Throttle Return Springs

Throttle return springs seem to be another favourite fail with several owners reporting breakages. In our case not only did the spring fail, it totally disappeared too - which was slightly worrying given its proximity to the spinning fan and vulnerable radiator. The standard replacement item intuitively seems to be overly stressed which, utterly speculatively of course, may account for the consistent failures. I’ve added an extra steel spring clip to the ‘train’ which alleviates some stress but still gives a very powerful return action. Hopefully this will help with longevity.

Snapped Calorifier Brackets

Wobbly Wheels

Cart Springs and Gearing

Making a very long story very short: the standard suspension - certainly at our 7.5 tonne weight limit - is too harsh, and the overall gearing is too low. This should come as no surprise; and didn't. The truck is designed to be driven unsympathetically in dire situations over rough ground at a gross weight of over 10 tonnes.

As far as the suspension goes, I have pondered a few different fixes including: 1) removing the rear helper springs, 2) trying to have the existing parabolic springs re-tempered, 3) trying to get new springs made, 4) a conversion to air suspension, 5) changing tyres.

For a little while I pursued the possibility of a conversion to air suspension route but was dissuaded by a UK expert as most standard air suspension systems wisely incorporate an anti-roll function which would actually work against the truck in off-road situations by adding massively to torsional stress in cross-axle situations. At a price, a bespoke system could be created, but with our budget this was a non-starter. Tweaking the standard springs is appealing but given the associated issue of too-low overall gearing, and in an effort to kill two birds with one stone (or at least really irritate them), my first move is definitely going to be to try a slightly taller and wider tyre.

Regarding the gearing specifically, likewise I have pondered a few possible solutions, the most viable of which as a change of main gearbox. This has already been done to great effect by one LD T244 owner but is not a straightforward task, it requires quite a bit of patience and some fabrication. It's not that the standard gearing is a disaster but it does mean that at the maximum design speed of 89kph it is undoubtedly the case that the engine is beyond its happy rev range. Conversely, in off-road and bonkers-gradient situations, we have not yet actually needed anything lower than 3rd gear in the low-ration box. Again our all-up weight of 7.5 tonnes is probably quite influential with this issue.

And so, for now, I have a notion that an increased rolling tyre radius and an altogether larger air pocket will pay dividends in bringing a slight and very desirable increase in overall gearing, and when run at lower pressures, some much-needed suspension compliance over rough surfaces. Watch this space...

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