100 series suspension

Submitted: Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 13:59
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Hi All,..........Do you recommend uprating the springs and shocks on a new 100 t/d auto cruiser? We will be travelling with full camping gear and a BT van which we pick up early November and intend being away for 18 months / 2 years............. The other query we have is whether to have an inverter or not. At the moment we have deleted it from the spec. as we do not intend using a microwave. The BT will have solar and 3 batteries (upgraded thanks to your comments) with a 35 amp charger. As our name suggests we are new to this and would appreciate any advice. The Greenhorns.
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:04

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:04
Hi Anthony,.....Thanks for your input on suspension & inverters on which I have another question. You mention phone, camera chargers, tv etc, but can you power a laptop through your Alessi inverter and does it need any wiring other than the 12v socket as I need to instruct BTI of the requirement................Thanks again Linda
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:05

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:05
G'day Linda, I would have BTi place a 12v socket near where you want to run the inverter. Keep it as a portable so you can use it in the car for charging etc. The 12v socket (and wiring to it) must be rated to carry the current that the inverter can draw at max output. The Alessi 150i-12 is rated at 150w continuous at 40 deg C. So I estimated it would run 180w continuous at 25-30 deg C ..... a more realistic temp for inside a BT in summer. The 150i Alessi is fan cooled. Dividing the 180w by 12v gives a max draw of 15 amp continuous ..... so I would have a 12v socket/wiring/circuit breaker installed for say 20 amp near where you want to use it .... benchtop etc. As this inverter is a true sine wave it is perfect for powering laptops, pc's and sensitive electronic equipment. They quote a Frequency distortion of .05% -/+ and a voltage distortion of 1% -/+ ..... as good as the socket at home !! A matching plug will have to be fitted to the 12v side of the inverter so you can plug it into the wall. An adapter lead from say cig lighter or two alligator clips (for connection directly to battery in car) will be needed to use inverter in car. Dont forget that the max load on this inverter is 150w continuous so anything you run on it must be checked. All appliances have a wattage drawn stamped on them. As an example my sat decoder is 40w and my tv is 50w. The Alessi has inbuilt protection for short circuit, overload, high temperature and low voltage input as should all good inverters. The sparky at BTi is very good and might have a better solution as he knows the wiring in your van intimately. The above would be a good start ...... discuss it with the sparky/BTi specifically for your van. Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:06

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:06
Hi Again Anthony,......I have been searching the net for an hour or two and can't find an Australian dealer for the Alessi inverters (Europe & USA only). I also tried phoning a couple of places over here in WA. Where did you get yours from? Ta again Linda.
AnswerID: 559569

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:07

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:07
G'day Linda, The Alessi importer is BainBridge Technologies at Cleveland here in Brisbane. This is where the warranty (two years) registration form gets posted. www.baintech.com.au I purchased mine at "Springers" Low Voltage Specialists because of the BOG discount ... He has them for $440 on the shelf but gave me mine for $400 even. Freight would be about $15-20 by Aust Post to WA. They do heaps of mail order. If you want to purchase from them give them a call on 07 3889 8898 Have a look at www.springers.com.au Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:08

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:08
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:09

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:09
Hi,<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Regarding uprating the springs and shocks on a new 100 t/d auto cruiser, the difference between standard suspension and aftermarket setups is quite substantial. The IFS LC is designed for comfort, not handling, and it's suspension is somewhat soggy and unpredicatable compared with the standard live axle LC or Patrol Wagons on road and off, towing or not towing. Aftermarket setups improve the weight carrying capacity, ride, handling and safety considerably on any of those vehicles. Standard shocks, in particular, are not designed for the heavy duty applications of carrying big loads over rough roads.<o:p></o:p> Aftermarket suspensions also generally increase ride height, and improve articulation and wheel travel which are all important when 4WDing. Having said that the IFS does not have the articulation and wheel travel of the live axle vehicles.<o:p></o:p> I would also advocate the use of air bags and weight distribution hitches, as has been mentioned previously, in conjunction with aftermarket suspension.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p>Cheers <o:p> </o:p>Larry
AnswerID: 559572

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:10

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:10
I think that the main thing that most people who own 4WD's forget about when they have a Landcruiser of Patrol station wagon is how mush load they can put on the vehicle. Take a Landcruiser 100series T/D. From memory they have a tare of about 2600kg and a gross of about 3200. When you add a Bull bar, Winch, towbar, fridge, may be a roof rack and rear drawer set up with recovery gear, then add say 170 kg for 2 adults, most people would say that it was LIGHTLY loaded. All of these items would add up to about say 450 to 500kg. Add 200 kg plus as the tow bar ball weight and you are now OVERLOADED. Forget about all the extra luggage, maybe a tinny on the roof, extra fuel , water or camping gear. The standard suspension will easily handle the gross weight of the vehicle of about 3200kg. What is the point of putting the aftermarket suspension items on when you cannot legally carry the load anyway. Food for thought! The F250 may not be able to go all the really off road locations that the Toyota 100 series can but it and other ute type 4WD's have a much larger pay load than the 100 series. (1200Kg pay load) Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:11

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:11
The issue is not about the weight the vehicle can carry, it is about improved capability, performance and safety. The point of putting after market suspensions on is that aftermarket setups allow the vehicle to handle the legal gross weight whilst considerably improving the ride, handling and safety. Standard shocks, in particular, are not designed for the heavy duty applications of carrying big loads over rough roads. Additionally, if you 4WD, aftermarket suspensions also generally increase ride height, and improve articulation and wheel travel which are all important when 4WDing
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:12

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:12
Sorry, I meant to say that gonebushwa = gonebush. For some reason I could not get back in as gonebush. Larry
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Reply By: Bushtracker42 - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:13

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:13
Re load - I went into this a fair bit trying to keep
the 100 L/C legal e.g. I have been checking lowest weight hand winch for it and
recent put in aluminium draws rather than the steel.

I’m expecting to put a long range tank in and
this will take it over I’m sure.

When I bought the car I was also looking at the
Patrol, but it’s maximum towball weight was 175kg. They could downgrade
the GVM and allow more towball weight, but to get the 350kg of the L/C it meant
having a load capacity of Jenny and I, the tank of fuel and the camera.

The maximum towball weight told to me by BT/steve was
not close to actual, so I am glad I waited to I had it before setting it up but
it added 80kg to the load capacity caclulation I had not allowed for.

I’m going to head for a weighbridge before next
trip with car and B/T to find out where I stand on all this.

I don’t have an option of a F250 anyway yet as
It’s not that suited for taking clients, I often travel 1000km in a day
for work and I need to turn around in some sites I frequent regularly.


Re suspension wise the rear sagged just with the rear
wheel carrier.

There was much discussion on this matter and I wish
this site was around then as I got as many opinions as people I talked to. BT
put me in contact with one person in Melbourne
but he was still having issues. The local 4WD store just opened the ARB book
and read my choices with no real convincing that they knew if it would work i.e.
buy our standard load package.

I ended up with two choices of stores in Sydney who
seemed to be switched on. Both had the attitude of having several springs ready
at the time of fitting, accepting they may need to try a couple and wanted the
van there if possible. One advocated air bags the other believed best to not
have air bags.

Short story is I went the no air bag option, as I
thought simpler the better. It had an obvious improvement in towing but my normal
rear height makes the headlight look downhill if I adjust them not to blind
people when I am towing. I compensate by having the driving lights right which
makes sense as I don’t expect to do much high speed driving with the BT
of a night. I reasoned that I would not change air bag pressure each time
I disconneced the van anyway when travelling, so it would have been the same.

I went for again simple non ajustable shocks and was
lead to Bilstein by the store preference. I was serious about adjustable Rancho’s
but I had used Bilstein before and loved them on cars with still perfect specs
after 250,000 miles. They do combine with the H/T types to allow me to chase
Pajeros on the corners.

I currently use no leveling/weight distribution, but
am perfectly level on the normal road.

I am interested in opinions as while I am very pleased
non towning and generally happy towing, I have nothing to compare to. Someone
told me the Bilstein’s don’t handle corrugations well and I do have
an issue in this area. Recently we went from Cooktown to Laura and especially
in the windy sections I could not get the speed to cover the corrugations. (Please
note tighten up the grill screws on the stove as these can come loose). I also had
one instance of the van skipping left to right on the bumps (solved quickly by
using the manual brake on the controller).

I expect I won’t make changes/replace what I
have in a couple of years, but I’ll open the info line now so I can start
to think about it.


Gary Harding

TriSys Engineering/III

AnswerID: 559576

Reply By: Andy1 - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:14

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:14
There is no "yes"/"no" answer to the Greenhorns question. We started off towing our BT with a 100 Series Petrol Toyota - upgraded shockers, HD springs, air bags, steel drawers, long range tank, winch, double swing away tyre carrier on the rear, diff (air) lockers etc. The ball weight was not good, about 160-180kg (max when we started out with all of the wine) with all the tanks forward of the axles full & most heavy goods in the front. 18 foot van. The rig looked really good, dead level. To me it felt a bit too light at the front, at the time we took BT's advice & did not fit load distribution hitches. The van weighed 3,000kg on the road & the Toyota knew it was working, the auto shift lever was almost too hot to touch on some days when the ambient temperature was up. Along the way we almost lost the van on a dirt road at 70-80ks but were fortunate to (just) recover. This decided us to make changes, we planned to fit hitches & put more weight on the ball by carrying the Honda 10i & the boat fuel tank on the draw bar. Next problem, when we weighed the Toyota with a boat on top, the motor on one of the swing away tyre holders, long range tank full we were pretty well at the GVM. No van connected. My observation is that most 4WD's which carry boats, & often the rear compartment full, are in a similar situation. Brian is making the same point. Next step was to look for another towing vehicle - the choice was pretty limited hence the F250. We fitted a setup to carry the 10i, boat fuel tank & 2 x 20l fuel drums on the BT draw bar. The ball weight is now about 220kg- still a bit light but OK with the F250. Of course we now have a WD hitch. The F250 is a wonderful safe towing vehicle with power to burn & a wider & longer wheel base it beats the pants off of the Toyota for towing, but it is noisey, has a lousy turning circle, finish is not in the same class as Toyota & is unmanagable in capital city car parks. For us this has been an expensive exercise, even more so because Jude will not part with "her" Toyota. The advice for the Greenhorns that comes out of our experience is: Get the ball weight over 200kg as an absolute bare minimum - preferably closer to the 10% If you are staying with the Toyota fit HD springs, upgraded shockers & air bags - as an aside we just had rear air bags fitted to the F250 Fit WD hitches If you plan to carry boat, trailer & motor watch your GVM As a last comment - quite a few rigs of all shapes & sizes are just an accident waiting to happen, regardless of what you tow with the ball weight/WD hitches are critical. What seems A Ok in a normal situation may be quite unstable & if you are forced to swerve or brake suddenly......... Andy
AnswerID: 559577

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:15

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:15
Ah for a VW Touareg V10 diesel! (Assuming - perhaps unjustly - that it will take the Germans a while to sort the rest of the package, I'll just patiently wait to see how it goes in the rough stuff). Some great stuff in this thread. Andy (or other F250 owners), I recall seeing some specs on a US web site for F's that MANDATED use of WD Hitches when towing above 2 or 2.5 thousand POUNDS. Don't know whether this was due to regulation or manufacturer's spec. Anything about this in Ford's local handbook? If they do specify, could leave BT a tad exposed if an F250 owner was involved in an incident with no WDH on BT's advice. Wagons HO! Griff
AnswerID: 559578

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:16

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:16
The Australian hand book for F250 has the weight distribution equipment MUST be used if the towed weight is above 2270kg or the ball weight above 227kg. I think that you will find that Bushtracker will not tell anyone that weight distribution equipment is not required. They may have in the past, but that is unlikely to happen in the future. They make an excellent caravan but it is really up to the individual owner to decide what if any weight distribution equipment that they use. Personally I wouldn't be without it, apart from in extreme off road conditions, but if we were to throw away our current setup and install BOGETTE Daves set up then you can use that on or off road. Brian
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Reply By: Tassietracker5 - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:17

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:17
Hello Grif & Brian, The manual for the F250 states that a WD hitch must be used. The reason this is that the Ford Towbar is only rated to 2250KG this is stamped on it. To rate it over this to 3500KG a WD Hitch must be used. I discovered this when I hitched up the builders trailer and noticed the 2250KG stamping on it. Most unhappy when at the time of ordering the F250 the local dealer was told that i required a hitch of 3500kg and I would be towing a 3500kg off road trailer with not WD Hitch. The result is I now have an Original Ford Towbar sitting in the backyard and Ford replaced it with an aftermarket towbar that is rated to 3500kg on the F250 without the need for the WD Hitch. Cheers Rod Betts
AnswerID: 559580

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:18

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:18
G'day Rod, Regardless of the towbar fitted the F250 is "load limited" by means of " with levelling kit " or "without levelling kit" as per manual. Dont be mislead ..... It also states .... The heavy duty towbar (3500kg/350kg ball) may be used to tow a trailer up 2270kg Gross Trailer Weight using the 2270kg ball mount. For trailer weights greater than 2270kg a Ford approved load levelling kit must be used. ( common sense would also dictate a 3500kg ball mount) In a claim this is black and white ....even if you are using a 3500kg heavy duty towbar and the GTW goes over 2270kg without a load levelling kit you have exceeded your load limit. If a towbar manufacturer says by fitting a bar they over-ride this it would be wise to get it in writing ...... Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 559581

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