How to soften the Prado ride?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 12:31
ThreadID: 107223 Views:4204 Replies:13 FollowUps:11
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I test drove a Prado 2014 yesterday. What is stopping me from buying it is its relatively hard ride. I've got pretty nasty arthritis and wonder if anyone knows if the Prado suspension could be softened up without disastrous results.

Is there a 4WD that has softer springs yet isn't as small as that weird Honda 4WD with its fancy radar.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 13:26

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 13:26
What are you comparing it to.

What have you owned to this point.

And that weird honda 4wd.....um its probably an SUV you are talking about, not a real 4wd.

Do you need a 4wd....why.

If you are planning real 4wding....a few bumps on paved roads will be the least of your problems

Have you driven a RAV, or a Vitara

Maybe you should drive a Teritory..Ford have always tended to have baggy suspensions.......that causes many of their problems.

cheers
AnswerID: 530393

Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 13:00

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 13:00
I've never had anything except small cars, Bantam. I prefer small cars, but want to drive the back tracks, not exactly the Canning Stock Route, but the station and community tracks north of Kalgoorlie near Laverton and Banjawarn Station then the tracks around Nookambah, Nirripi, Kiwirrakurra. Really wonderful areas less travelled by the tourists.

What I like about the Prado is the undercarriage armouring, clearance, reputation for strength and quite decent fuel use.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 11:03

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 11:03
As others have said further on.

Check the tyre pressures.

There are plenty of mechanics and tyre fitters out there that think they know better than the manufacturer what the inflation pressure should be.

A couple of extra PSI may be fair...but some of these guys put heaps more pressure than is appropriate....muppets

The handbrake put her RAV into the dealer for a service.....dealer remember who should know the correct pressure....or at least be able to read a tyre plackard.......and the tyres came back over inflated to the tune of about 15psi...of course it drove like a dray.

When I picked up my 2wd hilux from the used car dealer, the tyres where over inflated to the tune of 20psi....I knew what was wrong when I test drove it....the 1 hour trip home was bone jaring.

Most vehicles including softly sprung pasenger cars move on the tyres before the springs.....all of that short sharp jaring action is absorbed by the tyres.

Over inflating tyres in any car will turn it into a dray.

Before you test drive again, ask what the tyres are inflated to and is that what is on the tyre plackard....get em to check or take your own guage.

AND..OH yess, the vehicle unladen will drive harder than with a load .....ALL of the stationwaggon 4wds are fairly softly sprung and have fairly low payloads in comparison to the commercial variants.

So you don't have to put much in them to soften the ride.

Even my hiluxes..that are known to be hard riding...it only takes a couple of hunderd KG of the over 1 tonne available payload to soften them up...as long at the tyre pressures are correct for the load carried.

When you test drive again...drive the vehicle alone or with 1 pasenger...then borrow a couple of bodies from the show room and put em in the back seat

Both my hiluxes ( remember stiffly suspended by any standards) ride much better with someone in the pasenger seat.

AND, remember it is a new car and neither the springs or shockies will have bedded in.

moving further on.
After market shock absorbers may yeild some improvements...there are some brands and models that are specifically known to be designed to ride better....KONI shock absorbers where designed for performance with a good ride from day 1...the story is that the danish royla family wanted a bit of comfort..even though they where and still are a known bunch of rev heads.

cheers

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Reply By: Member - Michael A (ACT) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 13:29

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 13:29
The prado is known for its soft plush ride let alone being too soft. If you need softer a lounge chair with a motor may be better

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Reply By: desray (WA - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 14:36

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 14:36
Check the tyre pressure in the car you are doing a test drive in,,, The first one I drove had 42psi in the tyres, 34 psi gives a much better ride.
AnswerID: 530396

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 14:42

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 14:42
The only way that a 014 Prado has a hard ride is if the tires are over inflated ,,,,
Most people who use the Prado as intended actually replace the OEM suspension for something not as supple…..
AnswerID: 530397

Reply By: Thinkin - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:20

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:20
Any decent suspension specialist should be able to provide you with progressive rate springs that could help.
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:44

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:44
As above, the Prado has a very soft ride off the show room floor, I would try another dealer and mention you test drove one somewhere else and it hard a hard ride, and get them to check the tyre pressures.

I have lifted springs and airbags in the rear of mine and it still rides a lot softer than say a Honda civic.

Cheers
Leigh

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:48

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 15:48
You can overcome the problem with a suspension air seat for yourself, $2200 roughly! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:26

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:26
These are great !
My mates old Pajero (~1988) has them in the front (as standard !!), and it's awesomely comfortable.
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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 13:05

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 13:05
I thought you were joking, Michael, but now I will forget the Jayson recliner and keep in mind a suspension air seat.

At $2200 it will be good enough to later move into the nursing home.

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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 17:17

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 17:17
Check the tyre pressures.
AnswerID: 530410

Reply By: disco driver - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 19:11

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 19:11
To solve the harsh ride problem is simple
Forget the "Playdo" and buy a Discovery 4

Disco.
AnswerID: 530419

Follow Up By: desray (WA - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:05

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:05
Forget the "Playdo" and buy a Discovery 4 ..... but then he wont have to bother about a hard or soft drive ,,the Land rover will break down before he gets it out of the drive way.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:09

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:09
Cruel ...but fair...:)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Graeme - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:04

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:04
I have been bagged for having a D4, yet I have taken it to the Mereenie Loop, Chambers Pillar and the Bungles and in 2 years and 66,000km the only warranty has been the touch screen.
I do not drive for economy and have averaged since new 11L/100Km.
The ride is very comfortable and my wife, who has arthritis, is very happy with the comfort.
Dont bag anything until you have owned or driven one. I have at work driven a number of theToyotas, Mitsubishis, etc and have chosen the D4 and have been overjoyed.
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FollowupID: 813361

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:59

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:59
Plus 1 for Land Rover.
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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 23:49

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 23:49
D4 is in a different class. Once your drive one you always make comparisons.

My little brothers 2013 Prado is no comparison when it comes to a comfortable ride....it just feels like any other 4WD that's out there.

Corrugations are a dream to drive on in a D4.

If a bigger, more powerful 4WD is an option, drive a D4 and experience the difference.

When you spend time on all marquees forums you get to see all have their problems, and Prado is certainly no different.

Brett.....
AnswerID: 530439

Follow Up By: disco driver - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 23:54

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 23:54
At least one other person on this forum agrees with me.

Cheers
Disco.
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Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 00:28

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 00:28
Haha....you will probably find many.

A lot of people do listen to a brothers best mates, fatherinlaws, ex wife's new husband when it comes to advice. I have owned a 200, which is a good direct comparison to a D4, however it was the shortest period of time I have ever owned a 4WD....listened to too many that the oil consumption issue had been fixed on the 2011 model, when I should have spoken to mechanic in the family that actually worked on them.

Brett.....
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FollowupID: 813349

Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:27

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:27
Is this your first 4WD Mick if so you have to remember they won't ride like a limo 4WD's are top heavy and need firm springs to keep them stable on the road or they wouldn't handle very well. If you put softer springs on it will be all over the road it'll lean into corners and probably be dangerous to drive when loaded you will have to legally down grade the GVM. Change the shocks to a much better quality brand which will be what gives you a more comfortable ride not the springs. With the tyre pressure don't go to low there either remember the vehicle is not light like a car.
AnswerID: 530444

Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 07:14

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 07:14
4WD tyres have a much taller sidewall than cars so they are prone to flexing and moving around a lot it's a 2 ton vehicle so don't be tempted to reduce your pressure for the sake of a bit of comfort talk to a tyre dealer about running the correct pressures
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FollowupID: 813437

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:22

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:22
Empty and out of the factory is one thing. Now add a few hundred (maybe more) Kg's of 4WD and camping, touring kit and will be fine.

Or buy a Jayson recliner, put it in the back and let someone else drive.

Seriously though. Our 100 series is "stiff" when empty compared to "floaty" when fully loaded. I only use those two words as an example. It really doesn't float, either on the road or in the water.

Phil
AnswerID: 530459

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 22:36

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 22:36
Having driven over 300,000 km in Toyotos, mostly Prados, I think the ride is unnecessarily rough. Nonetheless, when I was looking at replacing the last Prado 2 or 3 years ago, I would have gone to another Prado (because of the reliability and 4WD competence), except I couldn't find one at the time with the right km at a sensible price and kept finding Pajeros that suited fine. No-one I talked to could tell me what was wrong with them, so after some procrastination, eventually I paid $10,000-$15,000 less and bought a Pajero.

A very pleasant surprise me was the ride, which is far softer that anything I've experienced in a Toyota, before or since. And it's never let me down with either its reliability or 4WD competence.

If Mick wants a softer riding 4WD, there are options, but Prado isn't one of them.

My two penneth worth.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

Do your best, have fun & s/he with the most friends wins!

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