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Old 5 May 2009
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Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
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Shocks for my 60

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone has any shock absorber recommendations you could share with me?
I’m expecting the OME springs for my 60 series TLC in the next day or two, but still haven’t decided on which dampers to go for yet.
They’ll have a pretty tough time, but I’d ideally get a set that are up to multiple month long desert trips carrying half a ton in the back at times.
Some preconceptions I’ve had (rightly or wrongly) were that gas is the way to go, Koni Heavy Tracks are as tough as they get & OME have had some bad reports for durability??
Looking at the Koni website, it looks as if they are a more conventional oil shock?
I’m not interested in brand image and certainly don’t want to spend a single penny I don’t have to….so……

Are the Koni’s worth the money? (They are at the absolute upper limit of what I could justify spending)
Any comments on the OME shocks?
Might I be better just getting a new standard OEM Toyota set?
Or anything else I should be looking at?

Any comments gratefully received
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Old 6 May 2009
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Hi Sam,

Well, the Koni's are very good, you'll have to work hard to bust one. On the other hand I've been running OME's for years on a variety of 4x4s and have yet to have one fail. For example my 120 series Land Cruiser has 150,000km (desert and the tarmac to get there) on its first set of OME shocks.

For the money, (Koni's £175 - OME £55 per corner) I'd consider going OME with a couple of spares should the worst happen. After all, it's not a big job to swap them out.

Happy trails,

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Tours to Morocco, Tunisia, Arctic Circle, Alps, Pyrenees, Eastern Europe, Corsica, and UK weekend tours.

Last edited by Peter Girling; 6 May 2009 at 00:11. Reason: speling
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Old 6 May 2009
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Thanks Jojo, just the sort of experiences i was after.
For £175 you must be talking Heavy Track 'Raids' (i def wont be going there!!)
The Koni's i was looking at were about £100 a corner, just 'Heavy Track' not the 'Raid' version.
Glad to hear you've had good experiences with the OME's, i must admit i hadn't got a price on them yet, but if i can pick them up for £50 ish a corner they've got to be a serious contender.

Thanks again
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Old 6 May 2009
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yet more shocking

The general consensus seems to be that the 60 series (like the 40s) and OME are very, very well matched. I ran a set on a heavily laden Defender expedition/rainforest 4 wheeling vehicle and had nothing but praise for OME. I am aware they are re-branded Monroes or whatever with different valving but they do tend to work. Like anything there are a few failures which of course get a lot of attention as the overland community exchanges so much info over the web IMHO. Toyota's OEM shocks (Tokico) are also however very good. In almost 14 years of beating up Toyotas in West Africa I have only ever blown one - on a heavily laden 75 being thrashed at the time. IIRC the Old Man Emu and Tokico are both gas charged while the Konis are not. Arguably a twin tube 'normal' oil shock can take stone dents etc better than a mono tube shock. But I wouldn't get worried about that really. For what you describe I would go with the emus or OE - yes the Koni Raids are pricey, but wait until you put them up against Bilstein/Fox or King dampers which are in another league altogether. The one advantage of high priced shocks is that they can be re-built, but to be honest when I once had high end shocks on a road car re-built it cost as much as a cheap normal shock, so you are unlikely to really see any saving there, and as you say you don't want to spend anything you don't have to... And you are unlikely to find a re-building place while overlanding!
When your shocks are taking a real beating and start to fade (i.e. lose their damping ability due to extreme heat buildup) you should back off or stop - otherwise they will fail. At the end of the day a busted shock is not huge issue, I would go OME and stick an old front and rear in a side panel or tied well to a chassis rail.

As I said the matching - be it vehicle or springs is very important. As you are going OME springs I wouldn't hesitate to go the same route with the shocks.

The worst shocks I have come across are the fronts on D22 Nissans - they look like they belong on a VW Polo, and being torsion bar IFS they work HARD - and last about three months here. Of course that is totally irrelevant to a 60 series :-) Any shock that you are fitting must be matched to the travel of your suspension - shock absorbers do not like being used as bump stops or spring travel limiters... Another reason to go with matched OME dampers and springs!
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Old 6 May 2009
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Thanks Gil, much appreciated
It looks like the OME's are more like £80 each (unless i'm looking in the wrong places) but it definitely sounds like they're a good option.
I agree with your point about matching components, it's got to be a good thing.
I need to get a price for the OEM shocks (a fair bit less that the UK dealer price i hope) and go from there i guess.
At the end of the day, a knackered shock is not going to leave me stranded somewhere, which i suppose is why i'd struggle to justify spending a fortune on them.....but.....i don't want to be replacing them after every trip either!!

Time to sleep on it i think
Thanks guys
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