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Old 14 Nov 2010
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Suspension upgrade for a Land Cruiser 80

Hi all

I´m looking for your opinions about the best suspension upgrade for my HZJ 80 (same as HDJ 80 GX but with 1-HZ engine, without Turbo).

The car will run with roof rack and winch.
I'm thinking about:
OME 850 + N70

OME 860 + N71

Any alternative from other brands?

Thanks a lot for any help.

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Old 15 Nov 2010
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Having just spent seven months travelling through Africa in a heavily laden HZ80 I can give you this advice:

Olm Man Emu, Ironman, TJM and all those kinds of suspensions are pretty much the same thing, so shop for price, not nessaserily for brand. On prolonged travels you will probably need to change the shock absorbers anyway and you probably won't find the same brands in the place you need to replace them. So check out the price of Monroe shocks and if they're cheaper than the other brands, get them. They are availible all over Africa. We have air helper springs in the rear instead of heavy duty springs. They work really well and protect the shocks to a certain extend.

Keep in mind that you will get a bit of lift when you change suspension and that will give you a slightly worse. A good tip for extra clearance is to put tyres with a 85 profile on instead of the normal 70 for all terrains or 75 for mud terrains. You will thrash your tyres on a trip as well, so no need to spend a fortune on somehting that will not last that long anyway. Something like Bridgestone At's of BFG AT's would be fine. We have Bridgestone Muds and they also work well.
Dawie du Plessis
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Old 16 Nov 2010
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Thank you for your answer.

I agree with your point of view.

I already put 235/85-16 BFG AT. Very nice.

P.S. - Any other opinions from the members?

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Old 16 Nov 2010
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This isn't related to the LC 80, but on my Nissan Patrol I've got Monroe shocks and I plan to install an air lift kit on the back for the next long trip I'm planning through southern and eastern Africa.

Shocks and springs wear out over time, and I've generally stuck with something cheap and cheerful (original or cheap replacement like Monroe) and replace it when necessary.

I was originally tempted to go with OME, because of their excellent reputation, and the additional 50mm lift you can get, but the price was too high to justify it.

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Old 16 Nov 2010
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Depends on what you intend to do with the LC! I wouldn't take 2nd grade shocks like Monroe for extended expeditions! They are good for normal use but I think not up to the job for expeditions. I have Koni Heavy Track (adjustable) and they did 60.000Km in Africa and they are still very good. They are designed for serious off road use and in australia (the home of OME) they are very popular.

Especially on coil spring cars the shock need to be as good as you can get them because they need to work hard, much harder than on leaf spring cars The leafs have a damping effect themselves due to the friction between the leafs which is missing in the frictionless coils.

The KONI's are not cheap but not more expensive than the OME and I have seen many cars in Africa with the KONI's.

If you intend to do an overland trip, the suspension needs to be 110%, that is the part which will suffer most and is most likely to give troubles if not ok.

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Old 16 Nov 2010
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OME for me

Hi all,

My two-pennorth... I've travelled a lot through Africa and seen a lot of broken shocks. None were Koni's, one was OME and the rest were a mixture of cheaper, cheap, and cheap and nasty.

The Koni's are great but at £175 a corner in the UK and OME's at £65, I can afford to run OMEs, carry a spare and still have change. Swapping out a shock is easy enough - I've done loads on other trucks but my OME's are still fine after 100,000km.

Happy trails,

Atlas Overland - Specialist adventure tour company providing off-road holidays for 4x4 enthusiasts in Europe and North Africa.
Tours to Morocco, Tunisia, Arctic Circle, Alps, Pyrenees, Eastern Europe, Corsica, and UK weekend tours.
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Old 17 Nov 2010
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Hi all,
thanks a lot for your quotes.
It´s very nice to receive different experiences and opinions.

Best regards,

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