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Unread 03-19-2006, 12:07 AM   #1
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Post 4Runner rear suspension revisited

Well some of you might have seen the article in 4wdtoyowner mag. I'm still waiting for my copy

I have done some digging on the rear suspension of the 4R for some time now, and I believe these mods will be able to fit exactly the same on the FJC.

First a bit of history. Towards the end of 2004 I was looking at an upgrade from my Daystar suspension for a number of reasons. One was load carrying and the other was more control on rough roads with weight and lastly a bit more flex. Since the front is limited by IFS and the swaybar there is not much to do, so I was looking at getting the new Donahoes for the front which still left the rear exposed. I was considering to get some custom coils made since none was availible fro transplant from other applications (read 80 coils as in older 4Rs), and then using Revtek rear shocks as they seemed to work pretty well in the flex department after seeing Michael's 4R with the Revtek lift at Hollister.

James and I was throwing ideas around for a while, and then in early 05 James was speaking to Ben at Slee about the Prado120 OME kit and fitment on the 4R. We also had some conversations with guys in Oz about these. After a lot of calculation and brainstorming we ordered setups for the V6 and V8. It took abit of R&D and after fitment we had to validate some stuff, which is captured mostly in the OME thread. Those issues have long since been resolved. The OME kit is really good and will be very hard to beat for the price.

I however had some concerns with it. One was on the front and the ability of the OME coils and shocks on the front to carry the extra weight of the V8 (200lbs) with winch, bumper and dual batteries. That is quite a bit more weight that the Prado120 has when fitted out. If you are not planning to carry all the extras the 885s will work fine with the V8 and the shocks as well. I believe Slee is working on heavy duty coils for the front, but that is for another thread. Also flex in the front is held back by the swaybar and no disco solution yet. Back to topic.

My concern with the rear was that the ride was firmer than I liked with the 895s and 142 shocks, and flex was improved over stock but not what I was hoping for. See an 80 or 3rd Genwith OMe flex and you will know what I mean. When I added my cargo system and fridge+slide in the rear (about 220-250lbs) lift became a problem with the 895s. 896s resolved that, but ride suffered when not fully loaded with all the gear and camping stuff. SO the ride was not I wanted and flex was not where I wanted to be.

To be continued.
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Unread 03-19-2006, 12:26 AM   #2
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Ok so now for the solution. To get more flex, height and softer ride means longer softer coils and longer shocks. Before going further please keep in mind this is not a simple bolt in solution like the OME kit, but I was not willing to change control arms or cut the frame mounts.

So first lets look at the coils.
First the specs
Stock is 180lbs/inch and 14" free length
895 260 15 1/4"
896 320 15 1/4" (see why its firm when compared to the stock rate)
Custom coils 218 16 1/8"
I had the custom coils made by coilspring specialties in Kansas (coilsprings.com). I have been talking to them before even looking at the OME kit. I also spoke to Deaver springs who actually also referedme to them for custom coils. The coils cost me $220 shipped, a bit more expensive then other coils. AS you can see from the rates they ride softer than the OME coils, while still offering good load ratings. They will give a stock rear weight 4R between 2.5 -3" lift in the back. I'm currently getting longer coils for my cargo sytem and will probably upgrade again in the future when I get a rear bumper with tire carrier. Keep in mind that the Prado is heavier in the rear than the 4R, so it requires firmer coils.

Below are the pics of the coils next too each other left to right
Stock, 895, 896, custom
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Unread 03-19-2006, 12:45 AM   #3
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Now the shocks are important to gain more flex as they are the limting factor in droop. However using the stock locations required that the compressed length should be low enough that the shocks does not get overcompressed. Also keep in mind that on the 4R the shocks get mounted on the outside of the frame rails, which is good for handling and stability. Bad for flex on an axle.

SO after speaking to Ben I got a set of 80 rear shocks, I got the softer ones as the 4R weighs a bit less in the rear (N71E OME shocks).
The specs compared to the 142 OME shocks
142/141 13.77" compressed 22.5" extended
N71E 14.43" compressed 24.18" extended

AFter fitting the N71s I found that with the rear axle fully flexed and compressed on the bumpstop there is still about a 1/2" shock travel left, so the extra length goes to extra axle travel.

Below pics of the shocks
Top to bottom is stock, 142, 71


I also got a set of Revtek shocks part # R2515


Teh Revteks are slightly longer than the 71s, but they dont have poly bushings which compress less. Got them from wheelers for less than a $100. They give a little more flex, but I'm concerned about them compressing too much (This has however not beeen an issue).

I found the Revteks to be good match to the 218lb/in coils for a softer ride. However they are less controlled and will not provide the same control with heavy loads. The 71s are firmer (a bit firm), but feels like a better match to the DR COs up front. SO the ride is definitely firmer than stock, but not harsh and very well controlled. YMMV, so pick your poisen. I will post up after my DV trip with the fam, and keep in mind I carry 250LBS or so in the back extra everyday.

I also found that the coils should be at least 2" longer than stock for the Revtek or OME shocks, so using 895/6 coils will be a problem. Teh 895/6 coils get a little loose with the long shocks when the axle hangs, might not be an issue with side to side flex but not recomended.

Having these lonegr shocks create issues than needs to be dealt with. First one is the brakelines are too short. I knwo Revtek makes an adapter for their lift kit, but I haven't tried it. I made a hoem made adapter plate that moves the frame brakeline bracket down by an inch or so and a little rearwards to the axle. This is one solution.


I eneded up getting stainless steel lines in the back and rear. I actually like the firmer pedal on the 03 (as it did feel a little soft before). See thread in 4R section on SS lines. The SS lines are 3" longer (probably a bit too long), but they work great with the stock bracket. I ordered them from Slee, I believe Ben has put together a kit for the 4R by now, which should work fine on the FJC too.


Make sure to install them in a S shape.


COntinued
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Last edited by bulldog; 04-13-2006 at 10:23 AM.
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Unread 03-19-2006, 12:54 AM   #4
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The next thing on the list was the swaybar links. The swaybar is under some stress when liftedand now with longer shocks it will be under more stress with the axle flexed. I also believe it will hold the flex back in stock form.

I had a set of swaybar discos from wabfab. Those of you at Anza will remeber the disco function does not work with the rear control arms as it ended up bending my rear swaybar a bit. However these are high quality units and you can adjust it to any setting you like. I adjusted them till they were about an inch longer than the stock links, thereby freeing up the axle adn making it easier to flex. Basically compress the supension fully and adjust teh link down till it just misses the control arm. Teh stock links can be dropped a bit as well if you make a spacer from tube or a big nut to drop it a bit.


That is basically all that is needed. SO far I like the new setup much more than the OME setup. Ride is better and flex improved, while my load carrying ability and lift is really good. Keep in mind DOnahoe is about to release some rear shocks for the Taco, not sure how well it will work on the 4R in terms of valving. Might be something to look for.

Below is the results. Not super flex, but at least it is more where I want to be.






Now to solve the swaybar issue on the front
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Last edited by bulldog; 03-19-2006 at 12:55 PM.
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Unread 03-19-2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Now as more people provide their input we can probably come up with a nice feedback of folks on different choices and setups. I say this as what works for one person doesn't hold true for another. In short YMMV
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Unread 03-19-2006, 07:57 PM   #6
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Bulldog,

Very cool and great write-up! I followed your lead with the OME and I love the ride. Well into the future I can see myself looking up this thread to convert my rig over to even more of an off-road machine.

Any pics showing the old droop so I can compare next to your new pictures?

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Unread 03-19-2006, 10:55 PM   #7
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Andries, great article, and I'm sure everybody appreciates your R&D and sharing it with all, you know I do.
I called up Coil Springs Specialist last week to find where my new coils are, as it was already past the 6 weeks or so that they said they'd be done. They said that they are just now firing them, and I should hopefully have them in a week or so. I'll let you know how they feel, I desperately need them. My Hoe's are great by the way!!
I think that I'll be checking with them for Hoe's in my rear also!!
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Unread 03-19-2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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Yeah coil spring specialists are a bit slow most of the time and their customer service is not always up to par. They are supposed to send me another set of coils this week so I will see how it goes.

Yeah DR never repsonded to me regarding the rear shocks. But I'll keep trying, I don't think they will make a coil for my needs as I will carry too much weight. Bu maybe their shocks can be valved closer to my needs, since they valve them firmer for desert running than I need however I will have more weight.

Let me know how you like the coils with Revtek shocks, or if you get the OME shocks. What specs did you get for your coils again?
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Unread 03-20-2006, 06:50 AM   #9
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Here's an e-mail I got from Donahoe last week:


We will most likely have our spring and shock options
available towards the middle of this summer. I am not sure if we will be
doing a reservoir shock option or just a mono tube shock. It is all still in
the works. The spring will most likely be a dual rate coil that will give
1-2" of lift. Keep checking back on our website for product updates. Let me
know if you have any more questions. Thanks.

Jeremy Johnson
Sales Representative
Donahoe Racing Enterprises
ph 714 632 3033 x35
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Unread 03-20-2006, 07:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
Yeah coil spring specialists are a bit slow most of the time and their customer service is not always up to par. They are supposed to send me another set of coils this week so I will see how it goes.

Yeah DR never responded to me regarding the rear shocks. But I'll keep trying, I don't think they will make a coil for my needs as I will carry too much weight. Bu maybe their shocks can be valved closer to my needs, since they valve them firmer for desert running than I need however I will have more weight.

Let me know how you like the coils with Revtek shocks, or if you get the OME shocks. What specs did you get for your coils again?
I ordered the coils to the same specs as what you told me that you used on your first set. What are you doing different on the new ones that you're getting? I think that I saw somewhere that you were going another 1/2". Is that all, or is there a stronger rate that you're going for also?
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Unread 03-20-2006, 08:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the detailed post Bulldog.
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Unread 03-20-2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my034runner
I ordered the coils to the same specs as what you told me that you used on your first set. What are you doing different on the new ones that you're getting? I think that I saw somewhere that you were going another 1/2". Is that all, or is there a stronger rate that you're going for also?
Oh OK. I am getting taller coils in the rear to compensate for the cargo/fridge system. I have tried firmer coils, but they don't ride as nice. I will probably get firmer coils one day when I get a rear bumper, etc. The new coils will probably give me 3" or maybe a bit more lift. I got an adjustable panhard bar from Slee to help with that type of lift. As long as you stay at the 2 to 3" range you probably don't need it, onc you go over it might become more neccasary to adjust the panhard. I will test and see how much of a difference it makes.

Please let us know how you like them, more feedback will help other guys as well.
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Unread 03-20-2006, 09:25 AM   #13
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Sofa, thanks for the update on the DR rear. I think the shcoks might work well, but the coils might not be enough for most 4R owners with only 1-2" of lift.

MAC, no problem. More info will be posted on this thread as things develop. This will make it easier for poeple to pick a solution that will fit their needs.
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Unread 03-22-2006, 11:37 AM   #14
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I should get my new coils sometime next week. The coilspring guys had an issue with their oven and is running a week late. Can't wait to put in the new coils, but I have a special need I believe the coils rated above will work great on a 4R with no rear bumper or permanent cargo system like I have. Even when loaded it is still higher than the 895s, so I don't think people should worry too much about it.

Will see what your experience is 03. Are you plannign on keeping the aibags with the new coils? Or will you first run without them to see what they do?

I will probably also put back the OME N71Es when I put in the new coils to compare the ride again with the Revtek shocks, I think it will better match the more agressive Donahoe front end.
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Unread 03-23-2006, 01:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
I should get my new coils sometime next week. The coil spring guys had an issue with their oven and is running a week late. Can't wait to put in the new coils, but I have a special need I believe the coils rated above will work great on a 4R with no rear bumper or permanent cargo system like I have. Even when loaded it is still higher than the 895s, so I don't think people should worry too much about it.

Will see what your experience is 03. Are you planning on keeping the airbags with the new coils? Or will you first run without them to see what they do?

I will probably also put back the OME N71Es when I put in the new coils to compare the ride again with the Revtek shocks, I think it will better match the more aggressive Donahoe front end.
I somehow blew out the bags @ TDS. The plan is to replace those and run both. The question is, do I keep the Revtek spacers as well. As you know, I replaced the front Revtek for the unbelievable Hoe's, but haven't taken out the rear yet. There is a Toyota service bulletin on '03 4Runner brakes. My buddy Brett (Master Certified Tech) has ordered the parts that Toyota is replacing, and if and when my dam* coils get here, do it all at once in the shop while it's on the lift.
So are the new coils you're getting to replace the other set that you just bought an inch longer? I'm thinking about the Hoe's for replacing the rear Revtek shocks, hopefully they're not as expensive as the front!
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Unread 03-23-2006, 01:18 AM   #16
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I am just getting taller coils as my 4R runs with the cargo system in the back all the time. The airbags will have to be looked at to fit with the coils.

They said they will ship my coils Friday, seems a bit backed up there.
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Unread 03-27-2006, 11:34 AM   #17
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Deaver is another option for custom coils. I ordered mine from them, and they delivered around when they quoted me. I think I was charged $225.
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Unread 03-27-2006, 12:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared
Deaver is another option for custom coils. I ordered mine from them, and they delivered around when they quoted me. I think I was charged $225.
When I spoke to them they actaully referred me to the Kansas place, they might have changed their mind in the mean time. I must say it will be good to have another option as Coilspring Specialties is pretty difficult to deal with.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 05:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
When I spoke to them they actually referred me to the Kansas place, they might have changed their mind in the mean time. I must say it will be good to have another option as Coilspring Specialties is pretty difficult to deal with.

Difficult they are! But, after 2 1/2 months, they Finally called me and told me that they were Actually shipping them!!!! I'll believe it when I see them! I can't wait to get them on, I hate dragging the rear when I'm out, with all of the crap that I carry. Also, Jeremy, from Donahoe Racing called me yesterday. I'm going to call them back in a minute and see if he's calling me about a system for the rear. I'll let you know.
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Unread 03-29-2006, 05:27 PM   #20
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kewl it will be great to see what DR has in the pipeline.
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