Traditionally, automotive suspension has been a compromise among three conflicting criteria: road handling, load carrying and passenger comfort. The suspension system must support the vehicle, provide directional control during handling maneuvers, and provide effective insulation for passengers and payload from disturbances. Ride comfort requires a soft suspension, whereas load carrying requires a stiff suspension. However, good handling combined with an acceptable ride requires a setting somewhere between the two. Because of these conflicting demands, the rear leaf spring suspension design fitted to pickup trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles has had to be something of a compromise due to the type of vehicle use. Leaf springs are a passive suspension system that have the ability to store energy via the spring and dissipate it by a damper. Its parameters however, are generally fixed and limited.
Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) overcomes the limitations of passive suspension by introducing mechanically active suspension to the rear leaf springs thereby conquering the traditional three-way load vs handling vs comfort conflict. Once fitted, RAS has the ability to store, dissipate and introduce energy to the system. Being mechanical its action is immediate, unlike hydraulics or air which take time to react. This immediate action is also variable, working in exact counter proportion to force applied, hence the term active. Roadmaster Active Suspension kits consist of a set of two very powerful, variable rated, coil springs designed to support and assist rear leaf springs with up to a one ton carrying capacity.
Once installed, loaded tension from the eye-to-axle mounted coil tension springs hold the leaf springs in their original designed bowed position. When strain from load or vehicle weight shift is applied to the leaf springs, the stabilizers come into action immediately, absorbing the force of the load. Being variable rated, the greater the strain, the more counter-assistance force from the RAS unit. By introducing a powerful ‘load absorbing‘ spring steel coil system to rear leaf springs, RAS greatly assists the carrying capability of the vehicle as stipulated by the manufacturers. RAS absorbs the load that would otherwise cause bottoming out and thereby provides the benefits of a more level and thus safer ride.
On cornering, RAS reduces body roll by supporting the springs which are taking the increased load. By not allowing these springs to flatten out, the vehicle corners more level with greater contact of all four tires to the road. Improved traction translates to better control and handling. When towing a boat, trailer, camper or other heavy equipment, Roadmaster Active Suspension adds strength to the rear leaf springs while absorbing the increased load. The resulting stability and reduced sway are felt immediately.
Roadmaster Active Suspension can be independently adjusted to compensate for an unbalanced load such as that of a handicap lift device. As there is no movement on the leaf spring eye bracket or axle bracket, no friction takes place. All movement evolves from the articulating roller on the axle bracket which will adjust itself to any alignment of the tension spring, irrespective of the up and down deflection and reflection of the leaf spring. The coil tension spring, having an articulated connection insures that the axle and coil spring are always aligned in the direction of the force being applied. Because of the mechanical action of the tension spring, which is instant from left rear to right rear and vice versa, the stability of the vehicle is greatly improved. Roadmaster Active Suspension is designed to eliminate shock on the suspension itself, thus extending the life of the leafs springs, shock absorbers, shackles, and even tires.