question on 80 series rear shocks / springs

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danthman114

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first off, let me tell you what I have now. its a 1996 fzj80 with the ome 2.5 with the shocks that came with the kit and medium springs. I have the slee rear bumper with the jerry can basket, gobi roof rack, slee step sliders, dual batteries, warn 10k winch, 33" bfg muds. unloaded it weighs around 6100 lbs so its pretty heavy. I do have 100 series airbags in there but the rear rides like its on balloons. my question is what shocks is everyone running? ive thought about heavy springs but not sure that would fix my problem. ideas?
 

smritte

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I'm running almost the same setup you are. For us there is a very limited selection of suspension. I've been looking at the Icons. I'm not real happy with the OME shock or springs and I figure I may as well do both but I need a few more items before I budget that.
You mentioned 100 series air bags. I didn't know they had an air suspension option. How are those working out for you? I have a small off-road trailer I pull sometimes. I put a set of the small bags inside my springs but they don't like off road and move around a bunch.

Scott
 

danthman114

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I've been looking at the fox 2.0. alot of the guys on ih8mud forums have them but I've heard good and bad...
 

danthman114

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I'm running almost the same setup you are. For us there is a very limited selection of suspension. I've been looking at the Icons. I'm not real happy with the OME shock or springs and I figure I may as well do both but I need a few more items before I budget that.
You mentioned 100 series air bags. I didn't know they had an air suspension option. How are those working out for you? I have a small off-road trailer I pull sometimes. I put a set of the small bags inside my springs but they don't like off road and move around a bunch.

Scott
The coil width is different for the 100 series and is about the same as the one 2.5 mediums...
 

MOAK

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The first thing I would do if I were you is ditch those airbags and step up to the "heavy" rear springs . Believe me, for decades I have experimented with many different brands and styles of shock absorbers, springs etc. Different brands will give you different things. I seek a stable, sure footed ride on and off pavement that will perform flawlessly under heavy loads. When we are loaded, with trailer in tow, the combo scales out at just a tad over 8,000 lbs. ( 7,000 for the rig & 1,000 for the trailer. Some of the new OME shocks are over the top cool, but really, really expensive as are many other top shelf brands. I choose functional reliability above all else. My original set of OME shocks lasted over 100,000 miles and I'm still not sure they needed replacing. With this set up my rear end sags less than a half an inch. Hope this helps in your decision making process. I too have read mixed reviews on other shocks, however, I have never known anyone to complain about OME products when they are utilizing the product for what it was intended. Here is what I am running on my 1996 80 series

Shocks: @ 280,000
front : OME 60070L
rear : OME 60071

Springs @ 175,000
front : OME 2850 “J”
rear : OME 2863
 
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danthman114

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I'm going to keep the bags, it does help but I need to rethink a couple things on the rear. I don't have j springs up front... Yet.
One day maybe. When I feel like doing brake lines and when I reroute my breathers.
 

MOAK

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I kinda get the airbag thing. Weaker spring rate with air bags will give a smoother ride when not loaded. But for me, I’ll take the stiff ride over compromising my adherence to the KISS methodology. Peace out
 

danthman114

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when I ordered my kit I did order the heavy rear and heavy front but the rear springs were medium. they messed up the order. I said oh well and just ran them. but now with all the extra weight I'm regretting not sending them back... now I'm wondering how long these airbags will last. I didn't run 2 valves how they said to but I put a t in there for articulation and routed to one valve and put that in my gas door where the spare thank valve would be.
I know Michael has the same springs as me with bags but his shocks are different. they look like the fox 2.0 or bilsteins.
 

MOAK

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airbag suspension bags used on 18wheeler suspensions can and do last for well over 750,000 miles. However, they have almost 0 articulation and the airbags are at a constant pressure. They also cost about 150 a piece at discount houses. If you believe that different shocks will fix your problems, sagging and feeling like you are on balloons you're in for a surprise. If the shocks you have are still good, then you might experience a very minor improvement. To diminish that balloon feeling add a little more air. I never did like the trailers with air ride gently rocking back and forth while on the interstates. It was a weird feeling to say the least. If in fact you do need new shocks you will notice a difference.
$170=problem solved


LOL !! good luck with your final decision..
 

danthman114

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I'm not doing it for sagging. I don't think the ome shocks can handle the weight I'm running hence the balloon feeling. I know springs have a say in some of that but the shocks handle the sudden up and down movement and prevent the bouncy feeling...
 

shoredreamer

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I would ditch the medium springs first and foremost. Slee rear with Jerry can basket is a 300# lever on the back of the truck! Those mediums in no way can handle that. On our trucks we have control arms that locate the axles and steering; coil springs that support the given load; and shocks that control the movement of the springs and therefore the vehicle. The sway bar also controls the side to side movement too.

In my opinion on a 4x4 as capable as an 80 series, airbags should only be used if you are towing, meaning most of the time driving and on trail they are deflated or minimal psi and only used when towing is involved. Using airbags to support on-the-vehicle weight acting like the coil spring seems like a band aid solution. That’s what the coils are there for. The balloon feel could very well be from the balloons holding your truck up, lol.

With the shocks, The OME shocks are known to be a fairly stiff shock actually that can handle a heavy truck fine. Foxes on the other hand are much more dampened for a comfort ride and from my experience are good replacement shocks for lighter/stock 80s. On a heavier truck like yours they do feel good on straight dirt roads but once you turn or have the truck move, hey can’t control it. Ive been in your shoes when I was building my truck. I have moved thru many coil springs and shocks and with a built heavy 80 I’d suggest:

2850/2863 heavy coils (maybe trim packers in rear to dial ride height)
No airbags
Icon 2.0 shocks
 
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MOAK

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I would ditch the medium springs first and foremost. Slee rear with Jerry can basket is a 300# lever on the back of the truck! Those mediums in no way can handle that. On our trucks we have control arms that locate the axles and steering; coil springs that support the given load; and shocks that control the movement of the springs and therefore the vehicle. The sway bar also controls the side to side movement too.

In my opinion on a 4x4 as capable as an 80 series, airbags should only be used if you are towing, meaning most of the time driving and on trail they are deflated or minimal psi and only used when towing is involved. Using airbags to support on-the-vehicle weight acting like the coil spring seems like a band aid solution. That’s what the coils are there for. The balloon feel could very well be from the balloons holding your truck up, lol.

With the shocks, The OME shocks are known to be a fairly stiff shock actually that can handle a heavy truck fine. Foxes on the other hand are much more dampened for a comfort ride and from my experience are good replacement shocks for lighter/stock 80s. On a heavier truck like yours they do feel good on straight dirt roads but once you turn or have the truck move, hey can’t control it. Ive been in your shoes when I was building my truck. I have moved thru many coil springs and shocks and with a built heavy 80 I’d suggest:

2850/2863 heavy coils (maybe trim packers in rear to dial ride height)
No airbags
Icon 2.0 shocks
Well stated, I wrongfully assumed that anyone owning an 80 series has done a ton of research to learn what they are getting into. I had considered, Icons or Dobinson shocks. I stuck with what I know which is OMEs. The stiff ride is fine with me. It reminds me I'm driving a truck not an SUV. When loaded down with the trailer it rides smooth as silk. Do you have the J springs up front or just the standard 2850s? Are the Icons worth the extra 200 per set? later dude !
 

TRED LYT

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Curious to know what you ended up with. I'm at a 3" lift, running OME shocks & dampner, and heavy springs in both the front and back. I wish they made an Ex-Heavy spring as I still sag a little. My fully laden weight is just shy of 8,000 lbs without a trailer. I'm loaded with drawers, fridge, heavy RTT, and Aluminum boxes full of gear. I am having a trailer built to pull my dirt bike, with 35" tires. Loaded it will probably weigh 800-1,000 lbs. Wish I had less sag in my rear end and was considering airbags like you. But after reading the posts in your thread, I think I'll stick with the springs and see if there is a stiffer spring and maybe a taller spacer. I'd like to lose some weight, but need my stuff for a long trip. Tools weigh a bunch.
 

smritte

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I swapped my OME's for the Dobson 4" two months ago. I'm real happy i did that. This weekend will be the first time with the trailer and the new suspension. If I keep the airbags, I need to get taller ones.
 
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shoredreamer

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Curious to know what you ended up with. I'm at a 3" lift, running OME shocks & dampner, and heavy springs in both the front and back. I wish they made an Ex-Heavy spring as I still sag a little. My fully laden weight is just shy of 8,000 lbs without a trailer. I'm loaded with drawers, fridge, heavy RTT, and Aluminum boxes full of gear. I am having a trailer built to pull my dirt bike, with 35" tires. Loaded it will probably weigh 800-1,000 lbs. Wish I had less sag in my rear end and was considering airbags like you. But after reading the posts in your thread, I think I'll stick with the springs and see if there is a stiffer spring and maybe a taller spacer. I'd like to lose some weight, but need my stuff for a long trip. Tools weigh a bunch.
D46F10CE-36CA-4541-B779-A3BA39FA2517.jpeg9466D617-9E1C-45FB-BE3A-CE705A5DCEB8.jpegI’ve had this setup for over a year now and my truck is HEAVY, heavier than I expected. I have a mix of many brands of parts, but the key factor with the very heavy rear end of the 80 is:
Slee 4” Heavy Progressive coils
Whiteline HD rear sway-bar
Icon 2.5 CDCV shocks

I’m at about a 2.5” lift with 315s and am plenty happy, and shocked at how well this truck drives with 3000# of payload! The Slee coils are the heaviest rate coil I could find that still made sense as far as comfort and wheelability (flex).
 

smritte

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Wow, that's heavy. I'm at 5765 lbs. with 2711 front and 3054 rear. That's unloaded, without me sitting in it and half a tank of fuel. I have a set of rock rails in the garage. They will add about 180 to it. Loaded I'm probably around 6000 plus I think my trailer tongue is about 100.

EDIT:
I’ve had this setup for over a year now and my truck is HEAVY, heavier than I expected
Quick question. Doing the math, your heavy by about what a small car weighs. Do you keep a Corolla in the back to drive around once camp is set up?
Just wondering.
 
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