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Old 10-06-2021, 12:58 AM #1
AlpinUltra AlpinUltra is offline
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Suspension Suggestions Please!

Hi All,

I bought my truck with a Toytec/Bilstein 5100 lift kit (3" I think) and Goodyear 285/70R17 tires. I like the look but functionally this suspension is not working for me. I have had a look around and there appears to be a dizzying array of choices, most of them appear to be aimed at the high clearance crowd which I am not.

What I don't like
> The suspension feels overly stiff, offroad I have to crawl over everything that isn't a gravel road. Yeah okay slow down, I know. The problems come when there is a smooth gravel road then an unexpected obstacle and it isn't absorbed because I am going smooth gravel road speeds.
> I don't like how high the center of gravity is
> I don't like the diff drop concept and want to run less suspension lift so I don't need it

What I would like
The direction I would like to go with this truck is obese rally car, with an ability to clear most mud puddles and stones on rough, unmaintained fire and jeep trails. I want this to be a trail runner, not a rock crawler. I really want something that will stroke and absorb high speed bumps rather than stiffening up. A lot of the driving I do is 30-50mph and it absolutely sucks to see a rough patch and try to haul it down to 5mph in time so I don't beat up my truck.
I also would like to lower the truck a bit, maybe ending up somewhere between 1-2" higher over stock.

Down the road I plan on doing long travel. So for right now I want an interm affordable solution and when I do long travel that is when I want to spend my dollars.

So what's out there? I appreciate any options you guys can throw at me!
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:52 AM #2
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Dobinsons IMS

I went with a Dobinsons IMS set up and truly enjoy it. Excellent ride on and
offroad, great quality and built for what you are looking for. I put Dobinsons C59-302 front springs and C59-505 rear springs. That gives a 2-2.5 front lift and a 1 inch rear lift, so just a little lift. I went through Exit Offroad and spoke with Mike. He really explained the different qualities (IMS mono tube vs twin tube) and was great in helping me choose a set up for exactly what ride and offroad qualities I was looking for.

Last edited by jscott6; 10-06-2021 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 10-06-2021, 01:15 PM #3
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I mean for one.. I think you're running way too big a tire if you're not actually looking to take advantage of it off road. That going to a 35 over a 33 inch tire added quite a bit of unsprung mass for me so I'm sure that doesn't help.

Bilstein's are a nice entry level shock but you can't expect factory ride quality on an aftermarket option while lifted on 35's unless you spend a bit more money i feel like. Anything in the Fox/King/Icon 2.0-2.5 range will net a much smoother ride quality, and if you splurge a bit more would also give you the ability to dial in the stiffness of the shock a little via the adjustment valve.

The diff drop isn't impacting what you're feeling in the drivers seat, but yes, if you're only going to run a 2" lift you probably wont see much benefit in reducing your cv angle (since it sounds like you're not after using your whole suspension travel anyhow) so you could get rid of it i guess.

For the Long Travel plans.. I'm confused now.. if you don't like your ride height/center of gravity now, it won't get any better if you go long travel.

bottom line though, if you're after a "trail runner" that is actually capable and performs the way you're describing I think an extended reservoir shock is the absolute least you need to be looking at. But keep in mind that with a single shock you have to pick a happy medium of what it does (stiff or soft) since it can't adjust on the fly. This is far from an "intermediate" setup until you go LT later.. you're spending a couple of thousand bucks, waiting a few months, etc.

Not to mention other components like UCA's, ball joints, rear links, etc all will get trashed pretty quick I would think at any sort of healthy trail running pace unless your bombing it through the desert over rolling dunes...
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:57 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscott6 View Post
I went with a Dobinsons IMS set up and truly enjoy it. Excellent ride on and
offroad, great quality and built for what you are looking for. I put Dobinsons C59-302 front springs and C59-505 rear springs. That gives a 2-2.5 front lift and a 1 inch rear lift, so just a little lift. I went through Exit Offroad and spoke with Mike. He really explained the different qualities (IMS mono tube vs twin tube) and was great in helping me choose a set up for exactly what ride and offroad qualities I was looking for.
This sounds like something Id be very interested in. Do you have pictures of it installed on your rig?
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Old 10-07-2021, 03:22 PM #5
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pics

Pics of the mentioned Dobinsons set up
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Suspension Suggestions Please!-t4r-pic-jpg  Suspension Suggestions Please!-t4r-jpg 
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Old 10-08-2021, 01:49 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinUltra View Post
Hi All,

I bought my truck with a Toytec/Bilstein 5100 lift kit (3" I think) and Goodyear 285/70R17 tires. I like the look but functionally this suspension is not working for me. I have had a look around and there appears to be a dizzying array of choices, most of them appear to be aimed at the high clearance crowd which I am not.

What I don't like
> The suspension feels overly stiff, offroad I have to crawl over everything that isn't a gravel road. Yeah okay slow down, I know. The problems come when there is a smooth gravel road then an unexpected obstacle and it isn't absorbed because I am going smooth gravel road speeds.
> I don't like how high the center of gravity is
> I don't like the diff drop concept and want to run less suspension lift so I don't need it

What I would like
The direction I would like to go with this truck is obese rally car, with an ability to clear most mud puddles and stones on rough, unmaintained fire and jeep trails. I want this to be a trail runner, not a rock crawler. I really want something that will stroke and absorb high speed bumps rather than stiffening up. A lot of the driving I do is 30-50mph and it absolutely sucks to see a rough patch and try to haul it down to 5mph in time so I don't beat up my truck.
I also would like to lower the truck a bit, maybe ending up somewhere between 1-2" higher over stock.

Down the road I plan on doing long travel. So for right now I want an interm affordable solution and when I do long travel that is when I want to spend my dollars.

So what's out there? I appreciate any options you guys can throw at me!
If you wanna go fast, digressive shocks are NOT the answer... As you're finding out. Honestly, digressive valving sucks in general.

Read this: Digressive vs Linear vs Progressive Pistons & Shock Valving - AccuTune Off-Road

My suggestion, get something with linear valving. Dobinsons stuff is all linearly valvled, and some of it is adjustable as well.
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Old 10-08-2021, 04:36 PM #7
AlpinUltra AlpinUltra is offline
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Well this thread got way more interesting that I was hoping for, awesome! Thank you everyone.

I am looking at Dobinson's per the recommendations. Thank you for the info JONBOY345, that perfectly explains what I am experiencing; keep my piston speeds below the knee point, otherwise I might as well be using wood blocks for suspension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aemravan View Post
I mean for one.. I think you're running way too big a tire if you're not actually looking to take advantage of it off road. That going to a 35 over a 33 inch tire added quite a bit of unsprung mass for me so I'm sure that doesn't help.

Bilstein's are a nice entry level shock but you can't expect factory ride quality on an aftermarket option while lifted on 35's unless you spend a bit more money i feel like. Anything in the Fox/King/Icon 2.0-2.5 range will net a much smoother ride quality, and if you splurge a bit more would also give you the ability to dial in the stiffness of the shock a little via the adjustment valve.

The diff drop isn't impacting what you're feeling in the drivers seat, but yes, if you're only going to run a 2" lift you probably wont see much benefit in reducing your cv angle (since it sounds like you're not after using your whole suspension travel anyhow) so you could get rid of it i guess.

For the Long Travel plans.. I'm confused now.. if you don't like your ride height/center of gravity now, it won't get any better if you go long travel.

bottom line though, if you're after a "trail runner" that is actually capable and performs the way you're describing I think an extended reservoir shock is the absolute least you need to be looking at. But keep in mind that with a single shock you have to pick a happy medium of what it does (stiff or soft) since it can't adjust on the fly. This is far from an "intermediate" setup until you go LT later.. you're spending a couple of thousand bucks, waiting a few months, etc.

Not to mention other components like UCA's, ball joints, rear links, etc all will get trashed pretty quick I would think at any sort of healthy trail running pace unless your bombing it through the desert over rolling dunes...
I feel like I need to clarify a few things. The tires are 32.7". I like the idea of running this tire size and clearancing the wheel wheels if needed, it is the right kind of lift IMO and adds capability for clearing minor/moderate obstacles. I do agree with you that going bigger would be overkill for my use case.

My main problem with the diff drop is I don't like the diff at a constant angle and I don't like what that might be doing to my front driveshaft. I also don't like that my front skid plate needed to be lowered to clear the diff (seems self defeating if the goal is more clearance).

Why long travel? I want to improve the ratio of track width to center of gravity height for more stability and long travel will give me the wider track width part of that equation.
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Old 10-09-2021, 05:50 AM #8
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@AlipinUltra, you alluded to a budget but didn't mention specifics. I'd love to put $1500 worth of suspension on my '07 but the opportunity cost is too high given that my truck is my DD and going off the pavement is less than 5% of my miles. With that said, (my setup) is very capable as you can see on my YT channel. I'm not offended if it's not what your looking for, that's not the point, it's that you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money to have the performance you're after.
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