Suspension lift for Prado 90 series

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 23:13
ThreadID: 19779 Views:9260 Replies:7 FollowUps:7
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Hi all,
Looking at a 50mm lift for my '96 Prado -- pretty much stock at the moment.
Vehicle has done nearly 150k and getting very soft and unsteady. Have been quoted around $1800 for ToughDog kit by two suppliers (their recommendation) but find this to be pretty pricey and over the top for my needs as the vehicle is driven around town mostly with occasional trips off-road and with the club (about to join) or loaded with the family/friends. Also occasional towing of caravan.
Another option is OME though Opposite Lock say to steer away from them and go the ToughDog (better profits for them perhaps???). ToughDog worth the $$$ or would OME give same result?
Looking for any other suggestions and price guides.

Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 23:23

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 23:23
Hi 96Prado,

My brother has a 98 Prado with the ARB 50mm lift kit. He is very happy with it and would recommend it. Its mainly used as an everyday drive and he reckons its far better than the stock suspension. He has towed a caravan with it and it seems to work well in that role too.

I had an ARB kit in my old 80 series and that too worked really well, was the reason my brother went for it in the Prado. Overall I reckon the ARB kits are good value for money generally.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: 96prado - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 23:48
Thanks Captain,
one of the suppliers at work has a 100 series and swears by it too. It just seemed strange that both places I tried pretty much said the same thing about staying away from OME and using ToughDog. I think they must have just been trying the hard sell. Looks like OME is the way to go.
Next step will be tyres... again, both made the same comments about BFG AT's and Coopers, but that's another issue once the suspension is done.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:49

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:49
Yep, everyone has an opinion and when getting it from a retailer it often is very coloured by their markup. Always helps to talk to those who bought the product and see if they are happy. While I have found ARB suspension to be good, it doesn't mean its the best. I reckon Koni, Bilsteins etc... are probably better, but not necessarly better value for $$$. All depends on what you want to spend.

Same for tyres, I have had both Coopers and BFG and while I currently prefer Coopers, that doesn't mean BFG's are not a good product, just that for me the Coopers have worked better (had 3 sets of BFG's and currently 33,000kms into my first Cooper ST's). You just need to get a variety of opinions and see what appears to suit you best, because generally there is no BEST product, just best for your own requirements.

Cheers

Captain
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Reply By: Member Eric - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:26

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:26
I fitted Member Nicks prado with 50mm kink springs Ironman foam cell rear shocks and gas front struts , works real well . got alot of change from $1000
AnswerID: 94926

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:26

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 00:26
OME are just an average shock with an inflated price to pay for their advertising. Tough Dog are a better shock but seem to have reliability issues when pushed hard out central Oz. Koni & Bilstien are probably the pick & if you are in the Melb area I could put you onto a joint that puts quality systems together without biased affiliation to any one make.
Cheers Craig.......
AnswerID: 94927

Follow Up By: 96prado - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 16:17

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 16:17
Thanks Craig,
I live in Altona and work at Airport West. If you could pass on the details for the place you are talking of, I might give them a call and see what they recommend. Depending on where they are situated, I could even take a day off so I can get them fitted.
Thanks,
David.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 23:33

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 23:33
Email darrenm@bigpond.net.au down in Geelong. Knows the Prado's particually well whether you just want advice or a complete vehicle fit out.
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Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 07:13

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 07:13
I put a set of OME springs and shocks (with 50mm lift) in my Prado in June last year.

I talked to a lot of people about the spring rate, and because the car was driven around town most of the time, was advised that HD springs may not be the go - best to run with medium...

I did a Simpson desert trip, and by the time I was back, I reckon the suspension was stuffed. Shock fade occurred quickly and I was hitting the bump stop regularly. It is true that I was probably overloaded for those springs..

I was away at Christmas with GO_OFFROAD, and went for a spin in his car - a track that I could only do 20k on, he could do 50 comfortably - the suspension just soaked it up.

His suspension did the same Simpson trip, a couple of High Country trips and no doubt a sh1t load more - and he pushes his suspension much harder than I do (even though I was well loaded for the Simpson)

As soon as I got back I've bitten the bullet and replaced the suspension - now Bilsteins on Lovells - and the ride is amazingly better (even than when the OME were new - pre Simpson)

I was also interested in a recap from Crackles, who has Koni's on his 100, (he also has a well loaded vehicle) - these Koni's have done two Simpson trips, CSR and the Cape, and two Border trips. (as well as countless shorter trips) - before that they were in an 80, and before that in his brothers 80 while they were running a 4wd tour company and did 10 Border trips, amongst other stuff... He's still using the same friggin shocks!!!

I may well have overloaded my OMEs on one trip - but they're just not in the same league as Bilsteins or Koni's from what I've seen

Cheers,

Ivan
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Reply By: porlsprado - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 10:09

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 10:09
cheap option, King Springs (HD) and keep the original dampeners - they are excellent, though after 150km might be worth changing. Mine's only done 30k and the springs alone have made a huge difference.

But for full specs and reviews of all types of 90 series lifts and suspension upgrades go and join:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/90series/
AnswerID: 94964

Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 21:43

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 21:43
or even www.lcool.org 90scool_aus list.

As for tough dog, when worked hard they are having issues,a nd the bushes they use suck big time, though factory ones will fit to replace them.

Kings springs, tried em, gave em away, afer sagging and wrong design issues, where springs would coil bind before hitting bumpstop, as on any Aud 4wd forum what people think of Kings and probably like last time I did good vs bad will come back 1 vs 20

OME are the best marketed shock money can buy, but like all things, you only ever get what you pay for.
AnswerID: 95034

Reply By: splatter - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 11:33

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 11:33
I did as porlsprado suggested in a 2002 TD Prado. I think they were KTFR58/KTRR59 HD King Springs with the original dampers (which are considered very good on the lcool/yahho groups).

Spent 3 months touring WA/NT (GRR, Purnululu, Cape Leveque Rd) and didn't have a problem (full loaded Prado, no roofrack or trailer).

Have to admit though, when driving around Melbourne unloaded, the back end was abit harsh, especially over tram tracks. But for the $250 outlay (mates rates and no labour) I couldn't complain.
AnswerID: 95113

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:24

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:24
standard shocks will always feel fine, when you havent had good shocks to compare them too.
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FollowupID: 353997

Follow Up By: splatter - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:38

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:38
Yep agreed, just wanted to clarify what I found to be the short-coming of the "springs only" approach.

For $1000+ I'd expect to get an excellent ride for the intended purpose. For $250 I was happy that a fully loaded Prado didn't handle like the Titanic!
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FollowupID: 354003

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:44

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 19:44
for $1000 you will get cheap aftermarket shocks and springs, for $1500 you will get an excellent ride, for anything over that, you got the wrong thing for the money.
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