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Big Mike

ATV solid axle load sharing suspension

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My wife and I are purchasing our first caravan, a well looked after 2005 Kedron 20' ATV, with the solid axle load-sharing suspension.



We only intend to use the van as a cruiser and don't want to knock it around on extreme off-road conditions.



We're pulling the van with a 78 series Landcruiser.



We've got access to lots of general caravanning advice and help, but were wondering if you have any specific advice with regard to this suspension set-up - things to look out for, parts that wear out quickly, etc.



Thanks very much in anticipation.




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Mike


Preferably before purchase test every grease nipple will actually allow grease into that suspension point.


If it will not there is every chance of that point being dry and well worn.


If the suspension pins have not been replaced in 10 years allow for removing them to check for wear.


Mine had significant wear after only 3 years but I understand the Alko suspension pins were not case hardened.


We do a lot of dirt road running but regularly greased the suspension.


The case hardened pins from Industrial Springs in Adelaide have fared much better.


The other thing to check is if the springs have flattened.



Cheers



John


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John,



Thanks very much for your advice.



I've also been advised to take the load off the suspension (jack the van) when greasing to help the grease into the suspension points.



The springs look good, no flattening.



The wheel bearings were pretty dry but OK. The grease on the suspension points also looked pretty stale, but the van had been sitting for a while.


As the van is just on ten years old, I'll take your advice and check the pins.



Thanks again



Cheers



Mike

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Hi Mike

Our 1st ATV built in 2003 had solid axles. In addition to items John mentioned, I suggest you check around the spring area where the centre pivot point (idler arm) housing is welded to the chassis rail, check the outer and inner sides of both chassis rails. Ours cracked several times there, starting off with small hairline cracks and then getting bigger. Had it repaired once in Broken Hill and twice at Kedron.

Kedron suggested the cracks where a result of torsional loads or twisting of the chassis/ axles when doing sharp turns eg reversing into a tight spot; I tend to think it may have been the design of the chassis and not "beefing up" this critical area to start with. However, Kedron fixed it and all was good.

All the best.

Peter

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Hi Peter



Thanks very much.



Really value your experience and advice. I'll be under the van again on Friday arvo and will check those parts of the chassis really carefully.



Cheers



Mike


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