suspension up-grades? I have stock and want to fit 31"x10.5x15's - Suzuki Forums: Suzuki Forum Site
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question suspension up-grades? I have stock and want to fit 31"x10.5x15's

I have an '87 Suzuki samurai Hard Top as far as I can see it's bone stock except for the american racing 15x8's


So after reading Ack's FAQ's I'm more torn then satisfied. I've done very little research but so far here are my circumstances: I have found that I need around 3.5"-4" of lift and possibly an aftermarket front bumper. I a wife and for kids so the most bang for the buck is needed but I don't want to skimp and break anything. My Sami is my daily driver and average speeds are 20-40m.p.h. with very infreq. speeds of 55m.p.h. I have always done my mechanics myself(just replaced my engine 20miles ago with no problems so far) I've been tossing around the Idea of Calmini's 3.5" bolton lift kit, but I have been warned it causes bump steer, then I tossed around Rocky roads SPOA but that seems to give me more lift and there for it seems more things that need to be fixed. Any input would help I will have the 31's soon and would like to get the suspension issues solved soon! Also I know there are other things that need to be addressed such as steering sys, and gear ratio's so without cheating myself with inferior parts what's your experienced opinion's and advice?

Last edited by grand_sea; 02-12-2010 at 01:29 PM. Reason: I suppose info about my Sammy would help
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the calmini 5" shackle reverse bolt on Kit and I've never had any bump steer.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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so have you ever had issues with the front shackles getting hung up on the rocks? I hear that's one of the probs with the reverse shackle method?
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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urban legend.

the front towers don't hang any lower than shackles. because they are closed in front and extend above where the lower mount is for the shackle, they have the appearance of hanging down lower when they actually just extend up higher for a firmer mounting.


I will advise against the calmini 5" lift unless you need to clear 33's. The 5" lift uses a 3 inch wide spring and it's super stiff.

The 3.5" shackle reverse lift uses a 1.5" wide spring and the ride is much softer. It gives you more than enough clearance for 31's, even a 32 will fit under it without rubbing but it's a snug fit.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If money is that tight you will _hate_ what the 31" will do to your mileage without changing the gears.
When doing a lift for larger rubber, it's not only what will make the rubber fit sitting still with the wheels pointing straight, but going down the road with people in the back, making turns, etc. Keeping the springs under the axles will require at least a drop pitman arm. Oh, and no matter what you do, don't get cheap shocks including steering stabiliser. If you think just doing the springs You also don't say how much off road you do, and what kind. Longer brake lines?
If I had it to do over again, I would just do a flip. I started with 3" springs, added a little longer shackles, 3" body lift, added a leaf or two in the front springs (for bumper, winch and plow). But then, I moved up to 33 muds.
Once you start this, it's a 'might as well' game. Rather than keeping springs under, why not grab an old set of Jeep springs and put the axles under the springs. Much nicer ride and should be cheaper... otherwise, find the softest springs you can find. In general the least number of leaves the nicer the ride. But there are sooo many other things to consider...

thanks,
george
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baratacus View Post
urban legend.

the front towers don't hang any lower than shackles. because they are closed in front and extend above where the lower mount is for the shackle, they have the appearance of hanging down lower when they actually just extend up higher for a firmer mounting.
Unless you rock crawl...
Shackles move and can 'give' with more flexibility than the 'fangs'. Whack the fangs on a rock and you can bend them (one guess as to how I know). Otherwise, I agree with the rest. For most normal trails, the Calmini 5" will give you a decent ride. It also allows more control of the front axle than a standard SPOA (without a panhard).
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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to answer the ?'s I live in Colorado Springs and plan to hit the Mountain trails and rock crawling will be part of it but mainly just a chance to get out with one of my 3 older children(3,4 & 6yrs old) and see some of the great scenery that the trails around here have to offer. Some of the guys on Colorado four wheelers said to come here because they mainly run jeeps, and full size, so hat's off to them for bowing out when my ?'s were more up your guy's alley!!

some of the trail name I've came acrossed around here are: Chinamans Gulch, China Wall, Illinois Gultch....hope this helps you help me!

Here is a Quote from the other forum that lead me here:

"It doesn't flex very well, and those front shackle reversal "fangs" are rock anchors. They hang way low and will always be trouble for you, not to mention they F' up your caster angle and contribute to brake dive. Talk to some people in Suzuki forums before you buy that Calmini kit."

Am I right by saying whether I go with the SPOA or the 3.5" Calmini kit I will need to change the diff. gears, the 3.5 has a dropped pitman not sure on if the Rocky-road SPOA does or not, and maybe the Calmini drag arm kit if I go with the SPOA not sure if its needed with the 3.5", and will the gears in the gearbox need to be change also or will the diff's be enough? this may be a couple yr project but I want a solid plan before I start! so any and all input is and has been awesome!

Last edited by grand_sea; 02-13-2010 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Forgot to spell check and added info!
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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IMHO, for your mild wants, if you are only running 31"s on 8" rims don't change the diffs, just change the transfer case gears, drop in at lease one lockright locker, drop in some 3" lift springs/shocks with a drop pitman arm and hit the trails. You can do this in about two weekends all solo. It's all bolt on. This was my first setup.
Again, the only option is maybe keep the springs and just put them above the axles. This requires welding and may give more lift than needed for the 31"s.

Why are you choosing 31"s for those trails?

thanks,
george
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i have the spoa kit on my zuk and i just bought new 31x 10.5 15's on the stock rims. I have plenty of clearence but they do rub when i turn all the way left or right. But if you have some aftermarket wheels with a lil offset on them you'll be fine. but as Billjohn said the gas mileage is pretty scary with stock set up, and doing just the transfer gears put's more stress on the stock driveshafts too where doing the 3rd's or R&P's will not.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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brake dive is another one of those urban legends. the axel transitions backwards when the spings compress, but only aobut and inch. The calmini kit keeps the castor and camber angles the same as stock so there is no issues with that using the calmini kit. If you wish to eliminate the front "fangs" then you can do a shackle reverse without the tower and mount the spring to the frame. This will require you to re-weld the perch or put in a shim so that the castor angle is optimal. This gives you an insane approach angle and the benefits of a shackle reverse suspension when crawling over rocks. This type of suspension requires some knowledge and some fabrication skills to get it dialed in correctly. If you do a spring over axel lift, make sure you have a panhard bar to keep the axel centered under the vehicle. The shackle reverse doesn't require a panhard, but using a bolt on has its limitations if you plan on doing some REAL rock crawling.

please take into consideration... I posted this while intoxicated so apply the grain of salt where you feel it belongs.
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