Slee 4 inch kit vs. J spring

Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
871
Location
New York & California
FOR ... hands down superior to the others. Ride and Handling are superb.

I realize that this isn't part of your original question but have you also considered Frankie's? Reason why I ask is because I am in the same quandary as you but I am between Slee, F.O.R. and OME. For me, I'm actually leaning towards F.O.R. but I am in no hurry and can be swayed either way.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
291
Location
Portland, OR
I think it really depends on what your plans are for the vehicle and what your budget is. For me I had a small budget and knew I didn't care as much about on road drivability so I went with the J's and L's. If I had unlimited budget FOR would be my choice from the advise on this board. That being said I knew that I could pretty much build it slow and piece it all together over time and swap out the springs down the road if I hated them.

As for my experience with the J's and L's: I have no complaints what so ever, They are good enough for me daily driving (stock CC, panhards and no sway bars) and they perform great off-road. I have been running them for a year now and I haven't noticed them softening up much yet. I definitely would do your CC and run lot's of weight in the back other wise it will be really really bouncy.

Now all that being said, I have never ran anything else and I have never driven any other 80's with a different set-up.
 

jfz80

Spicy
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
11,312
Location
Madison NC
Sticking to your particular question i would have tendency to go w/ the Slee kit. If you subtract some of those 'extra' parts that you listed that come w/ the 4'' then you start to come down to a very comparible price figure. I had the J's all around and went to the 4'' slee spring up front as FJBen and others have. I agree on whats been said about considering a spring combo such as heavy/j or j/4'' to keep things level....but thats just a personal preference of mine.

Running the j/4 combo and full armor im am only netting 3'' of lift and still have just a 1/2''of stink bug. I did not run panhards on the J lift and still dont have them on the current setup, but i would have them on the eventual list for either of the lifts.

The slee's are quite a bit stiffer in comparison....almost harsh after getting used to the J's but the on road handling feels better. This harshness on the little bumps has me interested in the FOR but lots of things on the list ahead of that one and i dont consider it a negative in my mind.

Benefits of the slee spring seem to be tighter on road handling, and all the associated parts are included.
 

sleeoffroad

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,203
I have driven all of them. The Frankie Off Road (FOR) kit is by far the best of the bunch.
Rich, I am glad you like it, however I am pretty sure we are targeting different markets. I have only seen one report on the FOR (early kit) on a truck with a lot of weight and that was Norcalsam. It was not that favorable. I am not sure the load carrying and intent of the kits are the same.

I have not seen any heavy truck FOR applications or even an indication as to the load carrying capacity of the FOR kit.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
550
Location
Highlands Ranch, CO, Heart in AZ
if you want to be at a full 4", the Slee springs will handle the weight of mods you add and the desired height as well. The springs out there with a lower spring rate will not be desireable at 4" or taller height on a stock weight or heavy 80. You will have sway beyond belief, feeling like you have no sway bars at all.

If you go with J's and add all the weight of add-on goodies, you will prolly have to add spacers to get back up from 2.5-3", back to 3-4". I know of a few rigs in the club that have added spacers to OME springs to get back up a little after adding weight.
 

Riad

 
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
1,822
Location
Charles Town, WV
I thought about adding spacers on the front too. For me, it seems like that would not make the springs any better/stronger. My 6 and 8 year old can move the truck up and down by dragging/holding the slider bar, that's how saggy my springs are. I'd like to have slightly better feeling on the road, don't mind the stiffness. Stiff is gooood :cheers:.
 

sailor

Jackass of all trades
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
2,864
Location
Tsawwassen
Rich, I am glad you like it, however I am pretty sure we are targeting different markets. I have only seen one report on the FOR (early kit) on a truck with a lot of weight and that was Norcalsam. It was not that favorable. I am not sure the load carrying and intent of the kits are the same.

I have not seen any heavy truck FOR applications or even an indication as to the load carrying capacity of the FOR kit.
What are the diifferences in market should I be considering as I am about to make a decision on this issue? Are Slee products suited for trucks with heavy loading and FOR better for the average guy?
 

Nay

 
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
4,817
Location
Colorado
Rich, I am glad you like it, however I am pretty sure we are targeting different markets. I have only seen one report on the FOR (early kit) on a truck with a lot of weight and that was Norcalsam. It was not that favorable. I am not sure the load carrying and intent of the kits are the same.

I have not seen any heavy truck FOR applications or even an indication as to the load carrying capacity of the FOR kit.
There is no applicable comparison between the Gen I / Gen II F.O.R. suspensions, the spring design is based on a completely different progressive rate function with a higher max spring rate, and the shocks are custom designed for those springs.

Having said that, I think F.O.R. would agree that there is a certain load point where you completely overwhelm any benefits from a progressive rate suspension. Heavy bumpers and some tools, etc. is not that point. RTT, loaded drawers, onboard fridge, max armor/expedition weight, for high speed offroad use, maybe so.

I would not buy any OME spring over Slee's if I was after a lift height above OME medium, and the taller kits both use the OME L shock, so your only fundamental difference is desired ride height and spring quality/spring rate. Based on user reports, I would consider the Slee springs an improvement over OME across the board, although I have no personal experience with those springs.

The rest of the requirement is driven by height: all 4" kits have the same requirements for panhard adjustment, caster, brakelines, etc. How you deal with that is completely independent of your choice of springs and shocks, and that part should be driven entirely by your personal objectives for suspension performance.
 

FirstToy

 
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
4,409
Location
Socal
the lightest I run is w/o 2nd/3rd row seats. the heaviest is 7 jerry cans/fridge/gear/tools

my truck is armord, 35s,8kwinch+synline. i don't have any need or feeling to change the Slee4's. that mod is done. it's a big upgrade but one i'm very happy with.

if you don't have armor, the slee coils would be too stiff i think. otherwise, if you use the truck, slee's are great.
 

Tapage

Club 4X4 Panamá
SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
23,570
Location
Panamá
There is no applicable comparison between the Gen I / Gen II F.O.R. suspensions, the spring design is based on a completely different progressive rate.
wich is ..

Can Franki share the spring rate .. ?

I was thinking in a pair of bronco coild ( James Duff ) that are close to 22" inches long and 200 - 300 Lb/ft progresive rate ..

that sound perfecto to me .. coz in my case 300lb/ft single rate are definately to much to me ..
 

Nay

 
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
4,817
Location
Colorado
wich is ..

Can Franki share the spring rate .. ?

I was thinking in a pair of bronco coild ( James Duff ) that are close to 22" inches long and 200 - 300 Lb/ft progresive rate ..

that sound perfecto to me .. coz in my case 300lb/ft single rate are definately to much to me ..
I don't know. I should have taken pics comparing the Gen I / II coils. The Gen II coils go to fully compressed winds at the top (meaning you get to way under 200 lb/in in the top winds), but unloaded the fronts were close to same length as my Gen I and delivered an extra inch of lift (my propotype Gen I front coils were shorter than final production). By definition, this is a much higher base spring rate because the fewer "live" winds are creating most of the lift and lift has increased. It handles and drives accordingly.

To more general comments:

The dead winds allow for the required coil length to enable suspension droop when you have a high underlying spring rate. That is the issue with the 80 - in order to get enough load bearing, you need a pretty stiff coil for a lift, but then you can't engineer to downtravel (which you want for max tire size for crawling) in the suspension motion because the stiffer/shorter coil is going to come off the tower and a relevant portion of your suspension travel will be nearly or completely unsprung. Not a good design parameter if your goal is to balance suspension travel in the sweet spot of the spring on all four corners throughout the full range of articulation.

These "dead" winds really aren't dead, they are progressive (although get to a low enough rate to fully compress), and when the suspension cycles to any extension they soften rebound. This entire issue of load bearing vs. coil length is why OME suspensions are biased to up travel in shock design, although as pointed out you can certainly tune OME (which brings to mind lipstick and pigs, but hey that's a personal thing if you want to "save" money by buying 8 different sets of OME coils trying to find one that sits level, handles load properly across a wide range, and does it without a ridiculous jacked up rear end and horrid ride when unloaded :flipoff2:).

Every other day there is a thread on this forum posted by some poor confused newbie trying to figure out which set of OME coils is going to satisfy all of these conditions, and the only correct answer is none of them. The good news is that there will be OME coils for sale in the classifieds all the time, and you can change yours out cheaply every few months without evening needing to change out your shocks no matter how much lift you add or subtract :hmm::eek::lol:

That doesn't mean people aren't happy with OME, nor does it mean that they shouldn't be happy - as has been pointed out there is nothing wrong with OME, it's not dangerous and you get exactly what you ordered. It does mean that if I blindfolded you and told you that you were either going to be in a mildly modified 100 series or a built 60 on leaf springs, in my rig you'd think you were in the hundred series and on OME you'd think you were on a leaf sprung 60 series. Actually, I think the 60's ride better.
 

sleeoffroad

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,203
What are the diifferences in market should I be considering as I am about to make a decision on this issue? Are Slee products suited for trucks with heavy loading and FOR better for the average guy?
Our springs are generally designed for vehicles that are heavily armored and still yield the lift height that we spec. So in general more for expedition travel. The weight capacities of the springs are listed on the site.
 

sleeoffroad

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,203
There is no applicable comparison between the Gen I / Gen II F.O.R. suspensions, the spring design is based on a completely different progressive rate function with a higher max spring rate, and the shocks are custom designed for those springs.
I know his was 1st gen, but I have not seen anyone talking about the weight carrying capacities of the new springs.
 

1973Guppie

Supporting Vendor
SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
10,000
Location
"the whale's vagina", CA
As I mentioned, not looking at FOR at this time, and not comparing for to slee, there are plenty of threads for that, I am specifically comparing slee to a self made j spring kit, back to topic........

thanks,

Noah
 

sleeoffroad

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,203
Every other day there is a thread on this forum posted by some poor confused newbie trying to figure out which set of OME coils is going to satisfy all of these conditions, and the only correct answer is none of them.
So what you are saying is the FOR coils does all these things? Work on a loaded or unloaded truck, keep the same height, irrespective of load and the truck stays level doesn't matter what application?
 

FirstToy

 
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
4,409
Location
Socal
So what you are saying is the FOR coils does all these things? Work on a loaded or unloaded truck, keep the same height, irrespective of load and the truck stays level doesn't matter what application?
I think they also cure cancer and help you loose weight too.
 

sleeoffroad

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,203
Noah, sorry I did not bring FOR in here. In general our springs will be more controlled and allow for better street handling than J springs with heavy loaded trucks. As for parts needed, you pretty much need what you need. There are differences in opinions as to what is needed, but we have put together kits based on what is most typically needed.

A lot of the kit parts can be made by a competent DIY'er. Whatever you do compare apples to apples.
 

CreeperSleeper

Cascade Cruisers
 
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
7,010
Location
Forest Grove, OR
Personally, I run J's with a 2" spacer up front and L shocks and no swaybars. I don't mind the ride and I like how soft the springs are. However, my springs are 3 yrs old and I have beat the tar out of them. The only reason I don't run Slee's springs is my truck is very light weight. I'm running MT sliders and tube bumpers... Thats it. No winch, no tire carrier, no drawers. However, I would like my truck to sit a little lower. I may be switching to FOR springs at some point, but for right now I'm a happy camper.
 

1973Guppie

Supporting Vendor
SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
10,000
Location
"the whale's vagina", CA
Christo, no problem, there is a lot of good info on mud, but also alot of misinformation, from everything I have read about the j's setups, I think I will just do a kit and be done with it. Now, whether it is 4 or 6 inch is left to be decided. I called and spoke with you yesterday about this. I want to be able to do rubicon, dusy, moab, etc, but it is really important to me to have a comfortable vehicle that I can drive to the trail reliably. I have been driving an fj40 since 16 (now 35) to the trails, and it gets tiresome (or I am just getting old). Driving to moab from san diego in a 40 is just not feasable anymore. I need something I can also take my family in safely (wife/daughter), a 40 ain't it anymore. So, that being said on road driveability is important. I consider myself a fairly good driver, I have been rockcrawling for a long time, I know how to pick a line (most of the time). I was amazed the places I took my 98 4runner with 2.5 lift at AT's. I have learned that it is MUCH more about the driver than the vehicle. I am no hero, and am ok most of the time taking bypasses or the easier line to get through an obstacle if needed.

that being said, when you compare the 4 to the 6 inch lift, do you sacrifice onroad driveability when stepping up to the 6?, is the extra 2 inches that much more? also, does the 6 inch kit perform off road better because it uses the slee machined control arms (ie: flex). I want to make sure the rig is capable enough to run some tough trails but also comfortable enough to drive home long distances. I won't ever tow again, it is a PIA.

last question, on your website there is a yellow 80 that is pictured, is that the 4 or 6 inch lift? and what size tires?

one last note, and I am not one to pick favorites, but, I have been impressed with slee's customer service, I am new to 80's, not new to LC by an means, but I went to surf and turf in my new 80 last november, ordered a few parts from slee, they screwed up and sent them regular mail when I paid for 2 day, well they went ahead and sent a 2nd package out to my hotel in san luis obispo overnight, that type of service is rare nowadays and that is why I am going to give them my business.

Noah
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom