TAPE, LEVER, OIL …
The first cars, like their ancestors - horse-drawn carriages, did without shock absorbers at all. There were enough springs, which themselves served as dampers due to the mutual friction of the sheets. It turned out that the old, dirty and rusty spring damped the vibrations of the car better than the new one. About how shock absorbers appeared, Sergey KANUNNIKOV “remembers”.
To ensure comfort, and most importantly - the stability and controllability of the car at increasing speeds, the designers were required to create damping devices in addition to springs. The first shock absorbers were proposed in 1904. However, they turned out to be weak and therefore very short-lived - they were usually used as rubber parts or additional springs, which limited the course of the main ones.
A more advanced design is presented in the photo on the left. The shock absorber on the Ispano-Suiza car consisted of two scissor arms, one of which was pivotally connected to the axle (spring), and the other to the frame. Fluctuations quenched friction discs, the intensity of which was regulated by a nut. Such shock absorbers survived to the 30s. Widespread in the USA, the tape shock absorber worked only in one direction, not allowing the compressed spring to quickly “relax”. A powerful tape mounted on the axis slid freely when the springs were compressed inside the housing, and during the reverse stroke it was strongly inhibited by the combination of friction plates and a pressure spring.
The first hydraulic (oil) shock absorbers were lever. A small tank was located on the frame, parallel to the last one (the photo on the right represents a later model of the Spanish-Suiza). The shock absorber lever was connected to the rod, which at the other end was connected to the spring. This design, improving, lasted until the 50s - just remember the rear suspension of the "Victory" and ZIM (GAZ-12). In the rear suspension of the Moskvich-401, the shock absorber was mounted, on the contrary, to the spring, and the thrust associated with the lever was attached to the body. In the front suspension of Victory and ZIM, the shock absorber was mounted on the beam of the bridge, and its welded lever of complex shape served simultaneously as the lever of the suspension itself.