Rover's Vikingship   Springing, bobbing, wobbling
and other movements.  
Rover's Vikingship

S pringing, bobbing, wobbling and other movements.

Knowing that good shock absorption is of vital importance on a Rover Vitesse I've been looking around for a few months in search of a good alternative for my rear shocks that clearly needed replacement.

At first it was my family arguing about who had to sit in the back seat but later on fellow SD1 drivers pointed out the backside of the car jumped happily at bumps and kept bouncing for a long while.
Fortunately I got into contact with Rene Winters about the subject of shocks and he could perfectly explain the problem with this lowered Rover car. In short it seemed almost impossible to find a good replacement for the standard and very expensive Boge Nivomats.

Not only is there problem of finding a good replacement shock absorber, it will also have to function with the Vitesse springs.

At that time (september 1993) Rene was working together with the Dutch Monroe importer to set up an experiment with air filled shocks in combination with different rear springs than the Vitesse ones. As he suggested trying out these shocks on my car it didn't take long to say yes.

And so it happened that on a Friday night in February my car was standing on a jack in Rene's garage. He had a brand new set of lowered springs ready but the question was if the ride height with these new springs would be the same. After replacing the old ones it turned out that indeed it did.
Now the new Monroe shocks could be installed, complete with tubing and a manometer in the boot. After pressurising the system up to 2 bar the level of the car was just right. As the system could pressurised to 8 bar this would increase ride height with 5 or 6 cm, which is handy for driving onto a hydraulic ramp.

Time for a test run. With Rene behind the steering wheel we sought a quiet yet bumpy road in the Groningen countryside that would be ideal for trying out the new shocks. After the drive Rene wasn't very outspoken by saying he was not disappointed but I found it a great understatement.

Me and especially my family are very satisfied with the new shock absorbing characteristics.

Thanks Rene
Eugene Ringeling

We have been working on the rear shock absorbers on a Vitesse. As most Vitesse drivers know there has always been just one system for the rear suspension of this Rover, which is the Boge self-levelling system with original springs. But now this has changed.

The original Vitesse suspension is a fairly expensive system and not up to the high Vitesse driver standards, for the average Boge shock absorber isn't too durable. Mostly after some 80.000 km the shocks are worn out and will cost some 750 euros.
Times two for two shocks that is!

The new system mentioned is the Monroe system and it satisfies the drivers' demands.
One of the great advantages of the Monroe system is that rigidness of the shocks is adjustable using compressed air. So the question rises which components were used:

Monroe set costs.

Set of Monroe type LA352 shock absorbers
Set of Jamex 3500AH rear springs
12 V Compressor Carpoint

Hmm, 750 or 385 euros, that's nearly half the price! Yet I must add that the 3500 spring set by Jamex normally comprises of 2 front and 2 rear springs and the front springs should not be used. This is because with these springs the sub frame will hit the ground at a bump, which doesn't only make a horrific sound but also ruins the front spoiler. As a front spoiler will easily cost 250 euros these springs have a tendency to be expensive. So, if you are planning on buying the 3500 springs, be very specific that you only wish to buy the rear springs.

Of course instead of the Carpoint compressor the Monroe compressor CK012 can also be used, yet it's over a 100 euros more expensive. Its pumping action is much better and it makes a lot less noise, but I'll allow the Carpoint compressor to make some noise for a 100 euros.

This set was tested on a '83 petrol Vitesse and a 83 petrol Vandenplas.
For those of you using dual fuel I'm not sure if this set is useful. Of course the set can be applied if you want to lower your ordinary SD1.

I'd like to express my thanks to Geert Hel and Tyme Doppenberg of Monroe and to the Jamex company for their involvement and commitment to this project.

For more information Rene can be contacted.

These two storys are publish in the Clubmagazine of the Dutch Rover SD1 in issue 3 and 4 1993.

THANKS TO: Eugene Ringeling and Hans de Keijzer.



© rwp dec 2004.