Magnetorheological Magic

A project that has been stirring in my head for a while involves the use of magnetorheological shocks on my AllTrac. Magnetorheological? How do you say? Look it up stupid. It’s the use of ferrofluid to change dampening characteristics of a damper almost instantaneously. Basically I can have a Skyhook style suspension system that will package and respond eleventeen times better then that funky Tein EDFC chingis. These shocks can react in real time and paired with a good spring, can provide the most ideal suspension characteristics not only in jounce in rebound but in a dynamic response to roll, dive and squat. Along with a speed signal, suspension characteristics can also change. There is no High and low Speed dampening, there is “All speed” dampening I guess you can say. Why hasn’t anyone made an aftermarket coilover utilizing this great discovery? I don’t know. I do know that the shocks do undergo a lot more wear and from the forum complaints I have seen, the fluid destroys the seals and may give you a max of 80k out of it. most people replace the system with regular gas shocks and a fake out resistor for the controller. I have disassembled one of the shocks and will show some pictures of what it looks like inside once I get them uploaded. The shocks I chose are the front’s off of an Escalade/Denali and picked a pair off Craigslist for $150. The idiot said they were barely used but he just cleaned them up because the seals are shot. I did notice they are held to an initial pressure with gas. It’s not very high and it’s necessary to maintain some characteristic in the fluid. I think it has to do with settling of the iron particles but who knows. I will be establishing that when I go through the tests. I am currently designing a shock dyno to go through re-engineering the shock.

These things work on a simple PWM circuit so I will have an Arduino control that along with an Arduino as a makeshift DAQ for the load sensor and linear potentiometer. Ya, I’m ballin on a budget again, buying these Arduino’s from China for $3 each along with a used 500lb eBay load sensor(last calibrated 10 years ago), a junkyard linear potentiometer(last calibrated????) and an eBay Pneumatic ram (not purchased yet).

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