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Old 08-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #31
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter
Probably nothing will happen when exceeding GVW, but probably is not good enough for us. If ya got too much stuff, I'd tow a trailer. We try and go simple. Just having the kitchen sink along is good enough.
Not meaning to step on anyone's toes here, just stating my, not so, humble opinion.
Travel safe....
This is the crux of the issue. 99/100 the effect of overloading will not be felt except through higher wear and tear, gas consumption and perhaps some fatigue. The issue in my mind is when does an over gross load have an impact on my and others safety. Usually that happens when you ask the van to perform at its limits. I suggest that the major limits are in the dynamics: braking, cornering and acceleration. If you pull a trailer you know just how major these limitations become and one should substantially change once driving style and technique. With anticipation you can avoid almost all the limitations of being over gross but us 'Merican drivers are increasingly being retrained to adopt the driving techniques of our Southern neighbors where anything goes, anytime! This makes it difficult to eliminate the 1% percent problem. And so accordingly loads are raised. If tires are new, E load capability at max cold inflation, rotors and pads are new and fluids fresh, its possible to minimize the challenge. Otherwise its going to be marginal. The fact remains that the GVWR is not an absolute number nor is rocket science used to calculate it. But it does assume the optimum performance from the vehicle and that means keeping every component mentioned above in the new or nearly new category. So 4/32 of tire tread may be legal but you need to assume that every element of that tire's performance is limited. And so accordingly you should limit the load and even travel below gross.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:45 AM   #32
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I hear what you're all saying on the safety issue. An engineering degree and 6 years as a volunteer firefighter give me at least some knowledge of the issue and direct experience with the results of poor decision making. My point was simply:

The van is over GVAR on the front axle when empty.

What sort of decision am I supposed to make with that?
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #33
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

You can increase the GVW by replacing the springs with higher rated ones. It doesn't matter if you have leafs or coils, they are available.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:15 PM   #34
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

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You can increase the GVW by replacing the springs with higher rated ones. It doesn't matter if you have leafs or coils, they are available.
What he says! But the rocket science that went into deciding the spring rates and damper capabilities alongside brake capacity, tire and bearing loads to arrive at a GVWR - is not something most of us can interpolate to arrive at revised specs that permit a higher GVWR. The fact is that were any of us to hit someone (or even be hit by someone) a smart tort lawyer could get the proverbial book thrown at you for driving over gross. Since even were you to fit the components that would permit a higher gross you would not be able to certify that gross increase to DOT or FHA standards without spending a lot. So boys and girls the message here is drive very carefully, expect the worst from everyone and keep the van running gear in as new condition. Just because you have the space in the van that does not mean you can fill it just as you cannot with far more dire consequences to an aircraft or boat. But without a certification, no after market add on equipment will make you legal.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #35
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Well put vlamgat, you're right on in your thots.
jackcheese, I'd give SMB a call. Being overgross on the front with a rig straight out of the factory is not something you have any control over and could bring up all the problems mentioned above. Matter of fact, it's hard to believe it came that way. You sure you're reading the correct part of the door sticker for front and rear? I'd sure call Alan - hey, it's toll free....
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #36
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Amazing to me the S&K will change thiers, but SMB leaves as is. Then they sell the vehicle at or about GVWR. Do you think Jackcheese is the only one in that situation? I did not see that you needed a special liscense to drive a vehicle over 10,000lbs. Do you? I dont care if I have to get RV towing instead of regular AAA, because the SMB is a MH. So why not raise the number? How do you legally raise your # through modifications?
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:24 PM   #37
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

We probably can't change our GVWR. But, an upfitter who certifies the vehicle to meet FMVSS can certify it to a different GVWR. Quigley recertifies their vans, but unfortunately they recertify to a lower weight.

At the same time, they certify different tire/wheel sizes. Some tire places (Costco for sure) won't put on a tire size or load range that isn't listed for that vehicle. The new certification plate takes care of that problem.

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Old 08-25-2009, 07:26 PM   #38
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

If:

Dana 60 front axles typically have a gross axle weight rating of 4500 lbs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana_60#Dana_60_Front_Axle

The semi float axles were often rated up to 5,500 lbs and the full float axles were rated up to 6,500 lbs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana_60#Dana_60_Rear_Axle

Use this to determine how much you might increase spring capacities without exceeding axle capacity. A ground up approach.

If your front GVW is rated at 4200lbs, you can increase the spring capacity by 300lbs. Axles come with brakes, so the assumption would be that they are also rated the same.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:01 PM   #39
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I have seen many SMBS way overloaded. One even had a motorcycle on the back.
You do not want to think about the ramifications of our vans being overloaded in a legal sense....
My friend investigates accidents. He is now working on fatal SMB accident.
SMBs were not built to 4x4s.
I have seen a lot of SMBs overdriven offroad. Some spring perches have already broken.
SMBs are not long term tested like the factory does.
I love my SMB. I have spent 10000.00 upgrading suspension and brakes etc.
I still drive slow offroad. It is a 11000lbs van that was never designed to be offroad.
If you own a SMB, you need to check critical suspension components from time to time.
Things need to be retorqued.

Sorry for being such an Ass

Jeff
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:48 PM   #40
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

This is an interesting thread. I just got back from a trip to Montanna, fishing and camping. This trip I took a little more gear then I have taken in the past and noticed that the Van was feeling the weight a little more than usual. When I got back home I decided to weigh the Van with nothing in it. With a full tank of fuel and a full tank of water 10,000lbs on the scale, and no gear, I was a little suprised. Before my next trip I will weigh it and see what the weight is when fully loaded.
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