Post Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:12 am

2002 Blackwood Driving Dynamics

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Driving Dynamics
Blackwood is designed to offer superb handling and a smooth, quiet and controlled ride over a wide range of road surfaces. The suspension was carefully engineered to optimize its nearly 50/50 weight balance. Tuned spring rates and stabilizer bars help maintain a level ride during maneuvers.

The independent short- and long-arm (SLA) front suspension uses coil springs and shock absorbers with acceleration-sensitive damping. The shocks allow quick suspension travel in response to sharp bumps, such as potholes or pavement edges, while offering more resistance to slower movements, such as body roll. This provides the smoother ride of soft-rate shocks, with the control of firm shock valving when maneuvering.

The rear suspension uses acceleration-sensitive shocks with a hybrid of leaf and air springs that virtually eliminates the abrupt spring rate transitions common to conventional leaf spring designs. Such transitions could produce a jarring ride over large bumps. Blackwood's single leaf spring has a parabolic cross-section, designed to handle the weight of the unloaded vehicle on the rear axle - about 3,000 pounds at normal deflection.

As passengers or cargo are added, the extra weight is taken up by the air springs. Air pressure in the springs - which are shaped like flexible vertical cylinders - adjust automatically to maintain ride height. The air springs are progressive, meaning they are able to generate a plush ride in the normal operating range, but offer increasingly stiff resistance as the axle approaches the limits of travel, which helps to prevent bottoming.

To improve stability, the rear shocks are staggered - one toward the front, one angled rearward - for better control of the solid axle over road irregularities. At the extreme of axle travel, micro-cellular urethane jounce bumpers provide a more progressive halt than solid rubber bumpers. The more they are compressed, the more resistance they offer, in order to keep the axle from striking the frame under an exceptional load, which can occur when striking a deep, sharp-edged pothole. Anti-windup bars attached to the rear axle help to prevent wheel hop under strong acceleration, and maintain traction on wet or loose surfaces.

Tires developed specially for the Blackwood – P275/55R-18 Michelin Cross-Terrain tires mounted on 18x8-inch machined aluminum wheels – make a major contribution to its ride characteristics.

The recirculating-ball power-steering system uses a new variable-assist power-steering control that very closely matches the characteristics of the Lincoln LS rack and pinion, which was the team's benchmark. In low-speed situations, such as parallel parking, it provides more power assist to reduce steering effort. At higher speeds, power assist is reduced to contribute to a tighter, more precise steering feel.
John "Old School" Dancy, Primos, Pennsylvania, US
"They're only factory original once."
"All of this is assuming that everything else in the system is stock and well maintained."
"Expearence is the abillity to reconise a misteak befor you mak it agan."
"PROGRESS ... NOT PERFECTION!"
1984(2)|1985|1986|1988|1990(2) Lincoln Mark VIIs

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