Friday, 26 April 2013

Air suspension, state of play.

The new soon to be Mohomho (that’s it’s name ... the previous was Moho) has had it’s air suspension maintained. I was pleasantly surprised by the bill. We had one leaky air bag (this is just an inflatable cushion on a modified leaf spring), the air dryer was expired, and the spring on the mist separator valve was soft, which allows a tiny amount of let by ... £313 to fix the lot. Glide-rite checked for leaks and they kindly installed and emergency inflation system for free (it was a gift, given that they bounced my appointment back a week, and then moved it back half a day at the last minute). All the newly fitted systems have the emergency inflation valve; this allows you to use a secondary compressor or forecourt airline to fill the main reservoir should you suffer a compressor failure. This become relevant when and if you’re parked for more than a week and the system loses air (which apparently, all such systems do and the sting of fate decides to kill your compressor at the same time ... sods law in action).
As part of the fit of the air bag and bits and pieces they also replace, all the pipes and elbows from the central air distribution valve (that’s the ride height valve). Obviously you get charged for these small parts, however in the overall scheme of things they are pennies. The philosophy is that you don’t mix old and new between major components.
The guys at Glide-rite were friendly and quick. I got a full tour of my own system, a complimentary board to lie on as we did the under chassis tour (effectively I got the full new installation induction talk).
So that was all last week on Friday, since then I’ve been a bit too busy to write consistently, as we are off on holiday, for the first week of May, busy at work over the last weekend and having guests the weekend before we go on holiday.
Other things to note: Van performance, for a non-turbo diesel is absolutely fine. The engine noise isn’t horrific, gear changes when you need them are smooth, engine braking and anticipation make the whole process of driving, a pleasure. The seat was a little too enclosing on the return, but then the round trip is 180 miles ... so you expect a bit of arse ache, even with a two hour break in between.  One must say though that despite reports of the drivers seat being uncomfortable on a long drive, I think this would depend on the driver knowing the full range of seat adjustment available ... it’s like a good quality office chair ... well chuffed. I intend getting one of those old fashioned wooden bead seat covers and giving it a go. If that doesn’t make all the difference to the enclosing effect, then I’ll try adding an additional padding wedge under the seating material, which at first glance looks like it’s tied in, not stitched in.
What else can you say? The ride back was no different to the ride there (but for not having the compressor come on every few minutes and after every bend ... especially left hand bends ... it was the nearside bag that was punctured). Fuel consumption was reasonable, though the unit is probably as light as it was the day it left the factory. Worries I had about Glide-rite relays, rusted brackets and stuff turned out to wild imaginings and paranoia. The unit now sits outside at full height ... like all the other vans on the streets. For travelling purposes we may have the other three bags replaced, and we will take a front and rear bag as spares (along with the other essential break-fix vehicle first aid kit).
Last Monday I took the unit in for it’s bodywork, work, today I’m going over there to check progress and pick the final colour.
Until next time, ttfn.

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