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  • Wallowing suspension

    Hi all,

    my challenger seems to be really soft in the suspension department making it feel like it wallows on the road - hence the steering doesn't exactly feel sharp and responsive when negotiating winding roads.

    The suspension is standard and the car has done a little shy of 200,000ks. Is this a fairly common characteristic?

    I was just having a look underneath and I see that the leaf springs look pretty flat even though the car is empty when the photo was taken.

    My first thought was that springs need stiffening up or roll bar needs beefing up. Any ideas ? (PS it only gets off road occasionally and I also have to tow a car/trailer occasionally).



    98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

  • #2
    That is a clean and straight looking PA you have.

    Unfortunately, by the look of your photo of the rear suspension your springs need replacing, shockers look original so they will be shot as well, front suspension will be the same, after 200,000km I think it is justified and required to replace it.
    I am amazed it has not been picked up at a Roadworthy Certificate check.

    Renewing the complete suspension will transform the handling and ride comfort and reduce braking distances. Also check all suspension and steering pivots for worn bushes or components.

    This will not be a cheap exercise, parts alone could cost up to $1500 and and a days labour if all goes well and the mechanic is switched on and does not rip you off.
    If you have got all the gear and mechanical experience then you can save same cash (also satisfaction) by doing it yourself, best to get a mate to help otherwise this can easily blow out into multi day job.
    As many on this forum will testify, on cars of that age and mileage you never know what you are going to find and what it will take to fix it.

    Best of Luck,

    cheers, old Jack.
    Last edited by old Jack; 16-12-13, 11:51 AM. Reason: grammar
    2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
    MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback Old Jack. I was a bit surprised to see the springs as flat as they were are considering it doesn't look like the rear end has sagged.
      But as I said in the original post it certainly doesn't feel like there is much spring action or damping going on.

      I am pretty well set up for tools so I'm sure it will be something I tackle myself. Just need to figure out what will be a decent quality set of springs & dampers to replace the current setup with.

      Funny you should mention clean and straight. That pic was taken last week when we were out camping and this weekend I gave her a cut & polish & wax because she was faded/oxidised as well as dusty. So now she really does look clean.

      98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

      Comment


      • #4
        your best bet on the springs would probably be to get those reset by a springworks. I haven't come across a set of replacement ones for the PA yet, only the triton and they would probably be too harsh.

        p.s. is not a particularly difficult job to do , I can knock over a mazda or ford ranger ute with the same setup in about 4 hours so is easily manageable in a full day by a diy'er , in your case though the delay will be in waiting for the springs to be reset.
        Current vehicles: 1995 3.5l nj Pajero x 2, 1995 2.8td Mitsubishi Delica,2011 Jeep Patriot, 2 x 1971 ta 22 celicas, 74 ta 22 celica, ke 35 corollla with 18rg, 95 gtr 1000, 79 leyland terrier bus ( 350 chev),1978 ke 35 corolla, 1980 ra 40 celica 18rgeu,2011 agricat jd495
        Currently wrecking nh gls lwb, nh gl pov pack, 2 x nj gls lwb nl lwb, NH glx manual, 92 L300 delica

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by schnitzel View Post
          your best bet on the springs would probably be to get those reset by a springworks. I haven't come across a set of replacement ones for the PA yet, only the triton and they would probably be too harsh.

          p.s. is not a particularly difficult job to do , I can knock over a mazda or ford ranger ute with the same setup in about 4 hours so is easily manageable in a full day by a diy'er , in your case though the delay will be in waiting for the springs to be reset.

          Thanks schnitzel, getting springs reset is not something I'm familiar with so I'll look that up.

          These tough dog springs are what I'm looking at as another option.

          http://www.toughdogdealer.com.au/challenger.htm
          98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

          Comment


          • #6
            resetting is when a springworks takes your set and re tempers the spring steel to original specs.

            I will ask Dobinsons if they have a set of springs to suit ( i sell there stuff) but i havent seen any yet, the price if they have them would be better than the tough dog.

            I know the shockers are better priced than those ones,
            Current vehicles: 1995 3.5l nj Pajero x 2, 1995 2.8td Mitsubishi Delica,2011 Jeep Patriot, 2 x 1971 ta 22 celicas, 74 ta 22 celica, ke 35 corollla with 18rg, 95 gtr 1000, 79 leyland terrier bus ( 350 chev),1978 ke 35 corolla, 1980 ra 40 celica 18rgeu,2011 agricat jd495
            Currently wrecking nh gls lwb, nh gl pov pack, 2 x nj gls lwb nl lwb, NH glx manual, 92 L300 delica

            Comment


            • #7
              Schnitzel is right, a reset and re-temper of the leafs may be a cheaper option.
              Not too many options for a 15 years Challenger as far as kits go.

              http://nutsabout4wd.com.au/lovells-s...-heavy-duty.ht

              http://automotivepartswarehouse.com....ft-p-2420.html

              http://www.pedders.com.au/catalogue/...Coil+Rear+Susp

              http://4x4superstore.com.au/index.ph...f1nnqm20rjke04

              http://www.suspensiondealer.com.au/challengerleaf.htm

              I can not comment on the quality of any of the above in terms to handling, comfort and longevity.

              If you are not going to heavily accessorise or travel with or tow heavy loads then a new standard setup will most likely do. Work out what you want to do with the vehicle, how long you are going to keep it and how much you want to spend on it.

              Re-setting of the rear leafs and maybe an extra leaf added + new shockers all round and a 1 or 2 spline adjustments of the torsion bars to get the suspension to sit with 1/2 to 1/3 travel down and 1/2 to 2/3 travel up and you might get another 100,000km before you need to touch the suspension again.

              cheers, old Jack.
              2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
              MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

              Comment


              • #8
                all the kits i have seen are selling the triton springs which will probably be a bit too heavy for the challenger, suppose you could take leaf one out to soften the ride a little.

                Anyway have asked dobinsons if they have some suitable as they can at least make a set if necessary.

                Have also found that if you are getting wallowing the front bars will be past it and need replacing as well.
                Current vehicles: 1995 3.5l nj Pajero x 2, 1995 2.8td Mitsubishi Delica,2011 Jeep Patriot, 2 x 1971 ta 22 celicas, 74 ta 22 celica, ke 35 corollla with 18rg, 95 gtr 1000, 79 leyland terrier bus ( 350 chev),1978 ke 35 corolla, 1980 ra 40 celica 18rgeu,2011 agricat jd495
                Currently wrecking nh gls lwb, nh gl pov pack, 2 x nj gls lwb nl lwb, NH glx manual, 92 L300 delica

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info guys, I have been chasing up some of those links to get more details.

                  I'm leaning towards not doing the torsion bars yet as I don't plan on any heavy front end accessories. Since the PA will be mainly road driven and occasional offroad & towing I think the suspension replacement parts can afford to be 0-300kg light duty spec.
                  98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I made some enquiries about spring resetting in Sydney and it would be $440 for that to be done ($640 if they do the removal & install), not really worth it vs buying new springs for $400-$500 I reckon.

                    I also found another complete kit for $1241 including torsion bars. (50mm lift) http://www.ssa.com.au/shop-online/kit-HDMIT174.html

                    And a tough dog kit with 4 shocks, rear leaf springs, shackles & bushes but without torsion bars for $1205

                    I've also tracked down a copy of the Montero Sport workshop manuals (albeit they are for the coil rear axle model) to check what is involved.
                    98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You are in sydney, so have a chat to ultimate suspension.

                      Jonlin Automotive in brisbane set up my jtop very well using Ultimate gear, not so easy considering the weight differences of the tin top to the soft top, Brendan at Ultimate was great to deal with.

                      Challenger PA kit.
                      http://www.ultimatesuspension.com.au...&vehicle_id=29
                      Last edited by jop; 18-12-13, 02:28 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well this is what I have gone ahead and ordered at a bit of a discount ($1205) from Powerful 4x4 in Sydney.


                        Tough Dog 35mm Lift Kit
                        Mitsubishi Challenger PA, PAII, 3/98 On Leaf Spring Rear


                        Qty: Description: Part: Price/Each:
                        2 Front Shock absorber – Foam Cell 41mm bore, twin tube, 60mm casing, 22mm rod FC42057B $160
                        2 Rear Shock absorber - Foam Cell 41mm bore, twin tube, 60mm casing, 22mm rod FC41449B $160
                        2 Leaf Spring Rear – Light load: up to 300Kg T21 $260
                        1 Shackle Bush Kit (Rear) TDUK-066 $110
                        2 U-Bolt Kit (Rear) TDUB-006 $50
                        Total RRP: $1,370

                        Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow and work on getting it fitted. Time to break out the air tools.

                        Thanks for the info everyone provided it was very helpful.
                        Cheers,
                        Kelly
                        98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I picked up the kit today. This should give the Challenger a new lease on life.

                          98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Since I picked the suspension up yesterday I thought I might as well get into it today. Unfortunately the results are a bit mixed at this stage.

                            I found two issues, one minor and one major.

                            Minor issue - the Tough Dog front damper rubber bushings are quite a bit thicker than the OE bushings, so much so that all of the shaft thread is hidden and it's not possible to start the securing nut. I overcame this by re-using one of the OE bushings in place of the Tough Dog bushing.

                            Major issue - the Front bushing sleeve for the Tough Dog leaf springs is 12mm inside diameter but the 98 OEM PA Challenger bushing pin/bolt is 14mm diameter. There is no way that will work. It wasn't until I had removed the OE Spring and was attempting to install the Tough Dog Spring that that issue became apparent. Unfortunately I had little option but to re-install the OE spring at that point (I have paid for new bushings so I was not willing to reuse the OE bushing in the Tough Dog spring - and I'm not sure if it fits and it would also have to be pressed out of the OE spring, potentially damaging it and thus removing the option of re-installing the OE spring).

                            So in the end I have installed the 4 dampers and will now have to take up the fitment issue with Tough Dog. I guess I'll now find out what their customer service is like.










                            98 PA Challenger 3.0 LSD, Aux trans cooler, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, Maxxis A/T 700s, Tough Dog foam cell dampers & Leaf Springs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bugger! That is bad luck at last it was reversible.
                              I do like that 4 point floor jack, is it too late to ask Santa for one?

                              cheers, old Jack.
                              2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
                              MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

                              Comment

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