Suspension Off Set Axle Banter thread

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#21
after seeing yours @mikerezny it confirmed that they were slack when doing @Boots in Action axle
the U bolts are upside down on his........
Hi @bigcol , I think that the "U" bolts are upright to give greater clearance from road way. It also helps protect the thread for the nuts on the "U" bolts from getting damaged and very difficult to get off later - sometimes break off!! Much better away from all the possible snags that could occur if placed BELOW axle height.
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#22
Isn't the U bolts the same on both, the loop of the bolt wraps the axle and the fish plate is compressed over the spring. The only difference is one has the spring on top and the other below.
Correct. The main advantage is that the attaching nuts are ABOVE the axle and are not likely to snag on any low ground etc. The lowest point is the bottom of the axle. "U" bolts attached underneath the axle reduce ground clearance. The offset axle means there is ample clearance for attaching bolts above axle position.
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#23
Hi @Boots in Action,
many thanks for taking the time and effort to take the photos and give such a detailed explanation. Very much appreciated.

I have taken and attached a couple of pictures of the axle on our standard touring Penguin. Comparing your pictures and these we should be able to determine how your Penguin was raised and what the effect would have been.

Correct me if I am wrong, but on comparison, it would seem that your complete axle assembly was simply moved from being above the springs to below the springs. Considering that the protection stripfor the electric brake cable is still in the original position, there has been no other rotation etc.

So, the process seems to have been:
undo the ubolts, electric cables, and handbrake cables,
undo the spring shackle and remove the complete axle assembly,
grind off the positioning plate from the bottom of the axle beam and re weld it the top of the axle beam, and
reassemble

If that is indeed the case, you should be able to see some marks on the bottom of your axle showing where the positioning plate was ground off.

If this is all correct, the total lift you achieved should have been the width of the spring assembly plus two times the thickness of the backing plate.

The only other slight difference is that the welds for your backing plate are North-South whereas on mine they are East-West.
However, my original axle assembly was subject to an ALKO recall and was replaced by the dealer prior to delivery. I remember them saying that they
had to grind the positioning plates off the original axle and re-weld them onto the new replacement assembly. So, Penguins coming out of the factory may be welded differently.

What do you think?

My how times change. When I was 17, I had a Holden FJ, then an FC. Big deal then was to replace the 15" wheels with wider 13" ones, put in lowering blocks on the rear and cut a turn or so off the front springs. Then other tricks to the rear to reduce axle tramp and swaying. Oops, I am off-topic again!

cheers
Mike


View attachment 59265 View attachment 59266
Hi @mikerezny , with all this talk about axles and offsets, I was beginning to have doubts about the whole thing, especially after all that correctional info provided by @Drover. It appears that there is more than one way to "skin a cat" - under-sling an axle for our little Penguins. Mike, the picture of your axle position is the same as mine is NOW, except that I have the leaf springs and spacer plate ABOVE the axle. Your setup gives extra clearance for the body but LOWERS the axle clearance (to roadway) by the same amount, just as @Drover explained it in an earlier post. With the offset in the lower position (opposite to yours), the body is lower but the axle is higher and out of the way with the smaller wheels we have fitted. Having the springs above the axle with spacer, will raise body height but still leave axle as the lowest point. All the more reason to have the "U" bolts and fish plate "out of harm's way" above the axle and not dragging through the dirt!!.
I did a follow up on the previous position of the weld for the spacer block, and underneath the silver paint , there are definite marks where where the previous welds (north south) for the spacers were attached. Does that mean that the axle has been rotated by 180 degrees and why the protective metal strip now faces the rear of van and not the front where the protective metal cover was essential?? Would it then have been necessary to swap sides to keep the brakes in proper position to work properly??
So I believe that your "recall' for axle resulted in your Penguin getting a slight lift by having the offset in the high position which only meant repositioning the spacer plate. Looks like there has been a change in the setup at the factory for Penguins?? @Drover , please correct or add your comments. As mentioned in an earlier post, if any camber was involved with the positioning of the original axle, I have not experienced ANY tyre uneven tyre whatsoever, so hopefully, there was none, or applied in both positions with the offset - unlikely!!! Don't forget that if the body of the van is raised higher, your mud flaps no longer give the protection that the others did as there is now more clearance between the bottom of flap and roadway. Hope this extra info is useful to you.
 
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mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#24
It probably won't just the angle of the pic
Hi @Drover,
actually, when I checked, there was indeed a small rub mark on the chassis where the cable has been rubbing. It is just visible on my first picture on both the chassis and also on the cable.

Now fixed. Just had to roll the cable down to the weld between the axle and stub axle. The driver's side was secured correctly.

Many thanks again for spotting this.

cheers
Mike
 
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mikerezny

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#25
Does that mean that the axle has been rotated by 180 degrees and why the protective metal strip now faces the rear of van and not the front where the protective metal cover was essential??
Hi @Boots in Action,
I don't believe so.
It seems to me that your axle was just removed, the weld for location plate on the bottom of the axle was ground off and re-welded to the top of the axle. Then the axle was just fitted underneath your springs.
So, no rotation, no messing around with backing plates etc.

If you look at your pictures and mine, you will see that the protective metal strip is still on the rear of the axle in both cases.

Unfortunately, I have to live with the nuts for the u-bolts being fitted at the bottom. If you look carefully at my pics, there is not enough room behind the stub axle to fit the steel plate the U-Bolts go through if the u-bolts are mounted the other way around.

cheers
Mike
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#26
Hi @Boots in Action,
I don't believe so.
It seems to me that your axle was just removed, the weld for location plate on the bottom of the axle was ground off and re-welded to the top of the axle. Then the axle was just fitted underneath your springs.
So, no rotation, no messing around with backing plates etc.

If you look at your pictures and mine, you will see that the protective metal strip is still on the rear of the axle in both cases.

Unfortunately, I have to live with the nuts for the u-bolts being fitted at the bottom. If you look carefully at my pics, there is not enough room behind the stub axle to fit the steel plate the U-Bolts go through if the u-bolts are mounted the other way around.

cheers
Mike
Hi @mikerezny , would not the spacer and the fact that the spring being above the axle, give you the clearance necessary for the "U" bolts to be facing upwards?? The axle height from roadway is unchanged, but the BODY is now at a higher distance from the ground and therefore higher ABOVE the axle. Should that not be space you should achieve??
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#27
Hi @mikerezny , would not the spacer and the fact that the spring being above the axle, give you the clearance necessary for the "U" bolts to be facing upwards?? The axle height from roadway is unchanged, but the BODY is now at a higher distance from the ground and therefore higher ABOVE the axle. Should that not be space you should achieve??
Hi @Boots in Action,
I was considering only turning the U-bolts around and no other changes. In that case, if you look at my pics, there is not enough clearance at the end of the stub axle to fit the steel plate.

cheers
Mike.
 

Boots in Action

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Mar 13, 2017
647
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#28
Hi @Boots in Action,
I was considering only turning the U-bolts around and no other changes. In that case, if you look at my pics, there is not enough clearance at the end of the stub axle to fit the steel plate.

cheers
Mike.
Correct Mike. That would be the case. You need to place springs above axle (plus spacer and welded) to lift the body clear for the extra space for fish plate and "U" bolts. Still, something to think about down the track maybe???.
 
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Drover

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#29
Yep Mike is on the money @Boots in Action , if originally your axle was like @mikerezny then they would have just dropped one end of the spring and wheeled your axle out and fitted it back again under the spring, no need to change a thing other than the U bolts and spacer, I was always told to place the U bolts around the axle and the plate over the spring, compresses and holds the spring pack with less chance of spring breakage, sounds about right to me, though not possible with your axle anyway, you will find lots of vehicles, if not most have the their nuts hanging down in the breeze................You don't need a full weld on the spacer, if any just a quick tack as said before glued in place or tape is good enough to hold it in the correct position until you tighten the U bolts up, can leave the old one in place as well............

Been thinking about going round looking under other rigs and see if I can find other combo's for these axles, though if the stub was in the lowest config I think the stress induced on the spring would not be good at all.