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Calling my fellow old timers!!


01Pathmaker
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So yesterday on my way to the beach, as I was approaching a stop sign, stepped on the brakes, started to do its normal slight nosedive and POW!  It sounded and felt like someone just shot my Pathy!  I pull off to the side, check around and under both sides, not seeing anything, I notice as I'm getting up off the ground near the right front tire, hmmm, that doesn't look right, oh ok, I just snapped the right front coil spring!  I've been running these OME MD springs all around for about 140k miles without any issues, no noticeable sagging, still supports the extra weight of my front hitch caddy (loaded up with beach/fishing gear) with no problem.  Quite surprised, I turn around and limp it home (thanking God it didn't happen 3 or 4 miles out on the beach!).  

 

Here's my conundrum: I called Desert Rat to check availability and lead time on a new set of OME HD springs (2928), on national backorder, have him check the MD springs, also on national backorder.  My plan was to replace the fronts with new OME HD's, rehab my rear (currently MD's of the same vintage) with a "gently used" set of MD's (from @CDN_S4) and OME shocks (from @hawairish) since I've been sitting on these parts for a few years now.  Since there's no good idea of when the new OME springs might be available, is this the universe telling me I need to pony-up for AC front springs, LR 9449's and Billies???  My current tires are fairly new, so I don't plan on dropping more on a larger set any time soon, but I know darn well, if I go the full 2" route, I'm gonna really want to step to the dark side with at least 32's...

 

Looking for suggestions, advice, parts, anything!!! 

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I don't know if you are trying to economize but you could put the 2" ACs on the front, and the OME MD you have on the back, if you don't need the additional rear load carrying ability. I bet it would be pretty close to level. And if you don't like it, you aren't out anything but a little bit of work to go to the 9449s.

I had the AC springs all around, and it had a little too much rake. But it came in handy many years later when I started towing a 3,000 lb RV.

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You, like me, have driven your truck for a LONG time. I suspect you will be bothered by the harshness of the AC springs compared to OEM & OME. That is why I went with OME, I knew that after 2 decades & >100K of driving that truck, I would be unhappy with a harsh ride. That said, I’ve never driven one with AC springs so I can’t tell you if that’s actually true but it does seem to be the consensus of those who have driven both.

 

The LR Springs, on the other hand, drive wonderfully. I have the 9448 & couldn’t be happier. I don’t know of anyone with complaints. They are less than $100 to your door so I really don’t see any reason why anyone would use anything but them now. I think the real question will become, is there an LR spring upgrade we should be considering....

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, colinnwn said:

I don't know if you are trying to economize but you could put the 2" ACs on the front, and the OME MD you have on the back, if you don't need the additional rear load carrying ability. I bet it would be pretty close to level. And if you don't like it, you aren't out anything but a little bit of work to go to the 9449s.

I had the AC springs all around, and it had a little too much rake. But it came in handy many years later when I started towing a 3,000 lb RV.

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How stiff are the AC's?  This is no longer my dd, just my trailer towing, dog hauling, beach bomb, soccer mobile, and I'm used to driving a harsh riding usps death machine all day, so...  I do carry a fair load regularly and also have a homebuilt 5x12 heavy duty trailer that I tow several times a year to haul stuff for my various projects (and fill it up with my 2 youth soccer teams for my towns Christmas parade!), so load capacity is fairly important.  I'm not even considering the AC's in the rear, as so many have such good feedback on the far less expensive LR springs.  I have been fairly happy with the OME MD's in the rear, just wish they were a hair taller.  I have noticed they don't carry the loads as well as they used to anymore, but at about 140k on them, I can't complain.  My stock springs were sagging by 45k, hence stepping up to the MD's many years ago.  I'm thinking I could blow the dust off the boxes with the springs and shocks and put them up for sale, to recoup some of the cost of the new parts, but I'm just not sure which way to go.  

19 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

You, like me, have driven your truck for a LONG time. I suspect you will be bothered by the harshness of the AC springs compared to OEM & OME. That is why I went with OME, I knew that after 2 decades & >100K of driving that truck, I would be unhappy with a harsh ride. That said, I’ve never driven one with AC springs so I can’t tell you if that’s actually true but it does seem to be the consensus of those who have driven both.

 

The LR Springs, on the other hand, drive wonderfully. I have the 9228 & couldn’t be happier. I don’t know of anyone with complaints. They are less than $100 to your door so I really don’t see any reason why anyone would use anything but them now. I think the real question will become, is there an LR spring upgrade we should be considering....

 

 

9228's??  Great, now I have more springs to look into?!  I'm not totally opposed to a little more stiffness in ride, as it's no longer my dd, plus 8-10 months out of the year I have my front rack on and loaded, in addition to the roof basket with enough beach stuff for our family of 4, surfcasting gear, cooler, wife, kids & dog.  I'm sure I could recoup the cost of the LR springs, if not more, by selling the parts I've been hoarding in the garage (sounds like I'm talking myself into the LR swap).  My biggest issue is the front spring dilemma, as much as I'm not a big fan of 4x4parts (namely their outrageous shipping costs, springs to my door are ~$230), I can't wait 2+ months to get it rolling again if I wait for new OME's.  In just a few short weeks the fishing is gonna be slamming again and I'll be damned if I'm gonna miss out on that!!  I guess maybe I'm now trying to be talked out of the AC/LR/Billy combo!! LMAO!

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As much as I hate to say it, it seems like experiences with AC coils have some variance.

 

I get pretty solid trail usage out of my R50, and I also do plenty of daily driving (I did almost 1000 miles today, yup, 1k). I don’t really get top out except for when I fail to slow down for unforeseen trail obstacles. It’s a stiff ride, I’ve driven a broken-in OME, and no doubt it was a smoother ride. But, at the same time, I’ve never considered switching after installing the AC’s.

 

I’ve heard and talked with other other people who seem to get more top out than I do, @Dbot being one of the two or three conversations I’ve had about it.

 

cant go wrong with the land rovers, 9447 or the stiffer 9449 are both great from everything I’ve heard and personally experienced. I have the 9449’s. Those are two solid part numbers that won’t give much more or less than an inch of rake if you lift the front 2”

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The AC springs are harsh like my old leaf spring Scout. I was fine with it. But my wife said her boobs couldn't take it anymore, as our travel trailer towing rig, after the Pathfinder's engine gave out. I can't imagine it being worse than a UPS truck. When it had 400 lbs on the trailer tongue it evened the truck stance out, and made the ride pretty nice.

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11 hours ago, colinnwn said:

The AC springs are harsh like my old leaf spring Scout. I was fine with it. But my wife said her boobs couldn't take it anymore, as our travel trailer towing rig, after the Pathfinder's engine gave out. I can't imagine it being worse than a UPS truck. When it had 400 lbs on the trailer tongue it evened the truck stance out, and made the ride pretty nice.

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Hmm, I might have a similar issue with my wife, she already complains when the beach is impassable and we have to use the "road" behind the dunes to get out to the inlet, I don't even want to think of her reaction if it's noticeably stiffer.  I already air down to 12psi for the beach, which works very well, but when we have to take the "road" I bring it down to 8psi just to soften the ride as much as possible.  Guess I've still got some thinking to do...

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11 hours ago, PathyDude17 said:

As much as I hate to say it, it seems like experiences with AC coils have some variance.

 

I get pretty solid trail usage out of my R50, and I also do plenty of daily driving (I did almost 1000 miles today, yup, 1k). I don’t really get top out except for when I fail to slow down for unforeseen trail obstacles. It’s a stiff ride, I’ve driven a broken-in OME, and no doubt it was a smoother ride. But, at the same time, I’ve never considered switching after installing the AC’s.

 

I’ve heard and talked with other other people who seem to get more top out than I do, @Dbot being one of the two or three conversations I’ve had about it.

 

cant go wrong with the land rovers, 9447 or the stiffer 9449 are both great from everything I’ve heard and personally experienced. I have the 9449’s. Those are two solid part numbers that won’t give much more or less than an inch of rake if you lift the front 2”

Thanks for the input!  I really did like the ride on the OME's, but at this point, availability might force my hand.  Your setup is actually one of my favorites.  I feel like it looks and (seemingly) performs the way it should have come from the factory, as an option package!  You aced the stance and functionality.  Since I'm just shy of 200k and developing a lot of body rust (in some unusual places too), I'm going to get under it today and give it a real close inspection of everything structural, then go from there.  I'd hate to decide to collect all the parts to go all-in, only to find catastrophic issues when I start pulling her apart.  

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For what it’s worth, my wife has been along for most of my trucks 18yrs & >100K. On the very first drive with the OME fronts & LR/Bilstein rears, my wife spontaneously asked about 10 minutes into the drive what I’d done to make it drive so much better. Ride is very subjective & your sense of it may be much finer than the average owner. Alot of the younger & newer guys just don’t have the seat time or are going from worn out OEM setups to something new so anything is better. Given your age & experience, I think you’ll notice the differences more than you might realize. I’ve found that I’ve driven other owners R50s & can feel something “off” that they just don’t have the experience to identify yet.

 

To be honest, the nearly imperceptible new drivetrain hum from my lift is a constant annoyance to both my wife and myself. After 2 decades without it, it hits our subconscious “somethings not right” sense. I’ve had it checked over several times by[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] who assures me it’s okay. Unfortunately, it’s just ingrained in us & almost impossible to ignore.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RainGoat said:

For what it’s worth, my wife has been along for most of my trucks 18yrs & >100K. On the very first drive with the OME fronts & LR/Bilstein rears, my wife spontaneously asked about 10 minutes into the drive what I’d done to make it drive so much better. Ride is very subjective & your sense of it may be much finer than the average owner. Alot of the younger & newer guys just don’t have the seat time or are going from worn out OEM setups to something new so anything is better. Given your age & experience, I think you’ll notice the differences more than you might realize. I’ve found that I’ve driven other owners rigs & can feel something “off” that they just don’t have the experience yet to identify yet.

To be honest, the nearly imperceptible new drivetrain hum from my lift is a constant annoyance to both my wife and myself. After 2 decades without it, it hits our subconscious “somethings not right” sense. I’ve had it checked over several times by@TowndawgR50 who assures me it’s okay. Unfortunately, it’s just ingrained in us & almost impossible to ignore.

I agree 100%!  Case in point, I was running it for about 2 months with a slight exhaust leak (didn't seem that loud since it was gradual onset) at the flange above the rear axle, which finally gave out completely.  I ordered up a new warranty resonator assembly (gotta love lifetime warranty parts!), swapped in the new one and on the first drive to the beach (about an hour later) my wife said "what did you do? It's so much quieter and feels more smooth"!  I was thinking the same thing!

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So I crept around under the ol' gal today and I found some good, as well as some not so good. After my inspection I scoured the interwebs in search of my most economical option. Low and behold I found a seller on eBay that had 1 last, lonely set of OME 2923's, so it looks like I'm just going to replace my tired MD's with fresh ones. Since I've only got less than 40k on my front KYB's and have newish rear springs and shocks collecting dust in the garage, I jumped on Rockauto and ordered up sway bar links for all 4 corners, some new camber bolts and some other new nuts & bolts. So fingers crossed, I'll be all-in and back on the road for about as much as the AC springs would've been, shipped to my door. I just can't justify dumping more than I have to into it, it's just got too much structural rust issues beginning to develop. I always knew that it would turn to dust before it died mechanically. She has and will continue to serve her purpose, without skipping a beat, until I deem her unsafe for my family. It'll also give me time to find a viable replacement.78c4e4779deade1543313115da6cba04.jpg0e3beb62b534dd20dd029b9c112ebf22.jpgb2e9383adb2bef59f84dcb147ed94882.jpg205b289b8d462b61f57b7b1e420a8251.jpgb3cb738e11c435d18c52ed4a06674b48.jpg7ec882d11992758b45555debf7d5f6c2.jpg

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Wow! That’s an ‘01? I take it the beach you’re on is an ocean beach? No matter how careful you are, that salt just gets in there. I was recently working on my Mom’s 2018 4Runner & was shocked to see it was more rusty than my ‘02 Path. I think it must have been just her rare winter use in KC (also, I’ve become progressively more convinced that Toyota just doesn’t do a great job with rust prevention.

 

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Wow! That’s an ‘01? I take it the beach you’re on is an ocean beach? No matter how careful you are, that salt just gets in there. I was recently working on my Mom’s 2018 4Runner & was shocked to see it was more rusty than my ‘02 Path. I think it must have been just her rare winter use in KC (also, I’ve become progressively more convinced that Toyota just doesn’t do a great job with rust prevention.
 
Yes, I live on Long Island, surrounded by salt water. Most of my beach use is on the south shore (Atlantic Ocean). Up until the last 2 years, I had a very meticulous washdown procedure, but kind of laxed on it since it's not a dd anymore. Still can't complain, 19 years of ocean beaches and overly salted winter roads, it's lasted longer than some of my other vehicles. Mechanically, even approaching 200k, I've done very few repairs, mainly meticulous maintenance and she still runs and drives better than most other vehicles I've been in with much less mileage. Despite the unibody, this is (in my opinion) the most bulletproof, reliable and capable vehicle I've experienced. I loved my old D21, but hated that 3.0 motor & bed that turned to Swiss cheese by year 6, loved my 96 & 01 R50's, loved my Titan too, but I treated it more like a 1-ton (commercial plowing, regularly towing a skidsteer or dump trailer) so it started racking up the repair bills when I got North of 100k, no doubt any other half-ton would have crumbled under the abuse I fed that thing. And yes, I totally agree that Toyota does a terrible job with rust prevention.

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Late to the party, but I’d add to @RainGoat ‘a sentiment in the sense that an aftermarket setup surpasses stock or worn suspensions parts. 
 

I’d describe my stock ride quality as bouncy, and my new setup as stiff/tight. Those are different, and I definitely prefer stiff. Any bumpy movements are handled quickly and predictably, compared to stock where you felt the entire truck (especially the rear end) seem to go from full bump/compression to well past ride height. It was super annoying, and the LR/Bilstein combo in the rear helped fix that a ton.


The OME’s really are smooth, it’s awesome. The choice between the two front setups often comes down to usage/preference. 
 

 

thanks for the kind words on my R50 @01Pathmaker, I appreciate it :)

 

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Well, about 30mins ago I got an email from the ebay seller I ordered my new OME 2923's from, that were supposed to be "in stock" and listed as "last one".  Surprise!  They claim the warehouse guy noticed a manufacture defect and when they tried to have another set drop shipped, they were told they're on national backorder and won't ship until lare September (duh!).  So I replied to get a refund, punched up 4x4parts (AC), and that's when things got crazy.  I called them, asked if they had HD fronts springs for my 2001 Pathfinder, he answered with "yeah, we usually keep a couple on hand", then he wasn't terribly happy when I asked him to physically check, but begrudgingly he did.  After about 6-7mins on hold, he came back and said "we've got 'em, I hand my own hands on them", so I ordered them on the spot.  I almost choked on the $54.90 UPS ground shipping charge, but either way I was forced to eat it, since my backup plan was to have him look for MD's, then lastly their 2" springs.  Now the waiting game begins and we'll see what actually arrives...

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I’m no help with suspensions. If it’s dirty I can help with that. Lol good luck my friend


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Can you clean mine?! Pics above!

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So my package from 4x4parts arrived with what's hopefully supposed to be my OME HD's, but there are absolutely no markings on them whatsoever. Way back, at least 12+ years ago, when I ordered my first set of OME MD springs (also from 4x4parts because I didn't know any better at the time), they arrived as these did, in a plain brown box, BUT they at least had factory OME tags on the springs themselves, these have nothing, just plain black springs. So, fingers crossed that these are what I expect them to be. Let the wrenchfest begin...c943dd379690da53b1109fcc2bddc7b9.jpg

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On 8/24/2020 at 5:03 PM, 01Pathmaker said:

Well, about 30mins ago I got an email from the ebay seller I ordered my new OME 2923's from, that were supposed to be "in stock" and listed as "last one".  Surprise!  They claim the warehouse guy noticed a manufacture defect and when they tried to have another set drop shipped, they were told they're on national backorder and won't ship until lare September (duh!).  So I replied to get a refund, punched up 4x4parts (AC), and that's when things got crazy.  I called them, asked if they had HD fronts springs for my 2001 Pathfinder, he answered with "yeah, we usually keep a couple on hand", then he wasn't terribly happy when I asked him to physically check, but begrudgingly he did.  After about 6-7mins on hold, he came back and said "we've got 'em, I hand my own hands on them", so I ordered them on the spot.  I almost choked on the $54.90 UPS ground shipping charge, but either way I was forced to eat it, since my backup plan was to have him look for MD's, then lastly their 2" springs.  Now the waiting game begins and we'll see what actually arrives...

Same exact thing happened to me. One listing on eBay for OME coils (No image on listing). I bought them, they contacted me the next day and said they were damaged and refunded me.  Listing removed and about a day later another seller had the that part number listed (also with no actual product image). I wonder if it’s like the sisterhood of traveling coils that the sellers dump off on other sellers. But yeah, I went with AC coils and I love them

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Finally, after around 16 hours of fighting with almost every single nut & bolt, the front is done (except alignment of course)!! I didn't take any pics along the way because of the frustration of having to heat almost every fastener up with the torch, breaker bar w/4ft cheater pipe, high torque impact gun, you get the idea, but I only snapped 1 little bolt off (one that holds the bracket of nonsense on top of the drivers side strut tower and a bunch on the hubs). Had to ditch my Mile Marker hubs, as they were locked in the lock position and when I was attempting to take them apart, damn near every one of the little bolts that hold the "cap" on snapped. Once I got them off I inspected and repacked the wheel bearings, then put it back together with the stock drive flanges (thank God I saved them!). She drives good, now has about an inch & a half "Cali-lean" going on, but that'll be addressed midweek when I tackle the rear. Time for a hot shower and a cold beer...9e2d304172d1f7d5dc1e6738bff7abfd.jpg

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Alright folks, my (almost) 200k mile suspension rehab is finished (except alignment)! So to sum up, thanks to a snapped coil, I replaced my apparently tired Old Man Emu MD suspension after roughly 140k miles of use. New parts are as follows: (FRONT)new OME HD front springs, KYB struts, OME trim packers (7/16" spacer), stabilizer links, repacked wheel bearings (replaced them at ~150k), a little wire brushing, applied rust converter, then rattle can bedliner. (REAR) near new OME MD springs (bought from@CDN_S4 years ago), near new OME Nitrocharger shocks (bought from@hawairish years ago too!), new SFC 1" spacers, sway bar links & bushings, a lot of scraping, wire brushing, rust converter & rattle can bedliner. She rides much more firm now, didn't realize how worn out everything really was! She Now sits between 35" & 35.25" to the center of the fender flare at all 4 corners (on fresh 255/70/16 Wildpeak AT3W's).

Now I'll start on the rest of the 200k service (change all fluids & filters from bumper to bumper) I guess! Heck, I even restored my headlights! She'll never be as clean as those Quey's, but maybe all my cleanup work will make@Mrelcocko happy! (Didn't go crazy with pics because I was way too involved, but here's what I got!)db9aeb8825eb3ad670ffcc4ceabd9aab.jpg9a189bfbbb9af1525b1b5a2d15da3cbf.jpgda23bd2322d7ff3a633842320d00aa2c.jpg2d500744333169ee35571f5e1045faf2.jpg419ef4ae6dad1e119005cea5d18b8353.jpg

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