OME Suspension Upgrade FINISHED

Topics relating to Lift Kits, Suspension, Steering...

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rragpaoa
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Postby rragpaoa » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:30 pm

blink32 wrote:I guess I could measure it at full droop when I jack it up aye? Then I could jack up by the lower link and see how much compression i can get out of it. That should work right?
Aye, makes good sense to me.


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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:55 pm

Well, some good news but mostly bad news.

Full droop on both sides in the front is 6 15/16" from the edge of the tire tread to the lip of the wheel well. I couldn't really get a jack on the lower link to check full compression.

The bad news. I'm officially farked as far as getting it back together. The front struts came off relatively easy. Wheels off, remove the upper links to the sway bar and swing it down out of the way. Remove large lower bolt and nut, remove upper 3 nuts and the strut wiggles right out. Only the drivers side big bolt gave me trouble that the impact couldn't handle but a 4 ft cheater bar could.

My spring compressors were good enough to remove the stock springs but not good enough to compress the OME ones. :-/ Went out and bought a beefier compressor from Pep Boys (only place I could find one) and its parts were too small to loop around the coils in the springs. Journey back out to Sears and Pep Boys to see if "the guys" could just toss it up in thier compressor and run the nut down. Thats all they needed to do. I already dismantled both stockers and put all the parts with the new struts. Sears says "yea no problem, tomorrow morning and it will be $100". I laughed and left. Pep Boys "yea, no problem, tomorrow morning and $20 ea".
Ehh, neither is thrilling but if I can't find an excellent one tonight its off to Pep Boys in the morning.

I took a break from typing to scour the internet. Found a wall mount for $150 on craigslist, now just waiting to see if the guy will call. All other compressors don't seem like they will work or else they are 300+ dollars.

Here are some pictures of how it sits now. The new springs and strut (outside) are just barely longer than the stockers (inside pair). The "lift" seems like it is a combination of a better spring rate and about an inch of extra spring length. The strut is very close to stock size also, about 3/4 longer overall. But as you can see from the picture the spring cup sits lower on the body, the body is shorter overall, its just odd. I'll have to wait to see how it works out.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:33 pm

Looks good so far! You seem to be having my luck with the project. I never seem to have all the right tools for the job. Keep the updates coming, as I'm very interested in the final result. Did you ever toy around with the idea of installing Bilstein front coilovers? I'm wondering how much of a difference they would make. But, I'd want to stick with the same suspension components all the way around (OME in this case, also because they are the only ones to offer a full kit).

On another note, I just picked up my new 2007 SE-OR today. The salesman was always very helpful, even over the course of my 2 1/2 month wait for it to be built. The finance guy was really annoying though. He was really trying to sell me on the paint protection, undercoating & especially the extended warranty. He finally offered me the warranty for another $890, but I declined. I've had too much luck with Datsuns & Nissans in the past. Even somewhat so with the POS Durango I traded. Has anyone purchased any of the extras they offer? If so, do you feel justified by your choice? Just curious.

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:03 pm

NVSteve wrote:I never seem to have all the right tools for the job. Keep the updates coming, as I'm very interested in the final result. Did you ever toy around with the idea of installing Bilstein front coilovers? I'm wondering how much of a difference they would make. But, I'd want to stick with the same suspension components all the way around (OME in this case, also because they are the only ones to offer a full kit).
I thought I was prepped, but the springs are too damn stiff. I thought about going with a diff brand of fronts, or even AC springs, but passed on it for the matched set.

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rragpaoa
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Postby rragpaoa » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:07 pm

Hey blink, thanks for the great right up so far. Nah ... that's not bad news at all. Just some hurdles. I thought you were going to say the springs don't fit or something. I believe the rears would be a lot easier. The only thing I am concerned about is hopefuly you could get a lot more increase on height and articulation than it appears.
Can't wait till you're done. Most likely I will order my set next week.
(pending your reviews, of course)

Yes, the Bilsteins look good, but I would go with consistancy all the way around. I had the OME on my Montero and loved them.

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:13 pm

Well, I'm either going back to stock or this thing is going to sit up in the air for a few more days. I was going to have Pep Boys put the struts together but I got to looking and thinking (bad things always happen when people think) and I don't believe you can turn the upper mount plate to align the 3 mounting studs when the strut is back together. The spring puts way too much pressure on the plate to allow that. So if I paid the PB JO's $40 to do it and it ended up 10, 20, etc degree's off I'd be screwed. Have to mark it, head back to PB, hope the "mechanics" understand what I want done, hopefully not get hassled for another 20 bones then drive home and hope it fits. I could see that turning into a serious hassle or several trips at-least.

I got the bright idea of looking around to see what kind of spring compressors are out there. As I said before, my general purpose spring compressors weren't cutting it, I borrowed a neighbors set and while beefier, were too thick to fit between the coils. Ok, what can I buy. Most retail ones are the same styel of two individual giant bolts. So I started looking at Commercial larger ones. Harbor Freight (scary) had two styles, a stand up press looking one and one that basically sits on the ground and hydraulically pulls its-self together to compress the spring. I went down to get the stand up one figuring it would do my job. Of course they don't have it/can't find it so i settle for the "on the ground" model. That thing is actually pretty awesome. Coils lock in, compresses fairly easily, seems sturdy. But it is NOT for springs with tight coil spacing. I can get the strut together but then I can't get the frickin tool out of the coils. I thought about compressing the inner coils with another tool to relieve the pressure on the out coils but again, spacing is too tight.

So now I'm on a quest for a Branick 7400 Strut Spring Compressor. I do enough struts that a quality tool is justifiable. I just never thought I would need it to do this job. As much as I can't believe I'm saying this, I suggest anyone who goes with this setup take at-least the front to a shop or know someone ahead of time with a commercial grade spring compressor with arms similiar to this.
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See how the fingers are thin. They will be able to slide through the small coil spacing.

bender031
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Postby bender031 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:35 pm

sheesh, you have some good patience though, most would try to rig up something, but you seem to have done your research. Hope the rest of the install goes ok, keep us posted. did you look into the rear at all yet?

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:42 pm

oh man, did I ever think about rigging it. But I honestly don't have any idea of what I could have used. I thought about grinding down my cheap set of spring compressors to fit, and I still might, then secure the coil to something with a chain in-case the compressor breaks. But I don't know if I'm that rowdy. I may still try it as I now have a few days until my Branick arrives.

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rragpaoa
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Postby rragpaoa » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:22 pm

wow, sorry to hear all the agony. Again, thanks for being the pioneer here. It at least paves the way for us followers. How about just doing the rear while waiting. Psychologically, if you successfully accomplish the rears, you won't feel as bummed .... and won't keep us too much in suspense(sion) :wink:

What's the cost of just taking it to the local 4x4 shop that deals with this all the time?

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:30 pm

ragpaoa wrote: What's the cost of just taking it to the local 4x4 shop that deals with this all the time?
You know, I don't really know. I personally don't trust 99% of places that provide any kind of customer service. Most of them "yah yah" their customers and if you don't know what your looking for they'll end up getting over on you. If I had one locally that I trusted I probably would have gone that route. I have had a strut/spring/shock suspension installed in the past on a car and it was around $200 I think just for labor.

I would go ahead and do the rears but as it sits, I can have it all back together and driving in about an hour. If I hit issues in the rear that I'm not prepared for it will end up taking a lot more time. In the rear you have to remove your camber adj bolts. That throws me under the bus as far as requiring an alignment. All this and the fact that I need to use it for a trip to Connecticut this coming Friday has me hesitant to mess with other parts ;).

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Postby NVSteve » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:08 pm

So, is it still a work in progress? From what you've posted so far, I will be visiting my local 4x4 shop to have the springs installed. But it all kind of depends on how it goes with yours, and what your final impressions are. I've only had my new PF a few days now, but I can honestly say I really like the suspension. Then again, I haven't loaded any weight into the back yet, nor have I tested it off-road (that'll happen in April).

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:56 pm

Ok, FINALLY some progress. A tool like the Branick is absolutely imperative so at this point I am advising people to take it to a shop unless you can justify the purchase of a similiar device (new or used), have connections or have awesome tool rental places. All the local places here (pep, autozone, etc) rent the same tool that you can buy @ Sears, etc. Very good for most applications. Even the Branick has to be wiggled, finagled and muscled out from between the coils. I almost finally lost my patience at one point when I thought this tool also would not work.

Now, if you have a place nearby capable of doing suspension work you can take the old struts to them and have them put the new strut together. But some details, the upper spring plate has three mounting studs. When looking down on the top there is an arrow, the arrow MUST point inboard towards the engine and the outer stud (closest to the tire) must be parallel with the flat area on the lower mounting point on the strut. I tried to illustrate that with this image and you can kind of see how it lines up on the stock strut in my post from "Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:55 pm". If you don't have them aligned the lower mount point will not fit between the mount plates. And even though the top studs are in a triangular shape they are not evenly spaced. :-/
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Here's the Branick 7400. Its a shade under 4ft tall, the tip of the tape measure is out exactly to 4ft. I didn't realize how large this frickin thing was. Supposedly its around 100lb's but it felt more like 50 or so.
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The paint on the springs and more so on the shocks seems to chip off fairly easily. And don't be a dummy like me, I forgot to put the strut rod guard back on the drivers side. I may tear it apart one day to fix...maybe.
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I haven't taken any measurements yet. Its too cold. I did drive it around the block to settle the suspension. Thought I heard a knock when I hit a rough spot but I'll be rechecking things tomorrow. But you can see from the pictures that there is a decent change.

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I'll get to the rears hopefully tomorrow after work. It seems like it should be easier. I'll know tomorrow.
Last edited by blink32 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rodos
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Postby Rodos » Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:37 am

Mate, great effort.

Us Pathy owners in Australia are keen on this kit too.

I placed a link to this on our forum, I am sure there will be some people visiting here to check out your efforts.

Rod

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blink32
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Postby blink32 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:23 am

Thanks for the post. I really wish I could have banged it out last weekend but the spacing on the coils was really kicking my a$$. Once you go to put the struts back in you'll see that there is new length in the parts. Where the stockers popped out with clearance, the new ones have to be twisted, pushed and in general man handled to clear the upper mounts by the 1/16th of an inch that I had.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:42 am

Rodos wrote:Mate, great effort.

Us Pathy owners in Australia are keen on this kit too.

I placed a link to this on our forum, I am sure there will be some people visiting here to check out your efforts.

Rod
Rod,

You would be my hero if you could post that article from Overlander reviewing the OME setup. I emailed someone else from your forum a few days ago, but no response yet. Or if you could email it to one of us here, then we can email it to whomever else asks for it.

Thanks,

Steve


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