Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?





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  1. #1
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    Default Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Hi There Guys,

    I have never in the past being able to keep any of my 4x4s standard, and even though I just bought a new 4x4 Hilux I again want to increase ground clearance and carrying ability. Bullbar and winch up front, canopy in the rear with aux battery, 90L NL fridge, aux fuel tank, etc, etc.

    Instead of going the full replacement i.e. OME, Ironman etc, I was thinking of taking it to VanZyls springworks. I called and they replace the coils in the struts, retention the leafs (if required, cannot see how this will be required as the bakkie is brand new), and then add a leaf at the back. Apparently the lift is ~45mm front and back and do not require new shocks.

    Please give me your experience if you have gone down this road. Also technically if this is a viable option, I for one dont think anything wrong with replacing the coils up front and adding a leaf at the back, I have my doubts though regarding retaining the OEM shocks, both in terms of limited travel and the shocks are not married to the new spring rates.

    Thanks in advance
    Dirk Theron
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    IMO, a 45mm lift with the same shocks is going to cause problems. There's a reason why most suspension systems are sold as a kit. If you put in a longer coil, or an extra leaf, you need longer shocks.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohanRoux View Post
    IMO, a 45mm lift with the same shocks is going to cause problems. There's a reason why most suspension systems are sold as a kit. If you put in a longer coil, or an extra leaf, you need longer shocks.
    I am 100% with you on this point Johan
    Dirk Theron
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Trying to get tension back into tired springs doesn't really seem to work. This is not my own experience, but from what I have heard so far, it lasts only a short while and then the springs start to sag again, often asymmetrically and worse than before.
    There are lots of similar posts on this forum, some older, some more recent. I can't recall a single one being positive.
    From own experience I can say that a suspension lift with standard length shocks isn't a good idea. I bought a 2nd hand 4x4 which had aftermarket springs (50 mm lift) in the back and spacer lift in the front. The rear shocks where in pretty bad shape, while the front ones were still ok for more than 2 years.

    A proper aftermarket suspension does a lot more than just lift your vehicle. A decent kit would improve articulation and improve the ride, too. I have gone with OME on a vehicle with leaf springs and on one with coils. The difference in ride quality and road holding, specially on gravel roads is very, very noticeable. And the worse the road gets, the more difference the suspension makes.

    If OME, Iron Man, EFS and other aftermarket suspensions are too expensive or you doubt the value for money, I can tell you it is worth the cost.
    Alternatively have a look at MikeM Suspensions, they tailor a set of springs for your vehicle & application (constant load etc), are noticeably cheaper than the Australian products and have a very good reputation. They use Bilstein shocks, which can be serviced.

    I would stay very far away from anything else.
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    I have been the Van Zyls route and it is not worth the schlepp. When we started racing we needed a drop and took the cheaper option, had 4 different heights on the 4 wheels and the spring rates was all over the show. Van Zyls was extremely professional to deal wit and they gave it 4 attempts. We had to settle for Bilstein, in the end we could do a spring swap in record time, not that I needed the experience again.

    Go for a commercial set and get the shocks that go with it, your question should be whether to go for Old Man Emu or a cheaper option. I have the OME and will fit that to any new vehicle I buy even before I fill the tank for the first time
    Henk
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Thank you very much for the responses and link.

    I have always replaced the OEM with a decent aftermarket complete kit and have some experience.

    Nissan Sani - 1996 and my very first 4x4. Extra leaf in the back and tweeked the torsion bars in the front. We had a blast with this car
    LC 72 - I replaced with OME. Very nice ride.
    Jeep TJ - I had it professionally build by a well-known builder whilst we lived in England - Rubicon Express long-arm setup etc etc, a monster.
    LC80 - I installed Dobinsons, was a truly impressive suspension setup, I rate this the best I have had (so far).
    LC 105 - I installed EFS. Ride was crap, took it up with the suppliers and eventually changed to OME coils and it transformed to a different vehicle.
    FJ cruiser - I had EFS installed. I chose the coil-overs in front too hard and it was not a nice ride.
    LC 79 had OME. Bought it with too stiff coils in front, ride was harsh.
    LC 200 has Ironman, I did the build from scratch and am very happy with this setup. Interestingly progressive coils at the back made a huge difference.
    FJ cruiser - bought it with OME, very harsh ride due to coils again to hard, front and rear.

    As for the brand new Hilux, like the LC 200 I want to do my homework and get it right first time, Ive thrown too much money down the drain in the past 20 odd years of modifying suspensions.

    Ive done a bit of reading since my original post and at this time it looks like my Hilux will very likely get a set of Fox coil-overs in the front and shocks at the back. I still need to decide on the best way to increase the ride hight and carrying ability at the back.

    To be honest I have not considered Mikem before.
    Dirk Theron
    Land Cruiser FJ
    Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4
    BL865 Ratel4
    Lifes a journey, enjoy the ride

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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    I need some advice please; I had Ironman Nitrogen shocks fitted in 2015 and whilst having wheel balancing done today, we found the right rear shock to be broken. Can I replace both rear shocks with Ironman Foamcell and keep the Nitrogen in front until they need replacement, or rather not?
    FJ Cruiser 2012

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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    You have leaf sprung rear and IFS in the front so I shouldnt imagine it would make a difference keeping the front as is and replacing both rears. From a wear perspective, I would do all 4 just to be sure/safe.
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Hi Dirk, Ive also send you PM
    Have a look at rear airbags which you can inflate when you load your vehicle to recover the height loss, but can also deflate when you not loaded and keep the comfort when not loaded
    We also offer various suspension option on the AmadaXtreme suspension range
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
    Hi Dirk, Ive also send you PM
    Have a look at rear airbags which you can inflate when you load your vehicle to recover the height loss, but can also deflate when you not loaded and keep the comfort when not loaded
    We also offer various suspension option on the AmadaXtreme suspension range
    what is the price on the air lifters on a t7 Ranger

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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by RANGERFAN View Post
    what is the price on the air lifters on a t7 Ranger
    We busy with the Ranger kit, will be ready by the end of the month.... price - R5950 Vat incl, excl fitment

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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    You have leaf sprung rear and IFS in the front so I shouldnt imagine it would make a difference keeping the front as is and replacing both rears. From a wear perspective, I would do all 4 just to be sure/safe.
    I was convinced the FJ Cruiser had coils in the back?
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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    I was convinced the FJ Cruiser had coils in the back?
    It does
    _______________________________________Dum vivimus, vivamus!With a mild case of "Camping Personality Disorder" or CPD I drive a five cylinder bakkie and tow an army inspired van.

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    Default Re: Suspension upgrade VanZyls upgrade or aftermarket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    It does
    I know, but I was trying to be polite...
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