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Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 08:11 AM
On the way back from Moab, I had worsening trailer sway/truck rocking going down the road. Pretty spooky at times, really starts up at 65 and above.

The only trouble is, I wasn't towing a trailer! :eek:

Dr. Schlegs rocked the Chili at a gas stop while I looked under, and sure enough, it rocked another time or two after he stopped. Methinks my 9012s are shot in back. This may explain why I experienced more tow issues last year hunting... ya think?

I am thinking the 9012s are probably going to be warranteed (limited lifetime warranty, a good reason to go Rancho - that may be the deciding factor for me, free is good). But another issue I would like to resolve is load levelling when I am packed up or towing. Flexy soft rear springs are great, but for towing, not so much - 4Runner Buttdrag.

Air Randy suggested Fox Air Shox as adjustable helper springs. So I did a search on the web.
YIKE$.
And from what I see they are not so adjustable, at least not on the road - they require nitrogen and at high pressures, so I would need to carry a tank.

I thought about air bags after reading that article in Trails where the guy in the 80 used them to replace his coils. Tramontana uses them with his Taco, and they work great. But other info I read suggests that wheeling them tears them up - not a good choice. Affordable though.

The goal: Affordable and adjustable load leveling that won't negatively impact wheeling. I know there is an innovative solution out there. So start the brain storming!

60wag
03-15-2010, 08:32 AM
It sounds like more of a spring problem than a shock problem. Are your springs REALLY soft, overloaded or broken?

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 08:35 AM
Rather soft and long (by design), and not broken. Overloaded? Who, me? LOL

I had stiffer and shorter used Alcans on there originally, but they didn't articulate worth a raisin. It's one of those one-size-fits-all-uses kinda problems.

RockRunner
03-15-2010, 09:21 AM
Bill, I swear by the Rancho 9000's I used them in my 91 4Runner and they were great. I plan on getting them for the Dodge when the shocks on it wear out.

Get the in-cab adjustment controller and you'll also be able to use them off-road then.

The other option you may look into are air bags like we have on the big trucks. Adding coils to your springs set for a certain weight and heights so when you load up they make contact.

Or, carry the stuff you had on a bumper rack to keep the COG down that would be the cheapest and easiest.

rover67
03-15-2010, 09:22 AM
So guessing that they might now work because they wouldn't have enough travel..

I wonder if you could use air bags as "helper" springs and just not attach them to both frame and axle, just one. I have no idea if that works or not. I've installed a few sets on tow vehicles but they were not 4wd by any means. In both applications they were bolted to the frame and axle like they were supposed to be. I mean do they make air bags that would work like big bump stops? I know that's not how they are supposed to work but maybe there is a design out there that is meant to be used llike that? Maybe there are big baja bump stops that would work like I am describing?

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 09:28 AM
Bill, I swear by the Rancho 9000's I used them in my 91 4Runner and they were great. I plan on getting them for the Dodge when the shocks on it wear out.

Get the in-cab adjustment controller and you'll also be able to use them off-road then.

The other option you may look into are air bags like we have on the big trucks. Adding coils to your springs set for a certain weight and heights so when you load up they make contact.

Or, carry the stuff you had on a bumper rack to keep the COG down that would be the cheapest and easiest.
The problem with the sway is, the shocks appear to be shot. Rancho 9012s. I just use the manual adjusters.

RockRunner
03-15-2010, 09:32 AM
Well then it is easy, time for new shocks!!

PS Sorry we missed your call, dinner with the parental units last night. I'll call you tonight or call me.

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 09:41 AM
So guessing that they might now work because they wouldn't have enough travel..

I wonder if you could use air bags as "helper" springs and just not attach them to both frame and axle, just one. I have no idea if that works or not. I've installed a few sets on tow vehicles but they were not 4wd by any means. In both applications they were bolted to the frame and axle like they were supposed to be.
That's what Tramontana runs on his Taco. Loads the snot out of it, and levels. Maaaaybe not quite what you wanna do with a Taco rear axle housing, but it works. He hardly wheels it though.

Beater
03-15-2010, 09:59 AM
smells like warranty

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 12:20 PM
Yes... two problems to be solved.
1) Rancho 9012s are likely shot
2) Need to have a solution for load levelling

Talking to Roger Brown, it seems his 4Runner did the same thing as the rear springs approached a flat arch. He solved it with an Addco rear sway bar, his custom disconnects, and is considering a center airbag for load assist.

Hmmm. There's some bux there but it gets the mind thinking.

My life will get more complicated should I discover the rear shocks are fine after all. But I doubt it. The truck should not keep rocking when manually rocked, ESPECIALLY with Rancho 9000s set on highest damping.

Beater
03-15-2010, 12:23 PM
well, you could 3 link it using a boge self leveling unit like the rovers have. they may be cheap enough now that they're ancient. Would be easy-ish to fab it in. ball joint type mount hole on top of diff and brackets to frame.

wesintl
03-15-2010, 12:26 PM
Rancho's suck... trade them for brady quinn :lmao:

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 01:56 PM
Here's what Roger runs:
http://www.4crawler.com/Photos/104_pana/p1040225.jpg

He also makes these disconnects (only need one side done really):
http://www.4crawler.com/Photos/104_pana/p1040230.jpg

http://www.4crawler.com/Photos/104_pana/p1040229.jpg

They are a bit pricey. (not unreasonably, and well made, but money is money). 1/2" heims are about $14 each and I think I could fab the bars easily enough. That makes the center airbag an interesting concept, since any increased body roll would be controlled.

Hmmm...
His description of his experience (reposted here):
Bar from Addco, I think they run ~$150 or so. Just disconnect one side and it eliminates the bar off-road. On my '85, I think a lot of the rear handling issues have to do with the way the springs ride. When I first put my current springs on, they had a decent arch and rode well. But as they have settled with time and flattened out more, they tend to get a lot of side-side action on the road. My thinking is the center air bag will lift the back end up a few inches, restoring the arch to the springs and letting them work better. As is, unloaded, the truck handles decent, it is just when you load down the rear end with gear that it gets a little sketchy. I lose about 2" of height in back loaded and that is when it starts to act up.

Bikeman
03-15-2010, 04:07 PM
Did you get (are these) new Deavers yet?

Air Randy
03-15-2010, 04:40 PM
Bill,

I have some of those fancy, smancy sway bar disconnects that came in the boxes of Toyota parts I got. You can have them if you decide to for sure go this route.

Red_Chili
03-15-2010, 05:08 PM
Awesome, Randy... I will take them. Even if I have to lengthen them.

Mike, no, these are the Alcans I put on years ago. I did go with Alcans in the front, they are using thicker leaves these days. Seem to work pretty darn well. Once they break in I won't be (slightly) nose high. :lmao:

60wag
03-15-2010, 05:22 PM
You aren't running the shocks upside down are you?

Red_Chili
03-16-2010, 07:35 AM
http://redchili.smugmug.com/4x4/Chinamans-Gulch-Rising-Sun/DSCN0248/297092818_LUWcR-L.jpg

Ironically, I AM running the fronts upside down (to make the adjusters accessible). They work fine. They are the RS99012s, while the rears are the older 5-way RS9012s.

DaveInDenver
03-16-2010, 07:52 AM
Ironically, I AM running the fronts upside down (to make the adjusters accessible).
I think Rancho shocks are supposed to be mounted body down, like you have them on your back. According to Roger Brown the RS5000 series shocks must be mounted body down for their valves to work but the RS9000 series doesn't matter. Even though everyone says with monotubes it doesn't matter (twintube have to be oriented correctly), I think shocks are designed for one orientation or another. I know with bike forks storing them upside down causes them to leak and ruin seals, so I would have guessed that similarly the oil is suppose to flow and settle in a vehicle shock seals in a particular way.

Red_Chili
03-16-2010, 08:04 AM
I have read in numerous places - and Mike Caskey confirmed one day - that the 9000s or 99000s are fine upside down. In any event, it is the rears that are possibly giving me fits.

DaveInDenver
03-16-2010, 08:09 AM
In any event, it is the rears that are possibly giving me fits.
That was my point, the rears are mounted properly AFAIK.

RockRunner
03-16-2010, 09:18 AM
Bill, I have seen some write ups that use a *eep coil spring in the middle to support the extra weight. I had the page bookmarked for possible future use but lost it somewhere. If I run across it I will post it but try a search I will too.

Red_Chili
03-16-2010, 09:27 AM
Yep, ZUK came up with that one. Without some means of stopping body roll, it would make it MUCH worse. The other one he came up with is coils on each leaf spring bump stop. Not adjustable and a bit ghetto, but folks say it works mah-vell-us.

60wag
03-16-2010, 09:42 AM
When I ran Rancho 9000s on my 60, I tried them upside down to preserve the adjuster knobs. They most definitely stopped acting as a shock. When mounted correctly they started working again.

In order to preserve your off highway flex and improve your on highway stability, I think an airbag system is in order.

Red_Chili
03-16-2010, 10:31 AM
Bruce, do you think airbags are up to offroading? I have heard they won't extend enough, and will get torn up as a result. Roger's idea of one mounted over the diff, where it would not need to flex much, might work though - as long as a swaybar was used to limit the increased potential for body roll on the highway.

Air Randy
03-16-2010, 11:08 AM
Bill,

Google "Firestone air suspension" then go to North America. They have an entire section devoted to how to design an air ride suspension and they have an 8.5 MG/85 page pdf file with all of the design parameter info in it. Should be able to tell you if you can get enough flex with their products for off-road use plus you can actually call and speak to their engineers.

rover67
03-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Bruce, do you think airbags are up to offroading? I have heard they won't extend enough, and will get torn up as a result. Roger's idea of one mounted over the diff, where it would not need to flex much, might work though - as long as a swaybar was used to limit the increased potential for body roll on the highway.

That's why I was wondering if they can be mounted on only one side of the bag... so they don't have to extend too far.

Nay
03-16-2010, 07:33 PM
I'd invest my money in a higher end set of shocks and accept that fact that light towing is going to compress my springs a bit.

I know you like the 9000's, but they are so far below a baseline high end shock in performance. Of course, $700 - $800 for a much better set of shocks is not chump change, but you buy once and can both rebuild/re-valve and it's a good investment for a rig that will see hardcore offroad use and a wide variety of road usage.

These 9100 series bumpstops are also interesting:

http://www.bilsteinus.com/offroad_9100bump.php

Air Randy
03-16-2010, 07:59 PM
Bill,

Also go to theshockshop .com and check their prices for air shocks. They are like $150 per pair for Ranchos or Gabriels. As long as you get the right length/travel for your application I think they would work offroad OK. This is what I recommended you check into, not the Fox offroad racing units that are $400+ each.

bigbluefj
03-16-2010, 09:02 PM
The air bags only get ripped if they rub on anything ie: sharp metal parts, one fellow in the RMLCA runs them on his 80 and this is what has happened to him in the past, install mistake on his part..

Red_Chili
03-17-2010, 08:56 AM
Bill,

Also go to theshockshop .com and check their prices for air shocks. They are like $150 per pair for Ranchos or Gabriels. As long as you get the right length/travel for your application I think they would work offroad OK. This is what I recommended you check into, not the Fox offroad racing units that are $400+ each.
theshockshop.com resolves to http://www.learyracingproducts.com/. Is that the right place? It is in Denver. All of the options (search, selecting manufacturer, pretty much everything) show 'Coming Soon'. ???

Rancho doesn't make an airshock (AFAIK). Monroe does.
[edit] Ah, I found the link. http://www.shockshopusa.com/air-shocks.html

RockRunner
03-17-2010, 09:48 AM
Bill,
how high is your diff from a mounting point above it? You may be able to mount two air bags on top of each other sort of. One thing to remember is that the air bags have to be straight up and down or the will collapse to the side where they will end up ripping for sure.

I guess if it were up to me I would;


Check the shocks first
Install the free sway bar, worry about disconnects later
Look into the air bag set up or springs
Maybe even a combination of coil/air bag set up. You can control it that way.
Sell your rig to me and start all over :D

Red_Chili
03-17-2010, 10:26 AM
Bill,
I guess if it were up to me I would;


Check the shocks first
Install the free sway bar, worry about disconnects later
Look into the air bag set up or springs
Maybe even a combination of coil/air bag set up. You can control it that way.

The latter is pretty much what Roger Brown is planning to do. One never went wrong doing what Roger does. Hey... there was a "free sway bar" mentioned somewhere in this thread??? :cool:



Sell your rig to me and start all over :D


Tell you what, when I am dead I will will it to you. Right after Justin gets it. LOL

So I finally got time last night to check the shocks. They didn't seem quite as stiff on '5' as a new shock was (pretty subjective), but they were not as shot as I expected. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And everything is tight on the vehicle.

Mounting the shocks in a / \ configuration does put them at a slight mechanical disadvantage, but they used to control things quite nicely.

I think the sway bar is gonna be pretty much mandatory no matter what I do. Ordered from JEGS (best price).

Red_Chili
03-17-2010, 12:36 PM
Hmmm, interesting...
https://www.universalairsuspension.com/store/index.php?cPath=25&osCsid=fdd7b83b85b6a78348ee9766d7948428

rover67
03-17-2010, 01:28 PM
you know rereading this thread, I tend to agree with Tom.

I think you need some shocks that work back on it, and do a nice sway bar with disconnects. I bet that sway bar would help tremendously.

Leave the springs till later..

Air Randy
03-17-2010, 03:00 PM
Let me know when you need the disconnects. This is what I have (the long ones):

Red_Chili
03-18-2010, 07:31 AM
Can you bring them to the meeting? THANK YOU Randy!

Looks like, if I need them longer, making longer center tubes is no big deal (drilling very carefully to align things though). Roger just disconnects one side of the rear swaybar, but I don't know what its flopping around might hang up on, if anything. I will have to investigate. Rubber bungees are a simple solution.

leiniesred
03-18-2010, 08:42 AM
Bill: I think you were traveling pretty heavy with extra weight way up on the rack. The stuff on the rack also added to your profile.

I found much more wind on Eastern 1/2 of the trip when compared to the Western 1/2 of the trip. I think that extra wind made it feel like the shocks were dying.

You might need a little more spring to support the weight you want to carry on trips.
I know my rig feels super sketchy if 4 big guys pile in it. It doesn't just sway down the road it "sashays!"

RockRunner
03-18-2010, 10:38 AM
Rudy has a good point Bill, I saw your rig and it was loaded up pretty full. With my springs, HD from Marlin, and 5100 shocks I can load up the rig and tow the boat with no sway. Your springs were made for a certain weight and I bet you went over that in Moab. Add to that your load on the roof and the wind and you will sway.

If you have a weight set you can try to re-create the conditions somewhat. Load up your rig with a certain amount of weight and drive it, don't forget the roof rack stuff. by adding and subtracting weight you can find your overload point and stick to that when loading for a big trip. Any truck/car when overloaded will start to sway and or wallow. I have overloaded my old GMC before with wood and it leaned one way or another.

Test it first before you go spend money, or does it do it when you are empty too?

Red_Chili
03-19-2010, 08:20 AM
I took the shocks to High Country 4x4 just to compare with new ones. The guy there took one look at them and said they were leaking (looked like just road grime to me, not wet). We compared the compression damping and rebound to even an RS5000 and there was a noticeable difference - plus, there was a point in the push/pull of the shock where it just slipped, as if there was an air bubble in the damping. That alone would cause my symptoms. No problem warrantying them.

However, HC4x4 has a weird policy because they have been scammed by guys getting Rancho shocks from the junkyard and trying to warranty them (when they are still good) - so you have to buy them, and two weeks later, if Rancho credits HC4x4, they credit you. The auto parts store down the street (G&S Auto) will just swap them. They had to special order them but they should be here today, no issues swapping.

Oh, and if you think the Chili was loaded heavy for the pre run, you should've seen it the last few years for elk and antelope hunting! Steady as a stone on the highway. The sway issue started last fall towing the popup, especially on the way home from Wyoming, and it prompted me to build a new drop hitch (which did make a difference). Now I realize that, though the drop hitch is a good idea, I was chasing failing shocks.

The sway bar is on order, but they have to make it, so it won't be here for a month (maybe not in time for CM). So we will see.

RockRunner
03-19-2010, 10:53 AM
I bet the shocks take care of 90% of your sway if not more. With the sudden loss of pressure in the shock your rig moves even harder and then the shock can't keep up once it catches the dampening point again.

ScaldedDog
03-19-2010, 12:06 PM
Ummm, I wonder if the 12yo 9012's on our 4Runner, or the 7yo ones on the Excursion, are having the same problem. The ones on the X, in particular, have that "road grime" look around the top.

Mark

Red_Chili
03-20-2010, 05:29 PM
All I can say is, WOW. The new RS999012X shocks are a whole new shock compared to the 9012s. WAY beefier, as well as the 9-way adjustability. They are gas filled too, so they extend all by themselves - be sure to get the upper eye in position, then turn until they unlock, and slip the lower one on as they extend or you will have a bear of a time compressing them to get it on. LOL, the old ones had a little damping left but were NOTHING like the new ones.

I have 9-ways on the front, which were another warranty replacement for the original 5-ways. The new 9-ways are a whole new shock compared even to them, way fatter.

17794

The verdict? I have a set of test bumps between Wadsworth and Kipling on C470. If it's gonna sway, it will do it there. It worked for fixing the trailer sway, that was the acid test.

No more sway. :cheers: :thumb: :D

Now I'm excited for the front shocks to start leaking... :lmao:

The sway bar is still a great idea for towing though. We will see what I can fab up with my new $30 airbags for load levelling. :lmao:

RockRunner
03-20-2010, 06:15 PM
Good to hear, figured the shocks were the culprit. They look good.