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Use the search box below to find anything on Thomson Caravans History and Information
1964 Glendale suspension Overhaul.
Early Rubery Owen Chassis suspension repair.
Caravan Advice - DIY - Feedback - Handy Hints - Maintenance - Miscellaneous - Your Questions
Graham Collins modified the suspension on 'Little Eva' recently as a torsion bar broke 3 of its 5 leaves and it dawned on him that if the other 2 had broken the wheel and radius arm would have come off.
Here is his description of the work involved followed by pictures taken during the modification.

Basically I made up a spacer (2 square tubes on each side) to mount it on.
This helped as it raised the van as the torsion bars had sagged with time.
Then I welded a stop at an angle so the wheel can't hit the underside of the wheel arch/box to this 'spacer' should the torsion bar break.
This I welded inside and out with a long bolt as well to locate it first, then closing off the box with a welded plate.
This all had to be very accurate as there isn't much room for movement so I took out the torsion bars and having calculated the travel, tested it by swinging the arm up by hand.
The axle is very, very heavy and I could only just lift it. That solves the torsion bar braking syndrome from the upward travel point of view.
Next is hard to describe but I made a brace which goes round the end of the torsion bar stopping the radius arm from travelling out.
This was tricky as it must not interfere with the rotation of the radius arm pivot, so positioning was very critical.
Again I tested without the Torsion Bar in place.
This device is simply a piece of 1/2" x 1/8" strip bent and retained by 3 large 'D' clamps to the torsion bar tube.
I replaced the PTFE bushes which my Dad had the foresight to have as spares and added extra grease nipples between them.
Fortunately I had the original torsion bars which Thomson gave my Dad when they replaced them when sagged in 1965.
They were ok but as I said the spacer has helped by raising the body, I wrapped them in Densel Tape plastered in grease.
The upward travel is now less than original (but plenty) so the bars will not be subjected to so much twist.
The small screw was only for initial assembly and takes no part in the retention.
A side advantage was now the brake cables don't foul the wooden frame which they did before, on extreme bumps.
Hope this explains what I did.

Graham Collins

repair pictures
repair pictures

Another job well done. Thanks to Graham Collins for sharing this information with me and allowing me to publish it on Thomson Caravans history and information website.

Graham’s family have had their Thomson T-Line Glendale since new in 1964 and hope to get a lot more years and enjoyment from it in the future. Little Evais a great topic of conversation whenever they are pitched on a site. Graham informed me that He loves his Glendale and wouldn't part with it for a new 'box', a sentiment I hear often amongst not only Thomson owners but others whose vans are from by-gone eras.

You can see more pictures of Grahams van in the ‘Out and About section’ of the site. I am quite sure you will agree with me when I say it is one of the finest examples of a 44year old van I have ever seen, well done to Graham and his wife, Lynne for keeping 'Little Eva' in tip-top condition.

Graham recently resealed his van using the sealant "Master seal" by 'Wayside Adhesives' , he has used this sealant on many projects and recommended it to me so I in turn am passing this info to you.

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