Piston Slap: Strut 'yo Stuff or Make A Wish?
When you wish...
TTAC Commentator Seminole 95 writes:
I enjoyed reading the responses on my NVH question.
Here’s another question for you. How significant is that Honda uses a double wishbone suspension on their family sedan (the Accord) whereas the Toyota Camry, Chevy Impala, and Hyundai Sonata use the cheaper MacPherson strut? Does the DW suspension make handling better in the turns? Does it last longer than a strut suspension, thereby giving you better ride quality as the car ages? Is the DW something that a car buyer should favor, or is it more complicated than that? I remember that many fans complained when Honda switched the Civic from DW to strut.
It looks like the Ford Fusion might use the DW suspension, but I am not sure. Interestingly, it also looks like the BMW 3 series uses a strut suspension, so maybe the DW is not necessary.
I think BMW signed a Deal with the Devil to make such an enlightened driving experience, as many of their famous machines run such illogical items like steering boxes (not rack and pinions) and the aforementioned MacPherson Strut design. Just kidding. Except not…the E39 M5 shouldn’t do what it does with such boneheaded bones. And yet it did! And still does!
Fact is, the suspension design (by itself) isn’t a big issue for most passenger cars. This excludes killer F1-like race vehicles, if you missed that. Odds are there’s more low-hanging fruit in one’s choice of geometry/alignment, spring, shock, sway bar and tire compound than there ever will be in a MacPherson vs. Wishbone quandary.
When it comes to automotive suspensions, I am a big fan of less is more. Which is laughable, considering the multilink design and air bladders in my Lincoln Mark VIII, one of the finest riding/handling cars out there (once you neutral out the handling with Addco sway bars). But my car needed tons of replacement parts after 10+ years and 120,000+ miles, parts which either do not exist or are far cheaper/easier to replace on a normal MacPherson setup. So maybe my point is still valid. Possibly.
I wager this issue is a red herring, the bigger problem is what I mentioned before: spring rates, shock valving and tire quality. Hell, tires are the most important part of this equation! Best and Brightest, off to you!
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Meh... worry more about shocks/struts and the bushing that the suspension rides on. That with tires and wheel sizes will have more affect than anything else.
I'm in the "comfort" camp. I've noticed you can make a double-wishbone front end ride better while maintaining the same handling characteristics (or better) as a stiffer McPherson front-end. The Miata and Mazda6 are wonderful in this regard... though I feel the current Mazda6 iteration has a little too much front-caster for everyday use... it's still much better in terms of feel than the front end of the BMW 3. The MX-5 is simply otherworldly. Double-wishbones and lightness allow it to run a very soft set-up very successfully. But in the end, get the suspension tuning right, and you can make anything handle. Even a live rear axle...