Dobinsons 100 Series Suspension options - full breakdown (3 Viewers)

crikeymike

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@crikeymike

Do we know where Dobinsons manufacturers/sources these shocks from? Also are they progressive or digressive?

Thanks!
Dobinsons knows the answer to that but they don't share it. They're all designed and engineered in house (Queensland), and then made exclusively for them.

The shocks are all linear valving across the whole range.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
174
Hi Mike,
I bought the C59-167’s a year ago, they work great when loaded with hitch carrier, never needed to fill the air lifts however they ride too high when empty. I replaced the 167’s with progressive C59-223v’s. Much smoother ride but getting too much body roll. Need to run 15 lbs in air lifts.
My shocks have over 200k on them so might be time to replace. :rofl:

I really liked the ride of the bilstein 4600’s on road - How do the IMS vs Nitro shocks compare for firmness? Truck is an over lander, not a rock crawler. Priority is mountain road driving with motorcycle on the back - creates oversteer condition - also like 1-2” of lift so I don’t drag the carrier.

The 167’s added about 2.5 to 3” compared to sagging springs (I actually blew out an airlift trying to keep it level). However when empty, without adjustable panhard and control arms, I can tell the rear geometry isn’t right.

Obviously need to address the old shocks. Curious how GS59-782/786’s would compare to the 4600’s and IMS shocks.
167’s no air lift, TB’s up an inch:

BB250873-A184-4E5F-BEB7-6EC9D1C48552.jpeg
 

mdcoa

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Hi Mike,
I bought the C59-167’s a year ago, they work great when loaded with hitch carrier, never needed to fill the air lifts however they ride too high when empty. I replaced the 167’s with progressive C59-223v’s. Much smoother ride but getting too much body roll. Need to run 15 lbs in air lifts.
My shocks have over 200k on them so might be time to replace. :rofl:

I really liked the ride of the bilstein 4600’s on road - How do the IMS vs Nitro shocks compare for firmness? Truck is an over lander, not a rock crawler. Priority is mountain road driving with motorcycle on the back - creates oversteer condition - also like 1-2” of lift so I don’t drag the carrier.

The 167’s added about 2.5 to 3” compared to sagging springs (I actually blew out an airlift trying to keep it level). However when empty, without adjustable panhard and control arms, I can tell the rear geometry isn’t right.

Obviously need to address the old shocks. Curious how GS59-782/786’s would compare to the 4600’s and IMS shocks.
167’s no air lift, TB’s up an inch:

View attachment 2545109
I run the same rear springs—C59-223V.
Really like them—stiffer than stock but not super stiff at all. Probably going to throw some 15mm spacers on them, since they’re only a nominal 10mm lift for a 100. And going to add airbags for when we’re loaded down for camping (pretty much GVWR with a family of 5....). Don’t want to go with anything stiffer since i suspect it’d affect unladen handling negatively.

Running them with the Dobinsons yellow shocks in the rear, for now...just upgraded my fronts to the fancy new not-remote reservoir shocks and really like ‘em.....
 
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I run the same rear springs—C59-223V.
Really like them—stiffer than stock but not super stiff at all. Probably going to throw some 15mm spacers on them, since they’re only a nominal 10mm lift for a 100. And going to add airbags for when we’re loaded down for camping (pretty much GVWR with a family of 5....). Don’t want to go with anything stiffer since i suspect it’d affect unladen handling negatively.

Running them with the Dobinsons yellow shocks in the rear, for now...just upgraded my fronts to the fancy new not-remote reservoir shocks and really like ‘em.....
Thank for the comments — The 167’s (and I assume 169’s) are pretty stiff - compounding the problem is when empty I have no seats, just 50#’s of tools. 167’s ride nicely with the bike on bike (about 380 lbs total) and keeps the rear up. The 223v’s take the harshness out when empty, but need air lift’s to get level with bike. Airlift honored the lifetime warranty and replaced blown bag.
 

OwnerCS

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Thank for the comments — The 167’s (and I assume 169’s) are pretty stiff - compounding the problem is when empty I have no seats, just 50#’s of tools. 167’s ride nicely with the bike on bike (about 380 lbs total) and keeps the rear up. The 223v’s take the harshness out when empty, but need air lift’s to get level with bike. Airlift honored the lifetime warranty and replaced blown bag.

I'm running Dobbinsons C59-171 rear springs OEM HD torsion bars, IMS shocks 2"+ front lift and 3" rear. Trail Tailor extended SB links. Wheelers bumps in the front.

I have ARB (f) and Dobinsons (r) bumpers with fully loaded WKOR sliders and a winch. I have a Dobinsons aluminum box to go in the rear after I add some sound deadening.

Wheels are SCS F5 (wider stance) with 285/75/16 Cooper Discover MTP mud tires with 3-ply sidewalls. I'm finding like the 3-ply sidewalls for the ride quality. Most of my OR driving will be swimming through creeks or mud. Any rock crawling would be at a local OR park for an "on the rocks" posing shot. Not my real world.

I'm happy with the ride quality. I was surprised at how well it rides and now fear touching because I don't want to ruin it. An interesting predicament to be in for sure.

It's hard to make a comparison about ride quality since this is the only 100 series that I have driven for any distance. It does have all new bushings, tie rod ends, rack, ball joints, SPC UCA in the front. The rear will soon receive all new control arms and any other bushing involved with the suspension and Timbren bumps. I scratching my head to think about what hasn't been replaced.

Making an imaginary comparison, I suspect it rides and drives like a new 1999 LC. with maybe a touch of sport. It does remind me of driving it with AHC on the setting between normal and sport. The new rear springs and TT SB extended links tightened up the rear suspension a bit. It can take corners with minimum body roll considering I'm driving a tank. I may install the heavier LC sway bars at some point after I finish adding load. But right now I think the flex is just right and may contribute to the nice ride. Going back to one of my last comments, it rides well and I don't want to touch it without reason.

Based on my personal and family (sons) observations I can tell you it has a more comfortable ride for a long trip than the following vehicles.

2000 Land Cruiser with OME shocks and lift. It was a budget build by a buddy.
1999 Tacoma (all-new suspension like above) with Bilstein 5100s.
2015 Titan Pro4x with Bilstein 4600s.
1998-1999 Nissan Maximas (Koni Orange Sport RT) struts with H&R lowering springs.

Here's the real kick. On the highway on a trip within speed limits, and for general handling, it rides better than a 1991 Q45 with a new suspension and Tokico Blues with SBs and some suspension tweaks from the active suspension model. I actually had some active suspension experience before AHC. Both systems have some nice touches.

It works like a truck and rides like a car. But what car is the question? Ha! :geek:


For a person who is very old, I do have a sense of humor. I like to have fun with new modern conveniences. One of my first cars as a young teen was a 1959 Cadillac with a factory air ride suspension. I got it for pocket change because nobody would have anything to do with an airbag suspension back in 1971 -- especially on a car that was over 10 years old.. Oh heaven, forbid that. That may have started my fondness (or lack of fear of) for buying unusual cars that most people fear because they were different from the norm. Ha!

1609939756365.png
 
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crikeymike

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Thank for the comments — The 167’s (and I assume 169’s) are pretty stiff - compounding the problem is when empty I have no seats, just 50#’s of tools. 167’s ride nicely with the bike on bike (about 380 lbs total) and keeps the rear up. The 223v’s take the harshness out when empty, but need air lift’s to get level with bike. Airlift honored the lifetime warranty and replaced blown bag.
I wouldn't say they're stiff at all, the spring rate is quite low for a large vehicle. Could have been your shocks perhaps?

The C59-167 and C59-169 both have the same spring rate, 227LBF/IN. That's the same rate the back of my 5th gen 4runner uses, within a few LBS.

The C59-171 on the other hand are 328LF/IN, now that's a beefy/strong spring rate.
 

crikeymike

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Hi Mike,
I bought the C59-167’s a year ago, they work great when loaded with hitch carrier, never needed to fill the air lifts however they ride too high when empty. I replaced the 167’s with progressive C59-223v’s. Much smoother ride but getting too much body roll. Need to run 15 lbs in air lifts.
My shocks have over 200k on them so might be time to replace. :rofl:

I really liked the ride of the bilstein 4600’s on road - How do the IMS vs Nitro shocks compare for firmness? Truck is an over lander, not a rock crawler. Priority is mountain road driving with motorcycle on the back - creates oversteer condition - also like 1-2” of lift so I don’t drag the carrier.

The 167’s added about 2.5 to 3” compared to sagging springs (I actually blew out an airlift trying to keep it level). However when empty, without adjustable panhard and control arms, I can tell the rear geometry isn’t right.

Obviously need to address the old shocks. Curious how GS59-782/786’s would compare to the 4600’s and IMS shocks.
167’s no air lift, TB’s up an inch:
I missed your message there.

Bilstein 4600's with 200K miles on them???? No wonder you're complaining about ride quality!! Those are entry level shocks, I'd say not nearly as good as stock Toyota shocks even. They put those on Tacoma's, and on the Tacoma, they're trash. Really not good at all.

Dobinsons vs OME twin tubes, Dobinsons are softer, more comfortable, and larger bodies too.
Dobinsons IMS vs OME? they have nothing in that range to compare it to, they don't offer a monotube.

There are lots of other guys in this thread now running the IMS that have given or can give you their feedback and a lot of them have also tried different brands too and can give a reference to them, if they haven't already. I know I've read guys reviews these past few months on them.

The IMS have 50% bigger pistons, more oil, an IFP (internal floating piston) and are overall a much higher quality and better performing shock than the standard twin tubes. They'll be superior on the road and off, no doubt about it. But also, the twin tubes give excellent on road ride quality and I sell those all the time to guys taking off firmer OME shocks or other brands and looking for something more comfortable.

You don't need 786's up front, you're not lifted much. Those are for 2"+ lifts only.
 

crikeymike

Exit Offroad - Dobinsons Specialist
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I'm running Dobbinsons C59-171 rear springs OEM HD torsion bars, IMS shocks 2"+ front lift and 3" rear. Trail Tailor extended SB links. Wheelers bumps in the front.

I have ARB (f) and Dobinsons (r) bumpers with fully loaded WKOR sliders and a winch. I have a Dobinsons aluminum box to go in the rear after I add some sound deadening.

Wheels are SCS F5 (wider stance) with 285/75/16 Cooper Discover MTP mud tires with 3-ply sidewalls. I'm finding like the 3-ply sidewalls for the ride quality. Most of my OR driving will be swimming through creeks or mud. Any rock crawling would be at a local OR park for an "on the rocks" posing shot. Not my real world.

I'm happy with the ride quality. I was surprised at how well it rides and now fear touching because I don't want to ruin it. An interesting predicament to be in for sure.

It's hard to make a comparison about ride quality since this is the only 100 series that I have driven for any distance. It does have all new bushings, tie rod ends, rack, ball joints, SPC UCA in the front. The rear will soon receive all new control arms and any other bushing involved with the suspension and Timbren bumps. I scratching my head to think about what hasn't been replaced.

Making an imaginary comparison, I suspect it rides and drives like a new 1999 LC. with maybe a touch of sport. It does remind me of driving it with AHC on the setting between normal and sport. The new rear springs and TT SB extended links tightened up the rear suspension a bit. It can take corners with minimum body roll considering I'm driving a tank. I may install the heavier LC sway bars at some point after I finish adding load. But right now I think the flex is just right and may contribute to the nice ride. Going back to one of my last comments, it rides well and I don't want to touch it without reason.

Based on my personal and family (sons) observations I can tell you it has a more comfortable ride for a long trip than the following vehicles.

2000 Land Cruiser with OME shocks and lift. It was a budget build by a buddy.
1999 Tacoma (all-new suspension like above) with Bilstein 5100s.
2015 Titan Pro4x with Bilstein 4600s.
1998-1999 Nissan Maximas (Koni Orange Sport RT) struts with H&R lowering springs.

Here's the real kick. On the highway on a trip within speed limits, and for general handling, it rides better than a 1991 Q45 with a new suspension and Tokico Blues with SBs and some suspension tweaks from the active suspension model. I actually had some active suspension experience before AHC. Both systems have some nice touches.

It works like a truck and rides like a car. But what car is the question? Ha! :geek:


For a person who is very old, I do have a sense of humor. I like to have fun with new modern conveniences. One of my first cars as a young teen was a 1959 Cadillac with a factory air ride suspension. I got it for pocket change because nobody would have anything to do with an airbag suspension back in 1971 -- especially on a car that was over 10 years old.. Oh heaven, forbid that. That may have started my fondness (or lack of fear of) for buying unusual cars that most people fear because they were different from the norm. Ha!

View attachment 2545570
That's a very thorough review!! Amazing that your cruiser rides better than the car!! I feel spoiled when I get into someone else's car now and then remember what it's like to be in a normal vehicle. haha
 
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Messages
174
Going to delete my posts - my application is not typical. Don’t want to take up the conversation. The digressive shocks work for me, but many don’t liked. I do recommend the Dobinson’s 223v’s for a little bit of lift (1-1.5”) for stock-weight with comfortable ride.

D3D0AFAE-D532-4532-A6DA-FC39DF095869.png


Thanks!
To be honest the 200k is mostly interstate miles on the 4600’s. I have completely ruled out the OME’s. I’m not familiar with how these shocks work, but using motorcycle terms, (typically 4-way adjustable - high/low speed compression/rebound) I would guess the OME’s are built too firm on high speed compression. With extra weight on the back, I would prefer a firm low speed (compression/rebound) shock, while milder on high speed hits. Less body roll / dives but will absorb hits (potholes/rocks).
Not sure if that makes sense - looking for something that is ‘firm’ but not ‘harsh’ - which is attainable with motorcycle shocks (and forks).
I will say the 4600’s over the last 10k have become junk. For on-road I preferred them to the OEM’s the Toyota’s felt too soft, but at 80k, might have been shot. (300k on truck now, I have had it for 16 years). The truck is used mostly on-road or gravel/forest roads. For off-road/Jeep trails/single track - that’s for the bike.

The stiffness is fine with some weight in it - maybe it just sits too high (with stock panhard rod and control arms). Feels like the axle is moving left/right and rear wiggles in rough road. With the motorcycle on the hitch carrier, that effect is gone, 167’s are perfect. When ‘empty’ (no seats) it rides at about 23” center to fender. I know the 167’s and 169’s have the same rate, only difference is length. The 223v’s have a very comfortable ride - I’m going to work with those for now (and replace shocks). My situation is a little different from typical owners - hanging 400 lbs behind the rear bumper isn’t the best idea for handling o_O — trying to find the best compromise. Thanks for the comments!
Kevin.
(I just bought a second 100, so I don’t mind swapping springs - no doubt both will be riding on teal springs)

(last comment)
I wonder if the quality of new Bilsteins have dropped - my 4600's are 15 years old. Also, if they come 'stock' on new vehicles, they are not going to be the same as over-the-counter 4600's.

I have OEM Toyotas on my other LC - the ride is perfectly fine for Florida roads. But I know they will be too soft in mountain driving. What works great offroad may not be best for my situation. --

The 167's on Tail of the Dragon :steer:

View attachment 2546309
 
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