Optimal Performance

Setting Up Your 4x4 Suspension for Optimal Performance

Remember, the key to setting up your 4x4 suspension lies in understanding your vehicle's primary usage and finding a suspension kit that strikes the right balance for your needs. Consulting with suspension experts like Dobinsons and RAW 4x4 can also help you make an informed decision and ensure optimal performance and comfort for your off-road adventures.

The best approach is to configure your 4x4 suspension based on what you will primarily use the vehicle for about 80% of the time. Finding the right suspension kit involves striking a balance and choosing one that aligns with the main purpose of your vehicle.
When selecting a suspension kit, consider the primary use of your 4x4 vehicle. Here are some scenarios to guide you:

- General Driving and Off-Road Adventures: For regular driving and occasional off-road adventures, opt for a balanced suspension kit that offers a comfortable ride and reasonable off-road performance. Heavy-duty kits might be unnecessary and lead to a stiffer ride.

- Towing: If you plan to tow a caravan or boat occasionally, consider installing an airbag set up. This setup provides a better compromise compared to choosing extra heavy-duty coils, which may result in a harsh ride and elevated rear suspension height when not towing.

- Tradesman or Mining Vehicle: For vehicles that are constantly loaded due to tradesman or mining purposes, a heavy-duty suspension set up is more appropriate. This setup ensures your 4x4 can handle the consistent load efficiently.
Selecting the wrong suspension setup can lead to several issues:

- Uncomfortable Ride: Installing a heavy-duty suspension kit for occasional heavy loads can make the vehicle's ride uncomfortably stiff when it's not carrying a significant load.

- Negative Impact on Components: Inappropriately heavy suspension setups can put unnecessary strain on other suspension components, potentially causing premature wear and damage.

- Rear Suspension Height: Incorrectly chosen setups can cause the rear of the vehicle to sit too high or too low, affecting stability and handling.
If you've replaced the factory tub with a steel or alloy tray, consider the additional weight factor when calculating the total load. Take into account the weight of toolboxes, tools, and equipment that will be carried regularly.
Ensure your vehicle is fully equipped with all accessories and loaded for your typical day-to-day driving. Then, proceed to weigh both the front and rear axles. By subtracting these weights from the factory standard weights, you'll determine the precise springs required for your vehicle.

Accessories vary in weight depending on the manufacturer and the purpose of the accessories. We have put together a list below of what an average accessory would weigh.

(**please note this is for guidance purposes only**)

AccessoryTypeWeight (kg)
Nudge BarVehicle Protection14
Bull Bar (Steel)Vehicle Protection60
Bull Bar (Aluminium)Vehicle Protection40
Side BarVehicle Protection16
Side Step (Steel)Vehicle Protection40
Rear Bar (Aftermarket)Vehicle Protection50
Winch (Synthetic Rope)Winches25
Winch (Steel Cable)Winches45
Roof Tray (Steel) Full Length - EmptyRoof Top60
Roof Tray (Alloy) Full Length - EmptyRoof Top30
Roof Top TentRoof Top70
Underbody Guard (Front)Underbody Guards13
Underbody Guard (Transmission)Underbody Guards10
Underbody Guard (Sump)Underbody Guards7.5
Underbody Guard (Transfer)Underbody Guards10
AwningOther Accessories12
Recovery JackOther Accessories16
HD Recovery KitOther Accessories20
Second BatteryOther Accessories30
Driving LightOther Accessories3
Tool Box Alloy (Empty)Other Accessories50
80L Fridge (Empty)Other Accessories35
Wagon - Rear Tyre Carrier (No Tyre)Other Accessories20
Spare WheelOther Accessories40
Drawer SystemOther Accessories100
Fuel Tank (Long Range)Other Accessories90
Tray (Steel) UTEOther Accessories200
Tray (Aluminium) UTEOther Accessories100