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Old 9 Nov 2013
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suspension set up for HDJ81

I have a 02/1991 HDJ81 12v manual with ff lockers (unusual for a Jap import).

It needs new shocks and springs anyway and I want to set it up for a Stans/Russia trip in 2015.

Was thinking of a 2inch lift and an OME setup with 851's on the front and 864's on the rear.

Its not my daily driver and never will be, it will be used as a tow wagon when not travelling, so I don't care if the ride is a bit harsh when empty.

It will have winch and bumper on the front as this would be handy for me at home at times for timber and well I also want one!!

May or may not go down the aux tank route, but will be carrying water, jerry cans etc any way on the trip.

What do people think I should do??
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Old 12 Nov 2013
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You really need to sit down and work out what weight you are carrying before finalising the spec - 864's are for +400kgs which will be a little OTT if just fitting a bull bar and winch, but fine if fitting a roof rack, roof tent and some sort of storage system.

Any more thoughts on the spec?

Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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Old 13 Nov 2013
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Well spec wise, I have a rack so I may as well use it!!

Wasn't planning to go down the roof tent route, that's a bit OTT for my liking. Was thinking more ground tent, I have one anyway, and will take out the back seats, so will build some form of storage inside with a flat top to allow 'indoor' sleeping in inclement weather/depending on location occasionally.
Never fancied the idea of a RTT lets say in a lorry park or lay-by in Western Europe.

Will be fitting a Waeco CF35 fridge because I have one!! So will be fitting aux battery system, and a small pure sine wave inverter so I can charge laptop etc.

I'm tempted to fit a water tank in the dead space behind the front seats and am seriously considering some form of heat exchanger, but I could just as easily go down the solar shower route. Haven't just made my mind up on that one.

The reason I was thinking of the Aux tank was to avoid having to carry diesel in the cab, especially if its partially used for sleeping, and I don't want the weight on the roof really either??
Have you any idea if any other tanks will fit below, I have a fair collection of scrap here, and I'm planning to do some measuring of fuel tanks versus space. (I buy the odd car here and there to be broken for export). If there is a specific tank out of another model that would work easily I would be able to get it from friends in the trade. Long ranger tanks etc seem very expensive.

Beyond all that, I was thinking tools/spares/jack at least 50kg, something to cook on and some clothes etc is going to throw another 50kg into the mix as well.

Build weight on some form of drawers and sleeping platform has to be another 60+kg at a guess.

I would think when you add all that together (+fuel,+water) that it has to be near 400kg?

As for the winch bumper, well I'd love an ARB on, but unless I can find a 2nd hand one cheap (which I can't see happening) I'm going to make one myself. It won't be as nice but it'll do the job and it'll be a fun project.

Really the way I'm looking at it is that I'd rather spend the money on the mechanicals than the RTT, ARB stuff etc.
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Old 15 Nov 2013
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Hi - saw the mention of an HDJ81, which is the same vehicle I used ie a Jap import.

The following is copied and pasted from my website:-

I was advised to fit uprated Dobinsons springs and shocks, with a 2-inch lift and 50KG extra load at the front / 350KG extra at the back. A castor correction kit was suggested, but this is NOT required for a 2-inch lift. OME is a well-known make also, but with a mixed reputation in some quarters. I did have problems with my own Dobinsons shocks – in fact, I made all 4 of them fail at once – but this was because I drove too fast for too long on a bumpy road. Oddly, one of my rear springs seemed to ‘settle’ after a month or 2 and I did the entire trip with the rear axle about an inch closer to the bump stop on 1 side than the other. It made no difference to the ride or handling, though, and I have found out subsequently the reason for this – Dobinsons springs are ‘handed’! They are longer on one side than the other by about half an inch to counter the camber found on many of the Aussie roads, with the longer spring on the passenger side which is generally on the down slope of the camber so it levels the truck out. Maybe best to reverse the fitting instructions so the longer springs are on the right-hand side of the vehicle if you plan to spend a lot of time in drive-on-the-right countries with cambered roads.

You also mentioned long-range fuel tanks - on the Jap import LCs, with the spare wheel on the swinging arm at the back rather than the cross-member under the rear floor aft of the back axle, you've a massive space there that can take a LR fuel tank. Not cheap, but you might find these sorts of things can be bought cheaper from places like South Africa or the US.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other queries. I see you're even using the same type of freezer that I had!

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Old 18 Nov 2013
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OK, tank wise you could get away with just a couple of jerries of fuel for the trip you are doing that can be easily stored inside (assuming decent jerry cans).

You may find an odd 3rd party tank that could fit under the rear or go for an 80l header style tank designed to fit above a spare tyre that are around £575 + VAT otherwise you are heading for the bigger long ranger style that are a lot more expensive.

I would actually suggest running with +200kg for the time being and than as your plans develop you will get a better idea of the weight you are carrying and then if needs be you can look to get bigger springs before you leave.

Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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Old 1 Dec 2013
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On our car LC 105 built like a camper, we had in front Rally raid Koni and the back Dobinsons. The Dobinsons break down after 60.000 km on the road to Mana Pools Zimbabwe. We now have Tough Dog in the back and we are very happy with them. Our car weight full loaded 3.600 kg. See our car www.2globetrotters.nl fotoalbum 6.

Succes Ronald
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Old 7 Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
I would actually suggest running with +200kg for the time being and than as your plans develop you will get a better idea of the weight you are carrying and then if needs be you can look to get bigger springs before you leave.
This! I would go one step further and recommend buying 863's and building your 81 to stay at GVW. If you have the need for 864's, you're probably not doing anything too technical without carnage.

The less weight, the more capable, better handling, better braking and less maintenance required on the road. Win-win.

The OME's are proven and available almost everywhere. 850's up front are a given.

I'm now 4 months into our Panam trip and couldn't be happier with this set-up at GVW. Fox 2.0's have been a great addition - but a few friends have been more than happy with the OME Sports.

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