Shocks - toughdog

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00


I have a Jackaroo TD, and am researching for new shocks and coils to handle all the extras that I have fitted over the last two years (lr fuel tank, _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, roof rack, water storage). Currently running on toughdogs, but as I have fitted them when I brought the Jack, I have not experienced other shocks to enable a comparison.
I have searched this forum and the archives for discussions regarding shocks, and have found valuable information. Often it is a case of you either love a brand or hate it.
The most praises are for koni, rancho, ome and monroe.
I am surprised however that toughdog shocks were not debated in any question or answer.
Is there a reason why toughdog does not get mentioned?
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Reply By: OziExplorer Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 13:48

CJ, the more I see of schock absorbers, the more I stick with Monroe. I used to use previously the heavy duty KYB gas made in Japan. When they became difficult to get, we switched to Monroes, as because they had by that time come up with a decent HD 4WD shock absorber. Now, I am not saying a Monroe is up to the same standard as say a Bilstein or Koni, but while they are wearing out their Biltsteins or Koni to get their monies worth, I have stuck on another set of Monroes and consequently do not have to use them to death and suffer poor schock absorbing and the other consequences that go with it, while the other people are trying to get the last bit of value for money out of their schockers because of the exhorbent prices they paid. From last checking, you could buy a brand new pair of HD Monroe for the price of one shock absorber to get rebuilt for a Koni. Besides finding Monroe an excellent shock absorber and good value for money, I also much prefer to keep Australians' in a job. However, I would not buy the Monroe product if it was not quality and good value for money.
AnswerID: 10726

Reply By: Member - John Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 18:25

cj, have used many brands of shocker, currently fitting Rancho 9000's to GU Ute. Have used them on GQ wagon and found them to be very good. Also used Rancho coils, very good unloaded and loaded, progressive rate spring. The adjustable feature allows you to tune for the road conditions. Only thing I will say is that they should come standard with the incab adjustment. Having used Koni, destroyed two on the Canning, Bilsteins, OME and Monroe, Rancho's are the best I have found. Never used Tough Dog so can't comment. Bye the way, Rancho's and Monroe's are made in the same factory in the states according to Rancho, just different production lines and OME are Monroe's rebranded. Sorry doesn't answer your question about Tough Dog, but hope this helps some.
AnswerID: 10751

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer

Monroe as fitted to 4WD's are totally made in Australia, and they only import some front struts from various countries, mostly Asia.
FollowupID: 5733

Reply By: phil Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 18:38

I have spent 18 years all over remote Oz in mainly L/C's in both leaf and coil sprung units. I am a big fan of suspension improvements and are currently running a full OME (400kg) set on my Troopie - very good combination. But I must say, the best results I got was when I had a Series 80 L/C and a visit to "Ultimate Suspension" in Minto, NSW who fitted a custom made set of coils/shocks to my 80 series L/C. The secret to their success was a matched set of French made DeCarbon shocks - not cheap but sensational. That was 10 years ago and I have experienced nothing like it since. The secret (only with coils) is the fact that each wheel needs additional damping to eliminate "laceration" of tyres when on dirt roads. Leaf springs are easier to control (mounted at 8 points and with heavier unsprung weight) and, in my view need less dampening but coils rely totally on the one mount and that puts additional pressure on the shocks to keep the unsprung weight under control.
Tyres are important too and need to be taken into consideration. I have always run BF Goodies, A/T and get 80,000+ with many Simpson, Cape and Gulf trips in my travels.
The bonus with the DeCarbon's is almost zero fade. Now the OME are bloody good but after the first 20 sand dunes on the Simpson, they heat up and tend to fade, so too has every other shock I've used, except the DeCarbons. Good luck with your fix.
PHIL TURNER, Australia IN-SIGHT Pty Ltd, PH: 0412335156
AnswerID: 10754

Follow Up By: Cj

Thank you all for your replies. As noted, some swear by certain brands, others hate them.
The replies above confirms my original observation, that toughdog does not get a mention or review - good or bad!
FollowupID: 5729

Reply By: Raptor Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 18:51

CJ I've had my car modified by ARB and spent the extra money and put LTR shocks on my 80 series cruiser. Not long ago we did a trip along the strezlecki track and because LTR's are duel action the ride was brilliant. For comfort and wheel travel they are worth their weight in gold and if you have an extra heavy load they can be adjusted.
AnswerID: 10757

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer

Raptor all shock absorbers are dual action. You would have a bloody awful ride and quickly worn out tyres if they were not.
FollowupID: 5734

Reply By: Glen Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 19:17

Cj I had tough dogs on my Gq wagon and gave them a flogging in the centre of aus and up the cape many times Never had any problems and never had any fade. One had a slight oil weep but was replaced at no coast to me after about 20 000 ks. If you like them and they compare in price go with them again .
AnswerID: 10764

Follow Up By: Chris

Glen, did you not find the toughdogs to give you a hard ride?
FollowupID: 5740

Follow Up By: Chris

Glen, did you not find the toughdogs to give you a hard ride?
FollowupID: 5741

Follow Up By: Glen

Chris..... Hard ride ...a little compared to the standard shocks but not enough to worry about. Its all a balancing act really ,but was very happy with them . I now have a 100series and fitted Dobison LTsprings and shocks Which so far have proved themselves to be extremly good value for money. Have seem them work in the same situations without any problems .......
FollowupID: 5744

Reply By: MARK Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 20:05

cj i have just had tough dog installed on my 98 petrol jack
front / back shocks and rear springs . have only done 1000kms so far, about 200kms on dirt back roads , the differance is amazing the back end does not jump around like it use to . i was quoted 50mm lift but only got 30mm least i can still get in the garage . hope this helps mark
AnswerID: 10770

Follow Up By: Cj

Mark, same here. quoted (hoped for) 50 mm but got 30mm. That was before I added the lrft, _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx, rack. I believe the Jack need that extra 20 mm, and I am looking to replace the coils with some that will give me 50 mm. I am finding that the Jack's rear is slipping easily going over modest corragations. In general I am hoping for better handling with a new setup. Is it possible that the shocks are too firm, and can that cause the lack of control on dirt roads? (yes other than speed!). I understand that this is one of the (claimed) advantages of rancho shocks - less stiff on compression gives better handling on dirt and corragations?
FollowupID: 5745

Reply By: Member - John Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 21:26

CJ, Rancho's are great on corrigations, on the lowest setting you handle them a lot easier than on the normal or harder settings, you really have to try it to see the difference. If you have a pice of corrigated road handy to where you are, try driving it with front shockers removed, be carefull though on corners and dips, the difference will amaze you. Hope this helps
AnswerID: 10776

Reply By: tourer Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 21:38

Hi CJ, I have used tough dogs in my GU patrol for a few years now, I also have a second GU with OME. These vehicles do more than the average mileage on dirt roads. My money is on the Tough dogs, it seems to carry the vehicle a bit better on any road surface. I don't have a problem with axle articulation either.

By the way if you find the Jackaroo skipping across the corrugations on dirt roads, try engaging 4WD, this will pull the car around the corner as well as push, I think you will find a noticeable difference.
AnswerID: 10777

Reply By: goodsy Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 23:50

Got a mate with the same problem. Driving a little suziki, hard to compare I know. But as soon as he hits the dirt 4X4 is engaged. Could not stay on the road without it.
AnswerID: 10791

Reply By: Member - Stephen Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 13:09


I had Foam Cell ToughDogs on the rear of my Prado. I liked 'em and had no worries with them.

I have very recently installed Foam Cell ToughDogs on the front of my 100 series live axle 'cruiser and ToughDog Ralph on the rear. I haven't given them a real workout yet but thus far they feel good.

AnswerID: 10826