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So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan? 

 

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 Post subject: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Newbie question here.
Weight distribution, wheelbase, etc., all make a difference to how a car handles.
Yes, 'handle' is a very general term, but you know what I mean. I'm an ex-motorcycle rider, so please forgive the terms.
So, is it possible to get a wagon to actually go where you point it, not wallow like a beached whale, and corner with at least a vague connection to 'precision'?
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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:55 pm 
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well for starters they are a longer wheel base, and have leaf sprung back end like a ute, so i guess the turning circle is worse? and the leaf springs handle differently weather you can set them up to handle better like a coil spring or not i wouldnt know, maybe benj is the man to ask about stationwagons on this forum as he plays around with his all the time

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Thanks for that.
Just checked out benj's suspension mods, and he fitted a rear sway bar to his wagon and it worked fine.
Am getting new suspension for the car, but the guy at pedders reckoned rear sway bars were not much cop for mine, as it has leaf springs. Benj seems to disagree.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Lowering blocks and leaf springs is the tried, tested and proven method. It ties it all down. As mentioned Benj has had this setup for a while and is very happy with the way it performs, SWC is another who swears by it.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:29 pm 
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I'd recommend getting the leafs reset rather than lowering blocks.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Ride: EB1 Fairmont Ghia T5 Wagon

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I have a bit of a custom setup in mine.

The donor leaf pack is from an XG Ute (750kg not 1tonne). I took the smallest leaf off the bottom of the Ute leaf pack and replaced it with the wagon one. Then I flipped the small ute leaf upside down and squished it on top of the main leaf. This lowered the Ute spring pack by approx 1.25 inches. Then using parts of the original wagon leaves, I cut out the centres around the centre bolt hole, to make 8mm spacers, and using these along with some 1.5 inch lowering blocks I was able to find a ride height I liked.

Adding the sway bar made a lot of difference for me, but, I have a 30mm front sway bar and the back really needed a bar to match it up to the front.

SWC added one to his wifes wagon, which has a 27mm front bar and he was really happy with the improvement as well.

I also have an airbag setup that is only used when I have a fair bit of weight to carry. Being as low as it is and adding 500kgs means the tailshaft would rub on the floor. The airbags correct that for me.

I will be readjusting my leaf pack again soon as I want to add in another 8mm spacer to drop it slightly, and will be replacing the main ute leaf with a wagon one. The wagon main spring has an oval front bush that reduces some of the road/drivetrain vibrations, and it is slightly softer, so should make the small bumps not as noticeable being a bit more compliant.

As for handling?

My wagon handles better than my previous EB Sedan, which also had suspension work, including upgraded springs and sway bars.

I hope that gives you some food for thought.

Cheers
BenJ

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Thats some awesome work BenJ.....You are the king of E series wagon mods.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:35 am 
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BenJ/SWC

Thanks for the advice; much appreciated.
I respect what you've done guys, but to be honest, I'm thinking just new shocks and a front/rear sway bar should be the improvement I want, rather than mess about replacing leaf springs, etc.
(Btw, I had an EB about five years ago, and it handled pretty good in stock trim. It was dad's car, with just 114,00km on it. Great vehicle. Pulled down the back seat and put a bed in the back. Did heaps of touring in it, and was looking at a few before I got the EF wagon.)
Anyway, looked at the specs for the EF, and it has a stabiliser bar up front, but none at the rear (for the wagon). I'm presuming here that the 'stabiliser bar' is a sway bar?
Now, judging by the comments, is it better to replace the front stock one with a larger (thicker) one? Also, both the front and rear the same size, or just have something more substantial up the front, and add one to the rear?
Cheers.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Front sway bar is always larger than the rear, 27mm is stock upfront on EF/EL. 30mm is the next step up. Rear is usually 18mm or 22mm, I have 27mm stock up front and an 18mm on the rear with slo springs and lowering blocks in the rear and it is great. If you want to keep stock height that is ok but with an 18m bar in the rear with a stock 27mm up front you will find an improvement all round.
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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Whiteline front/rear 30mm/20mm for mind.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Actually, Snap's EL Wagon would be the closest to what you want to achieve.

He was using the standard front and rear springs (before doing the leaf trick to lower the back a bit) and installed new front and rear Ultima shocks. He already had the front and rear swaybars.

I have driven Snap's wagon in this config, and it is much more positive on the road with improved turn in and much less wallow than the std wagon.

Cheers
BenJ

 

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My respect and thanks go to - snap0964, Paulmac, SWC and MRE-50L

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:22 am 
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Thanks for that.
The car is getting new shocks this Thursday, and I'm also getting an 18mm rear sway bar, hopefully this Friday.

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:26 am 
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paul w

Make sure you check your bushes... might as well replace lower control arm bushes while your there...

 

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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:38 pm 
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MICKYYYY wrote:
paul w

Make sure you check your bushes... might as well replace lower control arm bushes while your there...


What control arms? Its a bloody wagon with leaf springs, they don't have control arms.
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 Post subject: Re: So, can a station wagon handle as well as a sedan?
Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Woops, been doubling up my posts.
here's one I prepared earlier....

Got the suspension done.
I have no issue with the work done, but there is a nasty one about the price. Yes, I know it's obvious, but always get a written quote. I will, from now on. To receive an email that makes up s**t about what was said to me - a complete fabrication - is a real kick in the guts.
Anyway, the gas shocks were fitted, and just driving from the workshop one could tell the difference; a nice, taught feel.
On a dirt road near my home, the difference was obvious; wheras before the car would sling out it's rear end at any opportunity, especially over the ruts, now it does not, and even when it does, the slide is minimal.
Just got myself a rear sway bar, and will fit it this week.

 

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