Springs, shocks, air bags.

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 17:55
ThreadID: 43379 Views:2627 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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Here we go the list has started already as wife said would happen. Found today the rear coils in the prado very soft even with 2 people in the back would bottom out on bump stops just in the local shopping centre speed humps. Now want to know what people are using in the way of shocks, springs, bags etc. Have always been an OME person with the lux and very happy with the product but we are talking about two totally different vehicles. I now its hard to compromise between a hard/firm ride and less rear end drag but at the same time dont want it to ride like a gocart, must admit didnt realize how bumpy the hilux was till driving the prado this week bump what bump LOL. Also the previous bloke has run a direct cable from the battery to a switch on the dash with a green light on it then from there to rear cigarette lighter/adaptor. Now two things, he has a 30amp fuse in it as his fridge was an absorbtion type so he would turn it off and on every hour or so, so that it wouldnt freeze everything up but the green light allowed him to see when it was on or off. Would this little light draw much power ?? I was thinking of getting rid of the green light and just putting a switch in without the light as the waeco will be just left on all the time controlled by its own thermostat. Any tips/help appreciated. Regards Steve M
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (W.A) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 18:15

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 18:15
Stephen M
Mate if you know what OMEs are like then go for it, Yes it is 2 different vehicles, No matter , OME do coils also

OME coil springs are formed on precision mandrels and manufactured to the highest standards. A scragging process is performed before and after the coils are shot peened to reduce stress and prevent sagging.
Site Link and click on Coils Springs link.

Steve, about the speed humps, I watch everyone negotiate them and they all will take them head on , ie 2 wheels at a time , An old trick I learnt from reading about Jack Murray from the 1950s Red-Ex trials is that when going through sharp creeks and of course todays speed humps is to take them diagonally when possible , much easier 1 wheel at a time and can take them a bit faster too,

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AnswerID: 228165

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:04

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:04

Old Man Emu or Original Manufacturers Equipment ?

I think he may mean original equipment.
FollowupID: 488954

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:25

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:25
Hi there Kiwi Kia, no I am referring to Old Man Emu suspension, which is what I had in the hilux. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 488961

Follow Up By: Member - Steve T (NT) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 20:00

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 20:00
Hi Steve M
My personal preference is King Springs with EFS or Rancho shock, my trucks eg.: 78 series and 2 100 series do 80,000 kms on corrugated roads yearly between them.
These trucks carry tourists, so full capacity they work hard for 18 months before they need replacing.

Springs and shocks are about $1100 (Darwin prices), so compare that to the other brands it pays to shop around.

My experience is based on 13 years using the same supplier, he owns his own work shop makes his own springs he is actually a black smith by trade.
If any work he does fails, he fixes or replaces it at no charge -- his guarantee to many tour operators in Darwin.
Cheers Steve.
FollowupID: 488970

Reply By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 18:48

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 18:48
Hey Stephen
Like our discussion last week I would go for Lovells and Bilsteins. Premium price but a premium ride. Either firestone coilrites or polyairs are the go so you don't have to get the HD springs for the rear.
The set up is almost identical to my 120.
You are always welcome to take mine for a drive to basically try before you buy.

AnswerID: 228173

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:33

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:33
Hi there Scott, Referring the Lovells/Bilsteins is this both shocks and springs or are you just referring to springs. I am also looking at raising it around 1 1/2 to 2 inches (around the same as yours) if thats possible with out having to do any major mods to keep the steering drive line etc all ok. Dont want it wollowing all over the road etc. Just looking for that bit more clearance thats all. So if I go the above mentioned springs but for normal ride and add the polyairs then I will retain the same ride ?? Sounds like a good set up to me. Had a look on ebay for the ones you mentioned but couldnt find them maybe sold already. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 488964

Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 22:03

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 22:03
Gaday Steve, the OME set up are an improvement on original but like Scott recomends Lovell springs & Bilstein shocks will last longer & handle twice as good again. I've driven on both systems & the improvement is substantial. If you intend to carry a fair bit of weight all the time I'd suggest the heavier rear springs but if the load varies with trailers & packing for big trips the polyairs are a good compromise which the Bilsteins seem to keep uder control better than some other shocks. The price difference is pretty much on par with the ride improvement.
Cheers Craig..............
HZJ105 Vic. Lovell springs, Koni shocks.
FollowupID: 489000

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 22:30

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 22:30
Hi there Crackles, just spoke to a gentlman on the phone who is a tour operator with the same vehicle as mine only diesel (1KZ engine) dont know if that makes a difference or not I doubt it but he has just pulled his Bilsteins out as he said it rode like a brick ??? and his mate had the same with the air bags in the arse end and has cracked the mount above the spring. He reckons it was due to the bags and shocks not allowing some shock so has transferred it to the body instead. I told him what Scott has in his and he said yeah ok but two different models and the later model is heavier ???. Just want to get it wright first time so not wasting any $$ or do any damage. I wont be having the weight all the time in the back except when travelling with out the camper. Fridge will live in the back and maybe a draw set up not sure yet. Havnt hooked the camper trailer up to it yet to see how it sits either but will be on friday before we go away for the weekend. If I load the trailer wright I dont think it will be an issue.as I'll make sure the draw bar weight is reaonably easy to lift give me a fair idea if loaded correctly. None of this was an issue with the lux due to leaf spring rear end and had OME dakkar springs in it so totally different set up. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 489007

Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 23:12

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 23:12
Steve if the fella is having trouble with the spring mount collapsing, all I can think of is he must be way overloaded, have too much pressure in the Polyairs or driving way too fast over rough terrain.
Last year I completed a Madigan crossing along with 2 petrol Prado's carrying 500+ litres of fuel & water. Both rode very smoothly, carried the weight well & neither had an issue with the Lovell/Bilstein suspension package. No doubt there are different rated springs & shocks available to suit the 120 series & sounds like they may have got the wrong ones.
I know ATS in Geelong are familiar with this pairing.
Cheers Craig................
FollowupID: 489030

Follow Up By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Monday, Mar 19, 2007 at 09:51

Monday, Mar 19, 2007 at 09:51
I only run medium springs in the rear and even on my last Simpson crossing loaded to the roof I only ever had 12-14 psi in the rear air bags. The medium rated springs seem to carry the weight well. With the trailer on loaded I never even pumped them up. It may be a different story after I get the trailer back from all the mods and extras I am getting added to it.
Also the spring mounts on the front of the Bilsteins have a minor adjustment for front ride height which also helps.
Call in and take mine for a spin. Yes there will be a difference but not a lot.
FollowupID: 489079

Reply By: Member - Axle - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:15

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:15
Hi Stephen,

Now if Ya had bought a Disco!!

Wouldn't have had to change anything :))))))).

AnswerID: 228176

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:38

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 19:38
Just the motor and electricals eh LOL only kidding, I did have a look at the td5 and actually drove one went really well and very nice ride, but stuck with the toyo due to my best mate working for toyota who knows them inside out and having no problems with the old lux. Going away this weekend coming and taking camper so will be interesting to see the fuel results, I'm guessing around the 15s maybe more but we'll see. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 488965

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 20:37

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 20:37
I have Kings with konis, and air bags.

Used to be an OME strong supporter too, and no problems with thier gear.

What I have discovered with the spring/shock/air bag combination is to try and use a shock that is less on compression and stronger on rebound.
What happened is that I got some variable rate king springs which end up 30% stiffer. When the rubber air spring bump stops went in the pajero (standard part) , I put air bags in and found the rear end too stiff on bump, even with only 5 psi empty, and 15 psi loaded. Replaced the OME shocks with Koni, which have little bump resistance, and strong on the rebound to control the spring. A lot better.
AnswerID: 228187

Follow Up By: Member - Prado Garageo - Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 21:51

Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 at 21:51
Hi Stephen,
I had a similar query some time ago., being basically miserable I couldnt see the point in throwing out a perfectly good set of near new coils, so I opted for Firestone airbags inside the genuine toyota springs.... just fabulous for ride and carrying weight not to mention sagging arrse syndrome. The airbags simply eliminate it.
FYI 130 kgs in the back drop the towbar by 31mm and with 210 kgs it was 50mm.
Dunlop Grantrecks gave clearance of 403mm at the towbar.
BFG AT's give 417mm, if clearance is important then the extra 14mm might be worth considering.

Whichever, the Airbags maintain that clearance. my laden touring weight is around the +600 kgs when I get the prado out of the garageo (where sadly it spends too much time) anyway the 120 handles fully laden little different from empty. No speed humps where I live..????
Be aware that the spedo goes out with the BFG's by +6% at 100kph.
good luck PG
FollowupID: 488997

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