The Lancia’s Stratos suspension layout consists of the front suspension with double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The Rear suspension is McPherson strut, lower wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bars.
This incredibly simple design was developed in the 1940’s by Earle MacPherson and patented by Ford in 1949. It soon became the most popular choice of suspension. The MacPherson strut setup was used on high-performance cars. Manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW – (Porsche 911 up until the 1989 model year.) Fiat has also used the MacPherson suspension strut in their Fiat 500s (2010-2014) with a few minor tweaks to the sway bar.
The Macpherson struct works by a hub which has low and high mounting points that attach to the vehicle. The lower mountain point attaches to a track control arm. Its connection instructs both the longitudinal and lateral alignment of the wheel assembly. The upper mounting point of the hub is attached to the assembly of the coil spring and shock absorber.
Even though the MacPherson strut was successful along the way failures started to appear.
Since the strut in a MacPherson strut system is a merge of both the steering and suspension systems. Therefore, if a failure appeared at either the tie rod mounting point or at the control arm, the tire may swivel at an angle which will result to the driver to lose control, or even causing the vehicle to roll. Most of the MacPherson strut failures are associated to the dampener wearing out. This can be fixed and replaced by removing the strut assembly, releasing the spring strain with a compressor tool, and replacing the shock absorber new cartridge. But is essential that the strut assemblies are carefully coordinated afterwards to ensure proper camber and caster settings, and to help the vehicle function properly.
The idea behind the construction of the MacPherson struct was to engineer a vehicle that was lighter, more manoeuvrable, and cheaper than anything on the market during that period.
The Macpherson strut system first appeared on the Ford Vedette (1949 model year), and other Fords across England and France also used this suspension in the years 1950s and 1960s.
The MacPherson strut is a single assembly component to replace two component assembly’s that were presented in earlier suspension systems. Earlier suspensions systems used a simple system which included a spring, shock absorber and a kingpin to serve as the steering pivot, but the MacPherson made these separate components to became one whole assembly. This resulted in the MacPherson strut system being less expensive to manufacture compared to the previous suspension assemblies.
While examining the MacPherson struct and how the assembly works I have looked how the struct saves space and by using this as an advantage I’ve come with a Suggestion of improvement. My improvement to the suspension is to use the space where the hub is and to attach a drive shaft to the front of the vehicle which means that the vehicle will also be used as a front wheel drive. I think this idea is good as it uses the space where the hub is mounted and must save money and may also improve the performance of a vehicle.