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DB 4, 5 and 6 Suspension and Tyre Upgrades

The design of the suspension for the DB 4, which was launched in 1958, was a complete break from any previous road car designs. The front suspension design evolved and was honed from the DB3S and DBR1 sports racing cars developed under Aston Martin’s racing programme during the 1950’s and comprised unequal length double wishbones, telescopic dampers and springs.

General Characteristics


Front Suspension

The front suspension comprises of unequal upper wishbones with top king-pin spherical joint, a lower arm with spherical joint and tie-bar pivoted inboard with a rubber bushed ball joint.

The suspension spring, in unit with the telescopic front shock absorber bears down on the lower wishbone assembly. Adjustment of camber and castor angles is by shims on the upper wishbones.

A front anti-roll bar completes the suspension design. Steering is by rack and pinion. The original suspension was designed for use with cross ply tyres, and as  such, the turn-in and cornering is good, so long as the damping remains effective with some understeer designed in.

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. Turn-in is affected by camber angle, particularly when wider section radial tyres are being used.

Rear Suspension

The DB4 and 5 rear suspension is by twin equal length trailing arms for longitudinal location and Watts linkage for lateral location. With the DB6, the upper trailing arm is slightly shorter and this induces some natural roll stiffness.

The coil springs bear down directly onto the rigid rear axle. Damping is achieved using lever arm shock absorbers, with some ride stiffness control available using Selectaride type of shock absorbers on the DB5 and DB6.

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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 options are as follows:

  • Option 1

    • Stiffer front anti-roll bar

    • Fast road front and rear springs

    • Up-rated front shock absorbers

    • Radial ply tyres

  • Option 2

    • As option 1 plus

    • Telescopic rear shock absorber kit

 

Safety Upgrades

The front and rear suspension on the DB4 and later cars has shown itself to be remarkably tough and apart from wishbone inner and outer pivots and bushes, free of age related problems. However, hubs wear and it is a wise precaution, if contemplating the fitting of a fast road suspension, to replace both front and rear hubs.

  • Front Hubs

  • Rear Hubs

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