GQ-GU suspension tuning.

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:56
ThreadID: 19171 Views:6602 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Having owned a Maverick,two GQ wagons and currently a GU 3.0 litre Diesel I have spent a fortune on suspension systems.
My under house storage is littered with various types of coil springs.
It is no wonder that the magazines have every 6 th page advertising some suspension alternative.
With some it is the old problem of increasing their load progressively with every new accessory,for others it is the need to gain suspension height as they discover hard core 4wdriving,for me it is the search for the ultimate soft ride without the loss of off road capacity.
The Nissan patrol is difficult truck with which to obtain a good ride, due to the massive axle assemblies and the associated weight which has to be controlled.
It seems to me that most suspension systems off the shelf set up the front height allowing for bars etc,then select a spring from the range to obtain the correct rear height, accepting the spring rate which provides this combination.
This often means that the rear spring may not provide a comfortable ride due to a heavier rate than required.
The suppliers obviously have to settle on a range of springs designed for the majority of load carrying combinations,but there are many requirements between these parameters.
The problem appears to be the balance between the right spring rates and the required height.
Finally on my truck(after trying 2 different ARB springs and even air bags) I believe I have found the right combination.
The ARB 980 was the right rate but 25 mm to low when fitted,the 981 was the right height, but too stiff in ride comfort.
Thanks to Yarra valley 4wd I have now fitted Dobinson 3 inch lift rears, which when settled have provided both the correct height but nearly the same rates as the ARB 980 springs.
In regard to the air bags I tried,these are an effective product I believe for standard springs which require assistance(if you want a set cheap contact me) but
in my case because I was already close to the correct rates, any addition af air stiffened the springs too much for the load carried,suffice to say for the very short time they were installed they were only inflated to the minimum requirement.
No doubt I could have used a spacer on the 980 springs to get the right height and rate but I prefer no alteration to the spring seating.
In summary it may be better to purchase your suspension from a supplier that is an agent for several spring makers,this in order to get a complete range of spring alternatives to suit your particular needs.
To those who cracked it first time for the correct springs,half your luck.
Me I am starting up a business making those playground rocking horses using NISSAN SPRINGS OF COURSE!
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Reply By: brumac - Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 18:41

Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 18:41
Similar story to tell ; ended up with 3in front 4in rear Kings springs on our GQ. The overall ride quality hasn't changed too much. Our main concern is that we tow a rather heavey camper trailer and we are planning a four month trip this winter to the kimberly. With the added weight of all the gear and the camper we are hoping to keep the car level.we were considering putting air bags in for the trip to help with this. Were you towing a camper trailer when using the airbags? How much for the air bags under the house?
AnswerID: 92078

Follow Up By: fourstall2000 - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:00

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:00
Brumac,The air bags are Firestone and were imported direct from the good old USA.
With only 2 months in the vehicle (Have receipts)and less than 2000 km
I would like to get $150 for the pair,this is Half the Australian retail price as you are no doubt aware,but will recover my costs.
No I was not towing a trailer when they were fitted,my friend has the same vehicle and similar springing and uses air bags at about 10 psi when towing his van.
I also have the ARB 980 and 981 springs which I will accept any reasonable offer for.
if you are interested my address is

FollowupID: 350990

Reply By: Peter McGuckian - Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 20:44

Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 20:44
I took the advice of a local Ferntree Gully 4WD outlet and installed Dobinson springs and Ridepro shocks. About a 3" lift in the rear. Rides well but I find the LSD a little more sensitive and now works mnore often on coners at slow speed. Anyone else found this?

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AnswerID: 92089

Reply By: Mark- Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 21:40

Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 21:40
I have found that the spring rate is right when the vehicle (carrying the desired weight)is cross axled and the compressed corners are just touching the bumpstops. If they dont touch, articulation will be reduced as a result of a too-stiff spring. Notwithstanding articulation, lower spring rates = better traction. This principle was employed by the early range rover designers.

As far as ride quality goes, a soft shock helps a lot. I prefer some extra body roll if it means a soft ride over rough surfaces. After all, a GQ is not a sports car. I have removed front and rear sway bars for better articulation and havent noticed much if any, difference on the road.

No matter what I do to my GQ suspension, I always feel corrugations a lot more than in my Magna sedan. I can only presume this is due to the much larger amount of unsprung weight?
AnswerID: 92096

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