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  1. #1
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    Post LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Greetings!

    I've decided to retire the current suspension on my Land Cruiser 105GX since the setup is now 13 years old and feels tired / no longer safe. Current suspension is Ironman with foam cell shocks and is/was giving a slight lift (think 50mm). Tyres are 285 size and a slight lift on new suspension is desired but is not the objective of the exercise of replacing - importantly, I don't want to much alter any COG or have alignment issues resulting from excessive lift. The tyres give me sufficient clearance for most purposes and I also plan to at some point replace the in-coil air helpers (which recently expired).

    Replacing a suspension obviously requires a few choices to be made with respect to spring and shock ratings, and in essence the following applies in our case:

    - car used occasionally on weekends but mainly for overland travel (Nam, Botswana etc.), not really to tackle heavy technical trails but certainly bumpy sandy tracks
    - on trips, car is very heavy
    - no front steel bull bar (only minor nudge bar), else standard bar a second DC battery in front
    - rear: single wheel carrier (swing out), standard OEM bumper. No real weight difference to standard spec apart from it being a 285 spare wheel on back (and nothing underneath)

    When doing a longer trip, this necessarily involves a few days open road tar travel to get anywhere from CPT. Being a n/a diesel, highway cruising speed around 105km/h.


    So in summary, at a guess:

    Roofrack (tent plus gear): 150-180kg?
    Gear in back: 80kg??
    Fridge: 50kg ?
    Drawers incl. content: 100kg?
    Under-car SS water tanks (x2): up to 70kg water

    Fuel tank: this is the standard dual tank setup - around 150L


    What I'm aiming to achieve:

    A comfortable ride obviously than can take the knocks, that can take the deep bumps in the sand well, that doesn't result in the car feeling like a boat, that's not too bouncy on trips, that's not totally uncomfortable when empty (albeit: drawer system permanent as is rack, which is easily 60-80kg combined).

    I've come to the following prelim choice and wonder if anyone has something similar, with a similar car setup/objectives/car specs (I hope to give the go-ahead to have these installed shortly, but just want to be sure this is likely the optimal OME setup for my purposes):


    Front coils: 2851
    Front shocks: 60018
    Rear coils: 2864 ('400kg constant')
    Rear shocks: 60071 (matching shocks for the coils - the one with the 'firm valving' *)
    and OME steering damper and trim packer...


    Quote from OME catalogue: * The firm (valving) part number should be selected whenever heavy rate springs are fitted, as the valving has been specifically developed to control the higher spring rates. The firmer valving will provide better control when cornering, while also preventing axle bounce over rough roads

    The alternative at rear would be the 200kg coil and matching shock but I worry it's not suitable i.e. under-specced for our 'overlanding' purposes. I'm not interested in the 600kg coils, not just far more expensive but have read reports that they can be very hard and uncomfortable unless extremely heavily loaded.

    Many thanks for any input addressing this query - and would love to hear any user experience on similar car/setup/weights...
    I'm also pretty much set on the OME rather than say IM or other brands.

    Last edited by Kalahari Cruisers; 2020/10/19 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Added text as couldn't post initially

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    OME is certainly a good choice, got their suspensions in my 60 series Cruiser and FJ.
    Sounds like you are concerned about the suspension becoming to stiff when lightly loaded or to wobbly when heavily loaded. How about you go for a medium weight setup, seeing that you do carry constant weight, but add air helper springs again?
    That way you would have best of both worlds.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Thanks - yes indeed that's essentially the concern. I know what "I want" and also what I "don't want" (overly bouncy and stiff when not loaded for overland, or too soft/unstable when loaded up) - and the addition of air helpers is an option. I have them in currently although they seem to be damaged and would need to be replaced. That said, replacing the air helpers would take this north of R30k, and would probably see if it's needed first. Are you suggesting a 200kg setup compensated by air helpers? Or 'constant 400kg' setup at rear as described above plus air helpers...

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Cruisers View Post
    Thanks - yes indeed that's essentially the concern. I know what "I want" and also what I "don't want" (overly bouncy and stiff when not loaded for overland, or too soft/unstable when loaded up) - and the addition of air helpers is an option. I have them in currently although they seem to be damaged and would need to be replaced. That said, replacing the air helpers would take this north of R30k, and would probably see if it's needed first. Are you suggesting a 200kg setup compensated by air helpers? Or 'constant 400kg' setup at rear as described above plus air helpers...
    I remember OME had 3 weight options, light, medium and heavy. Is that 200 / 400 / 600 kg or is there an option lighter than 200 kg?

    In your case I would probably go with the medium setup. See how it works for you, since the vehicle does seem to ride with constant weight. If it becomes too soft for your liking, add air helpers again.
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Your old dampers(shocks) are probably worn out, but your current springs are in all probability still good.

    I would look into replacing only the dampers, ToughDog is highly recommended by Francois from Voetspore as the most comfortable and excellent reliability out of the brands they sell.

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    @HugoNotte - I'm not sure but think they are rated 200/400/600 - coils would be codes 2863 (200kg) 2864 (400kg) and 2868 (600kg) paired with the relevant shock. Per the specs, "optimum performance" would be with loads of 200-400kg, 400-600kg, and over 600kg respectively. Lift 50mm front and rear.

    @Cyclone101 - given the age of the suspension (13 years or so), 110k mileage done and the loads carried, I'll play it safe and replace both coils and shocks, but also to ensure a "matchup" on the respective components.

    Back to the original question - anyone with specific experience on above options, or a similar scenario? Never having experienced OME and accustomed to my now worn-out IM setup can unfortunately only go by specs and desktop research....
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    I played around with 3 different setups in my 105, which was also my touring vehicle loaded to the brim at times.

    I initially started with a full EFS set, it was the worst suspension setup ever, even had the boffs from EFS checking the system over. Then moved onto OME, but with +400KG in the rear. The result was an uncomfortable unladen ride and high stance in the rear. Second option on OME was +200Kg and airbags, this was the sweetspot and the car drove like a dream.

    If I had to do it again it'll be +200Kg and airbags in the rear.
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Also swopped out my suspension a few times till I found what works for me. I now have the +200 in front and the +600 in the rear with dobinsons MRR shocks. Also mainly used for overlanding and loaded most of the time, the 35" tyres help with the hard suspension when empty, but I don't drive it much empty and I don't personally like airbags.

    The suspension selector on the OME website is quite accurate, and their products are good for the cruiser. Are your tired coils etc all the standard units? If so and they have been working for you till now then I would not go more than a medium duty kit rear and the softer option up front.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    @DCTheron - many thanks! That's interesting..and that's my worry - a too rigid setup with the 400kg constants. I do at times use the cruiser casually and wouldn't really mind / be bothered by a harder setup then, but it's got to be right for the overland travel (family and gear). I don't tow anything. I've always had air helpers until they broke (but lasted a dozen years) and they provided great levelling support - so I'm not averse to going that way again, but in some way hoped that I can avoid it if choosing 400kg constant springs at back. I had my mind set on the 400kg / firm shocks at rear so your experience throws it open again. Of course, one needs to bear in mind that when it needs to matter, we are really heavily laden - from the top (RR and lots of gear, often quite a bit of wood too), to fridge, drawers, and gear - always pack more than what we probably should be.

    Of course I also don't want the air helpers having to do most of the work - the 400kg spring setup and relevant shocks add about R1k to the cost so it's no big deal doing, and was kind of hoping it would address what I'm already doing with the air helpers previously. Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of IM setup mine is, apart from the foam cell shocks and car having a slight lift.

    I also want to avoid any caster correction interventions, and hope I won't need any with either (200 or 400kg...and up to 50mm lift) @DTCheron - did you have to do that with the 400kg setup initially (did you get around 50mm lift?). The comment about the high stance at the rear when unladen concerns me a bit but I guess it's part of the nature of the beast when getting something that works hopefully perfectly when fully laden.

    @AboutAfrica - thank you - that's the other extreme and I'm interested to hear that. Although I'm going to stick with a single brand (OME) I think. I prefer my tyres inflated to 2.7bar on the open road so probably not getting too much dampening from them, but I don't know (285s). In the bush / sand they're around 1-1.3bar so plenty shock absorption then. In terms of the current coils - they are Ironman - I don't know which ones as came with the car 13 years ago. They were fairly new then and have served me well, but won't keep them on.
    Last edited by Kalahari Cruisers; 2020/10/20 at 11:30 AM.

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    I would not to the +400kg coils with your vehicle setup. Remember the Constant +400 means that your vehicle is always carrying about 400kg of gear over stock weight. In other words your vehicle will still be level when loaded with 400kg. If you do a lot of driving unload it will be uncomfortable. I had an 80 series with this setup. Beautiful if loaded to the brim, but empty it was a serious handful on a dirt road - bouncing all over.
    Wicus Diedericks

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    My set-up is not a good example for your use, as mentioned it is what works for me and what I use the vehicle for, which is a bit more extreme than "normal" overlanding.

    Hence my question about your current set-up. If it is Iron man then I would almost think it will/might be a medium kit as they were more popular.

    Many people use the airbags and are happy with them, I was just put off because of two events where bags failed and the guys were basically stranded, but that was mainly because of wrong set-up, overload and pump up the bag, bag fails and suspension on its own could not handle the load at all.

    DCTheron is on the right track imo. Also as mentioned by Wicd, the + is that ammount plus your standard load rating. It is quite easy to go "too hard".
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Thanks Wicus, appreciate your input. We don't use our cruiser much, although obviously if anything needs to be loaded or carted around during the year it does. It's not a daily drive and 80% of its annual travel would be on a long distance "trip" - but even shorter local trips will invariably carry quite a lot of gear (albeit then without much weight on the roof rack). Of course, when on overland trips - especially to the bush - the car is then heavily laden. But in fairness, these trips are "overloading" type rather than technical trails or extreme terrain, but the terrain may get a bit challenging mainly because its very sandy (eg parts of Moremi or Namibia). But the majority will realistically be on firm gravel roads and similar, I guess. No dune driving

    I don't fully understand the concept of the "constant springs" apart from it assuming a constant weight and optimal performance over a weight range of spec + X kg.

    So the following would be an option per the OME suspension selector (which results in the 200kg coils [#2863] at rear and presumably more standard #2851 coils in front, and sport shocks rear [#60020] and front [#60018] ). But assume this would then definitely require air helpers...?

    ---

    OME EK1302A2 (kit)

    Recommended for vehicles with no bull bar and carrying loads of 200kg to GVM. Optimum performance will be achieved with loads of 200kg to 400kg. Front lift: 50mm, rear lift: 50mm.

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    @AboutAfrica - missed you last post - thanks very much, that makes sense!

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Cruisers View Post
    @DCTheron - many thanks! That's interesting..and that's my worry - a too rigid setup with the 400kg constants. I do at times use the cruiser casually and wouldn't really mind / be bothered by a harder setup then, but it's got to be right for the overland travel (family and gear). I don't tow anything. I've always had air helpers until they broke (but lasted a dozen years) and they provided great levelling support - so I'm not averse to going that way again, but in some way hoped that I can avoid it if choosing 400kg constant springs at back. I had my mind set on the 400kg / firm shocks at rear so your experience throws it open again. Of course, one needs to bear in mind that when it needs to matter, we are really heavily laden - from the top (RR and lots of gear, often quite a bit of wood too), to fridge, drawers, and gear - always pack more than what we probably should be.

    Of course I also don't want the air helpers having to do most of the work - the 400kg spring setup and relevant shocks add about R1k to the cost so it's no big deal doing, and was kind of hoping it would address what I'm already doing with the air helpers previously. Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of IM setup mine is, apart from the foam cell shocks and car having a slight lift.

    I also want to avoid any caster correction interventions, and hope I won't need any with either (200 or 400kg...and up to 50mm lift) @DTCheron - did you have to do that with the 400kg setup initially (did you get around 50mm lift?). The comment about the high stance at the rear when unladen concerns me a bit but I guess it's part of the nature of the beast when getting something that works hopefully perfectly when fully laden.
    I cannot find the specific details at the moment, however remember the lift was immense, I'm talking more than 120mm front and back from the low-slung OEM suspension (it was fairly low, even though only on about 80KKm). The huge height gain was with the EFS installed.

    Road holding was an issue and I had the "washer-mod" done to correct the castor. When I replaced the EFS system with OME the front lowered by about 45mm, and thereafter the car drove a lot better.

    I had a replacement aux tank installed, it was a Long Ranger copy and hold 210L, combined total of 305L (had to check my bank balance before filling up, just kidding ). RR, packing system, 90L NL, spare wheel carrier, etc, etc.

    If one calculates all the extras it is way past 200Kg and 400Kg coils work better wrt carrying ability, it is only the completely empty drive that suffers a bit with the 400Kg coils. If you leave some of the weight in the 105 all the time and don't use it as a daily like I did then perhaps it is not such a big deal to go for the 400Kg coils.
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    carrying loads of 200kg to GVM


    This is the "Constant" bit. It simply means that your vehicle constantly carries a load of 200kg. Like adding front bumper, rear bumper, extra fuel tank, rocksliders etc. So this coil needs a load of 200kg before it will begin deflecting. that is why it is stated that they perform optimally with a load of 200kg.

    Although we all like to think so these type of coils is not a license to load heavier than the vehicles design/ registration. They are made to support the extra weight of the accessories.
    Wicus Diedericks

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Old Man EMU does give you around 50 mm lift, not much more. I might be mistaking, but your axles are solid and the castor angle shouldn't be affected by lifting the rear?
    2012 FJ Cruiser
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    I found some pics after the EFS install.... It was a beaut of a vehicle, together with SWAMBO's FJ, which was also on an EFS suspension lift and bigger tyres. The 105 dwarfed the FJ . Sold both to buy a V8 79 Land Cruiser DC .

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Petri bought it as a "keeper" - well we all know he always sell them on

    Be careful about the stated 50mm lift, I find you almost always get more. If your vehicle is new and the OEM suspension is in good condition and you do not opt for a +rating then maybe.
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
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  27. #18
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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by DCTheron View Post

    If one calculates all the extras it is way past 200Kg and 400Kg coils work better wrt carrying ability, it is only the completely empty drive that suffers a bit with the 400Kg coils. If you leave some of the weight in the 105 all the time and don't use it as a daily like I did then perhaps it is not such a big deal to go for the 400Kg coils.
    Yes, permanent "non-standard" weight involves 2 SS water tanks albeit empty (no idea of weight, maybe 15kg combined), the Outback drawer system (maybe 30kg empty?), left side drawer permanently full with gear (maybe another 15kg), and of course the Hannibal RR (maybe 25kg?) and hi-lift jack (10kg?) plus IEF single spare wheel carrier (15kg?)

    So I'd imagine permanent "extras" must weight nearly 100kg. That's still well short of 400kg obviously. But as mentioned, car is not in daily use but used at best on weekends for the odd errand, and then on 'overland' trips its properly loaded past 400kg (I'd think).

    I'm a bit torn between the 200kg/air helper and 400kg (and no air helpers for now) setup but these real world examples have been very useful.

    In terms of "lift" - a slight lift is welcome but it's a totally secondary consideration - and don't want a much raised COG. Plus, how on earth would those Botswana officials be able to inspect the contents of our fridge then

    @HugoNotte - yes solid axles - but didn't know this doesn't potentially impact caster angle. I had (also) received a quote for 600kg coils and caster correction.

    @Wicd - yes, all noted. I'm convinced this will be a bit bouncy esp. when empty / near empty. But the aim is primarily to cater for when car is used on trips/overlanding.

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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Cruisers View Post
    I'm a bit torn between the 200kg/air helper and 400kg (and no air helpers for now) setup but these real world examples have been very useful.
    If that is your vehicle in the pic when loaded with your current set-up, air bags and all. I would consider the +400.
    Also a proper list of what goes in and then getting a good final weight calculation helps with the choice.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
    slightly modded 02' 105 series 1FZ-FE
    https://www.facebook.com/kepanamibia/


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    Default Re: LC105GX suspension question - ratings

    I am running 600's IM with air helpers at back.

    I have a long range tank and spare wheel on back bumper, and at the time this was my main reason for the heavy load carrying ability, also needed to carry water.

    I had a caster correction done, Johan tyres special. I recently also added a self centering steering damper, just wanted to see the difference, not massive but i do think it has added some stability. Here i think the caster correction is the main reason for current performance. Oh i run 285's muds.

    On tar with no load and tyres at 2.4 bar it is a bit bouncy but not horrible, i can cruise comfortably at legal speeds or above with only steering one hand correcting slightly. Tyres at 1.8 odd bar much smoother and more stable, tar and gravel.
    Barry Hall

    Land Cruiser 105

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