Friday, December 6

Corvette Repurposes Brake Parts in Suspension


The following is excerpted from a post on Jalopnik. The entire post can be read by clicking on this sentence.

WARREN, Mich. – Looking at a cutaway of the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette shows us a lot about how engineers packaged many of the components, and one item that stands out is an aluminum block in the middle of the front crossmember. At first glance, it appears to be an ABS module, but all is not as it seems.

Upon further examination, we find that the ABS block is much higher up in the car closer to the cabin, and our module below is actually there to control the front axle lift system.

This is a pretty interesting piece of technology that raises the front axle so it can cross speed bumps, curbs, steep grades and more. It’s a first for the Corvette. And what’s really neat is that it’s linked to GPS so in many cases the lift happens automatically.

Although the module is not used for the brakes in this application, it does have some roots in braking systems. Corvette engineers explored multiple options for implementing front axle lift and decided that hydraulic was the way to go. Instead of sourcing new pumps or replicating what their competitors use they decided to use a block similar to what is used on ABS systems for some cars and just re-purpose it.

The motor inside the block is supplied by BWI and is a very common unit that is found in a variety of ABS modules around the world. A quick search shows that the motor is very popular for vehicles in Asia where BWI appears to have a large market. The body and connector for the electronics also appear to be common as shown in the BWI ABS unit illustration above.

This type of parts sharing likely further reduced costs and gives us an idea of just one of the areas that GM was able to find clever solutions to keep overall costs down.

While Chevrolet would not confirm which exact vehicles share that motor, we were able to find used parts that appeared to match from a wide variety of vehicles that ranged from stuff like the VPG MV-1 to the Lifan X60 crossover.

While some may balk at the idea of re-purposing such a part for a sports car, the idea here is actually pretty revolutionary as it reduces costs and provides for a mass-market compment to be used in a new way. This reduces the costs of manufacturing and should reduce replacement costs down the road.

To read the rest of the post, click on this sentence.

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The Brake Report

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