REDEFINED- SB308 Ride & Handling
Product- Composite material leaf spring suspensions
Brand- Dr. Nano Inc
Vehicle- ’95 Maruti SB308 type 1
Maruti 800 was known for it’s ease of use and ownership. The little 3 pot F8B is good enough for the car and does it’s job efficiently. You can drive effortlessly through traffic or narrow roads, bad roads and parking is a breeze. When it comes to suspensions, the less said about the rear, the better.
I was never a huge fan of leaf spring suspensions. It suits commercial vehicles better. That is what you get at the back in a Maruti 800 which is a huge let down when it comes to comfort and handling. On long drives it tends to be tiring, too much body roll and it is very uninspiring around corners.
Now, back in my school days I had come across an article about these new age composite material leaf springs in one of the popular car magazines. It was ARC Leaf Springs. I was surprised to read how body rolls vanished and ride quality improved in a Qualis fitted with these.
My 800’s suspensions were due for replacement. There was no previous replacements, it was factory fitted Escorts (don’t even ask!). I always wanted to get myself a pair of these composite material leaf springs for the car hoping they’d have for Maruti 800s as well.
For more information on the company & composite material leaf springs, please visit Composite Leaf Spring, Composite Assistive C-Spring suspension, Compound Picking Sticks
. BUYING EXPERIENCE-
Last year, we had enquired about ARC leaf springs for my friend’s Thar. But, that never materialized. I called them up again and they informed me that their sister company Dr. Nano Inc has what I need and they gave me the contact details.
I call up that number and Mr. Kiran Pawar gave me all the necessary details. It was all a pleasant experience. He was very kind and answered all my queries. The details about price and payment details were messaged to me.
The cost for Maruti 800 suspensions is Rs 8000 + 12.5% VAT, which is Rs 9000 in total. I had to wire the money to the given account and then the material will be dispatched. My friends were not sure if that was a good idea for obvious reasons. I had been following ARC leaf springs since a very long time and knew Dr. Nano Inc is not a scam.
In another 4 days I got the material. All I had to do was pay Rs 200 at VRL Logistics. FITTING-
I had met my mechanic beforehand and explained the situation to him. He was confused and excited at the same time. To keep things simple, I told him to think of it as fitting just another regular MGP leaf spring. No modifications at all. For the front and rear shock assist, I got new Gabriels. Once I got my package, I got it fitted the very next day (I could barely sleep that night).
Design wise, there are changes but it is a direct fit like an MGP product. The suspension comes with it’s own clamp and bolts. EXPERIENCE-
I must tell you, the car runs on stock 145/70 R12 tyres (nitrogen filled). Wheel alignment and balancing were due. Once the suspensions were fitted, the height increased by a few inches. By the looks of it, you wouldn’t even dream of a decent ride quality and you will expect it to be bouncy.
It was time for a trail run and I hopped on in the front passenger seat. These suspensions are amazing, the change was obvious. My mechanic was fully impressed with the ride quality and the way it inspired confidence around curves. It is true to it’s description, it is better than a coil spring and almost air suspension ride quality.
Next day I got the wheel alignment and balancing done. The tyres are Ceat, normal wear and still has a good 5k left in it.
Here is a sum up-
1. No body rolls. Absolutely none!
2. You can drive around curves at high speeds. Total control. The rear end doesn’t spin out of control.
3. Ride quality is absolutely fantastic. I had gone on a long drive, odo clocked 390Kms end of the day and I had no fatigue or body aches whatsoever. Yes, it is that comfortable.
4. No noise at all. Before, each time I pass a hump or drive on bad roads, the tools in the trunk kept jumping around. None of that now. At high speeds, when you let go of the gas pedal, it sounds like you are gliding on a breeze.
5. No maintenance. All I had to do was get the bolts checked at 1000KMs. There is no question of rust.
6. Comes with 100,000Kms or 1 year warranty. It lasts up to 5 lac KMs. It is an almost permanent part of the chassis.
7. Load capacity is 300Kgs.
The secret lies in the material, new age composite material used in space applications. It is extremely lighter than metal leaves and is far more durable. Metal springs can only take vertical forces, it doesn’t take twisting forces well, which you experience as body rolls (correct me if I’m wrong). Of course, it is very hard and that is a serious pain in the ass
. The composite material leaves along with it’s unique design, eliminates all that. It absorbs shocks well and gives you a fabulous driving experience. I have driven Swift on long drives numerous times. End of the day it used to be tiring. These suspensions are simply wonderful and it is also available for coil spring vehicles (it is a different design).