What Is Swing Axle? | Swing Axle Suspension | VW Swing Axle

Swing Axle

A swing axle may be a straightforward variety of freelance (rear wheel) suspension designed and proprietary by Edmund Rumpler in 1903. This was a revolutionary invention within the automotive trade, permitting wheels to react to irregularities of road surfaces severally, and change the vehicle to take care of a robust road holding. the primary automotive application was the Rumpler Tropfenwagen, later followed by the Mercedes 130H/150H/170H, the quality Superior, the Volkswagen Beetle, and its derivatives, and therefore the Chevrolet Corvair, amongst others.

VW Swing Axle
Swing axle of the left wheel moves independently.
VW Swing Axle
Swing axle of the Right wheel moves independently.

VW Swing Axle
Both Swing axle of the vehicle moves independently.

Some later automobile rear swing axles have universal joints connecting the driveshafts to the differential, that is hooked up to the chassis. Swing axles don’t have universal joints at the wheels – the wheels square measure forever perpendicular to the driveshafts; the planning is so not appropriate for a car’s front wheels, that need steering motion. Swing shaft suspensions historically used leaf springs and shock absorbers. it had been additionally utilized in early craft (1910 or before), like the Sopwith and Fokker, typically with rubber bungee cord and no damping.


The swing axle suspension has 2 benefits over the everyday live axle:
  • It reduces the unsprung weight of the differential since it mounted to the chassis.
  • The sympathetic camber changes were eliminated on opposite wheels by it.


  • A good quantity of single-wheel camber modification is fully fledged since the wheel is usually perpendicular to the rotating shaft.
  • ‘Jacking’ on suspension system unloading gives a positive camber changes on each side, which results in the overturning of the vehicle.
  • Reduction in cornering forces because of modification in camber will result in oversteer — a dynamically unstable condition wherever a vehicle will lose management and spin — and in extreme cases lift-off oversteer.


Several engineering choices will limit swing shaft handling issues, with variable success:
  • Anti-roll bar: As a style possibility, a front anti-roll bar which might ameliorate the swing shaft car’s handling – shifting weight transfer to the front outboard tire, significantly reducing rear slip angles—thereby avoiding potential oversteer.
  • Single-pivot purpose: Mercedes-Benz addressed the handling problems by manufacturing swing axles with a single-pivot point situated underneath the differential, so well below the shaft. This configuration markedly reduced the tendency to “jack-up” and therefore the later low pivot swing-axle equipped cars were praised in modern publications for his or her handling. The low-pivot swing-axle remained in production with Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE and 300SEL till 1972. it had been fitted to the 300SEL half dozen.3, that was throughout the first 70s the worlds quickest production sedan. AMG-modified half dozen.3s were additionally raced with the stock swing shaft.
  • Tire pressure differential strategy: The Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine and 1st gen Chevrolet Corvair (1960–1964) used a tire pressure differential strategy to eliminate oversteer characteristics of their swing shaft suspension – specifically low front and high rear tire pressure – that evoked understeer. The tire pressure differential strategy offered a big disadvantage: house owners and mechanics might unwittingly however simply-introduce oversteer characteristics by over-inflating the front tires (that is, to typical pressures for alternative cars with alternative suspension systems) or by inflating all four tires to an equivalent pressure. The effectiveness of this feature was criticized in lawsuits within the North American nation throughout the Sixties.
  • Z-bar and roll-inducing springs: To assist their low pivot swing axle, Mercedes-Benz introduced a volute spring-mounted transversely on top of the differential, which transfer load from one facet to the opposite, thus enforce down one wheel once the opposite facet went up. This volute spring will increase the load bearing capability of the rear suspension, thus a replacement lower pressure set of springs was substituted for the same old ones to take care of ride suppleness. an identical impact was achieved by VW’s Z-bar, a roll-bar, as against anti-rolling bar. each device increases the rolling tendency of the rear axles, so reducing the oversteering tendency. Aftermarket roll-inducing springs, additionally known as camber compensators, square measure out there for Porsche, VW and early Corvairs, that reduce oversteering tendencies at the price of accelerating suspension harshness.

VW Swing Axle

  1. Constructed From 4340 Chromoly
  2. Sold As Each
  3. Drag Racing, Sand Or Off-Road
  4. Empi Quality
VW Swing Axle
VW Swing Axle


Ralph Nader in his 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed careful accidents and lawsuits associated with the shortcomings in 1960-1963 models of the primary generation Chevrolet Corvair’s swing-axle style. Nader known Chevrolet engineer WHO had fought management once the management had eliminated a front anti-roll bar for price reasons. The 1964 models were fitted with a front anti-roll bar as a commonplace instrumentality, additionally a rear thwartwise spring, soup stability throughout emergency maneuvering. Second-generation Corvairs (1965–1969) used a real freelance rear suspension (IRS) system.

The Hillman Imp designers get learned from these issues with the Corvair, having crashed 1 at a comparatively at low-speed, and that they are designed their rear-engined vehicle with a semi-trailing arm suspension at the rear. to realize correct handling balance, they really used swing-axle pure mathematics at the front, with the steering pivots mounted at the outer ends of single swing wishbones. These caused an excessive amount of understeer and uneven tire wear, and modifications were created to cut back the positive camber of the front wheels by lowering the swing-axle pivot points Aftermarket kits were additionally out there to try and do this, and a cheap various was to insert a tapered wedge to vary the inclination of the kingpin carrier relative to the furcula.


Swing axles were supplanted normally use by DE Dion tube axles within the late Sixties, tho’ live axles remained the foremost common. Most rear suspensions are replaced by a lot of fashionable freelance suspensions in recent years, and each swing and deDion varieties square measure just about unused these days.

One exception is that the Czech truck manufacturer Tatra, that uses swing axles on a central ‘backbone’ tube since 1923 (model Tatra 11) rather than a lot of common solid axles. this method is claimed to present bigger rigidity and higher performance on poor quality roads and off-road. There the inherent reduced stability on roads is remunerated by magnified stability on a rough parcel of land, providing higher cross-country speeds, all else being equal. may be} particularly manifested in long 6+ wheel vehicles wherever offroad chassis twisting can be a significant issue.

Animation Video Of How a swing half axle suspension works?

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