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Shocks/suspention questions

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by fish2live, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. fish2live

    fish2live

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    After doing some searching and reading several threads I have the following questions on shocks and suspension - I think it might be nice to have it all in one place for other Newbie's as well instead of lots of searching. (I FEAR the thread cat :eek: )

    I need new shocks on my stock height 2003 100 (60K miles), I'd sure prefer a slightly to moderately stiffer ride than the stock ones, without being TOO stiff or harsh. And I also need to load carrying capabilities as well. I don't need/want a full lift but I wouldn't mind a very slight lift (1/2" to 1" max) if it can be achieved by shocks/tweaking t-bars/packer combo or something.
    Usage -
    90% on-road but with some moderate loads on occasion (400-700 pounds or so)
    10% off-road (weekends getting to fishing holes,camping etc), mostly mild roads but some moderate trails as well.

    I think I see the 2 best options of shocks being Bilstein HD or OME Firm Valve.

    Would love your input on the following:

    Using a scale of 1-10 (1 being super soft, 10 being rock hard) my rough guess is that the stock shocks are about a 3 or so.
    How would you rate the Bilstein HD's and the OME Firm comparatively?
    Will either of those shock choices give a very slight lift on their own?
    Which ones would be better for carrying a load of about 400-700 pounds and help eliminate the backend sagging too much?
    How about on-road ride quality, which ones are better?

    OME Rear Coil spring packers - are they going to be more helpful for a slight lift or to help with eliminating a sag under load - or both? What "lift" or sag prevention will the 5mm vs. 10mm get me?

    I want to keep this low cost as well - of course!! :)

    I JUST got some new 275/65/18 REVO's as well, if that matters at all.

    Thanks again all, I just CAN'T made a damn decision on ANYTHING I buy without input from the Ih8 mud crew.

    Fish!!!
     
  2. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    I think you first need to make a decision for lift or no lift. I don't know why you would want to lift if, as you state, 90% of your use is on-road. Put the Bilsteins on and enjoy the mod! FYI: I run the OME's with 2.75" of lift; they are probably (since I have not used the Billies on this rig and only going by what others that are running the Billies have posted up) somewhere between OEM and Bilstein regarding 'softness'. From what I gather the Billies will be slightly more firm in ride quality but better for cornering than the OME. But you can only get Billies for 2.75"(~) lift from Christo stateside...and they're not cheap.

    Regular shocks have no lift capability of their own. The load carrying/leveling comes from the spring (adjustable air shocks are the exception...but a terrible solution for load leveling/compensating). So if you need additional lift for heavier loads then you need to choose between stiffer rear coils or air bag bladders for the inside of your coil springs. FYI: Assuming you have basic mechanical abilities, a good jack, jack stands and basic hand tools; swapping the pair of rear coil springs will take you all of 30-minutes start to finish.

    The OME spring packers come in either 5mm or 10mm thickness...with 10mm being the most commonly available. And can be run in any combination (I am currently running 20mm per side).

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. fish2live

    fish2live

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    thanks

    ok. I'll narrow the scope of my questions a bit. I don't want a lift, I don't need one really and don't want to do all the things assosiated with it.

    That being said, IF (and that's a BIG IF) there is any kind of SLIGHT lift I can get just from shocks/stackers then I'd take it, but that's probably not realisitc, which is fine - correct?

    So, it looks like Bilsteins might be a bit "stiffer" than OME - agreed?

    Also, for load carrying, my best options are airbags or new springs to prevent sag but keep the stock ride height (ie not getting a lift)? Or are the packers going to give me better load capabilities? Do stackers give me a lift of just better load capabilities?

    Thanks guys,
    Fish
     
  4. dclee

    dclee

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    Technically, the "stackers" (as you call them) are not really intended for lift, but more to level the vehicle, as there are always slight variations side-to-side or front-to-back (or both), even in a stock vehicle. They do not add to load carrying capabilities.

    Shocks, or technically spring dampers, do not induce any lift, even a slight one.

    I'll echo spresso and say add the Billies and enjoy the ride! There is probably not a better quality mass-produced shock available for the money.
     
  5. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    ...and implement air bladders within the coils for your heavy loads. Going back to your apparent desire for a small lift: Why? FYI: You can fit up to 33" tires with no lift whatsoever. Leave it stock height...and enjoy the biggest benefits: Billies, great handling and less $$$!
     
  6. fish2live

    fish2live

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    Now that's what I mean...

    Alright guys, right on. You see what I mean, sorry for the long winded posts - and after looking at ALL the threads of tweaking t-bars, stackers, springs, dampening, airbags, shocks - phew, and a lot of other stuff (all great stuff, but overkill for me) - I THINK YOU NAILED IT FOR ME

    THANK YOU, now I can spend just a little $, have a GREAT ride, still do some mild off-roading, have a solid yet comfortable feeling on-road and get through the deeper mud holes on the way to my favorite steelhead fly fishing hole on the Kispiox in British Columbia witout lots of $, hours, trial and error etc. - all the while knowing I have the best solution for MY rig... and then the airbags... :)

    THIS SITE ROCKS!!!! :cheers:

    fish ON!!!
     
  7. ShottsUZJ100

    ShottsUZJ100

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    I see no reason why you couldn't add 2 10mm packers atop each rear spring, then trim T-bars to match. You'd retain the factory ride and at only 1" lift barely effect down-travel. I would still get an alignment after lifting though.
     
  8. jditom

    jditom

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    No lift but added weight go for the Bilstein's.
    Stiffer than OME and OEM but not harsh at all.
    Just a great ride and will help with the body roll when it's loaded.
     
  9. cary

    cary

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    IMHO, no brainer, do the bilsteins. Bilstein's are better built and much more durable than the OME shocks. You will regularly see bilsteins go 200k+ miles. Also, their degressive valving will give better handling while maintaining good ride characteristics.

    You may still want to get some air bags to help with extra loads. These would allow you maintain the ride quality, handling, and ride height, when carrying these loads.
     
  10. 2003LC

    2003LC SILVER Star

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    Bilstein HDs improve the handling dramatically. LC no longer leans in turns nor takes a nosedive when the brakes are applied. A great mod!
     
  11. fish2live

    fish2live

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    installing today

    Got the billies from "shocksandsprings" on eBay for $250, Midas is installing them for $120 right now. I am excited to feel the new ride and less lean!!

    Fish
     
  12. fish2live

    fish2live

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    WOW

    OK, I'll let my lame@$$ thread die now ... :doh:

    The Billies are SO AWESOME. Much "stonger" feel, elimnates the corner lean but still very smooth ride. Amazing!!

    Thanks mudheads!! :flipoff2:

    Fish
     
  13. ShottsUZJ100

    ShottsUZJ100

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    Damn. Now if we could get that shock response at 2.5" lift. :) Where's the aftermarket? :)
     
  14. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    Eight hundred bucks plus...that's where they're at ;) .
     
  15. ppressle

    ppressle

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    Good call on the Bilsteins.
     
  16. ats4x4dotcom

    ats4x4dotcom

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    Aftermarket has been here for ages, and with longer shocks for lift also, as well as springs that stay captive, and soon a romote res fox shock to suit as well.
     
  17. justimaginejack

    justimaginejack Looking for a new Cruiser

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    ATS,
    If you were doing a 2-2.5 lift what would you use if money were no object. I know bilstein has them for lifted vehicles but did not see specific applications for the LC. Also, Many new items like the Kinetic dynamic suspension are coming on to the market. I believe KDS set ups are available as expensive kits in Australia. Just curious. Seems everytime I buy something, something better comes along, not a bad thing at all, just would like to do the lift and suspension once, if possible for a few years.
     
  18. ShottsUZJ100

    ShottsUZJ100

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    I have pockets, though that's highway robbery. No thanks.
     
  19. fish2live

    fish2live

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    OK, I hope I didn't speak too soon on the billies.... but, I am now hearing a failry noticable and somewhat sharp "clunk" out of the front when I hit a speedbump at about 15 MPH and faster (no noise slower than that). There isn't any other way for me to reporduce that noise at all.

    The car is new to me so I didn't notice it before, but I am pretty sure it's wasn't there. Other than that everything seems WAY better. Any ideas on what it might be??

    Thanks,
    Fish
     
  20. ShottsUZJ100

    ShottsUZJ100

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    120K and no clunks ever. No Billies though.