Front suspension parts | Components, types and functions.

Today we are about to major on the front suspension parts that are common in the front wheel cars. The vehicle’s suspension system components vary on the basis of whether it’s a front or rear wheeler.

Vehicles are able to turn left or right in the front wheels thanks to the front suspension. This suspension system is a combination of links, joints, bushings, and bearings.

Car suspension isn’t a single component but it is made up of different car suspension parts. The system works together to offer better drivability control during corner negotiation. Additionally, it offers weight support ability and better comfort.

We all agree that;

Vehicle manufacturers have different preferences in what they include in their suspension systems. So our list may not exhaust every part but the ones included are the most common ones.

Control arms and A-arms.

It is sometimes known as the A-arm because of its shape. The control arms connect to the vehicle’s body frame. This helps to minimize the movement of the body frame when you go over bumpy road terrain.

Additionally, the control arm also links to spindle or steering knuckle. Spindles are for earlier vehicle models while steering knuckles are for more recent vehicle models. The design involves the A-arm connecting to the spindle with a ball joint and then it is hinged on the other end.

What’s the need for these connections?

The set up guides the front suspension up and down movement. Hence minimizing vigorous movement by limiting forward and backward shifting in the vehicle.

There are unique front suspension systems that have a stabilizer rod that gives the A-shape for this suspension system component. This stabilizer rod is known as a strut rod. It functions the same way as the dampers to regulate movement by shock absorption.

Ball joints.

You will find ball joints around the end of the control arm and they have a ball and socket set-up. They are essential in contributing to wheel control and tire wear. Whereby tire wear depends on how they come in contact with the ground.

Ball joints stay in place thanks to a castle nut and a cotter pin.

Further, ball joints help with connecting the numerous links and allowing free movements. Hence providing a comfortable ride.

Additionally, the ball joints enable pivoting motion of the steering knuckles or spindle and control arms. Then this contributes accurate control during corner navigation.

Ensure lubrication of the ball joints and sockets in order to increase their lifespan.

Symptoms of a faulty ball joint

  • Increased vehicle vibrations and shaking.
  • Steering looseness hence minimizing handling and control.
  • Loud noises coming from the wheel area.

Spindles and steering knuckles.

Steering knuckle of front suspension parts

Another name for this is the upright.

You will find this part of the suspension system consisting of the wheel hub. The wheel hub is also known as the spindle. It connects with the wheels and the vehicle’s suspension through linkages.

The knuckle is essential in providing the front wheels with the ability to turn to the right or left at the same time. Meaning that it links the steering wheel to the suspension system.

The steering knuckle offers housing for the center bearing. Further it attaches to the upper control arm at the top and to the lower control arm at the bottom.

Additionally, the knuckle attaches to the wheel assembly at the center point.

Suspension springs.

Amongst the combination of parts that make up the suspension system, you find the springs. There are different types of car suspension springs that offer different functionality. Additionally, they offer different advantages in relation to comfort, control and weight handling.

The ability of the suspension system to move up and down is supported by the suspension springs. Further, they hold the vehicle’s body frame in place by minimizing the movement during bumpy road terrain.

List of types of suspensions springs.

  • Coil springs.
  • Leaf springs.
  • Torsion bars.
  • Air springs.

Shock components.

Shock absorbers reduce the vigorous movement of the vehicle’s body frame. They keep the movement of the springs and the entire suspension system in check. Amongst the common shock components we have struts and dampers shock absorbers.

a.] Struts.

The Strut is one of the most commonly utilized shock absorber in independent suspension front wheel vehicles. Struts can take over the functions of the upper control arm and upper ball joints in conventional suspension systems.

Their function is to act as a dumper that regulates shocks. The design of struts consists of a piston rod, hydraulic fluid and a pressure tube. Hydraulic fluid forces itself through the orifices inside the piston as the suspension travels up and down.

b.] Dampers.

They are a design of the vehicle suspension system whose function is to dissipate the force that comes from the up and down movement of springs. If not for the dampers, the vehicle would keep moving up and down after hitting a bump.

Their design includes a piston inside an oil filled cylinder. The oil flows very slowly as the piston pumps through the narrow passages and one way valves.

This movement slows down the springs oscillations hence dampening the up and down movement. This contributes to maintaining the vehicle’s control ability by keeping the wheels grounded. Further it offers comfortability when driving over different vehicle terrains.

Tie rods.

This one fits amongst both the steering wheel components and the front wheel suspension components. Their function is to connect the steering knuckle, spindle or upright to the steering wheel linkages.

This connection allows the tie rod to move up and down with the suspension. Further, they allow the pulling in and out of the spindle.

Tie rods are responsible for transmitting force from the steering linkages to the steering arm in order to move the wheels. Meaning that tie rods are responsible for facilitating a change in direction.

This is made possible because the tie rods are the pivot point between the steering system, the steering arm and the wheel.

Symptoms of a failing tie rods.

  • Wondering steering wheel. whereby you loose strict control over the steering wheel turning.
  • Uneven tire wear. It could mean that your vehicle is out of alignment but it could also mean that your tie rods aren’t in a good condition.
  • Strange sounds originating from the front wheel especially while turning indicate there’s a problematic suspension system.

Share your thoughts