WDH vs Air Lift Shocks

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:00
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G'day all,

Trying to search for an alternative to using a WDH, someone mentioned that air lift (adjustable) rear shocks are the way to go?

They sound OK, I intend to do a bit of "off road" travel, so was wondering if anyone uses the shocks as an alternative.

Van is approx. 2000kgs, towed by a Triton Ute.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Tony
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Reply By: Member - Rosss - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:28

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:28
Two entirely different animals. One will not take the place of the other. WDH (ie) Weight Distribution Hitch. Levels the vehicle and puts weight back on the Steer, Air shocks simply just let you overload the back of the vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sanantone - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:35

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:35
Thanks for that, I was told that was what the adjustable air units would do also?

Cheers
Tony
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 09:37

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 09:37
Sanantone
What worries me is, who is the person telling you this? "Someone" can be anybody with no understanding of the issue yet you are inclined to believe them.

As Rosss has mentioned, one transfers weight to the front axle and the other merely makes the distance above the rear axle greater and possibly the ball height greater.

Adjustable shocks will add far greater forces to the "shock only" mounting points which are designed for shock absorber forces and not weight forces. Often shocks are at quite an angle which negates the force being applied to some degree, so the mount points will have to be taking even more force than needed so the resulting vector force can try and hold the vehicle up a bit.

If it is rear height you want fit decent leaf springs and good shocks to the vehicle. The OE shocks won't be much good at controlling 2T of caravan weight transfer on anything but a flat smooth road.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sanantone - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 13:18

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 13:18
Ross,

A friend had said they would work, I have now asked on here, not sure where you got the "yet you are inclined to believe them" from?

Why do you think I have asked for opinion here? TBH I will seek more opinions elsewhere as well, but I do value a lot of the information gleaned from this site.

Thanks for your input.
Tony
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Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:01

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:01
Sanantone.

You will see replies often like this from a number of people on this forum. It really does make you wonder why one would bother asking a question with posters like those around.

Brett....
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 21:01

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 21:01
While confronting, the comment was made because the poster is believing what has been previously said to him. Why did he ask the question if he didn't?
It is the "someones" and "the mates" which get someone into trouble or buy the wrong gear for the right purpose because of not being aware of some of the basics. That is being mated.
I also gave some plausible reasons why you wouldn't use some gear, a fact obviously missed by others.
Don't take offence at everything when people try to alert you to something you asked about. I can't tell if you are tender or mature via the web.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sanantone - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 03:55

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 03:55
I don't normally bother replying, but I am not sure what you are Ross M.

But... "Why did he ask the question if he didn't?" .. It's called investigating, did you bother to read the post.

You are given some information & you investigate, that's what you do.

You were not confronting at all, you were just being a smartarse bleep .

Have a good day.
Tony
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Reply By: wholehog - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:52

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 07:52
Have a read of these mate, and particularly have a think about where the load point goes when you fit air shocks to do the job of inadequate springs for the task.

wonder why


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 10:24

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 10:24
Just reading Wholehog's links, there appears to be a general feeling that this only happens to medium duty dual cab utes, and not Patrols and Landcruisers.

Was in Longreach about a month ago, getting ready to start work, when I saw a 100 series Toyota converted to a dual cab, towing a camper trailer. He had one of those alloy mesh pods on the back, and the degree of bending in the chassis, would have exceeded the Triton's(in the link) damage, by quite a bit.The gap between the cab and pod may have been at least 300mm, and the towball was close to 300-400 mm off the ground. Unfortunately didn't manage to get a photo, to share this poor bugger's misfortune with everyone.

Seem to recall that past member Roachie had some chassis dramas with his Patrol dual cab, while in Birdsville, and the vehicle got a ride back to Adelaide.

We had a 100 series converted to a dual cab while still on the station, and while we had chassis dramas(cross member cracked above rear axle), we never managed to bend it, and it had a hard life!!!

Gotta be the added stress of towing, on poor or uneven surfaces.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 08:21

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 08:21
Three different animals involved here possibly.

1. Air shock absorbers. These will give a mild lift to the rear suspension but take note of where they are putting that lift. The attaching points were never intended to support a considerable amount of the weight of the vehicle. Just a mounting point to let the shockies do their job of dampening the spring rebound.

2. Rear air bags. These will take a lot more weight as they put the loading points on the axle and vehicle chassis. As has been mentioned with coil springs they usually go inside the coils so putting the extra lift in the same points as the original springs. With leaf springs they put the extra lift between the spring to chassis attaching points. Not where it was designed to go. A mild amount of air pressure may, repeat, may, be ok depending on the chassis and the amount of air pressure. IMHO not the best option.

3. The WDH (weight distribution hitch) Once again as has been pointed out, a completely different animal intended for a different job, i.e. restoring weight to the front axle lost by the lever action of the tow ball weight. Be careful of trying to restore all lost height as this is in my opinion only a rough guide but all that is available to the average bear. Putting too much tension on the spring bars puts extra loading on the vehicle chassis and van draw bar. Also loss of too much weight on the rear tyres can compromise their grip on the road and hence their ability to control any sway.

Now all of the above is my opinion based on observation, information gathered from others when doing my own research and a dash of common sense. I make no recommendations one way or the other.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 10:48

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 10:48
There are two things that keep popping their heads up in the market from time to time and in slightly different forms.

Helper springs of some sort and load boosting shockies of some sort, both are cheap short cuts that do not solve the problem and can most definitely cause other problems.

Back in the late 70's and early 80's air shockies where big business.....just about every auto sales catalogue had some sort of offer on air shockies...lots of people used em for towing or jacking up the rear of their vehicle for one reason or the other.

They had a number of problems...the obviouis one was the placing of load where it was not designed to be borne, on the shockie mounts.

They where also commonly carrying way more of the load than they realy shold have been or pumped up further than they should have been unloaded.

this gave rise to a couple of problems.

because the air circuits where mostly common between the shockies...they provided extra spring rate but not extra roll resistance...going round a long corner one shockie would pump up the other, resulting in stability problems leading to rollovers.

Some ran seperate air circuits for each side...this gave rise to another problem.....rollovers from shockie failure.....one over loaded or over inflated shockie would suddenly fail resulting in a substantial spring rate reduction on one side and agan a rollover.

These things where prone to failure..particulrly as mentioned when over loaded or over inflated..

Air bags as currently in the market have the potential for the same problems...they seem to be less prone to failure, but there are many documented cases of chassis induced failure from after market airbags....to the point where some vehicle manufacturers specifically exclude rear chassis failure from their warranties where airbags are used.


Helper springs where very popular in the late 70's and early 80's, you could buy em at most auto accessory stores.

They placed the load on the suspension mounts where it was suposed to be, buy thete where most definitely a cheap alternative to replacement springs.

There where then a few helper springs that did not place the additional spring support on the ends of the springs where it could be best supported...some may have been short additional leaves some may have been half leaves.

Though many people used them and raved about them, none of these where realy good options.

Back in the day, helper springs where a poor substitute for having the spring pack reset and an extra leaf or two fitted.


come the new century and what should I see...the helper spring making a come back...touted as wonderfull and marvelous backed be a couple of major brand names.


None of these solutions to overloading, inadequate suspenion or poor set up of the trailer.
cheers
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Reply By: Bludge - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 11:04

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 11:04
Tony,

I think you need to revisit the advise and the product you are talking about.

You say that you want to do a bit of "off road" travel. My comments are based on off road, not on road.

A WDH will be fine for dirt road driving bit will restrict the vehicle/van flex off road, so you would need to remove the WDH for these occasions and you would be back to square one.

Air Shocks are designed to lift the vehicle taking over from the springs, I do not know any vehicle that has shock mounts designed to take the vehicles full weight off road. Both Monroe and Gabriel state temporary or occasional towing.

The issue with air shocks is that a shock has a defined length to work, putting in an air chamber then inflating it shortens the stroke of the shock reducing vehicle suspension travel, a shortened length with the same amount of oil I would suggest would change the dynamics of the shock and the ride would be solid. This is a no no for off road.

The down force on the rear of you vehicle when towing off road in some situations will can be more that the rear axel load.
While Suspension upgrades and air bags may be expensive, the suppliers/installers normally have a fair idea of what the end result will be.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 12:17

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 12:17
This diagram clearly shows the effects of loading on the front wheels both with and without WDH


If you have the tub of your ute fairly well loaded then the upward lift of the WDH will be somewhat balanced by the downward loading from the load in the tub.

With all the previous on the forum about bent chassis I think you have to be a Richard Cranium if you fit them. Read all the links on on this page and I don't think you will consider them again.
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Follow Up By: Bludge - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 15:42

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 15:42
PeterD

The post started with WDH and Air Shocks (not airbags) and off road.

It is difficult to connect a WDH to an off road coupling (Treg etc)
WDH are not recommended for off road use.

There are hundreds of thousands aftermarket airbags fitted to vehicles in Australia and more globally, if used to supplement springs, not override springs they are perfectly safe, or they would not be on the market. Firestone and Polyair would be sued and off the market.

Online forums tend only to highlight the poor fitting or misuse of the product and is not real research.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 17:37

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 17:37
The air-bags mount near where the air-shocks mount. If they are pumped up to "level the rig" they will exert the same forces on the chassis. They have the same effect on the chassis structure.

WDH is not difficult to use with a Treg hitch. I have several friends using WDH with Treg hitches. One did have to change his block to a heavier one after consulting the manufacturers.

It is well known that WDH is not recommended for off road use. However they are suitable for gravel road operation. The places where the bars should be removed are not high speed roads so the lack of WDH is not so important.

Bludge, you can keep using your modifications if you like. There are too many reports around of bent chassis for me to go near them. When vehicle chassis get bent the vehicle manufacturers have been able to use inappropriate use of the equipment as a defence. No doubt the air-bag/air-shock manufacturers can also find and claim inappropriate use for their defence.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 17:40

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 17:40
ps. whdre did the OP mention Treg hitches?
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Follow Up By: Bludge - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:43

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:43
PeterD,

I don't own airbags and have no affilliation with them, so I have no modifications to keep using, this is an assumption you your behalf.

My response was "While Suspension upgrades and air bags may be expensive, the suppliers/installers normally have a fair idea of what the end result will be." however I did not recommend them only stated that the supplier/installer would have a fair idea... etc

The OP talked about off road, I mention treg hitch in my response to you.

You tell me you know that a WDH is not recommended for off road but you still keep recommending it to the OP?

Again if you use any product incorrectly it will cause damage, ike a HiLift to change tyres, to towing sing a snatch strap incorrectly, or even a WDH off road, expecting an airbag to verride the spring instead of assisting the spring will cause damage.

Back to what the OP said Air Shocks or WDH and OFF ROAD, which I and all other replies seem to be addressing...

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 21:42

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 21:42
"I don't own airbags and have no affilliation with them, so I have no modifications to keep using, this is an assumption you your behalf. "

If you have no affiliation with them they why are you pushing them when there is a better solution. If you wish to upgrade the rear suspension replacing the springs or upgrading them is a far better solution. Doing that you are using the designed suspension mountings and not carrying the extra loading on places that were not designed to carry the loadings imposed by air bags or air shocks.

"My response was "While Suspension upgrades and air bags may be expensive, the suppliers/installers normally have a fair idea of what the end result will be." however I did not recommend them only stated that the supplier/installer would have a fair idea... etc"

The local suppliers/installers are just motor mechanics. They are not trained engineering types who can calculate the stresses involved. They are just interested in flogging equipment and making a profit, not supplying engineering advice. When the chassis bend the users blame the vehicle manufacturers and not the add-on suppliers.

"The OP talked about off road, I mention treg hitch in my response to you."

So why introduce the red herring? We are supposed to be answering the OPs questions.

"You tell me you know that a WDH is not recommended for off road but you still keep recommending it to the OP?
. . . . snip . . . .
Back to what the OP said Air Shocks or WDH and OFF ROAD, which I and all other replies seem to be addressing..."

The OP said "I intend to do a bit of "off road" travel." To me (and the others) that means that most of the travelling will be on roads. He has a Triton ute. Mitsubishi recommend that a WDH be used when towing with a Triton. The switched on towers use WDH when on road and remove the bars when conditions dictate. When conditions dictate travelling speeds are slow so it is not as important to have stability enhancers installed. If you read below you will a mechanical engineer (ozjohn) also said as much.


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Follow Up By: Bludge - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 22:53

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 22:53
PeterD, PeterD,

I have nothing to do with Airbags, I repeat I have nothing to do with Airbags no affiliation whatso ever.. I don't really care if you believe it of not, but again I have nothing to do with , or have any affiliation with airbags.

Fulcrum suspension and Pedders specialise in suspensionand supply and fit air bags, but I suppose they are cowboys.

The OP talked about going off road, most people who take traliers off road use an off road hitch such as TREG. Not a red herring, unless you wish it to be.

I have nothing to do with TREG I don't currently own a camper or caravan, but have owned many in the past.

I read what ozjohn has written, and as ozjohn correctly states "For many Off road means dirt roads for others it's extreme tracks or completely going bush." To me it is the later part.

And with all due respect the WDH being disconnected in this circumstances (that is off road) will render Sanantone with a sagging tail end with little articulation or suspension travel, possibly causing handling issues and possible damage to his vehicle and the van.

I understand that you do not like or agree with my post.

But it is my opinion and I have answered the question to how I read it and my interpretation.

And by the way I still have no affiliation with airbag or suspension organisation.




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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 21:45

Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 21:45
Bludge, I think you should take note of 671's postings in the FollowUps in Reply 10 of 12. They are at odds with what you are saying. I think he is a little more switched on than you.
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Follow Up By: Bludge - Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 23:32

Friday, Jun 20, 2014 at 23:32
Thanks PeterD,

I am totally convinced that you never read what I said in my first post. Or many of the post.


In my first post and I will repeat,
"my comments are based on OFF ROAD not ON ROAD.

I also said in my original post
"A WDH will be fine for dirt road driving bit will restrict the vehicle/van flex off road, so you would need to remove the WDH for these occasions and you would be back to square one." THE SAME AS WHAT OZJOHN SAID IN A LATER POST.

and concluded with

"The down force on the rear of you vehicle when towing off road in some situations will can be more that the rear axel load."
funny 671 was saying that too in his last post!"

I also said "While Suspension upgrades and air bags may be expensive, the suppliers/installers normally have a fair idea of what the end result will be."
I have not said to buy airbags anywhere in any of my post.

In fact I did not bring up airbags "pop2jocem" did in his post 3 hours before my post... then mentioned by The Bantam one hour before my post. That is the two main post before mine.

You then slam airbags, I said there are 100's and 1000's of airbags etc., you then surmise that I am in the industry, which I am not.

I repeat "that WDH should be disconnected off road", which ozjohn confirms.

As for 671, I mentioned the stress on the rear axel well before he posted. And I agree with 671.

Your last post...
1. Tell me, show me where I said to fit airbags, because I did not.
2. Show or tell me where I said a WDH is the wrong product. Read exactly what I said because I advised WDH the same a ozjohn and well before he posted.
3. You keep accusing me that I am pushing airbags, I have never said or recommended that, please read my post, you now also indicate I am not "switched on".

I can't help it if you won't read my post, it certainly seems I can't help you understand what I have said.

Now if you have stopped trying to put words in my mouth and insulting me I have a life that does not include you.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 15:03

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 15:03
This all comes back to the whole "off road" thing.

Towing something on "smooth improved pavements" is one thing, towing something off road is a whole other thing.

Towing a 2 tonne trailer ( regradless of what you are towing with) is a realtivly straight forward thing and well within the realms of practicality as loong as the trailer towed is well withing the manufacturers towing capacity.

As soon as you say the words "off road" towing a 2 tonne trailer becomes a whole lot more a serious and complicated matter.

The manufacturers published carrying and towing capacities are written for " smooth improved pavements"...beyond that the carrying and towing capacities have to be considerably reduced...particularly considering the modern published towing capacities are generous and optomistic to say the least.

Halving the published carrying and towing capacities is far from unreasonable for off road use....if the manufacturer has a particularly generaous on road towing capacity...1/3 published is far From unreasonable.

There are endless pictures and stories of vehicles "towing within capacity" bending and breaking bits towing off road.

The back sitting down is the least of your worries.

If you need a WD hitch or some sort of rear load booster device ...ya probaly should not be towing it off road.


cheers


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Reply By: 671 - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:39

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 19:39
Tony

Have you worked out how much weight you have behind the rear axle? A 2000kg van on an empty Triton without a WDH will most likely be right on the limit. When you start loading up the rear, things get a lot worse. Chassis damage on cab/chassis utes, be they single, extra or dual, comes from the unrestrained load behind the rear axle falling when the wheels drop into depressions in the road. All of this falling material generates forces well above the static weight and gives the end of the chassis a hell of a thump down rocking it on the axle and lifting the front. The further the weight is back from the axle, the greater the leverage will be on the end of the chassis. A similar thing happens when the front wheels drop down. The rear end of the chassis behind the rear axle has to be heaved up instantly placing tremendous stress on it above the axle or often slightly in front of it.

No amount of springs, shocks or air bags are going to change a thing. They just make an overstressed chassis sit up a little higher. Excess weight must be either transferred forward to the front wheels with a WDH, moved further forward in the car or removed completely from the car.

Put a bit of thought into it while deciding what to do. If you car is too far down at the back and is not incorrectly loaded, i.e too much weight at the back and too little in the cabin, then lifting it with a WDH is an approved remedy. Any other method will always leave a question mark hanging over its reliability. You might get away with it or you could easily join the countless others who haven’t. Only time will tell.
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Reply By: ozjohn0 - Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 16:25

Monday, Jun 16, 2014 at 16:25
OP posted "I intend to do a bit of "off road" travel".
For many Off road means dirt roads for others it's extreme tracks or completely going bush.
For On Road and Dirt Roads I'd personally be using a WDH and removing it for extreme terrain.
NOTE: Mitsubishi recommend that a WDH be sued when towing with a Triton.
Ozjohn.
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Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 07:46

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 07:46
All you need to do is upgrade the springs and shocks to suit what your towing avoid air bags because the might cause problems with this type of vehicle .Then if your vehicle is a twin cab I would be very concerned about putting to much weight on the rear and look at getting the chassis strengthened behind the back of the cab because that's where most twin cabs are prone to snapping chassis. There are lots of pics around with these light weight utes with broken chassis sorry to say but the manufactures have the gross combined weight way overrated for what these vehicles are actually capable of carrying or towing.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 20:09

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 20:09
"sorry to say but the manufactures have the gross combined weight way overrated for what these vehicles are actually capable of carrying or towing."
------------------------------------------

The manufacturers have been at it for a long time and they know what they are doing. The cars will tow the maximum and carry the maximum but they won't do it in all conditions and in any way the owner wants. That is where all the problems lie and it applies to all cars, not just utes.

A dual cab for example might have a carrying capacity of say 950 kg. More than 50% of that weight is supposed to be carried in the five seats and the fuel tank. If your family is not heavy enough to put sufficient weight into the cabin, then of course the tail will be dragging on the ground if the owner tries to put the rest of its capacity out the back.

If you want to tow the maximum then you would have to use a WDH and be very careful not to put too much in the back but that could vary a lot depending on what you are towing. A 3000 kg 4 metre long tradie's trailer for example being towed around the suburbs is not going to need anywhere near as much tow ball weight as a 3000 kg caravan out on the highway.

An example of that can be seen in Mitsubishie's towing capacity for the Pajero. I think from memory it is 3000kg but the tow ball weight must be reduced considerably for anything over 2500kg. They know that, in the right conditions, it will safely tow a 3000kg something that is short in length and has a low centre of gravity but they don't want to see a 3000kg van swinging around behind a car of that size.

There are so many variables involved in loading and using all cars that the manufacturers simply list a maximum carrying and towing capacity for good sealed road conditions only. Both carrying and towing capacity should be reduced as the conditions get rougher. It is up to the buyer to decide if the vehicle suits their needs without having to alter its design. If you have to do that then you have bought the wrong car.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 08:32

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 08:32
You can write a novel on it you can put up all the facts but it still doesn't change the fact that the chassis is not designed strong enough to do the job safely and seriously why do so many people thinks that a WDH is the answer to all you towing requirements. Mate there an after market product designed as a short cut for people who don't want to spend the money and set up their towing vehicle up correctly in the first place and most importantly buying the correct tow vehicle for the job. It's only threw pressure from the customers that these light weight vehicle have had their GVM increased to a dangerous level have you noticed how popular these utes and twin cabs have become over the past few years so the manufactures have had to increase GVM rating to keep up with the ever demanding need for families who want to carry large amounts of gear on holidays and still be able to use it around tow comfortable. Towing something that weighs nearly twice of what their tare weigh is, is absolutely ridiculous. Just imagine what would happen to the tow vehicle if the brakes failed on the van or trailer your WDH wont help you there.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 19:23

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 19:23
"Mate there an after market product designed as a short cut for people who don't want to spend the money and set up their towing vehicle up correctly in the first place"

Really? The owner's hand book for my ute says a WDH must be used for any tow ball weight over 90kg. That would suggest to me that Toyota has designed the car to be used with one. That means I would be setting it up properly for towing in accordance with the car manufacturer's instructions.

Setting a car up "properly" with aftermarket springs and shocks at the rear and strengthening the chassis at the same time is ridiculous. Chassis are designed to twist. I have seen them crack at the end of the reinforcing plates because one section was twisting and the reinforced part was not twisting enough.

You then have the handling problems that stiffer springs at one end only can cause. The standard car has been designed with more weight going onto the outside front wheel in corners so it understeers. Stiffening the rear only places more weight onto the outside rear wheel so now the car is prone to going into sudden oversteer which few drivers can handle properly. That is why the factory made it understeer in the first place.

I noticed new laws coming into the US soon require tow cars to retain a certain percentage of their original understeer capabilities. Don't be surprised if that happens here.

You can retain understeer by stiffening the front springs to the same degree as the rear but you will now have a car that rides like a buck board when it is unloaded. It is far better to pick the rear up with a WDH, which is a lever not a spring, and transfer weight back onto the front wheels as per the car manufacturer's instructions.

That is doing it properly, using heavier springs is not. Springs do not transfer weight anywhere.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:51

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:51
So you don't recommended upgrading suspension which by upgrading the suspension you normally do all four corners at once not just the rear so what should people do when they fit rear draws a long range fuel tank rear wheel carrier or a canopy plus all the other gear they put in the rear because they are items quite often fitted by travellers you would recommend they are safe to drive around with a sagging rear end before they even start towing. And putting heavier springs will not make it ride like a buck board if you have the correct springs and shocks fitted. I have a GQ custom twin cab ute which had pedders 18mm springs and poly air bags in the rear and ridge ryder shocks and it was a very rough and jarring ride. I replaced it with a 2" suspension lift TJM recommended 18mm front and 19mm rear springs and refit the poly air bags and fit adjustable shocks. The ride has improved out of site it is much more comfortable to ride in even with the heavier rear springs. The springs support the weight and help to keep it level when cornering the shock dampens the rebound so the shocks are what made the biggest difference to the ride quality to my vehicle not the springs.
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FollowupID: 818337

Follow Up By: 671 - Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 21:32

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 21:32
"so what should people do when they fit rear draws a long range fuel tank rear wheel carrier or a canopy plus all the other gear they put in the rear because they are items quite often fitted by travellers "
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You could do one of two things.
1. Carry some of the gear in a small trailer designed specifically for the purpose so it does not have to be any larger, tougher or heavier than necessary. This leaves the car under maximum weight and well under its maximum carrying capacity. That is how these type of cars are supposed to be used. They are towers as well as carriers so use both features.

2. Buy a car large enough to do the job without modifications in the first place. There is a right vehicle for every purpose but for some unknown reason, 4x4 owners are notorious for buying a car that is too small then they try and "upgrade" it. This has caused countless numbers of them no end of grief in the Outback when their car cracks or bends its chassis or breaks wheel studs, diff housings and shock mounts or collapses its wheel bearings. At least their aftermarket suspension will still be looking brand new so that should cheer them up. It is a pity the suspension kit did not come with an aftermarket chassis, diff housing etc. that had also been designed to carry the extra weight.

It might surprise you but I do have a modified 4x4 with aftermarket springs, shocks and lockers each end. It is used almost exclusively in mountain areas within about 600 ks from home where recovery, if something goes wrong on a challenging track, is still easy and affordable.

My other 4x4 is our long distance Outback tourer and it is stock standard. It has travelled over many of the Beadell roads and plenty of other desert roads but even the worst of them are fairly mild when compared to most of the VHC tracks. It, and the others before it, have never let me down and none have ever been overloaded on any of these trips.

When you are out in the desert following two wheel tracks, reliability is everything. You get that from companies like Toyota and Nissan who have been successfully building 4x4s for the bush since the 1960s. Their cars have always worked in standard form for me every since my first Outback trip in 1967.

Rough roads don't break cars. It is the drivers who break them usually by overloading or incorrect weight distribution combined with too much speed for the conditions.
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FollowupID: 818383

Reply By: Martin B - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 17:44

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 at 17:44
Tony, a quick scan of the responses above appears to completely overlook a key reason for using a so-called Weight Distribution Hitch. When you load up the tail of a vehicle which has been basically designed to run flat i.e. Level , with drooping tail and therefore nose-up at the front, the angle of the front suspension components, specifically, the king pin angle ( the king pins being the near vertical axies of the steering) is significantly altered and consequently the vehicle can become difficult - read dangerous - to steer.
Try driving a ute with one tonne of sand in the back end of the tray and the nose up on the air and see how dangerous it is. Must get the vehicle to ride horizontally along with all the other things one must do correctly e.g. Keep the loads within allowable spec.
AnswerID: 534537

Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:02

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:02
Hi Tony

I would fit a Mitsubishi WDH (rated to 250 kg ball weight), and if there is any sag, add a set of King springs or similar.

Worked for my Pajero.

Don' t have to worry about taking off HR WDH gear when 'offroad'.

Cheers - Phil
Phil 'n Jill (WA)

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AnswerID: 534622

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