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Westinghouse Air Spring Option

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I found an article from the SAE archives dated 1924, referring about "Air springs and the measurement of riding quality". The author, John T McElroy, explains on more than 50 pages how to determine the riding quality, how axle acceleration, vibration period, amplitudes and frequencies and all these elements contribute to the "roadability", he explained the measuring apparati, their way of conducting the tests with various chassis over a defined test course (driving over square planks of 2 3/4 inch heigt x 5 1/2 inch wide at a speed of 15 mph), shows the summary of test data, and finally explains the result: Air springs are much more efficient than steel springs only, or steel-rubber-combinations.
All this is very theoretical and probably not very interesting for you, but in the final chapter he describes the necessary precision during manufacturing and assembly of air springs, in order to get the desired results. I was happy to see the machining, hardening, polishing and assembling, reading about the preparation of leather seals before installation. They used a "dancing machine" for breaking in the new air springs, in order to ensure uniform action without slip-stick-effects, and for ensuring oil- and air-tightness. I didn't expect how much thought they put into every individual car's suspension before starting the installation: Usually the original riding height was reduced (for improved cornering), and the steel spring rate increased (because the air cushions would soften the car again). Did you imagine that?

fig 6 labtest.jpg

fig 15 recorder installed on car.jpg

fig 16 recorder installed on car.jpg

manufacture 1.jpg

manufacture 2.jpg

fig 26 assembly.jpg

fig 27 testing 1 (2).jpg

fig 28 testing.jpg

installation and service 1.jpg

installation and service 2.jpg

installation and service 3.jpg

installation and service 4.jpg

installation and service 5.jpg

Edited by Ittenbacher Frank (see edit history)
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On 6/27/2022 at 10:08 PM, George K said:

What to say about Westinghouse shocks. I guess nothing.C40DFA64-04FF-4C16-977C-928731417708.jpeg.d64432f2f8c8e8e5add50e265dcebe6a.jpeg

Thanks for this photo, George, where do you ffind all these Locos? It seems a later model, 1919-23? No frond brakes, but already front bumper. Note how low the chauffeur has adjusted the springs. The tires nearly touching the fenders...

Spare tire covers and no rear light on the right side.

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On 4/19/2022 at 6:53 AM, George K said:

Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. You’re an engineer and find it’s function interesting. I find their vertical protrusion in all four corners aesthetically damaging. All good as it’s what makes the world go round.

I agree those exposed snubbers do nothing for the appearance of the car, despite them intended to be visible to advertise to the world the car is so equipped.  They remind me of the 5-mph bumpers on 1970's cars.  



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Esthetically, the Westinghouse air shocks may make a style statement that is not to our modern tastes for sure.  But I look back at what these shocks represented at the time which was probably the top of the line in ride and creature comfort that you simply would not get with the basic automobiles available back in the day.  So undoubtedly the Westinghouse air shocks were looked at and admired very differently than they are today.  The Hassler shocks for a Model T is a bit over cooked for my taste but if they helped control the buckboard ride back then, they would have been looked at very differently than we look today.


Edited by alsfarms
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On 6/23/2022 at 2:42 AM, Ittenbacher Frank said:

My guess: "If you had put ??? in I would have considered it". Seems a different handwritung compared to the previous card?

"price" ???

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