Top Mount Coilover Meaning
In vehicle suspension, a top mount, also known as a strut mount or bearing plate, is a crucial component located at the upper end of a strut assembly. It serves as a connection point between the strut and the vehicle's chassis.
What is the function of a top mount?
The primary function of a top mount, along with coilovers and springs, is to provide support and allow for the articulation and movement of the suspension system. Together, they work in harmony to absorb impacts, dampen vibrations, and provide a stable connection between the strut and the vehicle's body.
What are the components of a top mount?
A top mount typically consists of several components, including a metal plate or bearing surface, a rubber, aluminium or polyurethane bushing, and a mount or bearing assembly. The metal plate or bearing surface provides a stable platform for the strut to rest upon and allows for rotational movement. The bushing acts as a cushion and helps absorb vibrations and road shocks, reducing noise and enhancing ride comfort.
The top mount also incorporates a mount or bearing assembly, which allows the strut to rotate and pivot during suspension travel. This rotation enables the strut to respond to road irregularities and maintain consistent contact between the tires and the road surface. Additionally, some top mounts may feature integrated bearings or ball joints that further facilitate smooth rotation and articulation of the suspension.
How are coilover top mounts installed on my vehicle?
Top mount coilovers must be installed on your vehicle by qualified professionals for numerous reasons, such as;
Expertise and experience
Professional installers have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and experience when it comes to working with suspension systems. They are familiar with the intricacies of coilover installations and can ensure that the job is done correctly.
Installing coilovers requires specific tools and techniques to ensure proper fitment and alignment. Professionals have the right equipment and know-how to install the coilovers accurately, minimising the risk of installation errors that could lead to performance issues or safety concerns.
Coilover installations often involve adjusting various suspension settings, such as ride height, damping, and camber. Professionals have the expertise to fine-tune these settings based on your specific vehicle, driving preferences, and intended use. This ensures optimal performance and a balanced suspension setup.
Suspension systems play a critical role in vehicle safety and handling. Improper installation of coilovers can lead to compromised stability, handling, and braking performance. By relying on professionals, you can be confident that the installation is carried out with safety in mind, reducing the risk of potential accidents or failures.
Warranty and support
Some coilover manufacturers require professional installation to validate their warranties. By having professionals handle the installation, you ensure that your warranty remains intact in case any issues arise. Additionally, professionals often provide post-installation support and guidance, addressing any questions or concerns you may have about your new coilovers.
Time and convenience
Installing top mount coilovers can be a time-consuming and complex process, especially for those without prior experience. By entrusting the task to professionals, you save yourself the hassle and potential frustration of tackling the installation yourself. Professionals can efficiently complete the job, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your new coilovers sooner.
Why is it important to regularly inspect your top mount?
Over time, top mounts can wear out or become damaged due to normal wear and tear, harsh driving conditions, or exposure to contaminants. When a top mount fails, it can lead to increased noise, vibration, and poor suspension performance. Therefore, it is important to inspect and replace worn or faulty top mounts as needed to maintain the integrity and functionality of the suspension system.
What types of top mounts are there?
There are several different types of top mounts available in the market, each offering unique features and benefits. Here is an overview of some common types:
Rubber top mounts are the most basic and commonly used type. They consist of a metal plate and a rubber bushing. Rubber mounts provide good vibration damping and are cost-effective. However, they may have limited durability and can deteriorate over time.
Polyurethane top mounts are similar to rubber mounts but made from polyurethane material. They offer improved durability, better resistance to deformation, and enhanced performance compared to rubber mounts. Polyurethane mounts are often preferred by enthusiasts looking for increased stiffness and responsiveness.
Aluminium top mounts are a popular choice among performance-oriented vehicle enthusiasts seeking even further improvements in suspension performance. Aluminium is significantly lighter than materials like steel, making it an ideal choice for reducing the overall weight of the suspension system. Moreover, aluminium is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing aluminium top mounts to withstand the stresses and forces experienced during aggressive driving or demanding conditions.
Bearing top mounts are a type of coilover top mount that incorporates ball bearings or spherical bearings to allow for smooth rotational movement. These mounts reduce friction and provide improved articulation of the suspension system. Bearing top mounts are commonly used in performance-oriented and high-end vehicles to enhance suspension performance and precision.
Adjustable top mounts allow for fine-tuning of suspension geometry and ride height. These kinds of coilover top mounts feature adjustable camber, allowing for precise suspension alignment adjustments. Adjustable top mounts are commonly used in performance and racing applications where customization and fine-tuning are crucial.