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VE Calais Sportwagon ride and towing issues. Rough ride with little capacity to tow!

peterd43

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I recently traded VZ wagon for a Ve V6 calais sportwagon which is fitted with 17" wheels STD suspension, tow bar with 1700-2100 KG rating. ( the cars suspension will never tow anything like the 1700 KG)
Nice car but after a time found the the ride was bumpy and pitchy with the back bouncing up and down. When towing my 6 x 4 trailer the ride and rear bounce was much worse. The vz was a gem in comparison able to tow the same trailer easily and safely.
Have since made a number of costly changes. Have finally fitted pedders sports gas struts front and rear and have fitted heavier duty King springs to rear and am considering fitting standard sv6 springs to the front. (may help with the pitchy ride)
There are improvements to to the back softness however the general ride is stiff and pitchy.
I am now informed by the suspension people the VE is difficult to improve and will be either too hard or too soft.
Has anyone experienced this and has anyone successfully dealt with the problem?
Will consider any option!
 

UFO

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I recently traded VZ wagon for a Ve V6 calais sportwagon which is fitted with 17" wheels STD suspension, tow bar with 1700-2100 KG rating. ( the cars suspension will never tow anything like the 1700 KG)
Nice car but after a time found the the ride was bumpy and pitchy with the back bouncing up and down. When towing my 6 x 4 trailer the ride and rear bounce was much worse. The vz was a gem in comparison able to tow the same trailer easily and safely.
Have since made a number of costly changes. Have finally fitted pedders sports gas struts front and rear and have fitted heavier duty King springs to rear and am considering fitting standard sv6 springs to the front. (may help with the pitchy ride)
There are improvements to to the back softness however the general ride is stiff and pitchy.
I am now informed by the suspension people the VE is difficult to improve and will be either too hard or too soft.
Has anyone experienced this and has anyone successfully dealt with the problem?
Will consider any option!
Firstly welcome to the forum!

I think you're putting too much weight on suspension dealing with towing capacity? (pun intended)
You arent loading 1700kg on the tow ball are you? Towing capacity is related to the vehicle mass, engine capacity, and braking capacity... not suspension. The standard suspension is more than capable of towing, and while upgraded suspension components can help it doesnt sound like this your problem. If your car is bouncing up and down at the rear, it's probably because you have faulty rear shocks. This would be more noticable with a trailer- and also if the trailer is pushing down unnecessaryily on the tow hitch. You know that downward pressure on the tow hitch should be minimal right? when trailer goes on the back, rear shouldnt swat, front shouldnt raise up. Car should stay level.

I'm not too sure what suspension people you have been speaking to, but the VE is a lovely car to tow with.
I've towed car trailers (with car on it), and trailers loaded up with soil, and never had an issue.
My bet is that you have an unbalanced load on your trailer, or that the trailer braking isnt working as it should.

Edited: please adjust your location... you shouldnt be so specific for the world to see. Street and Number isnt a good idea, State is more than enough ;).
 
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seasmi

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I have a SS sportwagon auto and it tows our 2000kg caravan like a charm with hitch set correctly and weight correctly distributed. Would suspect the setup of weight ect of your trailer has more to do with the towing than suspension.
 

jasonsv6

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as said above.
shocks that have already been replaced will make the diference. and hevery springs if well loaded but this will incresse ride harshness when empty.
but a progressive rate spring will fix that problem.

thers is so much more that just hard or soft setups for ve's regard less of what the so called suspension guy tells you.
there is every spring shock combo under the sun out there. there is so much more that just slapping on one from out of a box.
there are different recoil and rebound rates. this is what wil fix any pitching problems.

its all about weight distrabution and tow ball down weight thats gonna make a plesent towing experiance.
dose the tow ball sit higher or lowere that on the old car as this will effect the pitch on the trailer shifting the load distrabution.

the wagon is very balanced close to 50:50
 

peterd43

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I wish it were as simple as too much weight on the tow ball.
My trailer weighs approximately with a tow ball weight of approx 35 KG only and was easily towed by all my cars since 1984.
My VE was fitted the soft standard suspension not the FE2 sports suspension fitted to the SV6 or the SS.
Was suspension and wheels size is your VE your fited with?
Thanks for your advice.
 

peterd43

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Thanks for your comments.
Your SS is fitted with FE2 suspension and may be what my car requires to have fitted.
The trailer I own is only a 6 x 4 and would weigh approx 200 KG with a tow ball weight of 35 KG.
Is your SS fitted with the standard FE2 suspension?
 

peterd43

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Thanks for the reply.
I have already had fitted 4 options in the rear of the car with some with know improvement and most recently a spring shockers set with improvement over the original now fitted.
I must add that without the trailer the rear end would readily bounce up and down and now does not.
 

VTSS350

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I have an SV6 sportswagon and have towed heavy trailers and boats and never had a problem.

Yes it does have FE2 suspension and I have 20inch rims. I am very carefull how I load the trailer. If it is unbalanced it will make for a terriable ride.

Does your trailer have a very short draw(spelling??) bar? I had my trailer made with a longer draw bar as the shorter ones can also influence the car more.
 

peterd43

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Thanks for your informative reply.
My trailer has an extended draw bar but is quite light and would be nothing like a boat.
The ride of the car on the standard suspension was not good and the trailer magnified the soft rear suspension up down movement.
I am going to try to borrow an SV6 to make a comparison.
The SV6 may have been the way to go!!
 

seasmi

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Thanks for your comments.
Your SS is fitted with FE2 suspension and may be what my car requires to have fitted.
The trailer I own is only a 6 x 4 and would weigh approx 200 KG with a tow ball weight of 35 KG.
Is your SS fitted with the standard FE2 suspension?
Yes, its a standard SS with no mods. I think there has to be more at play here with yours and it may pay to look at the trailer suspension. Make sure there's nothing loose there and in particular check both wheels for damage to rims and tyres. You may need to take each wheel off and run your hand around sidewalls and tread area checking for bubbles or damage. I've had this happen several times. Make sure you have at least 40 psi in the vehicle towing and good pressure in the trailer.

When does the bouncing happen? Acceleration, Braking, Cruise or all the time. Maybe just at at a certain speed?
 
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