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Gravel road driving modifications
#1
If my plans come together properly, I will be doing some extensive driving on gravel roads in South America. My question to the forum members is what if any modifications you would make to a Berlingo, to prepare it for that service? Are heavy duty shocks available? Helper springs? Are the oil pan or fuel tanks particularly vulnerable? Would love to hear any thoughts or recommendations!
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#2
Front springs break on british tarmac roads so you would need something very tough.

BTW - have you any links to Ugg boots or jewelry etc to share?
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#3
Ya modify it to a old caddy. Much more sturdy. The berlingo is made of cheese and will fall apart
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#4
Rubbish. Unless the OP is a Scandinavian he's unlikely to be pushing the car to any sort of speed where destruction may occur. Springs break in the UK because of the cold, not the roads. Australian roads are worse, but we don't get broken springs on any marques.

The foremost clever idea would be a bash plate or metal undertray. Beyond that, if the car is going to ford crossings deeper than the hub bearings, a few spares (front and rear) would be clever. I'd also modify the rear shaft pivots to fill them with grease, and carry a set of wishbone bushes and front ball joints.

Stiffer springs are not good unless you are carrying extra load. Good shocks are the critical element as they'll optimise the ride.

A spare coil pack, auxiliary belt, spare alternator insides and run Silver Seal through the cooling system. That way any issues can be fixed on the go without waiting ten days for parts, the "float" of stock items can be replenished through normal channels.

I would suggest the OP also get in touch with RAID participants to see if any have driven much in Chile - they're among the most practical and indomitable breeds.
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#5
Mud flaps could be useful to help stop some paint damage.
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#6
How does the cold of the uk break springs? Surely Europe would be colder for longer
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#7
I believe "misted" road salt and water spray damages the spring surface, too. The Norwegians could say whether their springs snap.
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#8
(27-05-2013, 07:31 AM)addo Wrote:  I believe "misted" road salt and water spray damages the spring surface, too. The Norwegians could say whether their springs snap.

You may be right about road salt. Stress Corrosion Cracking has been documented on petroleum pipelines, where conditions are favorable to corrosion, and there is stress from torsion or vibration. I take your point on helper springs, and I'll try to get the best shock absorbers I can. Alternator failures seem common, so ill have a spare. The chance of fording streams hadn't occurred to me. I'll have to look at some of the parts diagrams to see what I can do to install grease fittings.

Low ground clearance is a big negative with the car. I will probably not be able to obtain skid plates to protect the under carriage. If I had to have them fabricated Im sure I would pay a steep gringo tax. Lately I've been thinking of possibly using flat rubber ( like a truck mud flap) to protect the oil pan and fuel tank. It may give some limited protection against puncture.
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#9
I think you can buy a steel belly plate for the front.

Oddly, Peuegot/Citroën shocks are among the better qualities, so replacement with genuine may reduce concerns there. You could possibly raise the car (well, you can raise the rear easily) but front should be do-able with struts assemblies from one of the increased clearance varieties.

Chances are, vehicles sold for use in Chile are already spec'd for "rough roads".
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#10
Does your car have the steel sump or aluminium ? Partner Escapade is raised if you want front legs with more clearance.
So where does this bit go then ?
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