Africa 2020 Buggy -Suspension Part 1
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
After experiencing almost total collapse of the Front Suspension and constant issues with the rear suspension on the Mongol Rally I decided to spend a bit of time investigating the appropriate setup for the Africa 2020.
Key things i took into account when researching were
So start by searching forums, reading "Baja Bugs and Buggies" and asking the advice of lot of enthusiast in UK, America and Australia, South Africa. I guess many of you reading this will already know...
Opinions were as varied as the approaches. So this blog will outline what I finally settled on and I sure people will have differing opinions.
I think as far as beams setup goes this was a fairly simple choice (at least I thought). All indications were that the strength and durability of the king & Link Pin (KLP) setup was better than ball joint. However I wanted to get more travel than the stock beam provided. This is where I discovered a startling fact. The UK buggy scene was definitely skewed towards the street scene. As some one, who shall remain nameless, described it to me it was the "beach car park buggy scene". So as far as sourcing parts I had to either fabricate or source from overseas (US). So after much thought and many hours searching for UK or European suppliers I had to bite the bullet and purchase the items (due to my lack of fabricating ability). Oh I also had to change the framehead on the chassis because I bought a chassis with Ball joint front end argh...... So here is Suspension Setup for the African Buggy
Warrior Axle Beam 6in wider / 8in Shock Towers /
Chromoly Rage forged front trailing arms 1-1/2 X 3/4in
Heavy duty leaf springs for 6in wider link pin beam
3in raised Chromoly combo spindles with international tie rod hole
Heavy duty off road link pins
Link pin bushings for 5/8in pins
Fitting the Warrior beam
To fix the beam to the frame head a donor King & Link pin beam was sourced and the mounting brackets were removed and welded to the warrior beam.
Building up the Front Beam
To build up the front beam first the urethane bushes needed to be coaxed into the beam. This actually became a pain in the arse and required two sets of clamps to help push them into place. The internal diameter of the bushes once in place were too tight for the trailing arms so they had to be reamed out. For this in the end a hole saw was used. Once the bushes had been reamed out the leaves were located into the arms and the arms were pushed and knocked into with some effort. Getting the adjuster grub screw located required the use of a ratchet strap to get them to finally locate.
It was then time to work on setting up the Combo spindles. Firstly we had to work out the correct number of shims we would need. As this is not stock vehicle this required some playing around and in the end we required more shims on the top trailing arm than the bottom. Further work will be required to set these correctly. Bu this will need to wait until then buggy in more complete so we can see how it sits weighted up. Once the Spindles had been set in place it was time to add the Disc brakes. As we are not setting this up for the road as yet i have not added the disc brake calliper bracket. The brakes were rather easy to set up as it required the inner and outer bearings to be greased and a on the inner side a grease seal to be drifted into place. Once the inner seal was in place the disc could be placed on the spindle and the outer bearing set in place. The spindle clamp nut was tightened up.
3X3 boxed rear trailing arms,
2 Inner & 2 Outer bearings,
6 Bearing spacers,
2 Inner & 2 Outer seal kits,
2 bearing "C" clips,
2 bearing housing caps,
2 axle nuts,
2 stub axle with 930 cv flanges,
2 Transmission drive flanges,
4 930 off-road CV's joints,
4 930 off-road boot w/ flanges,
3/8-24 CV bolts,
2 Race axles.
2 urethane pivot bushings,
Torsions Bars (26MM X 21-3/4in)
2 Torsion Bar Covers (To suit 21-3/4in bar)
2 x 3 Inch raised Spring Plates
2 x Suspension Arm Bolt (IRS)
4 x Urethane Rear Torsion Bar Grommets
2 x Rear Brake Drums 5 Stud 205 Pattern
2 x Rear Brake Backing Plates
Building the Rear Suspension
The majority of the work for building up the rear suspension at this stage involved setting up the rear trailing arm hubs
The picture of the all the components below show the arms with the inner spacer and the inner and outer wheel bearings
On the inner side there was the inner circlip which sat directly behind the inner bearing. After installation of the circlip a grease seal required some coaxing in and there was an inner spacer. The Stub axle was then installed and the arm turned over to work on the outer side.
On the outer side there was a bearing and bearing race to set in place. This was then followed by a small o-ring. The inner hub seal was then greased and placed on the hub assembly of the trailing arm. Rear drum brake backing plate was placed onto the arm in the correct orientation. The outer hub seal was then greased and set on place on the backing plate. The outer seal was pressed into place in the wheel bearing cap and the the large o-ring was greased and set in place on the inner side of the wheel bearing cap. Finally the outer spacer, oil washer and the wheel bearing cap were pushed onto the stub axle and bolted up. Once the Wheel bearing cap was in place the drum brake was set in place and the castle nut was tightened up. Final tightening would need to be done after the arms had been installed.
Torsion Bars and Spring Plates
The torsion bars were placed into their housings in the chassis ensuring that they were located on the correct side and set with marking level. As we will be removing these again when the chassis and roll cage are painted no preload was set. So we just placed the Urethane inner and out bushings in place on the sprint plate and set them onto the torsion bars so that the they could be pushed into place rather than having to jack up the spring plates. The Spring plate cap was then installed and tightened up.
Finally to locate the trailing arms into place the inner washer was located onto the chassis and arm held in place so that the outer washer could be placed and the trailing arm bolt located. This was then tightened. The trailing arm was then bolted to the spring plate. Once again we have not set this up correctly as these will be removed at a later date. Final piece was to bolt on the rear wheels. The wheels shown below are being used to move the buggy around and are not its final boots.
So still some work to adjust everything up to come. there is also some playing around with then front beam to be done. But here is how the buggy is looking