Smarter Suspensions Are on the Way for Pickups

Ram 15 air chassis[2] II

By G.R. Whale

For decades pickup truck suspensions were as basic as could be, beginning with solid axles at both ends, each suspended with heavy and stiff leaf springs. More accommodating independent front suspensions did not appear on two-wheel-drive pickups until the 1960 Chevrolets and 1965 Fords. Eventually IFS made it onto four-wheel-drive applications on the half-ton 1980 Ford, 1988 Chevy and GMC, and 2002 Dodge pickups.

There also were several outliers with independent rear suspensions: Those included the classic rear-drive Forward Control Corvair and Volkswagen Type 2 pickups based on vans, the eye-catching all-wheel-drive Honda Ridgeline and the military-based four-wheel-drive original Hummer H1. But what about today's pickup trucks?

Suspension basics haven't changed much in many respects; manufacturers have focused on refining proven designs. NASCAR uses a similar approach: A stock car's rear suspension is essentially a heavily engineered, adjustable version of what you'll find under a 45-year-old GM pickup.

Rear Axles

With one midsize exception, the Ridgeline, every pickup sold in the U.S. uses a solid rear axle, meaning the outer axle tubes are locked to the center differential. Inside, axle shafts transfer rotational forces from the differential to the wheel hubs. This type of axle setup is reliable, serviceable, cost-effective and good for varying loads because wheel alignment doesn't change with load. In most cases, a leaf-spring suspension is used to locate the up-and-down forces on rear axles for similar reasons. Although it's a simple design, it can be hard to tune because the springs must carry weight as well as locate the axle longitudinally and laterally while controlling axle rotation and keeping the pinion angle within specifications. On some Jeeps and mid-1990s GM ZR2 pickups, a Panhard rod (aka, a track bar) was used with live axles and leaf springs to control excessive lateral axle movements.

Ram currently uses coil springs on its 1500 and 2500 rear axles, so the spring has to carry only the weight of the truck and bed load. Since a coil spring isn't a series of metal (or composite) strips rubbing against each other like a leaf spring, its movements cause less friction. This delegates axle location and rotational control to other suspension connections, typically called links, arms or radius rods used for longitudinal location, and a Panhard rod or Watts linkage (last seen on 2003-2009 Dodge Durango and Aspen SUVs) for lateral control. All pickups with independent rear suspensions use air or coil springs; most pickups with live axles use leaf springs (exception is the Ram 2500).

Air springs or airbags, optional on Ram 1500s, add complexity but also provide other benefits not found in any other configuration. They are height adjustable for ground clearance, entry ease and aerodynamics, and can level a load or trailer, which provides more consistent steering and handling, and requires less headlight adjusting. To its credit, Ram is the only heavy-duty pickup manufacturer to offer a dedicated rear air suspension system on the 2500 and as supplemental springs on 3500 dualie models.

Front Suspensions

Up front every half-ton and midsize pickup uses an independent suspension for ride quality, steering precision and in some cases, crash deformation characteristics. That's because independent front suspensions provide manufacturers with more options for steering box and shaft placement. Independent front suspensions are the only type on GM HDs. In this type of suspension, each wheel moves on its own for singular control; without a heavy, solid tube joining the wheels there's far less weight to control. Coil springs are quite prevalent on most pickups' front ends, though torsion bars (thick anti-roll bars running front to back) have been used. Currently they can be found on Chevy and GMC HD pickups.

Shock Absorbers

Tundra TRD Pro Shocks II

Shock absorbers attached to the axle and frame help control spring movement. Shock absorbers are literally meant to absorb any shock inputs the front or rear axle might encounter. Many independent front-end designs use "coil-over" shocks in which the springs are coiled around the shock are combined to save space and provide better steering precision; however, they are not ideal for carrying heavy loads.

Shocks absorbers come in many different designs: monotube, twin tube, remote reservoir, even magnetic. Monotube shocks — called that because the damping and gases are all within one tube — can be mounted right side up or upside down. This can be an advantage if you are particular about removing as much mass possible from moving parts. There's also some leeway in where shocks are mounted on leaf-sprung rear suspensions: staggered (one ahead of the axle, one behind), outboard or inboard of frame rails, etc. Mounting decisions affect how a vehicle handles with and without a load or when off-road.

Remote-reservoir shocks (used in the Ford Raptor and Toyota TRD Pro models) allow for better cooling of the shock fluid, providing improved, consistent shock performance. An overheated shock absorber will lose some, if not all, of its ability to control harsh or repeated hits.

One of the most advanced shock systems is the fast-acting Magnetic Ride Control shocks on GM pickups such as the GMC Sierra Denali. They change the viscosity of the internal fluid many times per second via electrical input for maximum control and flexibility in a wide range of situations, much wider and quicker than a normal shock can accommodate. Shock absorbers also can be used as steering stabilizers mounted laterally between a big truck's steering arm and a fixed point under the truck, and to damp axle rotation on a live axle, such as Ram's Power Wagon's rear suspension.

Body Roll

Another issue to understand when considering how a big truck's suspension works is body roll, or how a vehicle can handle the forces that want to tip it over when taking a curve or corner at speed. Body roll usually is controlled by laterally-oriented steel anti-roll bars (some are actually tubes) that resist twisting when rotated; they keep the truck flatter during turns at speed.

Virtually every pickup has one on the front, and many have one on the rear as well. In fact, you can add larger diameter bars at both ends if you're uncomfortable with the lean you experience, or just to the rear to help with heavier loads such as a heavy bed camper. But remember that will change the balance of the truck when it rides empty. On the current-generation Power Wagon (based on a three-quarter-ton chassis and biased for serious four-wheel-drive trails), the front sway bar can be electronically disconnected to allow maximum wheel travel to better flex over rocky or uneven terrain. Above a certain speed, the sway bar will automatically reconnect to provide a stiffer, more controlled front-end feel.

What About the Future?

2006 Ridgeline IRS lo-res II

In the future, unique suspension systems used today likely will find wider acceptance and offer better control and more flexibility. We expect more air suspension options and magnetic ride technology to provide better fuel economy, load-carrying capability, comfort and handling. It wouldn't surprise us if the computer systems on new vehicles will be better able to predict what's likely to happen next on the road, possibly leaning into a turn at the first steering input to make a big truck feel more like midsize car.

Active anti-roll-bar systems already found in Range Rover SUVs, luxury sedans, and Toyota's and Lexus' active suspensions could improve highway and trail performance for small and large pickups. The Toyota 4Runner SUV's cross-linked shock system is an impressive active suspension system that works as well in four-wheel drive as it does when entering a 240-degree curving freeway on-ramp.

We also predict that as sales of luxury-model pickups increase, we'll be more likely to see more canyon-carving trucks with independent rear suspensions. The new 2017 Ridgeline will have coil rear springs and an IRS, and is anticipated to have a payload of 1,600 pounds; likewise, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris midsize commercial van (also with coil springs and IRS) has a minimum payload rating of 1,800 pounds, more than many half-ton pickups.  

Bushing technology also is likely to improve, perhaps adding a self-adjusting or computer-controlled aspect to them, allowing them to quiet engine vibration or wheel chatter while allowing precise steering. Less vibration means quieter and less-stressed parts and pieces.

And we expect broader application of magnet ride systems, perhaps even grouped with towing packages where damper behavior would be modified simply by engaging Tow/Haul mode or when sensing heavier loads.

Front suspensions may adopt a dual ball-joint lower coupling and have been used on everything from VW Passats to BMW SUVs and the new Lexus LS. This arrangement pays big dividends in bump absorption, handling and directional stability, and leaves more room for axle shafts and bigger brakes to move freely and stay cool.

Further down the road, we expect tuning of active suspension pieces like air springs, self-adjusting shocks or active anti-roll bars to link with cameras and navigation data to prime the suspension before it hits a bump or comes to a sharp bend, making the suspension more predictive than reactive. No matter what happens, we're confident we'll be getting more sophisticated and smarter suspensions to keep our pickups under control.

Manufacturer Images

Ram 25 rr air[4] II2015 Ram 2500 rear airbag and multi-link suspension, compressor, and air tank (above)

 

Ram 15 rr air[5] II

2015 Ram 1500 rear air suspension and monotube shocks

 

Pwr Wag swaybar disc[3] II

2015 Ram Power Wagon front swaybar disconnect

 

16 pilot rr susp II

2015 Honda Pilot rear independent suspension

 

Comments

Some Mexican manufacturers have bigger issues!

http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/almost-400-000-old-ford-escape-suvs-recalled-1560352974

I do believe that the use of carbon fibre and the lay of the fabric will ultimately provide the cheapest method of springing.

A great attribute of the use of composite materials is the ability to change the characteristics of how it can be designed to bear loads.

On the other side of the coin, pickups have become a family trickster, so the capapbilities and refinement expectations of older pickups have long been gone.

As is widely known most pickups never work anywhere near their designed capability.

This is why Ram has done a great job with the latest Ram 1500 by realising that springing must suit the arduous day to day activities of picking up kids from soccer and the occasional trip to The Home Depot to buy a cordless drill and a bag of mulch.

I do know one problem with the Ram is the poor handling I encountered in the Hemi SLT I rented. But having pickups with low load capabilities like most NA pickups will have this impact.

The 1983 Chevy S10/GMC S15 4x4 had Independent Front Suspension, therefore the author needs to correct his opening paragraph about GM's first offering in a 4WD pickup truck.

Currently GM leads in truck suspension development with its magnetic ride control offered on the full GMC Denali.

"GM is the truck leader leading the way for all to follow." - Lou_BC

You forgot to mention REBEL with standard all 4 corners air suspension. FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck market.

Another ahead of the time and very interesting suspension is Li'l Blue from Jeep.

Li’l Blue had its roots in the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, the world’s first independent-suspension 4x4.

Vertical wheel travel (articulation) is harder to increase in an independent suspension, due to the limits of powered joints — the angles of the joints are firmly limited.

The team working on Li’l Blue started by researching the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer design; its independent front suspension was the first of its kind, but it did have shortcomings, which Evan Boberg, Bob Sheaves, and Gerry Hentschel addressed. They started out with a deDion independent suspension, but, to increase wheel travel and ground clearance, connected the differential to the suspension so that it travelled with the wheel. Evan Boberg and Gerald Hentschel were registered as inventors for Chrysler Corporation in the 1993 application.

One of the clever aspects of the system is that in cases where one wheel was particularly loaded, e.g. if one side of the vehicle was going over a rock or into a ditch, the differential would be pulled up by that wheel, providing better ground clearance regardless of which side was higher. This helps to counter the independent suspension’s issues with jounce and rebound.

Evan Boberg wrote, in his book Common Sense Not Required, that for an independent front suspension to have the same off-road capability as a Hotchkiss design, wheel travel had to be increased to about 12 inches.

The challenge in achieving this much wheel travel in an independent design is the universal joint angle design limits in the drive shafts [if the joint is too severe, it will quickly break under power]. Off-road racecars use very exotic joints and achieve large amounts of travel, but do not put torque through these joints except when necessary.

... We invented an IFS design which did not compromise the drive shaft angles and had 12 inches of travel. This design had off-road capability equal to the beam axle design.

http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/lil-blue.html

I think that more is coming and I hope, that some other exotic truck manufacturers, like Mercedes and Kia or Hyundai will bring something new and reliable.


FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck and offroad market for now.


GUTS

GLORY

THE SUSPENSION LEADER

RAM!

I didn't post this last comment, but I completely agree with that.

This topic is going to be very quiet one from ford. It's like non existent.



I completely agree with that last comment.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2014/10/26/nhtsa-investigates-pace-dodge-ram-truck-recall-fixes/17957315/

http://www.edmunds.com/recalls/ram.html

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/07/youve-got-a-recalled-ram-now-what.html

Ram is the suspension leader in recalls...recalls that have never been fixed causing a 105 million dollar fine and 1.4 billion vehicles must be bought back.

Jeeps fires and 50 deaths....oh the FCA is in TROUBLE....trying to merge with GM,Toyota and VW... nobody wants any part of Sergio's mess.

go to the Dodge truck forum... topic who does not have a problem with the Ram air ride suspension? lol.... poor clueless consumers scammed by Fiat.

The end is near...Ram will be the next great white buffalo...Extinct!

Buyers beware....Fiat is desperately trying to unload the unreliable,ill constructed garbage.

Rams now fail crash tests and are death traps when they roll...Death wobble still exists in their truck and rear axles are locking up as they did not fix on recall....these vehicles are a hazard to their customers and a threat to people and pedestrians on the roadways!

Ram is not the suspension leader when they have the lowest payload.

Ram is not the leader when they cannot obtain parts for recalls years after the recall.

Ram is not the leader when they want to merge with Suzuki.

Don't exceed 800 lb payload in a Ram...they squat to pee and it effects the braking and steering.

This truck is known for it's steering and suspension issues when unloaded...it becomes magnified and unsafe when loaded.

$105 million dollar fine and they have to buy back 1.4 billion in vehicles....Avoid this brand..the owner is looking for a sucker to conduct a merger.....

Fiat is doomed and headed for big failure....do not waste your money and be caught owning this recall relic headed for another bankruptcy!

Best suspension in Ram's own mind.....just don't mind the problems....don't expect them to have the parts available for the repairs....and expect to be on years long waiting lists for repair.

Chrysler’s failed recalls

The lawsuit alleges that Chrysler learned about a defect with Dodge Ram trucks in the mid-2000s, but waited four years before conducting a series of botched recalls, beginning in 2009 and continuing until 2013. Chrysler classified the recalls as Safety Recalls, H36, H46, K28, L16, N62, N49, and N63. The recalls addressed various parts of the trucks’ steering linkage system, including its tie rod assemblies. Consumers reported that Chrysler lacked replacement parts to repair all the vehicles for which it submitted recall notices, and that drivers have been put on long waiting lists for repairs.

http://www.girardgibbs.com/death-wobble/

You forgot to mention Ram air suspension under load enters into protection mode and is redenered useless.....


air suspension limits

I wanted to see at what limits the air suspension would go into protection mode and how that acted. To test that, I filled containers of water of known sizes in the bed. Given that water weighs 8.33 lbs/gal it was easy to calculate the load.

The truck is a Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 that weighs 5950 with full tanks but no people or gear, so the rated payload is 1000 (the weight label says 1020). Your truck may be different.

The air suspension worked in all modes up to about 1600 at which point it would not raise to off-road mode. The message displayed was, "Selected Ride Height Not Permitted Due to Payload."

At about 1850 it would not work in any mode. At 2100 the compressor was cycling on frequently even though the air suspension was not working. I assume the compressor will shut down if it starts to overheat.

Not as good as I had hoped, especially the roughly 1600 limit, but not as bad as it might have been.

http://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/ram-1500-diesel-suspension-chassis/2481-air-suspension-limits.html

The problem is payload.

We know the stock components are good to at least 1900 lbs payload because some versions--basic standard cab, 8-ft box, Pentastar--have that rating. Of course, the problem is taking a high-end model with 900 lbs of options and a 1000-lb payload and trying to add another 1000 lbs to that.

In my case the factory air suspension starts to complain at about 600 lbs over rated payload in a static condition, and it quits completely at about 850 lbs over. I can't say what driving long-term at, say, 500 lbs over would do to other components. We will not know the actual limit until someone tries it and breaks something.

Best suspension? Then how come Williams and Sundling said it handled the worst under load and was horrible....

Trailer squat: Williams disliked "the horrible sagging when the Ram was loaded with bed cargo. It's uncomfortable to look at and has the headlights pointing skyward." "With this squat," Sundling added, "it handles the worst with a trailer, fishtailing."

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html

For all if you talking about air suspension payload, please look at the RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 payload numbers with air suspension and compare it with other trucks payload numbers and their squads , which is non existent on any RAM with air suspension.

Please post fact numbers , not your personal feelings.
This is not a Dr. Phill web site, but PUTC.

Ram rebel rti score=402 per fourwheeler
Ford raptor rti score=550.9 per tfltruck
2015 f150 4x4 rti score=420 per edmunds


The air suspension on the ram isn't much for offroad. The air setup really limits travel. You want to raise the height with air its equivalent doing a body lift.... It does nothing of any benefit offroad.

@Scott
What about squat when fully loded Raptor and Rebel. What about rti, when fully loaded Raptor and Rebel. Eh ?

@Scott
What about squat when fully loded Raptor and Rebel. What about rti, when fully loaded Raptor and Rebel. Eh ?

@Scott
What about squat when fully loded Raptor and Rebel. What about rti, when fully loaded Raptor and Rebel. Eh ?

Rti should stay the same.... Its the limits of the travel. With air suspension adding or taking air away in an air suspension doesnt take travel away.... Full loaded both the raptor and rebel are like 900 lbs of capacity so its not that much really.

The suspension between a regular air suspension ram and a rebel is the same except for some pepboys bilstiens that come on the rebel. Offroad 2 setting is the same as offroad setting in the rebel. Offroad 1 in the regular ram is the normal ride height of the rebel. There are 4 total positions in the regular ram and 3 in the rebel. They just made highway and entry exit the same setting in the rebel cause they couldnt lower it to entry exit mode due to the tire size. A regular ram will rti just as well as the rebel and maybe even a touch better in the regular ram.

@Scott
The fully loaded Ford Raptor or any other model will bottom on the rubber bumpers all the time when offroading going over obstacles with one wheel. That's not the case wirh air suspension on Rebel or any other RAM 1500,2500 or 3500 with air suspension.
The experience when loaded and going offroad is going to be night and day. When empty, it's going to be just about the same, but when loaded, it's big difference and huge limitations for any truck without air suspension
I heard, that ford customers use their trucks loaded , not empty.
RAM customers will take full advantage of air suspension on their trucks whe loaded on the road or offroad.

How did the suspension comparison start to include off road capability and suspensions travel? There are many commenters who point out that towing/payload capacities are rarely used by most pickup truck owners, usually while making excuses for the RAM 1500 pathetic payload. Even less owners will use off road capability than towing/hauling, so it must really be irrelevant.

Most of the comments here amount to little more than chest thumping, with no facts or useful information.

@Matt
That's not the case with my RAM I use for camping pulling trailer and full of gears. Many truck owners drives empty, not me.
The tests performed by any truck oriented web side are done mostly on road and if offroad, never loaded. That's not the real life situation. No one goes offroad without any gears. I have truck loaded full of tools, water, gasoline, generator and camping gears, pulling trailer.
Raptor or any Fseries performs good empty offroad. I'd like to see some testing when loaded . Squat is going to effects handling and offroad bottoming. Any RAM with air suspension eliminates this shortcomings other trucks experience when loaded.

I just saw a commercial for the John Deere side by side Gator and it said payload was 1200 pounds. Man that's more than a Ram 1500. A bunch of Wal-Mart bags will put the Ram over its payload limits. Be careful what you put in a Ram cause you'll make sparks!

except the air suspension goes into limp mode with payload...lol.

Steering problems,suspension problems,electrical problems,fail crash test,fail roof impact test.

105 million dollar fine and 1.4 billion dollar buyout

guts,gory... Ram

The ram payload is that of an SUV. most Fiat people do not take a ram off road as roadside assistance won't help them...they buy jeeps like the ones that caused 50 deaths that way the fire department shows up and helps them.

"Fiat is doomed and headed for big failure....do not waste your money and be caught owning this recall relic headed for another bankruptcy"
Posted by: canadianthoughts | Apr 17, 2016 12:37:28 PM

lol canadianbonehead going on about Fiat, while the Mexican Ford does this....

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/146873/20160404/ford-recalls-nearly-50k-vehicles-in-us-for-fire-risk.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-motor-recalls-idUSKBN0NK1J120150429

Not that anyone cares about Canadians, but isn't this the pot calling the kettle black....lol

http://wwmt.com/news/auto-matters/ford-issues-3-safety-recalls

Maybe Ford can milk more money out of the Canadian government then move to Mexico! Those Canadians are a special kind of dumb....lol

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/ford-picks-mexico-over-windsor-for-engine-plant-union-says-1.2811843

@Ram will argue any point to say his Ram truck is the king ...but we all know he is full of it.

he will cry about Ford Brakes but there has been only 35 reported cases. no accidents or deaths .

but Ram will look the other way when we tell him Fiat has to buy back 1.4 billion worth of recalled FCA junk and they got the largest fine in auto history.

He goes on to say how the Hemi is the best but doesn't see it is not a hemi at all as it does not have hemispherical heads.

ecoboosts suck according to Ram..yet when we point out Fiat will be making a twin turbo 6 now their the greatest because of Fiats expertise...lol. Yeah we have seen their expertise at making unreliable vehicles and ignoring recalls. Fiat hopes by 2018 and that would be 8 years behind FORD.

Next major news coming Ram ZF8 transmissions...many,many owners complaining about clunking...all Ram does is flash the computer and owners leave to discover problem is still there.

Brand new ram trucks with less then 1800 miles have the rear ends seize....a couple only had half the required fluid.

The end is near for FCA. Ram trucks will be worth the same price international 1/2 tons once were. Parts will be non existent,although that appears to be the case today!

New Rams are rusting after only weeks..dealer and Chrysler ignoring the problem ...some very upset owners!

Actually canadainbonehead RAM is a POS...just like Ford POS!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePsFoa5h0Ao

lol

@Ford orgullosa de ser mexicana.....yeah the little wet back forgot to mention 50 deaths with jeeps and the number is counting.

every brand has recalls but i guess the HUGE difference would be the other brands correct their recalls and do not get the largest fine in the auto industry like Fiat. 105 million dollars plus they have to buy back 1.4 billion worth of vehicles... a new record of utter incompetence!

Rams are already built in Mexico for years but Ford can't?

Another Fiat employee spreading a misrepresentation of the true facts.

Yeah us Canadians must be dumb when we saved the American hostages in Iran. Yeah the same Canadians who invented basketball and brought hockey to your country.

Kinda like WWII come late then claim you saved the day... Yeah Canadians don't notice...world trade center incident of 911....America invades Afghanistan and iraq...now it comes out a secret 28 page document shows it was the saudi's who financially brokered the deal.... what so you invaded two countries illegally? War crimes much? oh what about vietnam...lets create another false falg and kill 60.000 of our young men and would thousands more.

Bin Laden ...we buried him at sea and seals fighting over who shot him. How much do you want to bet this was a ci operative and he is comfortably sitting in his kingdom of saud.

lol.... yeah America has so much over us canadians! psfft!

U understand it's hard for you people to focus and to stay on topic this time, because this topic is not existent in your truck supplier books, so I would suggest just listen this time and it will be your turn next time, when we talk about something else maybe.

Bottomed down truck under load doesn't have the same axle articulation, like truck with air suspension, without any squat Scott.
So no, the rti won't stay the same.
If you drive empty on road or offroad, buy GM or Ford. If you want to get most of your truck, buy RAM with air suspension.
I installed rear air ride from TLC and couldn't be happier driving loaded on road and offroad.
PUTC, I have a suggestion for you to test, how easy is to install aftermarket rear axle air ride on different type of suspension.
RAM is the inly one to have this option done by manufacturer and all the other manufacturers will need to follow , because customers are demanding more on road and offroad safety and better handling when loaded. There is no any other way around this issue. Even semitruck has Air ride.
Any serious truck maker needs to have one.


Canadainbonehead thinks Ford is still and American company....lol

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/07/ford-to-build-plant-in-mexico-ramp-up-output-from-the-country-wsj.html

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/09/why-ford-is-planning-to-make-more-cars-in-mexico.aspx

Yet he keeps talking about the even bigger POS that Fiat makes...lol Idiot must have bought a RAM and got screwed over...like most Canadians do.

http://business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/were-fighting-an-uphill-battle-when-automakers-promises-end-canada-may-have-to-say-goodbye.

Just another popcorn fart Canadian...lol

I remember when they actually had an army in WW2...unfortunately they are now using that same WW2 tank! These days the Canadian army couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaRd4d8hOY

This is how your truck looks like, when you drive loaded without air suspension.

http://transportfool.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/overloaded.jpg

GUTS
GL
ORAM
Y

Funny how GM has been using Coil Spring Rears for years with much higher payloads then Ram 1500's in their full size SUV's. Ford developed a Rear IRS for the Expedition with a much higher payload then Ram 1500. Ram even with air bags is another Ram fail.

Ram... You load up some payload as you rti a truck your wheel will still drop and the other will suck up to the bump stop just the same as it did when unloaded. There isnt some magic force at work that wont let the axle drop on onside and suck up on the other side.

@Scott
The offroad experience going over any bumps or rocks with bottomed down suspension is not pleasant and basically impossible. So rti in this case is not a parameter which you should bring to the discussion anyway, because it's not related. What rti is good for, on the ramp, if you don't have any travel for rear axle left, to take car of any bumps or rocks ? Useless parameter for loaded truck suspension discussion. But yes, it looks giod on the paper. Real life situation is different story completely.


The air suspension on the ram isn't much for offroad. The air setup really limits travel. You want to raise the height with air its equivalent doing a body lift.... It does nothing of any benefit offroad.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 17, 2016 2:03:13 PM

You are wrong. Air suspension is not equivalent to the body lift.

Rti measure suspension flex and articulation. The higher the number typically the better the vehicle is offroad in slower situations cause it keeps wheels on the ground longer. The 402 that the rebel scored is bad cause a regular f150 will easily beat a rebel offroad tire tread dependent.

@Scott
Empty. But ford guys never drive empty. Payload is only they care about. Remember?

The air suspension on the ram isn't much for offroad. The air setup really limits travel. You want to raise the height with air its equivalent doing a body lift.... It does nothing of any benefit offroad.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 17, 2016 2:03:13 PM

You are wrong. Air suspension is not equivalent to the body lift.

Load on the truck without air suspension limits travel.


The ram suspension on half ton trucks is a joke. At least ram still offers a straight axle on the heavy duty 4x4 truck front suspension. Gm has the worst 4x4 fronts on the heavy duty trucks. Gmc and Chevy fans have been begging gm for years to offer a straight axle on the heavy duty's and gm won't listen. Ford by far has the best heavy duty trucks on the road. Ford listens to the customer and that's why they are the number 1 truck seller in the world. It's called a super dana 60 straight axle, greatest 4x4 front end ever. It was invented by a white man, for a white man. To bad for gm they have woman and lgbt designing their trucks. LMAO!!!!!

@Natethegreat78
Well, that's just your opinion and feelings you presented in here. You are at the wrong forum.

You forgot to mention REBEL with standard all 4 corners air suspension. FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck market.

Another ahead of the time and very interesting suspension is Li'l Blue from Jeep.

Li’l Blue had its roots in the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, the world’s first independent-suspension 4x4.

Vertical wheel travel (articulation) is harder to increase in an independent suspension, due to the limits of powered joints — the angles of the joints are firmly limited.

The team working on Li’l Blue started by researching the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer design; its independent front suspension was the first of its kind, but it did have shortcomings, which Evan Boberg, Bob Sheaves, and Gerry Hentschel addressed. They started out with a deDion independent suspension, but, to increase wheel travel and ground clearance, connected the differential to the suspension so that it travelled with the wheel. Evan Boberg and Gerald Hentschel were registered as inventors for Chrysler Corporation in the 1993 application.

One of the clever aspects of the system is that in cases where one wheel was particularly loaded, e.g. if one side of the vehicle was going over a rock or into a ditch, the differential would be pulled up by that wheel, providing better ground clearance regardless of which side was higher. This helps to counter the independent suspension’s issues with jounce and rebound.

Evan Boberg wrote, in his book Common Sense Not Required, that for an independent front suspension to have the same off-road capability as a Hotchkiss design, wheel travel had to be increased to about 12 inches.

The challenge in achieving this much wheel travel in an independent design is the universal joint angle design limits in the drive shafts [if the joint is too severe, it will quickly break under power]. Off-road racecars use very exotic joints and achieve large amounts of travel, but do not put torque through these joints except when necessary.

... We invented an IFS design which did not compromise the drive shaft angles and had 12 inches of travel. This design had off-road capability equal to the beam axle design.

http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/lil-blue.html

I think that more is coming and I hope, that some other exotic truck manufacturers, like Mercedes and Kia or Hyundai will bring something new and reliable.


FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck and offroad market for now.

You forgot to mention REBEL with standard all 4 corners air suspension. FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck market.

Another ahead of the time and very interesting suspension is Li'l Blue from Jeep.

Li’l Blue had its roots in the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, the world’s first independent-suspension 4x4.

Vertical wheel travel (articulation) is harder to increase in an independent suspension, due to the limits of powered joints — the angles of the joints are firmly limited.

The team working on Li’l Blue started by researching the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer design; its independent front suspension was the first of its kind, but it did have shortcomings, which Evan Boberg, Bob Sheaves, and Gerry Hentschel addressed. They started out with a deDion independent suspension, but, to increase wheel travel and ground clearance, connected the differential to the suspension so that it travelled with the wheel. Evan Boberg and Gerald Hentschel were registered as inventors for Chrysler Corporation in the 1993 application.

One of the clever aspects of the system is that in cases where one wheel was particularly loaded, e.g. if one side of the vehicle was going over a rock or into a ditch, the differential would be pulled up by that wheel, providing better ground clearance regardless of which side was higher. This helps to counter the independent suspension’s issues with jounce and rebound.

Evan Boberg wrote, in his book Common Sense Not Required, that for an independent front suspension to have the same off-road capability as a Hotchkiss design, wheel travel had to be increased to about 12 inches.

The challenge in achieving this much wheel travel in an independent design is the universal joint angle design limits in the drive shafts [if the joint is too severe, it will quickly break under power]. Off-road racecars use very exotic joints and achieve large amounts of travel, but do not put torque through these joints except when necessary.

... We invented an IFS design which did not compromise the drive shaft angles and had 12 inches of travel. This design had off-road capability equal to the beam axle design.

http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/lil-blue.html

I think that more is coming and I hope, that some other exotic truck manufacturers, like Mercedes and Kia or Hyundai will bring something new and reliable.


FCA is a suspension leader in the pickup truck and offroad market for now.

10 years from now whats goin to be the cost of a ram air supension?

The old Czech Tatra trucks had independent suspensions for almost hundred years...why cant our manufacturers do something this good

https://youtu.be/5UkAyAzhmsA

https://youtu.be/JDynVAv8-MU

Guys, all this arguing between Ford and Ram fans about who's suspension and weight carrying abilities are better. It's all pretty funny from my vantage point.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html



The comments to this entry are closed.