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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In Europe the Fiat Ducato, the Peugeot Boxer and the Citroen Jumper are sold also in 4 wheel drive versions. These version are manufactured by a french company called Dangel, but sold by the official dealers. The trasmission scheme is very interesting, because it's very low and the floor of the 4x4 version is the same of the FWD vehicle. The Ducato 4x4 has viscous coupling to transfer torque on demand to the rear axle and optional limited slip or locking rear differential.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mQuGUUEKO-E&desktop_uri=/watch?v=mQuGUUEKO-E
A secret of the great success of the Ducato on the RV market in Europe is the egreement between Fiat and AL-KO for the motorcaravan chassis.
http://www.al-ko.co.uk/section/amc-motorhome-chassis.html
On these chassis the width of the axle is larger than the front wheel in order to encrease the stability on the road.
 

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interesting

so they managed to fit a 4x4 system in the rear without having to raise the floor height ? now thats something that would be interesting to see in north america.
 

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I'm sure that a 4WD version of the Promaster would be welcomed by people who live in areas where snow is a regular thing. It would certainly make the Promaster easier to drive in harsh conditions. Any chance it will make its way to North America?
 

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interesting

so they managed to fit a 4x4 system in the rear without having to raise the floor height ? now thats something that would be interesting to see in north america.
It's not surprising to me that it would fit easily. The PM has a reported floor height around 21 inches (empty) which is higher than many FWD-based AWD systems that have reached the market. As I recall, there have been a few mini-vans with AWD offered in the US and their floor height was probably lower than 21 inches.

I think some RWD automobiles with independent rear suspension are packaged such that the floor over the rear axle area is no more than 21 inches high.

And for what it's worth, Mercedes has a cutaway Sprinter chassis modified for camper use in Europe that has been fitted with an independent rear suspension. I don't recall the exact frame-rail height, but it's fairly low. In the range of that of a ProMaster. They drop the frame 205 MM (about 8 inches).


 

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Looking at that PM and considering how big it is, Ram should consider making some flatbed tow truck versions of it, it would be great for typical passenger vehicles. But to tow them it will need a more powerful engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In this picture you can see how is structured the Dangel 4x4 transmission for the Ducato and "brothers". It's quite complicated, but reliable. Big companies as EDF and Terna are using these vehicles for powerlines maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking at that PM and considering how big it is, Ram should consider making some flatbed tow truck versions of it, it would be great for typical passenger vehicles. But to tow them it will need a more powerful engine.
Here you can see another thing possible only with a FWD van...
http://www.comear.it/Allestimenti/PF-1500#
That vehicle is a Renault Master, but Comear work also on Ducato chassis...
 

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That four-wheel drive system of the previous generation Ducato reminds me of the AWD system of the Dodge/Chrysler minivans from the '90s and '00s. The use of a beam axle on leaf springs with separate half-shafts and a body-mounted differential unit is practically the same. It's funny that years later Fiat and Chrysler would end up together.

That Dangel system seems excessively complex (but still effective) with the two right-angle gearboxes and numerous individual shafts. I guess that's the price you pay for putting the system in on the aftermarket level, rather than as an OEM-integrated solution.
 

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In the UK, there are some nice security options for the Ducato, ranging from special armored handle covers (to prevent someone prying the door handle off) to deadbolts on all doors (sliding, rear, and front two) to ensure that even if a window is broken, someone isn't getting in.
 

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In the UK, there are some nice security options for the Ducato, ranging from special armored handle covers (to prevent someone prying the door handle off) to deadbolts on all doors (sliding, rear, and front two) to ensure that even if a window is broken, someone isn't getting in.
Could you please post some links?
I am planning to get a PM to haul motorcycles, I have had 2 mc's stolen in my life, & need security for the PM
 

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In the UK, there are some nice security options for the Ducato, ranging from special armored handle covers (to prevent someone prying the door handle off) to deadbolts on all doors (sliding, rear, and front two) to ensure that even if a window is broken, someone isn't getting in.
Wow, I want those in the US too. You listening Dodge?
 

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Here is a website, http://www.sussexinstallations.co.uk/, that details what the Brits do. I am going to see if they can ship to this side of the pond, especially the handle reinforcements.

I sent a note if they can ship across the pond. The reinforced, armored handles would be very useful for a RV. If I were upfitting a cargo van, their secondary deadbolts and rear locks with a Sold Secure Gold rating would be a must, because they provide more security than the hockey puck locks due to the added internal reinforcement, but are not as obvious.

Where I live, even mailboxes get stolen, so having additional security is a must.
 
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