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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Shocks....what to do

SOOOOOO its going to happen and soon. I have a few short questions as always. what would a remote res shock do for me?



My other question.

I remember volcom had 14inch hoops and shocks on his rig. Will doing this effect my compression travel or do anything for droop over the 12inch hoops and 12inch shocks? Im thinking about going with the 14inch stuff to give me room to mod and change later because i cant see a change. Im going to be limiting compression travel to prevent back arch in the spring and cutting some if need be. I think i should be ok tho.

Daily drivin in winter months, Wheeled hard and put away wet(no really i dont dry it and do wash it after every run) I want a soft ride and predictable suspension. I also want it to last. I want to beable to mod the rest of my truck and enjoy it. Will they last longer being remote res?

The other part of the question is... If i take the triangulated shock set up off the rear(been planning on for a while) and dont go remote res am i going ot have the issue i did before where the leafs dent the hell out of my shocks? I think that right there is enough to make me want to do them


Post up cause if everything is as planned im ordering this shiz today.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 06:16 AM
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I don't know crap about modified suspensions, or I'd speak up.

I will say that you don't want to go over 550# springs on the front, if you want a decent ride.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:24 AM
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With my front flex, I use what a 12" shock would give me. If you use a 12" shock and hoop, you have to be dead on in terms of getting it up to minimize shock damage from topping them out or bottoming them out.

The 14" hoops are a PITA to install. You have to cut some big holes in the inner fenders. I lost a place to mount my steering reservoir (need to make a bracket this winter along with making a bigger reservoir). But the 14's give you some wiggle room in terms of getting them setup without worrying about shock damage. I personally would stick with the 5125 over the 5150. I don't think you'll need the extra couple of ounces that semi-remote shock reservoir would give you (unless you're bajaing the truck up some rough roads at a high rate of speed.)

I've enjoyed my 5100's, they are good shocks!
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 10:48 AM
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My understanding also is that remote reservoirs are more for Baja driving. The only other issue I have had has been with my front OME struts and too much droop, after which I blew one of the inner seals.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:09 AM
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Remote resevoirs are for heat. If you plan on cycling the suspension fast and for long periods, they make a lot of sense.

I am going to disagree and say that I don't like Bilsteins. Very stiff ride. Also, I blew one out after only 3 years. Long before it should have.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I am going to disagree and say that I don't like Bilsteins. Very stiff ride. Also, I blew one out after only 3 years. Long before it should have.
wow yours lasted 3 yrs., i blew all 4 of mine 5 days after my truck left the show room

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:38 AM
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I also would go with something other than the billys. They are to stiff, and to expensive for my liking. I actually prefer the ride of cheaper dual tube low pressure shocks.




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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:26 PM
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The only benefit to a small piggyback like that is to decrease the necessary length of the body...check the Bili charts but it should be shorter & therefore easier to fit.

You need a spring rate to match the weight of the truck, and valving to match the spring rate. If the springs are wrong, the shock won't ever be able to work properly to control the truck...a quick way to get a feel for this is bump your tire pressure up to the max listed on the sidewall and go driving just long enough to let the suckitude register (the shock is handling the leaves and the air spring in each tire, not just leaves...change tire pressure to change the total spring rate).

Check out the length on those piggyback bodies, you might not need as much hoop as you think.

Maybe I'm reading between the lines but did you say you have some sort of A-frame setup in the rear?

Personally...after having made a couple shock-related mistakes...I'd recommend pulling apart the leaf pack and cycling the suspension to see just how much travel you're really pulling, then buy shocks.

You could always get a set of BBCS .
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by devinsixtyseven View Post
Personally...after having made a couple shock-related mistakes...I'd recommend pulling apart the leaf pack and cycling the suspension to see just how much travel you're really pulling, then buy shocks.
x2 - I would never buy another set of shocks for an offroad truck without doing this. My rear shocks absolutely kill the travel. I SO wish I had measured first.

Also, I was of the understanding that a remote reservoir would have longer travel in a shorter body since the fluid has somewhere to go.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 06:01 PM
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What would be the purpose of tearing down the leaf pack to figure out travel? Wouldn't the fully assembled leafpack provide the same travel?

Or does pulling leaves out allow it to travel easier, just making it easier to cycle the suspension?

Also, after you determine that your leaves allow for x" of travel, do you then buy shocks that provide x" travel? or do you modify x somehow (x+2")?

Sure I could search and figure it out myself, but asking you guys is much easier.

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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I had to get them at the time of the leaf purchase and went with the non remote res shocks. I found they are mounted with the shaft down so the leaf will have no issues.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 09:57 PM
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You look at the lengths and get the next closest shock based on compression. Compressing a shock is much worse than extending it all the way.

I would think that taking leaves out just makes it easier to cycle it all the way ... in theory, you could take the springs out completely after you get the bumpstops set as the springs shouldn't be what's limiting your downtravel

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RedRunnertc View Post
My rear shocks absolutely kill the travel. I SO wish I had measured first.
You and me both . I popped the seal cover off one of my 7100s from hitting it one too many times. Not gonna happen again!
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pulling leaves out allow it to travel easier, just making it easier to cycle the suspension?
Exactly...the main leaf (and your shackle configuration) is what determines the limits of vertical travel, and with only the main leaf it's easy to cycle with nothing more than a floor jack.
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Also, after you determine that your leaves allow for x" of travel, do you then buy shocks that provide x" travel? or do you modify x somehow (x+2")?
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Originally Posted by RedRunnertc View Post
You look at the lengths and get the next closest shock based on compression. Compressing a shock is much worse than extending it all the way.
Yup. But there are three sorts of setups...there's stock-class, where you're limiting yourself to the OEM shock mounts on the frame, or under the bed or whatever, and then there's the bootyfab special where you take the longest possible shock and stick it at (I swear) the worst possible angle for damping and then claim it's the dog's gonads (for example that A-frame bullshit, the extreme rearward lean, and other travesties), and then there's the all-out, don't care what you cut, long shock in a near-1:1 travel ratio. So decide if you're working with the first or third category and you'll know if you need to base it on compressed length as Troy said, or if you need to find a shock with at least the vertical travel available from your springs. Ideally you want a shock that neither collapses nor hangs...1/2" or so of remaining shaft travel (vs wheel travel) at each extreme is about perfect.

You do need the springs in place to locate the shock since a leaf sprung axle doesn't travel in the same path as a link suspension and the shock will be most effective when it's placed in line with the tangent to wheel travel at full compression--the point when the springs are storing the most energy is when you need the most damping.

There's a lot more but that's the basics.

Pull apart the leaf pack, cycle the suspension, decide if you're gonna use stock mounts. If not, decide if you want to try and reach a 1:1 motion ratio or if you're gonna do something strange with valving and bypasses to try and make something work off-axis. Don't be putting massive angles in there, you lose damping as the springs compress, which is exactly when you need it most. So no A-frames, no bizarre rearward leans, no bullshit...the safest way is like Troy described. The best way involves a little and .

Una can probably add a lot of information to this.

-Sean
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 12:24 PM
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I've got my rear shocks angled in. Only way to fit long shocks under a 4Runner without cutting holes in the rear cargo area. It works OK. I don't get too much rear sway or lean. It gets me by until I can bend up a rear shock hoop and cut some holes in the tub to poke some shocks through.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 12:53 PM
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Shit, I'm angling mine in. I just don't seem to see the problem with it. My truck rides like shit on the highway as it is... About 80% of some REALLY nicely built trucks have the same damn thing. I'll give it a shot...
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 07:12 PM
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At 45*, the damping force of the shock is cut in half. If you are going to do the angle thing, do yourself a favor and get the stiffest valved shocks you can.

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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 07:17 PM
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Yep....done....
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RedRunnertc View Post
At 45*, the damping force of the shock is cut in half. If you are going to do the angle thing, do yourself a favor and get the stiffest valved shocks you can.
With the bilsteins, Russ would be about right at half damping.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
With the bilsteins, Russ would be about right at half damping.
Ya think?I noticed more axle wrap then i had before on the shock set up. I noticed with a load in it the truck was bouncy and tippy as hell. It rode nice with out a load in it but not great i guess. Some bumps were killer some were soft. I think part of it could be my muffler dumping out right before them so they would be hot then cold...I noticed side hilling always felt sketch and felt like it was ready to unload at anytime. I know the Bilsteins are stiffer then most after running them for years on my german cars b ut i know they are good quality so im not scared to run em.

In all honesty im going back because i didnt see enough in flex or in seat comfort to worry about doing something crazy like that. I feel toyota did it that way and it worked so i might as well...Id go either way on it but for me i like a bit more stability even if it is a bit stiffer. The truck is predictable and even tho ride quality suffered a bit im adding the bed,Tire carrier and topper and rear armor so i will get it back in the rear with the weight. Im trying for light but i understand its going get heavy having a loaded rig thats armored up to prevent killing the perfect paint.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 07:12 AM
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Um, yeah ... mine weighs 4940 lbs ... that armor adds up in a hurry!

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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 01:04 PM
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Ya think?I noticed more axle wrap then i had before on the shock set up. I noticed with a load in it the truck was bouncy and tippy as hell. It rode nice with out a load in it but not great i guess. Some bumps were killer some were soft. I think part of it could be my muffler dumping out right before them so they would be hot then cold...I noticed side hilling always felt sketch and felt like it was ready to unload at anytime. I know the Bilsteins are stiffer then most after running them for years on my german cars b ut i know they are good quality so im not scared to run em.

In all honesty im going back because i didnt see enough in flex or in seat comfort to worry about doing something crazy like that. I feel toyota did it that way and it worked so i might as well...Id go either way on it but for me i like a bit more stability even if it is a bit stiffer. The truck is predictable and even tho ride quality suffered a bit im adding the bed,Tire carrier and topper and rear armor so i will get it back in the rear with the weight. Im trying for light but i understand its going get heavy having a loaded rig thats armored up to prevent killing the perfect paint.
I won't run angled shocks because its silly on an IFS truck where the front has all of 4" of travel. However, on a truck with decent front travel, it would make sense if you either trailered, or didn't care about road ride. I think the toyota set up works well, has plenty of flex, and will give you a much more stable ride, for the level that I'm at. Maybe if I ever get bigger, I'll look at changing shock locations.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 10:38 PM
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Um, yeah ... mine weighs 4940 lbs ... that armor adds up in a hurry!
Featherweight

So I had this really huge post all done up explaining what happens and why it's not a good idea to run with an angle but I dunno if you guys wanna hear it. There's a little Paint design attached still, if anybody wants to talk off it.

Basically it boils down to an A-frame setup is exactly the opposite of what you want. It is a spectacular fail, and a classic example of "rock crawlers" getting away with really stupid shit because we move at near-static speeds where you hardly need shocks anyway.

The OEM design on my truck has about a 7* inward lean on both shocks, it's important, there's a reason...the shock setup ideally damps every degree of freedom at the axle. It's why you have one pointing slightly forward and one back, and why they both lean in. The most critical point in the suspension travel is at the top of the cycle, when the springs store the greatest potential energy. You'll obviously be at that point twisted up, but could be close to it in a high-speed emergency maneuver with a lot of body roll. If you put a little inward angle on the shocks, you get closer to 1:1 motion ratio and the most use of the valving at the most critical, potentially riskiest situations the rig will see.

I think you guys will find that a proper shock setup will make your rig more enjoyable to drive at any speed in any situation. I'm also quite willing to help make it happen to the degree you're interested, as soon as I'm done with the current stage of my own build.

-Sean

*edit* Radflo and Doetsch (sp) Tech offer a stem-to-eye shock in addition to Bilstein, in case a stem-to-eye adapter is causing headaches for anyone else. I think I lose ~2" of space running that adapter.

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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 10:51 PM
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I see your point, and I see the reasons not to....but I guess I'm going to have to learn this one the hard way... It's not done yet, but it will be soon. I might be changing everything around again 6 months from now....but that's alright with me. I will have first hand experience at that point. Then I can bitch at the "newbies" and tell them all the ways not to build their truck. Or maybe it will work fine for me, and I won't worry about it again. I just don't know until I try.
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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I see your point, and I see the reasons not to....but I guess I'm going to have to learn this one the hard way... It's not done yet, but it will be soon. I might be changing everything around again 6 months from now....but that's alright with me. I will have first hand experience at that point. Then I can bitch at the "newbies" and tell them all the ways not to build their truck. Or maybe it will work fine for me, and I won't worry about it again. I just don't know until I try.

Thats how i felt. I have to say after last night I got to see how hard it really is to flop a truck and even more important what happens when suspension is allowed to unload really quickly. I tried it im going back. Travis has drivin my truck on trail and on the street and he says he loves the rear and is going to do it to his. It boils down to different strokes for different folks i guess.

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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 08:50 AM
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Please don't think I'm bitching at anyone cuz I'm not . I know the feeling of "gotta try it myself"...granted that's why one of my rear shocks is busted, my coil buckets are bent up front, both shackles are damaged and one hanger is bent...but I understand exactly how you feel.

IMHO it's worth knowing how something works, so it's easier to understand why to use one design over another. For me, it's worth the PITA to build it right vs hope it works...I've found it's less expensive and more rewarding in the long run and one of these days I'll be out wheeling again .

Like I said before, once the glass is hung on my current project I'm willing to help anybody that's interested...I'll have some time available before new shocks go on (can't afford 'em right now), and I'm also quite willing to show my own current poor choice of rear shock placement.
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 03:43 PM
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IMO, the A-frame style is a purpose built application. What do rockcrawlers need? Articulation. How do they get it? Some long ass shocks... Maybe it won't dampen as well stuffed up...but for a lot of rigs, that just doesn't matter. The comp rockcrawlers do the straight up shock design, because they can. That's just not practical for a lot of rigs. Now if they're going any faster than a crawl, the stuff that you mentioned totally makes sense.

Now....my truck is going to be a daily driver, that spends only about 10% of its time- tops -in low gear (which is A TON, really). So for an all around nice performing rig, I kind of lose out. Honestly, I'm not too concerned. It's fun for me. That's what this sport is about. Sometimes its fun to do the silly things like tube doors, a big useless, but intimidating (for mall crawling) stinger, a big CB antenna, a stupid tall truck, and a stupid shock design. At this point, the concept of being practical escapes me, and I've come to terms with that. But when we get on the trail, those silly things are pretty cool. Tube doors for awesome visibility and awareness. A little bit of front end protection with the stinger. The ability to communicate with people far down the trail with the CB. Decent approach, departure, and ground clearance with the height. Awesome travel with the shocks. A little more tippy? Yes....but that's fun for me too...
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 10:08 PM
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So with my new shock setup, I really didn't end up leaning them over that far. At ride height, they lean over about 15 degrees. Looks pretty good, really... I took advantage of my body lift, however, and made a 3" rise crossbar that comes right up under the bed. So....now I have a 12" stroke shock, with decent angles, all because of the body lift. Now all I need is the diff armor and the extender for the proportioning valve thing, and my rear end overhaul will be complete. This thing is really going to articulate very nicely. I crossed it up on oil changing ramps today. Looked like it was barely even trying, whereas before, that was a small challenge.
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 09:38 AM
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Good deal! 15* isn't bad. I think mine were at 7* stock. Glad to hear it worked out with the B/L.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 10:50 AM
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Yeah. I'm really liking it so far. And suprisingly, I feel way more stable lifting a rear wheel. Although, my old shock setup sucked, so that makes sense. Much better shocks, with much better angles, with more stable bushings and leaf springs. The rear end has really tightened up. Now the front needs an overhaul....

Although, I have to wonder:

As crappy as my old springs were, they had some MAJOR flex in them, when I disconnected the shocks. These new springs don't seeem to have that. They're a little stiffer, and don't seem to want to stuff to the bumpstops as easily. Do you think these new springs just need some break-in time, or is this as good as they get?
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 11:49 AM
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My experience so far with every new spring I've ever run is they take a little time to wear in.

If they're pulled from another rig tho, they probably won't be sprung properly until you have the same weight on them as they had on the original rig.
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