rear suspension upgrade on 105 cruiser

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 20:42
ThreadID: 135705 Views:2500 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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I am after an upgrade on the stock coils (rancho shockers) which l am happy with for driving around town - no weight in back. Towing a Windsor Rapid approx 1.5 tonne in weight.
We decided to have air bag man bags installed prior to leaving as we were advised this would be the best value for money upgrade which it was - when they weren't leaking!! The outlet that we had them fitted in Ballarat were very helpful and after 3 goes trying to fix them, l decided to call it a day and have them removed and they gave me my money back-no complaints there.
Anyway, my dilema was that l initially wanted to get a complete spring/shock upgrade prior to the bags being installed.
So, are there any other options out there other than air bags or should l just get new springs/shocks or try another set of bags - the same outlet is telling me the bags have been upgraded/improved but it makes me think why they were designed like they were in the first place?? Please no comments about incorrect fitting from these techs as l'm choosing to assume they knew what they were doing (they were a reputable 4wd place) and these guys have fitted heaps before and l've read on similar threads that many people from all over the country are satisfied with their bags - once bitten twice shy as they say...Maybe l'm just very unlucky but it was a royal pain in the arse when they are needed to work for 1 or 2 times a year for that family trip and they don't do what they are meant to do and one is driving around with a saggy rear end with leaking bags in the rear..... Once l pumped them up to the specified rate, they were awesome in the way they worked - for about 50kms......
Please no advice on which colour springs to buy as l have already chosen the brand if l decide to go that way.

My last post was about a road trip to central oz around July and about times and distances involved - the trip went flawlessly over many types of roads and all involved had an awesome time, just over 2 weeks.... Couldn't find the old post which must have been deleted.
Again, many thanks,,
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Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 21:51

Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 21:51
I know you don't want any comments but seem to be asking for answers.
Either the airbag is faulty, easily checked or the airline fittings are/were leaking. Again easily checked.
You say they were competent, are they?,and that they have fitted many sets before with success. If that is true then why not for you too.
How do you know the others had no problems? Did you ask the owners?

I had Airbag man bags on a 60 series and they both leaked down until I removed the supplied crap factory sealant on the fitting threads and used a Loctite sealant. Then no more problems.
So unless the bag itself is faulty it has to be the fittings or the installation integrity. Tyres require everything proper to keep them inflated too.
AnswerID: 614178

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 22:16

Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 22:16
Yep, all valid points which l discussed with the shop. Can't argue with the experts, can one????

I'm just going off other forums (this one included) that l've read, no not fool proof but it's an overall guide to get an idea if a product is any good other than actually asking each and every owner that has air bags, we all read and partake in these forums for the benefit of everyone. I did get talking to a guy that l noticed had airbags on his 100 series (AIr Bag Man sticker on the back of his car) and he mentioned that his bags loses a couple of pounds of pressure every 3-4 days - maybe this is the norm? That's what l'm trying to find out.

Yes again right, you buy a product and surely your're not suppose to pull them apart and then re-install them to fix their crappy faults - one shouldn't have to rebead the tyre straight away when you get it home from the tyre outlet.
I'm just after other solutions, if any or maybe just try a different fitter, dunno. But thanks for the comment, all food for thought.
FollowupID: 884758

Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 23:03

Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 23:03
I had air bag man one's in my Disco's coils 12 yrs ago they were rubbish 1st one went at 600km after leaving Perth then had 2 more sets installed at Darwin all were rubbish didn't even get out of town with one set so had the removed when I got to Mackay.

My current GQ had Polyair bags in the rear coils which lasted for 9yrs used them a fair bit they were great I would highly recommend them.
AnswerID: 614183

Follow Up By: bellony - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 01:01

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 01:01
I have no experience with Air Bag Man so cant comment on the product itself but don't give up on airbags in general.
I do have 2 vehicles with Poly Air Airbags. One set is 4 years old, other set 2 years old. Never had an issue with either and they have done a fair amount of off road work in the NW of WA.
Medium duty springs and airbags are a good compromise if using vehicles loaded and unloaded.
FollowupID: 884760

Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:30

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:30
The Airbag man coil assist air bags I had kept splitting at the base of the valve stem which at the time I found out from talking to 4wd outlets there was a problem with them but going through 3 airbags was ridiculous on a road trip from Perth to Mackay and I was not overloaded.

Their full air bag that replaces the coils is suppose to be very good I haven't tried these yet.

I now have Boss triple air bellows in the rear they seam ok for now with in cab air gauge and adjustment switch.
FollowupID: 884774

Reply By: jack1971 - Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 23:12

Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 at 23:12
All good to know, might be the luck of the draw perhaps.

If it holds air it can leak........
AnswerID: 614184

Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 07:11

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 07:11
Here are all your old posts going back to the start of 2016.

Jack1971 Posts

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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AnswerID: 614185

Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 08:25

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 08:25
The alternative method of catering to two quite different load levels is to get shock/spring units with adjustable spring preloads. And be prepared to adjust them. Normally that's just a collar that you screw up with a C-spanner (reducing the static load length of the spring) meaning that when you add load there's less sagging.

There's a number of brands on the market now and some with remote reservoirs that won't do you any harm in the outback.
AnswerID: 614187

Reply By: Notso - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 08:47

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 08:47
You might ask why a 105 needs spring assistance for towing a 1.5 tonne van? Aren't these things supposed to be the bees knees towing up to 3.5 tonnes with 350 kilos ball weight?

I've towed a variety of vans with a variety of tow vehicles from a 60 series, Nissan Patrol, Triton Ute, BT50 and now a Jeep GC and never needed anything but the stock suspension.

Ask Mr. Toyota why his suspension sags. My good mate has a 75 series ute and the rear springs sagged after a few months. Wento to Toyota and they said they could replace the springs but "they'd only sag again".
AnswerID: 614188

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 09:06

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 09:06
What was the ball weight and sag measurement on the utes?
FollowupID: 884765

Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 09:39

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 09:39
Latest van 6 years old has 260kgs ball weight, Previous van 240kgs. Always use WDH, Never measured sag but negligible.Can't remember how long I had the 60 series, Nissan was 7 years, Triton 7 years BT50 3 years because I didn't like it, had jeep for 18 months.
FollowupID: 884768

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 10:05

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 10:05
WDH is not on when off-road though.
FollowupID: 884769

Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 10:50

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 10:50
The amount of "Off Road" towing is minimal. If you mean dirt road then a WDH is perfectly fine. A Windsor Rapid would hardly be defined as "Off Road", dirt road maybe if it has the upgraded suspension etc.
FollowupID: 884770

Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:11

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:11
I've personally never towed anything that was near the max tow ball weight only ever ran up to 80kg. If I couldn't lift it myself if I needed to then I would say it was set up incorrectly and therefore the van/trailer etc was not supporting most of it's own weight "like it should be". You need to get the balance correct the vehicle is only there to pull the item down the road and not designed for supporting ridiculous amounts of weight. All these big tow ball weights are giving the inexperienced or unwary drivers a false sense of how much weight their rear springs can actually support safely when towing. You also have to remember when your moving the amount of weight on the tow bar is greatly increased or decreased due to the road conditions so if you load it up to 200 or 300kg for eg don't be surprised if you exceeding the max weight of the springs therefore greatly reducing their life span.
FollowupID: 884773

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:49

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 12:49
"The amount of "Off Road" towing is minimal."

The OPer is talking about routes on which you find washouts, bulldust holes and corrugations. Would you still advise he opts instead for a WDH?
FollowupID: 884775

Follow Up By: jack1971 - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 15:49

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 15:49
Wow, ok - all food for thought, l've asked toyota and they believe it to be stock, measured the bottom guard to centre wheel, i guess it's just age and spring sag - dunno, anyway l'm thinking just another set of airbags and hope for the best - plenty of people out there who have them.
Ta heaps for the replies!
FollowupID: 884779

Follow Up By: splits - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 23:06

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 23:06
l'm thinking just another set of airbags and hope for the best - plenty of people out there who have them.

There is also plenty who wish they had never heard of them. Remember they are exponential springs. The more you compress them the more they resist further compression. They are like rocks by the time they are around 70% compressed. They also need shock absorbers that have been designed to work with them.

Your coil springs are linear. They compress in proportion to the load i.e. double the load and you double the compression. They will keep doing that until the chassis contacts the bump rubbers which are also exponential.

All of this weight on the rear plus a stiffened rear suspension is going to transfer more weight to the outside rear wheel in corners or sudden evasive action making the car prone to sliding its tail out and spinning. That can be real exciting with a caravan on the back. Just about every car on the road for about the last sixty years has been designed to run the front out wider, not the rear.

Your whole suspension has been designed to have the car sitting at a certain height front and rear when it is fully loaded with the load correctly distributed. The movement of the rear suspension linkage will then change the angle of the axle in corners to further increase stability.

You will stuff the whole lot up with what you intend doing but you may never know until it is too late.

Find out how the suspension works before you start changing things. It does a lot more than just give a smooth ride and allow the wheels to go up and down.
FollowupID: 884783

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