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Replacement springs
05-03-2016, 05:46 PM
Post: #1
Replacement springs
The front springs of my 1991 2.5 2WD microbus are original and a bit tired after 340 000km and I'd like to replace them. A neighbour has a set in good condition from a 2000 2.3 bus. He says he replaced them with heavy duty springs to get some lift up front. Are his springs the same as the OE springs on my bus and if so what should the unloaded length be?

Thanks
Colin
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05-03-2016, 07:23 PM
Post: #2
RE: Replacement springs
Colin all the 5 cylinder 2wd buses use the same front springs as far as I know. Not sure of unloaded length though.

Ian
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05-05-2016, 08:27 AM
Post: #3
RE: Replacement springs
just fit Taxi springs up front, Ace Auto in CT should have stock,

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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05-06-2016, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2016 02:25 PM by Oberon.)
Post: #4
RE: Replacement springs
(05-05-2016 08:27 AM)syncromad Wrote:  just fit Taxi springs up front, Ace Auto in CT should have stock,

Thanks guys, but I already have Brickwerks 30mm lift spacers fitted and my neighbour only wanted R100 for his springs, so I'm going to try that first. They measure 350mm. I think that's the correct original length.

Stuart, I considered taxi springs a couple of years ago when Russel did the suspension lift for me, but the bus is already horrendous on corrugations and I thought the taxi springs might make it even worse. Got any tips for that?

Colin
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05-06-2016, 05:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: Replacement springs
tyre pressure, let them down a little

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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05-06-2016, 05:56 PM
Post: #6
RE: Replacement springs
Oberon - what tyres are you running - make and size?
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05-06-2016, 07:12 PM
Post: #7
RE: Replacement springs
(05-06-2016 05:56 PM)Nico Wrote:  Oberon - what tyres are you running - make and size?

Nico
Continental World Contact 4X4 205/70/15 at present. They have been excellent, I'm intending to get the same but bigger (215/80?) next time.

Stuart, I usually do deflate down to 1.6 bars for the dirt but last weekend on the notorious Tankwa road I kept them at 2.4 to avoid exposing the sidewalls. It was a nightmare but the tyres survived. I've had 10 punctures on gravel roads in the last 8-10 years (Only 2 with the Conti's) and 8 of them were slashed sidewalls. What pressure do you recommend if the road isn't full of flints?

Colin
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05-06-2016, 08:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2016 01:44 PM by Nico.)
Post: #8
RE: Replacement springs
The problem with your harsh ride is the load rating of your tyres. Your Continental World Contacts are commercial tyres and have a higher load rating because of it. While I don't doubt they gave you good service, you will never get a comfortable ride out of a commercial tyre. Going up a size to 215/80 R15s will not improve the ride as the load rating just gets higher yet again as can be seen in the table below.

   

If you doubt that a commercial tyre won't make a big difference, believe me it does. Sure the World Contacts look good. They have a chunky look and broader than average tread width, but they are hard and have little give in the sidewalls.

Unfortunately the SA market becomes quite limited when shopping around for tyres for T3 buses.

I have just fitted General Grabber ATs in size 215/75 R15. They have a load rating of 100 and the ride comfort it noticeably better. I'm not suggesting you fit them, but certainly consider them. They aren't as wide as I would have liked but 225/70 R15s which are my preferred size are not available locally. They too have a load rating of 100. I may import a set sometime.

   

Other tyres (215/75/15) you could consider that have a load rating of 100 are

   
Falken Wildpeak AT01

   
Bridgestone Dueler D697

I have experience with the Duelers and have nothing bad to say about them and Stuart can vouch for the Wildpeaks, which he has on his Sprinter.
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05-07-2016, 12:47 PM
Post: #9
RE: Replacement springs
Very interesting info, thanks Nico, by "commercial tyres" do you mean they are designed for commercial vehicles? I had never considered the load rating before, assuming the Contis were just 'heavy duty' tyres which is what I was looking for after losing 7 or 8 Good Years to sidewall damage. I initially bought them because they were on a special at R825 and I rather liked the idea of German tyres on a German car. Also my brother in law had a set on his Syncro and said he got excellent mileage out of them. I did too, I have 65000km on one pair now and there's still about 15000km left in them.

But if I were to go to a lower load rating with more give in the sidewalls as you suggest wouldn't I then be risking the sidewall damage all over again?

Cheers
Colin
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05-07-2016, 01:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2016 02:10 PM by Nico.)
Post: #10
RE: Replacement springs
By commercial tyres, yes, I mean they are designed for commercial vehicles, typically your South African 4X4 Hilux/Ranger/Isuzu KB/Mazda BT50 type vehicle that's quite often going to be carrying a ton on the back, hence their higher load rating. Comfort is not a priority. They are workhorse tyres.

All the optional tyres I mentioned earlier, the Grabber, the Wildpeak and the Dueler are All Terrain tyres. Therefore they should all be good for 50% tar and 50% gravel/off road use. They, including the Conti 4X4 World Contacts, have two ply sidewalls. I know the BF Goodrich ATs have a 3-ply sidewall, so they would have added sidewall protection but they are ridiculously expensive and don't expect a comfortable ride with them either.

In terms of what lasts better out in the bundu I can't say, because I don't have the experience. Personally I think 215/80 R15s are too tall, but the Syncro guys seem to like them. My 2.6i 5-speed box wasn't happy turning tyres of that diameter. If I had a syncro and given the fact that my ideal tyre size of 225/70 R15 is not available here in an All Terrain (only hard commercial tyres in that size) the 215/75 R15 All Terrain is the next best option.

Read about them here

General Grabber AT

Falken Wildpeak A/T01

Bridgestone Dueler D697

I've had Conti 4X4 World Contacts and Michelin Agilis tyres and ditched the whole lot because of the unbearable ride quality. The improved comfort after changing back to AT tyres with a load rating of 100 was immediately apparent.

Finally I might just add that no tyre will fix bad corrugations on a gravel road. The only vehicle I know of that handles corrugations well is a 6-wheeled 16-ton Ratel IFV.

   
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