Improved Suspension

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Improved Suspension

Postby Coloes » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:02 pm

Greetings all and Happy New Year.
In preparation for a trip from East to West I would like to hear your views on improved suspension over the standard. We have a 2011 ST with 130,000kms on the clock and although it is adequate I feel it needs replacing prior to our trip. We tow a Coromal 535 pop-top with TARE 1313kg, ATM 1650kg and GTM 1468kg. I'm not looking at lift kits or air bags but improved springs/shocks and have thought of Pedders or Ironman suspension but have yet to discuss with these companies.
Your thoughts and comments appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Wazza » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:24 pm

I am keen to hear the responses for this one.... it's a great question.

I would add a follow on question to yours - can you upgrade / improve the standard factory suspension without increasing the ride height?
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Smitty » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:24 am

Yes you can put in standard height springs and shocks and just go for a name brand... Most of them do.

Remember springs set the height, not the shocks, then the shocks stop it bouncing.

Airbags are great especially if you tow as you can adjust the pressure to match the weight.

Also of note... The USA pathfinder came out with 265/75r16 standard, that is a 32" tyre near as damn it... You can go bigger tyres which give more clearance without changing the dynamics of the vehicle with a lift kit.
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Wazza » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:11 pm

Thanks Smitty.

Do you have an opinion on what sort of KM's traveled would be a good time to look at new shocks / suspension components? I've done 98k in the 2011... to me it still rides and handles well but I would definitely be keen to upgrade / change very soon...

I am running 265/75/R17 General Grabbers AT3's. I did consider a HT in December when I put teh AT3's on - and I think it would probably have changed the driving experience somewhat?
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Smitty » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:01 pm

I would stick to an at if you go off road at all.

Best test for the shocks is push down on the corner of the car... It should spring back once... Single bounce... If it bobs around like jello they probably need replacing.

The springs will depend on how much it sags when you load the vehicle
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby DarekD » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:48 am

Definitely no lift, definitely air bags and definitely not Pedders. Please have a look for my earlier posts. I run 265/75/16, not sure 17" that profile would fit? As for shocks I have installed EFS. OK but would not do it again. Probably Koni.
Below is a reply from 4WD direct when I was looking for longer travel shock. They don't exist as you limited by half axle angle so if you lift the car your down travel is gone. So is most of up travel as the spring will not compress that much. The best you can get is less than 110mm total front suspension travel, same as factory. I have installed longer travel ones at the back, for 50mm lift, but with standard springs and air bags. All well explained in my other posts.

BILSTEIN LENGTHS @ 382/278mm - NIL STOCK TILL Approx. LATE AUGUST LOVELLS S2 LENGTHS @ 386/277mm - AVAILABLE (both measured as industry standard - Centre of lower eye to 1st Washer position on upper stud.) OR IRONMAN FOAM CELL ELITE @ 388/283mm - AVAILABLE IRONMAN FOAM CELL 'PRO' @ 389/283mm - NIL STOCK TILL Approx. MID AUG.
(both measured as industry standard - Centre of lower eye to 1st Washer position on upper stud.)

Regards,

PAUL
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0406 476 840
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby toymaz » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:00 pm

I agree with Smitty, air bags are great for towing.
I looked into heavy duty springs originally, i was also talked out of them by a couple of suspension shops. If you towed all the time yes, but as ours is a family car also heavy duty will shake your teeth out.My camper fully loaded weighs 2000kg, the air bags are perfect for it.
Maybe put new shocks and consider air bags.I now have bilstein rears after rock damage on central aus trip.
Im very happy with them.
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Gandalf » Sun May 05, 2019 1:55 pm

DarekD wrote:Definitely no lift, definitely air bags and definitely not Pedders. Please have a look for my earlier posts. I run 265/75/16, not sure 17" that profile would fit? As for shocks I have installed EFS. OK but would not do it again. Probably Koni.
Below is a reply from 4WD direct when I was looking for longer travel shock. They don't exist as you limited by half axle angle so if you lift the car your down travel is gone. So is most of up travel as the spring will not compress that much. The best you can get is less than 110mm total front suspension travel, same as factory. I have installed longer travel ones at the back, for 50mm lift, but with standard springs and air bags. All well explained in my other posts.

BILSTEIN LENGTHS @ 382/278mm - NIL STOCK TILL Approx. LATE AUGUST LOVELLS S2 LENGTHS @ 386/277mm - AVAILABLE (both measured as industry standard - Centre of lower eye to 1st Washer position on upper stud.) OR IRONMAN FOAM CELL ELITE @ 388/283mm - AVAILABLE IRONMAN FOAM CELL 'PRO' @ 389/283mm - NIL STOCK TILL Approx. MID AUG.
(both measured as industry standard - Centre of lower eye to 1st Washer position on upper stud.)

Regards,

PAUL
4WD DIRECT
1300 881 481
0406 476 840


Very interesting comment about the 110mm max travel. Makes a lot of sense, very unfortunate though for offroad performance.
I have some questions/ideas relating to this.

Basically this means long travel suspension is not possible on an R51.
If the total travel is still the same then, as mentioned, bigger tyres are a more effective way of increasing ground clearance. I have 265/65/17 so I might go to 265/70/17, good for probably 10 or 15 mm lift?

How do lift spacers above the front coilover and rear spring effect this?
Seems the rear would still be limited to the same high and low travel, so a cheap lift unless you get spring binding.
The front should work fine but would that not put the wheel droop past the standard angle, upper limit would not reach the standard angle?

I guess this would only apply to a standard vehicle with no extra accessories to add weight, which would require heavier springs, better shocks.

Or am I missing something here?
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby DarekD » Wed May 08, 2019 11:00 pm

As far as I know spacers are not legal. Have a look at https://tiresize.com/calculator/ for sizes. I have 265/75R16, that is a 31.6" tyre and about as big as you can fit. 265/70R17 is same size. Look up my post on fitting the larger spare. That is almost 40mm larger dia than original so a 20mm lift without changing any of the suspension or shaft angles.
With longer shocks at the back you do get more down travel with standard spring but there will be not much force to keep the traction. Bigger rolling diameter is the best option but to go bigger that above mentioned you need to spend a lot of money. If you need more off road ability than what you get with over sized LT rated tyres then you will be better of with a short wheel base Jeep Wrangler. Those can fit some big tyre diameters and can go anywhere, almost. I understand they have or will have some models with larger wheels from factory. What you have will do the Simpson and Big Red. I did some very serious sand and mud driving in stock standard 4 litre Jeep Grand Cherokee. The only mod was air bags in the bask and better shocks. But that was beam axle front and back. I much prefer fully independent suspension of the R51. All you need is a long handle shovel and some common sense.
Most driving out back will involve sharp rocks so do yourself a favor and always buy LT tyres. Those have stronger side wall that the P rated ones. P tyres are for highway driving. And pump them up as per the 4psi rule.

Happy driving.
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Re: Improved Suspension

Postby Gandalf » Sun May 26, 2019 4:07 pm

I remember years back, the 70's, when wheel spacers became a popular way to widen the track on road cars for better performance and they were later made illegal.
I have not heard anything about strut spacers being illegal and they are supplied and I think fitted by a number of companies in Australia such as Snake Racing.
I might give them a call to check it out tomorrow.
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