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T3 Suspension Replacement

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Harribo, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Hi All,

    Can we talk suspension replacement please??

    I've decided to turn my T3 into a more off road capable machine, i'm planning on ordering some 15" wheels and AT tyres but i desperately need to upgrade the suspension. I've been tossing this up for a while but now is the time ready for when we come out of lockdown...

    When i say off road i don't mean full off road, just rough tracks and fire trails to get to more remote campsites. I'll always be travelling with someone to pull me out so am not too concerened about getting stuck. I just don't want to join the million other prado owners in Australia!

    Are there suspension kits available that will allow me to bolt off / bolt on all the relevant parts or is it a job for the professionals? I'm ok mechanically but am limited to basic tools. The current suspension isn't great and I literally feel every road indentation!

    Thanks in advance.....

    John
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,904
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
  3. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
  4. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    I can't speak specifically about T3 but offer the following general advice:
    1. Front coil springs really need to be installed onto struts by a professional using a strut coil spring compressor.
    2. Ball joints will need to be separated using special tool or the old way of hitting in sync with a couple of decent hammers.
    3. Budget extra to replace worn ball joints, CV joints, tie rod ends etc as "I literally feel every road indentation".
    4. All standard struts have a very limited life so take the opportunity to upgrade to better quality.
    5. Consider the extra weight you may have added to the vehicle when replacing suspension.
    6. Suspension will need to be realigned once job complete and settled.
    7. Don't discount a small lift - I've got 20mm on the Outback and it makes it easier to "get to more remote campsites".
    8. Explore a few options and seek comments from others who may have used the same components or suppliers.
    PR
     
  5. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Thanks Wiz, i had the ball joint replaced two weeks ago but i will take on board all other points...
     
  6. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Another question, are the shock absorbers specific to the T3 or can they be bought from any supplier?
     
  7. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Many suppliers may make suspension components for your T3, however you must get shock absorbers and springs that are specific to your vehicle, engine size, year etc.
    Some components are used in many vehicles as they e.g. TR Astra, Ford Focus, Volvo use common platforms.
    PR
     
  8. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    I see you don't want to lift the suspension. That's good as adding 15 inch rims fitted with tall wall AT tyres is an easy solution that will provide around 50mm extra ground clearance while running stock suspension and stock CV joints (and at a much lower cost). I run 7 x 15 inch mags hooped with 215 x 70 Toyo AT tyres, that get my '82 to out of the way places. Ground clearance and hang ups are not a problem, but rear wheel traction can be, so I carry what I can on the rear (spare wheel, fire wood, bikes, and stuff). This setup works for me and has the benefit of adding a de-facto power steering kit.
     
    Wiz likes this.
  9. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Thanks Rob, that's pretty much the plan, i do need some new suspension though which seems fairly easy to do, it's just finding / selecting the right shock absorbers for the job.

    Out of interest, how do you mount your rear spare wheel?
     
  10. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,246
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
  11. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    I have a Rocky Mountains Westy spare wheel hanger mounted on the RHS to meet NSW speed camera requirements. Also have a Garry Lee ladder with fold down shelf and stuff to carry more stuff, and a 1990's tow bar mounted 3 bike carrier. It all fits tight and good. Sadly all the US stuff was purchased when the $AU was worth more than the $US . But it all still works after all these years.
     
  12. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Thanks for all the replies, does any have another shock absorbers they would recommend that would be up to the task of moderate off roading?
     
  13. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Thanks for all the replies, does any have another shock absorbers they would recommend that would be up to the task of moderate off roading?
     
  14. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,904
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Billstein
     
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  15. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,480
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Koni Reds
     
  16. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Are they readily available or online?
     
  17. Harribo

    Harribo Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Wollongong NSW
    Are they readily available or online?
     
  18. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,246
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Bilstein were designed for off road. It's what rally cars use.
     
  19. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,246
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    The problem with that is you block the traffic to open the tailgate.
     
  20. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Whilst it is true that Bilstein make suspension components for rally cars their first monotube gas pressure shock absorber was fitted to a standard production Mercedes-Benz. They currently supply the air spring modules used in the Mercedes S-Class along with many OEM shock absorbers (Some Toyota, Subaru models for instance).
    You do need to select the appropriate valving/gas specification shock absorber for your needs and not B6 or B8.
    PR
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
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