My attempt to build something to go somewhere else...
Work truck platform is made to flex, subframe is made to not flex. Another clarification for me.
If the driver rear tire goes into a deep pothole, I see two things happening:
1. the weight of the subframe/camper on the passenger side is maintained spread out the length of the frame, and
2. the driver side frame twists going downward into the pothole. The weight of the rigid subframe/camper is shifted from evenly spread out to a forward point of contact with the frame causing an unusual stress point.
This would cause repeated stress on a frame point from potholes, uneven ground, etc. Why doesn't this eventually crack the frame?
The service body on my FG has been U-bolted to the frame for 13 years and 194K miles. I don't know what kind of life it lived as a service vehicle before I purchased it, but the last time I looked closely, I could detect no frame damage. I've got closed to 20k miles with the camper in the service body and I have I haven't noticed any problems yet. Your experience may vary I'm around 11800 lbs on a 99 FG.
At this point, I'm going to suggest that Unicell company made and mounted our camper to flex with the frame, just as they make their delivery boxes, just like service bodies, hence no damage to our frame/camper in all it's travels. I'll also suggest that if we are under weight or over weight, as long as we incur reasonable twisting, not the extreme twisting proudly shown in pictures on the portal, our frame/camper will do OK. We're not a Jeep or Land Rover- respect and consideration must be shown for what we are/are not. Rules as to where we can/can't go must be followed. We're not made for extreme terrain. Thanks to all for getting us to this point of understanding. Gary
Our camper was remounted on the chassis Aug 2011. I put shims on each side of each U bolt to keep them centered. The U bolts have been kept torqued to 70ftlbs. We've lived in the rig full time and put on 25,000mi without any shift, movement or cracking of either camper or chassis. We've learned a lot from and thank the forum members. Late January we'll get custom Deaver springs put on and adjusted. Then off to another adventure. Gary
Our weight is about 13500 lbs and won't change. We had Fuso put on 14000 lb springs and new shocks 6 months ago . These immediately engaged the overload leafs and all leafs flattened. After a few weeks of no noticeable improvement, ie, still hitting the stops from a small bump, we returned to the Fuso shop to discuss the situation. The service dept said that "if we wanted the 14000 lb springs to work right, we'd have to weigh 12000 lbs". They would say no more and had no options for us. Our bump stop gaps were front 3/4", rear 1/2". Specs call for much more clearance. Our subsequent long ride to Alaska was miserable.
After getting back we replaced the shocks with Ranchos as I said above- good improvement.
We just now had custom Deaver springs made for our 4-corner weights. We're heavier on the right side from the kitchen and frig. Our custom pack was made at the Deaver plant in Oregon, then shipped to his shop in Santa Ana, CA. The packs came fully put together, ready to put on the truck. He ordered them arched a little higher knowing that he could bend them down as needed. Bending up won't hold. After looking at our rig again and comparing the old springs to the new packs, he did disassemble both packs fully, bent all leafs downward and was meticulous to get each bend exact, sometimes redoing the bend until perfectly matching the other leafs in that pack. Then he removed one leaf from the left side since we weighed less on that side. I'll say that it took 2 workers plus Jeff plus all the special equipment 8 hrs to do the job in case someone wants to do it themselves. Our result is a level rig, front stop 2", rear 2" and already a vastly improved civilized ride. More clearance is possible by adding leaves and degrading ride, so we'll reevaluate periodically.
Got an alignment afterward.
Fuso charged me $4000 for nothing. Deaver's charge was $3000 for materials not including labor- I'd say that's a bargain.
I should have listened to Doug Hackney who told me to go to Deaver first! Gary
2 inches... that's not clearance! Let me show you some real bump stop clearance...Our result is a level rig, front stop 2", rear 2" and already a vastly improved civilized ride.
Sorry, I could not resist...
This is the coil conversion on my FG done by ATW. There is 6" of travel before it even touches the Aeon style bump stop!
And, at the rear there are no bump stops at all, which allows for maximum articulation.
Mind you, this mod was a tad more than three grand...
My attempt to build something to go somewhere else...
LIFE Its an adventure - Not a race
Someone mentioned earlier an increased load capacity on FG's in Australia. Is that with the same springs and chassis as the US versions? Why the difference?
If you are referring to the FG's here increasing from 6 ton GVM to 6.5 ton .....this happened on the new FGB71 model. The new front springs and hanger locations are shorter by about 100mm with more set and bump stop clearance. The rear main pack looks the same but they now run a parabolic 3 leaf over-rider which looks quite substantial.
I would be surprised if he North American FGB71 did not run the same setup now.