Building a NASA NP01 Prototype the Right Way with Stoptech! Part 2


The suspension is bolted directly to the chassis with all mounting points in double shear. The control arms are fabricated from thin wall elliptical tubing. The suspension has a cast aluminum upright.

The steering rack is perfectly in line with the upper control arm and the inner tie rods are perfectly in line with the upper control arm inner pivots.  This means that there is zero bump steer in the geometry.

The lower control arm is nearly parallel to the ground and the upper is slightly angled in plane view so there is little anti-dive in the suspension geometry at 18%, normal for most dedicated race cars. The instant center for the front suspension is quite far away so there is little change in the anti-dive due to rake adjustment or pitch.


The front suspension has rising rate rockers in a push type configuration.

Push rockers have the advantage of having the shocks up high and easy to reach for adjustment and maintenance over pull type, which has the advantage of being able to package the heavy shocks low in the chassis, keeping the CG low.

However, the low mounting of pull type shocks makes adjustments difficult as the shocks cannot be reached easily. For grassroots racers with no large crew, having easy to service suspension is a bigger advantage than doing every bit possible to get the CG lower.

The front shocks are a gas charged, monotube design, double adjustable for compression and rebound by Motion Control Suspension. The adjusters are located on the top of the shock shaft where they are easy to reach allowing for quick adjustments during pit stops.  This is important as it allows for quickly getting the correct setup with limited testing and practice time.
The front anti-sway bar is tubular and mounts on the chassis. The anti-sway bar couples to the suspension directly by attaching to the bottom of the rocker arm.
The front brakes use a StopTech 4 piston caliper. The caliper body is hard anodized for corrosion resistance. The caliper is rear mounted which helps self-aligning torque and straight line stability although the potential for cooling isn’t as good.  This is not much of an issue in such a light car as the NP01.
The radial mount StopTech caliper has a forged 7075 aluminum body with a bridge bolt for additional stiffness. The caliper has stainless steel abutments for the pads to ride in for long life and smooth action without sticking.  Extra thick pads are also used for a long service life. 

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