Air adjustable shock absorbers

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Growlerbearnz
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by Growlerbearnz »

The rear springs on my Delica have sagged (as they all do) to the point where they were sitting on the overload leaves, which makes the ride quite harsh.

I've tried adding a leaf (http://www.delica.ca/forum/viewtopic.ph ... af#p137471) which made the ride smooth again when loaded, but it also raised the rear too far when the van was empty. ("Too far" meaning it wouldn't fit through the garage door without letting all the air out of the tyres).

So I've removed the add-a-leafs and gone for an old-school solution- air adjustable shock absorbers.

Monroe MA708.
MA708.JPG
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(http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog/MA708/) US$70 from Amazon.

Allegedly the same compressed and extended length as my Pro-Comp 919520's (https://www.procompusa.com/eSearch.aspx ... Ntt=919520) but I think they're measuring from different points, because these clearly have a *lot* more droop than the Pro-Comps. They're also slightly longer when compressed, presumably because they have internal bump stops, but by my measurements they shouldn't bottom out (and the internal bump stops should prevent any damage if they do).
MonroeMA708.JPG
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They require a touch of modification. Remove the upper pin mount (it's more difficult than it looks, but keep at it) :
MonroePin.jpg
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...and install the bush from your old shocks (because the Monroe bush's hole is too small to fit over the Delica's mounting pin):
MonroeFixed.JPG
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Then you get excited and install them without taking any further photos. Sorry.

They work brilliantly so far. Just 30psi brings the rear end back up to standard height, lifting the tired springs off the overload leaves, and restores the smooth ride. With the caravan hitched up and a bunch of junk in the van it required 70psi to come back to standard ride height, and it tows without any wallow or pitching.

Monroe recommend 20-90psi continuously (so I'm well within the specs), or up to 150psi for short periods. Air shocks have a reputation for overloading the shock mount points when used on regular cars, but I figure our beefed-up 4WD mounts can handle it. (Or watch this space for a thread titled "Shock absorber mount point repair and strengthening".)
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.
definingdigital
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by definingdigital »

Hey There,
I'm kind of running into the same issue. I was gonna add another leaf or get new leaf springs built.. but I was wondering if there was an airbag or air shock option. What do you use to pump it up? just a air hose or do you have a compressor on the vehicle?

How's it working still?
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Growlerbearnz
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by Growlerbearnz »

I just use an air hose. (UPDATE: I've now installed an onboard compressor. C'mon, you *knew* it was going to happen. http://www.delica.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18849). The shocks have an air line kit with a tee that ends in a regular Schrader (tyre) valve.
valve.JPG
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Tee.JPG
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RHS2.JPG
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RHS.JPG
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I have a compressor in the van, but it's a tiny emergency one. I could use it to inflate the shocks if something went wrong, I guess.

So far so good. I've just finished 1200km driving towing the caravan and they've performed perfectly, with no squeaks or unexpected deflations. I left the pressure at 70psi when driving to the shops while camping (to avoid having to re-inflate the shocks later), and the van drove just fine, it just sits a little higher in the back than it should.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.
definingdigital
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by definingdigital »

Looks great! Thanks for the updates! I'm gonna try it out.
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

I just purchased a set to do the same... did you remove the pin and bushing or just the pin? I'd like to retain/use the new bushings that came with them if possible.
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
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Growlerbearnz
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by Growlerbearnz »

I removed the pin and bushing, it took a bit of effort using the vice. The bushing isn't bonded in though, so you could easily reinstall it.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

Thanks.
I got the pin and bushings out/separated... just wasn't sure if I could use the new bushings (if they would need bored out/sleeved). In your post you said to use the bushings from the old shocks, I figured there was probably a reason for that.
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
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Growlerbearnz
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by Growlerbearnz »

Hmm. I don't actually recall why I re-used the old bushes. Do the bushes have the same size hole?
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

Not sure, I haven't gotten there yet... too many projects...
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
A2C
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by A2C »

It was time for new shocks for my van so I installed a set of these shocks yesterday. Took me much longer than expected, mainly just getting the 25year old nuts off the old pin. The new shock bushings have a much smaller ID, so the old bushings are required. Also my hose routing is no where near as tidy, but they hold air and stop the van from getting so loose on washboard dirt roads, so success so far. Thanks for the idea.
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

I also installed these today. Not sure how you got the original bushes into the eyes as they are much larger.
The pins are the same diameter, but there is no way I could get the new bushes onto the suspension pins while under the van. Instead I bored the new bushes out to 5/8" which made for a nice tight fit.
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
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Growlerbearnz
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by Growlerbearnz »

sk66 wrote:Not sure how you got the original bushes into the eyes as they are much larger.
Rubber grease and a bench vise, from memory. I don't recall any issues fitting them to the pins, but maybe yours are different in some way.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

Growlerbearnz wrote:
sk66 wrote:Not sure how you got the original bushes into the eyes as they are much larger.
Rubber grease and a bench vise, from memory. I don't recall any issues fitting them to the pins, but maybe yours are different in some way.
Nope the 708's have a smaller pin opening (same diameter pin pressed in). I couldn't fit them to the shock mounts even with grease. The shock eyelets on the 708's are significantly smaller... I didn't even try pressing in the old bushes, just reamed out the new ones.
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
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kyre
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by kyre »

I got around to fitting these air shocks today. Pin was easy to remove, and since I have some poly bushings lying around, I decided to press those in and they fit perfect.

Pumped up to 40psi so far and they’re a really nice ride/upgrade from stock. Especially for the price.

[img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201807 ... c16527.jpg[/img]

[img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201807 ... 1c60d8.jpg[/img]
sk66
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Air adjustable shock absorbers

Post by sk66 »

I just found one of my shocks has failed (lower mounting pin sheared), I suspect that is my fault and due to over tightening the lower mount/bushings.

But I'm wondering about the wisdom of putting more weight on the shock mounts due to weak springs; particularly the upper mounts that are just cantilevered pins... Are they designed to take the full weight of the vehicle? (or 1/4 as it may be)
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA
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