Suspension and Adventure Overland Show

Nelson on the Coastline Campers Stand
Nelson on the Coastline Campers Stand

The next phase of the upgrade of Nelson has been completed thanks to Gemm 4*4 in Fife, the main part of the work was fitting locking differentials and upgraded suspension and then a few minor tweaks to improve power in the engine.  This took about a week and the full list of work is at the end of the post, the good news is that the difference in the truck is very noticable and very positive, no more extreme roll in the corners thanks to heavy duty springs, anti roll bar and expedition shocks.  No more changing down to 4th or 3rd gear on long uphill motorway sections we can stay in top gear now, and an increase of comfortable cruising speed up to 70mph, so a great set of modifications.

I did however have some very bad news, the nice shiny black unmarked chassis that I thought I had actually is a shiny black coat over a chassis which has been rusting from the inside for many years, as the work was being done to install the new suspension various bits of the chassis came off with the old suspension bits.  Some emergency welding later and we are back on the road again but now contemplating a re-chassis job before heading off on any section of the big trip.  Not something I can afford at the moment so it is fit enough to do the next trips we have planned, this October we hope to go to Orkney for some colder weather wild camping trials, a frontier stove has been added to the kit list for this trip to keep us toasty in the awning (but we still have the esbacher heater inside the camper as well)

So list of stuff on this round of modification

  • Ashcroft locking diff’s for front and rear axles
  • Compressor mounted under bonnet or under the driver’s seat
  • Fit compressor on/off and front/back locker on/off switches to the existing raptor panel.
  • Provide an air lead with pressure valve and gauge to enable tire inflation and pressure adjustment.
  • Fit Ashcroft heavy duty half shafts front and rear and heavy duty drive flanges
  • Heavy duty CV joints added
  • Fit heavy duty steering bars and track rod ends and drop arm
  • New “wading” axle breathers fitted
  • Fit “comfort” blue full polybush kit to all bushes
  • Fit heavy duty standard height springs all round
  • Terrafirma Expedition damper/shock absorbers with new shocker tower rings and nuts
  • Rear anti roll bar fitted
  • Fit new Allirad inter cooler 25% power upgrade version,
  • Renew engine cooling and intercooler hoses with new silicone based hoses.
  • Fit profiled injector boost pin
  • Fit rev counter, engine oil temp and boost gauge to existing Raptor/main panel
  • Fit gearbox oil cooler to R380 box
  • Replace P gasket if necessary (turned into a new water pump in the end)
  • Replace air filter broken mounting
  • Repair rusted chassis mountings and chassis

Once all this was done my nephew Chris and I spend a very nice weekend at the Adventure Overland show in Stratford on Avon where Chris and I showed lots of folks around the camper for Errol who had done the work on the roof and the inside and I went to a series of interesting lectures on different aspects of planning and doing Overland adventures from a lovely group of people who had “been there and done that”

Here is Chris fixing a problematic earth lead on the radio, a land rover owners work is never done !


About Gerry Mulligan

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