Suspension help

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Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
1,259
Location
Sandy Utah area
So with my rear panhard lift bracket installed the Cruiser drives SO much better. It tracks straighter, it doesn't bob my head around nearly as much and it's just so much more civil. BUT it also means that my panhard mount on the axle side is up higher and now hits a crossmember under full compression. Ugh.

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So bump stop extensions it is. Thankfully Tim of @DirtSunrise fame sent me some as part of a 35 inch tire conversion he took off an 80 he didn't need anymore some time back. I got them installed and went out to test and yes, I now hit the stops instead of the bracket, but it's a very harsh stop, and it's not engaging the progressive stops inside the coil. It's travel until stop and you know it.

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It also has the undesirable side effect of limiting axle articulation, but only very slightly. Honestly there was probably only half an inch more flex here than without. I'm not too torn up on this part of it...its minor.

So now I'm back to tweaking my suspension...again. I swear I will get it right eventually. My choices are:

1. Stiffer coils - Honestly I need new coils anyway, these are 100k miles and are sagging. The DS is about 3/4 inch lower than the PS side and they are just getting a little worn out. Plus the fact that they drop quite a bit when I have even a light overland load in the back. The OME would be much stiffer unladen but ride just about perfect with more load. The downside is that they have a shorter freeheight than the TJM since the TJM are dual rate, which means there is a chance they wont flex as well or may require coil retainers so they don't - um- fall out on full flex. Plus I would still bottom hard on the stops on big hits, that would just happen less. Not sure which OME to get.

2. Airbags - Not full air, but coil over air like a firestone bag. This allows me to finetune my rate as needed and it means I can keep a relatively soft ride unladen, plus the air creates a fairly progressive curve at they compress so they won't bottom as hard...in theory. The downside is that I have to cut up my progressive internal bump stops to make them fit, plus I have air lines and bags to deal with. Yeah if they burst or leak it's not the end of the world - I still have steel coils, but it would be annoying to have to deal with small leaks. If I went this route I would probably buy new TJM coils just to get refreshed coils. The other downside of bags is that my damper would be off in the rear with the added rate, so they would be a little bouncier in back with a load.

3. Internal bump stop drop - Just a spacer that goes on the internal bump stop to bring them lower and engage earlier. I still have the slightly reduced travel and flex of the extended stops, but I think I am locked into that with this Delta bracket no matter what. These would be cheap and relatively easy to install. I still think I would need new coils because it was pretty easy to blow through all my travel in my tests without a load in them and I will need a little more support. Not sure who sells these?

4. Timbren active stops - These replace the factory external stops with timbren rubber progressive rate stops. I hear good things about them, but they are pricey. I should get better flex and it should stop my coils from hard bottoming compared to the free spacers I have right now. They don't do anything to address my worn out coils, but I could get any new coil I wanted with these as well.

5. Combo - Obviously there is a lot to mix and match here and I could go any number of ways.

The goals are

1. Maintain ride height (I literally can't go any higher than the 50mm lift of the TJM and fit in my garage).
2. Maintain decent unladen ride quality.
3. Keep Delta bracket - It just add too much good to get rid of.
4. Decrease loaded suspension sag.
5. Prevent hard compression bottom out.

I think new TJM and bags suite me best as I like to fine tune and tweak, but honestly I'm just not sure about their durability and reliability or their ability to prevent bottoming out. The ride quality of the TJM is good without a load I don't know what the OME coils are like with a light unladen truck, nor do I know anything about their coil retention with flex using extended length shocks.

Thoughts?

FYI - tires are 275/75R16 (33ish)
Shocks are ICON VS 2.0 that I don't THINK are shorter compressed than stock, so I don't think I bottom on the shock. I could be wrong. I didn't ever notice a hard bottom out before the delta bracket so I was deep into the progressive internal stops and they shocks were fine.
I spend about 1000 miles a year on dirt (Utah), do more overland than crawling and use all my travel pretty regularly with my driving style.
Im mostly stock weight (around 5400 lbs with driver) and mostly daily driven.

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