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Suspension Tutorial
About this creation
This is a suspension tutorial, or a idea guide for suspension systems. I have included 6 suspension types each with their pros and cons, and best uses. I also have a video of how they work at the end, and instructions for 4 of them.

1: Tandem pivot



The tandem pivot is built to connect two axles together, and have a central pivot point.

Pros:

  • Two axle have suspension

  • compact size

  • Fair ammount of travel



Cons:

  • axles move together

  • No "squish" in the supension

  • Lots of friction when driveing axles





The red piece would be where the frame goes. I have made it so that both axles can be driven.



This type of suspension is good for smaller MOCs. The size is limited to the tire size, and smallest Technic beams. An example of this suspension is my grader

2: Pendular



The pendular suspension is another very simple design. It's basic idea is wheels on the sides, and a pivot point in the center of the axle.

Pros:

  • Has the best travel(distance from lowest point of suspension to highest

  • Simple to build

  • Good for small mocs

  • Steering can be attached easily, and steering shaft can be the pivot shaft



Cons:

  • No "squish" in suspension

  • When one wheel moves up, it tilts the wheel onto it's edge

  • If equipped on front and rear, cab of vehicle tips over.





My suggestions for using this suspension are: use this mainly for front axles, If used for rear and front axles rubber bands must be used to level the cab as shown in my Rock Crawler The main problem with the rubber bands is that it's hard to get the cab level, and keep it level.



The front axle on my grader has this type of suspension. It has the Tandem pivot as the rear suspension. I would suggest this set up of pendular in front and tandem in rear, it is simple and gives good travel.

3: Rubberband pushdown



The rubberband pushdown suspension is fairly simple, but more complex than the preceding suspension types. The reason I named this Rubberband pushdown is because the rubberbands push the suspension rods down.



Pros:

  • Squish in suspension

  • Adjustable squish by tautness of rubberbands

  • Versatile size



Cons:

  • Suspension provides little Roll (side to side bounce)

  • Can be rater stiff unless used with large vehicles

  • Can bend axle





I recently used this suspension on my Ford Raptor One thing you have to make sure to do when building this type of suspension is to make sure the axle is properly secured to the frame. I had to use 8 rods from bending forward and backward. 4 rods are adequate to make this work properly, just make sure the axle can't bend too much.



My first design with this suspension was Modified 8285 I think the use of the square piece, and differential in the raptor was a major upgrade.



This type of suspension can also be used for a independent suspension design. as shown below:



I used this for my Subaru Impreza

4: Leaf spring



Leaf spring, a very old design for suspensions, but fairly new for my MOCs. I can not take full credit for this design, my friend Elder Richins came up with the idea, I have tweaked it to fit my needs, and it has been very useful.



Pros:

  • Uses only lego pieces.

  • Good for heavy vehicles



Cons:

  • One size (Realativly speaking)

  • Very stiff

  • Adding steering can be a pain





As you can see I have provided mostly picture of a front end version of this suspension. I have equipped it on Modified 8285, and my Kenworth T800 I equipped it on both drive axles and the steering axle of my T800.



This suspension is very stiff, and has almost no roll. When building a model with this suspension, you need to make sure to fortify the frame, so that the suspension actually bends instead of the frame.



I recommend this for only large vehicles, If you want a similar type of suspension for smaller vehicles use the rubberband type.



When building this for a rear axle I suggest using the rectangle piece shown here, and the differential that goes with it. It is the simplest design I have found so far. Just make sure to attach the rectangle piece to the bottom of the rods.

5:Independent



Pros:

  • Each wheel moves on its own

  • Wheels don't tip when moving up and down

  • A arms are provided and can be easy to set up



Cons:

  • Steering can be a pain to get straight

  • Dimensions are limited when using A arms

  • Can be hard to fit in small models





This is my favorite type of suspension, because each wheel can travel on its own, and are not attached via solid axle. Another good thing about this suspension is that you can adjust where the springs go, and there by adjust the "squishyness" of the suspension.



I have used this in quite a few models, one example is my Sportsman

6:Pneumatic (Air Bag)



The pneumatic suspension system is unique in that it is readily adjustable

Pros:

  • Adjustable

  • Linear design

  • Can be used for a variety of vehicles



Cons:

  • Requires pneumatic parts

  • Can bleed off

  • axle is only attached at one pivot point

  • Hard to add multiple drive shafts





I got this idea when I was messing around with my Modified 8285 (I went through about 4 different suspension designs on this truck)I was trying to make it as realistic as possible, and wanted to add air bags, like a real semi truck. So I added a pneumatic cylinder, and had both drive axles attached to it. It worked fairly well, but the main drawback was I had to run 2 drive shafts, because the rear of the front axle almost touched the ground.



One good thing is you can adjust the height of your MOC, and you can adjust the suspension tension. I would recommend this for trucks, and maybe the occasional tricked out car.



If you want a tutorial on how to build the leaf spring, I have one on this video
Here is a video showing how the suspension systems work:



If you use the LDD for a MOC, or use the leaf spring/Air Bag on a MOC, a little credit would be much appreciated. Thank you for looking, and please comment, I spent quite a while on this! LDD files are available for the following: Tandem pivot, pendular, leaf spring, and rubberband.

Building instructions

Leaf Spring

Pendular

Rubberband

Tandem


Building instructions
Download building instructions (LEGO Digital Designer)

Comments

 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Thanks! :)
 I made it 
  June 30, 2012
Quoting Gabor Horvath And how can I put the video on my page, like this?
You put the video on youtube, then under it, hit share>embed>use old code. then just copy paste the code to your page.
  June 27, 2012
And how can I put the video on my page, like this?
 I made it 
  June 21, 2012
Quoting Gabor Horvath Thank you very much, I understand. Very creative!
Your welcome! :)
  June 21, 2012
Thank you very much, I understand. Very creative!
 I made it 
  June 20, 2012
Quoting Gabor Horvath Hi! How can you upload more than one building instruction?
I used some HTML I uploaded the first LDD I wanted to use, and then published the page. Then I right clicked the page, and went to view page source. I then found the LDD link; looks similar to this: "<span class="small"><a href="/user_images/82063/1332910025m.lxf" target="_top">Download building instructions (LEGO Digital Designer)</a></span>" Then I copied the HMTL as shown above to a txt file. I then changed the page, and uploaded the next one, copied the link for that one, and all the other ones I wanted. Then I added all the HTML to my creation before uploading it for the final time. It's kinda confusing, I could make a video if that would help.
 I like it 
  June 20, 2012
Hi! How can you upload more than one building instruction?
 I made it 
  June 15, 2012
Quoting Alex B Thank You SO much for this!!! If the day comes to a suspension to my car i'll come right here!
Cool :) glad I could help
 I like it 
  June 14, 2012
Thank You SO much for this!!! If the day comes to a suspension to my car i'll come right here!
  May 17, 2012
Thanks!
 I made it 
  May 15, 2012
Quoting Robert B. I have A-arms, just not the same ones that you have, I have the smaller, light gray ones.
Ok, I'll see what I can whip out.
  May 15, 2012
I have A-arms, just not the same ones that you have, I have the smaller, light gray ones.
 I made it 
  May 15, 2012
Quoting Robert B. This is really helpful! Thanks for making it! I've been building an offroad vehicle and I want to make it 4-wheel drive, but I don't know how to power independent suspension, could you please make a tutorial?
Your welcome. I could make a tutorial, do you have the a-arms that I have? if you do, it's quite simple.
 I like it 
  May 14, 2012
This is really helpful! Thanks for making it! I've been building an offroad vehicle and I want to make it 4-wheel drive, but I don't know how to power independent suspension, could you please make a tutorial?
 I made it 
  April 7, 2012
Quoting Lego Builders Pretty useful stuff here! As I mentioned before, I am planning on building a RC rally car soon. I would definitely use the 5th suspension setup; can you make instructions for that (doesn't need to be LDD, could be a video - essentially a sideshow of each step) and make a list of the parts needed? I would appreciate it greatly as I'm rubbish with technic stuff; one can tell by simply looking at my car MOCs. Thank you! -LB Jr
Sure I could do that. I think I would do a video on it because I can't seem to find the A arms in LDD. Hey and thanks again to everyone for commenting! Expect to see a suspension tutorial #2 come out soon. I just have to finish up the video.
 I like it 
  April 7, 2012
This is a really good guide on how to build suspension.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2012
Pretty useful stuff here! As I mentioned before, I am planning on building a RC rally car soon. I would definitely use the 5th suspension setup; can you make instructions for that (doesn't need to be LDD, could be a video - essentially a sideshow of each step) and make a list of the parts needed? I would appreciate it greatly as I'm rubbish with technic stuff; one can tell by simply looking at my car MOCs. Thank you! -LB Jr
 I like it 
  April 2, 2012
Excellent tutorial! Thanks, it will come in handy!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2012
Cool! I hope I'll be able to use some techniques! 5/5 :-)
 I like it 
  April 2, 2012
Very useful guide, thanks for sharing.
 I made it 
  March 29, 2012
Quoting Paul Beach I cannot put into words how nice it is of someone to share their knowledge of larger, more complex technic vehicle operations, especially in this area. Thank you.
:D that means a lot to me, Thanks Paul!! If you need some other building tips, just ask.
George Staples
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  March 28, 2012
Jumping off the short bus... Sorry I'm late to class George! Kidding, this is nice, I like the grader example, it reminds me of a classic space set that used that suspension, and it was the back-bone of what got me started in the first place with Lego. Nice!
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
Very useful! Thanks :)
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
Very nice george! I love the video! I might use one of them on a semi truck! If I do. I'll give you some credit! anyways, nice moc! 5/5
 I made it 
  March 28, 2012
Quoting Chris Melby Jumping off the short bus... Sorry I'm late to class George! Kidding, this is nice, I like the grader example, it reminds me of a classic space set that used that suspension, and it was the back-bone of what got me started in the first place with Lego. Nice!
Haha this made me laugh! That type of suspension is so simple, and it's been around for a while. Thanks for commenting!
 I made it 
  March 28, 2012
Hey thanks to everyone for commenting! :)
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
Amazing work! And thank you I shall use this for reference, so useful!
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
thank you - ravishingly beautiful!
 I made it 
  March 28, 2012
Quoting Senator. Chincilla . You left out torsion bars!?! =P Lol, jk. Very clever stuffs, I like independent the best, too. I never used the sliding axles before, looks like a good idea.
I do believe that torsion bars are a little more advanced system of suspension. Maybe I'll make a Advanced tutorial with torsion bars, track suspension, sway bars, and other advanced stuff. Thanks for commenting!
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
You left out torsion bars!?! =P Lol, jk. Very clever stuffs, I like independent the best, too. I never used the sliding axles before, looks like a good idea.
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
AWESOME! Thanks for sharing- very kind of you.
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
Great job, and very well presented. You've put a lot of work into this and it'll definately help other builders. 5/5
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
Great tutorials! I might use this in my next MOC, and I'll make sure to give you credit. :)
 I like it 
  March 28, 2012
very cool and useful a solid 5/5. also whenever u get the chance could u check this out? http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/314290
 
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