2.5" or 4" Lift...Shackles, Springs and Shocks (1 Viewer)

rkymtnflyfisher

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It sure seems like the OME springs are popular but I have a feeling that good marketing is likely why they sell, not necessarily a great lift. I have also seen lots of mixed reviews on the OME lift kits and I am convinced I can do better with less money.
I think the OME kit comes with EVERYTHING you will need to do the job right. With the Skyjacker I had to spend some time getting the lift dialed in 100%, namely the need for longer shackles to get the full flex out of the spring. I also needed to add an extra leaf to the rear spring packs due to the extra weight on the rear of my rig, I'm pretty sure you can plan ahead with the OME lift and have the rear heavy/front medium kit for a 40.



There are pros and cons to both. I do like the way my rig rides and handles, but it came at an expense of time and effort, trial and error, to get it just right.



One major pro with the OME is that you can buy it from @cruiseroutfit and get proven, knowledgeable support from guys that turn wrenches on Cruisers themselves.









If I were to overhaul my entire suspension, I would definitely be looking at the OME option.
 
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My old stock setup was bagged so cant compare with stock, but the skyjacker definitely ride well on road and off. The ride gets a bit stiffer with the hardtop removed. When i was looking for a lift kit many were having issues with the OME springs being to short with upright shackle angles. With stock shackles skyjackers have no issues with that. I am not sure what prices are at now but the skyjacker was quite a bit cheaper few years back.
 

cruiseroutfit

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I'm in the same boat. I know a lot of folks like the OME springs. I'm not real enthused with their dampers, and their steering damper mounting type is completely wrong....

Curious what is wrong about their mounting type? They are 100% bolt on in the stock locations with the tapered studs. Same way many/most aftermarket suspension companies do their steering damper. Sold and installed hundreds/thousands? over the past 30 years... can't say I've ever had a complaint about their steering damper mounting?

KYB makes an OEM replacement steering damper (possibly for Toyota) but they don't offer it in the US market. I've been trying to get them to ship some over but they are very difficult to deal with.

We stock a 40 Series made in Japan steering damper by Tokico (SUS69015AFT) as well as the OE Toyota damper (SUS69015). They mount to the same holes as our OME and Dobinson variants. I can assure you with larger tires and off-road use, the Tokico/OEM won't last super long, just not made for that type of duty. We could substitute it in a suspension kit but wouldn't recommend it. Fwiw we stock KYB steering dampers for the 6x/7x/8x/105 apps but they don't have a 4x variant that we've found any better than the Tokico option so we've never brought them over.

OME springs can obviously be used with different shocks, we commonly sell them in kits with Bilstein or Dobinson shocks for example. We also offer "Budget" kits that use high quality aftermarket shackles, spring pins and u-bolts, saves a fair bit there too.

Having spent a great deal of time driving Land Cruisers around the world with OME, Dobinson, Icon, Rancho/Pro-Comp, etc. I personally think their is great value in the OME springs for the money. Perhaps they have some good marketing at current, that wasn't the case when we started using/installing/selling their parts nearly 3 decades ago now. We were still having to order direct form Australia and few in the US had heard of them even just a few decades ago. Sure the cost of the all-inclusive kits is up there but compare apples to apples and they are a good value imo (which is certainly biased but again we sell OME, Dobinson and could/have sold Rancho & Pro-Comp but don't like to).

My 2 cents, you got what you paid for :D
 

77mustard40

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Are you tempted to convert the rears to Skyjackers as well?
I’m sure I will at some point, no rush now that the stance is neutral. I’m sure if I were to load my hardtop back on that added weight might push me over the edge. I do like the spring length, at least up front so I’d hope for similar results in the rear.
 
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@cruiseroutfit One of the biggest challenges I have when working on technical/engineering issues is conveying information so that no matter a persons place in life it can be understood. Sometimes this requires me to not provide as many details, calculations, examples, etc. In the famous words of Mr. Rush Limbaugh "if you want to be an effective communicator, use as few words as possible". There is so much truth to that. To that end, I will explain my opinions without providing an overwhelming amount of what some might call Engineering jargon.
  1. OME mounting type only has 1 DOF (degree of freedom) VS the OEM damper having a ball joint with 3 DOF. You probably have sold many of these to unknowing customers. Installing one removes OEM functionality and adds un-necessary stresses into the mounting points of the damper. This really just boils down to laziness on behalf of OME. I would say they wanted to keep the cost down but KYB can manufacturer a damper with the factory type mounts at a comparable price... so it seems like they increased their profit by omitting this in their design.
  2. It would be impossible to assume that the OME is physically more capable than an OEM damper under identical conditions without knowing their damping rates, materials used, weld specifications, etc. Keep in mind, no matter what damper your using, the factory mount is the same. You could install a part in this location that had a huge safety factor and you're going to shift the failure point into another component. Just like my recent discussion on hardware grades, stronger is not always better.
  3. The OME springs seem OK. It's almost impossible to evaluate springs based on their geometry. Material types and post processing treatments have a huge impact. From what I've seen and what they cost they are gonna stay just OK in my book. I have seen the Pro Comp springs and similar appear to perform just as well for a fraction of the price. Maybe a little more research into the manufacturers and materials could sway this one way or another.
  4. Shocks, I too have sold a lot of these back in the day. Lets just say if you walk into any parts house and ask them what their good/better/best is, Monroe is at the bottom, there are reasons for that. In terms of getting what you pay for on the OME, I think your getting a nice piston cover and some neat decals, again maximizing profits. Made to OME specs or not, they are still Monroe's. Tokico, KYB, etc. have far greater monozukuri than Monroe. I agree that Bilstein's have their place too, they shine in the extended static length category.
  5. The fact that OME has more marketing costs, explains why their prices are up. I like companies that stay away from that and let their quality do the talking. Introducing new costs and passing that along to the customer, I guess that's the Australian/ARB way too.

This is why I like things Japanese. They make stuff that's quality, just to make stuff that's quality. Their honor is worth more than how many zeros are at the end of their account balance. That is the definition of Monozukuri, the Toyota Way, and why I like so many others roll in a cruiser.
 
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I appreciate all the comments/contributions to this topic. I am not in position to buy a kit at this point, but this sure helps a guy like me that doesn’t have any experience with lifts and all the consideration that go into buying the one that’s right for me. I love you guys 😘
 

cruiseroutfit

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@cruiseroutfit One of the biggest challenges I have when working on technical/engineering issues is conveying information so that no matter a persons place in life it can be understood. Sometimes this requires me to not provide as many details, calculations, examples, etc. In the famous words of Mr. Rush Limbaugh "if you want to be an effective communicator, use as few words as possible". There is so much truth to that. To that end, I will explain my opinions without providing an overwhelming amount of what some might call Engineering jargon.
  1. OME mounting type only has 1 DOF (degree of freedom) VS the OEM damper having a ball joint with 3 DOF. You probably have sold many of these to unknowing customers. Installing one removes OEM functionality and adds un-necessary stresses into the mounting points of the damper. This really just boils down to laziness on behalf of OME. I would say they wanted to keep the cost down but KYB can manufacturer a damper with the factory type mounts at a comparable price... so it seems like they increased their profit by omitting this in their design.
  2. It would be impossible to assume that the OME is physically more capable than an OEM damper under identical conditions without knowing their damping rates, materials used, weld specifications, etc. Keep in mind, no matter what damper your using, the factory mount is the same. You could install a part in this location that had a huge safety factor and you're going to shift the failure point into another component. Just like my recent discussion on hardware grades, stronger is not always better.
  3. The OME springs seem OK. It's almost impossible to evaluate springs based on their geometry. Material types and post processing treatments have a huge impact. From what I've seen and what they cost they are gonna stay just OK in my book. I have seen the Pro Comp springs and similar appear to perform just as well for a fraction of the price. Maybe a little more research into the manufacturers and materials could sway this one way or another.
  4. Shocks, I too have sold a lot of these back in the day. Lets just say if you walk into any parts house and ask them what their good/better/best is, Monroe is at the bottom, there are reasons for that. In terms of getting what you pay for on the OME, I think your getting a nice piston cover and some neat decals, again maximizing profits. Made to OME specs or not, they are still Monroe's. Tokico, KYB, etc. have far greater monozukuri than Monroe. I agree that Bilstein's have their place too, they shine in the extended static length category.
  5. The fact that OME has more marketing costs, explains why their prices are up. I like companies that stay away from that and let their quality do the talking. Introducing new costs and passing that along to the customer, I guess that's the Australian/ARB way too.

This is why I like things Japanese. They make stuff that's quality, just to make stuff that's quality. Their honor is worth more than how many zeros are at the end of their account balance. That is the definition of Monozukuri, the Toyota Way, and why I like so many others roll in a cruiser.

Love your flex. Please, explain away... your talking to a fellow Mech Engineer. Assuming your an ME by your lingo? I love some good tech talk though really bordering on bench racing.

1. You're making an assumption that a pinned rubber or poly bushing doesn't have additional movement opportunities by inherent and intentionally designed flex of the material itself. For example, an axle housing and subsequent suspension shock mounts can move front and back against your "1 DOF". Does Toyota do it "completely wrong" or just "lazy"? A suspension shock can in fact have more rotation outside of that "1 DOF" than a LC application steering damper. I'm really not seeing the argument here. Is it different than the stock setup? Absolutely, perhaps even less ideal. Is it an issue or completely wrong? I think the fact it's been a a non-issue in millions of applications over decades of use is telling enough. True story, I've never sold or had an inquirey for replacement bushings for an OME, (or Dobinson, Bilstein, etc) steering damper, they just don't suffer from that DOF issue. I've driven around the world in LC's equipped with these DOF-limiting dampers, never once did I hear someone say "I wish we had more movement out of our steering damper", perhaps you have? :D

2. It's easy, I've played with many of them side by side. Again, we stock (ie have on hand) Tokico, KYB (not for 4x but for 6x/7x) OEM, OME, Dobinson, etc. One can easily look at the body profile and determine the OME has more fluid capacity and noticeably higher dampening. Mounts are a non-issue, they don't fail in either use case. That increased dampening is what customers are wanting/asking for when running larger tires... Not increased DOF.

3. Point blank. Have you owned or driven the OME or Pro-Comp? OME FJ40 leaf springs retail for ~$580 for the set of 4. How much are you seeing these "fraction of the price" Pro-Comps selling for? We can buy Pro-Comp wholesale and I don't recall them being much less. The Pro-Comp has hard clamped spring retainers, I don't believe they have interleaf liners (or at least non-greasable ones). The OME ones are shot-peened, incorporate primary and overload stages in the rear springs, have greaseable interleaf liners, etc. I've had both on Cruisers, I'd put the OME on anything personal moving forward. My personal opinion.

4. So you have a part number for the appropriate length/valving Tokico or KYB shock for a 2-4" suspension lift FJ40? Or are we in the engineering land of make believe? We've spent a great deal of time and effort finding Japanese manufactures of parts, bearings, seals, gaskets, birfs, etc. I'd love to have a Tokico shock to use with an FJ40 and FJ60 suspension system, we do offer the 80 and 100 Series OME springs with Tokico shocks, great combination. I'm totally with you on the quality of Tokico and KYB, I think we are the only shop importing their non-OE shocks and steering dampers, I want more applications too!

5. Another assumption. How or why does OME have more marketing costs than say the Pro-Comp you are considering? Pro-Comp is Transamerican company (think 4 Wheel Parts Wholesaler) and I suspect they (Trans) collectively spends more on marketing each week then ARBUSA does in a year. I'm not going to claim that as a "fact" (please share your data) but that's my gut working with both companies and being in the industry for quite some time. Interesting you feel ARB/OME spends so much on marketing, particularly in the US. Where may I ask are you seeing this marketing? I've never seen an Old Man Emu advertisement outside of old school mag articles, hell I'd personally like to see them do much more. Pro-Comp on the other hand has print and social media advertising, trophy truck(s), etc.
 
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@cruiseroutfit

1. Does the OME damper work? Sure it does! The stock damper provides additional movement over the OME damper, period. My point was to point this out as a comparison for the OP. You mention that the OME damper can move some but you didn't elaborate on the specifics... It has a rubber bushing, this rubber bushing must deflect for the displacement to occur (Just like a spring), engineer or not we can all agree on that. The force required to displace that bushing is transmitted back through the mount of the damper. Whether or not it has any noticeable effect to your customer, or the owner of the truck is irrelevant, the force is still there. Is it enough to break the mount? No. If you remember your HCF equations you will remember that it's possible this stress is such that the bracket will provide infinite life. This is simply a case where ARB engineers found a place to cut a corner. That's all I am saying. I would equate this interchange situation to the poor soul who walks into a modern parts house and asks for 90W GL-4, they of course don't have any are sold an 85W-90 GL-5. Will it lubricate their Landcruiser transmission? SURE! Is it correct, NO!

2. Again, as an engineer you must remember that dash pots are velocity sensitive devices. More damping means more resistance at a given velocity. Back to our good old OEM damper bracket more damping means more stress on this bracket. High cycle fatigue again too, were getting closer to the fatigue limit all the time...

3. On a cruiser NO. Other applications YES. For the OP, get what you think is the best and get the best you can afford.

4. Monroe shocks are garbage, period. No there are no extended length Tokico or KYB dampers that I know of.

5. My marketing comment was based on yours... "Perhaps they have some good marketing at current". Regardless of how much one company does over the other, the expense is passed on to the customer. I do see ARB, Pro comp and all sorts of advertisements all the time, all online though. Undoubtedly part of the communist google algorithm of brainwashing and spying. I wouldn't know if they had anything on TV because I haven't had TV service, nor watched the filth in about 15 years. What you really got to watch out for is those Cruiser Outfitters advertisements. Those things follow you around...
20210411_084222.jpg


Kurt, if it makes you feel better I did get a quote for an OME kit (minus all monroe shocks, including the damper) through you a few weeks back. Hell I still might even buy the OME springs and shackles through you. I wish you were a little closer though, I'm not so sure I can afford the shipping on those things. :rofl:




Here is an example of an OME shackle issue...
 
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I’ve seen a few threads, and some people upgrade from 2.5 to 4, others go from 4 to 2.5. I’m going to go straight to 4. Someone on one of my threads about lift options claimed that their 4 inch skyjacker had a better ride than their OME kit that they replaced. Skyjacker 4 inch is what I’m doing. Seems very durable and not stiff based on what other people said. I think @rkymtnflyfisher said he installed his kit in 2004. Good durability I think
 

rkymtnflyfisher

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I’ve seen a few threads, and some people upgrade from 2.5 to 4, others go from 4 to 2.5. I’m going to go straight to 4. Someone on one of my threads about lift options claimed that their 4 inch skyjacker had a better ride than their OME kit that they replaced. Skyjacker 4 inch is what I’m doing. Seems very durable and not stiff based on what other people said. I think @rkymtnflyfisher said he installed his kit in 2004. Good durability I think
Mine had the lift on it when I bought the bucket of shiny rust in 2011. After I rebuilt the whole rig and added a few things I had to replace the shackles to get better flex and to keep the springs from bottoming out on the rear spring perch.
 
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Skyjacker quiet ride 4” lift, Bilstien 5100’s on 33-12-50-15 and in heaven. Stay away from any spring that’s tightly wrapped so the springs act like a pack and are not progressive. They will be stiff for ever. Been there and done that, tossed a set of afterm armed military wrapped springs due to the terrible ride. Also stay away from too long of shackles, 1 inch extended for my 4 inch lift is perfect IMO. Bettendorf lift you want from springs not shackles, been there too 😂
 

merbesfield

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I went w OME 2.5” Medium and I think my truck rides like a tractor. I was really expecting an improved ride and honestly I think it rides like 💩. Would love to get a better ride. Is it the shocks or the leaf springs?
 

DSRTRDR

I can mangle anything ...
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4" Skyjacker, 33x10.5 rubber, Bilstien shocks.

Rides better than my Tahoe on rough roads.

View attachment 2639774
that's what I had for the longest time (is 10 years enough ?) - except that my shocks came from Bilstein (the town is close to where I grew up, so proper spelling is important to me :p)

I now run 315s, but I kept the other ingredients the same
 
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