Electronically-Controlled Adjustable Valve Suspension? - 100 Series (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
I'm researching my options to install after-market suspension on my 2004 LC with original suspension, and wanting to find a manufacturer (if one exist) that offers electronic or in-vehicle/on-dash adjustment for valve fluid resistance, OR a system that is so compelling off-road, and also on-road, that I don't need valve adjustability.

Along with my stock suspension, I have 20" Black Rhino wheels and 275/55 Pirelli Scorpion ATR+ tires, both of which gave me about 1.5" body lift already. I realize this is not an ideal setup for off-roading.

Next year, this LC is going to drive South America from Patagonia up to Columbia. I'm not the 'bouldering' type, but I overland and adventure quite a lot on s***ty roads and want:

1) A better quality ride over corrugations and dirt/un-improved roads at 20-40mph
2) 1-2" additional lift over my wheel body lift
3) Maintain handling/cornering on freeway at 90mph, and in Portland dodging annoying protesters.

My vehicle 'weight' plan after all my planned "overland" adjustments will add:
  • 40 gallon replacement Long Range tank (+280lbs. full)
  • ARB or similar 11" left/right roller drawers (??? lbs.)
  • 60qt cooler on tilting slider, 10 gallons water (??? lbs.)
  • Camping gear and personal items (200 lbs.)
  • iKamper Skycamp 2.0 tent (160 lbs.)
  • Hidden winch in OEM bumper (??? lbs.)
  • My cat (10 lbs.)
  • My wife and I (380lbs.)
  • A s*** load of boxed red wine and black licorice (??? lbs.)
Icon offers CDC valve adjustment for their Stage 3 suspension, but requires manual adjustment in each wheel well. If someone feels I can have everything above w/o adjustable valves, then by all means, let me know what suspension you'd recommend that gives substantial ALL-AROUND performance, plus maintains high-speed freeway and city cornering/handling.

Can wait to hear what you all know.
 
Last edited:

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,440
Location
Colorado
My LC with TD foam cells (with manual adjustable rears) has been an improvement over OEM and OME.

There are smoother vehicles out there for washboards, especially platforms for modification - but after a few minutes in an 80 I'm getting back in the 100 asap.

How committed are you to the 100 platform for what you're wanting to accomplish?
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
Ok. Washboard roads tend to give all Hundys issues without serious suspension modification. I'm watching this thread to learn.
Right on. Yeah, any high-quality aftermarket suspension should reduce washboard rattle-factor, some better than others
My LC with TD foam cells (with manual adjustable rears) has been an improvement over OEM and OME.

There are smoother vehicles out there for washboards, especially platforms for modification - but after a few minutes in an 80 I'm getting back in the 100 asap.

How committed are you to the 100 platform for what you're wanting to accomplish?
I've owned this truck for 15 years. I would like to be buried in it. Very committed.
 

uHu

Bridgeburner
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
2,061
Location
Oslo, Norway
AHC is really good on washboards. Just put it in super comfy and the washboards "disappear". The system has to be in good shape tho' with the pressures in spec and the height sensors in perfect condition. The input from the height sensors is used to tell the ahc ecu the condition of the road, and adjust the 16 step (each way) adjustable valving accordingly, continuously. One sloppy ball joint on a sensor link, or one misaligned sensor, will make the ecu misread the road.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,440
Location
Colorado
Some ideas based on your current setup:

1. Try a smaller diameter wheel for more sidewall. I tried a set of 18" Tundra wheels for awhile and going back to my stock 16s was a dramatic improvement. Someone in your local club might swap with you for a week just to try something different.

2. Foam cell shocks for me have been an improvement in dampening and don't fatigue like others did. I have the TDs adjustable in the rear and 54mm in front. I'd like to go to the 46s in front as its a little more dampening than needed. There are much more advanced and more expensive options like the ikons which are likely to be even better. I rode in a vehicle with slee shocks and was very impressed.

3. I'm sure you've played with tire pressure, but more sidewall would help and running 25psi on 33s on washboard is a massive improvement.

4. If you are on stock control arm bushings, I found replacing mine with new soft OEM bushings did help take the edge off of washboard vibes.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
Some ideas based on your current setup:

1. Try a smaller diameter wheel for more sidewall. I tried a set of 18" Tundra wheels for awhile and going back to my stock 16s was a dramatic improvement. Someone in your local club might swap with you for a week just to try something different.

2. Foam cell shocks for me have been an improvement in dampening and don't fatigue like others did. I have the TDs adjustable in the rear and 54mm in front. I'd like to go to the 46s in front as its a little more dampening than needed. There are much more advanced and more expensive options like the ikons which are likely to be even better. I rode in a vehicle with slee shocks and was very impressed.

3. I'm sure you've played with tire pressure, but more sidewall would help and running 25psi on 33s on washboard is a massive improvement.

4. If you are on stock control arm bushings, I found replacing mine with new soft OEM bushings did help take the edge off of washboard vibes.

Appreciate the comments Alpine Access.

1. I want to keep my wheel combination. I know it's working against me, but they make me happy even rattling do death on these roads.
2. Thanks, I'll look into all that.
3. Yes, I'm usually down to 27psi on washboards, and that does help, and I will continue after suspension upgrade.
4. That's something I'm definitely going to remember and integrate into my rebuild plan with my mechanic.

My main fear is that I drop thousands on a fancy suspension, and it's only 10% better. If it's not obvious to my wife and my cat, then I'll be pissed. I know there's a manufacturer out there for my needs, I just need to find my kit.
 

suprarx7nut

The YotaMD Guy
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
3,712
Location
Colorado
Appreciate the comments Alpine Access.

1. I want to keep my wheel combination. I know it's working against me, but they make me happy even rattling do death on these roads.
2. Thanks, I'll look into all that.
3. Yes, I'm usually down to 27psi on washboards, and that does help, and I will continue after suspension upgrade.
4. That's something I'm definitely going to remember and integrate into my rebuild plan with my mechanic.

My main fear is that I drop thousands on a fancy suspension, and it's only 10% better. If it's not obvious to my wife and my cat, then I'll be pissed. I know there's a manufacturer out there for my needs, I just need to find my kit.

I think that's what you'll find. AHC would achieve what you're after. If your buddy's AHC was rattling to death, they probably need to do some maintenance on the system. I published a video recently on how to do that, if they care to look. AHC should be a dramatic improvement on washboards.

Bushings make a big difference as well. AHC will feel like crap with bad bushings (or bad globes or bad pressures, or bad height sensors, etc...), but so will any other setup. I'd prioritize bushings. All of em. Every. Single. One.

Anyways, AHC and bushings aside, those wheels and 55 profile tires are the bulk of your issue, IMO. It's going to be very difficult to overcome that wheel/tire sizing when it comes to comfort on rough roads. You need more sidewall. I'm not aware of any aftermarket variable suspension setup geared towards the large SUV market that would be significantly better than Icon or Slee.
 

Kabanstva

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,094
Location
Illinois
Appreciate the comments Alpine Access.

1. I want to keep my wheel combination. I know it's working against me, but they make me happy even rattling do death on these roads.
2. Thanks, I'll look into all that.
3. Yes, I'm usually down to 27psi on washboards, and that does help, and I will continue after suspension upgrade.
4. That's something I'm definitely going to remember and integrate into my rebuild plan with my mechanic.

My main fear is that I drop thousands on a fancy suspension, and it's only 10% better. If it's not obvious to my wife and my cat, then I'll be pissed. I know there's a manufacturer out there for my needs, I just need to find my kit.
27 pounds is not enough. air down to 15-20 and go with a smaller wheel and bigger tire if you're serious about any of this. Suspension is not the issue. 100s have a somewhat cheap and rattly interior to begin with compared to some newer trucks I've been in, so that doesn't help. Like they already said, AHC will help also but since you're not going that route, focus on your wheel and tires. Maybe get adjustable shocks? Icons or Kings set to the soft setting would help.

I say suspension is not the issue (unless of course its completely neglected and in need of serious maintenance....we are assuming it's in good working order). I've done hundreds of miles on washboards with perfectly functioning AHC and now on Icon stage 4 and in both cases, the biggest difference maker is airing down. I'd say the Icons are definitely better on washboards, but the truck overall feels stiffer and more "tight" because I have poly bushings all around and heavy springs so it feels different than AHC with rubber bushings, but the overall experience is a more controlled ride and soaks up the bigger cracks much better than stock suspension.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
I think that's what you'll find. AHC would achieve what you're after. If your buddy's AHC was rattling to death, they probably need to do some maintenance on the system. I published a video recently on how to do that, if they care to look. AHC should be a dramatic improvement on washboards.

Bushings make a big difference as well. AHC will feel like crap with bad bushings (or bad globes or bad pressures, or bad height sensors, etc...), but so will any other setup. I'd prioritize bushings. All of em. Every. Single. One.

Anyways, AHC and bushings aside, those wheels and 55 profile tires are the bulk of your issue, IMO. It's going to be very difficult to overcome that wheel/tire sizing when it comes to comfort on rough roads. You need more sidewall. I'm not aware of any aftermarket variable suspension setup geared towards the large SUV market that would be significantly better than Icon or Slee.

Thankssuprarx7nut - couple questions for you or anyone else:

1. If I abandon the concept of adjustable valves in lieu of a high quality suspension upgrade, which specific manufacturer's and set ups do you think will give me "buttery" ride quality, given my wheel preference/stubborn-ness?

2. It is possible to install Toyota OEM AHC in my 04" LC? Is that something best done at a dealer? Is it going to break the bank, or be less than a high quality (non-adjustable) after-market setup (Icon/Slee/etc.)

3. Is there anyone out there in ih8mud land who thinks in-vehicle electronic adjustment is an option/possibility for me?
 

Kabanstva

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,094
Location
Illinois
Thankssuprarx7nut - couple questions for you or anyone else:

1. If I abandon the concept of adjustable valves in lieu of a high quality suspension upgrade, which specific manufacturer's and set ups do you think will give me "buttery" ride quality, given my wheel preference/stubborn-ness?

2. It is possible to install Toyota OEM AHC in my 04" LC? Is that something best done at a dealer? Is it going to break the bank, or be less than a high quality (non-adjustable) after-market setup (Icon/Slee/etc.)

3. Is there anyone out there in ih8mud land who thinks in-vehicle electronic adjustment is an option/possibility for me?
What cars have you been in that you think have a buttery ride? I think you'll be disappointed if you think the 100 can ride like a Lexus LS or a Mercedes S550. This is an offroad vehicle, the solid rear axle always lets you know it's there because it handles way different than IRS. Then you throw on offroad tires and the ride diminishes even further.

Going AHC would definitely not make sense, the cost involved you can probably buy a super clean low mileage 100 that already has factory AHC.

Your best bet to have the smoothest ride is to buy a 100 series with AHC, make sure it's working perfectly and have some Michelin A/S tires on it or a similar AS tire. Anything else, from my experience, will ride worse.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
27 pounds is not enough. air down to 15-20 and go with a smaller wheel and bigger tire if you're serious about any of this. Suspension is not the issue. 100s have a somewhat cheap and rattly interior to begin with compared to some newer trucks I've been in, so that doesn't help. Like they already said, AHC will help also but since you're not going that route, focus on your wheel and tires. Maybe get adjustable shocks? Icons or Kings set to the soft setting would help.

I say suspension is not the issue (unless of course its completely neglected and in need of serious maintenance....we are assuming it's in good working order). I've done hundreds of miles on washboards with perfectly functioning AHC and now on Icon stage 4 and in both cases, the biggest difference maker is airing down. I'd say the Icons are definitely better on washboards, but the truck overall feels stiffer and more "tight" because I have poly bushings all around and heavy springs so it feels different than AHC with rubber bushings, but the overall experience is a more controlled ride and soaks up the bigger cracks much better than stock suspension.

Thanks Kabanstva, I appreciate your honesty. You are probably right about tire pressure, but I've also handicapped myself significantly with my 20's with respect to rock pinch, so I can't go down as far as someone with 18's, or 16's. And yes, rough roads sometimes just are rough. I've driven thousands of miles on them and I'm still alive. I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I want to keep my wheel set up. I just want my rig, as smooth as a high-quality suspension upgrade can make it.

I suppose it's possible that I am at a place where my ride is going to be as good as it's going to be... I'm ok with that. I'm not dying to waste money on suspension if it's not going to be NOTICABLY better.
 
Last edited:

Kabanstva

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,094
Location
Illinois
Thanks Kabanstva, I appreciate your honesty. You are probably right out tire pressure, but I've also handicapped myself a touch with my 20's, with respect to rock pinch, so I can't go down as far as someone with 18's. And yes, rough roads sometimes just are rough. I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I want to keep my wheel set up. I just want my rig, as smooth as a high-quality suspension upgrade can make it.

I suppose it's possible that I am at a place where my ride is going to be as good as it's going to be... I'm ok with that. I'm not dying to waste money on suspension if it's not going to be NOTICABLY better.
You'll see the biggest difference in ride quality by switching to the factory 16's with an A/S tire. My LX came with 18s from the factory. I removed those pretty much right away and put the 98-02 LX470 16's with Michelins and the ride definitely improved. I can't imagine how rough these trucks would ride on 20's. If you want smooth as possible, go with the smallest wheel and tallest tire. Handling will take a hit but it will ride softer.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Portland, Oregon
What cars have you been in that you think have a buttery ride? I think you'll be disappointed if you think the 100 can ride like a Lexus LS or a Mercedes S550. This is an offroad vehicle, the solid rear axle always lets you know it's there because it handles way different than IRS. Then you throw on offroad tires and the ride diminishes even further.

Going AHC would definitely not make sense, the cost involved you can probably buy a super clean low mileage 100 that already has factory AHC.

Your best bet to have the smoothest ride is to buy a 100 series with AHC, make sure it's working perfectly and have some Michelin A/S tires on it or a similar AS tire. Anything else, from my experience, will ride worse.

That sounds like a vote for "accept your current setup and ride quality, change your wheels, or get a different ride that is smoother." I'll be the first to admit I don't know anything about suspension, so I need frank opinions like this. All this said, the 100 Series LC, out of the factory, is a legendary vehicle that will chew up lesser vehicles with all the bells and whistles. I love this thing like it's a brother.

I'm hearing similar opinions here as I am with mechanics I'm talking to... Just wanted to get some opinions from other owners.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
1,022
Location
❄️☃️
Perhaps I can chime in here as someone with AHC and deleted it for a high end suspension from Radflo.

You either can have buttery smooth, or you can pound washboards....its either or. With your plans, you will need a very heavy sprung stiff suspension to hold all that extra weight. However, you won't be riding with that weight as a daily in Portland. You will hate your ride as it is overly stiff and every crack and bump will transmit into your cab without the suspension taking most of it in.

I had AHC, loved it but ditched it for a Radflo 2.5RR setup. About as high-end as it gets. So I traded buttery smooth-ness for being able to pound washboard roads. However, the suspension is much much harsher, and every crack I can feel in the road. I have a lot more imperfections transmitted into the cab. Sure, loaded down with weight imprves the ride 10%. Theres no static suspension out there that will provide best of both world where you will be able to carry the weight you stated you want, while having a butter smooth ride, especially unloaded.

Thus, a dynamic suspension like the AHC, the only dynamic system out there for the 100 series LX could fit your needs. Honestly if you dropped $4k into the suspension, it won't handle as good on road as if you had a refreshed stock system because its a harsher ride.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom