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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 5327
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject: EVOLUTION OF CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION UPGRADES OVER 14 YEARS Reply with quote

Some one writes:
Could you please comfirm/explain a report that about 2004 you done some modifications to the chassic specifications. If so what were they & why.

Why would we change a good thing? All we have done in the past 13 years was add options to either improve the look like sometime about 02 we went to a larger a-frame profile because a competitor used it against us saying his was stronger at 150mm (but thinner steel) and ours was only a 100mm tall RHS (but thicker). While it was not true, to combat this, we went up to 150 mm high RHS and one mm thinner in some sizes, for the bigger look, but actually it is only cosmetic as it has the same strength and weight...

Other changes, like girder strap options to increase to 50mm flat bar are for larger tow vehicles, and thicker steel in longer a-frames for certain cargo, motorcycles, and so on are only Options for different applications... There has been a number of option additions over the 14 years of Bushtracker. Some people have opted to increase the size of the a-frame for instance to a thicker steel, because they have changed tow vehicles. Larger tow vehicles have harder riding suspensions and can produce shocks to the van and a-frame, and also some of them add more cargo and increase the weight. When someone started with an a-frame designed for a Landcruiser, and then went up to say a Ford, the suspension rides a lot harder and some have come back for a stronger a-frame or the larger profile section, or both. Then some people added air bag suspensions on the Fords for instance, to stiffen up the suspension to carry a boat or more cargo in a Gull Wing canopy, and this also contributed to them wanting an a-frame upgrade. If they don't upgrade it they will notice the need for it as they can start to crack it up and the first thing is the warning of the girder strap snapping. It will become obvious to them they need to upgrade, and even if they do not know of the options as a second hand Owner, they will find out and come back for the necessary upgrades to suit a larger tow vehicle or larger load or both..

We do not build them all in this super duty format, as it would be unnecessary weight for those towing with lighter loads and lighter suspensions. There are over a dozen a-frame configurations in size, thickness of material, and length to suit different applications, and if they change the applications or go to much larger tow vehicles, some opt to come back for a larger a-frame. We would upgrade chassis (a-frame all the way back to the suspension) to suit larger tow vehicles that a second hand Owner may have, or original Owners that have upgraded to larger tow vehicles; several times a year. But these are not really changes, only upgrades to suit the larger and harder riding tow vehicles. The structural size required by a Toyota, has to be upgraded to a larger section thickness and stronger girder strap for something like a Ford with an air bag stiffening of the springs to carry a big canopy and boat on top for instance. We would not penalize the Toyota with the heavier weight and cost when they did not require it...

There are complete instructions here on our Forum on upgrading this kind of gear, and a lot more in the Owners Section. Some people also carry much larger loads than the van was designed for. For those we also have the option of changing out the suspension and going to the next size larger. The same goes for hitches. One Owner might have wanted a light van for short trips, and sold it to another Owner that wanted to live in it and added more tanks, batteries, solar, more everything and 500 kg of more personal gear. When that happens, they will sometimes have problems and we Coach them to upgrade the suspension to the next size larger, or sometimes just the springs, or with heavier riding tow vehicles sometimes the a-frame all the way back to the suspension for heavier applications.

These are all options to suit the specific Owners Application, without penalizing them with extra weight they do not need... Horses for courses, but this is important for you to understand in buying second hand. Read about the suspension upgrade topics, a-frame upgrades, and hitch upgrade topics here in this Category. It is better to fix it before you start having problems in a very remote part of Australia... Wink

Kind Regards, stg
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