The car chassis is like the skeleton of the human body. The chassis is also known as the ‘frame’. It is the base structure of any car that supports it from below. The purpose of the car chassis is to support the load of the car in its idle and dynamic state. Most people don’t get a chance to choose the chassis for their car and many people don’t care much about them. But, if you have some level of chassis knowledge, it can help determine the capabilities of your car.
There are four main types of the car chassis here :
Ladder Car Chassis
Named for the shape it mimics, the ladder frame chassis is one of the oldest types of chassis. This type of car chassis characterized by two long and heavy beams supported by two shorter ones. Its easy-to-manufacture quality not only made it popular today. But also facilitated its mass production. Since the ladder frame chassis is quite heavy. Used for vehicles carrying heavy materials.
- Easy to build and easy to mount the car on top of.
- Heavy and strong tensile strength.
- Weak turning ability due to weak torsional stiffness
- Its heaviness does not make it suitable for performance cars and hatchbacks.
Monocoque is French for ‘single shell’. This unibody framework named after its structural perspective. Monocoque frames were first used on ships, then planes. It took a long time for manufacturers to find them suitable for cars as well. A monocoque is like the endoskeleton of a car that is made up of a chassis. And a complete basic frame that fit into a single unit. The monocoque chassis is by far the most popular chassis. it has many advantages over the other two chassis types.
- easy to repair.
- Better torsional toughness
- Its cage-shaped design makes it safe.
- Small-scale monocoque chassis production is not justified. Thus be quite expensive for the small number of cars produced.
- The fusion of frame and chassis makes it quite heavy
A three-dimensional derivative of the ladder frame. The tubular frame used in high-performance cars due to its excellent safety. Tubular frames, rarely seen on passenger cars, are much stronger than ladder frames. It popularized the use of a stronger frame under the doors for greater cohesive strength.
- better stiffness for a chassis of the same weight.
- The good stiffness-to-weight ratio makes the car light and strong. A very favorite for race cars.
- Tubular chassis are quite complex in design. They certainly cannot manufactured by conventional methods.
- They are time-consuming to produce and cannot be mass-produced.
- Not suitable for passenger cars.
- The tubular chassis raises the doors. Making access to the passenger compartment is a little more difficult.
Like the ladder frame chassis, the spine chassis is also named for the shape it represents. Hollow rectangular cross-section and a cylindrical tube connecting the front. And rear suspension like a backbone. The cylindrical tube surrounds the drive shaft. You can find the main chassis in the Skoda Rapid, one of the most popular cars.
- Its construction allows better contact between the half shaft and the ground. which makes it more suitable for off-road driving.
- A cylindrical tube covering the driveshaft protects it from damage during off-road driving.
- The torsional strength of the frame is softer than that of the ladder frame.
- If the driveshaft fails, the entire chassis must disassemble. Because the driveshaft covered by the barrel of the chassis.
- The backbone chassis is expensive to manufacture and adds to the cost of the car.