6 Best Off-road Suspension Design Books (2023)

Outdoor enthusiasts generally love high-speed off-road vehicles with excellent suspension designs. The strength and ruggedness of 4×4 off-road vehicles depend on the toughness of the suspension, and that’s why such vehicles can navigate any rough terrain with ease. If you are ever interested in the designs and engineering of high-performance vehicles for outdoor conditions, then this resource guide is for you.

Here, we’d be looking at some of the best off-road suspension design books.

best off road suspension design books

Best Off-road Suspension Design Books: Our Top 6 Picks

There are thousands of specialized books on vehicle engineering and component designs, but very few on off-road suspension designs. However, our vehicle reviewers and editors have worked with real people with the off-road lifestyle to shortlist six books dedicated to suspension design and application in high-speed off-road vehicles. These books are concise and simplified, and written in simple language to educate new vehicle enthusiasts.

We also went a step ahead to include stats related to the author, the publisher, the current edition, the number of pages, and availability in paperback or eBook variants among others. So let’s check them out now:

1. 4×4 Suspension Handbook


Available in Kindle and paperback formats, the 4×4 Suspension Handbook covers everything you desire to know about off-road vehicle suspensions. An avid motorist and machinist, the author analyses the interactions between the front and rear solid axle, twin-traction beam, independent suspension systems, as well as coil springs, leaf springs, shocks, and more. In self-explanatory language, the book is a tutorial on all things related to vehicle suspensions.

This 148-page resource examines all types of suspension models from top automakers such as Jeep, Toyota, Dodge, GM, and Ford among other American vehicle companies. As a sweetener, the book contains a comprehensive guide into suspension designs as well as the glossary of suspension terms that the layman ought to know. It covers almost everything there is to know about suspension systems and related components.

The only downside to this book edition is that the photographs and illustrations are in black and white, and not color. But that does not affect the quality of information contained in any way. So invest in this book if you are very keen about 4×4 suspension vehicle systems.

  • Author(s): Trenton McGee
  • Publisher: CarTech, Inc.
  • Current Edition: Illustrated Edition (January 2008)
  • Pages: 148

2. Chassis & Suspension Handbook (Petersens 4 Wheel & Off-Road)


This suspension handbook covers all the mechanical systems of springs and shock absorbers that connect the wheels and axles of a vehicle to the chassis. It comprehensively examines the interactions between lift kits, shocks, springs, chassis, and tires for off-road vehicles such as Jeep, Dodge, Ford, Chevy, and Toyota among others.

A keen off-road vehicle enthusiast, the author also examined suspension modifications in various trucks and chassis reengineering for rough riding. For 4×4 and off-road vehicles, this suspension handbook teaches the fundamentals of rough-terrain vehicles for sporting or leisure. It also introduces newbie off-road motorists to a glossary of lingos used in the off-road sector. If you are crazy about riding on trails and difficult terrains, then investing in this book would make complete sense.

  • Author(s): Carl Munroe
  • Publisher: HP Trade
  • Current Edition: First Edition (February 2003)
  • Pages: 160

3. High Speed Off-Road Vehicles: Suspensions, Tracks, Wheels and Dynamics (Automotive Series)


As an avid off-terrain roadster, what can you benefit from a man who worked as a structural design analyst in the aircraft industry before spending another 35 years designing vehicle steering systems at the Ministry of Defense in the UK? And what man is better qualified to write on the dynamics of automotive suspensions and tracks for high-speed off-road vehicles? Bruce Maclaurin is one automotive expert on suspension systems.

Maclaurin’s book High Speed Off-Road Vehicles: Suspensions, Tracks, Wheels and Dynamics is a total encapsulation of his works and advice in the automotive industry. He worked on structural design and analysis in the aircraft sector before moving to the UK Defence Ministry where he spent 35 years on designing automotive systems for military vehicles. His specialty is tracked and wheeled steering systems for vehicles, as well as computer analysis and modeling design for vehicle suspensions.

So if you ever want to know anything and everything about off-road vehicle suspensions, get Bruce Maclaurin’s comprehensive book on Suspensions, Tracks, Wheels and Dynamics.

  • Author(s): Bruce Maclaurin
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Current Edition: First Edition (September 2018)
  • Pages: 272

4. Off Roading Log Book: Back Roads Adventure – 4-Wheel Drive Trails – Hitting the Trails – Desert Byways – Notebook – Racing – Vehicle Engineering


Do you love to keep a log of your off-roading adventures? Then you would love Patricia Larson’s Off Roading Log Book: Back Roads Adventure. It is sectionalized off-roading, car information, trail conditions, observations, and group details among other things. Just as the title reveals, this is essentially a logbook where you can make notes of your backroading adventures for future use. This is one off-roading knowledge book you would want to invest in.

It also provides a comprehensive guideline on hitting the trails with your 4-wheel vehicles for an outdoor experience that is second-to-none. For organizational purposes, the off-roading section enables you to record details related to parks, permits, and other relevant information. The car information section helps you to note important details about your car’s tire guage, suspension systems, repair tools, and components for ease of use. While the trail conditions help you to make note of adventure plans based on terrain conditions and suitability.

  • Author(s): Patricia Larson
  • Publisher: Patricia Larson
  • Current Edition: June 2020
  • Pages: 112

5. Jeep CJ 1972-1986: How to Build & Modify (Performance How-to)


Hardly is anyone more knowledgeable about off-road vehicles than a man who has been riding in his father’s 1970 Jeep CJ-5 since age three and who grew up to run a Jeep community that caters to all off-road and backroad adventures. Michael Hanssen authored Jeep CJ 1972-1986: How to Build and Modify book to demystify vehicle suspension systems in off-road trucks. Available in eBook and paperback formats, this is one automotive resource that all 4×4 vehicle lovers must have.

This suspension design book covers the fundamentals and suspension components such as shocks, springs, and steerings. It also includes modification to steering and suspension systems, while paying particular attention to transmissions, axles, transfer cases, engine upgrades, aftermarket accessories, brake upgrades, and armor among other things. The author makes special distinctions between the Jeep CJ series that became popular post-WWII and the Wrangler that was introduced in 1986 with particular emphasis on their engine build, horsepower, technological advancements, and off-road ruggedness among other major factors for upgrades.

  • Author(s): Michael Hanssen
  • Publisher: CarTech
  • Current Edition: Illustrated Edition (November 2017)
  • Pages: 144

6. Semi-active Intelligent Suspension System: From Theory to Implementation (With a Focus on Heavy and Off-road Vehicles)


If you had ever wanted a book that covers the theory of semi-active intelligent suspension systems with the implementation of related systems in off-road vehicles, then you must get Nima Eslaminasab’s automotive book on heavy-duty suspension designs. This automotive resource analyses the theoretical and practical implementation of modern suspension systems with a view to making backroading adventures more enjoyable.

It examines the various methods of suspension design and results in off-road trucks and also draws parallels between real-time tests and experiments for long-lasting systems that work. Whether for your library or as a valuable tool for your off-roading activities, this book is a classic to have for all 4×4 off-road enthusiasts. It covers suspension performance, steering modeling, slip differentials, and tire traction on various road terrains and hill country.

  • Author(s): Nima Eslaminasab
  • Publisher: VDM Verlag
  • Current Edition: October 2009
  • Pages: 176

Get the books

While it is possible to drive 4×4 Jeeps or any off-road trucks in backroad terrains without knowing jack about suspensions or bolts, it is not enough to be a total greenhorn where vehicle components are concerned. You must not only enjoy rough rides in back countries, but you must also understand the dynamics of what makes your off-road vehicle do what it does in hilly or muddy terrains. You will be more thrilled to know that your vehicle responds the way it does because of a particular road condition and the interaction of certain components to the terrains.

This is where you will find the above-listed 6 best off-road suspension design books most handy. These curated books are a treasure to have in terms of getting the best out of your off-road vehicles. The resources cover all there is to know about driving in off-road conditions, getting your 4×4 vehicle to perform better, enjoy your adventures at backroads, and getting your vehicle operational again if it ever breaks down in some backcountry.

You should invest in these 6 best off-road suspension design books if you are ever serious with off-roading adventures. You will not only be knowledgeable about vehicle suspension systems, but you will also be an automotive authority in your own right. And what better way to become an unlicensed vehicle engineer than investing in quality automotive books authored by industry experts? Some of these books can be consumed in less than a week; but above everything else, they are a classic auto resource that must be kept for a lifetime.