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TESTING

Test

POWER BUFFER - BUFFER WITHOUT USE

The flashy advertising promised an improvement in ride and handling, a 5 cm lift in the body and even an increase in suspension durability - all you have to do is install a Korean product called Power buffer on your car.

Sergey VOSKRESENSKIY

Four bright split rings neatly made of polymeric material (they are installed between the coils of the suspension spring) should, apparently, give the car everything that its creators could not think of. To admit, despite the price of 40 cu, we could not resist the temptation - we decided to try what these pretty products really can do.

The choice fell on the VAZ 2111, and not by chance. It is the owners of the VAZ front-wheel drive enthusiastic about lifting the bodies of their cars above the road. So why not use Power buffer for this?

First, let's try to put all this on the car. From the front, tormented, we still stuff it between the coils of the spring. The rear suspension is not so accommodating. The rubber spacer does not fit into any between smaller and “cohesive” coils. There is only one solution: remove the shock absorber and install the buffer on the “free” springs. We cope with this. Along the way, it turns out that the antisplash cover of the shock absorber rod does not fit inside the “thickened” spring, and therefore, the buffer can only be placed in its lowest position. In general, enthusiasm sharply decreased. But the installation is behind - you can look for the promised advantages.

The first disappointment is not long in coming - the body of the "eleventh" rose only 5-10 mm. The only good news is that the kinematics of the suspensions did not suffer. Before leaving, one more small test is squeezing the suspensions to the limiters. And again, no crime is detected: the springs are fully functional, since the elastic buffers do not overly coil the coils.

Having got out on the road, we very quickly notice that the car has become tougher. He repeats the profile of the road in more detail, reacts sharply to gentle waves, reminding them of too “sharp” vertical movements. With a full load, the situation is completely unusual. The buffers do not allow the suspension to choose the entire compression stroke, as a result the eleventh body strives to jump up all the time on bumps, which is why the shock absorbers hardly hold it.

A car without buffers is definitely more comfortable: with generally large amplitudes of body movements, its suspension is much more reliable in coping with most road surprises.

But from the point of view of buffer vibration, they provide some advantages. With them, the VAZ 2111 more confidently passes seams, joints, blotches on the pavement. The cabin became quieter, the “loose” luggage upholstery “calmed down”.

With handling, the situation is also ambiguous. With buffers, the VAZ 2111 looks a bit more active, reacts faster to steering wheel actions. It would seem great - after all, the entire "tenth" family is so lacking in speed. Alas, the “energy” of buffers is not enough for this. A little outlined sharpness quickly melts as lateral accelerations increase, and the reactions of the machine become even more viscous. With a full load of the buffer, they generally increase the tendency to skid the rear axle, so here their advantage is very controversial.

What can we say about the next promise - to increase the durability of shock absorbers. Theoretically, additional buffers will insure them a little against “breakdown, ” but they will certainly increase the speed of the rods, and the load on the free turns of the springs will increase. It is unlikely that this will extend their service life.