Effects of bushings characteristics on suspension ball joint travels
In this paper, a short-long arm type front suspension is represented using multi-body dynamics model established with ADAMS®, where the suspension bushings modelled as linear and nonlinear elements, respectively, are integrated with a flexible cradle and other suspension components. A ball joint travel, defined as the angular displacement between the two parts connected with the ball joint, is calculated, where the measured wheel loads and spindle accelerations from a proving ground severe durability test schedule serve as the input data. The ball joints considered in this study include lower ball joints, upper ball joints, outer tierod ball joints, and inner tierod ball joints. The results clearly illustrate that the bushing stiffness and nonlinearity are important for an accurate prediction of ball joint travels and the ball joint travel sensitivities to considered design variables are important for engineers to understand and ensure reliable designs of ball joints.