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In recent years, many attempts have been made to develop an active or semi-active suspension control algorithm to reduce dynamic tire forces in automobiles. Many of these studies were developed in a laboratory environment and with known damper characteristics. The challenge of this paper is to estimate the parameters of a real test car, such as the mass of the vehicle, the spring coefficient and the damper characteristics. These parameters are fundamental for a realistic suspension control design. The originality of this work is the exclusive use of only two inexpensive sensors. One of them measures the suspension displacement and the other measures the vertical chassis acceleration. Also, the method of estimating the damper characteristics needs the suspension velocity. This is calculated by four different methods which are compared. With a good validation of this calculation method, a third sensor can be saved. It is proved with different examples that this estimation gives good results for the realistic behavior of the vehicle.