On the Road in Baja and Need Help

kng1999

New member
We are driving the Pan Am and have some problems with our Sportsmobile that need fixing. Advice needed please.

Seems the problem is that our Fox 2.0 shocks are too long for our rig therefore the compression length is too short. (see pics - front has 1.5 inch and rear has 2.5) As a result, the shocks are bottoming out. A few weeks ago, the front left lower mounting bracket broke on the unpaved road from Gonzaga Bay through Coco's Corner. And now the track bar broke after the unpaved East Cape Road. Both cases we are getting the parts welded back together. The roads have not really been that bad. Worse is yet to come in Central America so we really need to fix this problem.

We called Peter from SMB West who recommended that we get new leaf springs from Deaver Springs in Santa Ana, CA. But that would require that we drive back from Cabo to LA. Anyone has work done by them?

Any other recommendations? Do you know shock absorbers that have a shorter housing and therefore allow a longer compression length?

Our rig is a 2003 7.3L 4x4 done by Sportsmobile.

By the way, our blog is ourroadlife.com if you want to check us out.

Thank you,
Karie and Simon
 

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MotoDave

Explorer
Bilstein makes a short body version of their standard shocks (and coilovers) that are ~2" shorter than the standard length, which should get you 2" more travel before the shock bottoms out.

Whatever you do, you need to add a separate bump stop that controls travel, so you are never bottoming out a shocks. the bumpers there on the shaft (and your shock brackets, as you found out) are not meant to take thwe full force of a bottom out situation, especially on something as heavy as a sportsmobile.
 

witt

Adventurer
Hi Karie! So bummed you're having truck problems. I'm not sure why SMB is recommending new leaf springs - seems like you need shorter shocks to me. I would think you could probably find what you need where you are.

If you do have to drive back to CA, it might be faster to ship your truck to Topolobampo and drive up on the mainland - the roads are much faster; you could make it to the US border in 2 days from there.

Good luck!
 

SDDiver5

Expedition Leader
If you decide to go the deaver route...I have never worked with them but know tons of people who have and they all say they are a great company.

Good luck
 

slooowr6

Explorer
Bilstein makes a short body version of their standard shocks (and coilovers) that are ~2" shorter than the standard length, which should get you 2" more travel before the shock bottoms out.

Whatever you do, you need to add a separate bump stop that controls travel, so you are never bottoming out a shocks. the bumpers there on the shaft (and your shock brackets, as you found out) are not meant to take thwe full force of a bottom out situation, especially on something as heavy as a sportsmobile.

This is the correct fix, you need bump stop. Shorter shock will still bottom out, something needs to stop the suspension travel. Even with new leaf spring if you hit it hard enough it'll still bottom out.
 

kng1999

New member
Hi guys, we decided to move the mounts after reading your comments and talking to bajasportsmobile. Hope that will fix it. Your comments are very helpful - thank you so much!!!
 

naterry

13 Cheeseburgers
Oh man, bummer that you're running into problems that early, but better sooner than later... I just got back from 2 wks on the backroads of CR and can confirm that the roads will get worse. You can always bypass the gnarly rutted out dirt roads, but then you have to bypass the secluded beaches too...
 

XploreBaja

Observer
Deaver is an amazing company to work with...call Scott and he will fix your problem 714-542-3703 ... tell them Desertbull sent you to them and they will handle your issue right away...

I'm leaving southbound on Wed and could transport but I agree that the springs are probably not the entire problem...

FOX makes shocks in every application and size desired...if SMB put these on at the factory then they are responsible...someone might not know proper suspension. Just sayin'
 

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
Deaver built the custom springs for our Fuso and will be able to help you out. They know what they are doing and are a good company to work with.

I agree with what others have said - whether you need new springs or not is not really related to your shocks bottoming out. You have a bump stop issue, and I'm not sure why anyone recommended replacing the springs to fix that.
 

Super Doody

Explorer
Curious why SMB installed the incorrect shock for your application and couldn't be more helpful.

I also read in your blog that your van started to leak during a rainstorm in Mexico. What was the issues and was it resolved?

BTW, I really enjoyed reading your blog. I can only dream about the adventure you guys are having with your sons. I have a 2 yr old daughter and would love to do a trip south.
 

Regcabguy

Oil eater.
We are driving the Pan Am and have some problems with our Sportsmobile that need fixing. Advice needed please.

Seems the problem is that our Fox 2.0 shocks are too long for our rig therefore the compression length is too short. (see pics - front has 1.5 inch and rear has 2.5) As a result, the shocks are bottoming out. A few weeks ago, the front left lower mounting bracket broke on the unpaved road from Gonzaga Bay through Coco's Corner. And now the track bar broke after the unpaved East Cape Road. Both cases we are getting the parts welded back together. The roads have not really been that bad. Worse is yet to come in Central America so we really need to fix this problem.

We called Peter from SMB West who recommended that we get new leaf springs from Deaver Springs in Santa Ana, CA. But that would require that we drive back from Cabo to LA. Anyone has work done by them?

Any other recommendations? Do you know shock absorbers that have a shorter housing and therefore allow a longer compression length?

Our rig is a 2003 7.3L 4x4 done by Sportsmobile.

By the way, our blog is ourroadlife.com if you want to check us out.

Thank you,
Karie and Simon

Deaver does excellent work. I had some done at their facility.
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
self promo. lulz

Trying to get your post count up? Last two were less than 5 minutes apart and you're just talking to yourself
 
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