Michael Hayes gives you the list of suspension items that will get your daily driver flexing like a Russian gymnast!
When it comes to getting the maximum amount of flex out of your 4WD, often simple upgrades to things like springs, shocks, bumpstop heights, suspension bushes or swaybar-disconnects can provide massive gains in available wheel travel.
One of the best bolt-on big lift mods for solid axles, the drop box is great in reducing the binding of rear radius arm bushes. The drop box mount lowers the rear of the arms to the same amount as the lift, essentially returning the suspension to original type geometry.
Dropped Radius Arms
When performance matters most, a pair of properly sized drop radius arms accurately correct caster and also address the pin or bush mounting geometry for maximum wheel travel and great on-road handling. As well as correcting caster, added design features such as Superior Engineering's patented SuperFlex mounting technology can also be incorporated to dramatically increase wheel travel. The ability to maintain excellent driveability is the key to success in the SuperFlex radius arm system.
Hybrid Drop Box Radius Arms
Superior Engineering has developed a combination Hybrid Long-arm Drop box style radius arms. These arms are substantially longer than the factory radius arms and the rear Pin type (axial mushroom type) mount is changed to a radial (Toyota style) rear bush. The extended arc of the longer drop radius arm reduces binding of the bushes when articulating providing greater flex. The longer flatter arm allows the suspension to soak up the bumps, providing a softer more comfortable ride. You can also get these in the SuperFlex style arm giving amazing wheel travel while still retaining excellent on-road manners.
With the rear control arms being a key component for both smooth handling and putting power to the ground, long-arm extra-long competition style arms are available and can handle over 18in of shock travel without bind.
Sway bar disconnects allow for the quick removal of the sway bar before travelling off road by simply removing some pins. This allows you to have the benefits of additional travel and articulation in the suspension but retain the sway bar for on-road use by re-connecting.
Superior Engineering has SuperFlex Swaybar Kits (Pat. Pending) to suit GQ and GU Nissan Patrols, which are specifically designed to allow full travel and maximum articulation. Perfectly suited to those vehicles that are already enjoying the benefits of SuperFlex radius arms, without ever having to disconnect a swaybar again to go off-road! No more climbing on the ground and getting dirty or muddy after a day in the bush to reconnect the swaybar links. So without reducing comfort or articulation, fitting a swaybar can offer all round improvements in handling, tyre wear, safety and load carrying.
Ideally, select the most efficient (closed v travel) shock you can, that suits the vehicle. By getting the longest closed length shock that fits (minus a little bit for bump clearance), you get the most amount of possible travel for that specific vehicles geometry. In vehicles with plenty of suspension / shock room then it may be necessary to consider the open length to allow the springs to remain retained at full travel. Shocks of different brands to suit a specific lift height can have wide variations in travel and closed lengths.
By fitting premium shocks that are specifically designed not only for the vehicle, but for the lift and all of the associated componentry, there is now the opportunity to fit much longer, softer and more compliant springs which are held captive between the mounts. There is no point in having shiny new long travel shocks if they sell you springs that are so stiff you can never compress them.
Generally a long soft spring with a low linear rate combined with appropriately valved shocks can provide a plush ride with smooth controlled dampening, and will allow the swaybar to handle body roll, whilst providing the maximum amount of flex.
With all the amazing shocks and suspension parts available nowadays beware fancy marketing. Claims of massive travel gains should be taken with a grain of salt unless they are combined with a heap of other parts. In many situations the factory length shock is often very close in travel to what the other components such as CVs and steering will allow before binding and damage.
When it comes to upgrading your upper control arms, the best solution is to replace the factory arm with a new 4130 chromoly upper arm. Ideally fitted with aircraft grade spherical bearings, rather than low-angle OE based ball joints is preferred. Although beware, some adjustable ball joint type arms actually have less travel than factory, are often incredibly expensive to replace and may require specific wheel offsets for tyre clearance.
As with any suspension components you may need, contact Superior Engineering for further information on the best parts for your vehicle.
Contact Superior EngineeringPhone: (07) 5433 1411
1/116 Lipscombe Road
Deception Bay Queensland 4508
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