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want to hear from those who beat their high end shocks "REALLY HARD"

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Old 07-08-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
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want to hear from those who beat their high end shocks "REALLY HARD"

I am making the final choice for my new CO's, for my 1999 TRD ext cab build. I am considering Fox, ICON, and Kings. The rebuilt Taco is going to spend a lot of time hauling fifteen hundred pounds over long stretches of "washboard-from-hell " roads = driving thousands of miles with an expedition camper onboard, to far away places like northern Alaska, and the Baja peninsula (calculated total weight 6600 lbs at speeds 20 to 60 mph in the rough).

I am thinking external reservoir shocks all around is a good idea.

BUT, the Kings and ICONs don't have external reservoirs, for first gen trucks. So I am wondering if its worth the money for the Foxes, OR are the ICONs and Kings bulletproof for the abuse? For that matter are the Foxes?

If there are people who have beat their Foxes, ICONs or Kings until they faded out, blew out, or broke, I would like to hear from you.

If there is a suspension engineer/guru/fabricator who knows how much shock I truly need, I want to hear from you.

Thanks... Hermit

p.s... the rear could be Bilstein 5150's, ICONs, Walker Evans, or Foxes... all have remote reservoir products. If you have something to say about them too, I'll listen.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like a cool application.

Here is a little known secret. Fox, King, Icon etc can make you a shock with resi for your truck. They just need your specs and your credit card. I would recomend a 2.5" smooth body King with remote resi.

Sonny at Downsouth Motorsports is a shock guru that I trust. He sold me all eight King shocks on my truck. He even valves them specifically to your truck for free!

Here is the website and info. Disclaimer: I am not affliated with Sonny in any business deals except that he gives everyone including me better deals than anyone on King and Fox shocks.

http://downsouthmotorsports.com/
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
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Going way off track, but how did you plan on driving to Northern Alaska? I'm pretty sure most places out there aren't in continuity with roads. You'll REALLy have to overland it, hell, the Yukon R. and the Kuskokwim cut through a lot of the state, and they're hundreds of yards wide in some spots.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:25 PM   #4
Cuz Stock Sucks
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King Icon and Fox are all great brands. I like kings and foxes better because you can order in any valving you want and switch springs easier. One nice thing about Fox shocks is parts for them are cheap and easy to find. King is a lot smaller and to become a dealer isn't the easiest thing so you have to hunt a little more to find parts. Icons you have to send them to Icon to have anything done to them. I'm running Kings up front and Fox in the rear.

Sonny at Downsouth Motorsports is the best call him up and he can build you want you will need for that kind of weight.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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great - keep it coming

Hey Hey Hey...

You are absolutely right Caduceus, and it sounds like your an explorer at heart. I was thinking exclusively about road travel - however bad the roads may be. I think the only vehicles that move in the "real" north are airplanes, purpose built tundra buggies, snowmobiles, and dog sleds - unless you can figure out how to ride a bear or a caribou.

I have 3 things on my bucket-list to do up there - see the northern lights on a moonless night, see Mt. McKinley and Denali, and see the wildlife on the Kenai peninsula. My plan is N to the Yukon Territories, W to Fairbanks, N a couple hundred miles along the Trans-Alaska pipeline, to find the Northern Lights (this is the general area of greatest particle activity, and so most likely to put on a show).

Then back to Fairbanks and southwest to Anchorage, past Denali National Park and The Mountain. Down the Kenai peninsula and find out if passage to Katmai is possible. Then its back home. I believe it will cover about 8000 miles. My friend has advised me to expect hundreds of miles of washboard roads, and to build accordingly. I expect it to take about 2 to 3 months.

Its good that the Alaska equipment, will also work in Moab (except the rear springs are going to be a bit stiff for crawling). The more I seriously looked at what I need to build, the more I realized that the expedition stuff was more akin to the Baja 1000, and would probably be the hardest on my truck.

That's why I am asking everyone about how to break the stuff, so I can learn how to take care of it. Competition syle building is something I've thought about for years, but this is my first go at it. I need to get it as "right" as I can, on the first try, because I won't have the money or time to do it again.

To 06HAOLE I appreciate the idea, I hadn't even thought of "adding" reservoirs. If I read between the lines I think you may have some real competition experience, and I definitely appreciate your suggestion.

To amaes I see that your build looks a lot like what I "think" I need. Without experience I don't "know" what I need, and I am trying to avoid as much "bad" experience as possible. At this time I am gravitating towards All-Pro armor and UCA's, Dakar leafs, Timbrens, SuperWinch EPi 9.0s, and the best suited CO's and rear shocks that I can figure out, for what I want to do.

Sorry, if I went off a bit on Alaska, but I am stoked, and Caduceus tweeked my explorer instincts. I also hope that by understanding what I want to do, it will be easier for people to tell me how I can best go about doing it. In the mean time there will be Moab, and I am stoked for that to.

Damn - its good to be alive... H

p.s... yes I am having a manically happy day... woo hoo !!! Had my truck fully serviced with new water pump, u-joints, fluids, and a couple of new tires. Ordered a B&M tranny cooler and Amazon is selling the winch for $775. All Pro for tube bumpers and armor. And just about figured out my shocks and springs.... there needs to be a smiley here for mindlessly grinning, while staring out at space...
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
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Good Choices All-Pro armor and UCA's, Dakar leafs, Timbrens, SuperWinch EPi 9.0.

I helped a buddy add all of these but the superWinch and its are great quality products

Are for shocks and coilovers Fox or King are my choices for you. They are both rebuildable and can handle the punishment. Rears if you are going to be carrying a lot of weight make sure that your rears are valved to handle it. it will make your ride a lot better and smother. Like I said Sonny can help you pick what you need and they also will do 1 free revalve on all of there fox and king shocks. Fox's run a little cheaper also then the kings most of the time also.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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Its silly, but I like the idea of having the same shock manufacturer on front and rear. By the time I added reservoirs to the Kings or ICONs it would be about the same price for any of them. I read a lot of threads and its clear they are all "damn fine". Since I am liking the idea of the rear adjustable Foxes I am leaning a bit towards the Foxes on the front. Checking into pricing and shipping now. Hope to have "all" the parts here within 2 months.

Then I need to figure out how to put it all together... and finally...I sure am glad I bought the good air ratchet and impact gun years back... finally get to use them for real.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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i have known a few people in the past 9 years in tacomas that ran the Fox direct replacement coilovers and there seemed to be a bit of a stiffness to them...

the Kings on the other hand, can swap out spring rates and are easily user serviced...

Fox shocks in long travel applications are a different breed altogether, so hard to compare...

as mentioned a few times, Sonny at Downsouth Motorsports would be your best bet... as for the rear, with all the hauling and hard driving, i vote you look into a custom 10 leaf pack either from Deaver or Alcan and definitely run some 2.5" smooth body resi shocks like mentioned above by Haole06... they won't heat up and they can pretty much be mounted in stock location with some minor mods...

so i guess my vote is Kings front and rear... although for the front, you likely won't need reservoirs as the bulk of your stress on the truck will be in the rear... unless you plan to drive through the washboard roads like us desert wheelers with long travel...
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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With the extra weight I definitely recommend an external res on the rear shocks. I've got nice rear shocks w/o a res and they get real hot just bouncing down rocky trails at 10-15 mph; they still handle fine, not squishy under heat, but you could cook an egg on 'em after an hour of bumps.

Also make sure to invest in some quick/easy airing down and back up system: probably keep the rears around 25-28psi and the front at 18-22psi off road with that much weight.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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I can be scary to average folk at times... devilish smiley

Bottom line is I love to go 50 to 70 miles an hour "everywhere" I go - on road and off-road. I definitely enjoy adreniline. I like smoothe powerslides. I like being weightless. I like finishing a complex set of tight, critical maneuvers.

BUT... I can't afford the repair and maintenance bills of doing what I love to do.

So I tone it down to no more than a few inches of air, smoothest possible lines, feather landings, and race precise apexes (even if they are not quite necessary) - I like to have fun and fun requires a little risk.

I want a vehicle that, even loaded, can handle a lot of washboards, 1 to 4 foot whoops and uneven roads, "comfortably". I think that the kind of driving I hope to do, is deceptively hard on the suspension. Its not 100 mph whoops, berm slamming turns, or monster ruts, but, a steady long ass workout. I think a metaphoric "meltdown" is possible and want to avoid it.

I figure I better overbuild it as much as possible, or I'll be disappointed. So every bit of insight and advise is important to me. I emailed DSM a couple of weeks ago, and will do so again. Ease of service is "extremely" important because I don't enjoy wrenching like I used to. So durability, easy service, staying cool and comfortable performance is what I hope to buy my first time. Appreciate the advise and help...
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
Bottom line is I love to go 50 to 70 miles an hour "everywhere" I go - on road and off-road. I definitely enjoy adreniline. I like smoothe powerslides. I like being weightless. I like finishing a complex set of tight, critical maneuvers.

BUT... I can't afford the repair and maintenance bills of doing what I love to do.

So I tone it down to no more than a few inches of air, smoothest possible lines, feather landings, and race precise apexes (even if they are not quite necessary) - I like to have fun and fun requires a little risk.

I want a vehicle that, even loaded, can handle a lot of washboards, 1 to 4 foot whoops and uneven roads, "comfortably". I think that the kind of driving I hope to do, is deceptively hard on the suspension. Its not 100 mph whoops, berm slamming turns, or monster ruts, but, a steady long ass workout. I think a metaphoric "meltdown" is possible and want to avoid it.

I figure I better overbuild it as much as possible, or I'll be disappointed. So every bit of insight and advise is important to me. I emailed DSM a couple of weeks ago, and will do so again. Ease of service is "extremely" important because I don't enjoy wrenching like I used to. So durability, easy service, staying cool and comfortable performance is what I hope to buy my first time. Appreciate the advise and help...
I would not get my truck of the ground at all unless you reinforce a few things. Total Chaos makes UCA bolt gussets, alignment cam gussets, and spindle gussets. You will spend a lot less in the long run if you get these gussets welded in. There are plenty of guys here who learned the hard way. I have an engine cage and motor mount gussets on my list of things to do as well. These trucks arent as solid as you might think.

If you like driving that fast then honestly a long travel system is probably your best bet. You have a lot more room for error with LT than with a bolt in coilover setup. I used to run fire roads and trails all the time at speed with front coilovers and rear resi shocks and I was always right at the limit of what my suspension could handle. One wrong whoop and your broken in the middle of nowhere.

Try and meet up with some local guys who have LT kits and coilover kits to see which one you like before buying.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06HAOLE View Post
I would not get my truck of the ground at all unless you reinforce a few things. Total Chaos makes UCA bolt gussets, alignment cam gussets, and spindle gussets. You will spend a lot less in the long run if you get these gussets welded in. There are plenty of guys here who learned the hard way. I have an engine cage and motor mount gussets on my list of things to do as well. These trucks arent as solid as you might think.

If you like driving that fast then honestly a long travel system is probably your best bet. You have a lot more room for error with LT than with a bolt in coilover setup. I used to run fire roads and trails all the time at speed with front coilovers and rear resi shocks and I was always right at the limit of what my suspension could handle. One wrong whoop and your broken in the middle of nowhere.

Try and meet up with some local guys who have LT kits and coilover kits to see which one you like before buying.
x2... what he said...
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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Sounds like you're doing a lot to keep the truck ready for a GREAT drive. i'd love to come with you, but taking that much time off is pretty much never gonna happen...

I assume you plan on summer trips?

Some random resources:
http://forums.4wheeloffroad.com/70/6...ing/index.html

http://www.alaska4x4network.com/

Back on-topic...
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:46 AM   #14
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Appreciate the warnings. It gives me a much better idea of the Tacos limits. I was looking at the Demello rear frame reinforcers because of my load. And I am very concerned about the frame stresses.

To reassure you, I stopped "acting" like a desert racer about 10 years ago - but I still remember how much fun I had. And I still love to play a bit, now and then. I have always appreciated the need to finish the trip, and I have a pretty good feel for not going to far, so I have rarely done any damage - and your comments will help me avoid it in the future (I no longer love wrenching).

Do you know if the TC stuff is compatible with other UCA's? I'll look into the gussets as a bit of insurance, and tone down my expectations because I honestly can't afford to drive in a way that "requires" a long-travel set up. After all my goal is to see things far away, not to rejoin my old "Airborne !!" screaming buddies....

I would appreciate a bit more detail on why the Kings are a better choice than the Foxes though. Sounds like you expect the Kings to give a plusher ride and that they will be easier for me, or my local shop, to work on. I never saw a reference to King rear rese's, and need to look into them. The King and Fox combo has taken the lead, by a nose.

Also read a TW thread that commented hard use would require a yearly rebuild - is that your experience? Is it possible to get three to five years if a person took better care of them?

And finally I should mention I will replace the front bumper with an All-Pro tube (about 40 lbs I guess) and a SuperWinch EPi 9.0 s (68 lbs I think). Are the springs on the Kings and/or Foxes well suited to the front weight. Also you might give an opinion on the front springs suitability for the expedition load.

I was definitely planning on a new leaf pack, plus the Timbrens. I was thinking the OME Dakars, but have you had better experience with the Alcans... etc ? Also planning using all the All-Pro hangers, U-bolt flip, diff drop, bushings, etc...

I appreciate your input and would encourage others to share their experience.

Lined up my Off-Road guru/welder buddy to help me do the work in about 6 weeks. He's got a tubing bender, wire feed, torch, etc... He builds his own roll cages, etc... I am trading his Taco labor, for me working on his little sailboat. Whew... its going to be a really busy fall.

Good to hear from you - thanks for your patience and follow thru - H
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:32 PM   #15
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summer's a must

Hey Caduceus...

Yep... summer for sure. Leave in the Spring of 2012, I think. I felt -45 deg in Edmonton, and its not much fun, so any other time is out.

Wish I could go in 2011, but I don't believe I can be ready that soon... depends on whether or not I can find a used "Eagle" 4 Wheel Camper. If not, I'll probably need to save up a few months to buy a new one.

Theres a limited amout of IRA money I can withdraw, without getting hit by penalties, or I would do it all in one big shot, right now.

Im not much of a photographer, but I still hope to take a few photos and figure out how to post them. Ive never figured out how to upload to internet very well... ... H
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:57 AM   #16
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Also read a TW thread that commented hard use would require a yearly rebuild - is that your experience? Is it possible to get three to five years if a person took better care of them?

I just went through my coil overs after about 2 years without issues. Guys who pre-run every race or actually race their truck need it done every year. The seals will eventually go bad and its easy to knock out in an afternoon.

And finally I should mention I will replace the front bumper with an All-Pro tube (about 40 lbs I guess) and a SuperWinch EPi 9.0 s (68 lbs I think). Are the springs on the Kings and/or Foxes well suited to the front weight. Also you might give an opinion on the front springs suitability for the expedition load.

I have found that 600lbs springs work for me. My truck is an 05+ so the spring rate will be different due to my truck being heavier. Again call Sonny at Downsouth and he will give you the best spring rate advice for your application. Kings or Foxes will be fine but the key is getting them setup properly. You can have a $50 shock out perform a $600 shock if the $600 shock is not setup properly.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:06 AM   #17
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have you seen the artic tacoma's?
http://www.arctictrucks.com/Frontpag.../Toyota/Tacoma
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #18
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Matt (06HAOLE) and Mohawk Mike covered things really well and know what they're talking about. Mike's had a ton of experience keeping a non-long-travel 1st gen alive through tons of punishment so definitely take his advice.

Spindle gussets, alignment cam tab reinforcements, coil bucket gussets, and double-shear UCA mounts should be considered requirements.

In place of the Timbrens, at the very least in the front I'd recommend some hydraulic or air bumps. The Light Racing Jounce Shock system is not cheap but the performance is amazing. It'll soften the hardest landings and does a great job compensating for the lack of wheel travel on a mid-travel setup.

Driving through the snow in areas where the roads are salted is punishing on aftermarket parts. Uniballs, shocks, and heims will rust faster than you could imagine. My bypass shocks look 15 years old after a single winter here in NJ.

That said, the Fox shock shafts hold up well in the salt and show no signs of corrosion or pitting.

Grabbing the popcorn to watch the direction you take with your truck.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:45 AM   #19
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Caduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shedCaduceus is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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[quote=Keason1*;1959836]have you seen the artic tacoma's?
http://www.arctictrucks.com/Frontpag...oma[/quote]
I was trying to find that thread. There's also the guy from Iceland around here somewhere.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:22 AM   #20
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headhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shedheadhunter247 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Wow, that sounds like a trip of a lifetime. Subscribed to see where this goes..and good luck in your quest sir.

Oh, and how about some pics??
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