Suspension Upgrades

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by EPUro2019, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. EPUro2019

    EPUro2019

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    My wife frequently complains about the bumpy ride in the LC. We rode in a friends GX and the wife kept saying how smooth it felt. Personally I don't care and think the LC is overall fine.

    I know there are many suspension upgrade options, do any of them positively effect ride comfort? My fear is that many would make the ride potentially more bouncy or harsh. That being said, I have zero experience with suspension upgrades.

    Currently the LC is bone stock. At this point the only armor I'm planning on at some point is sliders. I may consider a front bumper if the stock one gets damaged. I do have a set of RW wheels waiting to be installed but I am waiting on buying tires for now.

    Any advice on suspension upgrade that would make the LC more comfortable?

    I did a search and some mention BP-51 produces a nice ride. Any recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TX GX460

    TX GX460 GOLD Star

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    I own both a GX and a 200 series, and both my wife and I like both the GX and LC rides just fine. Luxury models of the GX have electronically-variable front dampening and rear airbag suspensions that allow for either soft or firm rides, so at the softest level the GX is probably smoother than the LC, but I wouldn't want to keep it in that setting all of the time.

    There are several options that can improve your ride, some of which increase your ride height and others that keep you at stock level. There are multiple different types of shocks, from less expensive twin tube/nitrogas, to moderately-priced monotube shocks, to slightly more expensive monotubes with remote reservoirs (allows for less heat build-up during excessive cycling), to remote reservoirs with adjustable dampening that allow you to change the firmness of the dampening with the turn of a knob.

    The concept of ride comfort is very subjective, and not everyone likes the same firmness. Also, your ride can be affected by a number of suspension differences, rate/firmness of springs, dampening settings/valving of shocks, spring heights, vehicle weight, etc. There are a lot of great options out there to suit your needs. But your comfort can also be decided by non-suspension items like wheel and tire choice (weight, load rating/ply, tread type/design, % sidewall, pressure, etc.). So, for example, you could soften up your ride with softer springs, and then cancel out the change by switching to an E-rated tire or a heavier wheel. You also need to be careful that you choose the right spring rate for the weight of your vehicle, because if you buy stock-weight springs and then add a couple of plate bumpers and a winch, your springs will be insufficient to handle the load at the intended ride height.

    The BP-51s are a good product from what I have heard. They are a little more expensive, since they have remote reservoirs and variable dampening (both for compression and rebound, something not seen in a lot of shocks). But you do get a lot of functional bang-for-your-buck with them. The only real complaints I have heard consistently about the BP-51s are that the shocks tend to become loud and create a clunking noise over time, especially when cold (not a huge issue in El Paso), and the rear shin guards (which protect the shock from rock strikes and pitting) have a history of falling off. Both of these probably fall under the category of annoyance rather than significant problem.

    There are lots of options both cheaper and less expensive than the BP-51s. Also, remember that most shock choices can come in different lengths and with different weight springs, depending on your needs. I recommend that if you are going to spend the money ordering a new suspension, make sure you order from a company that works with Land Cruiser suspensions regularly and knows how to customize the order to fit your needs. This is especially true with the KDSS suspension lean issues that can be addressed by spring height with some suppliers.

    Although he doesn't sell BP-51, I highly recommend you speak to Kyle Fogle at Treaty Oak Offroad. Contact. If you PM me I can give you his email address. He sells Dobinsons suspensions, which like the BP-51s are from Australia and have multiple shock options at various price points. The Dobinsons springs have multiple spring rate/height options for Land Cruisers, so you can get exactly what you need, and they have separate R/L spring lengths to compensate for KDSS lean. They are very good quality for the price at all levels. Kyle is extremely knowledgeable and one of the straightest shooters I know and he will tell you the good, bad and ugly about all products in the industry, including his, so you can make an informed decision. Don't be concerned by the lack of any specific suspension product on his website - most of his suspension orders are custom quotes so he does not list full kits for many vehicles. Even if you don't buy from him, he is a great resource of information. (Just for clarity, I don't get any special discounts or compensation from Kyle, I am just a happy repeat paying customer).
     
  3. Reckless

    Reckless

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    My suggestion is to wait a month and get Icon remote reservoir w/CDC adjustments for 20-25% off on cyber monday. That's what I did last year. But I will be honest at slow speeds it is not as comfortable as stock. But everything over 25mph is better. It could also be the setting I have mine set to. I left stock spring which to my understanding is the way to get the most comfort. All other springs lose comfort.

    If one wants plush comfort in a 200 the LX is probably the way to go. It took me a long time to admit that. If one wants ruggedness the LC is the way to go. The LX is more female (pretty and plush) and the LC is all masculine (manly and rugged).

    I am happier I have the LC but I think if I understood the suspension better I would have bought the LX but I don't think I would have been satisfied as the ride is to disconnected from the road.
     
  4. A10Driver

    A10Driver SILVER Star

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    I have bp51's and they are firmer than stock, but still feel comfortable. Tire pressure is key for slow speed comfort, suspension more important the faster u go.
     
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  5. RTaylor

    RTaylor

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    Great suspension advice being offered in here. I’d also suggest looking at your tires to maximize comfort and stability.
     
  6. Yossarian

    Yossarian

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    Most who are looking at changing the suspension, at least on this forum are more concerned with improved control with added weight and off road. The 200 when loaded, or at speed leaves a lot to be desired, and hence most shock/suspension changes are not aimed at comfort. Refer to attached article, it is a shock comparison on a 100 series, but might give you a little insight into shock behavior.

    Also, do not underestimate tire choice as stated earlier. If you put any AT, and if you go to an E rated tire, it will most certainly affect that intangible known as comfort.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Carnevino

    Carnevino

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    Just remember that those shocks with remote reservoirs will have to be rebuilt every 30k miles are so. As suggested from Tx Gx460, call to Kyle Fogle at Treaty Oak. He’s a wealth of knowledge. He steered me into the Dobinson’s (without remote reservoirs) and also addressed the KDSS lean. I drive a lot for me job and managing all me real estate from Texas to Jacksonville,Fl. I just didn’t want to stop and rebuild shocks. I’m more of a replace it and keep on going kind of guy.
     
  8. EPUro2019

    EPUro2019

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    Thank you all for all of the advice, very helpful. The ride currently doesn't bother me at all, the wife has other opinions. I do plan on putting the RW wheels on at some point, I'm still trying to decide on which tire - currently leaning ridge grapplers. Maybe that alone will help, I keep telling her it will at least.

    I think for now I'll probably hold off on suspension and see what new wheels/tires will do but again, thanks for the advice!
     
  9. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy SILVER Star

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    Curious how many miles are on your LC? Mine has 131k and rides awful, but I'm hoping much of that is due to the original (worn) suspension. I had a GX previously, and with Bilstein 6112s in the front and Bilstein remote reservoir shocks added to the airbag springs in the rear, it rode like a Cadillac in all the best ways. Washboard roads and speed bumps were nothing. I'd like to replicate that on my LC but Bilstein hasn't released a 6112 setup for the 200 yet. I've ordered a Tough Dog kit with the adjustable damping, so we'll see how well that can be dialed in for comfort.
     
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  10. EPUro2019

    EPUro2019

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    Nice only has about 35K, honestly I think the ride is fine, I'm not expecting a Cadillac ride.
     
  11. Itsky

    Itsky

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    My last set of icon coil overs were awesome and lasted 60k+ before a rebuild. (On a 4runner)
     
  12. bloc

    bloc SILVER Star

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    I bought my 13 LC at 105k and replaced the original shocks with new OEM. There was literally no difference. On my rig at least the original shocks were doing fine at that mileage.

    Just as an extra data point.
     
    Hoosier Daddy likes this.
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