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Outback Armour and Airbag review

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  • Outback Armour and Airbag review

    Howdy peeps,

    After a long time stalking it thought it time to contribute to the wider knowledge that is PP.

    After a lot umming and aaahhhhing, i final bite the trigger, or pulled the bullet and ordered a set of outback Armour springs, struts and shocks for a 2inch lift on the gl Prado. I also grabbed a set of airbag man air assist suspension bag to help the car level out when loaded.

    What i got was the Outback Armour HD front struts with spacers, and the normal duty rears.

    So, after ordering from Opposite Lock in Midland, WA, they arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to get it all home and get it all unboxed.
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    From first inspections it all looks great quality.
    Welds are neat, the paint good and the rubbers correctly fitted and neatly installed.

    The front struts, coming complete, came with different spacers to gain some additional height, albeit small and to cope with some drooping and settlement. The largest spacers was installed from the box (bonus)
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    The rear shocks come packaged up neatly, compressed with new washers are cable tied in. They are 60mm in width which should be good for the longer rougher roads, dispersing more heat. (or that's what i hope)
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    Rears springs.....well they look like springs and they appear to be very spring like......bonus.

    The Airbag Man suspension setup looks great.
    The comes with a decent instruction manual, valves and caps, split tubing and the air line tubing already installed, two bags and i went for the Kevlar Covers. These allow for extra psi in the bag (40 > 60psi) and will add a bit of extra protection to the bags when touring.
    The Kits comes with everything ready to go and should be easy to install as i'm pulling the old springs out at the same time.
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    Due to the amount spent, Outback Armour through in a recovery kit for light trucks.
    the Kit has two rated shackles in a bag, two sets of gloves, a snatching strap (8000kg) and most importantly, a stubbie holder. (BTW when are the they going to make these big enough to fit a wine bottle. The brown bag just doesn't cut it)
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    So come the weekend. I have a feeling i'll be working on this and I cant wait.

    I know the question will be how much......$1790. Which i'm pretty happy with.
    Not the cheapest out there but hopefully it'll last and do what I want to do.

    For those that are interested. Below are the torque specs as per toyota for the install, and why i choose this set up. I'll provide information on the install when i get it done and a bit further information once it's all settled down into the car.

    Cheers.

    Nelly


    The reason we went this setup was its a daily drive and empty.
    I hoped that with this setup, the daily drive around the city would be comfy with the normal rated springs in the rear.
    We needed the HD in the front as there is a bar, winch and dual batteries fitted all the time.
    We are planning some big trips so i'm trying to kit this out a tourer as best i can, so when loaded, we should be able to fill the bags, get the car level again and hit the road.
    There is the concern that if remote driving like we want to do, that if we lose a bag, we'll bottom out alot, but i'm hoping the kevlar covers mitigate against that a little bit.
    We dont tow a trailer, but the roof rack, rear drawers, twin wheel carriers, longer range fuel tank, gear and fridge in the back will no doubt weigh the back down that the bags will be needed.
    Again though as a daily drive and empty 90% of the time. comfort around the city is a must.

    Guess we'll find out soon.


    Torque settings
    Front
    Coil spring to body - 64nm
    Support to shock - 25nm
    Lower shock mount 95nm
    Sway bar to body - 40nm
    sway bar to suspension - 70nm

    Rear
    Top and bottom shock mount - 98nm
    Sway bar - 45nm

  • #2
    They certainly look the part b1nelly!

    Good to see you've only gone the airbag assist path for load carrying not as a towing aid.
    Cheers
    Micheal.

    2008 GXL D4D Auto. GOING... GOING... GONE
    2015 GXL 1GD Auto. And it begins again...

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, it's all in and done.
      Looks awesome and pretty impressed with the ride so far.

      The rear shocks, springs and bags were a breeze to install.
      The right side was a dream, left was a bit harder and needed the jack to push the diff down enough to get the new spring in place. Few threads on here in relaiton to doing that.

      The comparison between the sets was intriguing.
      The rear springs are noticeably different, with the outback shocks being slightly longer and only marginally larger.
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      The Air bag required that I cut the bump stops down and as the springs were out, was a simple job of just sliding them in and running the lines. The lines were easy to run and I've mounted the valves at the rear of the car under the wheel carrier bracket so that they are somewhat better protected.
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      The front struts were a bit of a pain to be honest.
      I had read through the workshop manual and thought easy enough....but ended up taking out the sway bar, and bash plate, and the tie rods to get the new struts in. Even then I needed to apply a fair bit of force to the lower control arms to get them to travel down far enough to accommodate the strut.
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      The car now sits 80mm higher than it did front and rear.
      I'm assuming that it'll settle down a bit over the coming months.

      The Outback Armour kit came with everything that was required for the job and only needed patience and basic mechanical understanding to get the job done.
      Pretty happy with the purchase so far, so I guess its time to go get it dirty and see how it feels.
      The Air Bags are currently set at 40psi to settle them in. It makes the car feel like its skating somewhat in the rear especially as there is nothing in it at the moment. I'll drop them back down soon to 5psi and see how that feels

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      Happy to address any questions that may pop up.
      Cheers
      Nelly

      Comment


      • #4
        Well....
        After it's first test, I've been amazed by the results.

        We just did a week long trip up to Kalbarri with the car packed to the hilt.
        Roof top bag with recovery gear, tent, chairs, trax, shovel, spearfishing gear and 20kg of fire wood.
        Inside was decked out with the fridge(60l waeco) tools, spares, pantry box kitchen box, fishing gear, stove, food
        On the back seat we had 40lt of water, a carton, few bottles of wine, plus all our clothes for the misses and I.

        Needless to say at a good estimate, it would be 500kg easy.
        Plus a full tank including the long range, (240kg)

        We started off with 40psi in the bags and after about an hour of feeling like we were on a bouncing ball we let them down to 30.
        The feeling on big bumps was that it soaked up the bound fine it was the rebound that was harsh. The bags launched the car out of the bump and it felt like it bounced down the road a few times before stopping.

        At 30psi, The car rode like it was on rails.
        Smooth, limited body roll, no bouncing.

        We did a fair amount of 4wding over some difficult terrain and the flex and travel was not hampered enough to limit where we went.
        It was only on the ride home when the car was less loaded as we had used almost all the stuff we took that we started to feel like a beach ball again, but dropping them to 10psi, again, leveled the car out and made it feel great again.

        This was a huge risk from my point of view not knowing if it would work with the normal springs and air bags and heavy duties in the front, but i couldnt be happier.
        One very happy customer right here!

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        Comment


        • #5
          Do you carry a replacement bag with you as a spare?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey GXL, No i dont carry a spare...........Yet.
            I'll be doing a big trip inland at the end of this year and planning on traveling about 8.5k km's through and around WA.
            I'll be throwing a pair in then as you never know.
            Still.....i've been so impressed with how the car performs. I love it. It hasnt settled anywhere near as much as i expected either. sitting about 65mm above standard.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cool, thats good to know. I have ordered the Compressor & Tank too with the Wireless Controller as I wanted to be able to adjust pressure from the cab.

              Comment


              • #8
                The only thing that i'd be careful about when installing a system like that, is joining the two bags together may unsettle the car.
                If joining them together with a common line running to a tank, you may run into issues when the car is leaning. This may not be an issue under normal driving conditions, but may become an issue when 4wding.

                My two bags are completely separate from each other meaning that as the car leans, air doesn't transfer to the other side.
                I recently almost rolled my car (long story but poor wheel placement seen my rear tyre slip into a very deep wheel rutt on a very steep hill) but i was able to let down one of the bags, allowing the car to level out some more through increased spring compression. There was alot of factors that stopped thecar rolling, but i think that definitely added something to it.

                Let us know how you hook it all up mate. Be keen to see what you do with it

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by b1nelly View Post
                  The only thing that i'd be careful about when installing a system like that, is joining the two bags together may unsettle the car.
                  If joining them together with a common line running to a tank, you may run into issues when the car is leaning. This may not be an issue under normal driving conditions, but may become an issue when 4wding.

                  My two bags are completely separate from each other meaning that as the car leans, air doesn't transfer to the other side.
                  I recently almost rolled my car (long story but poor wheel placement seen my rear tyre slip into a very deep wheel rutt on a very steep hill) but i was able to let down one of the bags, allowing the car to level out some more through increased spring compression. There was alot of factors that stopped thecar rolling, but i think that definitely added something to it.

                  Let us know how you hook it all up mate. Be keen to see what you do with it
                  The control unit is has 2 independent regulators allowing individual control of each bag, air is not split between them. So should be ok. Good to note though. I think if air was transferred from bag to bag it might cause a lot of sway under general road use.

                  Comment

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