Development of the 2002 Buick Rendezvous Body Structure 2001-01-1414
This paper documents the development of the 2002 Buick Rendezvous body structure for optimum noise & vibration performance. Accelerated vehicle development timing demanded clearly defined body structure vibration performance targets, with critical dependence on math based modeling. The 2002 Buick Rendezvous was truly a fast-to-math program enabled partially by borrowing some of its structural features from the recently launched Pontiac Aztek
Competitive performance data collected for the Aztek was tailored to the Rendezvous for setting major global body structure targets. Architectural differences in overall vehicle size and body opening configuration led to adjustments in body matchboxing, bending and torsional requirements. The frequency domain “mode map” was modified to these requirements taking into account the Buick Brand Character.
Computer simulation models were used exclusively to predict body structural performance. A coarse full body structure model was used to define body structure section size and joint requirements. Detailed analysis models of body joint areas were used to synthesize the joint design. A detailed model of the nonferrous end-gate was used extensively to match function with form. This process led the design efforts to minimizing body structure mass while optimizing vibration performance.
A comprehensive measurement plan was executed to confirm the frequency performance of the body structure. Modal tests were performed at several points in the prototype body build process to confirm math-based predictions. The 2002 Buick Rendezvous has four swing doors and rear liftgate which greatly improves the body structure vibration performance. Compared with previous generation vans the Rendezvous has increased body structure stiffness of 26%, 21% and 39% in the first three global body structure frequencies.