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2 - 2.5 all around lift inch lift questions


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I am in the researching stage for figuring out this whole lift situation, and I'd like to purchase everything in the next week or so. My plan is to get about a two inch lift all around and fit 32 inch tires. Here's what I have so far.

- 2 inch AC Coils in the front from 4x4

- NRC 9949 or 9447 rear Land Rover Coils (Would love to hear opinions on what the better option here is)

- Bilstein 33-185552 (To my understanding these should not require extending brake lines, diff breathers, and bump stops)

- Struts????

Here's where I have questions I believe that if you lift in the front with AC coils and upgrade to KYB struts you will experience topping out. The only solutions to this that I have seen are to buy the expensive OME front struts or adding limiting straps. Is topping out so bad that it's worth spending the extra money to buy the better struts, or are limit straps a safe a reliable option for fixing the problem.

 

I have also seen something posts around here about strut mounts, and oem bearings, so I need to learn more about that.

 

Next, with the 33-185552, one of the bushings won't fit a 98 mount, so I would I have to replace it with a smaller 12 mm one. Is this just as simple as pressing out the bushing and putting in a 12mm?

 

I saw a post about coil compressors, and they said not to use standard compressors, and to use this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66. Is this the best option, or is it not necessary (and what is the best option).

 

This is going to be my real first ever car project so I was wondering if there are any recommendations or videos/pictures to guide me through it all.

 

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9447 vs 9449 is a personal preference, check out their specs here: http://www.red90.ca/rovers/springinfo.html

 

The 9449 is just 50lbs/inch stiffer for carrying more weight. 
 

MOST people use stock replacement struts (ie, anything you can find on rockauto), with the OME being the only true aftermarket struts available. If you really want to take a deep dive into struts, you could research some of the other Australian companies that make struts with their lift kits, and see if you could coerce them to ship over here. I’ve yet to see that done. 
 

Top out varies from ride to ride. On My AC/KYB front setup, I don’t have any complaints (it is certainly stiffer than the OME coils though) and many of my friends who have done the same also like this setup, but I know other people who are not as satisfied. If you’re not 100% set on them, consider a dobinson or OME 2928 front setup, those are great coils, and if they’re too short for you you can pretty safely add a 1” spacer after they’ve settled. 


Correct on the 33-185552. You need to swap one of the bushings, or (at your own risk of damage to the bushing) use washers and clamp it down so tight it doesn’t move. The obvious, better choice, is to locate a new bushing. I’m not sure where one does that. On facelift R50’s, you can swap the bolt on the upper mount, I’m unsure of the same option is available to you on the lower mount. 
 

compressinng the AC coils without a professional spring compressor is usuallly sketchy, I’ve yet to see anyone try the AC coils with that specific tool, though I’d be optimistic about it working. That tool has been used very successfully to compress OME coils. 

Hope that helps!

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1 hour ago, PathyDude17 said:

9447 vs 9449 is a personal preference, check out their specs here: http://www.red90.ca/rovers/springinfo.html

 

The 9449 is just 50lbs/inch stiffer for carrying more weight. 
 

MOST people use stock replacement struts (ie, anything you can find on rockauto), with the OME being the only true aftermarket struts available. If you really want to take a deep dive into struts, you could research some of the other Australian companies that make struts with their lift kits, and see if you could coerce them to ship over here. I’ve yet to see that done. 
 

Top out varies from ride to ride. On My AC/KYB front setup, I don’t have any complaints (it is certainly stiffer than the OME coils though) and many of my friends who have done the same also like this setup, but I know other people who are not as satisfied. If you’re not 100% set on them, consider a dobinson or OME 2928 front setup, those are great coils, and if they’re too short for you you can pretty safely add a 1” spacer after they’ve settled. 


Correct on the 33-185552. You need to swap one of the bushings, or (at your own risk of damage to the bushing) use washers and clamp it down so tight it doesn’t move. The obvious, better choice, is to locate a new bushing. I’m not sure where one does that. On facelift R50’s, you can swap the bolt on the upper mount, I’m unsure of the same option is available to you on the lower mount. 
 

compressinng the AC coils without a professional spring compressor is usuallly sketchy, I’ve yet to see anyone try the AC coils with that specific tool, though I’d be optimistic about it working. That tool has been used very successfully to compress OME coils. 

Hope that helps!

It's okay Pathydude, you can shamelessly promote your youtube channel for this one!

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That compressor looks like my posting. It works very well & is a world different from the 2 side compressors. It handled the OME HD & HD LR springs with ease - zero sketchyness. Well worth it. I expect that style is all the same & you should be able to find it for $80-90

3d2904170bfed8f2635a57576e589ae3.jpg

 

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I saw a post about coil compressors, and they said not to use standard compressors, and to use this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66. Is this the best option, or is it not necessary (and what is the best option).

 

That's exactly the compressor I used and have now disassembled and reassembled my struts 3 times. Can't imagine doing that with a compressor that is any less capable.

 

I did the work you're planning. Originally was going to get a shop to do it but encouraged in this forum to do it myself. I'm far from being an experienced mechanic, it was relatively easy and I learned a lot. I'm thankful for the encouragement. 

 

I put the 9447s on mine, very happy with them. 

 

If I were to go back in time and give myself advice: get new rubber seats, etc. and save yourself from having to/wanting to replace those a few weeks later.

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I saw a post about coil compressors, and they said not to use standard compressors, and to use this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66. Is this the best option, or is it not necessary (and what is the best option).
 
...If I were to go back in time and give myself advice: get new rubber seats, etc. and save yourself from having to/wanting to replace those a few weeks later.

Ditto, I tried to replace all rubber parts but missed those & didn’t have them on hand. Wish I had!
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Here's where I have questions I believe that if you lift in the front with AC coils and upgrade to KYB struts you will experience topping out. The only solutions to this that I have seen are to buy the expensive OME front struts or adding limiting straps. Is topping out so bad that it's worth spending the extra money to buy the better struts, or are limit straps a safe a reliable option for fixing the problem.

 

I have the AC coils and KYB 335015/16 struts, with 32x11.5x15 BFG AT TA KO2 tires and ProComp PXA7069-5883 wheels. With this combination my top out is not tolerable (still startles me from time to time) and is next up on the to do list.

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On 3/19/2021 at 8:12 AM, Leo_Allesch said:

Here's where I have questions I believe that if you lift in the front with AC coils and upgrade to KYB struts you will experience topping out. The only solutions to this that I have seen are to buy the expensive OME front struts or adding limiting straps. Is topping out so bad that it's worth spending the extra money to buy the better struts, or are limit straps a safe a reliable option for fixing the problem.

Like gloer has mentioned, the top out can be quite bad. I would go with getting the ome struts for this issue.

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So If I fork out the extra $400 for the ome struts will they work with the ac coils? Also what is the mounting situation, because I was going to buy a new mounting kit if I was going to go with the kyb struts. If the ac coils work with this strut and it will help with topping out it is probably worth it.

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So If I fork out the extra $400 for the ome struts will they work with the ac coils? Also what is the mounting situation, because I was going to buy a new mounting kit if I was going to go with the kyb struts. If the ac coils work with this strut and it will help with topping out it is probably worth it.

Ome struts are struts only. Nothing else is included, same as kyb strut


Sent from my Pathfinder
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Ome struts are struts only. Nothing else is included, same as kyb strut

 

Confirm this is a true statement @R50JR -> the Ome struts have longer throw (not sure if correct term?) and as such don't top out with AC coils

 

I think that Leo is, and definitely I am, looking to confirm is true. Once confirmed, I'm going to propose these to my wife :)

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The OME struts are documented as slightly having longer travel than some/most/all stock struts. The stock strut specs changes from brand to brand and even from model year to model year, meaning that not all of the OEM struts have the same exact travel. If you’re really concerned, some googling of part numbers and catalogues can easily confirm or deny this for your specific application. Different valving/loading characteristics of struts aside, more travel would generally lead to less top out. Whether this is a noticeable decrease in top out remains to be seen, as no one has done a side by side comparison. 
 

What I can say-they’ll fit, and it will likely be the nicest riding AC front coil setup you can get. 

Edited by PathyDude17
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What I can say-they’ll fit, and it will likely be the nicest riding AC front coil setup you can get. 

 

That's enough for me, I can't tolerate the KYBs anymore. If the OMEs don't reduce top out enough I'll go the strap route. I'll document what I can through the process to get some kind of facts known based on KYB vs OME with ACs. 

 

Off to talk to the better half about the OMEs. If you don't hear from me again it didn't go well :D 

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I'm deciding to go with the KYB struts instead of the OME.

 

After reading through countless posts I have some more questions.

A lot of old posts talked about KYB GR-2 struts, but I can only find the excel-g. I believe that they are the same product but I just wanted to double check.

This is the one I'm looking to buy on rockauto. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=503385&cc=1316833&jsn=10865

Also I have been reading a-lot about KYB strut mount failures, is this something to be concerned about. My car only has 60k miles on it, but I was just  going to replace the  whole strut assembly with this https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=503477&cc=1316833&jsn=16&jsn=16. Is this safe, and if it isn't will my stock mounts be fine, or should I look to find OEM replacements. Last, I haven't seen anything on installing AC coils. Should I try and compress the coils myself when installing or should I take it to a mechanic.

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As someone who had never done it before, I was wary of the 2 piece compressors. Having now done it with [mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] using the new compressor style listed above, I would feel comfortable doing it myself. I’ll leave the technical answers to those with more experience, but I bought new OEM strut mounts due to the conservative consensus that they are the safest - the last thing I need is a failure while remote & solo with my family. @zakzachzachary experienced an on trail failure due to lacking the top hat spacers & it took a community to get him mobile again within 24 hours.

 

Here is my parts list (I wish I had the liwer rubber isolators available when I did it, mine were worn through so we rotated them. I included the piece that wasn’t rubber that I didn’t need)

 

OEM Replacement Parts

Strut Bearing [54325-5V000] $48.54=$24.27x2

Spring Seat [54034-0W000] $45.42=$22.71x2

Bellows & Bump Stop [54050-0W002] $38.86=$19.43x2

Did NOT use: Upper Seat Rubber Bumper (NOT rubber) [54057-0W000] $22.50=$11.25x2

$173.17 ($155.32+$17.85s) infinitipartsdeal.com

 

Make sure you are aware of the top hat spacer issue & the strut alignment info

 

62ea4c3e348cc3d4e75c724095c0b3c3.jpg

 

The notches on the bottom spring seat and the top spring seat must be aligned as shown. Note that the side of the strut shown in the photo is the inboard (engine-facing) side. When reinstalling the struts, orient the "L" or "R" on the strut insulator (aka "top hat") so that the "L" lines up with the notches for the left strut, and the "R" lines up with the notches for the right strut.[XPLORx4]

 

 

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As mentioned, I'm no pro mechanic and with the spring compressors you linked I had zero issue disassembling/assembling the struts myself (three times so far, soon to be four). I used those with the AC coils. No problem. I wouldn't want to rely on a shop to do the assembly. Follow the details in the other posts here, you should have no issues doing these yourself.

 

KYB GR-2 vs. Excel-G, I also looked into that originally:

https://www.kyb.com/knowledge-center/faqs/what-is-the-difference-between-the-kyb-gr-2-and-the-excel-g-products/

 

As for strut mount failure, defer to others but personally I had KYB Excel-G with OEM mounts for a few years with no issues with stock tires and wheels pre-lift, plenty of off-road (nothing super technical). 

Edited by gloer
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31 minutes ago, gloer said:

As for strut mount failure, defer to others but personally I had KYB Excel-G with OEM mounts for a few years with no issues with stock tires and wheels pre-lift, plenty of off-road (nothing super technical). 

So  when you installed your  AC coils did  you just swap the  strut and spring into  your existing strut assembly or did you purchase any replacement mounts?

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Sorry for not being very clear.

 

When I installed the ACs I bought new KYB struts, KYB strut mounts and KYB strut bellows.

 

During the initial installation I found the rubber seats were destroyed (front and rear) and no one in town stocked them. So...I ordered those and that lead to round 2 disassembly/reassembly. I tried to make my own "spring silencers" - failed. 

 

After that I still had a weird noise, thought maybe it had to do with not replacing the "spring silencers". So...I ordered those. Replaced those during round 3 of disassemble/reassemble.

 

I started with zero knowledge. Now, 4 months in to the lift process I've learned a lot. I could probably disassemble/reassemble the struts blindfolded now. I'm happy about that, since I embarked down this road to learn more. Was it efficient? Nope. Cheap? Nope. Fun? Yep

 

I'm going to get the OME struts and probably get the OEM strut mounts and replace the KYB strut mounts. Like RainGoat, I don't want to cut corners. My offroad is most often to get to a search or rescue mission, most often in the middle of the night. 

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1 hour ago, gloer said:

I started with zero knowledge. Now, 4 months in to the lift process I've learned a lot. I could probably disassemble/reassemble the struts blindfolded now. I'm happy about that, since I embarked down this road to learn more. Was it efficient? Nope. Cheap? Nope. Fun? Yep

So after all that, what is your recommendation for installing KYB struts and AC coils. Only hoping to have to do it once LOL. What was your experience with the KYB mounts, should I go for OEM replacements?

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So after all that, what is your recommendation for installing KYB struts and AC coils. Only hoping to have to do it once LOL. What was your experience with the KYB mounts, should I go for OEM replacements?

You will have absolutely zero issues with kyb strut mounts. Oem mounts are not necessary. Buy that large spring compressor, kyb mounts, kyb bearing, bumpstop/bellows, and your choice of strut and you will have a solid front suspension.


Sent from my Pathfinder
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