The Pitch Machine

Posted on February 21st, 2012 in Opinion,Suspension by Julian Edgar

In the story on suspension design that was published in AutoSpeed today, I said:

One standard model of car that I often see has a clear pitch problem: once you recognise its behaviour, you can see these cars porpoising along on all sorts of road surfaces! (No wonder I felt ill when I rode in the back of one.)

For those of you who live in Australia, that car is the current VE Commodore.

When you are driving in a lane adjacent to a VE Commodore, and especially when you can see it from the rear three-quarters perspective, carefully watch its body behaviour.

What you will see is dramatic pitching over bumps.

Rather than the car as a whole moving up and downwards on its suspension as the bump is met and absorbed, the back rises and falls, and the front rises and falls – and when the back is up, the front is down, and when the back is down, the front is up!

It is fascinating watching a VE pitch, and then watch another car pass over just the same bump and barely pitch at all.

I reckon that Holden suspension designers have completely forgotten this aspect of suspension design – if of course they even knew of it in the first place.

One Response to 'The Pitch Machine'

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  1. Brett said,

    on February 29th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I have also noticed the same thing, the rear end pitches up and down ridiculously in base model VEs (FE2 sprung units aren’t much better).