Dobinsons 3.5" Tapered Lift... or? (3 Viewers)

Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
30
Location
usa
I'm looking at ordering a lift kit next month, when the seasonal sales begin. Currently I am leaning towards the Dobinsons 3.5" Tapered Long Travel kit. You can check it out here:


Does anyone have this lift who would like to share some pictures? or give a review? I read up on Dobinsons, and from what I've seen it looks like their shocks and springs are widely considered to be very high quality.

Here is a couple pictures of what I got... 94', center lock only and 165000 miles.

Any advice is appreciated.
IMG_3209.jpg
IMG_3214.jpg
 

Lefty

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
63
Location
Denver, CO
I just installed the 3.5vts (heavies) on my 94 and would recommend their 3” flexis for light rigs. Even with a front bumper and winch, the variables are generating about 4” of lift up front and the same in back (that’ll drop once I add my dual swingout). As you may know, once you get into 4” lift territory there’s a chance you’re going to encounter driveline vibrations. One of my friends is running the 3” flexis and has avoided the driveline issues. I am likely going to swap out the front 3.5 VTs for the 2.5s or flexis.

I recommend reaching out to @crikeymike or David Otero. They’ll get you lined out.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
257
Location
Silverthorne, CO
I am on 35s and will be installing the 2.5vt kit with IMS shocks and all the goodies this weekend. After a week or so of driving I will post up a review.

@David Otero was super helpful with my order.

I have front and rear bumpers, sliders, RTT, and a rear drawer system. Expecting between 2.5 and 3" of lift with the 2.5" kit.
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
GOLD Star
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
6,625
Location
Battle Ground
It all depends how you plan to build and use your 80. I have run the Dobinson flexy coils as well as the tapered coils. The tapered is what I settled on back in 2017 matched with the inexpensive yellow shocks and I’m happy with them. We can vouch for Dobinson quality and customer service but ultimately you will have to decide which springs you need. Many of us have changed springs out several times before landing where we were happy. Are we ever completely happy? Here is some required reading:
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2014
Messages
69
Location
Los Angeles, CA
David Otero is the person to talk to. Amazing customer service! Love the springs I have. The ride quality is amazing. Rides like a Cadillac, laughs at speed bumps, large potholes, and anything else.
Get what I have.
Spring in sig.View attachment 2500751
Rides like a Cadillac? Niiice what springs and shock combo? Checked sig but didn't see. Went OME heavies bout a year ago and the accessories ( bumpers,winch, sliders) didn't happen as quickly as possible so my 80 is the total opposite of a Cadillac you could say. Nice rig👍
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
346
Location
Colorado
Rides like a Cadillac? Niiice what springs and shock combo? Checked sig but didn't see. Went OME heavies bout a year ago and the accessories ( bumpers,winch, sliders) didn't happen as quickly as possible so my 80 is the total opposite of a Cadillac you could say. Nice rig👍

Dobinsons C97-144VT - front C59-615V Flexi rear. Ride better than worn out stock springs. Feels like it would take jumps well too. lol
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
30
Location
usa
Thanks for the advice guys. Well, I think I'm going to cheep out a little bit and go with the 3" IMS kit, without the long travel portion. That saves me enough to get a front bumper kit and maybe a roof rack. This option raises new questions though...


With the 3" kit do I want the Variable Rate Flexi coils? Front & rear?

The options for shocks include the 4" lift shock with the Flexi coils, why would that be? I could go with the Linear Rate coils, but the Flexi Variable Rate coils are only $100 more, is there an advantage to getting them?

The 3" kit includes castor correction bushings, front sway bar extensions and rear LSPV extensions. Will I have any issues with the stock panhard rods or break lines?

3 - in felxi coils.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
257
Location
Silverthorne, CO
Thanks for the advice guys. Well, I think I'm going to cheep out a little bit and go with the 3" IMS kit, without the long travel portion. That saves me enough to get a front bumper kit and maybe a roof rack. This option raises new questions though...


With the 3" kit do I want the Variable Rate Flexi coils? Front & rear?

The options for shocks include the 4" lift shock with the Flexi coils, why would that be? I could go with the Linear Rate coils, but the Flexi Variable Rate coils are only $100 more, is there an advantage to getting them?

The 3" kit includes castor correction bushings, front sway bar extensions and rear LSPV extensions. Will I have any issues with the stock panhard rods or break lines?

View attachment 2504865

I would send David Attero at Dobinsons a PM. I ordered parts and had to ship them back since they were not correct. They have tons of suspension offerings and he will be able to help you out.

Flexi coils offer more travel and you will need a longer shock to take advantage.

I dont think you will regret the IMS shocks. I can't comment on the dobinsons yellows but the IMS are amazing compared to the OME.

I think the biggest suspension tip is to plan it out with the final build in mind. Don't be a dork like me and waste money changing it out.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Grand Junction, CO
I am running the 2.5" VT up front and I'm getting almost 4" of lift with a winch up front. I am having front driveshaft issues. The 3" VT rear is slighlty higher.

I would recommend the 6" shocks with the VT springs to get the most out of the springs. I'm running the L version of the BP-51s 4" shocks and it is not using the full capability of the 2.5" VT spring.

With the 2.5 VT front and 3" rear, I had to do caster bushings, rear panhard lift, and slee weld in pan hard adjuster in the front. I am also running a Whiteline HD rear sway bar and I'm upgrading the front sway bar shortly.

Without the caster correction I had death wobble and the caster was at 3.5 degrees, and without the rear sway, it was really tippy in the corners and handled very poorly.

Full write up:
Lift options: Tapered Spring or not

Don't forget you need swaybar drops front and rear, along with extended brake lines, and extended breather lines.

You can make the rear bump stop drop, and front sway bar drop with some thick 2x2 square tube and cut to length and drill holes.

Oh, and don't buy new brackets for your rear sway bar drop. You need to upgrade the links anyways, so buy the landtank extended links:
80/100 Series Heavy Duty Rear Extended Swaybar Links
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
257
Location
Silverthorne, CO
I am running the 2.5" VT up front and I'm getting almost 4" of lift with a winch up front. I am having front driveshaft issues. The 3" VT rear is slighlty higher.

I would recommend the 6" shocks with the VT springs to get the most out of the springs. I'm running the L version of the BP-51s 4" shocks and it is not using the full capability of the 2.5" VT spring.

With the 2.5 VT front and 3" rear, I had to do caster bushings, rear panhard lift, and slee weld in pan hard adjuster in the front. I am also running a Whiteline HD rear sway bar and I'm upgrading the front sway bar shortly.

Without the caster correction I had death wobble and the caster was at 3.5 degrees, and without the rear sway, it was really tippy in the corners and handled very poorly.

Full write up:
Lift options: Tapered Spring or not

Don't forget you need swaybar drops front and rear, along with extended brake lines, and extended breather lines.

You can make the rear bump stop drop, and front sway bar drop with some thick 2x2 square tube and cut to length and drill holes.

Oh, and don't buy new brackets for your rear sway bar drop. You need to upgrade the links anyways, so buy the landtank extended links:
80/100 Series Heavy Duty Rear Extended Swaybar Links

Very interesting.

I just installed the 146vt and 147vt advertised to me as 2.5" springs for use with the 4" shock for maximum travel. I went with the IMS shocks over the regular yellow so perhaps travel is different from the general lift height number.

I just measured after 45 miles on the springs and I am seeing 23" front and rear hub to fender.

Tube bumper and winch up front. Double swingout and drawers in the rear.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
30
Location
usa
Very interesting.

I just installed the 146vt and 147vt advertised to me as 2.5" springs for use with the 4" shock for maximum travel. I went with the IMS shocks over the regular yellow so perhaps travel is different from the general lift height number.

I just measured after 45 miles on the springs and I am seeing 23" front and rear hub to fender.

Tube bumper and winch up front. Double swingout and drawers in the rear.

Would you say the 2.5" resulted in about 2.5" of lift? Since I'm leaning toward not replacing the panhard rods, at least not at this point, I don't want to get so much lift that I end up needing them right away. How does your rig handle on the road? Can you post a picture of your rig?

Thanks for the info! Once I get the lift I'll start a thread for the installation.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
257
Location
Silverthorne, CO
Would you say the 2.5" resulted in about 2.5" of lift? Since I'm leaning toward not replacing the panhard rods, at least not at this point, I don't want to get so much lift that I end up needing them right away. How does your rig handle on the road? Can you post a picture of your rig?

Thanks for the info! Once I get the lift I'll start a thread for the installation.

20201123_081015.jpg


That is how it is currently sitting with a fresh install. In its natural habitat at the gas pump.

I think the lift height numbers Dobinsons advertises are for a fully loaded expedition rig. The folks in OZ tend to throw a lot more weight into theirs.

For example in that photo the rear is sitting just under 3" of lift with a 4x4 labs rear, some gear in the back, the RTT, and a drawer system loaded with all of my tools. My rig is about 5700 lbs with two passengers and no camping gear.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
30
Location
usa
View attachment 2505339

That is how it is currently sitting with a fresh install. In its natural habitat at the gas pump.

I think the lift height numbers Dobinsons advertises are for a fully loaded expedition rig. The folks in OZ tend to throw a lot more weight into theirs.

For example in that photo the rear is sitting just under 3" of lift with a 4x4 labs rear, some gear in the back, the RTT, and a drawer system loaded with all of my tools. My rig is about 5700 lbs with two passengers and no camping gear.

That's a badass rig, and exactly what I'm going for, not too big, just big enough. Thanks again!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom