Linear Actuator Ride Height Adjuster Recommendations

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by boxertwin, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    Hello friends,
    It’s time I finally install an electric ride height adjuster on Thing One’s and Thing Two’s VStrom outfit. I installed one when I originally built the rig but that linear actuator proved to be a piece of junk; it would go up and down but would not maintain altitude so I returned it.
    Would ya’ll mind sharing what makes and models you are using? Which ones work? Which ones to avoid?

    I found this thread with posts from our good friends Ace and Karl. Ace/Karl, is this model still working successfully?
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12234480
    Warner Linear B-Track K2XG20

    It would also be great help if you remember where you purchased them and the going rate if you remember.

    Thanks for your help and Happy New Year.
    #1
  2. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    We get ours from progressive automation. They do not come cheap, over $500 but do not fail, hold up to the weather and do not have play in them which would cause a "clunk" in the suspension.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    jay@dmcsidecars.com
    #2
  3. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    Thanks Jay! Hope all is well with you.
    #3
  4. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Mine's still working great. It stays put. No creep.
    #4
  5. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Mine creeps. And clunks.
    #5
  6. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    Drone,

    Does it wind itself until it's compressed all the way?
    Clunks: Is it clunking internally or does it have slop in the bolt connections or pivot?
    #6
  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I don't know. I'm not mechanical like you. I just know that all day long I have to keep pushing up, up, up, up on my switch. So it must be going down on its own.

    As for the clunking, it seems to be internal. There used to be a tiny bit of play in the mounting points but I went and got some new bushings made to eliminate the slop but I still got the clunking. I had Barry at DMC look at it, and there's nothing that can be seen to be causing the clunk anywhere on the sidecar suspension. Clunking is worse when the actuator is down. In fact, often when I hear the clunk its a reminder that its time to push "up" again.

    I've never heard of anybody else with this complaint.
    #7
  8. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    The actuator that I bought when I first assembled the rig was a cheap Chinese knockoff of a cheap Chinese knockoff.
    It would lose all it's altitude in about 2 minutes. Made me mad as hell.
    I imagine there's only two ways it can lose altitude; either it's 'winding' or it's slipping.
    Why don't you bring it on by and we will look at it together? I've got good Rye and Cognac on the shelf.
    #8
  9. KCDakar

    KCDakar What are we waiting for?

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    That sure sounds strange DRONE. I don't have any known issues with mine at this point. Fingers Crossed...
    After what you have said DRONE, I will take a closer eye/ear to that possible issue in the future.

    I had a friend come over when I first brought it home, and he said that what DMC puts in is very good. He also told me the thing that effects them the most is to not use them. Said I should at least once a month run it full stop up and down to keep the shaft lubed. He knew waaay more about them than I do, thats for sure! I have no problem using it, as I use it ALL the time! Makes it so much easier to drive when I do.

    If it ever goes out I am going to be in big trouble! :deal
    #9
  10. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Mine does clunk when the hack wheel gets unloaded. There's a bit of internal play in the device. Nothing new. It's always done that.
    #10
  11. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    What determines the load rating? The force of the shock would be more than the weight of the sidecar.
    #11
  12. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    As I've been told from a couple of the distributors, the same models with different load ratings are the same price. What changes is the gearing and speed. The higher load rating, the slower the speed. So, if you don't need it to move fast you could go with a higher load rated unit. Also, I think it has been mentioned already above, the load is significantly affected by the length of the arms on the bell crank (if you are using one).

    All that and I still didn't answer your question, BMWEURO. Because I don't know what the load is when the sidecar is loaded, under way, and takes a hit. No idea here.
    #12
  13. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    I spoke with Jay at DMC and he was kind enough to help with correct actuator, so I ordered and this is what we ended up with. 2000lb and 4" travel.

    Taped up so it does not get scratched and figuring where to mount it.

    [​IMG]

    Making a smingarm out of box tubing makes it easier. I made the pivot out of bronze.

    [​IMG]

    ...and this is what it looks like installed.

    [​IMG]

    All the way up.

    [​IMG]

    ...and all the way down.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

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    Mine crept, clunked, and eventually died. Same with the replacement.

    Electric trim is undoubtedly the one mod I would not bother with again. I plan to replace mine with a simple mechanical screw adjuster when I get around to it.
    #14
  15. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy bmweuro,

    I have one of those ride height adjusters on my rig that was built by Jay, this is just "MY" opinion but I would strongly suggest mounting the actuator the the reverse of what you now have it. The way you have it mounted all the water and crude will work its way into the guts of the drive motor and up-down mechanizum, you will NOT be happy when that happens.

    Here is a photo of how Jay mounted the actuator on my rig and all of the rigs he has built the last few years.
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    Mr.Cob thank you for the info. I will flop it upside down.
    #16
  17. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

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    +1 to that. Both of mine failed due to moisture and grime buildup in the bottom. Eventually they will seize. Upside down they will last longer. Silicone the fastening screws and better yet seal everything up.
    #17
  18. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    These are not the same units we use to use that we mounted turned up side down. Those the manifacture said were water proof and ok to mount up side down. They did not work out that well. The current ones as shown are working much better.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    866-638-1793
    #18
  19. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    I agree.....

    Mine was mounted the same way....although different unit!

    [​IMG]

    For extra protection had Tara(Jays's wife) built this snap on cover..

    [​IMG]

    cheers...
    #19
  20. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    Jay,
    The one you helped me acquire is fine mounted the way I have it?
    #20