## Air Suspension

Is air suspension suitable for All terrain vehicles?
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 Blog Entries: 2 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor It depends on what you mean by air suspension.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor I suspect the substitution of some type of air bag vs mechanical spring/ shock damper traditional suspension would be more expensive more complicated more difficult to repair in the bush less rugged and durable would require air lines ( these are open to snagging on rocks, tree limbs etc) valving control module ..subject to vibration..and off road thats all that you are gonna get big air tank reservoir..where you gonna mount it..limited space on these short wheel base rides and what is the benefit? a smoother ride..off road???? on the plus side you got an air compressor available for any flat tire repairs

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## Air Suspension

Coilless gas charged shocks (a.k.a. air shocks) are a new high-performance option for off-road trucks, but they're somewhat expensive. The shocks eschew traditional coil springs for a unit pressurized with nitrogen (shock forks utilizing similar technology are also available on mountain bikes).

The O.P. doesn't specify what he means by an "air suspension" or "all terrain vehicle" so it's impossible to answer his question more specifically.

 well i mean using alternatives for springs ,air bag type etc .But a smoother ride can be ensured using this type of suspension ,shocks experienced are less...so i thought if they could be effective in All Terrain Vehicles.But as you listed out all the cons ..though it provides smoother ride it does not suit ATVs.
 Blog Entries: 2 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Well as you can see in my previous post, air shocks are already being used on customized 4x4 vehicles; there's no reason the same technology couldn't be applied to an ATV. In addition, most mid to high-end mountain bikes come with air shocks as well- the shock forks use pressized air for front and rear suspensions. Take for example this Santa Cruz Nomad which has front and rear air shocks:
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Whoa up fellows...there is no such thing as AIR shocks...even the old style air shocks ( were popular in the muscle car era) were conventional oil filled shocks that had a rubber bladder that could be inflated to raise the ride height of the car. As the air bladder inflated, it limited the shock travel and ride quality. ALL automotive and motorcycle shocks use " shock oil" that is forced through orifices to dampen the rate of compression or rebound. Lets review. Shocks provide resistance by forcing hydraulic fluid (oil) through valves in the piston as it moves up and down. Because the oil cannot be compressed, only a certain amount of fluid can be forced through these valves, which creates resistance to the vehicle movement. "GAS" shocks are superior to regular hydraulic shocks because air in the shock is replaced by pressurized nitrogen gas. The gas in the shocks is contained in a bladder to prevent the mixture of the gas and the shock oil, which is different from shocks where the oil is stored in a separate chamber or stored in the oil chamber. This advancement in technology prevents bubbles from forming in the hydraulic fluid. These bubbles, called foaming, reduces the ability of shocks to provide resistance and prevent bounce. Gas shocks also quicken the response of a shock's movement thereby increasing comfort and control under all conditions. When you think gas..think Nitrogen because it has less moisture and better properties than normal " air". We run the Penske "gas" shocks on the race car that achieve their damping with fluid being forced through a series of spring steel washers. Changing the thickness of these washers produces different valvings. Racers themselves can change the valving at the track! It makes these Penske shocks both rebuildable and revalvable. Not only can the racers change the oil themselves, but they can change the valving stack to achieve a different value. To illustrate how easy it is, both the compression and rebound damping can be changed in less than 10 minutes with no special tools (except an inflation valve to pressurize the shock with nitrogen. We carry a bottle of nitrogen in the trailer for this purpose and to inflate the tires.) In the old days we had to carry a whole bunch of conventional shocks and swap them out as they were manufactured with different compression and rebound rates. At $100 a shock this adds up! Penske shocks cost$400 and up...each! Another feature that makes these shocks the hot setup is that since they are rebuildable by the user, they can also be repaired by the user. If you bend the shaft on a Penske shock, you can fix it for about \$40. With sealed shocks, you would have to buy another new shock if you bend it and on round track YOU WILL bend quite a few. So why the switch to gas shocks? Racers over the years found shock consistency to be a problem in two separate areas. First, shocks would not stay consistent ..see above info on "foaming) and secondly, after extended usage (over 30 to 40 hours of race time), the oil inside the shocks tended to break down and thus lose its viscous properties. After finding this out, shock engineers started investigating different oils for use in the shocks. They also investigated oil change intervals to keep the shocks as consistent as possible. The end result points to changing the shock oil after 30 hours of use, which translates into about a third to a half of a short track racer's season. Now a set of shocks, with proper maintenance and rebuilds, will last a racer five years or more. One final note: unless you come up with some totally new "air suspension" we are stuck with a variant of the tried and true spring/shock design.
 i was asked to design an off-road quad ,so i thought i could go for air suspension(tapered sleeve type) as double wishbone is conventional .But due to quad dimensions and weight issues i need to reconsider this..

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 Quote by Ranger Mike Whoa up fellows...there is no such thing as AIR shocks...
You're very knowledgeable in the areas of race car suspensions, but let's be honest: you're nit-picking without any useful goal. I posted two perfect examples of what are colloquially known as modern coilless gas charged shocks a.k.a. "air shocks," as in they use compressed nitrogen ("air") in the shock's body to provide the suspension spring rather than a coil or leaf spring. Preload and spring force characteristics can be adjusted by adjusting pressure in the shock.

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 Quote by Ranger Mike One final note: unless you come up with some totally new "air suspension" we are stuck with a variant of the tried and true spring/shock design.
Please point out the spring in this picture:

 Quote by 4WheelOffRoad.com Air shocks are a compromise between a shock and a spring. They are very similar to nitrogen-charged emulsion shocks. However, you will quickly notice that air shocks have a much larger chrome shaft that runs out of the body. ... These new air shocks look very much like the coilover shocks used by desert racers and rockcrawlers, but without the coil springs around the outside of the shock body. What really makes folks scratch their head is that no other type of spring is used with air shocks-no coils, leaves, or airbags. The air shock itself works as both spring and shock in a cheap, lightweight, and simple package...
 Blog Entries: 2 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor So you copied and pasted the entire article I posted a link to... what point are you trying to make? My point is that suspension systems already exist which have no coil/leaf spring whatsoever. The OP's question is whether an air suspension could be used on an ATV, which the answer is undoubtedly yes- it's already being done!
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor mech eng you said i was nit picking without a specific goal...ok, maybe ( engineers and nit picking could take up a whole new thread) i can live with the commnet.. I would have left it alone except YOU asked me to point out the SPRING in the picture.. I did... nuff said
 if we do use air shocks type for off-road vehicles wont there be any air leak problems ?

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