Air Suspension Question

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Ninovan, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Ninovan

    Ninovan Funster

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    Hope there is somebody out there who can come up with a definitive answer! We have a 2013 Autotrail Apache & I want to up plate it to 3850kgs (max 2240kgs on back axle). It is 3650kgs at the moment. Been thinking about Dunlop kit with compressor, gauges, etc. installed as well. I realise I will also have to uprate the rear tyres to 112 load rating. (225/70 R15). I have just been given conflicting advice in that although the base chassis is Fiat (leaf sprung) I have Al-Ko extensions at the back for the hab compartment and it would seem it cant be done as Dunlop will no longer support the application???? Nobody else has come up with this. Does anyone have any ideas please? Taking off on hols in July with tow bar bike rack & dont want to risk grounding it on the ferry! Thanks in advance! Chris.
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I doubt an Apache has ALKO. Have you checked, easy way, see if it's steel (Fiat) or aluminium (ALKO).

    Go to the SV Tech website. Fill in the enquiry form and they will soon tell you. I suspect if it's now at 3650kg then it's the standard chassis and NOT the maxi which on my 2012 Apache 700 goes to 4250kg as standard. Sometimes the cab has the maxi badge on as well, plus another thought, the Fiat weight plate will indicate its max weight.

    Which Apache is it ?? May be worth mentioning that anytime you ask questions as there are several models.
     
  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    If it has leaf springs it is a standard Fiat chassis, I suspect the AlKo extensions are rearwards of the back axle to support the overhanging section of body.

    D.
     
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  4. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Alko extension is after the axle and regular chassis so I don't see it's relevant
    Have you a link to the info you are referring to?
     
  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Alko is not aluminium Steve it would not be strong enough. Galvanised steel matey (y)
     
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  6. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Whoops... always thought they were "special strong" Ali..
    OK. Forget all I said...
     
  7. Ninovan

    Ninovan Funster

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    This was from a phone call to a reputable business this afternoon, so no link. The lady I spoke to was adamant that it could not be fitted due to the AlKo element even though, as you say, it is behind the rear spring attachment point. She said something about the system being withdrawn due to some failures? :confused: I take it the bellows fit between the chassis rail & the middle of the leaf spring directly above the axle.
     
  8. Ninovan

    Ninovan Funster

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    @tonka , it's an Apache 634U.
     
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  9. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    Talk to SV-Tech - I have 2012 Apache 634 and did exactly what you are proposing using kit from Marcle Leisure plus 2 new rear tyres.
     
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  10. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Dave Newell did ours. (y) And what a cracking job he made of it! Dunlop air bags on a Fiat leaf sprung chassis. The ALKO extensions are separate as such, and don't affect the fitting. Drop Dave a PM. (y)
     
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  11. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    Actually @Ninovan I've just realised that I didn't go as far as you in that I didn't fit a gauge or compressor. The job is a fairly straightforward DIY one provided you're able to roll around under the van and the only 'specialist' tool I had to borrow was a torque wrench. I terminated the lines in the gas cupboard, leaving all the spare pipe curled up in case I ever feel the need to fit a gauge in the cab - but after having it for several months I don't feel the need to do so.
     
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  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    If it's a standard AlKo I think you can go to 3850 without air suspension or buggering about with tyres.

    I know we did.

    Speak to SV Tech (y)
     
  13. Ninovan

    Ninovan Funster

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    @NickNic it is a standard steel Fiat chassis then AlKo extensions behind the rear wheels. Spoke to SV Tech at Newbury show. Need air & tyres to go to 3850. Chris.
     
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  14. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Ours is Hymer Exsis i698 4250kg Fiat Alko as above no air suspension on 16x225x75 tyres came as standard on maxi
     
  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Was that Marcle liesure
     
  16. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Could it be that joint plates extend along the original chassis making it difficult to fit?
     
  17. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    No

    If they've been withdraw due to failures it is due to the weight and the distance behind the axle
    My autocruise was fine
     
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  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I wonder if failures are down to user error and under inflation.
    Because of a long overhang it only takes a little lift at the axle to cause a lot of lift at the extreme rear so if some users have been riding level it may cause a lot of stress on the bags.
    If it has come from Marcle I would accept what they say but if anyone else I'd ask Marcle
     
  19. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We had Dunlop kit supplied by Marcle fitted to a 2013 AT Tracker FB without any problems, haven't got it now but did it to uprate to 3850kg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  20. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    I believe we were the company involved and I can only apologise for Jackie's mistake. She simply misunderstood when you said AlKo and thought you were saying it had a full AlKo chassis. In general std Fiat chassis can have air assist fitted but we have come across a couple of models where there is strengthening brackets around the chassis for rear seat belt frames and these brackets are in the way of the air bag fitment. If you would like to call us again tomorrow we can "quote you happy" (assuming no seat frame bracketry is in the way) or you could e-mail your inquiry to either "jackie" or "dave"@davenewell.co.uk with a couple of clear digital photos of the rear axle setup for final confirmation.

    D.
     
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