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Suspension Tutorial #2
About this creation
After receiving lots of positive feedback from my first tutorial, I present my second suspension tutorial. If you have not seen my first one I would sugest you check it out, here. This tutorial features 6 different and new suspension types 4 of which are built for tracks. I also have a video at the end, and a LDD file containing all the systems. So with out further adieu lets get started.

Types of suspension covered in this tutorial:

  • Rubberband pull up

  • Torsion bar

  • Solid track frame

  • Inside track dual bar

  • Independent roller

  • Sideways independent




1: Rubberband pull up



Basically it does what the name implies. The tire pulls down on the rubberband, and it springs the wheel back up. Very easy to build.

Pros:

  • Simple, compact design

  • Can be built on very small vehicles

  • Rubberband and arm can be adjusted to get the right squish



Cons:

  • Not good for larger vehicles

  • Have to add stops on the arm

  • Not intended for steering axles






This design can be used as a sort of independent suspension, with each wheel having it's own arm and rubberband.



If you were to add a drive, I would sugest hooking the arms together as to make a more efficient drive, and so your axles don't twist as much.


2: Torsion bar



I would not recommend this suspension, but I received a comment on my last tutorial stating I had not done this type, so here it is. It's more of a joke than a actual viable suspension. Now you maybe thinking, where are the rubberbands, shocks, something to provide the spring. No, it's not a unfinished build. The black axle provides the spring to this one. A torsion bar is a bar that is fixed to the frame at one end, and twists to provide spring. I have fixed this one by two ends, so that it is a little stiffer. This is susposed to be for a roller on a tracked system.



Pros:

  • Requires only techinc pieces, no rubberbands, springs ect.

  • Can be built for small creations.

  • Very stiff design for heavy vehicles



Cons:

  • Can be hard on your pieces, especially the axles

  • Hard to make torsion rods twist



3: Solid track frame



I'm not too creative with the names of these systems. This one features a solid undercarriage system. This means that the tracks don't expand and contract according to the suspension. The gray rods in the center must be added, or else the frame will pivot around the shocks, and fall down.



Pros:

  • Tracks are solid

  • Can be built for a variety of tracks, High tracks, tank tracks, straight tracks.



Cons:

  • Have to make frame to account for springs.

  • Tracks don't contour to terrain, providing less traction.



4: Inside track dual bar



I'm very pleased with this one. My friend wants me to make a half track with the suspension that follows this one, but I found a picture of a half track with suspension similar to this one, and I will be making a halftrack featuring this suspension. It is a simple consept of putting the shocks on the inside of the track from the top main bar to bars below that move. Having two bars gives it an independent feel.

Pros:

  • Lots of suspension travel

  • 4 way independent feel.



Cons:

  • Track moves a lot around sprockets, and can slip.

  • Requires space for springs



5: Independent roller



I wish I could say I came up with this idea, but I did not. It came from Zackhariah Macasaet, who in my opinion is a professional tank builder. He has some awesome tanks, and this very cool suspension design. An important note, he uses the smaller black tracks for his tanks, and I have found out, these bigger tracks don't work as good as those for this suspension system. The reason being, the bigger tracks don't have very much bending backwards motion.



I modified it a little, changing the position of the rubberband.



Pros:

  • Very independent track suspension

  • Excellent design for tanks



Cons:

  • Doesn't work well with larger tracks

  • Requires quite a few rubberbands

  • Limited to spacing such that the rollers don't collide





Anybody building a tank, I would recommend trying this system out, and seeing how it works.




6: Sideways Independent



I saved the best for last. My friend sent me a picture of a suspension in which the springs were mounted parallel to the frame. This was for a model RC car. He wanted me to build it for my raptor, but it is too wide.



From the photo I found out, the springs were attached to rockers, which were in turn attached to bars attached to the A arms. Lots of attaching. The main benefit of building it this way is that you don't have shock sticking up from your frame, and you don't have to build your frame around them, ect.



An added bonus is that the lever action of all these parts combined produces high amounts of travel, with very little shock travel. I have equipped this on my Barracuda, a rugged off road vehicle.



Pros:

  • Great suspension travel.

  • No shocks perpendicular to frame

  • Can be used for steering or drive axles



Cons:

  • Hard to adde steering and keep wheels from towing in or out

  • Limits width of vehicle

  • Lever action makes spring power weaker, must use double shocks, or different levers for larger vehicles





I would sugest this suspension system for medium to large vehicles. Some examples being race cars, jeeps, ect. If you want to make this for a heavy duty vehicle, I would suggest repositioning the spring and bars so that you have stiffer suspension. I found out that when dealing with independent suspension systems, it is best to move the steering rods as close to the A arms as possible, this gets rid of the towing when the suspension is pushed down and up.





Check out the travel on this thing, it's simply amazing!



Here is the video





The LDD file contains all the suspension systems. I did not add the A arms to the Sideways independent, because I could not find the right ones. I think that they are the only part missing. If you use these suspension systems, credit would be appreciated. Thanks for looking, I put a lot of time into these tutorials, feed back is greatly appreciated!


Building instructions
Download building instructions (LEGO Digital Designer)

Comments

 I like it 
  October 26, 2013
Awesome work.I really appreciate that you made the LDD file, it helped me to understand how to build it.I managed to put the A arm on the model, it just that the LDD doesn't have this http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=x873c01
 I made it 
  August 7, 2012
Quoting Timothy Dillman Very nice, I plan on trying the last one out. Btw, have you tried Sariel's floating axle technique?
I have not. It sounds interesting tho, I'll have to go check it out.
  August 7, 2012
Very nice, I plan on trying the last one out. Btw, have you tried Sariel's floating axle technique?
 I made it 
  May 17, 2012
Quoting Achintya Prasad I like the tutorial, but I think that you should include the suspension technique that I am using on my tank. Credit it for that comes from Tommy Mizone.
Thanks for the comment! I'll take a look at it, and keep it for my next suspension tutorial. :)
 I like it 
  May 17, 2012
I like the tutorial, but I think that you should include the suspension technique that I am using on my tank. Credit it for that comes from Tommy Mizone.
 I made it 
  April 20, 2012
Quoting Lego Builders My RC car (probably a Bowler Nemesis) would be 18 studs wide including the wheel arches; the body itself would be 16 studs wide. Is the one that's similar to it in your first tutorial smaller, and if it would fit, could you make instructions (no need to be LDD - could be just a video "slide show")? Sorry for asking so much, but I am really really rubbish with Technic, so that's why I'm asking for help. If I could help it, I wouldn't. But I really want to build a RC car :) What wheels would be good as far as size and design?
I am always happy to help people with technic problems :) I'll tell you what, I'm going to make a steering tutorial, I'll do some prototyping tonight, and when I put up the steering tutorial, I'll include a suspension system that would fit your needs. One more thing, does it need to be 4 wheel drive? If I don't hear back, I'll just make one with and one with out. Just ask if you need more help :)
 I like it 
  April 17, 2012
I just looked at the LDD instructions. :) They are all very nice. The "Sideways Independent" one is the one that I'll probably use, but I think it's a bit too large. My RC car (probably a Bowler Nemesis) would be 18 studs wide including the wheel arches; the body itself would be 16 studs wide. Is the one that's similar to it in your first tutorial smaller, and if it would fit, could you make instructions (no need to be LDD - could be just a video "slide show")? Sorry for asking so much, but I am really really rubbish with Technic, so that's why I'm asking for help. If I could help it, I wouldn't. But I really want to build a RC car :) What wheels would be good as far as size and design?
 I made it 
  April 17, 2012
Quoting Senator Chinchilla . Very cool, but your torsion bars are much too complicated! =P I like all your tank suspensions, and I've frequently used that rubber band/lever technique for road-wheels on tanks. And those sideways springs!
Haha thanks. I really like the sideways springs. I have put them on my Barracuda.
 I like it 
  April 17, 2012
Very cool, but your torsion bars are much too complicated! =P I like all your tank suspensions, and I've frequently used that rubber band/lever technique for road-wheels on tanks. And those sideways springs!
 I made it 
  April 16, 2012
Quoting Lego Builders Good stuff here! Is the last one simular to the one I like on your first tutorial? -LB Jr.
Yes it is, but the springs are mounted sideways. I still need to make a video on that first one.
 I like it 
  April 14, 2012
Good stuff here! Is the last one simular to the one I like on your first tutorial? -LB Jr.
 I made it 
  April 11, 2012
Quoting Paul Beach Great tutorial. You might have just covered all of them now! :)
I've covered a lot of them, but I'm sure there are more. Thanks everyone for the comments!
 I made it 
  April 11, 2012
Quoting Thomas Graafland The last one is indeed the best! They're al very inovative! I'd like to use one of your suspensions, but I always LOVE designing my own suspensions. 5/5 :-)
Thanks! Feel free to use them, but I understand the thrill of designing your own system. :)
 I like it 
  April 11, 2012
The last one is indeed the best! They're al very inovative! I'd like to use one of your suspensions, but I always LOVE designing my own suspensions. 5/5 :-)
George Staples
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  April 9, 2012
Nice
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
very cool! you made this very simple for us to understand! 5/5
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
very nice and simply
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
pretty cool suspension systems, some look stiffer than others and are pretty straight forward on how they work
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
Great tutorial. Thanks for the help! Now I can put suspension on tanks that I'll build soon.
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
George, this is a fantastic tutorial on suspension. My favorite is the sideways independent type. Very inspiring tutorial! :)
 
By George Staples
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Suspension Tutorial #2


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