I reckon if a suspension manufacturer wanted a good R&D test bed for their products, then slinging them on or under our lead tour vehicle would be a very good exercise. I’ve played with suspension to no end with the 105 series vehicles I have owned & admittedly, never came up with the perfect combination.
The new build we have just completed (More coming on this), on our latest 105 series Toyota Landcruiser gave us an opportunity to start fresh & unveil a set up to be used for its touring schedule right across every region in WA.
Last year, we went through 3 sets of shock absorbers on the previous vehicle. Tours of the Kimberley, Pilbara, Canning Stock Route and numerous tracks around WA with a heavy vehicle used in the bush seemed to be a little more than they could handle. Its certainly important to remember however, that the vehicle is set up right for asny lift modification to give you the best chance, and ultimately, I think the mix was off with the last vehicle which didnt help the cause of the shock absorbers.
Rewind 6 months ago, we had 4 inch front coils with 5 inch rear coils & the flexibility to run 33’ & 35’ tyres at leisure. Adjustable arms, castor correction & supporting componentry were fitted but it was time for a change & rather than a big one, we went well for a “little change” so to speak. Thanks to the help & advice of our mates at Pedders Joondalup & the lads out at Malaga Springs & Suspension, together we built an absolute belter’ of a touring set up!
LIFT/Coils : Gone are the days of 4 +inch lifts & 35 inch tyres – It’s simply unnecessary for touring. Big call & I know plenty may disagree, but without sounding a little big headed, I have been lucky to travel a vast majority of WA & frequented tracks on both ends of the spectrum, from mild to wild. Point being, there is nowhere I’ve needed to go I couldn’t have got through with a smaller lift & 33’ tyres! So it begged the question? Why dont I have that. That my friends is why the new car has received a HD 2 Inch lift front & rear. You want to know one of the best differences already? – Its so much more bloody comfortable on the road as well as in the bush!
Opting up front for Pedders heavy duty 2” front coils to support all the bar work, winch & lighting it gives a very impressive overall lift in the front end. Running heavy duty springs in the rear is a must, so I sourced a set of EFS 500KG constant load coils. Wow – If the front came up you should of seen the back! For a 2 inch lift, it was reminiscent of the 4inch I had taken out of the old car, but once settled & a bit of weight added its sitting absolutely perfect.
I have done away with problematic air bags that can’t handle the rough stuff & with draws, fridges, tools, rear wheel carries & a long range tank with 180L capacity Im stoked with how it sits! I like the car to have a slight nose down attitude & have found it really helps with braking and overall handling – its certainly bang on the money for what I wanted to achieve & the key was those 500KG constant load coils.
SHOCKS: If there is a shock to be killed then I’m probably your man! Failures varied but with the heavy load, rough tracks & sustained use off road on corrugations it was not a nice place to be a shock absorber. This time round I was adamant I needed the extra cooling capacity of a remote res shock. I opted for rebuildable units & after a chat with Tom at Malaga Springs & Suspension, the Dobinson MRR in a 2-3” variety was installed. Immediately after pulling out the OME shocks, on the drive home it was noticeable how well these shocks performed & further reiterated on the two tours of the South coast they have seen so far! I am nothing short of amazed at their ability to provide the ride quality I am experiencing on & off road! It will be great to get them up to Northern WA for runs through the Kimberley, Pilbara & CSR again in 2018. For now, they have proved to be one of the best modifications on the new tour build & I cant speak highly enough of how they were fitted to the car!
Adjustable Ironman rear arms were retained, and every bush on the underside has been replaced by Pedders Joondalup with their branded bushings. I prefer using rubber bushings, acting as a sacrificial consumable, instead of harder compound alternatives that I have had flog out componentry, in heavy use applications such as my vehicle. Braided brake lines, while not needed explicitly for this size lift on a 105, were fitted and pedal feel is much improved. I am currently experimenting with extended sway bar links front & rear to see if I can get more flex out of the set up & the jury is out on whether its beneficial at this size of lift or not. Do you have any input? All good signs so far, its surprised me at places I thought a wheel lift was in order, yet I was able to maintain traction. Pedders HD steering dampner, castor correction bushes & tie rod ends finish off the suspension set up with virtually no component untouched. It drives MINT & that is a huge plus for those long highway stretches, where driving between tours is enjoyable!
Gone are the days of big lifts. Touring is where my heart is at, but i’ll never shy from a challenge & I have found this set up on the new car will tick all the boxes for travel across WA no matter what I’m facing. Ultimately, my opinion is you need to set your car up for what you’re actually doing, not what you think you might be doing! It’s rewarding having a set up that fits the bill, as the car will perform where you use it most! Also on the new car, winch & locker options help with extra traction in situations where slightly higher lift can be beneficial, but I find a lot of it comes down to learning your vehicle and your own capabilities as well as applying those skills off road ultimately get you further on the tracks.
I’ll let you know how things are getting on in the new year after a heap more KM in the rough stuff!
Catch you later,
Pedders Joondalup – 93001961 Manager: Domonic
Malaga Springs & Suspension – 92481130 Manager: Tom