Rock and Anti Roll

The front anti roll bar bushes and drop links arrived from Transporters R us last week. I wanted to get them fitted before our trip to Scotland.

The weather was supposed to be dry today, so I jacked up the front of the camper and set it on axle stands. Wheels were removed and all the roll bar fittings were given a WD40 soaking.

As I had previously undone the mounting bolts when replacing the shock absorbers they didn’t put up much of a fight.

DSCN5618DSCN5617

Replacement was a fairly easy job, the bushes were split to aid fitting and the drop links push on to the end of the roll bar and then bolted back on to the lower wishbone.

The bushes weren’t too badly worn, but as the drop links cost £12 for the pair and the bushes were £4.90 a pair it was a small cost in my quest to get this camper to go around corners.

DSCN5626

 

The Results

Nothing noticeably different, but every thing I do has to make it better, if only by small amounts.

 

The next stage would be to either fit a Rear anti roll bar or fit airbags inside the rear coil springs. Both these options are expensive and if I going to do one of them I would expect the body roll to be virtually non-existent, so will be seeking advice from VW owners that have carried out the modification.

 

Advertisements

Boosted and chipped

Ruby our reluctant travelling companion had a trip to the vets today. Because of our imminent trip to Scotland we decided to get her booster injections up to date and have a microchip inserted.

The Microchip is inserted under the skin on her back. The chip carries her identification number, so that if she gets lost and is found. A vet or the police can scan the chip, punch in the number on the web site and our contact details will show up. She will need the chip to get her Pet passport to allow her to travel through out Europe. Hopefully this will become compulsory by law for all dogs soon, it should them eradicate the stray and lost dog problems.

She is just over two years old and weighs in at 2.6 kilos (5.7 lbs). The vet gave her a check over and pronounced her to be a healthy specimen. The first booster injection was given without any problem, but the syringe that they use to insert the microchip is enormous compared to her size. It’s the reason we have waited so long before we had her chipped; we needed her to get to her maximum size before putting her through this necessary ordeal. Guilt and cowardice meant we couldn’t watch this procedure being done.

Understandably she was feeling sorry for herself afterwards, but she has bounced back to her normal self.

I dread to think what she will be like when she has to go back for the second booster injection in 2 weeks time.

Ruby

Vango Kela Awning

I had put off the purchase of a drive away awning for sometime, but with the fast approaching trip to Scotland and after many threats from the extreme knitter I gave in and ordered a Vango Airbeam Kela from Premier Motor homes.

The awning arrived today, just need to practice erecting it. I don’t want to be the campsite entertainment on its maiden voyage.

Shocking shockers

Puffin the camper was driving me round the bend or not as the case may be.

Being a fixed high top camper meant that there was always going to be some body roll when cornering, but I felt that it should drive better than it did.

After many hours googling suspension modifications for VW T4 transporters I decided that a complete replacement of shock absorbers was the first stage.

The shocks that were fitted were the originals that had travelled many miles, the ride was bouncy and the straight line steering was sloppy.

A set of Bilstein B4 Gas filled shocks were purchased from Transporters R Us as these were stated to be an up rated specification over the originals.

Jacking up the rear, putting axle stands under the body and removing the wheel gave me access to the shocker. I had previously read all about seized locating nuts and bolts that had to be cut off with an angle grinder, but these proved to be fairly easy when tackled with a breaker bar.

A trolley jack under the swing arm allowed me to raise and lower it to remove the old shocker and refit the replacement. All pretty straight forward really.

Rear Suspension Layout

Rear Suspension Layout

The front was raised up on to stands and again the nuts and bolts released without too much resistance. The cast top shocker mount was cleaned up and given a rust preventative treatment and the replacement shockers were fitted.

 

During the changeover I compared new for old and had a surprise.

When I compressed the old shock absorber by hand it travelled to the end of its stroke and stayed there, no rebound at all.

Tired Shock Absorber

Tired Shock Absorber

I knew that they were worn, but hadn’t realized that they were totally knackered.

 

The results?

The ride is so much better now that I have shocks that absorb and although the cornering is better I’m still not totally satisfied. The next stage will be to replace the front anti roll bar bushes. I wish that I had done them when changing the shocks as they aren’t expensive and I had already done half the work involved in replacement.