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Cargo Handling Question

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Old 29 Jun 2004, 01:30 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sparta, Tennessee, USA.
Posts: 21
Default Cargo Handling Question

I have an 04 Turbo Lite with touring suspension. I was wondering what modifications I will need to make to carry 600-700lbs on a regular basis in the cargo area. I thought about air bags, but wanted to get some input from the forum. Thanks, y'all!
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Old 29 Jun 2004, 02:48 pm
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Battle Creek, Mi, USA.
Posts: 228

Won't the cargo tiedowns work?
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Old 29 Jun 2004, 08:16 pm
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Livingston, TX, USA.
Posts: 764

The PT is rated for 865 pounds carrying capacity. Based on my '03 GT, the GVWR gross vehicle weight rating for the car) is 4425 pounds. My car weighs about 3300 empty (I have added tow bar bracket and a transmission lube pump). That would give about 1125 pounds of load and passengers before exceeding the GVWR. The front axle is rated at 2385 pounds and the rear axle at 2075 pounds.

Chrysler rates the carrying capacity at 865 pounds (2-150 pounders in the front, 3-150 pounders in the 2nd row seat, and 115 pounds of luggage. Unfortunately, I have not gotten a split weight on my PT (weighing the front axle only then the rear axle only) so I can't tell you what my weight distribution is but the specs say 59/41. That would be only 1353 pounds on the rear axle. That would, based on the rear GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating), give you about 700 pounds of load carrying capacity on the rear axle which seems to be about what you need.

Now that it appears you will be within the specs loaded, the rear will certainly squat somewhat, particularily if that weight is mostly behind the rear seat. I have not seen air-shocks for the PT but that would be an option if they are availble. Rear air-springs (typically referred to as airbags) should have the additional load carrying capability you are looking for. It would be worth the effort to get with some of the air suspension folks to see if they can install rear air-springs designed to be used under a constant weight of 2500-3000 pounds. That would allow you to lower the pressure in the airbags to allow more travel and compliance than if you have to have them fully inflated to carry the load.

I added supplemental air-springs to my 1-ton extended length Ford Club Wagon that I used to tow a 10,000 pound trailer. It really did help both the ride and the rear-end squat.

Do NOT think about lowering your PT. You will need all the suspension travel you can get with that much load in the rear.

2003 Almond GT AutoStick, body colored rear splash guards and hood struts, chrome gear shift, AC & vent knobs, billet steering wheel spokes and pedals, AMX1397 Turbo-Intake Pipe.
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Old 30 Jun 2004, 02:12 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sparta, Tennessee, USA.
Posts: 21

No, I wasn't planning on lowering, unless it's in the front only to match the squat in the rear. Back seats are being removed and the weight is actually from a custom wood/ fiberglass audio system enclosure, speakers, and amplifiers. I'm building it for competition use as well as daily driver, which is why I need to make sure I can drive it day to day without bottoming out on every little bump. I guess I will have to check prices on the air assist deal. Seems that is my only logical choice. Thanks!
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