Suspension upgrade for 200 series Landcruiser

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 13:55
ThreadID: 110750 Views:15010 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi looking to upgrade our suspension we find the original to soft especially when towing our 3 ton van,
Have just prices a few different suspension up grades Arb $1800 TJm $1600 and Dobinsons $1560 all fitted Air Bags are about $450 fitted.
Any advice on the best one to go for.
Cheers, Tony

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Reply By: Geepeem - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:07

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:07
Hi Tony,
We found the 200 series the same for towing. But the cheapest option was to buy some Firestone coil rite rear airbags from USA and fit myself. Have a look at (Michigan based company). They were only about $100 US plus freight (about $80 US from memory). If I recall correctly the part # was 4164. They are not too difficult to fit but the written instructions that come in box do not apply to the Australian LC200. For less than $250 you can fix the problem. With rear airbags ours towed beautifully.

If you do go with one of the expensive upgrades you mentioned it might be worth thinking about a GVM upgrade while you are at it.

AnswerID: 544315

Follow Up By: Kyle H - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 00:06

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 00:06
Yep, bought the same for around the same price have now been fitted for 3 years , no problems at all.
I also have a 2" suspension upgrade TJM XGS Gold which I am also happy with.
FollowupID: 831456

Reply By: TomH - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:59

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:59
Do you use a WDH as if not the rig will pitch a bit more than if you do.

The WDH will tend to keep the joint between car and van straighter.
AnswerID: 544318

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 16:34

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 16:34
My personal experience is that I went for the rear airbags through TJM. Was very happy with them but found the cruiser was still a bit low on some off road tracks and on some beaches with soft sand and following wheel ruts on tracks. So then I had the lift done by ARB, 200 kg in the rear and that made a massive difference. Then one of the air bags tore at the top and so I don’t have the bags now and find with the lift they were not needed. We only tow a 1.6 t camper trailer, will be purchasing a caravan later this year. Kevin
AnswerID: 544328

Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 19:58

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 19:58
Hi Tony
I put airbags in the rear empty run them at 10psi loaded 25-30 psi my van is about 2.5 ton on road with WDH it is just right
The front was too low as said above when driving in wheel tracks you have to watch how deep they are now I have new shocks and coils in the front lifted the front x member by 60mm the car now sits level also. am looking to change rear shocks to suit front as I was never happy with the genuine Toyota shocks .
Hope this helps Cheers
AnswerID: 544336

Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 20:17

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 20:17
I have a medium duty Dobinson front spring and shock ( alloy bull bar no winch) on the back I have heavy duty King springs and Dobindon shocks, it lifts it about 50 mm so far they have been hammered for 78000 km on a corrugated road and I will be putting new rear shocks on before the next tour season, I will use the same again without thinking about it.

My normal load is 6/7 passengers one esky and 6 small backpacks daily, I run 40 psi in the tyres and sit on 80 kph on the road I use, you could put a glass of wine on the dash and not spill a drop.

I had ARB ( Old Man Emu ) on one 4WD and it didn't last 60000 ks, air bags are not a load bearing item, meaning you don't pump them up to get your ride hight right.
AnswerID: 544339

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 21:48

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 21:48
great advise form my eyes. Dobinsons and Kings are great spring manufactures, I don't know about kings but I know dobinsons have no problems sorting anything that is wrong with their product and I believe kings would be the same.

Now about that wine glass on the dash, could you fill mine so I can test it.
FollowupID: 831449

Reply By: Bobjl - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 23:07

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 23:07
I have had two Landcruiser 200 series both used to tow a tall 22 footer 3.4 tonne and with 350kg tow ball mass.

On the first Cruiser I had Lovells heavy springs and shocks front and rear and also Air Bag fitted. I used a good Weight Distribution Hitch which enabled me to transfer enough weight [the weight lost due to tow ball mass from Van] to front wheels of Cruiser and also to the Van's axles so as to produce stable handling. I was putting 20psi into the air bags for a year or two but stopped that and found little or no change on my rigs handling.

My current 12-2013 200 series LC was given a full legal Lovells GVM upgrade to 3800kg from new, this system is similar but different to the previous Lovells system. I did not fit airbags on this one.

I have towed the Van with new crusier many many thousands of kilometres on the mainland and also some 6,000k,s in Tassie in some challenging towing conditions and am satisfied that the rig is on balance as stable [in poor towing conditions] as can reasonably be achieved. The Cruiser maintains a level state with WDH employed and Van is level also. Pitching,Tossing and Yawing is almost non existent even in poor conditions.

Having read Collyn Rivers several articles on Caravan Dynamics and Vehicle suspensions etc" and based on the towing I have done with my Van, I am satisfied that Airbags add no additional value or benefit on my GVM Upgraded Rig. I do appreciate that in some cases Airbags play a vital role. You may benefit from reading the articles written by Collyn Rivers which are easily found on the web.

The cost of the Lovells Upgrade may vary from place to place but I paid $2400 approx.

Consider also that the vechicle height will increase by at least 50 millimeters with such an upgrade.


AnswerID: 544343

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 23:11

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 23:11
Whilst I have a 79 Series dual cab and not LC200, I also have a Lovell's kit and GVM upgrade.

Very happy with it, and professionally installed by a specialist who does the same upgrade for vehicles that travel on the rail lines. Happy to provide further detail.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
FollowupID: 831453

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