Pajero suspension upgrade

Hello, Thanks to all of you who have guided me with many good thought and opinions. Probably the last before we head off to the west. We have trial packed everything. We measured the "sinking" of the car from a "no diesel, no spare tyre" position then loaded her up with full tank and the sparel and everything else (including the 4 persons) and we've dropped 60 mm in the back and 20 up front.

We are off to Wilpena Pound Arkaroola, Leigh CK Maree, Muloorina, Ooodnadatta Track, Dalhousie,Mt Dare , Old Andado the the Mereenie Loop.
Maybe 1000 to 2000 ks of dirt etc.

Given that 99 % of travel is on the black top around the city and up the highways and we don't indulge in rock climbing etc would Polyair bags or the Firestone ones that Pedders deal with be sufficient to lift the back back up to a reasonable height or should I go the whole hog with bigger springs and Shockers ?

Aibage are about $500 fitted for the back and the coil,shocker upgrade is around the $1500. Any opinion on the Polyair versus Firestone ones ?Thanks again, Greg
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Reply By: Rhys - Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 17:38

Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 17:38
Have a look here Pajero Club forum plenty of advise and one of the members sell very competitive suspension packages, Rhys.
AnswerID: 420654

Reply By: LeanneW - Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 17:57

Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 17:57
Hi Greg,

My husband and I travelled Oz in 2004 in my NL Pajero. We just had a tent, so the car was fully loaded up with all our gear.... a trial pack showed us that we needed to upgrade the suspension, although we didn't measure the exact "sinking" like you have.
We went for the polyair bags plus some "tough dog" shockers, which suited our purpose. We didn't have a problem with them, and they did the job we required. I found it useful to be able to adjust them after our trip according to what I was doing with the car at the time. eg pump them up when I was towing the horse float.
Good luck, enjoy your travels.
Leanne
AnswerID: 420660

Reply By: gbrought - Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 18:08

Sunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 18:08
Hi Greg,

I went for a lift 40-50mm on my Pajero (lovell springs/bilstein shocks combination). Whilst the polyair (or equiv.) will help the "sinking" it does not really solve the handling / breaking ability of a heavily laden vehicle, nor the ride once off the blacktop, nor suspension vulnerability if you hit a washout at speed, etc...

Its been a few years since I've been on the Mereenie loop, but depending on how soon you travel after its grading, the corrugations can be significant. Likewise the track from Dalhousie out to Mt Dare after some winter rain... you won't want to be dragging your rear end as a ground anchor along there!

Although the OEM Paj suspension is quite good, I have found overall improvement on and off road.

Cost is obviously a factor for a one off trip. But I haven't regretted my upgrade and think it is one of the more important - along with the right rubber - for outback trips.

my 2 cents worth, Geoff
AnswerID: 420663

Follow Up By: Member - Greg S (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:49

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:49
Geoff, I have the 2009 GLS and am wondering how much approx' the Lovell/Bilstein combo might cost and would this be on all 4 or just the back - if that isn't a dumb question. Presumably air bags not neede on that sort of upgrade ? Thanks Greg
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FollowupID: 690997

Follow Up By: gbrought - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 21:06

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 21:06
Greg, mine is a NM 2002 and the upgrade was in 2006.
Bilstein shocks - front $475, rear $462
Springs were $390 total.

Most advise doing all 4 corners at once, otherwise you'll be all outta whack when unladen. But there are those who are willing to do so due to budget constraints.

If it came to cutting corners, I'd be more inclined to do just springs before the trip, as the OEM shocks are good, and yours are only a year old!

And no, I have not felt the need for air bags for that upgrade, but note that Pat runs both.

Have a good trip. We are heading west on July 2nd, but not as far west as you this time.

cheers,

Geoff.
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FollowupID: 691026

Follow Up By: Member - Greg S (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 21:36

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 21:36
Great Geoff, thanks for that as I'd put the shockie upgrade as necessary with any coil upgrade. But as you reminded me the car's only a year old and the shockies are o/k for sure and they look like the most expensive part of your upgrade so we might save the budget and spend on the coils. I agree with those thought others have expressed about ARB and others trying to fit us out as if we are in the Dakar. We just need to do safe things for passengers and car is the way I look at it. Good luck out there and have fun. Greg
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Reply By: patsproule - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 05:33

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 05:33
What model is it? I have polyairs and a 2" lift in our NP DID. Polyairs wont retrieve the 60mm you lost - more like 20. If yours is an NM onwards, at that droop it will be prone to wearing the inside of the rear tyres, and it will steer quite strangely due to the change in caster angle at the front. If it was mine I would be lifting it before that trip.

Lovell's coils + Bilstein shocks are regarded as the best combo on the NM - NT series. As suggested earlier - lots of info over at Pajeroclub Forums.

Pat
AnswerID: 420713

Follow Up By: Member - Greg S (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:00

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:00
Pat, I have the NT (2009) and am becoming concerned that I might do some damage if I just go the Airbags so am wondering what combination you might think of and approximate cost ? Thanks Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Greg S (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:05

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:05
Pat, I have the NT (2009) and am becoming concerned that I might do some damage if I just go the Airbags so am wondering what combination you might think of and approximate cost ? Thanks Greg
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FollowupID: 691002

Reply By: OREJAP - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 14:43

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 14:43
I had my NP lifted 40mm. All wheels & front end aligned. King springs with load sharing in the rear. Koni adjustables. In my NT I have an ARB system with progressive or load sharing springs in the rear. I was told by my ARB supplier that they do not advertise the load sharers in the rear however a good suspension place should ask what loads you will be carrying etc. I only tow about 1500kg but there is hardly a drop in the rear. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 420763

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