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  #1  
Old 11-08-2005, 11:25 PM
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Exclamation SLS Spring Conversion Kit Interest?

I am an owner of a 300TD, as many of you are.

Most here have dealt with a good system (SLS), but when it breaks, it is very expensive to fix. Also, it is not the most practical system in the world. As it was a good concept, it is still pretty overcomplicated.

Instead of spending hundreds and possibly thousands in the future to repair a sagging rear end, I decided that going with a conventional suspension is the rear was the best idea instead of fixing the SLS.

You have probably read about using sedan shocks and springs. Great idea but the sedan springs are still not tall enough for the rear since the springs are narrower but only 10mm taller. Others have used air shocks or coil overs with the combination of sedan springs but it still has left some to be desired.

I have spent the last couple weekends dealing with this and experimented. We have come up with a custom pair of rear coil springs that also use the sedan type rear shocks. Our rear springs level the car out and after a couple hundred miles the car rides wonderful and handling is great. No bottoming out on dirt roads or train tracks. Our springs have a thicker coil than the sedan or wagon springs.

I know there are hundreds of 300TD wagon owners who are in need of a perfect alternative to the SLS rear suspension. I will be putting some more miles on the vehicle and depending on the interest be selling the custom springs and shocks as a combo or seperately. Installation is very easy and requires ZERO modifications. I wanted to post this to gauge interest on the product and possibly get a list of interested people together. I will try and get some photos posted this weekend of the finished product.

Thanks
Erik
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2005, 12:04 AM
JimmyL's Avatar
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I don't mean to rain on your idea, as there are probably folks interested, but I enjoy the SLS on both of my wagons so much I just felt I needed to chime in.
First, I don't feel that they are overcomplicated. Actually a fairly basic hydraulic system. More complicated than a coil spring I guess, but nothing like the ACC unit.
I feel like the parts can be found for not that much $ either. Luckily, the system components last for quite some time, and replacing the accumulators is about the expense of nice shocks. I just got a hydraulic pump a couple of weeks ago for $50 bucks shipped from a nice person on this forum whose identity I lost in our system crash here.
And you will never duplicate the ride characteristics. It is a good effort, and one I'm sure some folks will utilize, but man that SLS is nice.
Good luck, and I'm glad you're testing. Keep us posted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by propigskin
I am an owner of a 300TD, as many of you are.

Most here have dealt with a good system (SLS), but when it breaks, it is very expensive to fix. Also, it is not the most practical system in the world. As it was a good concept, it is still pretty overcomplicated.

Instead of spending hundreds and possibly thousands in the future to repair a sagging rear end, I decided that going with a conventional suspension is the rear was the best idea instead of fixing the SLS.



I know there are hundreds of 300TD wagon owners who are in need of a perfect alternative to the SLS rear suspension.
Thanks
Erik
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Gone:
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'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2005, 12:21 AM
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Your right, it is not heavily overcomplicated but you do have 2 shocks, 2 accumulators, a valve, pump and a bottle, plus lines. Seals wear our and these parts brand new can get costly. Buying used parts saves big bucks but you are always taking a risk on something used. The cost of the set of custom springs will only be about the price of one new shock for the SLS. The engine compartment and rear ends sure look great with all that gone. I love the idea of something I don't have to worry about leaking and I love seeing less clutter. The car with the SLS not working did not ride/handling good but with these springs, the ride/handling in the rear is wonderful.

Erik
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2005, 07:32 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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i agree

with both of you. depending on the use and budget.

how much you selling the spring kit for? i dont have a wagon at present, just curious.

tom w
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2005, 07:35 AM
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But what's going to happen to that rear wheel camber when you load 300-400 lbs of stuff in the cargo area and another 500 or so on the hitch? FWIW, I use my wagon for what it was intended: cargo transport and utility service.

The SLS is well worth repairing because it enables the wagon to manage a wide range of loads without compromising the handling of the vehicle.


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Last edited by R Leo; 11-09-2005 at 09:07 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2005, 07:47 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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well

yeah

if i had a wagon and was using for everyday use on the highway and everything i would fix it all stock.

but if i had a low budget car that i was going to use mostly around town and not taking long trips with a heavy load i wouldnt feel bad about converting it to springs.

my $.02

tom w
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2005, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
But what's going to happen to that rear wheel camber when you load 300-400 lbs of stuff in the cargo area and another 500 or so on the hitch? FWIW, I use my wagon for what it was intended: cargo transport and utility service.
The price of the set of springs will be in the mid 200 dollar range. Cheaper than one new hydraulic shock for the SLS system.

We have loaded close to 500 pounds in the back with no ill effects to rear wheel camber. So far, our springs have been the best alternative to the SLS known today. SLS is a cool thing but IMO these springs make more sense in the long run for durability, cost, and reliability.

I will get some pictures posted this weekend and I know you guys will be impressed.

Thanks again,
Erik

Any questions, please post them!
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2005, 02:12 PM
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Stella!
 
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I'm looking forward to seeing these.
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2005, 10:22 PM
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How is the ride quality affected? I assume the springs you've developed are stiffer than stock.

How is the handling affected? Have you done any high-speed cornering with your setup? Spring rates figure into handling balance, so I suspect stiffer rear springs will affect handling.

Nevertheless, I await more info and photos. I like my SLS setup -- a lot. The daily ride quality is superb, and I like how it always looks "right", not saggy-assed, when I have 150 pounds of dog and a bunch of other junk in the back. Still, I can see the day ahead when I need to overhaul the system, and I'll want to consider an option like this.

What I REALLY want is some springs that will lower the front of my wagon about an inch. Got anything like that?
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2005, 10:42 PM
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I'm gonna join in and say that I love my SLS system, and I'll pay a fair quantity to keep it running. Struts and pumps last a long time, accumulators are cheap, lines aren't bad, and valves can be rebuilt at home. If you've got a mostly working system, it really is worth fixing.

However... I think a kit like this would be great for two groups of people:

A: People with a seriously dead system, IE, both struts bad and a seized pump, that would really take a LOT of money, ALL at once, and its a choice between replacing the system or junking the car.

B: People who need a replacement engine and can't afford a TD engine/head.

Those two situations end up in the junking of a lot of wagons, which is sad. I'd prefer a functioning SLS, but I'd prefer a spring system that works pretty well over a trip to the junkyard for another wagon.

I'm glad you are working on a system though, it seems like every retrofit in the past has been a little unsatisfying, and its cool that a usable option is coming. Let us know the details.

peace,
sam
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2005, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaWagon
What I REALLY want is some springs that will lower the front of my wagon about an inch. Got anything like that?
What shocks do you have? I went with Bilstein Comforts instead of whatever wierd aftermarket crapola was in there, and it lowered things by a little bit, and it now seems more reasonable in height.

peace,
sam
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2005, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
What shocks do you have? I went with Bilstein Comforts instead of whatever wierd aftermarket crapola was in there, and it lowered things by a little bit, and it now seems more reasonable in height.

peace,
sam
I recently replaced my shocks with Bilstein "comforts" also. No change in ride height for me. I had Bilsteins in there before, and I think they were the OEM units.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2005, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propigskin
. Installation is very easy and requires ZERO modifications. Erik

What are you doing about the Hydraulic pump?

Dave
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2005, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaWagon
How is the ride quality affected? I assume the springs you've developed are stiffer than stock.

How is the handling affected? Have you done any high-speed cornering with your setup? Spring rates figure into handling balance, so I suspect stiffer rear springs will affect handling.

Nevertheless, I await more info and photos. I like my SLS setup -- a lot. The daily ride quality is superb, and I like how it always looks "right", not saggy-assed, when I have 150 pounds of dog and a bunch of other junk in the back. Still, I can see the day ahead when I need to overhaul the system, and I'll want to consider an option like this.

What I REALLY want is some springs that will lower the front of my wagon about an inch. Got anything like that?
So far, the ride has been great. Handling has been much improved from a SLS system that did not work on the vehicle before. Our springs are stiffer than regular wagon springs. The factory wagon springs are pretty weak and if you check them out, they have 3 stacked coils. A couple of 40mph off ramp corners have proved the handling to be very acceptable on a heavy wagon like the 300td. The car unloaded or with 3 in the backseat rides like a dream I am just doing rear springs, however, my fronts are a little too saggy for my taste. You could remove your springs and cut (die grinder), no heat (aka torch) about 1/2-1 full coil to get your desired height. However, it will increase your spring rate slightly but only cutting that much will not pose a problem.

As for the hydraulic pump, if I can get enough interest in a spring kit I will also offer a block off plate for the engine mounted pump. Just remove your pump with 4 bolts, clean the area, add block off plate and some silicone and your done. You can also remove all the hoses, lines, bottles, acc, valve, etc. from the car. That engine comp and rear end sure look nice minus all those extra parts
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2005, 03:19 PM
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is this for an 87 TD?

Will this replacement work for an 87 TD?

-Mike
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