Alice to the road!!

Technical questions and answers
disco2hse
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:51 am
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by disco2hse »

I'd keep the RM's until the BP springs fail.

I don't know that much about parabolic springs, but the standard springs are all handed because of the driver and fuel tank weight being on the same side that causes uneven weight distribution in the vehicle. It is probable that RM have changed their spring rates to accommodate that (even though they may look similar).
Alan

1983 ex-army FFR 109 Stage 1
2005 Disco 2 HSE TD5
Cliff4WD
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:39 pm
Location: Rye, East Sussex, UK

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Cliff4WD »

Well, I've read through your entire thread for inspiration. I am about to embark on my own restoration journey. I bought Captainslow's Stage One in September this year and had it transported down to me in the SE corner of England. It had a complete spare LT95 gearbox with overdrive fitted in the back of the vehicle. Unfortunately, I don't think it liked the weight too much, and it is sagging badly on the offside (RH) rear. I can't see anything broken per se, but the leaf spring is compressed near flat. Anyway, I reckon that I shall have to replace the springs, and hence my coming upon this thread.
I was looking at the RM parabolic kit with rear 4 leaf springs. However, looking at the photograph of your broken front leafs, it is clear that there is a fine crystalline grain and internal rust witness of cracking. This suggests to me that those springs were neither well made or up to the job, so I'm not so keen at all now. I'm wondering if I should go for OEM original spec springs from maybe a surplus or NOS supplier (if that is actually available), or maybe the Jones springs? Anyone have any qualified advice on this, as I cannot afford to make a mistake. It wasn't my original priority to start with this, but the vehicle is unusable as is, so I think it's rear axle refurb first.

She's sitting on a galvanised chassis which is solid, and having been rebuilt back in the mid to late 90s, appears to have had a replacement bulkhead. This is now rusting and needs footwells and the classic areas around the screen hinge corners, vents, etc. So, I plan to get the bulkhead out and do the repairs, sort out brakes, and see if I have an MOT ready rolling restoration.
Last edited by Cliff4WD on Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cliff

1981 109 V8 Stage 1
2000 Discovery 2 Td5

109 V8: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2161
My Disco Thread: http://www.thed2boysclub.co.uk/viewtopi ... =3&t=58130

LAND ROVER. TURNING OWNERS INTO PAUPERS FOR 70 YEARS
map1275
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:48 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by map1275 »

Springs are just a nut and bolt swap, so if you get it wrong it's not an unreasonable fix/re-fix. Just an annoying one.
The folly of parabolics and to a lesser extent mystery brand replacements is fairly well covered. Even Britpart replacements at least have the correct number of leaves. However having the old ones reset is always cheapest. Depending on how well they're reset or how flogged they were can make for an unpredictable new lifespan. However it still tends to be the most effective plan B. It gets you motoring.

- As a mechanic my default is genuine part every time. It just solves so much buggering around. Particularly when rust is part of the equation.
- Alternately direct replacement aftermarket. Direct in the literal sense, not the owner fantasy excuse version. A choice you frequently don't get in Australia.
- Reset. For your own car this can be improved by stripping, cleaning, blasting individual leaves, omitting any home-made leaves... before venturing off to the blacksmith. Most spring repairers are just a smith, with lots of skill rather than specifications.
disco2hse
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:51 am
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by disco2hse »

Fully agree!

Get the existing springs reset with heat and not a blow torch and number 5 hammer either, but an actual furnace. Once they are tempered, you'll have happy riding for years. Admittedly, we are lucky in this city to have an old bugger that knows how to make springs and has books of setting tables for all the old species of car. He does only cash (or rum) and has no computerised devices of any kind.

While you're at it, replace the chassis and spring bushes with rubber. Poly bushes just break down too fast on these. Remember they were designed for performance cars with limited travel on level surfaces, not hard working landies. Rubber bushes are cheap, which helps. Also, take the opportunity to check and replace the shock bushes. They tend to wear without our noticing.

Any questions, check here :)
Alan

1983 ex-army FFR 109 Stage 1
2005 Disco 2 HSE TD5
map1275
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:48 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by map1275 »

If it's any consolation, the ADF bought MAN as replacement medium and heavy vehicles. Amongst the growing list of faults, some of the parabolic springs cracked. Typically within the first 30km. That's if you spotted what looked like a pencil mark. They subsequently open up a roaring gap when driven.
MAN and their local outlet being less than diligent in addressing the matter. A full survey was performed and narrowed to a given spring production run. So far they've only replaced springs that were known to have cracked. The rest is wait and see.

MAN also have a unique version of stainless that rusts very quickly. You don't want to know about steering arms and their approved fix.

Insert Deutschlandlied here.
Alicerover
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Alicerover »

When I was rebuilding Alice, as explained earlier in the thread, I did think long and hard about which springs to fit. At the time there was very little choice on the multi leaf suppliers.
I decided to go with the Rocky Mountain setup as they have had good reports and some very satisfied customers, plus the parabolics do give a slightly softer ride.
Yes, I had a bad spring, which with a bit of conversation, resulted in replacements being sent free of charge.
Parabolic springs raise the ride height by quite a bit compared to multi leaf, which can lead to more body roll round corners.
Rebuilding and modifying Landrovers is the topic of many a forum, and is quite a personal thing. I had specific requirements for Alice, in that she is my everyday ride, odometer reading is now rapidly heading towards the 40K mark!!!! which drove my decision's. The bank balance was the other, and still is!!! I still have lots of little jobs to do to 'finish' her - do you ever stop??

My latest mod was to fit intermittant wipe on the windscreen wipers, as I found to my cost that constantly switching the wipers on and off burnt out the switch. Due to the airflow over the bonnet, I found that I never needed the high speed setting, so I made a circuit up to provide a time delay, from 2 seconds to 4 mins, which is switched on what was the slow setting. Constant wipe being achieved on the 'fast' setting.
Works a treat, and saves the wiper motor and blades from excessive wear.
disco2hse
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:51 am
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by disco2hse »

Nice mod. I have thought often about adding an intermittent switch instead of the existing dual, or in series with the low speed setting. The problem with a 24V system is that 24V intermittent switches are devilishly expensive. We do need the fast speed sometimes, with subtropical downpours.
Alan

1983 ex-army FFR 109 Stage 1
2005 Disco 2 HSE TD5
Alicerover
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Alicerover »

Alice update.
Still rolling along, now have covered just over 36,000 miles since I returned her to the road. I still have what seems like a never ending list of things to do, the most pertanent one being to try and find where water is getting in through the roof. The 'internal gutter' which forms the join between the sides and the roof I recon will hold about 2 pints of water (well that's what is seems like when you apply the brakes and you get a free cold shower!!!)
Mechanically everything is still sound, her body work needs a good going over with a colour restorer sometime as she's looking a bit dull. Now the british summer has arrived, I love driving along with all the vents open and the V8 sound track for company, just crusin along........
Alicerover
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Alicerover »

How time flies!!!
Alice is still going strong with various mods made over the course of the past year or so, more on this later.
Odometer reading is now rapidly approaching 48,000 still with no issues with the running gear.
Hopefully there is a pic of her on this post if I have followed the 'how to post pics' correctly.
Image
disco2hse
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:51 am
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by disco2hse »

Nice. Cheers 🍻
Alan

1983 ex-army FFR 109 Stage 1
2005 Disco 2 HSE TD5
User avatar
Mik
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Location: Denmark

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Mik »

That still looks fantastic !
Michael
1965 109 FC SIIA
1982 109 V8 SIII CSW Stage One
1982 109 V8 SIII HCPU Stage One
1990 RRC Vogue SE
Alicerover
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Alicerover »

Image

So, I regularly travel to work in Alice and there is a particular stretch of road that is 'not smooth' if you get my drift!!
Every time I would drive over this particular stretch, Alice would be subjected to the most horrendous bashing through the suspension, almost as if the springs had been replaced with iron bars!!!
In a chance conversation at a classic car show, I spotted a Landrover with Gaz shock absorbers fitted, which are adjustable, and after a few other conversations about suspension setups with various people in the know, I placed an order for a set. Now, there not the cheap, but they are a very high quality product.
Delivery took some time, but this was at the start of the pandemic.
Having fitted them the ride quality has been transformed, the front end now has some 'bounce' and much more movement than before, to the extent that the certain section of road is now feels alot smoother.
I'm still playing with the settings on the shocks to get the best feel, on the minimum setting there is virtually no damping effect which can be interesting and definitely not recommended.
On the whole very impressed with the shocks, got a weekend of trail driving planned so we'll see how things go then.
disco2hse
Posts: 1599
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:51 am
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by disco2hse »

Interesting. Is that a parabolic spring set?
That kind of shock would probably work well with parabolic springs.
Alan

1983 ex-army FFR 109 Stage 1
2005 Disco 2 HSE TD5
Alicerover
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Alicerover »

Yes, the springs are parabolic, Rocky Mountain items. They originally supplied me with some shocks, not sure what brand they were as there were no labels on them, but there damping effort was very high, requiring some effort to make them move.
The rear end has always been ok, but the front end was really stiff. I can now 'bounce' the front of Alice with my own weight. At least now I can adjust the damping according to the conditions.
Glen
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:45 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Alice to the road!!

Post by Glen »

I’ve had a set of GAZ dampers on mine for a few years now, yes one click on the wheel does make a noticeable change. Can’t remember what settings they are on but they aren’t turned up very high - 4…6 of 20 maybe? I find when too soft the front axle is prone to tramping. My truck is still on its original very worn out heavy duty suspension though in the coming months I’m going to replace the springs with new Jones springs to standard duty spec as that should best suit my loading carictoristics.
I got the GAZ because I used to have a set of Monroe gas dampers which were quite comfortable on a parabolic sprung normal 109 I used to have though they were quite soft - worked fine on a RWD but not Permiant 4WD. I think the issue with many aftermarket dampers is the only spec they seem to care about is the length and not about the damping carictoristics. At least with an adjustable design you you get to tune it to something that works okay. It can of course be argued that the stock dampers aren’t too bad (for standard springs) which is true but generally OEM dampers are built to a price and on a series the design dates back to the early days of telescopic hydraulic dampers so there are improvements to be made if you want to pay for them.

I presume you went for a longer design than their catalogue size for a series? I noticed they have less range than the oem dampers did (adjustable valves must take up more room?) but still sufficient for the available articulation on my springs. I might have to recheck this with the new springs as they will hopefully flex a bit more than the old ones do, but I used to have (Grey Canadian made) Rocky Mountain springs on an 86 inch series 1 so know they can sit quite high (though that was a rag top so weighted nothing, my 88 inch series 1 station wagon in comparison rides okay on newish standard springs as I think the extra body weight got them working more).
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