Load Plus Helper Springs

We have a Dual Cab Landcruiser ute and need to put a better suspension under it to tow our 16' off road caravan. Has anyone used the Iron man Load Plus Helper Springs if so what do you think of them. We don't have the ute loaded when we are not towing that was why we looked at them. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: racinrob - Thursday, Jan 07, 2016 at 22:17

Thursday, Jan 07, 2016 at 22:17
GTBT, I had a 75 series trayback and initially carried a slide on camper then later towed a heavy off-road 'van. I fitted the large bellows type air bags and found they were the answer, lower the pressure when not towing, pump up when loaded. They eliminated body roll and lifted the rear end when towing, worth your consideration.

Rob VKE237 Sel 6678
AnswerID: 594588

Follow Up By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 21:35

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 21:35
hi ditto to that
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 04:45

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 04:45
GTBT

I had them on a BT50 and one cracked so I removed them and put a heavier spring pack in.

Another one I put Aussie Super Springs, available from ATECO, which are superb. http://atecoequipment.com.au/atecoproduct/supersprings/

The second one originally had airbags to carry a slide on but inevitably it bent the chassis towing an off road Kimberley Karavan.

Airbags are fine if inside coil springs. With leaf springs the weight carrying location is in the centre of the springs and that is where they bend. A repairer in Kununurra told me even Landcruisers bend their chassis with airbags on leaf springs.

DW
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Follow Up By: racinrob - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 23:09

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 23:09
As to bending the chassis rails on a 'Cruiser, I did 400,000 hard kms in mine with PolyAir bags, more than half that carrying a heavy slide-on camper, off road, Tanami, Simpson, GRR etc without any problems.

Rob VKE237 Sel 6678
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 13:25

Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 13:25
Always one thats different Did it have coils or leaf springs Nothing wrong with them in coils , its the ones with leaves that have the problems
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Follow Up By: racinrob - Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 14:46

Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 14:46
Not coils Tom, just the bellows type bags with leaf springs, rode well and sat level even when fully loaded.

Rob
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 08:26

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 08:26
Do yourself a favor and take a look at the Supersprings product.

Fitted them myself to the Colorado and you don't know they're there when unloaded, but really make a difference when I hook the van up. I was looking at a solution to give the vehicle a little bit of assistance to towbar loading and the Supersprings fit the bill precisely.
Fitment was a breeze with just a jack and G clamp required to assist the fitting process

As has already been mentioned Atecoequipment are the Australian Distributors but I purchased my set through TJM Megastores. Simple to fit yourself and the product comes with instructions.
Supersprings are available in three sizes. For my Colorado I had the choice of all three, but chose the standard S-4 giving 450kg loading. Interestingly, this rating was supposed to leave the suspension height standard using the bottom mounting holes, but I measured a modest 50mm lift after fitment. All good. (Perhaps my original leaf springs had gone a bit soft)

If you click on the Atecoequipment link, then select the Supersprings Catalog link at the bottom of the page, you can select your vehicle to determine which product is best suited for your vehicle.

Great product for a modest price.

Bill


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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 09:34

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 09:34
If you NEED a suspension booster to tow a 16' caravan then I reckon you have the ute overloaded. Attend to your over loading before applying band-aids.
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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 10:38

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 10:38
Peter

Spot on the mark

Cheers
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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 09:57

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 09:57
Putting harder springs or airbags under the rear of a vehicle only lifts what is above it.

I put Progressive coils in my 100 ser for the extra load but when towing a big van I always used a WDH as this is the only way to return some weight to the front axle that is removed by the weight on the towball..

As Peter said If its that bad look at your loadings and remember ball weight is part of the payload of the tug.

You also have to cosider you allowable weights on the tugs axles especially the rear.

You cant just load the house on it and say she'll be right and stay legal
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 16:06

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 16:06
Quote "and remember ball weight is part of the payload of the tug."

The loading on your rear axle is worse than most people think. The loading on the rear axle of your tug is amplified by the lever action caused by the ball being so far behind the rear axle. The extreme case for me was the overhang on my Disco. The distance of the ball behind the rear axle was 60% of the wheel base. That meant that the 200 kg ball weight of the van actually imposed 360 kg of loading on the rear axle. Many vehicles, particularly twin cab utes, have an overhang of around 50% of the wheel base. That means that a ball weight of 200 kg will impose 300 kg loading on the rear axle.

Many forum members sling off at the limits that Nissan place on their vehicles when vans are hitched up. The thing is that Nissan have worked out the de-rating needed when WDH is not used (because they recommend that it not be used on their tow bars.) If you are towing with other vehicles you need to work this out for yourself.

If you add the maximum weights for the two axles of a vehicle and compare that with the GVM of the vehicle you will find that the combined axle weights is very little more than the GVM. What this means is that you can load up the vehicle, including the tow ball weight and have the total weight of the tug not exceed the GVM but have the axle overloaded because of the way the loading is distributed by virtue of the loading remotely located behind the rear axle. Twin cab utes are designed to be loaded with passengers as well as the loading in the tub/tray. Even without a van it is possible to overload the rear axle if you load it up to its GVM but do not have 5 substantial people in the cabin.
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Follow Up By: GTBT - Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 11:44

Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 11:44
Thankyou very much for your help. We are aware of weight but are finding because Landcruiser have all the tray as overhang (would have been smarter to put the dual cab on a troupe carrier chassis for a bit extra length) even an empty van has the tail dropping. But from your comments we will put more attention into working the weights more accurately but we still need something else as well. We did one trip with just air bags and they were great but we're a little worried about the weight being in one spot and then having the chance of bending our chassis that is why we are looking for a better solution.
I really appreciate your info as well PeterD.
I am guessing the WDH is a weight distribution harness. As our van is off road we don't have a tow ball set up and we have been advised not to use them as they take away the advantage of our hitch.
Again thanks for your help
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 14:42

Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 14:42
Quote "I am guessing the WDH is a weight distribution harness. As our van is off road we don't have a tow ball set up and we have been advised not to use them as they take away the advantage of our hitch."

WDH = weight distribution hitch.

You did not mention the actual hitch you are using so no one can advise if it will take the strain. I know they can be used on the Treg hitches, a friend enquired and the manufacturer posted out the heavier block so he could use the bars on the Treg. Al-Ko has approved them on their hitches (including the anti-sway one.) The bars must be removed when you are travelling in off road conditions with sharp bends, steep bank creek crossings and jump ups. You will only be travelling slowly in those conditions so you can get away without the WDH. Check with your hitch manufacturer to see if the hitch is strong enough to take the stress of the WDH. If they are not then should you be using them in rugged conditions? (As an aside, you are supposed to remove them before manoeuvring around caravan parks and the like but very few do.)
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Follow Up By: GTBT - Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 17:41

Saturday, Jan 09, 2016 at 17:41
Thanks PeterD we have a Treg hitch. I will chase up the manufacturer as well and check if we have the heavy block and if not will get one so we can also use the WHD.
Thanks heaps for your help.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 15:51

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 15:51
Helper springs are one of those things that come and go ...... they have been out of fashon for a while now ..... they where pretty big in the 80's.

The fact remains that they are nothing more than a cheap patch up solution.

If you need better suspension a well chosen new spring pack will always be better.

There are also some helper springs that put loads on the original spring pack in places that where never intended .... resulting in broken springs.

Of course there is the question that requires an answer ...... why do you need them in the first place.

Back in the 70's and 80's helper springs and air adjustable shocks where very popular ..... lots of people fitted them when towing ..... back in the day people towed mostly with sedans and station waggons ..... and the towing regulations where much laxer than they are now.
BUT..... the problem and the poor solution is still with us ......... the problem is too much load on the rear of the vehicle ....... and making the rear of the vehicle stiffer or higher is not the best solution.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 16:10

Friday, Jan 08, 2016 at 16:10
Quote "BUT..... the problem and the poor solution is still with us ......... the problem is too much load on the rear of the vehicle ....... and making the rear of the vehicle stiffer or higher is not the best solution."

In addition, adding heavier suspension does not raise the carrying capacity or the axle that is carrying that suspension.
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