1994 Acura Legend- Structure

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Overview

To meet their goals of higher quality, both visual and functional, Legend engineers gave both bodies highly rigid cabins, dent-resistant exterior panels and excellent corrosion resistance, and incorporated a host of detail refinements. To help maintain the efficiency for which the Legend is known, while improving its performance and comfort, they employed sophisticated weight-saving techniques throughout the unitbody structure. For 1994, both the Legend Sedan and Legend Coupe have received additional sound insulation for an even quieter cabin environment.

Structure

High goals with respect to rigidity, passive safety and corrosion resistance were set for the Legend bodies. The engineering staff strove to maximize torsional rigidity, and achieve extremely high levels of handling quality and ride comfort, all with very strict weight targets.

To accomplish this, the latest NASTRAN computer-aided structural analysis and design programs were applied, which resulted in a multitude of detail structural measures. The cross member at the rear bulkhead and the cross member in the center of the cabin floor are reinforced, for example, resulting in a tighter cabin and reduced noise and vibration. The front frame rails are also reinforced, for a stiffer front end and enhanced handling precision.

The inner and outer door panels are thicker (0.85 mm vs.0.75) than in the first generation Legend, and thus more rigid. The thickness of most outer body panels, except the front fender panels, has also been increased from 0.70 or 0.75 to 0.85 mm -- adding not only a further increment of rigidity but increasing resistance to minor dents. Thanks to excellent management of impact loads, primarily due to straight front frame members made possible by the longitudinal powertrain, the possibility of longitudinal deformation of the cabin structure in frontal impacts is minimized. Four honeycomb panels are bonded to the floorpan just ahead of the front and rear seats. Consisting of formed organic material between steel plates, the light, remarkably strong honeycomb material stems from jet aircraft technology.

Corrosion Resistance

All critical body panels are galvanized (zinc-coated). Almost 90% are zinc-coated on both sides, in order to provide the highest corrosion resistance possible and ensure long-term durability and a lasting high-quality appearance.

Fit and Finish

In their quest for quality, the Acura body engineers analyzed all the gaps between body panels, and at points where separate units such as headlights and taillights mount to the body. Over the various areas of the body, all gaps were reduced, and some were eliminated entirely.

A 4-coat, 4-bake, 23-step finishing process enhances corrosion protection while contributing to the durability and quality appearance of the Legend. Corrosion resistant coats include zinc phosphate, sealant, a chip-resistant lower-body primer and a PVC undercoat. Additionally, wax is injected into areas where moisture might accumulate. The air dam, front fender leading edges, the hood's forward portion and the rocker panels are coated with a layer of flexible plastic prior to painting to help prevent chipping.

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