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Suspension.

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Suspension.

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 10:25 am

I thought i'd start this topic to get everyone's thoughts/feedback on everything to do with suspension and which way they went with brands etc, it can be a very subjective topic just like Ford v Holden, Waeco v Engel, BF Goodrich v Coopers etc etc .

Before moving over here i had no idea where my springs were at in the way of heights etc and the shocks were standard so i researched and researched, i read arguments for and against on aftermarket vs genuine shocks and some guys swore replacing their shocks with genuine Toyota was the only way to go citing that there are plenty of toyota mine vehicles running around with standard suspension etc, now i am not going to disagree because when it comes to my time on the road/offroad it is very limited so i have no real experience to draw from to form an opinion but i did read a very good article on Koni's on the Beadell Tours website which sealed the deal and i decided no matter which way i go i will use Koni's.

So i ended up with HD Kings up front, beefed up leaf's in the back and Koni's all round, now we are living up this way we are planning some trips away so i thought with at least the Koni's they will handle anything thrown at them, being an oil shock the achilles heal is heat build up in the oil but after 243,000 K's of use on some of the harshest road conditions in the country the Beadell koni's were overhauled and they found the oil to be in great condition.

http://www.beadelltours.com.au/shock_absorbers.html

I am thinking of air bags maybe in the future so if anyone has experience please share, from what i have heard air bags are great if the vehicle is a tow vehicle.
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Re: Suspension.

Post by goldfinger on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 10:58 am

good subject Darren, i researched this a lot when doing the Pajero up. i settled on Bilstein and lovel combo which lifted the 4by by 50mm. I have had the conversion now for a year and done heaps of km in the goldfields towing our Jaco swan caravan with no issues and you certainly notice the difference in ride and comfy. my wife Karen has back issues and ride comfort especially on the corrugated roads out there was the prime concern. we are extremely happy with the suspension and I think every vehicle would benefit from a upgrade.
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Re: Suspension.

Post by detectist on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 2:12 pm

I did a 2 inch lift to my Landcruiser 5 years ago. Heavy duty springs and a sway bar also added. It was mainly OME components. After going through a GVM updgrade (to raise GVM from 2960 to 3500kg) I had to put Polyair bags within the rear coils. I tow a cross over off road caravan/camper trailer (Tvan) and while I had no issues with the towing the back air bags should make the ride a little bit better again. I have yet to test the new set up but will shortly as we are heading to WA before end April. I'll report back once I've towed on various surfaces and road types. We do a fair bit of off-road work so I'm interested how much of a difference the air bags will make.

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Re: Suspension.

Post by Moneybox on Fri 03 Apr 2015, 7:26 pm

We've got a 4WD forward control truck converted to a motorhome. When we originally picked it up from the auction and headed home across the country it was obvious the first mods had to be the suspension.

I don't like modifications because if something on a vehicle lets you down it's usually a modified part or something affected by it but this thing would snap your neck on the roof over a speed bump at 10kph.

It originally comes with a standard set of leaf springs on the rear with an overload set above. I removed the heavy short top spring set and replaced them with 8" Dia Silverstone airbags 12" long. They are a perfect fit but took the space where the inner dual wheel used to be.

My plan was to try to get a bit more weight forward so I left the front springs alone. I replaced the front bumpstops and the extension piece they sit on with an identical set of airbags.

The shocks were a problem. There's nothing around long enough with sufficient travel. I asked my suspension supplier in the US for a set of his but nothing would fit. He told me of a mate of his building great adjustable shocks in Sydney. He had nothing but said he could build them to order. As soon as I told him that I was fitting airbags he said that he wouldn't sell me his shocks. He said that the airbags produce a lot of short rapid movements that cook the shocks and he wouldn't have his treated that way. I could have had a set of Bilsteins made but I had no idea of the valving needed and I had no time to wait. I ended up getting a set of Ranchos with 9 adjustment settings and then I bought the remote adjuster to fit on the dash, it's still in the box at home.

The big diameter Rancho shocks look impressive but are next to useless. Many of these Queensland roads/highways have the culvert a few inches higher than the rest of the road. It's enough to launch us into a bounce that rebounds four or five times. The shock adjustments are wound up to the max giving some control but after a few thousand km I notice the slow speed bounce is worse and I have to get under and wind them up again. The adjustments wind off with use.

The best thing to come out of the airbags is the 5 gallon tank of air at 200 psi. I have a quick release fitting for my tyre pump hose. The two heavy duty compressors draw 20A each but you can do a lot of things with onboard air.

Air bags are not soft riding like I expected them to be. They are fine in the front where we only run about 10psi most of the time but with 80psi in the rear they are quite harsh on a rough road. They ride quite ok but as you increase the air you feel the harshness of the small bumps filtering through.

The control panel allows each bag too be adjusted individually or each axle, each side or all together. It makes finding a level campsite quite easy. We fitted super single wheels and tyres to improve the offroad performance. These probably gave us more improvement to the ride than the airbags. The other big improvement was getting sufficient weight forward to make the front springs work.

There are odd times where the airbags come in handy. My second spare is about 65kg and along with the roobar is most likely 85kg. It's hinged so that the front of the bar lies on the ground to get the wheel mounted. I don't have to lift all the weight but I struggle to lift it back up. I can raise the airbags. Lift the wheel on the roobar to a certain level and prop it there with a stick or something and then lower the airbags until the roobar is in the right spot to put the big eye bolts in. Without the airbags I would have to fit an air-ram (which I intend to do one day) or use a jack.

Would I do it again? Definately the rear. I'm not sure that the front was worth the work and expense. They are good to have now that they are there but they probably added $1500 to the overall cost.
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Re: Suspension.

Post by detectist on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 4:28 pm

Wow - I think my maximum for polyair is 25psi. I only run 10 at the moment but there seems to be a smoother and less body roll ride already (without towing).
ps I have an 80 series.

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Re: Suspension.

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