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DB2, DB2/4 and DB Mk 3 Suspension and Tyre Upgrades

Designed in the late 1940’s, the use of a double trailing arm front suspension with divided track rods for steering reflected a design concept that owes its origins to the racing Auto Unions of the 1930s. In combination with a cam and peg steering box, it provided a significant improvement in handling and ride comfort over the pre war use of a rigid beam front axle in combination with semi elliptical front springs used on the 1 ½ and 2 litre cars of the Vintage era.

General Characteristics

The DB2 gained a fine reputation for handling and roadholding and was among the first production cars on the British market to introduce independent front suspension as the 1940’s drew to a close.

Front Suspension

The front suspension uses twin-trailing arms. The upper trailing arm comprises the lever arm front shock absorber (damper). The lower arm is pivoted from a transverse cross member bolted to the chassis. Comprising of a hollow oil filled tube, there is a torsion bar that is splined to each of the lower trailing arms, and hence this acts as an anti-roll bar. In the bottom centre of this tube there is a pivot, which connects the divided trailing arms and drag link from the steering box.

The suspension uses coil springs which bear direct onto the king pin assembly and at the upper end is held within an aluminium spring tower bolted to the chassis.

The original suspension was designed for use with cross ply tyres, and with such tyres, the turn in and cornering is good, so long as the damping remains effective with minimal understeer. Some adjustment of caster angle is possible within narrow limits.

Changing to radial tyres with a significantly reduced slip angle has the effect of inducing an element of oversteer, and to counteract that, a stiffer front anti-roll bar is desirable.

Rear Suspension

The rear suspension comprises twin equal length trailing arms with coil springs. Damping is achieved with lever arm shock absorbers acting on the lower trailing arms that also have the rear axle bolted to them. A Panhard rod is used to control any lateral movement.


Fast Road Suspension Upgrades

The aim of the fast road suspension kit is to improve general handling and to optimise the suspension for use with modern radial tyres. There are two options, the first of which replaces the rear lever arm shock absorber with a telescopic version. The second option preserves the rear lever arms. A third option which can be offered to improve the general efficiency of the front suspension is the fitting of addditional telescopic shock absorbers.

  • Option 1

    • Telescopic rear shock absorbers

    • Stiffer front anti-roll bar

    • Fast road front and rear springs

    • Up-rated front shock absorbers

    • Radial ply tyres

  • Option 2

    • Stiffer front anti-roll bar

    • Fast road front and rear springs

    • Up-rated front shock absorbers

    • Radial ply tyres

  • Options 3

    • As option 1 plus front telescopic shock absorbers

    • Up-rated 72 spoke wire wheels and tyres


Safety Upgrades

The very last of the DB2 series were built over 50 years ago. At this age, stressed components such as the front suspension spring towers and front and rear hubs have a tendency to fail. Other components which should be examined and replaced if at all suspect include the rear suspension trailing arm, front and rear pivot castings and rear axle U-bolts.

In summary the following components are safety critical:

  • Front suspension spring towers

  • Front hubs

  • Rear suspension trailing arms and pivot castings

  • Rear axle U-bolts

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