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Old 09-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #15
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Member#: 183032
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: CT
1983 HeelToeExpress
changes daily


Originally Posted by Obababoy View Post
Now that is generalizing a bit...a pickup truck...Sure, body on frame all day. An SUV IS a passenger vehicle good for adventures. The Jeep Grand cherokee is a great example of a unibody design that performs excellent offroad and incredible on road. This new ford looks to be similar and would be a perfect candidate for the much improved unibody. There are systems out there like lateral load leveling and such that provide a very similar experience to having solid axles. The air/hydaulic systems are connected to all four wheels and if say left front needs to compress and right front needs to extend, the air/fluid will be free to move between each other providing great articulation without sway bars and the like restricting that...

Then when you want to handle well on road the suspension will close the system off providing individual response and lower body roll.. It is a win win. We just need companies to be innovative like Jeep to make it good on and off road like an SUV should be. If you want something you can put 36 inch tires on just stick with an old clunking body on frame vehicle.
So you skipped to the last sentence of my post and skipped over the torsional loading aka the bulk of my post? I wasn't talking about driving down a rutted dirt road on your way to the ski lodge with some friends; I was talking about TORSIONAL LOADING - when the vehicle has a heavy payload or is towing there are heavy torsional forces applied to the structure (unitbody or ladder frame). A ladder frame can cope with these stresses far better than a untibody can.

If all you want out of a truck/SUV is a car with ground clearance to tow your seadoo then go unitbody, but if you want to carry a payload or tow something heavy, body on frame is superior.

The current Jeep grand cherokee is an example of a car with ground clearance that is fun on muddy back roads; I wouldn't want to wheel that vehicle as it comes from the factory, and it's not just because I don't like FCA.

unitbody = fuel economy, better road manners, (potentially) greater passenger and cargo capacity.
body on frame = greater torsional strength, payload, & towing capacity.
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