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Broken Parabolic!!!!!


Betsy
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I fitted some CP Components Paras back in April, and have been very pleased with them so far. They have done about 5000 miles, and several off-road trips. I have been preparing the vehicle to go to Morocco A WEEK ON THURSDAY!! and thought everyhting was ready. So, this morning set off for a last shake down in the Peaks before packing my bags.

I was going down Pindale, which is a mild descent over rocks. Everything was perfect then two very loud bangs, and the car obviously felt wrong. I stopped and looked underneath to see the front left spring broken in two places.

I have the 2 leaf version on the front, and the 3 leaf on the rear. I have looked at the CP Components website, and it would seem the 3 leaf fronts are for forward controls and ambulances. 2 leaf is recommended for normal and heavy duty 109.

My car is heavy, with a lot of kit in the back, and a weighty Mayflower Mechanical winch on the front. The AT2 spare on the bonnet also weighs a lot.

I will probably need to get some 3 leaf HD parabolics quickly.

Has anyone got any comments? could it be faulty? Seen this before?

Its not a big job to change, but its a damn good job it broke now and not in the middle of the Atlas mountains!

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Hi Betsy.

Yes that is seen before both at the place where you have encountered the problem but also right behind the eyes, we are some folks that have thought that a bit on this.

We think that there is two issues, the breakaged you have had we think is due to axle wrap.

And the breakaged behind the eyes we think is due to the fact that with parabolics there are only a few layer to take up the twist in the spring in its longitudinal direction, wich you can not do much about, except chose some spring brand that is not as prone to it as others.

The breakage behind the eyes we have seen mostly on RM's and not much on other brands.

Your kind off failure has been seen on almost all the good springs RM's TIC's and CPC.

Wether we have not seen it on British spring's they just bend!!!

So it is also dawn to the compromise the manufature makes in his product.

I do however think that an axle anti wrapbar will help on this plus offcourse give improved traction.

I know it is not much off a comfort merely just a statement off facts.

regards

Ole.

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Does anyone on here have 3 leaf fronts? and can comment on their suitability for a 109 soft top with a very heavy winch and spare on the bonnet?

I am thinking that I have 2 choices given the very short time I have to departure.

1. Get a set of 3 leaf fronts, and risk the ride being too hard, or the ride height too high and the front prop fouling (I previously had extended shackles and they were too much for the prop - she is now on standard shackles)

2. Get another set of 2 leaf versions, risk another failure in Morocco, but take my 1 remaining good spring as a spare.

Also, because I was previously running the car with the 2 leaf springs, and extended shackles, could this have overstressed the springs? I switched to standard shackles because the front prop got damaged at full articulation.

I'll be on the phone to CP in the morning, just after any experiences from members on here.

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Just a couple of thoughts.

Now the vehicle is almost fully loaded, have you put it on a weighbridge to establish axle weights?

I guess not, as otherwise you'd have mentioned it in your otherwise comprehensive first post.

I suspect the results would guide you, and more certainly your spring supplier, in what style of spring is right for your purposes.

Secondly, and others may care to voice their disagreement, there seeems to be a lot of exposed thread on those spring to axle U bolts. Squashing the thread against a rock is a minor inconveinience, bending the section against a rock could seriously spoil your day when it comes to changing a spring.

I am assuming that anyone travelling in places like Morroco should consider changing a spring as a 'not unexpected' event. After choosing the springs, I'd be tempted to run a second (but plain) nut up against the locking nut, then cutting off all the exposed thread. This way you protect the exposed thread, and have the locknut available for when the locking nut looses it's 'lock' after several re-uses.

As I say, just thoughts. I have never wanted to do what you are doing anyway, so have no directly relevant previous experience to draw on.

Good Luck.

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David, Good point about the weighbridge, something I perhaps should do if I get time.

With regard to the threads, I too was concerned about this. I did talk to CPC and asked them if they were the correct U bolts, they told me they were all the same and cater for 2 and 3 leaf springs. I do have a spare set of axle U bolts in the spares kit.

One problem I have had with the parabolics is they have needed a regular check and retorque on the U bolts. 58lbft is the torque I have been using.

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58lb/ft sounds rather loose, my U-bolts are F-tight (ask Dirtydiesel :rolleyes: ) as the Russian roads shake everything loose otherwise - Moroccan roads will have a similar/worse effect from what I've heard.

That breakage is most likely down to wrap, since time is tight I think the best solution available to you is to fit 3-leaf fronts (or 2+1 if they exist) and drive to avoid it - you can recognise wrap as the front axle hopping or bouncing when scrabbling for traction. If it does that, back off quick and try something different.

I think 3-leaf fronts will be very bouncy/hard but you may have to live with it for the sake of reliability - or fit some standard multi-leaf fronts which, although harsher, resist wrap due to their thickness.

If you welded brackets to your axles you could do away with the U-bolts sticking down and have a set that stick up instead, mine are like this and it means there is no more than the thickness of the spring pad & U-bolt protruding underneath. Another neat one is Tonk's spring pad sliders/protectors.

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Thanks for all the advice chaps. CPC have been very helpful indeed, and are express delivering a set of 3 leaf para's and new U bolts to me, they will be with me tomorrow. Also agreed to do the swap for £50 if I return the broken spring and the remaining good un'.

They are confident that 3 leaf version will work, although it will obviously be firmer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most probably this has been asked Ad nauseam, but Why is it that sometimes you see 109'' driving around with new parabolics fitted, and they look more like a dragster instead of a Landy.

high tail lift and very low and flimsy on the front... and from the sound they give the impression of running on a 2.25 engine, so its not a matter of weight. So what best set up would you suggest for a 109'' which is only used to carry around an alsation and a retriever plus some wind surfing staff ??

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  • 3 weeks later...
Just to let you know, my 2a got to Morocco and back, 3500 miles in 3 weeks, and she did not miss a beat. No more broken springs, and 3 leaf fronts are much better than 2 leaf versions.

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Hi

Jolly good to hear, wonderfull picture, brave man traveling abroad in a softtop.

Regards

Ole.

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bit off topic from the spring discussion, but how was the trip??? are the moraccans friendly ?? i am following the 6x6 fabtrek web site latlely and it is starting tempting to go for a bit of driving there.

thanks

Morocco is a fantastic adventure. Its something that I have wanted to do for years, and this year I was lucky to have the time, the vehicle and the money to do it.

I did it as part of a team competing in Desert Storm, run by Pro Trax. We won the the tourist team class, purely on reliability. All the other teams in our class were using newer vehicles, D3's and new Defenders. They all had break downs which resulted in time penaties. We had no break downs and whilst we were not the fastest or the most daring off road driver, we scored and kept our points.

The Moroccans are generally a freindly lot, but begging is endemic in there society. They are not starving, but beging is a way of life to many. The children will run out in front of you, and are very upfront with their attempts to get 'bon bon' (sweets).

We took pens and paper, and gave them out to those who were not pushy. We also took a suitcase full of my sons out-grown clothes and football kits. Many vehicles in the storm did this, and we donated them to a respected local citizen in Merzouga for distribution amongst local children.

I am still coming down from the whole adventure, but I am already trying to think of a way to earn enough brownie points to do it again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

How about this? the lightbar is a defender item mounted outside the gutters instead of inside the gutter. All lights wired to an auxilliary battery via a twin relay. I can switch either the outside pair, inside pair or all lights. The lights are Lightforce 140's, which are expensive but very good quality. They can be focused for optimum lighting.

In Morocco, we set the inside pair for distance, the outside pair were usually aimed right down to light the verges, or the big drops off the edge of the track!

We drove over the High Atlas mts, and most of it was in the dark on rough winding trails. Without the lights it would have been nigh on impossible.

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