VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 1 POSTED ON: 1/17/2011
One of the good things about driving a Toyota is the smoothness it offers to your ride. And the main factor that contributes to the smoothness of your ride is your car's suspension. It is the suspension system of your car that keeps your car smooth and manageable, especially in rough roads that have bumps and cracks. And one of the components that make up the suspension system of your Toyota is the Toyota Leaf Spring. Located in the underbelly of your car, the Toyota Leaf Spring is a simple form of spring that is used is most suspension system systems of motor vehicles. Also called as a semi-elliptical spring or cart spring, the Toyota Leaf Spring takes the appearance of a lean arc-shaped length of a steel spring with a rectangular cross-section. The center of the arc in the spring gives a location for the axle, wherein tie holes are provided at either end in order to connect to the vehicle body. For heavy vehicles such as SUVs, the leaf spring can be constructed of several leaves stacked on top of each other in multiple layers, often with systematically shorter leaves. In addition, Leaf springs can provide locating and to some extent damping as well as springing functions. There are a variety of leaf springs available in the market, and they regularly use the word elliptical. Elliptical or full elliptical leaf springs to two circular arcs linked at their tips. This type of spring is connected to the frame at the top center of the upper arc and with the bottom center joined to the live suspension components like the solid front axle. Additional suspension components, such as trailing arms, are often needed for this design, except for semi-elliptical leaf springs that used in the Hotchkiss drive. Such type of spring engaged the lower arc, hence its name. Quarter-elliptic springs usually had the thickest part of the stack of leaves fixed into the rear end of the side pieces of a short ladder frame, with the free end attached to the differential, such as in car made during the 1920s. Leaf springs were very common on automobiles right up to the 1970s, wherein cars used a front wheel drive, and more sophisticated suspension designs forced automobile manufacturers to use more advanced coil springs instead. U.S. passenger cars used leaf springs until 1989 where the last production vehicle with a leaf spring suspension was marketed. However, Toyota Leaf Springs are still used today in heavier passenger models such as vans and SUVs, and even in railway carriages. For heavy automobiles, leaf springs have the advantage of spreading the load more widely over the vehicle chassis, whereas coil springs just shift it to a single point. A more modern implementation for the leaf spring is the parabolic leaf spring. The parabolic leaf spring is characterized by fewer leaves and whose thickness varies from centre to ends following a parabolic curve. In such a design, inter-leaf friction is reduced, and therefore there is only contact between the springs at the ends and at the centre where the axle is attached. Parabolic leaf springs use spacers to prevent contact at other points. Aside from weight reduction, another main advantage of parabolic springs is their greater flexibility, which translates into vehicle ride quality that approaches that of coil springs.
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