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  • Active Stability Control and suspension

    Hi all
    As of November 2013, all vehicles sold in Australia will have to be fitted with ESC/ASC or whatever else it might be called. It's been compulsory on certain types of vehicle for a few years now, but now it's basically all vehicles... All PB and PC Challengers have ASC as standard.

    Now, Old Jack has been telling us till he's blue in the face that on a vehicle with ESC/ACS, you will have a whole lot of trouble modifying your suspension legally if you're in a state that has adopted Vehicle Standards bulletin (VBS) 14 (Like WA). And modifying your vehicle illegally can have ramifications on your insurance, and the police's right to whack a yellow sticker on your windscreen.

    VBS 14 is a bit grey on the subject of ESC if you ask me. Considering that it's so specific everywhere else.

    It basically says that you can modify your ESC/ASC equipped car to your hearts content as long as you can prove either through vehicle manufacturer statements, or through testing, that the ESC hasn't been affected.

    So this becomes a game of responsibility passing...

    I asked Mitsubishi what they reckon. They said that they don't recommend changing anything at all anywhere, ever... And if you do and things go wrong then it's your oooowwn fault! That's the short version anyway.

    I've talked to a few suspension installers and they've all said not to bother because you won't get it past the guys that sign off on your engineering statements anyway...

    I've talked to the engineering guys and they've said they'd not sign off on it because they can't 100% test that the ESC/ASC hasn't been affected.

    I've talked to our Dept of Transport in WA and they said 'yeah good luck with that'...

    So I've been digging around trying to find out anyone who is prepared to stand up and say 'Your ESC/ASC won't be affected!'

    Impossible task you might say... I thought so... Then I found this:

    http://www.arb.com.au/getting-starte...on_and_ESC.php

    Way to go OME! I wonder if an engineering guy would sign off on it after reading that...

    Does anyone else know of any other manufacturer statements such as this?
    My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
    2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

  • #2
    WOW. Should print that statement if you were getting their suspension fitted. They are basically stating that there will be no repercussions from authorities or insurance. Never seen any manufacturer make a statement like that before!
    2012 Platinum 2 Nudge Bar, Tow Bar, Lightforce spotties, Roof racks, Awning with tent, Dual batteries, UHF, Mickey Thompson ATZs...... More to come

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scott_au35 View Post
      WOW. Should print that statement if you were getting their suspension fitted. They are basically stating that there will be no repercussions from authorities or insurance. Never seen any manufacturer make a statement like that before!
      I KNOW. I'm amazed!

      I've taken a screen shot of it and saved it into my OneNote notes on Vehicle Modification... I'm such a nerd... Attached is a copy of it for posterity...

      I also just got this email response from ARB:
      Hi Ross,

      Excellent. Just got off the phone with the OME guys in Kilsyth (head office) and they have advised that they have just finish recently doing a comprehensive test to ADR compliance at great expense, so we can safely say that it should be ok to do your suspension.
      Attached Files
      My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
      2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

      Comment


      • #4
        Ross, the ARB statement is only regarding the Ford Ranger/BT50, I am not sure where ARB are up to with ESC certification on other vehicles, would love to know though! This ESC compatibility of suspension system is a time bomb for all suspension suppliers, good on ARB for tackling the issue . This is just a repeat of airbag compatiable certified bullbars, the aftermarket industry is playing catch up with the legislation.

        Not quite blue in the face yet!

        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rosscomatic View Post
          I KNOW. I'm amazed!

          I've taken a screen shot of it and saved it into my OneNote notes on Vehicle Modification... I'm such a nerd... Attached is a copy of it for posterity...

          I also just got this email response from ARB:
          Hi Ross,

          Excellent. Just got off the phone with the OME guys in Kilsyth (head office) and they have advised that they have just finish recently doing a comprehensive test to ADR compliance at great expense, so we can safely say that it should be ok to do your suspension.
          Haha, I love the commit purveyed in this statement. I can categorically state that it might be OK if nothing goes wrong.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fester View Post
            Haha, I love the commit purveyed in this statement. I can categorically state that it might be OK if nothing goes wrong.
            Yeah I got a bit of a chuckle out of that too...
            My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
            2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by old Jack View Post
              Ross, the ARB statement is only regarding the Ford Ranger/BT50, I am not sure where ARB are up to with ESC certification on other vehicles, would love to know though! This ESC compatibility of suspension system is a time bomb for all suspension suppliers, good on ARB for tackling the issue . This is just a repeat of airbag compatiable certified bullbars, the aftermarket industry is playing catch up with the legislation.

              Not quite blue in the face yet!

              cheers, old Jack.
              Hi OJ.

              To my reading, that statement is very generic. I know the question mentions the Ford Ranger, but the response only mentions it by saying congrats on the purchase. From there on it is talking about OME suspension in general terms...

              And the article title is "OME Suspension and ESC" which is very generic...

              That's how I read it anyway.

              I've asked the ARB guy if they have people who will sign engineering certs... They do GVM upgrades so they might do... Fingers crossed!!
              My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
              2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

              Comment


              • #8
                ARB had a company PB Challenger they used for development of all the bars and suspension. Should be able to get a letter direct from ARB head office.
                SOLD MY11 PB LS Challenger Manual,

                MY18 Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Auto. Smartbar Stealth. Warn 9k winch, Redarc dual battery system. over tub rack system. Minecorp phone mount. Folding Phone and UHF antennae mounts. 9" LED driving lights. Assortment of extras from Tickford.

                Comment


                • #9
                  VSI6 has been released in NSW.

                  For suspension lifts without an engineers cert it says "Altering vehicle ride height by more than one third of the manufacturer’s suspension travel in the direction of the ride height change." In practice I'm told to measure 1/3 take off the shocky and measure how far it travels from max compressed to max extended and divide by 3. These seems to be no mention of ASC etc for this lift.

                  For tyres a 7% increase in overall diameter of the manufactures original supplied tyres or tyre option.

                  VSI6 makes good reading.

                  http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/registration/downloads/vsi/vsi6.pdf

                  2010 NT DiD Platinum, MM tow bar, Red Arc electric brake controller, ARB Delux bullbar, Ultimate HD suspension and shocks, Engineers cert for GVM upgrade, Airtech snorkle, Cooper ST Maxx, 2nd Battery+ extra sockets, catch can, intercooler/ sump/ transmission guard, scan guage II, Hid driving lights, Ironman awning, daytime driving lights + other little bits

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well done Dave for spotting this new regulation, yes it is an interesting read.

                    VSI 06 only applies to vehicles registered in NSW and does not address ESC equipped vehicles and without seeing the legislation that enacted the rule then I am assuming it is not retrospective so if your car was legal before, it still is, even if it would not be legal under the new rules.

                    7% increase in tyre diameter, this is a good thing, common sense has prevailed.
                    The Factory diameter is 776 mm so that means the max legal tyre is 830mm in diameter, but do not get too excited as this is a 27mm increase in radius and I doubt whether there is enough clearance particularly on the front to take a tyre of that size, remember as your Challenger is 2WD, AWD & 4WD you must run the same diameter tyres all round. But it does mean that you can easily go up a profile step from 65 series to 70 series on 17" rims and from 70 series to 75 series on 16" rims and also increase tyre width by 1 step (10mm) 265 to 275. But be warned an increase in size will result is a deterioration of acceleration and braking performance, an increase in fuel consumption, an increase in gear ratios which will be noticeable off road and if it is an Auto then the TC will spend more time unlocked which leads to more fuel consumed and higher ATF temps.

                    Suspension lift, also a common sense approach by NSW.

                    Front suspension on the Challenger has the total suspension travel limited by rubber bump stops on compression and internal shocker stops on extension, these prevent over-travel and protect driveshafts & joints, shockers, brake lines & ABS wiring and steering components, bump-stops should not be changed to increase wheel travel. The factory suspension has total travel of 210mm and this is split as 90mm extension and 120mm compression from the standard unladen height of 542mm centre hub to under wheel arch.
                    The new NSW regulations could be read 2 ways;
                    1. if it is 1/3 of the travel in the direction of the change in height then this will be 30mm lift (1/3 of 90mm) so the centre hub to rim height would be 572mm.
                    2. if it is 1/3 of the total travel, then this is 70mm (1/3 of 210mm) and that is only a 20mm difference from the standard 90mm travel so the centre hub height to under wheel arch would be 562mm (unloaded).
                    From an engineering perspective either of the above are sound and on my Challenger I have settled at 565mm with Smartbar & Buskskinz fitted with Lovells std duty+40mm coils and Bilstiens at my running kerb weight of 2450kg and 555/560mm at GVM.

                    Rear suspension on the Challenger has a total travel of 240mm travel and is split 50/50 in the standard factory settings with a centre hub height to under wheel arch of 552mm, min 432mm and max 672mm. Travel is limited by the extension length of the shocker, then the brake lines and then the panard rod in suspension extension, in compression it is limited by the rubber bump-stops on the axle hitting the chassis.
                    So the new NSW regulations could be read 2 ways;
                    1. if it is 1/3 of the travel in the direction of the change of height, then this is 40mm (1/3 of 120mm) so the centre hub to under wheel arch would be 582mm (unloaded).
                    2. if it is 1/3 of the total travel then this is 80mm and that is only 40mm difference from the standard extension travel of 120mm so the centre hub to under wheel arch would be 582mm which is the same as theory #1.

                    On my Challenger I am aiming for 595mm in the rear, when my car is at it's running kerb weight of 2450kg which is driver, full fuel, fitted accessories, tools and recovery gear and 570mm at GVM. I have not achieved this yet as I have 565mm with Lovells HD +40mm coils and 610mm with Lovells ExHD +60mm coils with Bilstein long travel shocks, at my running kerb weight. The Bilsteins give me an extra 55mm of downward suspension travel but at the expense of tight brake lines and coils dislocating .
                    Work in progress!

                    cheers, old Jack.
                    Last edited by old Jack; 14-12-13, 09:50 PM. Reason: spelling
                    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


                    • #11
                      I just received this from Ironman.
                      Hi Ross

                      As part of any suspension upgrade designed and offered by Ironman 4x4, a comprehensive array of testing procedures, including brake tests, swerve tests, ride height checks etc are conducted to ensure optimum performance of the suspension and the vehicle dynamics.

                      It is through this testing we discover that no adverse effects to the ESC system in Mitsubishi Challenger or any other model we offer to date are affected by the (up to) 40mm lift in suspension.

                      There are no confirmed reports that a 40mm raised suspension affects the operation of ESC.

                      The ESC system computes the vehicle stability by calculating data from numerous sensors located throughout the vehicle. If the ESC system detects that the vehicle is losing control, the system can apply brakes to individual wheels and/or reduce throttle to keep the vehicle on its intended path.
                      A correctly integrated suspension system such as that available from Ironman will contribute to the overall vehicle stability, complimenting the ESC system, not working against it.

                      Put simply the ESC system intervenes only when the vehicle loses its intended path of direction, the suspension upgrade is capable of improving the control aspect from the driver potentially meaning less likely to enter such a situation, should the situation still arise, the ESC system will still function as intended until the situation is bought under control.

                      My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
                      2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I guess until this is tested legally my concern is these communications from the suspension suppliers still seem to me a little generic and vague. Has anyone seen a specific certification or statement saying that "we have tested our suspension system for the PB Challenger and declare that the vehicle manufacturers ESC system is not affected by our suspension package part no##### as per VSB###" or "this suspension system complies with all the requirements of VSB### in relation to ESC"

                        Here's hoping it does not have to come to that extreme.

                        A more sceptical person than me could think that mandatory fitment of ESC on all new cars taking into account VSB14 conveniently introduces an almost no modification policy without actually saying so.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fester View Post
                          I guess until this is tested legally my concern is these communications from the suspension suppliers still seem to me a little generic and vague. Has anyone seen a specific certification or statement saying that "we have tested our suspension system for the PB Challenger and declare that the vehicle manufacturers ESC system is not affected by our suspension package part no##### as per VSB###" or "this suspension system complies with all the requirements of VSB### in relation to ESC"

                          Here's hoping it does not have to come to that extreme.

                          A more sceptical person than me could think that mandatory fitment of ESC on all new cars taking into account VSB14 conveniently introduces an almost no modification policy without actually saying so.
                          None of the manufacturers who have responded to me have given me anything that formal...

                          I did just receive this from Ultimate (Note, NSW has adopted VSB 14 as well it seems. The quote he's provided is direct from it):
                          Hi Ross,

                          Thank you for your email and I apologise for the delayed response. I have been on leave the last couple of weeks and it appears the other guys missed your email.


                          In NSW, we also have laws relating to the ESC. The RTA goes off the NCOP which states the following.

                          “Many modern vehicles are now being equipped with a safety feature known as Electronic
                          Stability Control (ESC). (ESC is also known by other terms including Vehicle Stability Control or
                          Dynamic Stability Control).
                          ESC provides motorists additional safety in terms of vehicle stability and handling, particularly in
                          difficult situations where loss of control could otherwise occur. ESC uses computer technology
                          to assist the driver in maintaining control in emergency situations – particularly when executing
                          avoidance manoeuvres involving sudden swerving and in cases when the vehicle begins to
                          slide and rotate sideways.
                          Braking is automatically applied to individual wheels, such as the outer front wheel to counter
                          oversteer, or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer. Some ESC systems also reduce
                          engine power until steering control is regained.
                          ESC is programmed by the vehicle manufacturer for the vehicle to which it is fitted taking into
                          account a number of design parameters such as brake, engine and transmission performance,
                          tyre specifications, steering systems, suspension (type and performance characteristics), mass
                          of the vehicle and weight distribution.
                          For modification codes contained in this Section of VSB 14, evidence should be obtained either
                          from the vehicle manufacturer or through testing to determine the impact on the ESC system.
                          To remain within the scope of this Section of VSB 14, a vehicle fitted with ESC must not be modified if the operation of the ESC is affected unless the ESC system is adjusted accordingly.”


                          When we develop all of our suspension kits, they undergo a lot of intense testing with certified engineers to ensure the kits meet all of our safety and performance requirements. A suspension upgrade on the Challenger has NO adverse affect on the ASC and there is no need to disconnect, modify or adjust the system. This has been proven in testing and on every challenger fitted with an aftermarket suspension kit.

                          Other vehicles are very different which is why this law has been introduced. For example, when the Hilux was first released with ESC, overloaded original suspension or a lift kit would interfere with the ESC and the Drivers Side Front brake would engage on corners. This issues was overcome with a software update from Toyota (corrected the over-sensitive yaw rate sensors) and we can now fit raised suspension without any issues.

                          I can’t speak for WA transport, but the NSW RTA allows the suspension upgrades as there is no affect on the ESC. If the suspension kits are not allowed due to ESC, no changes to brakes or tyres would be allowed either. This is interpreted by some people as no change in tyre size or design which removes all modification options for 4WD users. Hopefully it hasn’t come to that in WA.

                          Kind Regards,


                          My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
                          2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So I sent an email to an authorised signatory. Someone who can sign off on engineering certifications... This is what I sent:
                            Hi <name>

                            I have been given your details by the Dept of Transport in regards to obtaining a signoff on modifications that I'd like to perform on my vehicle.


                            My car is a Mitsubishi Challenger 2010 fitted with Electronic Stability Control. My intended modification is to upgrade the factory suspension which will lift the vehicle by approximately 40mm.


                            Although it is within the general limits of what is allowed, VSB 14 says that I need to prove either through vehicle manufacturer statement, or through testing, that the ESC has not been affected.


                            If I can provide a statement from the suspension manufacturer that says that they have performed thorough testing on their product and have demonstrated that there is no adverse affect on the ESC, would that be enough to enable you to sign off on it do you think?


                            Thanks for your help.

                            Regards
                            Ross

                            This is the response I recieved:

                            Ross

                            In short, you have a snow ball’s chance in hell of getting this modification through, unless you have a very precise directive from the original manufacturer. Otherwise, I would not touch it.

                            Sorry.

                            Regards

                            I interpret this as being a blanket ban on any suspension or tyre size modifications on any vehicle fitted with ESC in WA.


                            My blog - www.offroadaussie.com
                            2010 PB LS Challenger Auto. RedArc dual battery. GME UFH 80ch. Cargo barrier. Custom recovery points. Factory bull bar and towbar. Wandering Star Bushmaster camper trailer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ross,

                              I think the only way forward in regards to suspension, is for you is to use a fitted system from someone who has given you a favourable response, so far you have a favourable response from Ironman and Ultimate and it would be interesting to see what ARB and TJM have to "say" in writing. Also of interest would be a written response from Climax suspension and Bushskinz who supply suspension kits.

                              The RVCS data is what the police and insurance firms use in determining the legal ride height. http://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/...ad.php?t=31173
                              Fortunately the data for the Challenger has a -/+20mm tolerance on the centre wheel hub to under wheel arch measurements of Front 542mm and Rear 552mm of an unladen vehicle. VSB 14 allows for maintenance and replacement of parts to compensate for worn components or the extra weight of fitted accessories and this is not considered a modification. Therefore there is a strong argument for changing suspension to return your Challenger to within factory specs and you choose the upper limit of front 562mm and rear 572mm once accessorised.

                              In regards to tyre and wheel sizes unfortunately you have no room to move within the current regulations.

                              Hopefully in time the rules will be reviewed if there is pressure from the aftermarket industry. Tyre manufacturers & resellers and suspension resellers and fitters should be proactive in getting these rules modified to allow for sensible modifications but I suspect they all know that what they sell and fit could be illegal and do not want to publicly draw attention to this.

                              As I said before (almost blue in the face) this ESC/no modification situation is just a repeat of the "airbag compatible bullbar" situation we had many years.

                              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 .

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