suspension uncomfortable conditions

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 09:49
ThreadID: 123167 Views:4638 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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We have taken the advise of the wise and had our Landcruiser 100 IFS series suspension upgraded to tow a heavy BT.
Travel even on major roads is very uncomfortable. !!!!
We have installed OPPOSITE LOCK heavy duty shocks all around, their medium heavy springs, and Poly air bags (we run at only 7 psi),
Our van is a 21 foot 3500 KG loaded unit, and the passenger observation is that travel a "short sharp "chop" similar to a high speed power boat in a choppy sea"
This has caused problems in the " his and hers" back problems, and restricted thoughts of travel of proper "off road" conditions.
WE run the van and L/C at 35 psi in normal conditions, less when need to.

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Reply By: Taj Mah Tracker - Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 10:16

Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 10:16
What I was trying to say above is that our physical condition means we need to find a "COMFORT WAY" to enjoy our bushtracker.
AnswerID: 570120

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 16:29

Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 16:29
Bad Backs,

Yes we both had similar problems and found that adding airbags to the LC helped a little, as did the weight distribution hitch, but the most effective remedy has been putting in Recaro Seats. They were recommended by a friend who is a rally planner, and who has done more outback travel than anyone I know (including the Lone Ranger!). The support they give is superb and we thoroughly tested them on our trip to Cape York in June/July last year.

Liz's back was particularly bad after our Red Centre - Top End trip the previous year and mine wasn't much better (possibly because of the support obtained through hanging onto the steering wheel. A passenger grab handle like in the 60 and 70 series would be of benefit to the passenger.

The Recaros have proven the best remedy for us though.

Cheers.............Rob and Liz
AnswerID: 570121

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 17:26

Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 17:26
I don't have the Recaros only because they are a bit pricey, but have often thought about it after trying them out once at a car show. They certainly feel fantastic, more like being in a comfy aircraft seat than a car. The standard Landcruiser seats are surprisingly ordinary, and even lacking in squab length.

AnswerID: 570122

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 19:26

Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 19:26
"more like being in a comfy aircraft seat than a car"

Had to laugh at that, ive never come across a comfy aircraft seat, but then ive never flown 1st class LOL

Our 100 IFS had the ARB suspension fitted, upgraded torsion bars & strengthening brackets, 863 rear coils and OME shocks all round, it firmed up the ride but not to the point of being uncomfortable, i preferred the firmness rather than the soft wallow. 3 lots of friends have fitted Recaros, [bulk purchase] and they think they are great, i have a chronic bad back and dodgy hips and whilst i would not say the Landcruiser seats give much support and i agree ordinary I personally never found them uncomfortable.

Taj Mah Is there any difference in ride towing or not towing? empty fuel tanks or full? i'd go back to Opp Lock and express your disatisfaction, have them swap around some different spring rates to find a compromise.
Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 23:33

Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 23:33
We noticed a big difference in the ride quality of our F250 when we replaced the original Ford Shocks with Bilstein. Where we used to have a soft ride we now feel more bumps and jarring from the road due to the stiffer shocks. This is probably similar to what you are experiencing also.

Apart from going back to a softer suspension, I think the harder ride is the price you have to pay for stiffer suspension.

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AnswerID: 570123

Reply By: dazmit - Friday, Jan 05, 2007 at 00:12

Friday, Jan 05, 2007 at 00:12
I'm with Mick in that you should go back to Opposite Lock and tell them it's not suitable.
We have a 2004 IFS TD 100 series and initially I just fitted Heavier duty rear coils to assist in towing a 2.9T van. Recently we fitted Recaro seats , ARB torsion bars and strengthening brackets as well as TJM XGS shocks all round. The ride stiffened a little which was great as it has far less body roll and it's a huge improvement all round. Ride is still good and I was surprised how much better it copes with bumps , corners etc.
The Recaro's are also excellant as I would get a sore lower back with the standard seats in less than an hour - now i can drive 500km easily with no sore back - bliss.

Seems that you are having a pitching problem which I'm guessing is only with van on ???? If it only appears with van on and assuming you are using a WDH then possibly the van could be a bit big for the Cruiser - ie van is driving the Cruiser and not the other way around.


AnswerID: 570124

Reply By: Bushtracker42 - Friday, Jan 05, 2007 at 18:00

Friday, Jan 05, 2007 at 18:00
We have had all the suspension bits for a while and while firm the ride has never been too harsh. The guy who did our suspension wanted exact toball weight, and still had 3 sets of springs to trial when we turned up to get the minimum yet level suspension (North Shore 4WD). Bilsteins maybe help this ride.
The other thing is tyres. These can vary ride a lot.
Unfortunately the Bridgestone HP road radials we run when not off road are not for dirt tuse, but the difference is dramatic. They are quiet, light, low rolling resistance (adds up to better fuel economy) and easy on the bumps. I often run to a mine site for work 400km away. If I have the off road set on, I change over no matter what time of night as it's chalk and cheese.
I don't know how different off road typres are in this area. Maybe you can trial someone elses set?.
In saying all this, the seats are in the cruiser were never good and now dead (nothing to do with my 120kg of weight) and so we are currently shopping.
AnswerID: 570125

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Saturday, Jan 06, 2007 at 20:42

Saturday, Jan 06, 2007 at 20:42
G'day Ian & Robin,

We got a quote on new Recaros and they were about $1800 each, fitted. That's a lot to pay for a better back after 200km of corrugations. We were lucky enough to pick up two second hand ones (in excellent condition) for $700 and then had them fitted for about $350.....a huge saving.

There is another little benefit of the Recaros....They weigh 15kg each compared to the 20kg Toyota you can carry an extra half dozen red and still maintain your vehicles weight!!

Cheers........Rob & Liz
AnswerID: 570126

Reply By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jan 08, 2007 at 08:18

Monday, Jan 08, 2007 at 08:18
Taj Mahol,

Something is wrong with your suspension...

There are many grades and combinations of springs and shocks.... Yours do not seem to be working properly. I cannot gauge if the springs are too stiff or the shocks too severe, as I cannot feel it from here... But I would take it back to the source....

I have not had similar problems in any Cruiser, done with ARB Old Man Emu Kits. My advise is take it back and have them change it out. Either with springs or shocks or both, but something sounds very wrong. I like the longer spring travel equipment myself, that increases the space between the bump stops... But in any case, my 100 Series has medium grade springs and rides very nice.

Proof? It has to, as my Wife has a bone spur in her neck, and this is Her vehicle.... Get it fixed!!!

Regards, from the Ranger, leather saddles but padded for comfort is the way to go...
AnswerID: 570127

Reply By: Taj Mah Tracker - Thursday, Jan 18, 2007 at 19:09

Thursday, Jan 18, 2007 at 19:09
Thanks to all who replied.
What I omitted to mention in the original post was that we had installed the Stratos full suspension seats ($4000 for two), back in May.
It did make a difference, a great difference, but on reflection the problem has probably become more noticable some time after that.
So Rob and Liz, although not Recaro seats, I reckon the Stratos must be along the same lines.
We do use a WDH (thanks Rob & Darrly), and have had the Haymen Reece tow hitch shortened by 75mm to reduce the distance behind the rear axle that the ball weight loads. We have the extended draw bar on the van.
Mick & Vickie, the problem is far more noticable when towing.
We have taken the advice from several of you and gone to the local Opposite Lock dealer (Maroochydore) rather than travel back to Brisbane where the original work was done.
OL Maroochy were very helpful, spent several hours checking out what may be the trouble. In the end all that was able to be "corrected" was to raise the front end by winding up the torsion bars, to counteract 'sag' which had developed.
Without the van on, driving home after this change last evening, the Cruiser felt very different.
The test comes tomorrow when we take the van on a 600 Kn trip over the next week.
Gary, your comments about tyres are probably also spot on, we run B F Goodrich all terrains. If the problem persists will consider replacing them when they need it. They have done 66000 so far and look like they will make 90 -100K.
Will give an update after this comming trip.
Again thanks for all the comments and advice.
AnswerID: 570128

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Thursday, Jan 18, 2007 at 19:53

Thursday, Jan 18, 2007 at 19:53
Hi Ian,

I hope [presume] that OL Maroochy know not to over wind the torsion bars, reading your original post you do not mention if you had upgraded the torsion bars at all with heavy ones, even fitting the heavier rated TB's it is recommended not to wind them up any further than what gives the front suspension a 70mm droop [wheel drop when jack up axle under diff]

Also for those with the IFS 100TD's be aware of the potential cracking on the front lower suspension A arm, there are bolt on fixes but to be done properly they need to come off and be fully stitch welded, a company a friend part owns also makes a diff drop bracket that lowers the diff but actually increases the wheel travel & height. There was an article in Overlander magazine regards it and i have a scanned copy if any one is interested in reading it.

Mick & Vickie

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