How to choose a suspension (1 Viewer)

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Hi all - After two years of ownership and most of the big PM pieces done, I'm ready to replace the stock, sagging suspension. The shocks aren't absorbing much these days. I'm not sure how to approach it so asking for advice and any "while you're in there" suggestions - steering dampener, alignment, etc.

I've read most of and continue to look through the Compiled 80 Suspension Spec Thread and also thought Qball's Spring Selection Thread was helpful. Wasn't there one where people posted photos with their suspension/tire setup? Or was that a look at my tire/wheel combo thread? I've also seen that we have a vendor from Dobinson's on the board which seems helpful but not sure about the other suppliers.

Current Setup
  • Stock suspension, BFG K02 LT265/70R17
  • Front - ARB Deluxe but without a winch
  • Back - Removed 3rd row seats, adding a spare in the stock location now that I've found a matching fifth wheel

Future Plans
  • Tires - When the current tires go out, I'll go back to stock rims (always on the hunt to collect five of these in good condition) and I think the largest tire I'd put on is a 285 (famous last words)
  • Front - ARB Deluxe, no winch
  • Back - Simple drawer/platform system which will usually stay unloaded except for tools. Probably building this myself. Will likely add a small water reservoir system, 5 gallons or so.
Further in the future: Roof rack

Uses
* 98% paved roads and highway
* 2% camping, forest roads, getting to trails only accessible from old washed out roads (let's bump this number up!)

* I want to do more exploration and overlanding. When we go camping, right now it's not an overly heavy setup. Just a cooler, stove and a bin of stuff plus tents/chairs/misc. More often than not it's a day trip so even less stuff.

Suspension Goals
  1. Height: close to stock, maybe just a little higher (looking at pictures of rigs but sometimes it's hard to tell)
  2. Sits pretty close to level
  3. Comfortable ride for its main use which is on paved roads but capable off the road (gravel, forest roads, overlanding, camping) without getting into rock crawling/wheeling or muddin' as it were in Texas when I first set a goal of owning an LC years ago.
  4. Accommodates the extra weight up front and can accommodate more weight in the rear on occasion (long trips) but still feels great unloaded (with just the drawers/some tools/spare)
I've rambled as usual but please point me to any other great threads and please help me choose! I would love to get the suspension and steering (haven't rebuilt knuckles yet) dialed in within the next few weeks so I can enjoy the end of summer and get a few more things done before winter starts.

Let me know if I can add anything else, I tried to write it in a way that would be helpful for others considering the same.
 

KennyBob

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Based on your plans/needs I think you'd really like the OME stock height springs with new OEM Toyota shocks. The springs give a tiny bit of lift and the ride is reasonably good in my opinion. Additionally, the front springs are actually considered heavies and the rears mediums. And both sets are dual rate springs that increase spring rate with more weight.
 
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Joined
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Based on your plans/needs I think you'd really like the OME stock height springs with new OEM Toyota shocks. The springs give a tiny bit of lift and the ride is reasonably good in my opinion. Additionally, the front springs are actually considered heavies and the rears mediums. And both sets are dual rate springs that increase spring rate with more weight.
That's one of the options I was thinking about. Are the OEM Toyota shocks more of a cost-saving measure or do they result in a more comfortable ride?

I'm still learning about suspension components but did the Suspension Selector on OME's site and they suggested a range of full kits that included shocks based on the load. Not sure what all counts for estimating load, just extra stuff in the front or back or passengers as well? I'm sure there's a thread on it somewhere.

OME and Dobinsons both make "stock height" kits that will suit your needs.
Thanks to you both - reading about the stock height kits now. Any pictures or links to real-world experience would be helpful
 
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I replaced my tired springs with OME stock height with 10mm spacers all around. Got about an inch and a half of lift. Ride improved considerably. Also have the OME Nitro shocks and steering stabilizer. It does ride firmer than with the original set up. I'm usually on just BLM and Forest service roads so not into rock crawling. I'm also on 285 BFG KO2S. This setup has been great so far. I'm getting ready to drop the Tcase down and replace the high gear with an underdrive gear set to gain some gearing back after going to larger tires.

IMG_20200527_181320414_HDR.jpg


IMG_20200527_181432775_HDR.jpg


IMG_20200528_121307547_HDR.jpg
 
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I replaced my tired springs with OME stock height with 10mm spacers all around. Got about an inch and a half of lift. Ride improved considerably. Also have the OME Nitro shocks and steering stabilizer. It does ride firmer than with the original set up. I'm usually on just BLM and Forest service roads so not into rock crawling. I'm also on 285 BFG KO2S. This setup has been great so far. I'm getting ready to drop the Tcase down and replace the high gear with an underdrive gear set to gain some gearing back after going to larger tires.

That is a beautiful truck (have always liked the white) and sounds similar to what I'm after. Are you pretty happy with the ride on paved roads around town or highway?

I'm seeing the OME's referred to in various different terms and part numbers but it looks like the kit they recommend with a front bumper (EK1302B1) results in a 50mm lift so perhaps around the same as yours. Thanks for chiming in. I didn't think about re-gearing after moving to 285's but they look really great! I've been happy in the brief time with my K02 265's and will keep them on until it's time for something new (about to buy a 5th for spare actually).
 

KennyBob

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That's one of the options I was thinking about. Are the OEM Toyota shocks more of a cost-saving measure or do they result in a more comfortable ride?

I'm still learning about suspension components but did the Suspension Selector on OME's site and they suggested a range of full kits that included shocks based on the load. Not sure what all counts for estimating load, just extra stuff in the front or back or passengers as well? I'm sure there's a thread on it somewhere.


Thanks to you both - reading about the stock height kits now. Any pictures or links to real-world experience would be helpful

No problem. I'm not sure the oem shocks save you any money. They just ride a little less harshly than the OME from what I hear. I have the setup I described plus 10mm spacers. No complaints so far. My previous 80 had the ironman4x4 "performance" 50mm suspension kit which netted me about 3" over old worn out springs. It had similar nitro shocks to OME and the ride was harsher than my current setup.
 
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FWIW...
You might consider new OEM bushings for a 'complete' suspension components upgrade, as well as the new shocks and coils. I was amazed at how much more enjoyable the overall ride improved from just having the new shocks and coils on mine.
 
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FWIW...
You might consider new OEM bushings for a 'complete' suspension components upgrade, as well as the new shocks and coils. I was amazed at how much more enjoyable the overall ride improved from just having the new shocks and coils on mine.
Great point...what setup did you end up going with?

I think there's a member who sold a complete kit of OEM bushings but remember it being $$...I think OEM shocks may come with new bushings but will have to check.
 

MrMikeyG

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Hey. I went with the new OEM (Tokico) shocks, and the Dobinsons progressive rate slightly heavy stock height springs. I'm pretty happy with the overall ride. I'm still running stock alloys (16") and I just got 285/75/16 tires put on. I have an ARB with winch up front, a spare tire carrier out back, and I may do some basic drawers. I can't find my paperwork to verify which springs I went with, I thought I had accounted for a bit of extra weight, but I'm not seeing the right thing on Dobinsons web site right now.
 
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Hey. I went with the new OEM (Tokico) shocks, and the Dobinsons progressive rate slightly heavy stock height springs. I'm pretty happy with the overall ride. I'm still running stock alloys (16") and I just got 285/75/16 tires put on. I have an ARB with winch up front, a spare tire carrier out back, and I may do some basic drawers. I can't find my paperwork to verify which springs I went with, I thought I had accounted for a bit of extra weight, but I'm not seeing the right thing on Dobinsons web site right now.
Thanks - that sounds like another option to look into. I need to spend a little more time understanding the Dobinsons coils. Do you have a thread with pictures of the setup? Just wondering how it sits with all those additions.
 

retrofive

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Thanks - that sounds like another option to look into. I need to spend a little more time understanding the Dobinsons coils. Do you have a thread with pictures of the setup? Just wondering how it sits with all those additions.
Hit up @crikeymike or @GW Nugget

 
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Hit up @crikeymike or @GW Nugget

Thanks - I got connected with Mike! And have definitely read through that entire thread so thanks to @GW Nugget for compiling it.

We have a lot of good options for the 80, the hard part is deciding. For me, I've toyed with getting rid of the ARB front that came with the truck which opens up the Dobinson variable rate coil options. At the same time the dual rate nature of the OME 2861 is compelling.

These components are harder for hobbyists to trial and error with so the forum is really invaluable with all the research, opinions, and pictures. Trucks and even mods have specs (height, weight, etc.)...but things like usage and ride quality is super subjective and that's where it gets a bit difficult and is helpful to talk about.

I don't mind the truck feel of an 80 but I want to fix the sag and be able to load up the back on occasion. Right now even the smallest bump during city driving is a big rattle, I'd like to eat those up but don't need super quiet comfort either. It looks like there are a couple good coil options, now the attention turns towards shocks and whether OEM Tokico's would be fine on and off road or whether it's worth the extra $ for an upgrade. I like that the Tokico's include OEM rubber bushings and only $200 for the set.
 

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