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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
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Antofalla, Catamarca

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Old 11 Jun 2017
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Take a spare set of coils?

Hi All

I'm just about ready to set off across Russia in my 'new' 1996 Hilux Surf. In contrast to my trusty old Hilux, which has leaves all round, the Surf has coils on each wheel. A huge improvement in ride quality, but unknown to me in terms of durability.

I have entirely replaced the old stock suspension with Bilstein HD shocks and OME coils, with HD coils on the back, and I'm very happy with how the vehicle handles. I've also fitted new travel stops.

Is it standard to take a spare pair of coils? As they are new, high quality items, I am inclined not to, but I can see that, in contrast to leaf springs, a broken coil spring would pretty much make the car undrivable...

Do you guys break coils often? I'm not anticipating doing much serious off-roading, but there are plenty of pot-holes in Russia and I will be doing a fair bit of night driving. I've kept the load pretty light, though at times it will be weighed down with a lot of extra petrol.

Would appreciate any input,

EurasiaOverland a memoir of one quarter of a million kilometres by road through all of the Former USSR, Western and Southern Asia.
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Old 12 Jun 2017
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Personally I wouldn't see any need. The OME coils are pretty heavy duty and well made. Barring a total fluke, a coil spring of decent manufacture and fairly new isn't going to break, if you hit a big enough pot hole to break the spring, that'll be the least bit of your worries.

Actually, I've never broken a coil spring on a 4wd, only a couple of leaf springs, though those probably died through wear and tear more than any major individual calamity.

I have broken coil springs on cars from heavy towing, and have driven on them for days afterwards. Unless you are very unlucky, they tend to either break near the end, in which case you are a bit lopsided or if they break near the middle the two ends will be rammed into each other. In which case you will probably be a bit lopsided.......... But still limping on in either case.

In any event EO, if you think about it, coil springs aren't as 'fitted' as leaf springs (no exact length or bolt holes for attachment) so with a bit of bodging a roughly similar spring will do the job if you are far from a large town.
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Old 12 Jun 2017
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I have never bothered carrying spare coil springs and never broken one, I did carry a spare rear shock absorber in West Africa though (did not use that either), BUT I have seen shock absorbers overheat and fail before, these are more likely to go than a coil spring IMO.

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Old 13 Jun 2017
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All good stuff. Will not be taking spare coils then. Thanks for the info.
EurasiaOverland a memoir of one quarter of a million kilometres by road through all of the Former USSR, Western and Southern Asia.
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Old 24 Jun 2017
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Coil Springs

Just as a foot note to your question. When we did a UK to Magadan trip 3 years ago I fitted new springs on the rear(non Toyota) of my 4Runner still in good condition but not as high as they used to be. Use the storage space for more essential items like food.

Have a great trip.

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