GU Patrol Suspension

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 13:34
ThreadID: 20298 Views:5699 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Hi Guys,

I have finally worn out the original suspension on my 2002 3,0 lt patrol, and am looking for options on which way to go. Thinking maybe Old Man Emu.

Would like to hear from anyone who has upgraded their suspension and what they have gone too before exploring the various places that will all tell me theirs is best.

Many Thjanks
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Reply By: Member - Sparkie (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:20

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:20
G'day, Outbackluva
King springs over Koni's seem to be a popular choice.

I would try to look for someone who doesn't deal with just one brand. Up here in Bundy there is a guy who just specialises in steering and suspension work. He is called Dowd's steering and shock absorber specialist. He deals in many brands and if you want it he can get it. That is the sort of person you want to look for.

Another thing to try would be to ask your local 4WD club for suggestions?

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
AnswerID: 97644

Reply By: V8Diesel - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:21

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:21
Put a set of 50mm Lovells, a new steering damper and Koni's on my 99 GU Wagon a few months ago. The extra height and the Koni's improve it 300% off road and I am not exagerating - it is a totally different vehicle.

However, on road beahviour is a different kettle of fish. When I picked it up, the on road steering was atrocious, verging on dangerous. After 3 wheel alignments, new wheel bearings (checked and tensioned twice) and an expensive castor kit, it is miles better but still doesn't feel "right". Consensus seems to be to try new tyres, but at $1,700 it is an expensive trial and error approach.

I don't know if it is just the extra 50mm (which is a very conservative lift) making the vehicle drive differently, or the specs are still wrong. The work was done by a highly reputable and well established specialist suspension company here in WA.

I will be taking it to another suspension company in Perth that has been highly recommended on this forum to get them to have a look at it and see if they can get it to feel 'right'. Fingers crossed.

After the lift it just doesn't seem 'relaxing' to drive anymore in that I feel I have to overly concentrate to keep it travelling in a straight line.
AnswerID: 97645

Reply By: DeanoNSW - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:21

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:21

just gone down this path myself. I spent a great deal of time investigating OME, TJM and some others, and ended up settling for a Spring Works in Melbourne (Spicers - Bayswater n Melbourne) who did a fanatastic job. I have had Lovell Springs and top of the range Koni adjustable shockers and it gives me a 50 mm lift. The whole lot fitted cost me $1280.00 - note this did not include a wheel alignment.

I had a mate check the alignment before and after fitting (1000km after fitting so that everything had a chance to bed in) and all the alignment was spot on - no change. No need for any castor kit.

If you go with OME you will be charged a fortune. ARB tried to tell me that I would most likely need a castor kit for a 50 mm lift - which is another $260.

I now have a fantastic ride, (both loaded and not loaded) with adjustable shocks (Koni's ) for the price that I would have paid for the basic OME kit.

My advice is go for the local bloke who only does suspension.

Lovell spings have been around forever, as have Koni.

AnswerID: 97646

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:24

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:24
Mate, IMHO OME is way over-rated; especially if you're gunna carry anything like the vehicle maximum load from time to time. I originally had OME 2" lift springs, but they very quickly sank back down to the point where it looked like it was stock.

I now use Lovell's springs and TJM XGS shockers. King's springs are also very good, as are Koni shocks. ARB have been shown to be a giant rip-off place. The reason i say that.....??? I priced a replacement winch cable there about 12 months ago; almost $400-. Rang Nobles (the lifting equipment people who supply the cable to ARB anyway) and could get the same thing for $115-.

When you go into those brightly-lit, beautifully laid-out and "prissy" shops they have, just remember that someone has gotta pay for all that glitz and glamour....YOU & ME....(well maybe not ME anymore).

Good luck
AnswerID: 97647

Reply By: Peter McGuckian (Member) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:05

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:05
I have just had my 2002 GU done. After checking out ARB and the King + Koni option, I chose to use Ridepro and Dobinson springs. They were fitted by a local guy in Ferntree Gully, Melbourne. Cost was $1,030 including the steering damper. Lifter over 2" and drives well. Had to get an alignment done. Oh, and it doesn't need the polyairs any more and the Ultimate sits perfectly level now.

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AnswerID: 97657

Follow Up By: Austravel - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:04

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:04

Have been using Dobinson's springs and shockies for years now. Both on a GQ and now a GU. You won't get much better, cheaper than the "brand name" bunch and better. They make all their own coils and leaves and now get shockies made to their spec. I've done the simpson, cape, gulf etc,etc in a heavily loaded vehicle probably quicker than I should and never had a drama. In fact took the shocks off the GQ and fitted them to the GU.
FollowupID: 356250

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:23

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:23
I upgraded suspension ~ 9 months ago.

At the time I thought the Toughdog option looked pretty good (friend with a Hilux very happy) but in the end I went with King Springs (50mm) and long-travel Koni shocks. I heard that the foam cell shocks may be subject to fade on curragation so I decided to stick with tried and proven large bore hydraulic option. Maybe some guys with the Toughdogs could comment on their performance.

I have been very happy with my choice, particularly with resistance to fade on long sections of corrugation. I fitted the Koni's at the factory selected softest setting and have found this to be OK. The travel from the shocks is much greater than I expected and the GU is a very different vehicle off-road. Ride comfort around town much better also. I found that I didn't need a castor kit, etc which in fact is what most outlets advised - all except ARB that is who wanted me to spend a fortune on all sorts of bits and pieces.

AnswerID: 97665

Reply By: Poppy - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:04

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:04
Hi Outbackluva
Just had my '02 GU done 3 weeks ago with OME...80MM rear 50mm front... steering damper and wheel alignment $1450 at ARB fitted new BFG A'Ts at same time as tyres were worn anyway.
Now it steers and drives 100% better but I must admit I haven't done any serious offroad since but will test it in May when we do The Cape again, but on the black stuff rides like a dream and quiet too
Cheers Poppy
AnswerID: 97670

Reply By: rors101 - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:21

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 17:21
From new I opted for 50mm OME and am very happy. They dont stuff about and they know the vehilcle well having done heaps of them - 2003GU. Apparently older Gu's sometimes needed the castor correvction 2003+ dont.
After 30,000 km from new, Sydney to Perth via the cape gulf etc etc the shocks were not performing - they were replaced no problems. The sort of KM on gravel that i did and the speed i did it in i did not expect much - but they out performed my expectations.
Yes you can rebuild koni's but prices ive been quoted to purchase and then rebuild is very scary $$$$$
OME no fuss warrenty is second to none and for me an easy choice.
AnswerID: 97680

Follow Up By: DeanoNSW - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 21:24

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 21:24

In my experience ARB will try and sell a castor kit to anyone who enquires about a 50 mm lift on a GU. I have experienced it at a 4WD show (by a ARB dealer) and three separate ARB dealers. I own a 2003 GU, and each time I enquired, they all told me that most likely I would.

And they all told me that I would need an aftermarket steering dampner.


FollowupID: 356294

Follow Up By: rors101 - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 12:35

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 12:35
Agree they did suggest both of those yes !!
But once I was able to level with them no probs - from experience they are NOT needed. Not sure if my stock dampner is U/S from the punishment dished out though? - The car drives well (albeit very stiff without my extra 800kg touring weight) so i guess not.
FollowupID: 356385

Reply By: Member - Martin- Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:35

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:35
Hey Outbackluva,

We are on our 4th Patrol and have always used Bilstien shocks and Quadrant springs and reckon they are great. In the end your choice will come down to personal preferance and as you can tell from the replies everybody thinks they made the right choice so dont get to confused make your decision and stick with it.

Happy 4wheeling

Marty and Sam
AnswerID: 97851

Reply By: trolute - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 21:16

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 21:16

I have 50mm OME fitted to my 04 ute from new, and am not very happy. There is NOT 50mm difference between my car and standard (more like 25mm) and the shocks are a bit soft. And they put the castor kit in (D'oh). Also tried to put a steering damper on, but I was onto that one.

Overall, not happy. Overpriced for average results,

AnswerID: 97945

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