This article has as objective the demonstration of a methodology to create component test rigs using numerical simulation techniques (FEM - Finite Element Modelling) as an aiding tool. It also emphasises the interaction between modern design procedures and experimental testing, regarding their consequences to product development.The case study was the development of a prototype chassis components durability test rig. The target was to reproduce a failure occurring at a crossbeam subframe on the assembly with the leaf spring mounting in order to test possible proposed solutions.An initial rig concept was created using experimental data. This conception failed to reproduce the crack at the point where it occurred in the prototype. A new rig was virtually designed and simulated. As the simulation showed proper results, it encouraged the construction of this new rig, which reproduced the failure as expected.The rig developed under computational environment and evaluated experimentally represented the actual frame behaviour at critical conditions and it was used to evaluate the proposed solutions to the above described problem. This suggests that the new interaction between design calculations and experimental tests is a valuable and feasible procedure to minimise cost and time in product development.