Independently Sprung Front Wheels a Remedy for Shimmy
THIS paper is an attack on the usual system of front suspension of an automobile and a proposal to substitute independently sprung front wheels for the conventional assembly of wheels, rigid axle and semi-elliptical springs. Mounting of the front wheels on a solid axle is a survival of horse-drawn-vehicle days which the author asserts is so unsatisfactory from the standpoint of rational mechanics that it should long ago have become a memory in the automotive industry. To the complex action and reactions of the axle, oscillating between the springs and the tires, and of the wheels, with their gyroscopic effects, are attributed the phenomena of shimmy and wabble that have become so disconcerting and even dangerous since the advent of low-pressure tires and front-wheel brakes. The origins of the various abnormal vibrations are analyzed, the effects of damping and of friction are discussed, and the part played by the conventional steering-gear and steering connections is considered.