What's your experience with Ironman suspension? (2 Viewers)

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TheRealPoser

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Here's another "I'm in the market for such and such" thread. I'm looking for advice from those who have run Ironman 4x4 suspensions. I've been searching and found some one-off comments buried here and there in various threads, but still a rather small set of comments overall. I have to think there are more opinions out there. I'm planning to pick up a bumper at their store in Oregon in a couple weeks, and with the current suspension sale it's a bit tempting to jump on a kit. That said, I don't want to rush it, as sales come and go, and they usually come back again. I've seen a mix of "I'm happy with it" and "I'm upgrading from it". I thought I'd see if I could collect some opinions here as a resource both to myself and others doing research in the future.

If you've run an Ironman suspension, were you or are you happy with it? Would you do it again? Any advice on things to consider?

If I somehow missed the motherload thread on this topic, please point me to it and we can shut this one down. Thanks!
 
YvesNL

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I really like my new Ironman Foam Cell Pro suspension.

More details in this post.

Now that I've installed a heavy rear bumper I might need some stiffer rear springs or a spacer.
I'm always loaded up and the cruiser is now perfectly level, so I might leave it.

If you want a bit softer ride maybe you should take the FE shocks instead of the FEP shocks.
Talk to the salesman, tell them your loads and use, they will sort you out.

With my correctly tuned AHC I was always faster off road than my mates. This suspension makes me go even faster and gives me more control.
Especially when getting wheels up in the air at speed the control is great.

The AHC was smoother and more comfortable, they are not really comparable systems. But to answer your question I do really, really like my new Ironman suspension!
 
wrongturn

wrongturn

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Here's my 2 cents. I ran ironman gas shocks when I first lifted my 100 series. My cruiser has no extra weight. The ride was way too stiff. Felt like a track car. I ran those for like 2 years before I started shopping again. I got a deal for some foam cell pros and I am very happy. The ride isn't as soft as oem, but with a lifted truck I didn't want it to be. Before foam cell pros I felt every single little bump in the road. It was worse than my fj62 with stock suspension, seriously. It is hard to put something so subjective into words but in my opinion the ride is a very good middle ground, not too soft, not too stiff. I imagine with some weight the ride would be even better.

It is worth noting that I only have iron man shocks, the rest of my lift is a mix of brands. Different control arms, torsion bars, springs, etc.
I was tempted to go with the top dollar shocks that offered adjustability but I just couldn't justify the huge jump in price.
In the end, as skeptical as I was about trying ironman again after my gas shocks, I figured they are much cheaper than the "premium" offerings and if I didn't like them I would just sell them in the classifieds.

There is a thread out there where I got most of my info from. Goes into pretty good detail about diff brands, stiffness, softness, etc. I can't remember the name and it tends to get lost within the many other suspension threads out there.


My ride is much much better. I'm very happy and honestly I don't think I'll upgrade to adjustable shocks at anytime because these check all my boxes.
Also, I drive daily on some of the most jagged roads this country has to offer. I would buy again.
 
JOSHD

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You definitely want the kit with Foam Cell shocks. The gas shocks are just like any of the other brands that are stiff and not very forgiving. In my opinion, the only shocks better than Foam Cell Pro's and Tough Dogs are custom reservoir shocks by King, Rad-Flo, etc. As far as dealing with the company itself, it took a coupld of shipments to get everything I order but it did eventually all come in.
I've never had OME on my 100 series but I did on a 4runner and they were super stiff even after playing with different coil springs.
 
T

TheRealPoser

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I really like my new Ironman Foam Cell Pro suspension.

More details in this post.

Now that I've installed a heavy rear bumper I might need some stiffer rear springs or a spacer.
I'm always loaded up and the cruiser is now perfectly level, so I might leave it.

If you want a bit softer ride maybe you should take the FE shocks instead of the FEP shocks.
Talk to the salesman, tell them your loads and use, they will sort you out.

With my correctly tuned AHC I was always faster off road than my mates. This suspension makes me go even faster and gives me more control.
Especially when getting wheels up in the air at speed the control is great.

The AHC was smoother and more comfortable, they are not really comparable systems. But to answer your question I do really, really like my new Ironman suspension!
Great info, thanks Yves. That was a pretty serious upgrade, looks amazing. That must have been pretty satisfying. I'm working with a new-to-me vehicle with 230k miles on it, so I'm currently arguing with myself about whether I go all in with replacing every wearable bushing and so forth while I'm in there for the suspension. I know it needs it, I just fear with my limited free time I'll never finish the job if I tear it completely apart :rolleyes: I'm glad the shocks are working out for you. BTW, thanks for the response, I love it when I see people from different corners of the world chiming in. I think it's so cool that this is a global community. One day I hope to visit your neck of the woods, definitely a bucket-list item for me!
 
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TheRealPoser

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Here's my 2 cents. I ran ironman gas shocks when I first lifted my 100 series. My cruiser has no extra weight. The ride was way too stiff. Felt like a track car. I ran those for like 2 years before I started shopping again. I got a deal for some foam cell pros and I am very happy. The ride isn't as soft as oem, but with a lifted truck I didn't want it to be. Before foam cell pros I felt every single little bump in the road. It was worse than my fj62 with stock suspension, seriously. It is hard to put something so subjective into words but in my opinion the ride is a very good middle ground, not too soft, not too stiff. I imagine with some weight the ride would be even better.

It is worth noting that I only have iron man shocks, the rest of my lift is a mix of brands. Different control arms, torsion bars, springs, etc.
I was tempted to go with the top dollar shocks that offered adjustability but I just couldn't justify the huge jump in price.
In the end, as skeptical as I was about trying ironman again after my gas shocks, I figured they are much cheaper than the "premium" offerings and if I didn't like them I would just sell them in the classifieds.

There is a thread out there where I got most of my info from. Goes into pretty good detail about diff brands, stiffness, softness, etc. I can't remember the name and it tends to get lost within the many other suspension threads out there.


My ride is much much better. I'm very happy and honestly I don't think I'll upgrade to adjustable shocks at anytime because these check all my boxes.
Also, I drive daily on some of the most jagged roads this country has to offer. I would buy again.
This is great input, thank you. I should have said in the OP that I'm mostly curious about the shocks. I was also interested to see if people had opinions on the gas vs foam cells, so your experience is super helpful. This confirms my thinking that the FCPs would be the way to go if I went with Ironman. It's interesting to hear your description of the ride vs OEM. I'm pretty unimpressed with the ride right now on my LC... feels rather harsh, every little bump in the road feels jarring. The LC is new to me and I haven't even had it offroad yet (in the garage getting a lot of baseline updates), so I suspect it would be rather wretched on the trail. I'm not sure if it's just the suspension is totally shot at this point or the PO put some junky aftermarket shocks on. He said he replaced them not long ago with OEM, but everyone here says OEM is nearly impossible to beat. That makes me suspect he didn't actually go OEM. I know with my 4runner the LC is replacing, the ride was too soft for my liking. More like a passenger car than a truck. I did a mutt suspension upgrade (Bilstein/Toytec/Icon) that I put together based on the load to get the the best spring rates, etc, and the ride was SOOO much better than stock. I don't mind getting a bit stiffer than OEM as long as it isn't teeth-rattling stiff. My biggest question at the moment is the rear spring rate. I have a rear bumper with tire swing-out on order but not on the vehicle yet, so I'm planning for that. I also carry a lot of camping gear at times and tow at the same time, but I don't want it to drive like crap when it isn't loaded. I'm running airbags on my 4runner and they are genius for towing. I'm thinking I'll go with middle of the road spring rates, sized for the bumper and some amount of gear, but handle the extra towing load with airbags. I'll see if I can find that thread you mentioned.
 
Treeman77

Treeman77

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I love my stage 2 Foam Cell Lift. I feel like it rides just as good as stock. I would purchase Ironman lift and shocks again.
 
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TheRealPoser

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You definitely want the kit with Foam Cell shocks. The gas shocks are just like any of the other brands that are stiff and not very forgiving. In my opinion, the only shocks better than Foam Cell Pro's and Tough Dogs are custom reservoir shocks by King, Rad-Flo, etc. As far as dealing with the company itself, it took a coupld of shipments to get everything I order but it did eventually all come in.
I've never had OME on my 100 series but I did on a 4runner and they were super stiff even after playing with different coil springs.
Excellent. I haven't run OME, but it seems comments on stiff ride are pretty common. Not knocking them, maybe some people like that. Different strokes for different folks...
 
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TheRealPoser

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Can anyone help me understand the benefit of replacing the rear upper and lower trailing arms? I'm looking at the stage 3 vs stage 2 kit, with the only difference being the stage 3 comes with the trailing arms. Wondering if I'd regret not doing them, but if I'm spending the extra I'm tempted to go with front UCAs instead. I didn't replace the UCAs on my 4runner and the lift I have puts it similarly just out of range on alignment. It's been ok, but the constant drifting on the highway gets a little old. That said, I can get a lot of other toys for $700+ so maybe I can live with having to actually steer :rofl:
 
JOSHD

JOSHD

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Can anyone help me understand the benefit of replacing the rear upper and lower trailing arms? I'm looking at the stage 3 vs stage 2 kit, with the only difference being the stage 3 comes with the trailing arms. Wondering if I'd regret not doing them, but if I'm spending the extra I'm tempted to go with front UCAs instead. I didn't replace the UCAs on my 4runner and the lift I have puts it similarly just out of range on alignment. It's been ok, but the constant drifting on the highway gets a little old. That said, I can get a lot of other toys for $700+ so maybe I can live with having to actually steer :rofl:
Th biggest difference is that you will be replacing the 15+ year old bushings that are in your LC stock control arms right now. The second is that they are adjustable so you can fine-tune axle placement.
 
YvesNL

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I needed to do the bushings of all the trailing arms anyway. These Ironman trailing arms had new bushings, looked beefy and are adjustable.
They are so beefy that you really don't have to worry if you hit one on a rock, man these things are heavy.

I don't think they are really necessary for mild lifts but the adjustment is there to get the wheelbase & pinion angle back to stock (or wherever you want them).
The alignment company told me that they used them but they could've lived without. The rear wheels are nice and centered.

I have stock upper control arms in the front and no issues yet. I can see why a stronger upper ball joint can be a good thing.
 
abuck99

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Foamcell pros are great bang for the buck: my only complaint is rebound dampening valving is a bit soft for my likes and it’s not adjustable.

ToughDog has an adjustable foam cell that is one step above the FCP IMO.

But with 25% off on suspension packs from IM right now- that’s hard to beat on a better than avg kit.

Tip- Stick with non adjustable rear upper and lower control arms with rubber bushings (not poly). Poly will need to be replaced every 30k.
 
YvesNL

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That's a good thing to note, the Ironman rear upper and lower control arms have rubber bushings.
The FCP shocks also have rubber bushings.
 
wrongturn

wrongturn

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Awesome glad it helped. Tough dog also has a good following as others before me have suggested. I agree with arbuck99. toughdog with it's adjustability seems like a better option. Only reason I went with ironman is the price. I saved a good bit. I also sourced other parts from metal tech to build the rest of my lift. Not sure about pricing now but at the time it was cheaper than buying a complete kit from ironman.

Not to hijack the thread but I would also change the sway bar end links as well. After my lift my truck searched on the interstate pretty bad. After changing those I noticed a significant difference in tracking. After reading a long thread this morning on the subject, I now don't know if it's purely a placebo or not but I swear it made a difference lol
 
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TheRealPoser

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Th biggest difference is that you will be replacing the 15+ year old bushings that are in your LC stock control arms right now. The second is that they are adjustable so you can fine-tune axle placement.
yeah, I'm pretty sure at this point anything bushing or even remotely bushing-like needs to be replaced. Is it a difficult job to press new bushings into the OEM trailing arms?
 
ga12r1

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Can anyone help me understand the benefit of replacing the rear upper and lower trailing arms? I'm looking at the stage 3 vs stage 2 kit, with the only difference being the stage 3 comes with the trailing arms. Wondering if I'd regret not doing them, but if I'm spending the extra I'm tempted to go with front UCAs instead. I didn't replace the UCAs on my 4runner and the lift I have puts it similarly just out of range on alignment. It's been ok, but the constant drifting on the highway gets a little old. That said, I can get a lot of other toys for $700+ so maybe I can live with having to actually steer :rofl:
Beyond the fact that you are getting new rubber bushings the links are also much stronger. I was bending oem and SPC lowers every time I wheeled at Windrock. I switched to Ironman lowers earlier this year and haven't had an issue since.
Foamcell pros are great bang for the buck: my only complaint is rebound dampening valving is a bit soft for my likes and it’s not adjustable.

ToughDog has an adjustable foam cell that is one step above the FCP IMO.

But with 25% off on suspension packs from IM right now- that’s hard to beat on a better than avg kit.

Tip- Stick with non adjustable rear upper and lower control arms with rubber bushings (not poly). Poly will need to be replaced every 30k.
Buck, one thing I've noticed from mine and my buddies experience is that the IM FCP is a little more durable and seems to out last the TD adjustable though. Ive had several buddies that have had issues with the detents on the adjustment knob basically dissapearing over time and turning the knob having zero effect.
 
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TheRealPoser

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I was bending oem and SPC lowers every time I wheeled at Windrock. I switched to Ironman lowers earlier this year and haven't had an issue since.

Good point for consideration :hmm:
 
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TheRealPoser

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I would also change the sway bar end links as well.

Hmm, interesting. I didn't think with a lift of only 2" that the sway bars would need to be messed with. I know my 4Runner drifts like a mofo' on the highway because I can't get the caster in spec with the factory UCAs. It's pretty dang annoying since the ruts on the highway around me are about as bad as the ruts on the forest roads. I'll look in to the sway bark ends a bit more.

Anyone else have experience with that (not to hijack my own thread as well :p)
 
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TheRealPoser

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Any other experiences? Seems like mainly good impression so far, or 'good value for the cost'. Surely not everyone has had great experiences with the FCPs... Just want to make sure I'm going into it eyes wide open. I have budget for a suspension upgrade but not two in short order!
 

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