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Discussion Starter #1
My new (old) 86 Samurai has the original suspension with 205/70-15 tires. Everything is worn out and I need advice for a semi-soft suspension with good control. This is a RV tow-behind vehicle for mild trails, umimproved road and the occasional run to the local walmart. The original suspension seems to have only a few inches of travel and the shocks are shot. What would be a good mild upgrade for an old guy and his wife to enjoy? I restore old cars and motorcycles for fun so can do most work myself. Any recommendations?

Brock
 

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My opinion.
You would be a very happy camper with this Petroworks kit. It was the first kit used on my 'street' zook and I liked it. It is an easy install and works well.

AXL-0112 - Old Man Emu Dakar Springs Kit (Spings, Shocks, Bushings, Heavy Duty Shackles)

(description from the website)
Seeking a mild lift that will improve both on and off road ride? We have found that the Old Man Emu Dakar Springs are perhaps the best off the shelf mass produced spring on the market. Those Aussies really did their homework. The OME Springs provide an excellent ride both on and off road, and give your vehicle an added 2” of lift to run a slightly larger tire up to 29” Combined with a set of Extended Shackles and Gabriel Shocks, you wont be disappointed. Sold as sets and individual Springs.
 

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My new (old) 86 Samurai has the original suspension with 205/70-15 tires. Everything is worn out and I need advice for a semi-soft suspension with good control. This is a RV tow-behind vehicle for mild trails, umimproved road and the occasional run to the local walmart. The original suspension seems to have only a few inches of travel and the shocks are shot. What would be a good mild upgrade for an old guy and his wife to enjoy? I restore old cars and motorcycles for fun so can do most work myself. Any recommendations?

Brock


I don't have any advice other than what Billjohn recommended looks like a good way to go.

I'm looking for a sammy to use as a toad myself.Seeing as you have real world knowledge of this, do you have any advice for towing all 4 down?

Like do you just put the transfer case and transmission in neutral and go or......

Do you use a breaking system?

Thanks

Mike
 

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Like do you just put the transfer case and transmission in neutral and go.....
Yes. And the Suzuki owners manual for my '99 directs one to run the engine / trans every couple hundred miles of towing to circulate lube oils as well.
 

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The stock suspension only has 2-2.5 inches of travel. We used to cut the stock rubber snubbers (bump stops) in half to give another inch of travel. One way to get a bit more travel is lift shackles. I had 2in shackles on my 87 Sami and I found it wandered on the road so I had to extend the stabilizer mounts downward to help control the front axle. Go with soft shocks. We used the cheapest/softest available, Gabriels worked beautiful. Pick up a set of poly leaf spring bushings, the best ones are with graphite impregnated in them. to help restore the leaf springs.
Old Man Emu has a Very Good following. They are a quality product and if you choose the kit you will be happy with it.

Ed
 

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An installation I did for my street zook (my toad) was the rear driveshaft disconnect. Something that can be controlled from the drivers seat that would unhook the rear axle from the rest of the drivetrain so that You wouldn't have to worry about starting every couple hundred miles. With nothing else rotating there is less likely to be a drivetrain malfunction. Do a google search for towing damage to a Sammy. It will disturb you...

Drive Shaft Disconnect

 

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I'm running the OME springs BillJohn linked to above. The ride difference is a very noticeable improvement. I was surprised to find that the ride is much improved in almost every way.
 

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I'm running the OME springs BillJohn linked to above. The ride difference is a very noticeable improvement. I was surprised to find that the ride is much improved in almost every way.
I have to agree. Not only did I get a softer ride, but also little lift, more suspension travel and better on road handling. Do yourself a favor and get the OME long travel shocks to with the springs. I ran stock Monroes at first, which were not a good match for the springs. I switched over to the OME shocks after a year and it was as much an improvement as the springs had been over stock.
I liked the springs and shocks so much, I just spent the money to put them on my FJ40 Land Cruiser. Same great results, but, I had to remove a leaf from the rears to match the lighter weight of my soft top model.
 

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I found the OME rears to be a bit stiff, but still an improvement, until I added the Petroworks fuel tank, with it's massive skid plate, and the Shrockworks rear bumper. Now it's almost cush in comparison.

I'm running the Bilstein HD shocks, which show the same travel as the OME's. The rear Bilsteins were also a bit stiff, unless a load was in the rear. I noticed that with the stock springs.

I'm happy with what I have, but would go with OME shocks and pull a leaf from the rears if I was not running the extra load all the time.

I'm interested to see what putting the Shrockworks front bumper on does for the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I like the OME approach after I complete a few other upgrades (weber and exhaust). For now I think I will go with poly bushings and gabriel shocks and see how it rides. Should I stick with the 205/70 tire size or get something bigger like 235/75?
 
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