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Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics [Hardcover]

Thomas D. Gillespie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Dec 1992
This book attempts to find a middle ground by balancing engineering principles and equations of use to every automotive engineer with practical explanations of the mechanics involved, so that those without a formal engineering degree can still comprehend and use most of the principles discussed. Either as an introductory text or a practical professional overview, this book is an ideal reference.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 519 pages
  • Publisher: SAE International (1 Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560911999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560911999
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This book focuses on, well, the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics. The chapters are well organized and cover the subject adequately. Derivations of formulas are clear and mostly complete. Major sections include: acceleration performance, braking performance, road loads, ride, steady-state cornering, suspensions, steering systems, rollover, and tires. The chapter on ride has an excellent section on road roughness that I found very helpful.
There are a few faults: a number of the examples are difficult to follow because they do not provide adequate information. More information on how to derive gear inertias in the chapter on acceleration performance would have been helpful, for example. Perhaps coupled with an appendix on common car data. In addition, it is a book that you will have to spend a significant amount of time thinking about in order to understand it. Much is implied in some of the explanations without being explicitly stated. I would also have preferred a more complete treatment of slip angles in the chapter on cornering; the book only covers the linear model.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid foundation 31 Dec 2001
By Aron Nopanen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My background is in computer engineering. As such, I have a basic understanding of kinematics, but approached this book with little knowledge of physics as specifically applied to vehicles.
I found this book to be a perfect first step into the field. It picked up essentially where my knowledge left off and provided solid coverage of the topics discussed. Due to the nature of the book--an introductory text--simplifications often had to be made; in these cases the simplifications were pointed out, often with references to publications covering the areas more fully. Furthermore, I felt that all topics were evenly covered--no one got undue attention.
Basically, the book was just what I was looking for.
My only significant pet peeves are the use of English-system measurements (I am more comfortable with metric), and a few cases of unexplained 'magic numbers' in formulas (it took me a minute to realize that 57.3 is the number of degrees in a radian). And plot and character development were pretty thin (grin).
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent yet easy to comprehend overview of vehicle dynamic 3 Feb 1997
By A Customer - Published on
This book provides a thorough yet easy to understand overview of vehicle dynamics and how they affect performance. The mathematical basis for all concepts are provided, as are graphs , illustrations, sample problems, and solutions. I highly recommend this text for anyone interested in vehicle dynamics
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Engineering Book 17 Jun 2008
By Mark - Published on
I first have to say I am surprised that I am the only one to give this book such a poor rating. From a "reading for leisure" standpoint, this book explains the basic concepts of vehicle dynamics pretty well; however, as a engineering book (from SAE no less), this is probably one of the worst books I have ever purchased in my entire educational and professional career.

As one of the reviews mentioned, the "unexplained 'magic numbers' in formulas" take time to get used to. I am not one to just accept formulas as is. As a graduate student, I like to know some thought behind the formulas I am using. In addition to the 'magic numbers', the author poorly explains many formulas. As an example, the author does not explain whether the sprung weight or total weight should be used when determining steady-state cornering. In all the formulas, the total weight is used; however, when determining changes due to body roll, only the sprung weight should be taking into account. Since unsprung weight only accounts for 5% of the total weight, maybe the author decided that was "close enough"; however, he should explain his reasoning in his assumptions. The author does this throughout the book.

This brings me to my next point: poor examples and very few examples. The review from the individual who said this book had great examples must have been a review for another book. I can count on one hand the number of examples in this entire book. The few examples that are used are grossly over-simplified and very poor in explaining the steps involved in finding a solution.

Additionally, the author rambles on too much. His wordy explainations could easily be condensed into fewer pages. As an engineer, I like conceptual explainations, but I don't like wasting my time either. One particular example that comes to mind is a formula written in paragraph form. Instead of just typing out the formula, the author takes a paragraph to write out the formula. After taking about 30 minutes of reading the paragraph and trying to find out the meaning of it (along with 2 other graduate students), I finally gave up.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics 13 Mar 2006
By Vito DiIenna - Published on
Thomas Gillespie is able to explain the fundamental principles of vehicle dynamics in his book. For those new to the subject of vehicle dynamics, this work will lay the foundation for more advanced reading. Those with science, math and engineering degrees, or those familiar with technical literature, will find the reading easy to understand in comparison to some other works. This allows the reader to focus their attention on understanding the "big picture," and not getting lost in particular formulae. However, for those doing research in the field or pursuing this as a career, there are more advanced texts available.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not good enough as class text book 4 Nov 2012
By Will - Published on
For my vehicle dynamics class at the University of Central Florida we are using this book. The author is good at explaining topics and the examples have real world implications.

However, there are nowhere near enough examples in this book, nor are there any problem sets for practice. This is a fine book to develop an idea of vehicle dynamics, but I do not think it is sufficient to be used as a course text book.

Chapter 5 could be much better organized it seems when reading it as well.
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