General 4x4 suspension lift

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General 4x4 suspension lift

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Apr 14, 2006
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This subject seems to keep popping up but there has been very little concrete information. I thought I would share my experiences. First of all, here is some details of my Panda. It is a slightly tatty 1986 model that I bought for the princely sum of £150 :D. It had a blown head gasket but that was easily fixed. My first purchase was a set of Colway M&S tyres at £140 for a set of 5.

After many hours trawling the web I found that 30mm seems to be the maximum recommended lift but some have gone as high as 45mm. I thought I would go for 30mm with two spacers per strut, one 15mm spacer under the spring and one 15mm spacer on top of the strut. After doing some measurements I bought some polythene rod and made up a set of spacers.
 

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Tony M

eh?
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once you have re-fitted them and given the car a whizz around the block/field... come back and let all the 4x4 owners know what the changes were in handling.

the proof is in the pudding...
 
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Lesnewell
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After fitting the spacers, the camber ended up wildly out (no suprise). No problems I thought - relocate the holes on the strut to tip the hub carrier up and away you go. Err - no :bang:. As the bottom wishbone drops it shortens the driveshaft. Without adjusting the camber there is about 1mm travel left on the driveshaft. After adjusting it there is about -1.5mm travel :eek:. The left hand drive shaft is also at a fairly scary angle.

Hmm. Not ideal. There appear to be only two options to fix the problem.

1) Longer lower wishbone - Uno maybe? This may cause problems at full compression as the driveshaft will be extended more than it is designed to do. However it involves no modifications to the chassis.

2) Relocate the lower wishbone pivot point downwards and outwards. This would greatly improve the geometry but it involves chassis mods.
 

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Lesnewell
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Apr 14, 2006
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Jeez, you guys reply quick. I haven't even finished posting my results :). I am breaking it up so the pics make more sense.

As you can see it was raining so I didn't want to spend too much time crawling about underneath the car. As a temporary measure I have taken off the top spacer so I now have 15mm lift. This makes the front very slightly lower then the rear. The camber is now not much different from standard.

Unfortunately a friend's car blew it's clutch so I had to lend her the Panda before I even had a chance to take it for a test drive :mad:. It is likely to be at least 3 weeks before I get the car back :cry:
 

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Lesnewell
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christopher watson said:
Why dont you just have standard suspension, as the panda 4x4 is a very capable off roader in stock form.

I do a lot of green laning. Several of the local lanes are quite rocky and I end up spending a lot of the time with horrible noises coming from underneath as I scrape over the rocks. I will also be fitting bash plates underneath so it slides over the rocks rather than bashing into them.

Perhaps I am expecting too much. I mainly ride a trail bike and I expect the panda to get most of the places that the bike will. I love the way a Panda will fit where larger 4x4s won't go. The Land Rover lads laugh at my little beastie until it nips through a lane that they end up spending ages trying to squeeze through :devil:.
 

Tony M

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That looks like the 4x4 that was on Ebay in Cornwall... got the big sunroof on it... infact it looks quite lovely.

wish i had somewhere in Cornwall i could put a pnda as that Sisley for sale at the moment on Ebay is nearly falling off the end of the country.
 
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Lesnewell
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Tony M said:
That looks like the 4x4 that was on Ebay in Cornwall... got the big sunroof on it... infact it looks quite lovely.

Yep, that's the one. I still can't understand why I got it for £150. It was at £125 with 1 day to go when a friend went down and offered the guy £150. Why he accepted the offer I don't know - he would have made much more if he had waited for the auction to end. Not that I am complaining you understand...

Tony M said:
wish i had somewhere in Cornwall i could put a pnda as that Sisley for sale at the moment on Ebay is nearly falling off the end of the country.

I am half interested in it for spares. It is quite high mileage and by the sounds of it pretty rotten. I doubt if it would be viable to get it back on the road. Unfortunately I don't have access to a car trailer ATM so shifting it would be a problem.
 

Tony M

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Lesnewell said:
Yep, that's the one. I still can't understand why I got it for £150. It was at £125 with 1 day to go when a friend went down and offered the guy £150. Why he accepted the offer I don't know - he would have made much more if he had waited for the auction to end. Not that I am complaining you understand...
the reason it went so cheaply is because it looked rough and the guy was in Cornwall... with that sort of outline you'd have to spend 300.00 to get it to London or the midlands... and you can buy a good sisley for 800.00. SO to spend that sort of cash on it doesn't add up... however if you are based in Cornwall snap it up. and you did.

Lesnewell said:
I am half interested in it for spares. It is quite high mileage and by the sounds of it pretty rotten. I doubt if it would be viable to get it back on the road. Unfortunately I don't have access to a car trailer ATM so shifting it would be a problem.
I suspect it'll go for more than you think... it's worth spending money for good welding on a Sisley as you'll get that money back later. the location is the biggest problem... however if you know you're buying into trouble then anything else is a bonus, you don't mind bidding with that in mind...

Tax and MOT is nice but not essential for buying a Panda.
 
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Lesnewell
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Tony M said:
I suspect it'll go for more than you think... it's worth spending money for good welding on a Sisley as you'll get that money back later.

According to the ad there are two 4 inch holes in the sills and a 1 inch hole in the wing. I have done a fair amount of welding on cars and where rust is concerned, what you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. To do the job properly you are looking at 2 new inner sills, probably 2 new outer sills and a new wing. The labour on it's own ain't going to be cheap.

However it wouldn't suprise me to see it go for over £300. With Sisleys it seems that if it still has 4 wheels it is worth £300+
 
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