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anyone playing w/ coil springs or airbags?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by owen, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. owen

    owen 1/2 ton status

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    Im ready to replace my old (4" trailmaster) suspension and dont want to overlook any options. Has anyone swapped around to create a "poor mans coilover" setup? I have also heard of some low buck crossover kits. Have about a grand to blow, and plenty of time to spend. HELP!
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I'm going rear coil spring, won't redo my front until I can afford a full on coilover setup, the only coilovers worth considering are 2.5" heavy travel ones, and they cost about $500 a corner with springs.
     
  3. owen

    owen 1/2 ton status

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    got any pics or info on the rear set-up to share?
     
  4. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Haven't started puting it together yet. I've got $400 in my rear parts already, and I don't have shocks or springs yet.
     
  5. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Has anyone swapped around to create a "poor mans coilover" setup?

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Boy, I wish you luck with that one.....I've never heard anyone use the words "inexpensive" and "coilover / multilink suspension" in the same sentence.....at least not anyone that's actually built one.

    The problem will be the material costs for the small stuff like rod ends, thick-wall DOM, the airbags themselves. Sure you can scrounge the junkyards and maybe find a cheap set of coils, and maybe use tractor heims instead of quality rod ends.... but ultimately, there is still a lot of money to be spent.

    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif



    .
     
  6. Sample

    Sample 1/2 ton status

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    I have coils on all 4 corners, of course that is on my Jeep. /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif
     
  7. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    coil suspension..low buck

    [​IMG]

    Rock Ring is 1/2" Plate and truss is 1.5" Schedule 80 pipe (1.900" Dia x .200 Wall)

    Lower Links are 1.5" Schedule 80, 41.75" long on a 16 Degree Angle

    Upper Links are on a 7.5 Degree Angle and are 44" long

    Upper Mounts for lower arms are the stock front spring hangers.

    Upper Mounts and cross member for the Upper arms are 3.5 x 3.5 x 3/16 square tubing.

    All mounting tabs are 1/4" plate.

    Bushings are 2" x 9/16" from Offroad Design.

    Coils are stock '00 XJ front springs.

    the guy is a member here and a very good fab guy IMHO,

    I plan on doing this and have already picked up some 4 inch lift coils from skyjacker, he uses sc 80 mostly because he is in Alaska and the prices for steel is way out there /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    that is his website I beleave /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  8. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    he also didn't use rod ends but rather bushings at both ends, can you say massive binding?
     
  9. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    ask him, it does work and works well from the pics I see /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yes, I've talked to him several times about his suspension and how it works. Last I heard he has not yet split a bushing and it flexes as well as anyone could want. Just look at his pics, not bad and much cheaper than rod ends. Common sense tells you it has to bind, but in this application the bind is not enough to hurt performance. It’s on my plate of options for the linked rear (which hopefully will be part of my next round of mods). Sure would save a bundle of money...
     
  11. K1Orion

    K1Orion 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    ask him, it does work and works well from the pics I see /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That thing is wild lookin!!! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    The tires make it look like something out of a Mad Max moveie. very cool /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif hey russ, you can try it on my rig first /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  13. owen

    owen 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe I didnt make myself clear. Inexspensive- compared to a King Coil over or some other monster truck brand. I know this stuff aint "cheap", but the dude with the tractor/truck thing has the right idea. He might have a ton of cash in it, but usually a little enginuity will pay greater rewards than taking the normal route. Thats why I have had 3 diff lifts under my K5, and Im shopping for another. I will keep studying and post you on my findings...
     
  14. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Maybe I didnt make myself clear. Inexspensive- compared to a King Coil over or some other monster truck brand. I know this stuff aint "cheap", but the dude with the tractor/truck thing has the right idea. He might have a ton of cash in it, but usually a little enginuity will pay greater rewards than taking the normal route. Thats why I have had 3 diff lifts under my K5, and Im shopping for another. I will keep studying and post you on my findings...

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Let me say first of all that the only reason this sport makes forward progress is because somebody is willing to try something "new" that everyone else thinks is weird or impossible..... nobody will fault you for trying to be innovative. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    My only point is that unless you are REALLY lucky, even a cheap solution becomes expensive by virtue of the mistakes you'll need to make along the way. The R&D work is substantial, and you're working with expensive materials (D.O.M., Rod Ends or Bushing Assemblies, GR-8 fasteners, etc).....and you DID mention a budget of $1000 in your original post. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    It's not to say that your final results couldn't be duplicated inexpensively....the problem is that you will need to spend a LOT more $$$ than that initially, to figure out what will work and be durable and safe. These types of projects can be really fun to play with (they are for me!) so I hope you don't give up on it....
    .
     
  15. owen

    owen 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for the encouragement! I said 1000 in "wife" terms. For you single guys, I will do my best to explain: One "wife" dollar (this is what you tell her you are spending), is equal to about 1.50- this figure will vary according to your wife. Push her and push her, then average the dollars blown on those projects and use this for a starting point. I found that I could spend about half as much again over the original estimate, and still sleep in the bed. I have doubled the figure, but that led to couch time. Consider this when picking out a couch with her! Better sleeping couch = better truck. Also- I will sell, trade, and "borrow" parts with friends. My budget isnt real tight, but it isnt up for king kong coil overs. Lets say this "crafty" planning puts the total to around 2000 bucks to play with- Am I getting warmer? How 'bout quarter eliptical!! Ill keep you informed of the findings. Lets throw around a few wild ideas!
     
  16. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    A good setup could be done for 1000 I think. My setup shouldn't cost even that much. I'm doing a triangulated 4 link with 3/4" heims and I've pretty well decided to get Fox AirShocks. My Buggy will be lighter than a standard truck or K5 so these will do fine in my rear setup. Front whenever I do the 3 link will get massive Kings or Sway-A-Ways. Airbags are an interesting setup I toyed with the idea of a lot. But I always felt I wouldn't be able to get the travel I'm looking for with them. I'd say you are gonna be best off with something like was pictured above from Alaska Offroad. A coil setup with the 4 link.
     
  17. crawlink5

    crawlink5 1/2 ton status

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    My 4 cents IMHO

    Should be under a $1000 and I second the vote on one like in the pic above.

    I'll help with the wife/money situation. When buying a $300 part off the interenet send a check out of checking for $50 and send a $250 money order for the balance - works great! She sees $50 for the part which will need some proof of purchase when the big brown van pulls up. I'm averaging around $1:$4 ratio all the time. I also have to fit guns and bullets in so this is hairy.

    I used prothane bushings when I built my long arms for my jeep (it had coils). You will need to build long arms for either coils or bags. There are two sizes of pipe (both schedule 80 about 1/4" wall thickness) you can use that fit some off the shelf bushings good. I just measured the pipe ID and went to the store to measure bushings and lucked out. This is the cheapest way to go.

    Now before anyone gets upset about using pipe instead of tubing, it's ok if you can live with the extra weight. You can't use thin walled pipe and have the same strength as chrome-moly tubing. The advantage of tubing is same strength with much less weight. You can buy a 20' stick of pipe for $25 or tubing for ~$7/foot.

    The prothane flexed fine and lasted for 4 years so far - someone else now has the jeep. If you design the suspension right the flexing won't be a problem - a good 4-link. Now, that said, I do not support extravagant amounts of flex. If you don't have any weight on the tire that is drooping so far that the springs are no longer pushing down on it you are doing nothing. No weight = no traction.

    I looked into airbags and found that you have to have money and patience on getting it setup right. Get some custom made coil springs and you'll be happy.

    Quote from my earlier post:
    [ QUOTE ]

    I was looking at going air bag sometime back. The [air] springs are cheap and can be bought without a kit. You do the fabbing to save a lot of money. Need to find a source for the valves.

    Air bags will work well off-road if designed correctly. Most of the design [and money] will be in the control of the air through the use of valves and controllers to control air pressure in each bag. You could set it up to "attempt" to level the truck in an off camber situation or just manually controlled. [don't forget the york compressor for air].

    Make sure the bags use use will give you enough movement up and down. This will also be a hill to climb over. This link http://www.enidine.com/pdffiles/airspringm.pdf has some specs for bags which will give you an idea...

    And they are smooth on road.

    Here's a partial list of air bag companies. Good luck and post your results.
    http://www.airliftcompany.com/airFAQs.htm
    http://www.artmorrison.com/
    http://www.sae.org/automag/globalvehicles/02-2002/
    http://www.contitech-usa.com/2level/airsprings.html
    http://www.enidine.com/
    http://www.enidine.com/pdffiles/airspringm.pdf
    http://www.firestoneindustrial.com/
    http://www.trianglegroup.com/airspring.htm


    [/ QUOTE ]

    The amount of articulation will not be as much with airbags as it will with coil springs - as near as I can tell.

    Spring manufacturers:
    http://www.springworks.com/automotive.html
    http://www.blackdiamondoffroad.com/
    http://www.eatonsprings.com/products.htm

    My advice - go with coils. If you are going to drive on road a lot go with bushings. Offroad, heim joints are great.

    Doug
     
  18. denver75k5

    denver75k5 1/2 ton status

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    Or you could always do the SUPER poor mans eliptic:

    [​IMG]

    It works ok but I think Ill be linking it and going with coils. /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  19. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    your shock seems to like it /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     
  20. denver75k5

    denver75k5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    your shock seems to like it

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ya, that was just pure lazyness there /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     

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