Question: Suspension

I am doing the Simpson Desert in a Landcruiser 200 series 2011 in May 2012. The only modification I have to my suspension is rear airbags. I am debating whether to fit a new suspension kit for the trip such as old man emu. I have heard that the standard suspension is too soft but I have also heard that I could void my new car warranty.
Q1. Does anyone have a comment on the standard suspension fitted on my vehicle and whether I should install new suspension for the trip?
Regards

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Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 09:09

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 09:09
You will not have any major problems doing the Simpson with the standard suspension.... the tracks in the Simpson are not what I would call rough or extreme.

BUT a suspension lift will make the trip more enjoyable and may reduce the damage to you Landcruiser underneath..... I find suspension lifted vehicles are also kinder to the environment.

A suspension kit will not avoid your warranty and if the kit did causes the failure you would have ARB behind you for that.

Most dealers and Toyota Australia will say "any modifications will void your warranty" but if it came to push and shove they would not have a leg to stand on .... unless the Toyota part that failed failed due to having the suspension kit installed.

200 series Landcruisers like most others have a suspension set up more suited to sealed roads with a bit of off road thrown in.
AnswerID: 480599

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 09:45

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 09:45
Nick, we had the 50 mm lift put in our 200 after hitting bottom a few times going off road. Makes a big difference with the clearance underneath. I have been told that if the lift is completed by a proper installer it will not void the warranty as it is in fact improving the vehicle’s suspension. ARB did our lift, 200 kg springs in the rear and we kept the rear air bags. The lift did harden the ride, but too much and after all it is supposed to be a four wheel drive. (We had 90,000 k’s on the clock when the lift was done.) Absolutely no regrets having the lift done and well worth the peace of mind when off road. The KDSS still performs as it should. Just my opinion and not saying ARB are the best. (We had issues with ARB at Broome who did the lift!) Kevin
AnswerID: 480605

Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 12:13

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 12:13
hi all
it beats me how toyota have been selling vehicles in aus for 60yrs and still havent put a suspension in them thats suitable for aus outback conditions
there is no excuse other than pure ignorance by the japanese manufacture
given that the aftermarketers have perfected several suitable systems over the years and models
why could'nt toyota and an after market company/companys come to an agreement to supply an after market option in the original purchase deal where the buyer can op for sub-standard toyota suspension
or have the aftermarket option fitted in -lue of
instead of the buyer having to pay through the nose for and then discard the unsuitable ome system kit that comes with the current vehicle
while thousands of aussies keep excepting ----the unsuitable for real outback conditions suspensions ----
i guess the japs will leave their heads in the sand and the after market people will keep laughing all the way to the bank with your money
my two bobs worth
cheers
AnswerID: 480624

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 10:51

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 10:51
"while thousands of aussies keep excepting ----the unsuitable for real outback conditions suspensions ---- i guess the japs will leave their heads in the sand and the after market people will keep laughing all the way to the bank with your money"

NO it's called providing a product that the majority of people want...... I would happily say 85% of all 4x4's sold will never venture any further off road than a good maintained dirt road.

So why build a 4x4 that only 15% of the market may want.

Standard suspension will get people further then they think or ever want to go and for the others who want more there is a choice of aftermarket gear.

Suspension is cheap...... spend $50,000 on a 4x4 and another $1500 on suspension to suit your needs...... or pay $51,500 and get one with the suspension already done.

Look at Jeep..... you can get the same model with an everyday suspension setup or pay a lot more and get one with a more off road setup.... end of the day your still paying weather it's factory or aftermarket.

Toyota in the USA offer 3 suspension kits on some of their 4x4's..... standard and as an option TRD sports and TRD off road.

All you have to do is read the forums and there are many people wanting to upgrade their suspension but don't want to loose their soft comfy ride quality.



What do you call real outback conditions?




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FollowupID: 756126

Reply By: Nick J1 - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 12:46

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 12:46
Thanks guys for your response. As I am only doing the "standard" route of the Simpson I think I'll leave the suspension as is and carry a spare rear shocker. When the the car gets a bit older (towards 100k) I'll do the 200kg lift. I will however change replace the Dunlops and will probably fit with BFG T/A KO unless someone has better suggestions for tyres?
AnswerID: 480628

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 13:59

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 13:59
Nick,
If you do intend to cross the Simpson Desert in your 200 series with standard suspension the be prepaired to have a spot of back bother, the standard suspension is way too soft & the shocks will fade in a really short time!

You may also want to move your spare tyre from underneath the car to a decent roof rack, it sits way too low & will drag through the hump between the wheel ruts left by all of the "lifted" vehicles before you.

Don't forget you also have to travel on all of our wonderful outback roads even before getting near to the Simpson desert!

Yes you will be able to do the trip on standard suspension, but the car & the tracks will be grateful if you fit good aftermarket suspension before you leave home.
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FollowupID: 756063

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 11:06

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 11:06
If you take it easy and don't over load you will not need to carry spare shockers..... we have never carrier spare springs or shockers.

The biggest problem with travellers is they over load and go to fast.... so if carrying a load slow down or don't over load.

Note what Jeff said about roof racks...."a decent roof rack" ..... we had a couple of people in a 80 series along the French Line who had one of the NOT OFF ROAD Rola type roof racks with a basket on loaded with 2 spares and swags who were trying to catch their friends....... too fast over the dunes with too much weight..... over the radio comes " I have a problem I have lost my roof rack".... when our group got their the roof rack was on the ground broken....... 2 hours latter our group had them on their way again.

Jeff from Mt Dare sees it all and he is the one who has to fix peoples problems.

It must be annoying for you Jeff to see things happen that could of be avoided if common sense came into play.

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FollowupID: 756129

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 11:39

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 11:39
No not annoying as much as interesting seeing so many different interpretations of what constitutes "adequate" gear for travel in this part of the world.

We get so many different people travelling out here that there just isn't one best way of doing things.

For example, we can get (have gotten) the european backpacker group who just bought a 1986 Pajero to travel the country, 4 people, way overloaded, rusty old roof rack with probably 250kgs of gear on it! Crossed the Simpson Desert with only a few small problems!

Then there was..... where do I stop?

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FollowupID: 756132

Reply By: Nick J1 - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 14:31

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 14:31
Thanks Jeff @ Mt Dare. I'll take the wheel out from underneath and drive carefuly over the Dunes.

Looking forward to having a beer with you in late April.

Are the mice as bad as last year?

Regards

Nick
AnswerID: 480638

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 15:15

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 15:15
No mice problems at the moment, but that could change as the country dries out a bit!

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FollowupID: 756070

Reply By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 20:30

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 20:30
I did the simpson in my prado with standard toyota shocks. They went well but with the extra weight they were a bit soft.
You have stated you have air bags in the rear.
Why not just fit a set of decent after market shocks such as Koni, Bilstein or the cheaper EFS brand? You can carry a spare front and rear toyota shock just in case.
I replaced the prado stock shocks with bilsteins and it was a fantastic upgrade.
You can get bilsteins from USA quite reasonably priced as an option.
Have a great trip.
Scott
AnswerID: 480667

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