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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not good!

Yesterday (yes, friday the 13th) I was cruisin along, minding my own business while suddenly: SNAP, BANG, SHAKE, VIBRATE!!!

What the? Van is shaking all over the place, weird sounds coming out from underneath. After a quick inspection by the roadside, couldn't see much. So I limped to my workshop to have a better look.
Well there's yer problem! One of the bearings of the universal joint on my driveshaft has left the building.
Will have to fix that after the weekend, when I get the parts. Shame because today I was supposed to be at a photoshoot of the Green Machine with world renowned photographer Floris Velthuis. Hoover Dam! We'll have to postpone that...

I have an idea why the van spat out that bearing. It's just too low. The driveshaft isn't made to operate at the extreme angles it is forced into when it's this low. And it causes other problems, as well. Like the rear tires hitiing the wheel arches in corners and when I hit bumps.

This is the front suspension. You can just see the rubber bumpstop (is that what it's called?) that is supposed to stop the suspension arm hitting the chassis at the end of the suspension travel.
Unfortunately, when the van is on it's wheels, it's already resting on that rubber block. Hitting bumps means pounding the rubber block to bits. I fitted a new one a few weeks ago and this is now almost destroyed. It is supposed to be pyramid shaped but now it's split and bent way outta shape.
Project for the winter: fit new front and rear springs and raise the ride height at least 5cms in front and about ten in the back.


  1. You were lucky dude! If that snapped on the highway it could have ripped through the floor of the van...

  2. What a drag! I Have the some of the same issues with my dodge. I put the rear back up to stock height (almost anyway) but the front is still low so I cut my bumpstops in half. Helps a lot but it still hits pretty hard on bumps. Airbags all around would certainly be good... if I could afford it, for now though I just want to put Skyjackers or something up front to stiffen it up and maintain the height. It has a nice stance, I want to keep it that way. With the rear back up to near stock height I don't have driveline issues anymore. Has that nice Cali rake too.
    I love how low the Green Machine sits but I'm sure it would be just as awesome with a little more height and a bit of a rake. Can't wait to see it.

    p.s. I put a couple pics of yours on my blog, hope you don't mind!

  3. I know I'm lucky. It could also have happened in Belgium, France or the UK, on my trip there, last week. Yesterday I was only a few kms from my workshop.

    As for solutions: I have highjackers in the rear but even with 9bars in them (maximum pressure my paint compressor delivers) it still only raises it up a few cms. I have heard good stories about shocks with helper springs. Stiffens up the suspension and adds a few cms of height. Added bonus is you don't have to pump them up, once in a while.