This case study is about upgrading the old version of this military amphibious vehicle with Timoney’s suspension and a bespoke driveline. The story began with upgrading vehicle’s engine and transmission. Where did it go from there? Let’s dive in.
The Customer reached out to Timoney to upgrade the suspensions and driveline of an existing 6x6 vehicle, a variant of a vehicle originally built in 2008.
Their vehicle was about to get a new engine and transmission, and they needed us to create a bespoke dropbox for the front of the vehicle and install a Timoney T900 Double Wishbone Independent Suspension and Driveline to replace the existing Torsion Bar Independent Suspension.
Without going deeper into the project, it may seem easily achievable. But it wasn’t, and here’s why.
As we developed the design brief with the customer, we identified that the customer required us to minimise the changes to the existing hull structure. Plus, let’s keep in mind, that the vehicle was amphibious, so it was crucial to seal the gates to prevent water flooding the engine bay.
Right from the start, the project struck as a challenging task. Why? Because there was significantly little room to place the dropbox. If we coupled it directly to the transmission, it would be too far behind the front axle. What’s more, in this scenario, the dropbox would stand in way for obstacle climbing clearance and the differential itself.
Mounting the dropbox further forward would have severely impacted the vehicle approach angle.
Having all those findings in mind, it was challenging to follow the Customer’s requirements and stay within the brief.
Thanks to our innovative approach and out-of-the-box thinking, we have come up with a solution and produce a design that met the Customer’s needs.
We designed a small 3-gear dropbox as far forward of the transmission as possible, and a second smaller 2-gear dropbox directly mounted to the first axle differential housing. As a result, we managed to meet the obstacle clearance requirements at the front of the vehicle, with only small changes to the hull. And what’s crucial for staying waterproof, we provided a seal arrangement between the hull and the new 2-gear dropbox.
Finally, we made the whole lot easier and cost-effective. Our two dropboxes had common gears, shafts, oil seals and roller bearings, so we avoided multiplying the parts needed to be manufactured and thanks to that – we cut down the design cost to a minimum. This decision also helped to simplify the logistical supply of spare parts for future fleet management.
By designing a bespoke solution that minimised changes to the existing hull, the Customer now has a vehicle upgrade package that can be installed on existing vehicle fleets. This innovate solution provided the best overall vehicle dynamic solution and as such Ride and Handling of the vehicle.