Raise lowered van, but no adjustment left

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boycer

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Hi,
I want to raise the front of my van by 20mm or so, but when I look at the adjusters on the front beam, they are already adjusted to the highest setting (i.e. at the bottom of their adjustment range - I did check by moving them up & that lowered it further).

The adjusters have a lock nut with a threaded Allen key bolt.

I’m unsure as to what else I can do, so any advice would be appreciated!

Cheers
 

Moseley

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Do you have dropped spindles? These could be returned to stock ones and then the beam lowered to suit. It depends how low you are aiming for though, as you would not want to be running stock spindles on a fairly low bus as you’ll have issues with ball joints hitting the end of their range of movement.

Failing that, it’s new beam time. I had the same thing with our bus when we bought it, the adjusters had been welded too far round to get it to a ‘sensible’ lowered ride height.
 

boycer

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Thanks for the quick response…
It has got dropped spindles, I might have to just put up with it being a bit lower than I want…
 

Matsui132

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Depending on what tyres you have, you could also raise the tyre profile to lift the van
 

Graham L

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The only real way is to remove the drop spindles if you've reached the full height on the adjusters and then adjust it back down to the height you want to run at, this will worsen the ride though, drop spindles mean you don't have to rely on adjusting the arms so they sit wrong, out of interest are you adjusters set the same on each beam as they shouldn't be, you may find your beam is in 'free run' mode where the leaves are not working as they should.
 

boycer

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Hi, both adjusters are at the lowest setting. I had read that they should be different, but tbh I just put them back as they were when I got the van, as I wasn’t sure what to do.
If they are supposed to be different how do you set the adjusters correctly?

Cheers
 

Moseley

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As stock, the suspension arms should rest not parallel to each other, I.e. the closer you get to the ball joint end, the further apart the distance between the arms. Once the spindle is installed, this pulls the arms parallel and preloads the leaf springs such that when on a bumpy surface, there is never a point where both leaf springs are in their slack, floppy, neutral position - one of them will always be under some torsional force, which aids smoothness throughout the suspension stroke.

On a beam with adjusters, this equates to about 2 teeth difference between the top and bottom. You just need to make sure that if you’re counting teeth between each adjuster, that the adjusters are welded in the same relative position on the tubes.

In your case, this is going to have the effect of lowering your suspension further though…
 

fallingoffalot

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I have a similar problem, although I'm not too bothered about raising it, I can live with it an the occasional scrape. I am however very interested in the slightly offset needed as mentioned above. I messed about with mine a few years ago and I think they are set the same.

When the mechanic put the beam on he did put an offset on them, but I wasn't sure how to get back to that. Does it involve splitting them apart and adjusting separately or maybe I can use a jack to lift them to get different heights?

I'll have a hunt for a "how-to" - The Samba will probably have something - does anyone have any links to hand?

Here's a before
20200130_195743.jpg

...and after
20200613_114130.jpg

Here's a youtube link showing how I did it....


which will give you the adjusters at the same level - not what I want.

...and here


...he's setting them to the same level (14:20 in)

Ha, here we are, this explains it exactly...

"loosen both the upper and lower adjusters to the height you want the front end to sit at then tighten say the lower adjuster (remove the jack and cycle the suspension to be sure you have the ride height you want). Once you have the beam where you want it then jack the beam up again but a little higher then set the upper adjuster."
 
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Graham L

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I have a similar problem, although I'm not too bothered about raising it, I can live with it an the occasional scrape. I am however very interested in the slightly offset needed as mentioned above. I messed about with mine a few years ago and I think they are set the same.

When the mechanic put the beam on he did put an offset on them, but I wasn't sure how to get back to that. Does it involve splitting them apart and adjusting separately or maybe I can use a jack to lift them to get different heights?

I'll have a hunt for a "how-to" - The Samba will probably have something - does anyone have any links to hand?

Here's a before
View attachment 2273

...and after
View attachment 2274

Here's a youtube link showing how I did it....


which will give you the adjusters at the same level - not what I want.

...and here


...he's setting them to the same level (14:20 in)

Ha, here we are, this explains it exactly...

"loosen both the upper and lower adjusters to the height you want the front end to sit at then tighten say the lower adjuster (remove the jack and cycle the suspension to be sure you have the ride height you want). Once you have the beam where you want it then jack the beam up again but a little higher then set the upper adjuster."
Thats really not the way to do it as James has said above it should be 2 teeth different between the bottom and the top tube, anymore than that and you are putting unnecessary load on the leaves, they are only supposed to be 'Pre Loaded' not bent to a point where they could snap. I'd be very wary of taking advice from a YouTube video unless it's from someone who lowers buses for a living.

The way are set at the moment on your beam is wrong and they are in Free Run mode as there is no preload on the top tube.
 

boycer

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Hi, so from what I can see both the adjusters look to be welded in the same position on the beam, so I’ve set the top adjuster two teeth higher, as per previously mentioned. Before I put everything back on & road test it, is there any check I can do to make sure the set up is correct & that I’ve not positioned it incorrectly, as it was previously set to the same & I believe it had been built by a reputable guy…

Cheers
 

boycer

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…Just to be clear, when I say I’ve set the top adjuster two teeth higher I mean two teeth higher on the adjuster, so it is actually lowering the front further, as mentioned in an earlier post…
Cheers
 

Graham L

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…Just to be clear, when I say I’ve set the top adjuster two teeth higher I mean two teeth higher on the adjuster, so it is actually lowering the front further, as mentioned in an earlier post…
Cheers
Thats how we set all of ours and it should stiffen the ride up as you are preloading the arms, as long as you haven't moved the bottom adjuster it should work but without seeing the beam and the bus itself its hard to tell, have you tried dropping it onto its wheels?.
We always take measurements from the ground through the centre of the wheel to the wheelarch lip before we start a job so we can see how it has changed by moving adjusters etc but it will settle slightly once driven so we tend to bounce up and down on each wheel arch to get it to settle first.

Hope that helps
 

boycer

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Cheers Graham.
I managed to move the lower adjuster down a little and so have set the upper one a couple of teeth higher than the lower one.
I have lowered it and it is sitting at the same height it was originally.
It is definitely a lot stiffer, but still moves a little (I have been bouncing in it), so it sounds like I have done everything right.
If I find the ride too stiff, can I move the top adjuster to one tooth above the lower one or is that a no no?
Thanks again 👍
 

Graham L

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Cheers Graham.
I managed to move the lower adjuster down a little and so have set the upper one a couple of teeth higher than the lower one.
I have lowered it and it is sitting at the same height it was originally.
It is definitely a lot stiffer, but still moves a little (I have been bouncing in it), so it sounds like I have done everything right.
If I find the ride too stiff, can I move the top adjuster to one tooth above the lower one or is that a no no?
Thanks again 👍
Not sure why you think the ride will be too stiff as it should now be set how the factory set the beams up from new, the arms were never parallel as the top arms were always preloaded to make the suspension work.
 

Moseley

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Lowering on adjusters only will make the ride stiffer and bouncier.
I didn’t think it would make any difference to the stiffness of the ride, as ultimately all you’re doing by moving the adjusters is rotating the leaves - have I missed something?

I appreciate that where discomfort can creep in is when ball joints max-out, or things start hitting the wheel arch / road!
 

Graham L

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You're pre-loading/reducing the amount of rotational travel the torsion leaves have so therefore making the suspension stiffer.
Spot on thats why using dropped spindles helps by taking the initial drop on the spindle first (without losing suspension comfort) and then fine tuning it with the adjusters on the beam gives you a much better ride than a beam with adjusters only.
 

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