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Old 10th December 2014, 19:17   #1
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Arrow Effect of asymmetrical seating

Hello all,

I always wondered about the effects of prolonged asymmetrical seating in vehicles.
e.g. many of the city-buses are tilted toward left probably because the passengers occupy even the stairs which are toward left.

Most of the times I am the sole occupant in my car. With a weight, of say 90kg, always occupying the right side of the car; will it have any long term effect on the chassis or the overall body of the car? (Left/right pulling, tilting etc)

Another example: The train bogies have alternate left and right side of passages probably for the same reason.
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:09   #2
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

Chassis is made of metal.
Suspension springs are made of metal.
The metals used are well within the elastic limit.
So there is no issue with off-center loading, as soon as the metal is de-loaded it retains its original shape.

In case of train, you need the center of mass of the coach (with passengers) lie in center between the base of the wheels or tracks so that the rocking and bobbing motion doesn't disturb the rail sleeper asymmetrically.

Last edited by alpha1 : 11th December 2014 at 11:11.
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Old 11th December 2014, 15:36   #3
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I tend to drive my Alfa Romeo Spider most of the time just by myself. Over the years I have noticed that the left tires especially the front one wears slightly more then the others. When I talked it over with a friend of mine who runs a specialised Alfa workshop he confirmed that he sees that often, especially on Spiders that get driven solo, do lots of ,mileage and get driven hard.

Being in the left seat and going hard through right hand corners apparently does put a bit of extra wear and tear on the left front tire, actually its a little more uneven. I sort of understand, although Im not hundred percent sure. still, my friend deals with these cars every day and has done so for decades, so his experience counts. I guess it can also depend on the sort of suspension your car have. Having on side of the car being weight down might cause the wheels on that side to have a slightly different alignment compared to the other side. So you could expect a slightly different wear pattern on the tires.

Jeroen
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Old 11th December 2014, 16:15   #4
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookaburra View Post
Hello all,

I always wondered about the effects of prolonged asymmetrical seating in vehicles.
e.g. many of the city-buses are tilted toward left probably because the passengers occupy even the stairs which are toward left.

Most of the times I am the sole occupant in my car. With a weight, of say 90kg, always occupying the right side of the car; will it have any long term effect on the chassis or the overall body of the car? (Left/right pulling, tilting etc)
I don't think the load on a passenger car will be as much as seen on commercial vehicles (read buses and trucks).

The tilt that you see in RT buses is mainly due to overloading and this happens daily and million times in its life time so the chassis and suspension bear the brunt tilting it towards the left side mostly.

Now this kind of overloading is rarely seen in passenger cars so this behaviour will be least seen if researched but as Jereon has pointed out, one might find an answer if they observe the tyre wear depending on driving style and number of passengers that travel most of time in a car.

Anurag.
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Old 11th December 2014, 16:35   #5
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

To answer the original question, I don't think the slight additional stress due to the weight of the driver would cause a considerable effect in the long term. The mechanical parts like the shock-absorber as well as the tyres are likely to replaced at regular intervals anyway due to the regular wear and tear due to usage. Once we change these parts as part of regular interval, we are back to square one with a balanced setup.

On the same note, my experience driving on highways in Kerala is that the suspension components on the left side are the ones that give away first due to the frequent "off-roading" to get out of the way of a speeding Volvo bus coming from the opposite side. Right side mostly stays on the tarmac and gets lesser strain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I tend to drive my Alfa Romeo Spider most of the time just by myself. Over the years I have noticed that the left tires especially the front one wears slightly more then the others. When I talked it over with a friend of mine who runs a specialised Alfa workshop he confirmed that he sees that often, especially on Spiders that get driven solo, do lots of ,mileage and get driven hard.
May be a dumb question, but was there no concept of tyre rotation in those days?
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Old 11th December 2014, 17:15   #6
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
May be a dumb question, but was there no concept of tyre rotation in those days?
Can't remember those days exactly, I'm getting to old and senile, but these days tyre rotation doesn't seem to happen very often in Europe, or at least in the Netherlands.

Also, in all honesty, you don't tend to put that much mileage on these old cars anyway. Even though my mileage was considerable more then most, these classic cars are not used on a daily basis, pure hobby usage.

Jeroen
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Old 12th December 2014, 23:39   #7
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

Me also had this nagging doubt even now.
Especially in the lighter vehicles, I could see that the car suspension weighed down considerably when the driver gets in.

But instead of wear and tear I was thinking about how dynamics would be affected ( even by a small margin) as weight would be one sided instead of being equally distributed.
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Old 13th December 2014, 08:59   #8
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Default Re: Effect of asymmetrical seating

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookaburra View Post
With a weight, of say 90kg, always occupying the right side of the car; will it have any long term effect on the chassis or the overall body of the car? (Left/right pulling, tilting etc)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
I was thinking about how dynamics would be affected ( even by a small margin) as weight would be one sided instead of being equally distributed.
Valid worry point, but the effect is almost negligible I must say. If the mass is distributed equally between LH & RH in un-laden condition, solo driving will have an significant effect, but that isn't the case.

Mass distribution of a vehicle (take example of car here) is taken well into account during deign or say some adjustment or counterweight is always considered. One such example is the fuel tank. LHD vehicle tend to have fuel tank on the RH side and vice-versa (This will not work out for all vehicles, when the vehicle is designed on a LHD land and tweaked for RHD or vice versa, mass adjustment is taken care at some other point)
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