Simplicity Susoension Servicing

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 01, 2011 at 23:14
ThreadID: 127707 Views:3598 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Well this list of maintenance items grows following my vans first real outing on dirt roads. Did all then sensible things like lowering tyre pressure and driving slowly but some of the roads were extremely corrugated.

I was shocked however to discover whilst checking my pivot blocks to find that the starboard side one had completely worn away and the retainer is broken/worn away beyond recognition. The port side block has about 50% wear. Total kilometers travelled are just over 25,000 with about 6000 of these of these on poor surfaces.

Anyhow I think the repairs required are beyond my skills and so I would like to know if anyone knows who does simplicity suspension work in Perth?

Lance
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Reply By: Boystoy - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 02:05

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 02:05
Hi Lance,

I believe there were some pivot blocks that tended to wear quicker than others. Pivot blocks from about 2006m onwards had a better wear characteristics. I travel a lot of dirt, usually with an overloaded van, & have not experienced any abnormal wear since then.

Changing pivot blocks is not difficult. I had my first experience in Alice Springs five years ago. At that stage, all I had was a few notes Bob Pollock had placed on the BOG website, & absolutely NO previous experience. Spare pivot blocks were sent by Steve at Bushtracker and all I needed was a pair of axle stands to use during the changeover. I could have borrowed these from a local service station, but elected to buy a set. Following Bobs instructions, the changeover was no problem.
To complicate things, one of the blocks had worn to such a degree that the bolt had stuffed the bush on the chassis. I contacted the factory about this, & Steve emailed a drawing of this bush. It was then a simple matter of finding an engineering shop in Alice Springs to make one up. This was done at about 2pm and they were able to make the bush & weld it on at the caravan park at 9am the next day.
There were a number of BT's at the caravan park, & Pat still talks about every time she looked out the window of our BT there was another set of legs sticking out from under it. We all learnt a bit from that experience.


Now we have detailed descriptions with photos to go with each step of the change-out procedure on the BOG Bible.

Get a set from BT or Hauffe, & have a go!
Alternately, use the instructions from the BOG Bible, & find a mechanic to jack up the BT & do the job for you. You really don't need a specialist.


Neil
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Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 02:29

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 02:29
On the BT Forum there is an announcement of newly designed/constructed pivot blocks.

If you call Hauffe they will refer you to their service agent in Perth; we used them and were satisfied with the work. PDA Caravan Repairs at the time.
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 03:27

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 03:27
Hi Lance

We just ring Richard at Hauffe & Co in Melbourne and he posts out new spring seats (pivot blocks) or freights out other parts to where ever we are. He now has an updated record of our suspension, as a previous owner had made changes with parts sourced outside of Hauffe and Co. He had our original specifications from the suspension number but changes had been made over the years. 'Rob n son' has put up the instruction sheet with photos for chaning the blocks in the documents section making the job simple to tackle. Worn blocks can cause additional bouncing, wear and damage. Like you, ours were good when checked when we left in 2008, but when it all came unstuck, the blocks were worn and one completely degraded. We now carry spares.

Motherhen
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 07:46

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 07:46
I 1st changed our pivot blocks within a year of owning the van, they were well worn but had not damaged the seat. I fitted some spring retainer brackets and it has taken a further three years ofconstant travel before I changed them out again.

This I did with the help of a mate just the other day, Be warned that just getting under the van and eye balling the pivot blocks is not enough. Ours looked ok but dropping the springs showed they were close to damaging the seat. For us the hardest part was getting the pivot block out of the spring pack, we ended up having to dismantle the spring pack.

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Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 20:09

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 20:09
Photo's of dismantling the leaf springs - bush camp style.

Image Could Not Be Found

Image Could Not Be Found

If viewed from underneath the van, the pivot block could be deemed to be in good condition, it is not until they are removed that the damage can be seen. The head of the bolt has not worn through the block yet but not far off it. The broken piece of metal was caused by us hammering and trying to get the pivot block out of the spring pack, it was firmly stuck. The other came out without to much hassle.

Image Could Not Be Found

I do believe that every van should have the spring retainer brackets fitted.
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Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: BTRACK22 - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 22:13

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 22:13
Great pics and very informative. Why do you suggest the use of spring retainer brackets?

Lance
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 01:53

Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 01:53
Lance I base my opinion on the experience I have had. We travel similar roads every year and the life of the pivot blocks has been greatly increased by the use of the spring retainers. If you look at the suspension it is all centered on the pivot block, there is nothing stopping the leaf springs suspension from moving about should they wear or break. The retainer brackets keep the pivot blocks centered thus reducing wear.

Simplicity make and sell them, BTI did mention about installing them on heavier larger vans but I dont think they ever did.

I saw mentioned on factory forum that a new design pivot block is available presumably from BTI or HP Hauffe the makers of simplicity.
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Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: BTRACK22 - Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 09:21

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 09:21
Thank you all for the advice and details of your experiences. I will get the parts sent over and follow the directions in the BOG bible.

One thing the purchase of a Bushtracker has done/ is doing for me is stretching my mechanical and general handyman abilities.

The intercooler in my 2010 F350 blew up 30 kms out of Kalgoorlie last week as our trip came to an end - same day as our batteries in the van died. My replacement intercooler arives tomorrow and I am going to fit it myself. I would not have tried that a couple of years ago.

Lance
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Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 00:30

Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 00:30
I would not try that today; I guess that is why the tradies love me! :)
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 08:22

Thursday, Nov 03, 2011 at 08:22
Murphy says if things go wrong for us, it will be somewhere remote - like 90 kms from Warburton, Jupiter Well or 200 kms east of the Stuart Highway - and a few others. So it is him and me - lucky he is resourceful!

Motherhen
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