A Russian YouTuber has created a homemade magnetic suspension that actually kinda works, surprisingly.
The last time we heard from Garage 54, he was busily making a V8-powered Lada using the motor from an old dump truck. It worked, depending on your definition of “worked”--the transmission exploded and the vibrations were so bad that the car’s battery couldn’t stay connected. Oh, and the radiator blew up. But it worked.
Now Garage 54 has a new project: homemade magnetic suspension. He’s got a set of eight 600 kg magnets (which is a pull-force of roughly 1,300 lbs) to replace the usual springs on a beater Lada Samara. All he has to do is mount the magnets in such a way that they force each other apart.
This is easier said than done.
First, Garage 54 removes the shocks and springs. Then, he mounts a single metal bar between the two wheels with four magnets mounted on it, and then mounts another bar with another 4 magnets on the car’s chassis. Since the magnets are mounted with the same polarity pointed at each other, they should repel one another with enough force to replace the lost springs.
Only the magnets shift slightly when the car is lowered so that they wind up sticking together instead. Whoops.
A few hours of prying the magnets apart and he finally gets the bright idea to install some guideposts so that the magnets don’t shift around. This solves the issue, which means it’s time for a test drive!
As you can see, the magnets are held fairly close together without a lot of travel between them. This is apparently enough to prevent the wheels from bottoming out on relatively smooth roads, but they hit the bump stops once the Lada is taken off pavement.
Another issue is that while the magnets can replace the springs, they don’t replace the shocks. The rear end of the Lada on magnets now just waves around with nothing to dissipate all that energy.
But it works. Kind of. Just need to reinstall those socks and this car would be good to go.