Do I need new rear springs?

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reddevil
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Here's a picture of my car towing:


I know the 205 could be a bit more central on the trailer, but it is a really light car.

I get the same squat at the back with 3 lads on the rear seats.

It's hard to know if the soft rear is a characteristic of a SWB G463 or if my car needs some new rear springs, it's not like I've driven a bucket load of them for comparison.

Any thoughts from the assembled congregation?

markhowes
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I'm definitely no expert but when I got a trailer for my G I found that the G's towball is very high compared with what you would find on a "normal" car and I had to have the trailer hitch adapted so that I was a few inches higher.

So, when you offer the trailer hitch up to the G's towball are they reasonably at the same height? If you're having to lift the trailer hitch quite a way to get onto the towball that could cause this problem especially if, as you have,  nearly all the weight of your load is pushing the front of the trailer downwards.

Mind you, three adults in the back seats shouldn't have any noticeable effect.

It definitively doesn't look right as it is (to me anyway).

 

 

 

prwales
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I replaced the rear springs on my w463 swb as soon as I bought it [2003] for that very reason, any weight in the back saw them sag. I fitted springs for a lwb and changed the shock absorbers at the same time, problem has never returned.

Arnie
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

The springs tend to sag with age and it's more noticeable on the SWB models. The normal springs have 2 yellow markings for the load ratings, but you could up-rate to the next stiffer version. Also, some dampers are gas-filled and these will help lift the rear.

I know someone who had sagging springs and had them replaced (supposedly) for two new ones at the rear, but it ended with the same result as before (maybe they were not actually changed ?)

There should be a warning label on the rear specifying the maximum down-force on the ball coupling as 75 kg, - hardly the weight of an adult. So, as Mark points out, if your trailer coupling is normally at a lower height, this will add significant force.

 

 

 

 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi


Cant see springs on g wagon but as the peugeot is fwd with its weight at front the car looks too far forward on trailer

If you look at the trailer wheels the fronts have most of the weight. Your springs might be a bit tired but the weight seems too far forward and the g wagon is bearing a lot of the weight


Move the peugeot back a foot or so. Or uncouple trailer and see how heavy it is to pick up at tow hitch


You need some weight on the tow ball to help stop any weaving of trailer . Mine occasionally pulls a mini digger and if its not just right the g wagon hates it. My springs are original 1991 items and it seems to sit fine


Is your g wagon swb or lwb?? If it sits level on its own i am sure springs are fine and its just bad weight positioning. You should know that if you are racing cars lol

                                             Gaz

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi

There will be a long thread on here from me on SWB 460 rear springs that were replaced (twice using vin from Merc) and in the end I decided to replace All the springs and shocks with a direct fit kit from Ironman as the merc ones resulted in the same 'squat' response to even relatively light loads.

There was a view that my 300GD might have been supplied with softer spring (SWB cabriolet) from new hence the problem, but to be honest the various spring options are a bit of a nightmare and I got fed up.

The cost of a full set replacement was less than just doing the rears and improved not only the look, but removed the squat and more importantly stopped the strong and very unpredictable tendency for the car to switch from under steer to very sudden over steer on roundabouts at all but the most pedestrian of speeds. On mine if you stood on the rear bumper and gave a small bounce you'd virtually used all the travel up... in other words it looked like your 463.. after you could stick 15 bags of cement in the back and still have plenty of travel left. I know mine was a 460, but I guess they may just occasionally stick soft springs on them. 

Gav on here gave me all the spring charts so you can still go down the original Merc route if you decide they are 'soft' you'll just have to pick one of the 15 ratings :-))

Good luck Simon

Pic  is mine after the change to ironman - I sold the G 6 months ago and cannot find the before pics, but virtually any load would drop the gap from tyre to wheel arch to 2 inches.

JASONGDS
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Sure my 463 has a warning sticker saying no more than 120kg on ball hitch? If your car still has original rear springs or they are not broken you are very lucky. I have soft springs for day to day use, and 3 adults would definately make them compress to look sagging. They are 11.3 mm to 16mm in diameter, a bit too soft really, might be good on a 230.?

Have white springs for off road 12.75-18.25 which you would never get to look sagging, but need 3 adults in to get a nicer ride, unfortunately everything down to compromise!

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

It may well be that early SWB - or some of them - had softer springs in the rear. My 1996 version has 2 yellow stripes and they are comfortable, but do not sag. I think when I looked this up, some time ago, and if I remember correctly,  the 2 yellow stripes springs are used also on the LWB.

 

G-Restorations
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

http://www.gwoa.co.uk/forum/springs

Lots of info on this old thread. 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Well said jason

​You have summed it up better than anyone


Simple terms anyone can take advise from and so so true

                                      G

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

SWB 1988 300GD is my car. It broke rear springs the first time I towed and looked like yours. I contributed to that other posting and end up buying LESJÖFORS :  4256836  (£79 ea iVat .. carriage £5.5-8 ea) from the local motor factor for the SWB van. Now nicely stiff but to be honest I have not been on the road for 2 years and it only ever did 3,000 miles PA on really snowy year.

Seems all/most 4x4 have the wrong hitch height as under EU law they are allowed to. The G, ML and RAV4 are all too high. I do have my father's old G bracket he made to drop the hitch on the G but never fitted it as it is loose and manky! So makes twin axle trailer towing a pain..

Arnie
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

The G was designed originally for a NATO tow coupling. These trailers are much higher.  The G  ball-hitches are on arms, which lower them some way from the chassis cross-member to which they are attached. Lowering too much would put additional stress on the welds and make the tow hook more likely to get caught during off-roading. Many small trailers are designed for towing by cars and are therfore designed to be low. It's best to raise the coupling on the trailer with a packing plate, than to lower the tow-hook on the G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mgrays
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Trust me .. there is plenty of weld strength on a G chassis even with a lowered ball in comparision to a 3500t ML Westfalia towing kit. The plate on the chassis would bend first and then the bolts would break. This is as someone who designs with welds daily for a living and has a DIY G hitch that has had about 7.5t on it with bent plates. It is true it will turn it into a plough off road! Trouble is under EU law only vans can have DIY tow hitches or use packer plates to raise the trailer hitch;all officious stuff of course and only going to be a problem if you have a serious problem.

I wanted to keep standard ball height so it is right for all cars but so far have ignored it on the only twin axle trailer I have but it makes me think twice about a twin axled caravan (shudder!). In this case the car is way too far forward as others have stated (look at trailer tyres and think about there being 75% of weight on front axle of 205) but I suspect the rear springs are tired too. Anyway if it is your trailer then gets someone to waterjet up some nice full sized spacer plates and buy longer bolts - it may mess with the braking arrangement of the trailer as often a rod goes back to the cable anchor point but it likely would be fine. Nothing is easy. Guess a solid packer could be machined to drop the tow hitch on the G but it would be £3-400 of machining to do it nicely - I do like the stock G hitch hence never made a new lower one. Anyway .. happy towing, one of the best towing vehicles (stiff springs, hitch close to rear axle, good weight) but of course a LWB is even better.

JASONGDS
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Re towing Sychromesh on transfer box really helps, don't really notice lack of power with sensible speeds. 

Re Springs was reading this thread so put my H D white springs on , really pushes back up too much really, so tempted to get the matching front ones, downside is a more noticeable vibration through the prop, some bumps much better on the HD springs, but others not as good suspect with 200kg in the back would be brilliant but then defeats the object!

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I agree about vibration because of prop angle on a SWB. Its a difficult situation to get a happy compromise like you and i said


Some of those rubbers for spring assist for towing and standard for daily would be an option. Or adjustable dampers for easy option


People always get this wrong in uk and its what we all call things here


Springs are shock absorbers in reality . They absorb the shocks of any bumps


Shock absorbers are actually dampers to stop the spring continually bouncing like a pogo stick


Boring but true and try telling that to a motor factor and getting correct parts delivered lol


Sad to know these facts but after years of spanners and mechanics i have learnt a tiny bit. Not a lot but it usually comes out ok


Do you want my new purchase cheap. Trace wants a newer ne for her plate as you might of read

It would suit you sir

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Wow thanks for all the replies - a lot to consider.

Indeed having read the thread and looking again the trailer isn't well loaded - actually I have only just started towing so a lot to learn. I'm going up to Angelsey again with the same trailer in a couple of weeks so will make sure I get the car over the axles and see if that helps.

I have an aftermarket hitch on the G by the way which is rated to 120kgs, 75kgs doesn't sound like a lot at all.

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Also I have read through a lot of the posts here on springs and dampers - it seems like a very complex area.

I know my car was ordered new with a set of "HD" front springs (from decoding the VIN) - are those the white ones?

I will get out and see tomorrow and try and find what colour each axle has, but there is actually quite a lot of pitch too on braking so I am wondering about whether I should just replace all 4 springs and make sure I get some HD for the rears too as I will be doing a lot of towing.

JASONGDS
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Re towing hitch , whilst searching for other parts on epc at dealer he flicked through pics of alternative tow hitches, so worth a look.

Here is a pic of my light Spidan Spring v HD Spidan Spring, notice how the HD is actually shorter but makes the car much taller

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Jason, is the "HD" spring there the 425mm "yellow" and the standard the 489mm "green"?

https://www.buycarparts.co.uk/mercedes-benz/g-class-w463/942/10213/coil-springs?brand%5B%5D=1&sort_supplier[]=1

I had a bounce around on the tow ball without the trailer attached and the back is very soft - I can deflect the springs ~10cm just by jumping on it. So I think the rear is too soft.

Anyone got some 2nd hand springs (esp HD ones) they want to sell before I buy a set?

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Also what is the fitting procedure?

Put rear on axle stands, wheel off, support axle with jack and then remove shock absorber and drop axle? Then the other side?

Thanks,

Chris

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Sorry one more thing, I found these images on another site which are really useful to decipher the coloured spring rates.

Front:


Rear:


So on the rear the greens are mega soft, the organge and the yellow are about the same with the orange giving more ride height, the white and brown being similar with the white being a little more linear. Purple and red seem to give the most ride height.

I wonder if what I need for towing is a set of white.

g wagon g
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6 speed

Hi


The graph is not the easiest to understand for me. I was no good at maths and charts unless it was a pye chart lol


My springs are pink coded and they seem quite firm, its all about what you will use the most

If you are towing a trailer a lot go just above halfway. If occasionally i would go one above standard


Its what you use the truck for most that matters Tow all the time go heavy. Tow at weekends go softer


No easy option. Try some cheap crap grayson spring assist  rubbers if its for only on road use and let us know if they worked ok. As for swapping springs you might have to remove brake hoses and diff lock lines depending how long springs are. In fact i bet you will as the springs are longer than they look, Or compress them with spring compressors first to remove easily

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi,

I have two white springs , very strong HD Spidan springs . Too much for my mostly unladen G , PM me.

Easy to fit, if you have a good trolley jack, and your lower shock bolts undo, I leave one wheel on the opposite side, jack on chassis just in front of radius arm mount. Leave axle stand on low setting after removing lower shock bolt, jack it up sit on brake drum to get a bit more weight on it, you should be able to slide out Spring but if soft springs they will be long so you may need a coil Spring compressor unless you very strong! Watch brake pipes as these seem to be too close for comfort

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Thanks Jason for the offer, but I had a look and they are not much new so I think I'll try a pair from the online discounters as they can deliver Friday and I can have them changed for the 300 mile tow I have at the weekend.

I have spring compressors so I think this is the best way to get them out.

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

The way to read the chart:

* The steeper the line, the lower the spring rate

* The higher the starting point on the LHS, the higher the ride height

JASONGDS
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Good luck, easy job , don't bother removing shock at top tho. What make are you getting? Spidan top quality German stuff

g wagon g
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Re: 6 speed

I was joking about the chart. It is so easy to understand and how good is that info. Well done for finding that


I would go middle of the road or standard long wheel base springs. I think this would be a happy medium

I put some cheap kyb ones on the front of mine and its done many miles and some harsh off roading and they are still good. A third of the cost too

                                 Regards gaz

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

 

Spiden on the rear, Sachs on the front. Yellows on the front, white on the rear. Will see how I get on. Fronts were only £25 each so not a big deal if I need to up them to whites on the front too.

My g is an early 463 SWB I read somewhere they were ultra soft from the factory.

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Think you will be impressed with the load capacity of the Spidan White springs tho back will probably rise by 8-10cm, tho you may get some roughness coming through the rear prop.

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Here's a pic with me loaded up with some tools and a set of wheels ready for a track weekend:

So it's def the springs and not the load of the trailer. Unfortunately the springs aren't arriving till next week so will just have to make do this weekend :-(

 

 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

OMG i could not see the picture of the g wagon with trailer. Yes you definitely need springs. I cant believe how bad it sits just on its own

Get springs asap

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

This does have about 200kgs in the boot and unloaded the ride height is level. Trailer makes little difference with the car loaded properly so I think the nose weight of the trailer doesn't make it much worse.

Springs on their way!

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi

The picture with the 200KG's load reminds me very much of mine before the swap I did. You look like you enjoy a drive. Wonder if your G is 'entertaining' on roundabouts even at low speeds :-) as mine was..

You could put 250kgs in mine after the change and still put your hand side on between the tyre and the arch. I think they gave the car a 25mm lift over standard, but my springs were that soft that it always looked like it was dragging its behind on the floor.

I used to regularly put 20 25kg bags of sand and cement in the boot of mine and it still looked ok. I think the internal load for a swb is 550kg? including everything e.g. passengers and load..

ta Simon

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I agree


I know putting 200kgs in boot is not like 200k of passengers in rear seats


Mine has had 300kg or there abouts in rear seats and stuff in back also. It has standard springs but did not look like devils g wagon

reddevil you will see what i mean if you get the right springs. Standard ones will be fine and will no way look like your lowered rear end g wagon. Positioning of car on trailer will not make much difference but how you have it mounted on trailer is not good


You need some weight on tow hitch but it has to be a balance . Too much to rear of trailer lifts weight off rear wheels and can cause a jacknife. Look on proper trailer load position. I like the load on vehicle a bit to be safe even though it sits it down a bit. Go too much the other way and lift weight off vehicle and it will cause problems and could be dangerous. I have recovered too many trailers and caravans from accidents due to bad weight distribution. Sad to see but the last thing people need to hear from the wreckage is you packed it badly or positioned it wrongly


Fit springs and be safe. Once you get a trailer weaving or caravan it is bad news. Everyone thinks they will brake or accelerate out of the situation but it happens so fast most dont even know till its happened


I used to race many cars and get in trouble and save the day but i suggest get some springs on soon. You wont be saving a trailer so easy as it might seem. I have seen it all as i said so get it sorted for the sake of a 100 quid or more


Are your rear shocks good?. I should ask if all shocks are good but rears matter most at this stage

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

It actually drives OK, well a bit like captaining a ship compared to my other cars, but it doesn't over or understeer all over the place, although it does pitch forward a bit under braking so I expect the front springs are past it too.

Having said that I bought it to tow and drive slowly + relax, not barry around in! Perhaps others are doing trackdays in their G's.

On trailer positioning I think we have covered this extensively already and yes I positioned the car better this weekend and it towed a lot better actually. 400 miles completed without incident. As I said springs already on order, front and rear, and I'll fit them as soon as they arrive. Shocks look OK no leaks from the outside, but those are on my list to refresh/uprate later in the year as funds allow.

In other news I saw my first G (other than mine) outside of the south of England today - beige mid-80s W460 driving on the Tything in Worcester this morning...

 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?
Position that load correctly dont forget. Unless you did not know lol You dont see many g wagons and its good to spot one Gaz
reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

4x new springs fitted... May have gone too far the other way! 


I did replace the fronts with new yellows, perhaps I'll need to get a matching set of Spidan white fronts.

 

Simon666
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Possibly... :-))

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Note that you will need to re-adjust your rear-brake limiting valve which is calibrated to the distance between chassis and rear axle.

The valve sits up in between the chassis cross members above the rear axle and it connects to the axle by a long articulated arm.

It increases rear  brake pressure as the vehicle is loaded in the rear.If your standard height is now much higher than before, you may have little or no braking in the rear brakes.

Adjustment requires a pressure gauge to be connected to the brake test-point on the rear axle (by the left rear wheel) and for the vehicle to be progressively loaded.

 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

  What pressure should an unloaded swb g wagon have??


Is the measurement taken with maximum pedal effort or is it measured in comparison with front brakes also

 

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

All details for loads and pressures are in the Service Manual.

set input pressure to 100bar and then output should be according to table:

 

 

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Do you get any roughness through prop with increased angle? Are you pleased with ride , you really a load tho as really hard over speed bumps etc without? Did notice brakes not as good as the brake arm looked barely connected.

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

To be honest the ride isn't much different. Haven't tried it loaded up yet. 

There is a touch of roughness from the prop at 30-40mph but at motorway speeds it seems to disappear.

Next I think I need to investigate new front dampers as I think the ones on the car are tired which isn't helping the nose-down attitude.

 

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi and wow

42 posts on rear springs and towing. How hard can it be lol

Now we have gone from from rear springs to front dampers

Like me soon you will have rebuilt all the g wagon and it will be all good for many many years. Its never ending but at the age most 463 g wagons are and mileage they are brilliantly made. I wish i could of purchased a new one and looked after it from day 1


G wagons are the best. Well they suit me fine anyway more than any other make

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I quite like the nose down look. Perhaps I should get some Hoosier tyres and a wheelie bar out the back on the tow hitch.

And now that's 44 posts.

g wagon g
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Hi. Dont suppose you have a nice LS 2 3 4 5 6 7 engine at right money for my g wagon

Post 23345 lol


                                        Gaz

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

reddevil wrote:

I quite like the nose down look. Perhaps I should get some Hoosier tyres and a wheelie bar out the back on the tow hitch.

And now that's 44 posts.

Post 45, don't think dampers will shove front end up, probably need matching white springs but I think front springs much cheaper? Mine doesn't like it steering goes a bit strange  not as good anyway. You will be amazed when you get a good load ride wise

reddevil
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

Jason, did yours look as ridiculous as this with the white springs in the rear only?

I can't actually find the white Spidan fronts anywhere, anyone got a supplier?

The Sachs are available in a brown, which is the same rate as the yellow but +21mm longer. Or there is a red Spidan which is +30mm, ebay.de has them for €52 each. I'll probably change the front shocks out for some Heavy Tracks if I do swap the front springs again at the very least to avoid the diving, it makes me feel a bit sea sick at present, the front shocks have def seen better days.

Before I change anything else though I'll see what its like loaded up and towing. Next rally outing is middle of June.

Finally, perhaps rear adjuster be set up on an MOT rollers? If so I might just get it done when it goes in for the ticket in August. To be honest I didn't notice the brakes were any worse afterwards, but normally the fronts do 75% of the work anyway. 

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

On no account put your G on brake test rollers, unless you remove front prop, but almost certainly will break speedo drive, use old fashioned tachometer thing, won't help your brake balance but probably would fail on rollers anyway. 

Springs check spidan or Sachs catalogue for info , I would go for Sachs HD shocks all round

Front 123 898, rear 310 796

Or standard oe, Front 112 537 rear 310 788,

Should get a good deal using numbers!

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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

reddevil wrote:

Finally, perhaps rear adjuster be set up on an MOT rollers? If so I might just get it done when it goes in for the ticket in August. To be honest I didn't notice the brakes were any worse afterwards, but normally the fronts do 75% of the work anyway. 

 

The rear brake pressure compared to the front should vary between 42% and 60% depending on load on rear axle. see chart a few posts further up.

You cannot do this on a brake roller tester for reasons explained above. It requires some test gauges to do it properly.

mgrays
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Joined: 08.11.2005
Location: Aberdeen Scotland
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Re: Do I need new rear springs?

I am sure there was a Shade Tree Mechanic method from memory but I cannot find it now. Sure it involved reverse at 10mph or so and slam on the brakes. If the valve is set with too much load on it the rear wheels will lock up, if it is set right they will not. So you have to put too much load/shorten the link to start with and it will lock and then length/unload it until it behaves itself. The reason for reverse is that this causes a weight transfer to the rear axle and so it should increase the pressure at the right ratio to the rear axle load to behave itself.

That is the way I did mine after I stripped it for painting.