Which Lift? Ironman Vs. OME

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Mar 13, 2003
Sharpsburg, GA
Hey I have a 91 FJ80 and I'm going to run 33x12.50 sswamper LTBs. I'm looking at a Ironman 2.5" lift right now. The only reason I'm not looking more into the OME is casue the Ironman is only going to cost me $440 shipped. I know the OME lift is worth the $$$.

Does anyone in here run the Ironman lift?
How does it compare to the OME?
Which is better? Besides for the Ironman not haveing castor bushing and steering stablizer.

Thanks :beer:
Compare apples to apples. If the Ironman does not have caster bushings and a steering dampner, then you are looking at about the same price. Also, if you lift it and not address the caster your handling will be in the toilet.
Yeah I know I'm going to need the castor bushing. I was going to order them from Sleeoffroad, I think they are $65. I don't drive my FJ80 everyday or on long trips. I got it cheap (ebay rules) so its my trail beater. I just don't have the cash right now for the OME and tires/wheels. I can go with the Ironman and still beable to get the tires/wheels. So the fix that the Ironman not haveing the bushing or steering stablizer doesn't bother me.

I want to know is, Are the Ironman springs/shocks as good as the OME ones? If not I'll just wait and save until I get both lift and tire/wheels. Oh and the tire size I said that I was getting was wrong, its 33x13.50-15 LTB Swampers.
Personally I'd wait for the OME setup. Reason: that setup has been enhansed by Slee and others to be able to go beyond it's original design if needed. From my understanding 33x12.5s will fit in an existing LC without an upgrade at all. Now your planning 33x13.5s, I've read about some 1" spacers from Mr Gasket that might work in the interum. Giving you just that little extra to get the 13.5s to work while you collect cans for the deposit money :). Hopefully someone with some experience with these will comment. I went straight to OME and 35s so I have no real experience with these sized tires.

I have never heard of Iron man. OME is what I have, I like them and they are a repitable company. Plus you get what you pay for %99.9999999 of the time :G

I know that a 33" tire will fit without an lift. But for I'm going to do with my FJ80 I'm going to be flexing it out on the trail so I'm going to need more then 1" of lift. Thanks. After I'm done with my FJ80 I'll end with at least a 35" or 36" tire. But the 33"s will do the job for now. I was also thinking of going with the OME J springs, which I've been told that will give enough room to run the 35" tire. Like I said the 35"s will after I'm done with it and that will a few years from now. The US Marine Corps isn't the highest paying job out there. If I coudl sale my 1996 Cobra I'd have enough cash for the lift, tire/wheels, and gears (maybe even a locker).

Back to the Ironman lift, I guess no one is running or never heard of it. There is a guy that I met here at ih8mud.com that is selling the Ironman lift. I guess since the OME is beeter known I'm just going to stick with them. I tried to get in touch the guys at bigballsoffroad.com in Au to see how much one of their 4" lifts would cost in US$ with shipping. But they never emailed me back. I've been to Drawin Au twice and I love it, the 4wds there are bad a$$. Well thanks for the info.
OK at rocky-road.com they are selling the
Complete 3" Old Man Emu suspension, Heavy Duty (Front/Rear springs, Front/Rear shocks, Steering shock, Castor kit), Part#-OME803HD..... $610
All three load rated OME kit are the same price there.

I looked at the sleeoffroad.com site they are selling the OME kits for $695.

This will be more then enough room the 33x13.5s and hold up the bumpers and sliders that I'll be getting later.
It is possible to buy just OME springs and do it in stages as your billfold recovers from the shock........... :beer:

I did what C-Dan suggested. I bought just the OME springs and used stock shocks. The ride improvement was dramatic. After 18 months I saved enough for another upgrade and moved up to the OME L-shocks.

So, you can easily do it in stages:
1. 4 OME 50mm lift springs (Not the J's).
2. Caster bushings if needed (varies with trucks)
3. Steering stabilizer if needed (I'm still running stock)
4. OME L-shocks
5. OME J-springs (you'll need many other things at this point... see the other recent topics w/details)

You don't have to eat the whole elephant at once.

  It varies. That's not ducking the question, it just does. Caster is what causes "return to center" when you let go of the wheel. Some 80's have more caster than others. As caster is not "adjustable" in an 80, you have what you have.
If yours is heavy on the caster before you lift it, you may have to do nothing. The higher you lift it the more apt you are to need to correct it. Vehicles with Winches, blowers, extra batteries, ETC sit a bit lower and often can get by without correction. The caster bushings tip the housing to return the king pin angle back to stock, more or less.
So, you can lift it and drive it and see if you wander or find that you need to "steer" out of turns. I have 2 1/2 inch springs and no correction, a winch and a blower, mine steers fine for me. Try it and see.

   Regards......Dan :beer:  
C-Dan summed it up nicely. I'm running OME 50mm (2-1/2") plus 1" Mr Gasket spacers with the new Slee front bumper. No winch, 2nd battery (kinda) and mine steers fine. I noticed a difference after the 50mm lift and before the heavier front bumper but it wasn't extreme and return to center was fine.

Yours may be different so that is why the 2nd step may be delayed.  In my case, since the truck is handling OK now, I am waiting until after the winch and J-springs. After those mods I will have an alignment shop check the caster and then I will decide if the bushings will be installed. I already have the OME bushings sitting on the workbench.

Alot of the caster need comes from the size of tire you are running. The bigger the tire the more the need. I didn't think I needed the bushings but after a while I did put them in and what an improvement. Since I did springs and 35s at the same time I noticed a difference but not terrible by any means and just put the bushings off for about a year.

Cool, I was wondering if I could just run springs and do it in steps. Thanks

What more is need to run the OME J springs? I'll look around and see if I can find out myself. Thanks again!

I just got done helping my friend lift his Jeep.
The Wulf has done a lot of homework regarding longer travel. See his previous posts.

USMRacing, Seth Johansen (I think that was his last name) got the distribution for Ironman in the US, however I believe he has since dropped it. Not sure on the reasons and I am not sure if they are selling direct now or not. I would check on after sales service when you buy these. Can you get a shock warrantee'ed if you need to?

As for doing it in steps, yes you can, however you will be doing double work, but if you are not paying for labor, then it is ok. The stock shocks will limit your travel, and the ride won't be as good as it could be.


We install caster kits in all the lifts we install. There is just no reason for not having the truck handle as good as it should. People that have not installed the bushings normally do not have the tools, so they justify that the truck drives ok. We have done the bushings in a couple of truck where the owners could not do it and drove it for a while without and thought it was ok. In every single case, they remarked on how much better it drives.

J Springs

One thing to keep in mind is that the OME stuff is not sold as a lift kit, neither does OME market it as such. (that is for the 80.) It is a replacement suspension that can handle more weight. The fact that the truck is lifted with the suspension is just a function of spring rate and extra weight carrying capability.

It is only in the US that we are obsessed with inches, so people want to put a number on the total lift that one gets. Also, the suspension is designed to carry extra weight in the back of the truck, so typically the truck has a raked stance. For some reason people don't like that and then the lift the front more to compensate. The problem with that is that when you load the truck, the rear will go down and the truck will sit like a 4Runner with it's back low.

Also, a lot of people don't match the spring selection to what is on the truck. This way, they get a higher lift but a bad ride. It is very important to match the load to springs.

The other effect of going higher in the front is that you loose caster, thus driveability. So when you plan your suspension, make sure you don't mess that up. Also, if you can drive a truck that has the same setup as you plan to do and see if you like it.
That is the guy I was going to get the lift from. He has only one left. BTW, BDS now sales Iron Man products in the US. I'm going to stick with the OME kit. It has a better name and has been making alot longer. Yes I will be installing the kit myself and the shop I will be useing has a press so doing the castor bushing is not a problem. Thanks for the info.
I too just have done the springs and still running stock shocks.
How much of an improvement did you notice after changing shocks? Mine only had 18k on them, now 44k so could be about time. You are running the LT's? Are those the ones with the extra cyclinder?

I have not ridden in a truck with the LT's. As I understand it they offer more resevoir capacity and are better for very long stretches of washboard road.

I installed the OME L shocks about 2 months ago. These are the N73L and N74L shocks. The new shocks improved the ride but not as noticeable as the improvement going from stock springs to OME springs. My old shocks have about 50k miles when they were replaced.


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