PEUGEOT BOXER 1.9Ltr Diesel Engine Page 11


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Rear Springs Modifications


1. The Load Compensating Valve     2. Modifications to Rear Springs

The Load Compensating Valve

     Extra weight on the back wheels have an effect on the steering, also front wheel drive by lifting the front end. As I found to my cost in France. It had rained the week previously. I reversed on to the grass pitch, immediately I sank in and was not able to drive forward, even though the front wheels were on the hard surface of the approach road.

     The effect of loading can be seen on many Motorhomes as they travel on the Motorways. The front wheel arch has quite a space above the front wheels and the back end is down on the springs.

     This back loading affects braking and is normally taken care of by the "Load Compensating Valve" located near the back axle. This LCV controls the brake fluid pressure, normally to the back brakes. The LCV controls amongst other things, the locking of rear wheels during braking.

     On the Wanderer, based on the Peugeot Boxer van, the "Load Compensating Valve can be seen in the images below.

Note: The load compensating valve has been modified to accomodate the new Spring Assisters. See below.

Select  images for larger display.

Load compensating Valve in the Peugeot Boxer Van.
Load compensating Valve in the Peugeot Boxer Van, and jacking point.

Load compensating Valve Adjuster.

Load compensating Valve Adjuster.

Rear view of the Load compensating Valve

Rear view of the Load compensating Valve

Front view of the Load compensating Valve and jacking point
Front view of the Load compensating Valve and jacking point

Peugeot Boxer Assisted Springs

     When I checked my rear springs after purchase I found the Rubber 'Bump Stop' was about 50mm  [ 2" ]  off the two bladed spring. This can be seen in the pictures above.

     Over the 5 years of ownership this clearance has reduced, and has produced noisy rattling in the cupboards when travelling over road bumps, due to the 'Rubber Stops' hitting the springs, and I suspect holding there until the undulating was over.

     Enquiries with others did not produce an answer until I discussed it with a retired garage owner who informed that; a normal van is loaded for about 8 hours and rested for 16 hours. this allows the lever springs to return to it's normal position. A Motorhome is loaded for 24 hours and the springs never return to their normal positions. After a time the springs take on a 'Set.'  He informed me that he has seen where the springs had taken on a 'Set' and where the springs where now an inverted U instead of a normal U. The answer is to remove the springs, heat them up cherry Red and change them back to the original position.

     I felt this was not an option with a Motorhome and looked around for an alternative to assist the lever springs.

    One popular option is the high pressure Air enclosed supported rubber stops, as seen on ambulances and heavy trucks. I observed these at a Motorhome Rally and was surprised to find the whole assembly quite heavy! This would add an un-acceptable weight to a Motorhome which is near the edge of maximum when fully loaded.

     The other option is the 'Spring Assisters.' I checked with the manufacturer to find the total weight of the assembies to be 6Kg. This to me was acceptable.

     I had the work done by my local garage as I considered the work too heavy for me.

See the picture of the installed Spring Assister assembly

Page: R51.001 Spring Assister Instructions
Page: R51.001 Spring Assister Instructions

Spring Assister Installation Instructions

Spring Assister installed in the Wanderer

Installed Spring Assister

Spring Assister in the Off Side

Spring Assister on the Off side.   
Note the Bump Stop now at it's normal position.

This is how the parts are delivered.

This is how the parts are delivered.

Has it been a job worth doing? Yes.

     Prior to the Modification the rubber bump stop was hard on over rough roads or poor road surfaces, now the effect has eliminated the hard feel on rough roads. Pans & Crockery don't crash about any more. Over correction is now not needed on the steering during rough travel.

     I have found on a camp site I have to use the yellow ramps more often on the front wheels, as the back end has been lifted. The lever springs don't grunt and groan when walking about inside the living area!


Grayston Engineering Ltd.,
115, Roebuck Road,
Chessington, Surrey
KT9 1JZ 

Telephone: 020 8974 1122 Fax: 020 8974 2288

This an email I received from David who is well travelled in France. He is refering to the Renault Trafic but is equally relevent to the Boxer:


I found your site looking for someone selling replacement rear springs for our ancient Eriba camping car, Whilst accepting the truth of your relations comments regarding the rear springs, I fear there may be an error creeping in here, the major problem with motorhome rear springs is that the rear springs are rated to carry a percentage  of the rated load a percentage of the time, and almost never to carry that full load just sitting around, which is the situation with motorhomes. They are bearing about 90% payload every day and the rear springs, over a period of time, quite understandably sag under the load.

The brake loading valve is an unsophisticated mechanical linkage to a limiter, merely reducing the rear brake effort when it detects the rear ride height is higher, and permitting more braking if the rear ride height is lower, i.e loaded. The idea is not to increase braking power loaded but to reduce braking when unloaded to avoid the rear brakes locking up when braking hard the rear axle becomes unloaded due to weight transfer. The rear brakes make little contribution to the overall braking,  our race cars have the rear brakes almost completely backed off to avoid them locking up and it's still very hard to lock the fronts!!

If the owner of the Eriba had to stand on the pedal coming downhill  he probably needs new genuine discs and proper EU-manufactured pads from a proven manufacturer, most "motor factor" aftermarket pads are either  counterfeit or Taiwanese/Chinese rubbish, you'd be better off with genuine Renault parts from a dealer, regardless of cost!! You may even be able to buy better pads to fit the Trafic caliper, if it's used on something more exotic, from someone like Demon Tweeks.  Pads and discs aren"t "all the same"!!

Provided heavier-duty springs do not raise the rear ride height to a greater height than would have been the case when the vehicle was new no harm will be done. Our Eriba, which is in France currently, has detailed graphs on the drivers door detailing the load valve settings, I would imagine an Eriba would have had the load valve adjusted when the conversion was carried out, I wouldn't be so confident about UK "back-street" converters using used vehicles!!  

Replacing the springs will restore the original loaded ride height,  for another 16 years anyway!!

I'm a great believer in the Airide rear suspension units, I've fitted them to a Hymer, and had them on my Chevy which I've just sold, and they work really well especially as we used to tow fairly heavy race car trailers and this allowed the ride height to be adjusted to correct the tail drooping down due to nose weight. Coming down the Alps to Monza towing a 1t, 20' trailer is a test of any braking  system, and Chevys are notoriously under-braked yet we've never had a problem with rear lock-up!!

Best of luck,

David Scott

David's comments are very relevant, but my reason for using springs, were,  they were a lighter weight option.

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