Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland Tech

4WD Overland Tech GENERIC 4WD / 4 wheel TECH discussions and info that is valid for ALL brands. See brand specific forums.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Visit Matt Savage for VIAIR compressors, Air Lift Helper Springs, Tyre Levers, Chris Scott's Books & DVDs, KC Daylighters, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Preparation and lots more!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 3 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alt Penedes, Barcelona
Posts: 131
Air Assist Suspension for the piste ?

Hi all,

I recently got a hdj 80 with quite new +4cm yellow springs + kony heavy track shocks, however, when the hdj is loaded still swings quite a lot in paved curves. And I'm afraid the kony shocks can go to their limit in heavy conditions (the normal conditions in pistes in the Sahara) .

Since upgrading to something really good (Blistein is commonly used in Spain for hdj's ) is far from my possibilities I was thinking in upgrading the suspension by using those AIR ASSIST SUSPENSION FOR COILS from Airbagman in Australia.

Those Air Bags go inside of the existing coil.
(price 215 Australian dollars + 80 AUD. shipping to Europe)

I wonder if anyone can share any experience or opinions with those air bags things. Are they reliable in heavy conditions ? Do they really help the existing coils and shocks ?...

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 3 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: London
Posts: 144
airbags...

I haven't had experience myself but i know a man who has...

From what he has told me, and he fits and kits out cars for trips, they are not a good idea because they push a lot of energy/stress onto the chassis and on the cars he has seen that have them fitted, the chassis cracks and in several cases the cracks have been catastrophic.

They seem like a god idea and I'm sure there will be othere here who have fitted them but having seen enough photographic evidence, I certainly won't be going down this route.

Get bigger springs and shocks and keep the weight down. And maybe adjust your bump stops.
__________________
pigapitcha

http://www.jljphotography.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 3 Dec 2006
HU Sponsor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
Hi. I sell these. I have some fitted on my 80. I have fitted many to overland vehicles. They are VERY good. If you fit HD springs you have a hard ride when you have no weight in. With the air helpers you simply let them down so it is comfy again. When you have weight in you simply inflate them and they will get your vehicle back to being level and they will make the ride firmer. If you over inflate them you can smash up the poly end caps on the air springs.
Let me know if you want some, I can't remember the price (as they are special order) but I think they are about £120, maybe less.
I would not advise getting even stronger springs, this just creates more stress on the axle and chassis. In fact I would advise getting standard (or maybe +1 or +2 inch) springs. I think +4 inch to too much. There is a lot more stress on the universal joints, suspension bushes and the steering geometry is never quite the same. Oh, and at +4 inch the centre of gravity is not in the best place!
Very best regards,
Matt Savage

www.mattsavage.com
__________________
www.mattsavage.com
VIAIR - 12 & 24 volt compressors and systems. Tyre levers, Land Rover parts, Sand Tracks, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Prep, and much more...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Matt,

Quote:
If you over inflate them you can smash up the poly end caps on the air springs.
Which brand are you talking about? Can you explain about the poly caps?

Quote:
I would not advise getting even stronger springs, this just creates more stress on the axle and chassis.
That's another way of warning against overloading the vehicle. I still believe
springs that are too soft are a greater risk.

Armadillo,

Quote:
And I'm afraid the kony shocks can go to their limit in heavy conditions
With higher springs you need also to extend bump stops to prevent the springs from binding and the shocks from bottoming out.

I would also recommend fitting limiting straps on both axles to protect the shocks from being overloaded in the other direction.

I have air bags fitted but not yet tested in the wild. I assume that can't be a liability (except the cost) because even if they fail through rubbing or puncture the original springs are still there. You will need to trim the rubber cones inside the springs to adjust them for the length of the bags.
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 4 Dec 2006
HU Sponsor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
Hi Roman. I'm taking about 'Air Lift'. They've been making air helper springs since the dawn of time! On the HDJ80 you have to remove the bump stop that's inside the rear coil and put the air helper there. The poly (polyurethane) end caps are discs that sit on the top and bottom of the air helper spring.
I have a picture on my web site of the rear of a 110 with these fitted, the HDJ80 is just the same.

See y'all,
Matt

PS, my comment on getting even stronger springs was in relation to the strong springs that were/are already fitted. I mean, certainly have stronger springs, but not too strong.

www.mattsavage.com
__________________
www.mattsavage.com
VIAIR - 12 & 24 volt compressors and systems. Tyre levers, Land Rover parts, Sand Tracks, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Prep, and much more...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Matt,

Quote:
The poly (polyurethane) end caps are discs that sit on the top and bottom of the air helper spring.
When I was fitting my AirLift 1000 kit it did not come with poly end caps. These were not mentioned in the fitting instructions, either.

What I did was cutting off a lenght of the rubber bump stop inside the springs to compensite for the lift.

Is there going to be any problem with this installation, or are the end caps an after-after market item?
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 4 Dec 2006
HU Sponsor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
Hi Roman, maybe I'm wrong. I've fitted so many of these to 110's that I'm used to the end caps. It was a while ago I fitted the kit to my HDJ80, maybe they don't have the end caps. BUT, I did completely remove the bump stop so the air bag has a nice flat area to sit.
I've just been outside to look at mine, and there are no end caps on the bottof the air spring, I can't see the top but I guess there is not one there. It must just be on the Landys. The Landy air helpers (1000) are the same but a little wider and the air bags aren't as tall as the springs so the poly blocks are fitted to make up the gap. The one for the Landcruisers go the full length of the spring.

I'm going to have a nice cup of hot chocolate now!

Bye
__________________
www.mattsavage.com
VIAIR - 12 & 24 volt compressors and systems. Tyre levers, Land Rover parts, Sand Tracks, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Prep, and much more...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: France
Posts: 353
Try hot chocolate in Lithuania!

I think it was a translation issue, but when I asked for hot chocolate I got melted Cadbury's bar chocolate in a mug diluted with cream! Lovely!

Car manufacturers go to a lot of trouble to get suspension to work correctly with a certain load in mind (been there, moved on). Obviously it's based on a compromise, and certain after market products allow the car to be modified to a specific use by improving some of the features; at the expense of others.

Lift kits are just one example, you get a few more centimetres underbelly clearance for whatever reason you might want them, at the cost of cornering and side-slope ability. And, as mentioned, at the cost of UJs and suspension bushes which work harder.

HD springs are another, and Matt's covered those.

In some ways it might be better not to assist the springs, the car will sway and feel ponderous, that way you're constantly reminded that the car is at it's limits and take it easier.

However Roman is right, it is evident that a car sitting at its correct ride height is safer, so enter the spring assist bladders.

As long as the springs aren't bound or on the bump stops, inflating the air bags does not change the load transmitted to the chassis. You haven't added anything so how can it? The (combined) spring's reaction is also the same so the car will still feel ponderous, but the spring rate is higher so the sway will be reduced.

But a loaded chassis will break before an empty one.

The temptation is that now the car sits straight, you can pile more stuff in, and that's where the air assist gets its bad reputation from.

IMHO it's best to pack the car with the airbags empty, then you know when to stop. The day you leave you can pump them up to get the right ride height.

If you're going to carry a tonne or so of kit and fuel around all the time, why not just get a small HGV? That's what they're made for, and you can generally get more in between the axles which is always better than putting it all in the boot.

The 80 is a perfectly capable small 4x4, without mods it'll get you stuck in all the places you'll get a lifted one stuck

cheers.
Luke
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Luke,

That's all very nice and instructive, but doesn't cover some aspects of suspension upgrade. Let me make some points:

First of all - there are easier ways to avoid excessive sway on cornering. One of them is reducing speed. Cost really nothing compared to air bags :-)))

Second - lift kits are not for improving ground clearance but to allow more wheel travel without rubbing the wheelarches, particularly with bigger tyres. When springs sag under load, the amount of empty space in the wheelarches is reduced proportionately.

Third - LC80 with an extra fuel tank under the floor and two spare wheels on the rear bumper weighs exactly the same as LC80 with the six or eight jerry cans behind the seats and the wheels on the roof rack. In the first instance, however, the load is moved furhter to the rear, hence the rear springs need more compensation. And for all practical reasons air bags are more useful than a small HGV because when the fuel in the rear tank has been used you can enjoy driving in style, unlike pottering along in a small HGV.
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: France
Posts: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
Luke,
That's all very nice and instructive
Ouch! Easy tiger, I wasn't contradicting you, quite the contrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
First of all - there are easier ways to avoid excessive sway on cornering. One of them is reducing speed. Cost really nothing compared to air bags :-)))
How right you are. In a world where performance and upgrades are almost considered signs of status (particularly in the "raid 4x4 culture here in France) it's sometimes good just to slow down a bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
Second - lift kits are not for improving ground clearance but to allow more wheel travel without rubbing the wheelarches, particularly with bigger tyres.
Which, among other things, improve ground clearance.
More wheel travel is fun, it allows you to go faster over the same bump (see your earlier point Also helps with axle articulation, as long as there isn't a beefed up anti-roll bar to stabilise the higher vehicle
More precisely, a lift helps get back the wheelarch clearance lost by fitting a bigger (taller) tyre, which one fits for improved sand driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
When springs sag under load, the amount of empty space in the wheelarches is reduced proportionately.
Enter the air bags, which level the car nicely. My previous post supports their use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
Third - LC80 with an extra fuel tank under the floor and two spare wheels on the rear bumper weighs exactly the same as LC80 with the six or eight jerry cans behind the seats and the wheels on the roof rack. In the first instance, however, the load is moved furhter to the rear, hence the rear springs need more compensation.
I presume you mean the jerries are behind the front seats, not the rear ones. There's also a question of load distribution you address here, interesting to discover that the aux tank puts the weight further back. Even front rear distribution is important, and becomes a real headache when the back seats are used for kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
And for all practical reasons air bags are more useful than a small HGV because when the fuel in the rear tank has been used you can enjoy driving in style, unlike pottering along in a small HGV.
Absolutely, hence my use of the term "all the time". Suspension that keeps the vehicle level whatever the load is obviously much safer than a saggy ass.
But a vehicle kept permanently loaded to its maximum capacity is going to break sooner.
Horses for courses. If you're going to spend six weeks of the year playing in the sandpit and the rest of the year with the car empty then your choice is fine.
I keep on dreaming of the Big Off; in which case the vehicle is permanently loaded up and a HGV is better.
One thing you miss in a small HGV is motorway cruising speed, but then again, once you've left, where's the hurry

Happily I'm out of the motor manufacturing industry (chassis and powertrain development (never buy a Renault automatic)) but the compromises and shortcuts made in the private car industry are enough to make you want a truck straight away.
They (car manufacturers) just don't care, if an individual is left stuck on the side of the road/piste who cares, he has no voice; a bit of canny advertising and the reputation is clean.
HGV clients expect at least a million trouble free kilometers out of a truck, and the manufacturers know that they are often dealing with fleet customers where word of mouth is very, very powerful. A broken down truck doesn't just cost the price of the recovery/repair.

Oops, sorry, rant over.
It wasn't even that relevant.
happy trails
Luke
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Hello Luke,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke
How right you are. In a world where performance and upgrades are almost considered signs of status (particularly in the "raid 4x4 culture here in France) it's sometimes good just to slow down a bit
How right you are, too. I've been on two Raid 4x4 events with the Fench and I will not punish myself like this again!

With the other points now cleared and agreed I can only say I also agree with your gloomy yet realistic description of the motor industry. But then there are those sad individuals, like me, who are willing to pay big money and even take the pleasure in improving things that could have been better built in the first place.

So, when is your Big Off going to happen?
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alt Penedes, Barcelona
Posts: 131
Well, I appreciate very much all those illustrative post of you guys. I gonna need some time to read it and understand it well because now I feel like Manuel from Falty Towers.

great luck with the big off !
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alt Penedes, Barcelona
Posts: 131
Thank you all for your interesting opinions.

I don't really know what a HGV is but it sounds like big and heavy. Whatever it's it sounds like being very attractive, but so far I got more than genuk with this hdj80 I recently got.
I just wanna be able to carry the typical desert load (9000 kilos, including three human beings ) So I had the idea the airbag things could assist the kind of soft suspension the hdj came with (yellow springs + koni heavy track) BTW the 80 also came with a lovely extra 166 tank.

Matt: sorry, I said 4 cm not imperial inches. We'll be in touch

I got the 1994 hd80 12V cause I think it's quite a solid vehicle, and can take me down there faster and less noisy than my beloved Series LR's. When I see the 80's chassis it looks very strong. So probably, as mentioned by Jljones the chassis problems related with air bags where in another vehicle??

About the "raid culture" that's not my sh*t, french or spanish I guess they all suck, an arrogant display of exaggerated technology. I like to travel solo (one vehicle), and in tha Sahara, I also meet people like me, from different nationalities, people who love the desert and do like to explore it as respectfully as possible with their own vehicles

I'll get the air bags and will follow your good advices: inflate after the load is on and avoid over-inflation.

In your way south, if you guys need, you can stop by my farm, where you can use the garage, oil changes, welding, camping etc. 60 Km south of Barcelona, 10 min from the main highway

Luke, since you happen to know something about HGV, can you tell as about the ones you could recommend for a desert trip.

hasta la vista !
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 18 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: scotland
Posts: 73
Armadillo, are you serious? 9000 kilos ! your gonna need a BIG truck to carry that load. Was it 900 perhaps ? I think you need to look at the kit you will be carrying and try to keep this to a minimum, look at the bikers that travel carrying only what they can pack into the very limmited space available to them. The more modifications and non standard kit that you use might become your biggest headache if it goes wrong. In remote areas you might get standard parts avaiable, but trick gear might not. If you are concerned about living in some degree of comfort whilest you travel, then a bigger vehicle such as an expedition truck might be an answer. But the larger vehicle could limmit your off road capabilities and if you do get stuck with a truck it will be much more difficult to get it unstuck. I suppose it all depends on the type of travel you want to do and for how long you intend traveling.

regards.......marty
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 19 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alt Penedes, Barcelona
Posts: 131
yes, sorry, it's 900 kilos, I was never good in mathematics
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best Landrover 110 suspension setup?? Bensouthall 4WD Overland Tech 16 1 Jul 2006 12:48
desert piste or coast piste to Atar fons Sahara Travel Forum 7 1 Apr 2005 19:17
Adjust suspension or not? Marianne Yamaha Tech 6 1 Nov 2002 14:23
road conditions Ndjamena-Abeche and in Sudan john-l Sahara Travel Forum 14 2 Apr 2002 17:42
Front "Sports Suspension" for aircooled GS coops BMW Tech 2 8 Feb 2002 14:24

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:35.