the strut assembly. One end of the
lower arm is attached to the front side member via a rubber
bushing, and can move freely up and down. The other end of
mounted on the steering knuckle arm by means of a ball
joint.
Since the shock absorber acts as a part of the suspension
linkage, besides being able to stand up to and absorb road
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[MacPherson strut type]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


shock and oscillation, it must also be strong enough to bear
the vertical load that is placed on it. Its top end is mounted
on the fender apron via the upper support, which is
composed of a rubber cushion and a bearing. It can turn
freely about its axis. The bottom end of the strut assembly is
fastened to the steering knuckle arm with bolts.
The strut bars withstand the force being exerted from the wheels in the longitudinal direction. One
end is fastened to the lower arm and the other end is mounted via a rubber cushion to a strut bar
bracket welded to the front cross member.

b. Double wishbone type


This type is called because the lower and upper arms are the shape of wishbones. The spindle is a
highly complex construction in this system, as are the wishbones themselves. This rapidly
becoming one of the most favored suspension types for new cars as it gives excellent road-holding
capabilities while taking up very little room under the car.
On the wishbone type, when the vehicle body is rolling, the wheels tilt in the same direction as the
body does. Therefore, the wheels try to go in a direction opposite to the direction the vehicle is
being turned in. As a result, if the wishbone type suspension is used for the front suspension, the
vehicle has a tendency to understeer, but if it is used for the rear suspension, oversteering tends to
occur.

REAR SUSPENSION
In most vehicle, the rear suspension must carry most of the extra weight of the passengers and
luggage. This leads to a difficult problem. If the suspension springs are made hard or stiff to handle
this extra load, they will be too hard for the driver who drives alone. on the other hand, if soft, they
will be too soft when the car is fully loaded. The same also applies to the shock absorbers. This
problem can be solved by using coil springs or other types of leaf springs having a variable spring
constant; oil-filled shock absorbers; different types of independent suspension.

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SPRUNG WEIGHT AND UNSPRUNG WEIGHT


All of the weight of the body which is supported by vehicle springs is called sprung weight. This
includes the body, frame, engine, transmission and etc. On the other hand, unsprung weight is the
weight of parts which is not supported by springs. This includes tires, wheels, axles and etc.
The greater sprung weight of the vehicle is obtained, the better riding comfort becomes. Because
the tendency to be affected by the shock or oscillation delivered from the road surface through the
spring decreases as the sprung weight becomes larger.

SIMPLIFIED SUSPENSION MODEL


Following picture is a simplified model of vehicle suspension. This model is enough to explain the
function of suspension system.

[Figure 1. Simplified
suspension model]

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[Figure 2. Vibration of Sprung weight/Unsprung weight]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

m1 = Sprung weight , m2 = Unsprung weight, k1 = Suspension spring rate,


k2 = Tire spring rate, c1 = Damper damping rate, c2 = Tire damping rate
When an amplitude a is applied to the simplified suspension model (Figure1), Figure 2 shows the
variation of amplitude of m1 and m2 at each frequency band.
According to the Figure 2, m1 and m2 has resonance affecting the amplitude of each other. C1 and
C2 have an effect on amplitude at resonance, however they do not affect the resonance frequency.
The resonance frequency of sprung weight or unsprung weight, that is, natural frequency is,
Natural frequency (sprung weight), fn1 = 0.5 (k1/m1)

------------- (1)

Natural frequency (unsprung weight) fn2 = 0.5 ((k1+k2)/m2) ------------- (2)


For the ride feeling it is better to reduce the suspension spring rate k 1 and increase the sprung
weight m1. However when the natural frequency of sprung weight fn1 is getting reduced,
seasickness is more frequently experienced. The fn1 range of vehicle is usually at 1.1 ~ 1.4Hz.
Natural frequency of the unsprung weight f n2 is usually little bit higher than fn1 . When the fn2 is
increasing, ride feeling is poor because oscillation acceleration of the sprung weight increases due
to resonance of the unsprung weight.
However, when the fn2 is low, road holding by tires is poor. Therefore the natural frequency of the
unsprung weight need to be adjusted not high and not low t o prevent this. Normal range of fn2 is
13~16.

OSCILLATION OF SPRUNG WEIGHT

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a. Pitching
Pitching is the up-and-down oscillation of the
front and rear of the vehicle. This happens
especially when the car goes over large ruts
of bumps in the road or when going over an
unpaved road which is rough and full of
potholes Also, pitching occurs more easily in
vehicles with softer springs than in those
with harder springs.
b. Rolling
While turning or running on a bumpy road,
the springs on one side of the vehicle
expand, while those on the other side
contract. This causes the vehicle body rolling
in the side-to-side direction.
The followings are to reduce Rolling;
1) Low vehicle center height
2) Large Tread
3) Higher suspension spring rate
4) Higher tire rigidity
c. Bouncing
Bouncing is the up-and-down movement of
the whole vehicle body. When a car is
running on an undulated surface with a high
speed, bouncing is likely to occur. Also, it
occurs easily when the springs are soft.
d. Yawing
Yawing is a turning motion around the
vertical axis of the vehicle. At high speed
when a vehicle is steered Yawing occurs and
then Rolling follows. Yawing and Rolling is
very related. Yawing happens right after

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steering, however, Rolling occurs little bit
later.

SEMI-ACTIVE ECS
VEHICLE: OPIRUS

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SEMI-ACTIVE ECS (Electronic Controlled Suspension)


Semi-active suspension system is based on the Sky-Hook theory. This Continuous Variable SemiActive suspension system with a proportional actuator, based on the reverse damping force type
damper to achieve smoother ride comfort.
Semi-Active Suspension is based on the sky-hook theory. This theory has been established by Dr.
Karnopp in 1974. He considered, if the damper is hooked to the absolute axis, vibration of the
mass will be most effectively absorbed.
And absolute axis looks like sky, so he named this theory Sky Hook Theory. But, in case of
applying this theory to the vehicle, there is no reality. Instead of using sky hook damper, he
considered to use variable damper as a system with the same effect. This idea is so called skyhook semi-active system.
The basic signals for detecting the body up-down movement are acceleration sensors mounted on
the sprung weight. In addition, the information from the steering sensor, TPS, brake switch, vehicle
speed sensor are used for the vehicle maneuver. According to the information from the sensors,
ECS control module decides the damping force of each shock absorber by managing the applying
current to the proportional solenoid valve attached on the shock absorber.
ECS system has an ECS select switch. So drivers can choose the riding feeling between a normal
mode or a sport mode.

SKY HOOK SYSTEM


Semi-active suspension is based on the Sky-Hook Theory. This theory has been established by Dr.

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Karnopp in 1974. He considered, if a damper is hooked to an absolute axis, vibration of the mass
will be most effectively absorbed. And absolute axis looks like sky, so he named this theory SkyHook Theory. However, the concept of absolute axis like sky was very hard to be applicable to the
vehicle suspension. Instead of using a Sky-Hook damper, he considered to use variable damper as
a system with the same effect. This idea is so called Sky-Hook Semi-active system.

According to this theory, damping force of variable damper should be the same as that of Sky-Hook
damper. Coefficient C1 in formula (2) should be controlled for this purpose.
But in case that variable damping force is only available to the opposite direction to that of the SkyHook damper as shown in formula (3), damping force should be controlled to minimum or zero. He
has proved this theory through simulation that almost similar damping effect is attained as active
suspension.

[Characteristics of reverse damper]


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Semi-active suspension incorporates the Sky-Hook theory (or Sky-Hook damper) as an suspension
control concept. Sky-Hook damper to restrict a vehicle oscillation by the irregular road surface is
embodied by using a continuous variable damper. That is, when the vehicle body moves down (X1
< 0), compression stroke (X1 - X0 < 0) of a variable damper is getting harder, conversely rebound
stroke (X1 - X0 > 0) is getting softer. However when the vehicle body moves up (X1 > 0)
compression stroke (X1 - X0 < 0) of a variable damper is getting softer, conversely rebound stroke
(X1 - X0 > 0) is getting harder.
A Reverse type shock absorber (one of continuous variable dampers) incorporated for Semi-active
suspension uses a sprung weight velocity. When X1 > 0, H/S mode (Rebound: Hard, Compression:
Soft) is applied, when X1 < 0, S/H mode (Rebound: Soft, Compression: Hard) is applied by
controlling the applied current of the variable damper.
This picture shows that a variable damper (reverse damper) of ECS system provides less
movement at bumpy road comparing with a conventional damping system.

SKY HOOK DAMPER ADVANTAGE OF REVERSE TYPE DAMPER


Based on Karnopp theory, control mode of damping force is classified into 4 cases with the
combination of body movement and relative speed between body and wheel.
To select optimum mode in normal variable damper system, information from G sensor at sprung
mass and height sensor is required. Semi-active damper was designed to have unique damping
characteristics in order to eliminate height sensor. This characteristic is explained in this chart,
namely rebound process has hard position while compression process has soft position and
rebound process has soft position while compression process has hard position.
As a result, we can control the system only from the information of G sensor. We named this
system as reverse type damping system or H/S type.

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SYSTEM PERFORMANCE
First of all, we would like to explain the outline and the system performance of our new generation
semi-active suspension system.

1) Body control
Pitching and bouncing movement are controlled in relate to the vertical acceleration sensor. Roll,
dive, squat movements are controlled in relate to the speed sensor, the steering angle sensor and
the brake switch signals.
2) Damping force control
In order to execute these body control reverse damping force type is adopted to suite to the sky
hook theory. It can control the damping force continuously from H/S position to S/H position.
3) Actuator
The actuator is a proportional solenoid valve attached on the side of the shock absorber. The
response time from H/S position to S/H position, or from S/H position to H/S position is less than 30
ms. The operating current of the proportional solenoid for this control is less than 1.3A.

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF SHOCK


ABSORBER
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[Construction of Shock Absorber]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


All hydraulic shock absorbers work by the principle of
converting kinetic energy (movement) into thermal
energy (heat). For that purpose, fluid in the shock
absorber is forced to flow through restricted outlets and
valve systems, thus generating hydraulic resistance. A
shock absorber (damper) can be compressed and
extended; the so-called bump stroke and rebound stroke.
Bump stroke
When the piston rod is pushed in, oil flows without
resistance from below the piston through the orifices of
piston valve. Simultaneously, a quantity of oil is displaced
by the volume of the rod entering the cylinder. This
volume of oil is forced to flow through the body valve into
the reservoir tube (filled with air (1 bar) or nitrogen gas
(4-8 bar)). The resistance, encountered by the oil on
passing through the body valve, generates the bump
damping.

Rebound stroke
When the piston rod is pulled out, the oil above the piston is pressurized and forced to flow through
the piston. The resistance, encountered by the oil on passing through the piston, generates the
rebound damping. Simultaneously, some oil flows back, without resistance, from the reservoir tube
through the body valve to the lower part of the cylinder to compensate for the volume of the piston
rod emerging from the cylinder.

ECS SHOCK ABSORBER


The damping force control valve is located
on the side of the shock absorber by
which the upper room of piston is
connected to the lower room of the piston
through the middle passage room. The
size of orifice inside the variable control
valve changes according to applied
current resulting in variable damping
force.

[ECS Shock Absorber: simple model]

In rebound process, the check valve of piston closes itself and oil flows from upper room of the
piston to the control valve through a hole located upper side of the inner tube and the middle room.
When oil passes the control valve, it flows to lower room of the piston through the middle room and
a hole located at the lower side of the inner tube. At the same time, oil is supplied from reservoir to
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lower room of piston through the suction valve of body.
In jouncing process, the one way valve of body closes and the oil flows from the lower room of the
piston to the upper room, rod volume of oil flows to a hole of lower side of inner tube, middle room,
control valve, and returns to reservoir room.

DAMPING FORCE CHARACTERISTICS


As the damping force characteristics figured in this schematic, the shock absorber has the reverse
damping force type.
The input current of the proportional solenoid is between 0.3 A of H/S position and 1.3 A of S/H
position. The current of S/S position is 0.8 A. When the actuator failure with 0 A condition, the
position turns to H/S position. When the current is going down from 0.8 A of S/S position, the
rebound side damping force increase the orifice characteristic and make the blow off point higher.
When the current is going up form 0.8 A, the jouncing side damping force increase the orifice
characteristic and make the blow off point higher.

SEMI-ACTIVE CONTROL
The amount of Ride Control which manages the vertical movement of the vehcle is decided on the
basis of 3 acceleration sensors and a vehicle speed sensor.
Anti-Roll Control which manages the movement of lateral direction is done by signals of a steering
wheel sensor and a vehicle speed sensor.
Anti-Dive Control uses Brake On/Off signal and the vehicle speed and Anti-Squat Control is done
by TPS signal.
Speed Sensitive Control changes overall damping force in proportion to the vehicle speed.
By the information detected by sensors, ECS control module applied corresponding current to the
solenoids of shock absorber.
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FR G-Sensor
FL G-Sensor
RR G-Sensor
Steering Angle
Brake On/Of
TPS
Vehicle Speed

Ride Control
Logic

Distribution
to wheels

Anti-Roll
Control Logic
Anti-Dive
Control Logic
Anti-Squat
Control Logic

4 Sol.
Actuators

Speed Sensitive
Control Logic

BODY CONTROL
Pitching and bouncing movements are controlled in relate to the vertical acceleration sensor signal.
Roll, dive, squat movements are controlled in relate to the speed sensor, the steering sensor and
brake switch and throttle position sensor. The fundamental concept of this system logic is as
follows
- Calculate the absolute unsprung speed by integrating the output of acceleration sensor on the
unsprung.
- Then decide target damping force depend upon the proportional rate of the absolute speed, and
control the actuator output accordingly.
RIDE CONTROL
a) Road judgement control
This purpose is improvement of control effect and preventive of ride comfort go worse. Road
judgement condition use acceleration sensor and ECU change the parameters use this result.
Judgement result is decided by acceleration sensor signal of FR and FL. There is no priority
between FR and FL.
Sensor : AG Sensor (FR,FL)

b) Antibounce feed back Control


This purpose is control of bounce. Add front and rear body velocities, ECU control the damping
forces in proportion to this result.

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c) Antipitch feed back Control
This purpose is control of pitching. Subtract front and rear body velocities, ECU control the
damping forces in proportion to this result.
d) Antiroll feed back Control
This purpose is control of roll. This purpose is control of roll .Subtract right and left body
velocities, ECU control the damping forces in proportion to this result.
HANDLING
a) Antiroll feed forward Control
This purpose is control of roll. Use steering and speed sensor, ECU control the damping forces
use these sensors outputs.
Damping control: Rebound Hard (H/S)
b) Antidive Control
This purpose is control of dive. Use brake switch and speed sensor, ECU control the damping
forces use these sensors outputs.
Damping control: Front Compession Hard (S/H), Rear Rebound Hard (H/S)
c) Antisquat Control
This purpose is control of squat. Throttle position sensor output is more than standard, ECU
control the damping forces front:hard/rebound, rear:soft/rebound. And it finish after a constant
time pass.
Damping control: Front Rebound Hard (H/S), Rear Compression Hard (S/H)

d) High speed stability


This purpose is control of high speed stability. Use speed sensor, ECU control the damping
forces use these sensors outputs.

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CONSTRUCTION OF SEMI-ACTIVE ECS

SYSTEM SCHEMATIC

LOCATION OF COMPONENTS

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LOCATION OF ECSCM

INPUTS & OUTPUTS


INPUTS

OUTPUTS

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INPUTS

1) ECS CONTROL MODULE POWER SUPPLY

IG 2 (30A, ECSCM power): if blown out Engine stop, Communication failure

B+ (15A, ECS solenoid relay power): if blown out C2124(Actuator relay)

IG 2 (10A, ECSCM & Cluster power): if blown out Communication failure

2) ALTERNATOR L TERMINAL

a. Application
The ECS control module detects the charging current
using a generator terminal "L". Upon the normal output
of generator charging current after ignition-on, the ECS
ECM will operate the ECS system normally. If the
generator output voltage is lower by loosen belt or
generator failure, actuator relay is off and ECS operation
will stop.
b. Specification
- Output Voltage at Engine Stop: 5V Max
- Output Voltage at Engine Run: 10V Min

[Normal]

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[Low voltage]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS

3) BRAKE SWITCH
Brake switch signal is used as the input signal for anti-dive control. Brake switch signal line is
connected in parallel with the stop lamp, and used to determine driver's brake operation condition.
a. Application

+5V

Input signal for anti-dive control


b. Specification

- Steady state characteristic: Normal open


(Close at putting on the brake)

BRAKE

- Voltage drop: 0.25V MAX (at 0.12A)

R
D

- No DTC code
4) ECS MODE SWITCH (SPORT/NORMAL SWITCH)
The ECS mode switch is used to select sport or normal
mode depending on the running condition.
Specification
- Switch type: Normal open(Self return)
- Switch on (SPORT): 0.25 V or less
- Switch off (NORMAL): 4.5 V or more

[ECS switch]

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5) VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR
The ECSCM will use the vehicle speed sensor signal. The speed signal is used to control handling,
anti-dive, anti-roll high speed running stability. Speed sensor is made of hall element, which is
located in the transaxle. Rotor with 4 projections is located inside the sensor, will rotate to generate
the hall effect, and output the digital pulse.
a. Usage
Input signal for anti-dive control, anti-roll control, high speed control
b. Specification
- Revolution : 637 rpm at 60km/h
- Pulse/1 revolution : 4 Pulse/ 1 revolution
- Voltage drop : 1.5V Max at 1.5mA
- Output voltage: 0V, 5V
- Chattering : 1 ms Max
- Duty ratio : 5020%
6) STEERING SENSOR
Steering sensor signal will be used as the input signal for
anti-roll control. The steering sensor uses LED and phototransistor, and sensor A (ST1) and sensor B (ST2) are
installed steering wheel. A Slit plate is installed between the
photo-transistor and the LED. The slit plate has 45 holes, so
it will rotate when the steering wheel rotates. The phototransistor operates depending on light that will pass the slit
plate holes, and the digital pulse signal is output. ECM will
use the signal to figure the steering wheel speed and angle.
a. Application
- Input signal for anti-roll control
- Location: Inside steering wheel
- Calculate the steering amount and direction
- 3 Input Signals (ST 1, ST 2, ST N)
- ST N detects the neutral position of steering wheel
b. Specification
- Sensor type : Photo interrupt type
- Sensor output type : Open Collector Type
- Output pulse quantity :45pulse (Pulse cycle 8)
- Duty ratio : 5010%
- Phase difference of outputs : 2.0 0.6
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- Supply voltage :IGN1(8~16V)
- Output voltage :1.3VOL 2.0V, 3.3VOH 4.0V
-Maximum rotational velocity : 1,500/s
c. Operation
There is a hall plate between the photo-controller LED and the photo transistor. As the hole plate
rotates with steering wheel rotation, electrical signal will be generated depending on whether the
LED light passes through the plate to the photo-transistor or not. The signal is the steering wheel
operation angular velocity and used to detect the steering wheel turning direction.
-

Photo-transistor on: sensor output 0.5V or less


Photo-transistor off: sensor output approx. 3.5V
d.

Steering sensor output

e. Current data when the sensor is open


[Output voltage while turning left]
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7) THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR


The throttle position sensor signal is the input for anti-squat control. Upon the vehicle start-up,
driver will depress the accelerator pedal, the throttle position sensor signal will provide the speed
change and the change amount to detect sudden acceleration. The signal is used to determine the
squat damping force variable solenoid valve piston. TPS is an analogue sensor using a variable
resistance. The engine ECM will convert the analogue signal input from TPS to digital pulse (PWM)
signal to provide other systems. Then the ECSCM will receive the digital (PWM) signal input.
a. Specification
- Output signal type: PWM output
- Output signal duty: 11%(angle 0) ~ 91%(angle 90)
- PWM frequency: 100Hz

b. Usage : Anti-squat control

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c. Sensor circuit and output characteristics

d. Output signal

Sensor

connector

8) ACCELERATION SENSOR (G-SENSOR)


In order to detect a plane, at least 3 points are required.
There are 3 G sensors: front right, front left and rear.
ECSCM will detect the G sensor output voltage and
determine the vertical movement of the vehicle. ECSCM
will use the G sensor input signal as the main signal to
control the anti-bounce, anti-pitch, and anti-roll.

[Acceleration Sensor]

a. Application: Main signal for driving feeling (3EA)


b. Specification
- Input Voltage: 5V0.25V
- Output Voltage: 0.55 ~ 4.45V
- Nominal Sensitivity: 2.0V/g
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- Range: +1g ~ 1g
- Operating Temperature: 40 ~ +125
c. Sensor location (FR sensor, FL sensor, Rear sensor)

d. Sensor IC construction

e.

Sen
sor
circuit and sensor output characteristics

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f.

Current data & sensor output

[At plane surface]

[At around 45]

[At around 90]

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[When the sensor is open]

OUTPUTS
1) ACTUATOR RELAY

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ECS actuator relay operation will be controlled by the ECSCM. Upon the ECS actuator relay
operation, current will be provided to the damping force variable solenoid valve via ECSCM internal
circuit. When the generator terminal "L" voltage drops to "LOW" while running, ECSCM will quit the
actuator relay operation.
a. Application
Actuator relay is activated by ECS
control module and supplies power to
the proportional solenoid.
b. Specification
- Consumption Power: 1.8W (at 12 V)
- Operating Temperature: 40 ~ +100
- Control Current: 150 mA
c. Functions
- ECU ground control
- While ECS control: 0V
- Out of ECS control: 12V
d. Current data when the relay is off

[Actuator relay circuit]

2) ECS LAMP
ECS indicator lamp is located on the instrument panel,
and will be on by selecting the sport mode or blink if
the ECS system fails. ECSCM controls the ground
terminal when the switch signal is input or when the
system failure is detected.
a. Specification
- Type: LED
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[ECS lamp]

WHEEL ALIGNMENT & ECS


- Consumption Power: Max 25mA (at 12 V)
b. Application
ECS lamp comes on when sport mode is
selected or when there is a failure on the
system.
c. Lamp operation
- Normal: OFF, Sport: ON, Failure: Flashing
d. ECS Control Mode & Lamp Control Specification
- While running normal, the lamp is turned on/off by switch. But the lamp is on in 3 seconds after
control module started.
a) Select Sport: ECS Lamp ON
b) Select normal: ECS Lamp OFF

- Detecting troubles
: If some trouble is detected, a diagnosis number coping with the trouble is recorded. AT the
same time Sport lamp goes on and off. If a trouble is detected, the lamp starts going on and off.
- Sport lamp turns on while HI-SCAN communication

e. Output signal of ECS lamp

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3) SOLENOID VALVE (PROPORTIONAL TYPE)


Applied current to the damping force variable solenoid valve will be controlled by the ECSCM.
Depending on the current applied, the spool valve in the actuator will move to change flowing route
and lead to the damping force variation.
a. Application: Main signal for driving feeling
b. Specification
- Output current range : 0.3A ~ 1.3A
1) Rebound Hard / Compression Soft : 0.3A
2) Rebound Soft / Compression Soft : 0.8A
3) Rebound Soft / Compression Hard : 1.3A

- Rated voltage : 12V


- Operating voltage : 10 ~ 16 V
- PWM frequency : 500Hz
c. Location

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d. Construction

In the case of rebound process, the procedure to change damping force hard is;
- Reduce the current of solenoid actuator then the pilot spool moves to right side and choke the
area of control port, so that the damping force of orifice control increases and the room
pressure behind the main valve is increased, As the result, the damping force turn to hard due

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to increase of opening pressure of main valve.
The procedure to change damping force soft is;
- Increase the current of solenoid actuator then the pilot spool moves to left side and open the
area of control port, oil flows both through the orifice of the rebound side main valve and the
control port of the pilot spool, so that the damping force of orifice control reduce, and same time
the room pressure behind the main valve decrease due to the pressure drop of the main valve
orifice, then the blow off point of main valve moves to lower side, As a result, the damping
force turn to soft. In the case of jouncing process, if you want to make it hard, the current
should be increased, if you want to make it soft, the current should be decreased.
e. Operation (HARD/SOFT mode)
When the applied current drops below 0.8A, the spool valve moves to the left as the force of the
spring against the spool valve overcomes the magnetic force of the solenoid coil.
During the compression stroke, the oil flows from the compression chamber to the base chamber
freely because the spool valve remains open. As a result, the compression stroke remains soft.
As the spool valve moves left, the opening for the rebound chamber to the base chamber gets
smaller restricting oil flow. When applied current reaches 0.3A, the oil path is closed completely
and the rebound stroke becomes the hardest.
f. Operation (SOFT/HARD mode)
If the applied current increases above 0.8A, the spool valve moves to the right decreasing oil flow
to the compression chamber. When current increases to 1.3A, the opening between the
compression chamber and the base chamber is closed completely. At 1.3A, the compression
stroke becomes the hardest.
During the rebound stroke, the oil path from the rebound chamber to the base chamber through
the spool valve remains open, so the rebound stroke remains soft.
g. Operation (SOFT/SOFT mode)
When the applied current is 0.8A, the damping force is soft for both compression and rebound
strokes. At 0.8A, the spool valve passageways are both open. The oil inside the rebound and the
compression chamber flows easily to the base chamber through the spool valve.
h. Current data & output signal
* While SOFT/HARD control

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* While SOFT/SOFT control

* While HARD/SOFT control

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DTC LIST

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No.

Failure

Cancellation Condition

ACG L-Terminal

ACG L-Terminal output changes LOW to HIGH.

Steering sensor

Sensor output voltage outputs normal value.

Speed sensor

Sensor output more than 3 km/h.

Acceleration sensor
(Including connector
disconnection)

Acceleration sensor output is within the range from


2.5-0.2V to 2.5+0.2V.

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Sensor power source


voltage
Damping force change
actuator FR
Damping force change
actuator FL
Damping force change
actuator RR
Damping force change
Actuator RL
Actuator relay

ACG L-Terminal output changes LOW to HIGH.

ACG L-Terminal output changes LOW to HIGH.

ACG L-Terminal output changes LOW to HIGH.

DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE

BATTERY: C1101
a. Diagnostic trouble description
- Low voltage (Engine run): Actuator operating voltage is more than 17V over 20sec.
- High voltage (Engine run): Actuator operating voltage is more than 18V over 2sec.
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Relay OFF
c. Cancellation condition: ACG-L terminal output changes Low to High (9~16V) over 100msec.
ALTERNATOR L TERMINAL: C1107, C1108
1) DTC: C1108 (Low voltage, Engine run)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Output voltage is less than 8.5V over 10sec When the car
speed is more than 40km/h
b. Action to be taken by ECU: relay OFF
c. Cancellation condition: output voltage is more than 9.5V over 100msec.

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2) DTC: C1107 (High voltage, Engine run)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Output voltage is more than 16.5V over 100sec
b. Action to be taken by ECU: relay OFF
c. Cancellation condition: output voltage is less than 16V over 100msec.
ACTUATOR RELAY : C2124
a. Diagnostic trouble description
- Low voltage when on (Engine run): Actuator operating voltage is less than 8.0V over 10sec.
- High voltage when off (Engine off): Actuator operating voltage is more than 9.5V over 2sec
when Key ON.
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Relay OFF
c. Cancellation condition
- Low voltage when on (Engine run): ACG-L terminal output changes Low to High (9~16V)
over 100msec.
- High voltage when off (Engine off): ACG-L terminal output changes Low to High (9~16V)
and 0V over 100msec.

SPEED SENSOR : C1212 (OPEN/SHORT, ENGINE RUN)


a. Diagnostic trouble description: TPS output duty is more than 40%, and the output less than 3
km/h over 1 minute.
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Hard/Soft (F: 0.55A, R: 0.63 A)
c. Cancellation condition: The car speed is more than 3km/h over 10msec.
STEERING SENSOR : C1259 (OPEN/SHORT, ENGINE RUN)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Sensor output voltage is less than 0.8V or more than 4.6V
over 30sec
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Stop the Roll control
c. Cancellation condition: Right Output Voltage is over 10msec.
ACCELERATION SENSOR (FR:C1279 FL:C1278 RR:C1281)
1) Open/Short (Engine run)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Sensor output is less than 0.5V or more than 4.5V for 2
minutes.
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Stop the Ride control
c. Cancellation condition: Acceleration sensor output is 2.50.2V over 10msec.

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2) Signal Error (Engine run)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Sensor output keeps the same level at less than 1.9V or
more than 3.1V for 2 minutes
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Stop the Ride control
c. Cancellation condition: Acceleration sensor output is 2.50.2V over 10msec.
SOLENOID VALVE (FR:C2216 FL:C2212 RR:C2224 RL:C2220)
a. Diagnostic trouble description: Harness wire is open over 30sec
b. Action to be taken by ECU: Relay OFF
c. Cancellation condition: ACG-L terminal output changes Low to High(9~16V) over 100msec.

WIRING DIAGRAM

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* Refer to the shopmanual for pin assignment

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SIMPLE WIRING DIAGRAM (Refer to the shopmanual for pin assignment)

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