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Old 10-23-2009, 03:36 AM
lusoultimate lusoultimate is offline
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Types of chassis?

Been searching around trying to compile a list of the types of chassis used on cars. There's come conflicting info, but here's what I compiled:

- Ladder Chassis
- Backbone
- Tubular Space Frame
- Monocoque

Being that the monocoque can be divided in several sub-types such as unitary, carbon, etc?

Feedback much appreciated
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2009, 08:04 AM
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lightweight lightweight is offline
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Autozine Technical School - Chassis & Body

Introductory but a good guide
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:32 PM
culver culver is offline
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Fundamentally I think this is a hard question because few cars are purely one type or another. The Autozine article is a good place to start but as I often warn people, their information is at best, very broad brush and sometimes even outright wrong.

The ladder frame and the X brace frame are common body on frame types. A traditional body on frame would have the frame doing 100% of the "chassis" work and the body just keeping the wind off the driver. That really hasn't been true outside of chassis cab trucks for decades. Most body on frame cars got some level of chassis stiffness from the body. The Ford Panther cars are body on frame though the body actually does a good bit of the "chassis" work.

Monocoque and unibody are typically used to describe chassis made from folded and welded sheets of metal. Often those sheet form some of the exterior body panels (roof, rear fenders, door openings etc.

Backbone is a type of chassis where a large central structure, ie the back bone connects the front and rear. A number of modern convertibles have a somewhat backbone chassis. They use the transmission tunnel at a key structural element. The current Corvette is a partial backbone chassis. The transmission tunnel is a key part of the chassis.

One definition of a space frame is one where every element is loaded only in tension or compression. In that sort of structure every element is a truss and every part must be triangulated. In reality basically no pure space frame chassis has ever been built. A tube frame race car would be close but even there you will find areas where the stiffness of a beam in bending rather than triangulation holds things in place.

The term is more commonly used to describe chassis made from a series of elements in a 3D shape. Those eleiments will then support both the mechanical bits as well as the body. Most modern Ferraris, Corvettes, etc fit into this group. Their chassis are made from a number of connected elements that are glued, welded bolted etc together. Some are supported via triangualted elements. Some count on their inherent strength. I think many of the carbon road car chassis would fit into this group as I don't think many of those use stress skins.

In the end it's a bit like the arguments regarding what is and isn't a sports car. We would agree that a Ford F150 isn't a sports car and we would agree that it's chassis isn't a unibody. But is the M3 a sports car or a GT or just a fast coupe? Is the Audi R8 a unibody or space frame? A portion of the R8's door openings are part of the chassis but most of the body attaches to the chassis.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:53 AM
lusoultimate lusoultimate is offline
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Great post culver, as an exercise how one would classify the following cars chassis?

- Lotus Elise (aluminum bondd "tub"): monocoque?
- Porsche Carrera GT: carbon monocoque?
- Porsche Cayman: unibody?
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:09 AM
crug75hid crug75hid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lusoultimate View Post
Been searching around trying to compile a list of the types of chassis used on cars. There's come conflicting info, but here's what I compiled:

- Ladder Chassis
- Backbone
- Tubular Space Frame
- Monocoque

Being that the monocoque can be divided in several sub-types such as unitary, carbon, etc?

Feedback much appreciated

Yeah, Monocouque chassis can be divided into several types, like full monocouque, semi monocouque, steel, carbon composite, fibre ,etc., and are normally made in a single piece.
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