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Old 08-24-2021, 03:58 PM #1
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Best Shock / Spring combo for washboard roads. Not looking to lift

Hi guys -

So much information out there but I could not find a clear position on my situation.

I have a 2000 Ltd 4X4 bone stock. I keep the car at a camp in the Maine Northwoods. As a result it sees a lot of dirt/gravel roads with plenty of washboard surface. I don't need any lift. Rollover risk is high enough at stock height (already rolled my 2002 with a 3" lift).

I'm looking for the best combination of front and rear shocks and springs to smooth out the washboard roads.

Let me know what you think.
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Old 08-24-2021, 04:16 PM #2
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Best would be a hover craft mod followed by a baha truck setup. Progressive shock suspension like icon, fox, kings even eibach.. Valving and rebound on washboards is a big factor.

low cost option: billys 6112 front rear 5160,
mid range: eibach, icon stage one, fox no reservoir.
high end: kings, icon stage 2 or 3, fox with external reservoir.
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Old 08-24-2021, 05:14 PM #3
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If you haven't already, lower your tire pressure. Try ~15psi, this will have a much greater affect than any suspension modification.
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:06 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team_Jake View Post
If you haven't already, lower your tire pressure. Try ~15psi, this will have a much greater affect than any suspension modification.
100% this.

Maybe a better shock with better fade resistance, but tire pressure
is the name of the game. Splurge on a quality compressor instead.
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Old 08-25-2021, 11:37 PM #5
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Bilstein 6112/5160, overland designs sway links, OME rear springs, durobumps and 20psi equals major profit on my rig. If I’m really going balls out in the 60mph + range while rallying I bump to 25psi.

How the hell did you roll it? Sway bar disconnected or something? I can do full on 90 deg+ ebrake turns on gravel in 2wd. The kids love it.

The shocks and other bits are hell of awesome. Worth every penny to me, but I have to echo what everyone is saying about tire pressure. Get you some really good kick ass tires, there is lots and lots of choices there, and give it the appropriate air pressure. Pressure is the greatest equalizer. Go get you a super kick ass air setup and don’t fight it. Love my portable dual ARB. It’s actually getting ready to get sent back for some self-inflicted issues.

I like it so damn much I won’t even be mad if I have to buy another one. Even the just running my dual compressor as a single last weekend worked great. Only to about 9-10 minutes to air up instead of the usual 4-5.

Pick your flavor and whatever makes sense for your situation. Be it a single, dual, mounted, portable, or a power tank of some kind. Just do it.

My buddy had a hell of a time keeping up with his 900 trail Rzr last weekend. Air down, air down, air down. Air will add orders of magnitude to you enjoyment. And is probably as effective as a fancy suspension at mellowing out the road. My wife falls asleep half the time we’re out wheeling which kind of blows my mind. We’re not exactly casual wheelers, we tend to go pretty goddamn fast over the rocks and bumps.

But if no lift is what you seek on a budget, roll in a set of Bilstein 5100s and call it a day. The 5160 rears are recommended for 2”lift. You can go 6112s up front with a +0 height if you wish.
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Old 08-26-2021, 12:19 AM #6
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+1 on Tire pressure. Drop it to ~20 psi front and rear of its blasting dirt roads at higher speed. Wouldn’t go lower especially if running 4 people and/or a bunch of gear. Any lower I’d start worrying more about rolling it off the bead or generating all that heat from flexing the sidewall at speed . If you have SL load rated (not load C/D/E) maybe 25 psi as it’s not as stiff, play with it, even just a couple PSI makes a difference. Huge advantage if it lives out in the woods as a dedicated trail blaster not having to air up and down all the time.

The billy 5100 are awesome, big improvement off-road from a OE style. I’d dial in air pressure then upgrade to the 5100 if further capability is desired. Past that, you need to asses what you need from your rig Best Shock / Spring combo for washboard roads.  Not looking to lift


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Old 08-26-2021, 02:08 AM #7
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Agree with dropping PSI. Best budget springs for wash board is the Bilstein 5100, they still cost like $130 but they seem to be the best entry shocks for that use.
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Old 08-26-2021, 08:06 PM #8
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Having an air compressor is the best low-cost accessory I can think of off the top of my head. I got a cheap-ass Smitty 5.6 CFM on sale that does the job (slowly by some people's standards). Something like that and any puncture repair kit like a 45$ ARB will save your ass (but more often it seems to be someone else's ass - pay it forward!). Next, get a kinetic rope, a soft shackle, and some.....and.....more...more...

But, yes, lowered PSI = Major washboard chatter reduction.
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Old 08-26-2021, 08:46 PM #9
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As others have said 6112 with anything in the rear if you have no rear pax or something like Dobs MRA rear if you do.

The comments about psi: that's only true if you are slow. Going less than 28 psi at higher speeds is asking for trouble.

If you doubt me, go ahead and film yourself hitting whatever at speed at various psi and see what happens to the tire in slow motion.
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Old 08-27-2021, 12:47 AM #10
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@MAST4R : Hmmmm the OP didn't say how fast he wanted to go, but I drive washboards to get to spots regularly at about 20PSI. I doubt I get over 30 mph however. I'm on 32" M/Ts and narrow rims (stock 7") so there are def some variables to consider. Should I be concerned? I have a mild lift w medium springs, extended end links and bumps.
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:10 AM #11
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@MAST4R : Hmmmm the OP didn't say how fast he wanted to go, but I drive washboards to get to spots regularly at about 20PSI. I doubt I get over 30 mph however. I'm on 32" M/Ts and narrow rims (stock 7") so there are def some variables to consider. Should I be concerned? I have a mild lift w medium springs, extended end links and and bumps.
That's not fast but I generally don't do less than 28 unless it is a low range trail with real challenges. The issue would be if you hit something: the tire squashes a lot and you can get a pinch flat or even damage the wheel. You can see how much it squashes by filming yourself and reviewing in really slow motion. That's LTE, I would not run an SL low unless I really had to like deep sand.

The longer shot issue would be the tire itself, high speeds and temperatures at low pressures damage the tire permanently but how often that results in a burst tire is hard to tell.
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Old 08-27-2021, 12:57 PM #12
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Quote:
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The comments about psi: that's only true if you are slow. Going less than 28 psi at higher speeds is asking for trouble.

If you doubt me, go ahead and film yourself hitting whatever at speed at various psi and see what happens to the tire in slow motion.
28PSI is barely below the factory street inflation pressure on a 3rd gen. I run 35psi street on my c-rated LT tires and that might be a bit high for my normal loads (I'd air up the rear if I was towing or carrying a load for any distance).

And high speed is relative. It really doesn't sound like he is going for max speed off road, just comfortable on washboard dirt roads. No hard edges or pinch flats to worry about. I'd probably suggest something in the 18-20psi range on LT tires, which will allow some local street driving and be much more comfortable off road.

Heck, I've done 10+ miles on the freeway (kept speed to 60) at 18psi - was evacuating due to a brush fire and didn't have time air up until I was a safe distance away.

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Old 08-28-2021, 06:36 PM #13
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Best Shock / Spring combo for washboard roads. Not looking to lift

I’ve also done up to 60 mph on pave at 20-23 by the time it’s warmed up many many times. I try to stay under 55 in that case. Tires don’t even get hot. Obviously it’s not ideal and yes you “should” air up. It’s gets super loud on my Kanatis and yes it does roll hard. But for the brief 5-15 mile jaunt it’s not an issue during a day of wheeling.

28psi cold is very conservative to say the least. . Why even air down would be my thought. I think what’s important is go at the speed of your understanding here. If your really worried start at 25. Hell I’ve done 12.5psi in Moab before…. 18psi is a really nice all around pressure for a 10pr 265-75/16 3ply sidewall in my experience of trying all kinds of pressures.

For what it’s worth, I run 40 psi street and 18lbs that warms up to 20-22. Staun deflators are awesome. I also have an arb deflator. 5 people and gear always. 4.30 axles.
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Old 08-28-2021, 09:11 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAST4R View Post
That's not fast but I generally don't do less than 28 unless it is a low range trail with real challenges. The issue would be if you hit something: the tire squashes a lot and you can get a pinch flat or even damage the wheel. You can see how much it squashes by filming yourself and reviewing in really slow motion. That's LTE, I would not run an SL low unless I really had to like deep sand.

The longer shot issue would be the tire itself, high speeds and temperatures at low pressures damage the tire permanently but how often that results in a burst tire is hard to tell.

This is a really good point also. The load rating really really matters here. And what your doing really really matters. How heavy the rig is really comes into play.

The 10 ply rating or (load range E) really shines when abused, trashed, ran hard and fast over rocks etc. But you have to ask what is your use case. The once a year in the gravel for a couple miles and the other 99.9% is daily miles to the office would be doing yourself and your rig a disservice to run LTE tires. The SL tire would be perfect in that use case.

I so wished load C 3 ply sidewall 3PMSF tire existed in a very aggressive at/mt. That would be the most shut up and take my money situation ever in my life. But sadly, that tire is unobtainium to my knowledge and hours and hours of searching the entire catalog of all the makers I could find. So an LTE it is and I live with the drawbacks. 40 psi on pave basically solves all the issues and let’s me get 18-19 mpg when I drive 4-8 hours to where I camp and wheel. 12-13 mpg when I wheel long distance. But my use case is I treat my T4R like a side by side with air conditioning that I don’t have to trailer. It just happens to be able to be able to be daily’d if I wanted to or needed to. It’s job is to be my fun/adventure rig.

Be brutally honest with what you want. KBro2’s in SL is what most guys probably should run but don’t. If you trash your rig off road, I vote LTE in a 3 ply sidewall. Sorta wheel some, LTC or D would probably be about right. E’s bring some serious drawbacks in ride, weight and fuel economy, but the ability to be rode hard and put up wet is undeniable.
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Old 08-28-2021, 09:36 PM #15
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King 2.5 front
King 2.5 rear
OME rear coils
Durobump front and rear
E load tires aired down to 15psi

I ran washboards in Moab at 30+mph and felt nothing.

M&M trail has a long stretch of them and a bunch of us just took off, where my buddy's in their Bilsteins/OME slowed down due to fade.

With that said, I'd suggest ADS as they'll valve them to your liking.

And even though you said you don't want a lift, you can lessen the preload on coilovers to bring you to stock height.

Buy once cry once.
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