Suplex suspension - my experience(it's not good!).

8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57934 by David Aiketgate
Following my fitting of the Suplex kit to replace the standard Hydragas suspension on my '51' Mk2 F I have decided to post my experience with the system and with the company itself.

There is a lot of information that I need to detail so I have decided to write a retrospective 'blog'. I will title each post with the relevant date, and please feel free to jump in with comments.

This is the kit I fitted and the 'how to' is here



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David
:shrug:
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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57936 by David Aiketgate
I ordered the system from E-Car parts on Ebay on 31.3.12 and received it 1 week later.

The kit arrived and I fitted it as per Suplex instruction booklet, and I found that achieving the recommended 353mm ride height meant full adjustment to the front canisters. So I replace the spacers on the pins that Suplex tell you to remove.

I also noticed a slight clonking on the N/S/F but the instructions warn that there may be some odd noises while the system beds in.

So I adjust the system to give the 353mm front / 348mm rear, and after a quick test drive hand the car over to Sheila who drives it for a week.
'Any problems?'
'No, it's fine.'

I get in and drive it, and first speed hump - KERLONK! WTF?
Next speed hump - clonk clonk


So I took the car up to Peter, my friendly garage/MOT man, and ask him to have a look. He notices that the top ball joint on the clonky side is shot, so happy that I've found the problem I replace the balljoint.

Take the car for a test Drive - speed hump- clonk clonk!

Speak to Peter again, who recommends swapping the front canisters to isolate the problem. I do so and now the other side clonks while going over speed humps. So the spring canister is the source of the noise.

I now also find that the bottom bushes on the front dampers have started to squirm out due to the fact that the Suplex bushes are exact copies of the original F bottom bushes. This is a known problem causing premature wear of the later F damper bottom bushes. Many reported MOT failures result.

Obviously I am now concerned that having spent a lot of money and expended a lot of energy, the system supplied seems to be defective.

This is where everything goes into slow motion.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57938 by David Aiketgate
Having satisfied myself that the Suplex canister is the cause of the noise, I message ECP through Ebay telling them that I'm having these problems and that I need the canister replaced.
I explain exactly what I've done and what I've found.
I also ask - 'Is full adjustment on the canisters normal to achieve the recommended ride height?'

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57940 by David Aiketgate
I receive a sympathetic reply from ECP stating - they have fitted the kit to an F with no problem and suggesting that their technical man will contact me, but he's off until Thursday.

Meanwhile, I take the car back up to Peter, because now the clonking is so bad I can replicate it by bouncing the front of the car. Peter gets under the front while I bounce it - 'Definitely coming from that canister -100%' is his verdict

I reply to ECP relaying this confirmation diagnosis.

I also mention my concern that the front dampers with the yellow 'FRONT' label affixed are clearly stamped Suplex MGF R in the metal. and the ones with the yellow label 'REAR' are stamped Suplex MGF F.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57941 by David Aiketgate
ECP reply saying that apparently the stickers are correct, the stampings are a manufacturing error, but to be certain, the rears have a longer compressed length.

Of course to check, they need to come off the car! So I take 1 front and 1 rear damper off and compare. I find that the stickers ARE correct.

ECP also say that X-part have had no problems with any other Suplex kit and so ECP say they are going to talk directly to Suplex, the manufacturers.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57949 by David Aiketgate
I send a message to ECP stating that I am concerned that the situation is taking way too long to resolve, quoting lack of vehicle/waste of time and effort etc. :(
I emphasise that I do know what I'm talking about, and have a lot of experience in car maintenance in general and MGFs in particular. ;)
I restate my position there is a fault with this front spring canister and I just want it replaced as soon as possible.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago #57973 by David Aiketgate
ECP tell me that following discussion with Suplex, they will replace the noisy unit(s). So which do I need replaced(wtf? :-? )

Anyway, I repeat that I need 1 front unit and ask (again) 'Is full adjustment normal to achieve the ride height?'
ECP tell me they have passed this question to Suplex, But their engineer is 'away until Monday'

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57974 by David Aiketgate
On Monday Pm I email ECP and ask, 'What's happening?':shrug:

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #57975 by David Aiketgate
10:10
ECP Email me to ask for my home phone number to give to Jack Durham, an engineer at Suplex so he can ring me right away to arrange replacement.

10:14
I emailed ECP and passed over my phone number. I then stay near the phone/carry the handset around so as not to miss the call.

14:00
After carrying the phone with me up to this time, but nothing. I must admit to losing patience.

14:21
I email ECP to tell them I've had no phone call. I make it clear that I want this sorted asap or I want my money back by end of week!

17:22
I receive an apologetic reply from Nick at ECP offering refund if no resolution is forthcoming.

17:30
I finally get a phone call from Jack Durham and he is very helpful. A replacement unit to be dispatched to me next day.
We discuss the problem with bottom bush (mainly on front dampers).

I explain that this is a common problem on later Fs and how to solve it by reducing the inner steel sleeve length by 4mm. He takes this on board and agrees to send out 2 new front dampers with the spring canister.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago #57977 by Rich in Vancouver
I'm not sure if you are looking for comments on this thread David, but just wanted to say that it is very interesting reading.
You seem to be suffering the agony of the early adopter. :bang:
I also feel for E-Car parts being the middleman between the early adopter and a manufacturer with a new groundbreaking and expensive product. I have dealt with Nick several times and found their service to be top notch. (Essential when you are several thousand miles away from a supplier!)
I hope that your Suplex Saga starts to go smoother! :drive:

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8 years 4 months ago #57980 by David Aiketgate
Rich I am happy to take any comments.
As you realise these are all past events, but I wanted to take people through the entire process so that they can understand the situation as it evolved.

David
:shrug:

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8 years 4 months ago #57993 by Tsleight
Keep going David! I'm enthralled... Its like reading a good book - can't wait to get to the last page and find out what happened!!! :drive: I'm HOPING it turned out well in the end...

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