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Tech: springs vs shocks?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by e9999, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    hmmm... been pondering this question of "softer" suspension w.r.t. to LC vs LX. That got me wondering about what the difference is between a shock and a spring in terms of practical road "feel".
    Obviously, the role of the spring is to allow the wheels to move up and down and hold the rig up, whereas the role of the shock is to damp this motion (leaving adjustable height shocks out for now). What I'm not so clear about, is what does that mean in practice. A damping system is a non-linear system, I guess, or in plain english, it will let things move slow easily enough, but will resist fast motion.
    So now, what do springs and shocks "feel" like?
    The infamous "softer" ride of the LX for instance, does that mean that the less-damped shock will allow for more lean during high-speed turns? More up and down on bumps?
    But in general, what happens if you put stiffer springs vs higher-damping shocks? What does that translate into on the road or off?
    Anybody can clear some light on this for this newbie?
    thanks
    Eric
     
  2. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    There is a good write up somewhere but for now here is the jest of it. Springs hold the vehicle up. Shocks dampen or add some resistance to the movement of the springs as they expand and contract. Kind of takes the "Boing" out of the spring. That is extremely basic as there are all types of shocks and some do had carrying weight but for the most part that is the difference.

    FWIW: from the posts you have put up you are heading for a brain cramp of major proportions. If it's between the LC and LX450 just buy either and start enjoying it.
     
  3. moralien

    moralien

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    Whoa there buddy. Me thinks you think 2 much.
    Look at it like this. You already know what springs do, so imagine yourself without shocks. Let say you drop of a 2 foot ledge, without shocks your springs will just want to slinky the energy and keep bouncing. With the shocks in place the movement is dampened. With firmer shocks the movement is still damped however at the cost of a bit harsher and quicker action.

    In short if you plan on wheeling your rig get an 80 or a 450. If you just want the bling go for the 100 or 470. What ever you do just get one and the rest will fall into place....
     
  4. bjowett

    bjowett Supporting Vendor

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    Hmmmm, how about I stir this up..... springs are actually shocks.... what we call shocks are really dampers. ::)
     
  5. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Eric,
    I applaud your quest for automotive knowledge. I question your judgement in seeking specfic answers to general questions in this forum.

    As a group we are very knowledgeable but we are not automotive engineers (at least not 99.9% of us.) You need to use the internet for your exhaust system (what's a resonator) and suspension (shock vs spring) questions. You'll get much more indepth information than anyone on here is going to give in the limited time we have to post responses.

    Here are 2 places that will give you a start:
    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/
    http://www.autoshop101.com/

    -B-
     
  6. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    point well taken, of course, B..
    I meant to ask about the suspension issue within the context of the LC ride, though. Another way to have asked this better would perhaps have been to ask what happens to a LC's ride when one puts on stiffer springs vs more-damped shocks since some of you seem to have done that?
    thanks
    Eric
     
  7. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Eric,
    I put on OME springs and ran them about 18 months before adding the OME-L shocks. The stiffer springs improved the ride dramatically. Adding the shocks later had minimal effect on the ride. Maybe a little firmer when hitting speed bumps at 30+. To be honest, I think the softer shocks did a little better on washboard dirt roads but that's only based on a couple of high speed runs.
    -B-
     
  8. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    Hi B., thanks for the clarification. So, one should start with the springs, probably, then.

    Odd, though, based on what you just wrote that the LX450 would be so much "softer" riding if it only has different shocks but same springs. Maybe it's all in the eye of the beholder...
    thanks
    Eric
     
  9. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Eric,
    The shocks that were on mine when the OME springs were installed, were fairly new Gabriels (sp?) I never drove it with stock Toyota shocks so I don't know if they would be much different. I'm guessing that the rate of the OME's is close to the rate of the Gabriels. The LX shocks are reported to be much softer than the LC shocks.

    -B-
     
  10. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    believe me, no two butts react the same to suspensions. Your driving style and your expectations are completely judgemental.

    Some good advice tho...I use "howstuffworks" all the time!!