troop carrier suspension

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 03, 2005 at 18:57
ThreadID: 122353 Views:4880 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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I am taking delivery of a 19ft BT in February and have been looking to getting the suspension of my 1997 TC up to speed. At the moment my plan is to have the springs reset, new shockies and install air bags to the rear suspension. Reason being when I am not towing the BT I can return the TC to the original support thereby avoiding a rigid ride. I will have a 750lb WDH on the van. Has anyone gone through this exercise. Any advice or ideas?
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Reply By: Oldfart & the Boss - Sunday, Dec 04, 2005 at 02:31

Sunday, Dec 04, 2005 at 02:31
I am currently towing a 19ft BT with a 98 troopy with standard suspension with no dramas at present. Am using a 350kg Hayman Reece weight dist. hitch with the chains only pulled up to the 3rd link. Have no sag in the Troopy suspension and no trouble towing at legal limits. I am probabably only carrying a couple of hundred kgs in the back of the truck.Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 567521

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Dec 05, 2005 at 06:14

Monday, Dec 05, 2005 at 06:14
I'd agree with Bruce. If you're going to use the WDH, and the vehicle sits fine without the van, don't bother. I have aftermarket suspension, which was later reset and exta leaves added. Recently I put poly air "air bellows" on the back and they are great. Good for 1100kgs EACH. Way more than ever needed. All the mods I've done though weren't for towing. My troopy was/is my off road toy and while my mods were great for off road- 6inch's of lift, extended shackles, ranchos, I wouldn't do it for towing.

If however,when you load the car up and the bum sags, I'd look at the air bellows. Totally adjustable so not even noticed when unloaded, perfect for varying loads. Factory shocks are probably toast if they've never been changed so might want to do them. The factory springs however, I'd not change. Ask a leaf spring expert, they all seem to say they are made of better steel than the aftermartet stuff. I wouldn't but new ones again anyway. Money better spent on the bellows I think.

AnswerID: 567522

Follow Up By: Spirit Gypsys - Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005 at 10:41

Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005 at 10:41
Hi Dave, Yep all god advice above,
I've got a 20ft BT and a 2001 Tropy which had new (factory) springs & shocks fittedjust before I got it to tow the van, which I did without level rides of any type and it was fine, BUT, everything was empty, van, & Troopy.
Now I have at least 800 kg in the Troopy and 3.45T of Van .
I know the springs are going to sag so I put the Airman Airbags, Poly Airs on strait away.
Istill don't have the HR bars and I feel I'm OK but then , never having towed with them, I don't know the difference.
I put 45 lbs in the airbags (by experimentation) with the van on and 25 lbs without.(if I'm not towing for a while)
The best is the variability depending on load and I wouldn't even bother with the new springs, New shocks yes but not springs.Put the $ into the air bags.
My opinion only
regards John K.
FollowupID: 845203

Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005 at 22:38

Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005 at 22:38
Hello Dave,

I think I disagree a little with the direction of this thread... I have owned three Troop Carriers since the 80's, two of them in the 90's. And Tracy had one in the late 90's, an RV model. We experimented around with everything.. At the time, before Ford, they were my favourite tow vehicle in the 90's.. We worked them full time with Bushtracker, even to the point of running one kind of shocks to failure by the Alice, shifting to another well known brand that failed on the way back (rutted out tracks towing) . Re- arced springs and added leaves make for a hard ride when empty or the corrugation... And air bags on stock springs is a bit too much on the side of wallowing around... The air in the bags compresses a bit, so I am not sure I like the addition to stock springs, but it is better than nothing...

What I have done, and many others in the 4x4 Clubs, is go with ARB and a high lift spring that doubles the spring travel. The problem with Troop Carriers is that the spring travel is as llittle as 50 mm. Measure yours between the bump stop and the chassis. ARB used to make a high life, high arc spring, in medium and heavy, that gave you a longer spring travel. Firm, but did not bottom out on a rut to buck like a standard TC. Then the best Shock was always the ARB Nitrocharger. This gave a firm ride control and longer travel for comfort, and three point shackles that were greasable allowed the whole thing to move. I found this the best... We tried all the rest. Nothing lasted like the ARB Old Man Emu stuff, especially the NC gas shocks, and springs maybe in the Medium load range.

I would at least go talk with them, before going to the Airbag man. Mind you air bags are better than nothing, and might, do with the right gas shocks to dampen it, but I would talk with the Chiefs at ARB before committing. And mind you, I have no experience with the new 78 Series with the coils in the front. I am really talking about the full leaf 75 Series. I might be out of date on this issue, but in the past ARB was worth talking to....

And on the WDH: It is a good idea regardless, for the highway... If you get in a bad situation at high speed avoiding a wreck or something, the WDH will give you better control out on the "Outer Limits" of what you can do to react...

Regards from the Ranger, out der some where...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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AnswerID: 567523

Follow Up By: Stephen - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 02:39

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 02:39
Giday all Troopy drivers,
Just joined the BOG and as I have a Tdi Troopy was interested in others with these tow vehicles.

I'd like to mention some neg info about air bellow/spring helpers. I also had a set of Air bellows fitted to my 2001 troopy. After moving to a new service mechanic.. He convinced me to remove them, the evidence was a few photos of cracked chassis. Seems that when Mr Toyota designed the chassis it was never made to bear load at the bump stop over rider. Now these cracked troopys were used off road a-lot, in mining and tourist transport duties. The mechanic in question does the servicing for the 4x4’s for Santos gas fields out here. Also for quite a few other mining and other companys (Country diesel maintenance, here in the Alice)

FollowupID: 845204

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