How we design new lift kits (Part 1)
Here at BDS we have a dedicated R&D team that is continuously creating, installing, testing, and improving our products. How do we even begin to make these lift kits, where do we even start? The answer depends on what type of suspension system we are working on. In this article, we will focus on the most difficult and time consuming suspension lift kit to design: A replacement knuckle IFS lift.
A replacement knuckle is difficult and expensive to design. This is the most challenging part we make and will dictate every other feature of the lift kit. All of the steering and suspension angles need to match in order to keep the factory ride and stability control features. The casting needs to fit within a certain sized mold, has to have good material flow characteristics, and have enough material to machine off, but not too much material that creates a lot of waste. After a week of crunching the numbers and a couple calls to the foundry and machine shop we end up with the cast and machined models.
About 2 months have passed and a bunch of samples arrive. They are now off to get x-rayed for any possible defects. After x-ray the parts go to the painter for powdercoating and to the machine shop after that. 4-axis CNC machines cut all of the features and a CMM (computer measurement machine) checks all of the features to make sure they are in specification. The tolerances on certain features are extremely tight, about the thickness of a sheet of paper. Finally, two sets of machined knuckles arrive to the R and D department and now we can really get started…