Upgrading suspension 90 Hilux first timer

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 10:50
ThreadID: 96041 Views:2997 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Never had much to do with vehicle suspension in my life, but my Hilux suspension has had it. Front leaves are flat, shocks need replacing.

Online purchase seems my only option as nobody is really clued up out here, I've been thinking EFS is the way to go???

Also, if I get a kit with a 2" lift on it, are there other mods I have to do? Drag link etc... (Hilux already has 2" body lift.)

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Reply By: snow - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 11:13

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 11:13
Yeah replaced the leaves on mine when I had it, not a difficult job though little awkward if you are on your own as I was but no real dramas.

I cannot recall whose product I used but quick look at EFS site and yeah may be worth a shot eh.

After some deliberation I decided to use standard height springs as the lux was tall enough anyway for everythng I did at least and yeah other consoderations were brake hose length and angle of drive shaft etc.
AnswerID: 487689

Reply By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 18:46

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 18:46
I had 2 inch OME put under mine front and back plus new shocks the ride was heaps better, didnt ride like a go-cart and that set up did approx 280 before the front springs needed replacing again and the shockies needed doing as well. I replaced the springs but not the shocks as I decided to update the old girl 2.8D, great vehicle never gave me an ounce of trouble and still going today by the bloke in Bega who bought it from me here in Sydney. The rear springs are still in the old girl and the new owner uses it for lugging some pretty heavy loads so he told me. Since then I have had 3 prados and I still run the OME in all of them.............
AnswerID: 487735

Reply By: GT Campers - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 09:26

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 09:26
I have have mates and colleaugues rave about better comfort etc after doing the suspension on thier leaf-springer Hiluxes.
What factors have you considered for the EFS being the way to go?
AnswerID: 487780

Reply By: Wildman - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 09:33

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 09:33
I've just heard a couple good reports about the EFS thats all, there's too much to choose from
AnswerID: 487781

Reply By: trains - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:06

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:06
Hi Wildman.

I have a mid 90s hilux, with rear canopy and tyre holder, battery in the back etc.

My springs were needing replacement.
Went with the "2" lift" which seems the standard for these vehicles.

I chose old man emu dakkar springs and greasable shackles.
250kg constant load rears, norman diesel fronts.

What a terrible mistake.

Uneven ride height side to side on front and back, right from the start.

Springs sagged over 25mm within 2 weeks on the rear, ad did a 2nd spring.
Terrible ride and handling.

No end of trouble with arb damaging my car whilst "attempting" to fit it.

And poor workmanship of misaligned front drive shaft, and fitment of a front spring with leaves so out of alignment, they fouled the front spring hanger braacket, and the rear shackle at the same time.

Should have never made it out the factory like that, let alone an arb trained technician to fit it.
Thats the readers digest version, alot more went on and was wrong, but thats some of the main points.

Finally replaced them with EFS springs diesel fronts, 300kg constant load rears.

What a difference.

Much better on road handling, great comfort, no uneven ride height, nor sag in the last 3 + years of being fitted, excellent customer service, unlike arb, and have had many passengers comment on how pleasant the ride is for a leaf sprung vehicle.

I have no hesitation in reccomending EFS springs for leaf sprung hiluxs.

For years arb was the place to get your 4x4 stuff, and I fitted many kits over the years, when it was time for mine, it was my first choice.

Sadly seems that things have changed alot over the years and I find arb is nothing like they used to be in product quality and service and would never reccomend them to anyone again.

Have friends who fitted parabolic springs from a maker in WA, and there good too.


AnswerID: 487782

Follow Up By: trains - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:11

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:11
Forgot to add before.

Re the drag link, if its ok, just use the standard one.
Most issues arise when people fit new springs, but dont undo the bolts that hold the drag link front and rear.
New ride height, and the bushes are put in torsion, and tear away and fail.

Just re tighten when at new ride height, and your good to go.
If you choose a 3" or more lift, then yes, you need a new drag link, and longer brake lines etc


FollowupID: 763019

Follow Up By: GT Campers - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:33

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 10:33
Hi trains, It's good that you're happy with your EFS gear but it's a bit unreaonable to rubbish Australia's largest manufacturer and marketer of 4WD gear because you had one install. go wrong...

Good advice about suspension bushes - as you have said they should be torqued at ride height, not on the hoist
FollowupID: 763022

Follow Up By: trains - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 09:43

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 09:43
Hi Gt Campers,
Appreciate your comment.
However my case was not isolated, the more I searched, the more people I found who had dakkar leaf springs fitted, the more issues re poor manufacture I came across. ie other hiluxs and 60 series with both premature sag and uneven ride height.

sadly I had 2 arb stores have a go at fixing the problem, and both shops exhibited poor workmanship and damage to my vehicle.

I was left considerably out of pocket both in wasted time in their unsuccessfull attempts at fixing the problems and expense in fixing what damage they did.
When approached, they showed little interest in fixing the problem or even bothering that my vehicle was damaged by their trained technicians.

as i mentioned earlier, I used to use them exclusively, and reccomended them to all, however after those dealings with them, I would never reccomend them to anyone again.

Hey, if its an independant, who fits arb products, I know there are plenty of mechanics who take pride in their work like I do, thats fine, but not the parent stores, nor the culture that is shown in dealing with them.
Cant rest on past reputation if you do nothing to keep it.

On the up side, its now over 20 full suspention kit upgrades that I have advised to not go with arb. They have bean counters, they can do the maths on lost sales.
Of the few that did choose to go with them, they now wish they didnt, and prefer the ride to those who chose other makers Kits.



FollowupID: 763080

Follow Up By: GT Campers - Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 10:19

Thursday, Jun 07, 2012 at 10:19
Fair enough Trains, it sounds like you had a really bad trot and not just one mechanic having a bad day...
FollowupID: 763081

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