Dobinsons/Ironman spring/strut question

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fordem
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A question for you guys running Dobinsons or Ironman springs on your iO - which strut (high/low pan) are you using and what has your experience been like?

I've just discovered that Dobinson's has a local reseller and I'm considering using their springs to lift my iO which is a 1.8, five door, currently fitted with a reasonably "new" set of low pan struts - I'm also considering replacing the struts to allow for a larger tire.

Claude io
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dobinsons

While I haven't used them and cannot give a "personal" experience with them, they are very firm, firmer than the Kingspring.....

Happy io

fordem
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Hi Claude

Firm is not necessarily a problem, especially when you consider that the iO is quite softly sprung - the OME I fitted to my GV are firmer than the original springs and it's a very nice ride - in comparison the iO is too soft and could use some "firming up".  My concern is more "topping" out the front struts - I'm having strut extenders made from a pair of old struts and/or ending up with too much lift at one end or not enough at the other.

I've also been talking to Dobinsons in the USA and it looks like I can get them to put a set each front & rear in their next shipment from Australia and that way the freight is built into the price rather than me paying for air freight.

Claude io
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spring

I fully agree that the orinal spring are too soft, at least for any good 4x4, or even for a good handling on the black top really. The problem is that the dobinson are a lot firmer and may not fully match the original strut, design to take a softer spring. While I haven't had the dobinson on my car, they are firmer than the kingspring (the reference are some where in the forum) I have used the kingspring, and they are "nice" firm, I wouldn't be surprise that the dobinson would be nearly solid on the road and not nice at all for every day drive. 

Now, you may have problem with supplier and if you cannot get the kingspring, trying the dobinson could be the next best thing....

Happy io

fordem
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You've hit the nail on the head there Claude.

The problem I'm faced with is availability of product at a reasonable price - which in this case means not having to pay through the nose to ship it from Australia - the local Dobinsons reseller has yet to respond to my request for a quotation, which is somewhat disappointing, but as I mentioned I have since discovered that Dobinsons has a US location who are willing to work with me, and we have in fact exchanged multiple emails during the course of today - I have been given access to spring specifications that are not normally available to the public and when I do the math things look quite promising.

Using the OME springs that I fitted to my GV as a yardstick, the Dobinson numbers look very good - the rear springs have the same free length as stock, a slightly thicker wire and an estimated 25% increase in spring rate, the front springs have a shorter free length, slightly thicker wire and also an estimated 25%  increase in rate 

The Dobinsons are for the 99~03 model years of the iO, so most likely for the high pan struts and this is perhaps borne out by the shorter free length - I have about thirty days before I have to commit in order to make the next shipment, and I've just discovered that Ironman has a US office,so I'll be contacting them next.

Anyone used Ironman springs to lift their iO - please feel free to share.

Lamping
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As some know, I have springs

As some know, I have springs ironman+35mm, with the strut low pan version (KYB 334813 in Europe) and even wheels 215/65/16.

In my version 3door these Springs think they reach + 40 mm high due to the low weight of my io and are harder than original.very firm and strongs .In the road very good behavior.

Then this my KYB travel is only 20mm, very little and coming easily to the limit on extension.
I think that with a few steel skip plates, increases the weight of the car and would work something better these springs. 
Perhaps it is for what are manufactured, to support weight of loads or trailers.
This is just  my opinion today.
 

3doors 1.8 GDI

fordem
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Which iO do you have?

Lamping - is your car a 3 door short wheel base or the 5 door long wheel base version?

Lamping
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3 door 1.8GDI

3 door 1.8GDI

3doors 1.8 GDI

Claude io
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spring

Yes, the spring can feel softer by adding weight but you will need more than just a bash plate, and if you want to add more weight, like dual batteries and bullbar and winch, then yes, it will feel softer and the front will also lower giving you more droop....then you are fine....

If the spring are sold to lift 35 mm, and if you did get 35 mm lift, then the spring design is to be firm (to your taste or not), If you add weight you will lost your lift at the same time as getting a softer ride,  

Several problem, there isn't space for dual batteries, bullbar need custom built or modify an existing one, same to install a winch. A heavy bash plate will be 20kg at most and might not be enough....

Try to keep your question in the same thread, or it can be hard to follow up for other. 

I have asked you a couple of questions

Are your strut extender machined to be fitted ? How much lift gave your new spring ? (I guess 40 mm for this one)

Next question is can you measure the thinkness of your coil, I wouldn't be surprised to be the same as the Dobinson....

Happy io

fordem
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Details are in the "spring data" thread

The details of the Ironman springs are in the "spring data" thread - 16mm wire diameter, 367mm free length and 200 lb/in - these are from their published catalog.

Claude io
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thanks

Thanks Fordem,

Since they only have one spring "fit all" I will say that it was designed for the older type (longer spring) and from what I understood this is the strut it does have.....and from what he said, he does have 40 mm lift which is very close to the 35 mm advertised (+ 5 mm sagging maybe) 

Something doesn't add up, it is ike that this spring is giving too much lift from it's design and description ! Not that I advice it but maybe cutting half a coil will lower the lift and add droop at the same time. The new Kingspring that I got them to make, the KMFS900SP give about 20 to 25 mm to keep enough droop, designing a spring to give 35 mm lift on the io strut is just not going to work.....

 

Happy io

fordem
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I'm assuming we're discussing Lamping's Ironman springs here.

The Ironman catalogue says "99+", which is supposedly the newer models with the higher pan struts, but does not make clear whether it's a SWB or LWB version.

Based on personal measurements on my car, which is currently fitted with near new OEM springs & KYB 334442 struts - I have a droop of 66mm out of a total travel of 169mm, which is the difference between the struts compressed & extended lengths, some travel is lost because of the bump rubber, I don't know exactly how much because I am not using either the OEM bumpstop or the KYB replacement (I have a generic boot/bump stop that was chosen based on strut diameter), but I suspect that there is more down travel than up.

I agree attempting to use a spring with 35mm of lift will "eat" into that droop and put the strut unacceptably close to end of travel - my solution is the strut extender.

Lamping
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i think that the best
i think that the best solution for me is a strut extender, im sure that it works. I have no skill or tools required to perform tests and more tests.  fruncir el ceño
 
The same extension problem exists also in the rear axle. What solution could lengthen the extension?

3doors 1.8 GDI

Claude io
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.

fordem wrote:

 my solution is the strut extender.

Agreed....

fordem
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I've pulled the trigger on this

Front & rear Dobinsons springs have been ordered from Dobisons USA, it will be several weeks before I actually have them as they have to be manufactured and shipped from Australia to the US, and then transhipped to Guyana - I will update further once I have them.

ChrisiO
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Great springs!

I installed a set of dobinsons springs & kyb struts/shocks front and rear about 3 weeks ago and I've found it to ride amazingly. My io is pretty heavy (rooftop tent, awning, fridge, cooking stuff, aux battery) and used to feel incredibly harsh when driving over small to average sized bumps in the road in standard form. It's sooo much nicer to drive now, the difference is night and day! I'm sure you're going to love them foredem :)

fordem
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Thanks Chris - I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions...

Which iO do you have - LWB or SWB?

Which of the Dobinsons springs did you fit?

What was the increase in ride height?

Which of the KYB struts are you using - the high pan or low pan (see the strut detail thread if you need to know how to tell which is which)?

And last but not least - have you had any issues with the struts topping out because of insufficient droop?

I find it a little strange that you would describe the ride in standard form as harsh, but that might have been related to the load you were carrying which might cause the car to sit low and possibly bottom out - personally I've found the ride (with the vehicle unloaded) to be quite soft and somewhat "boaty".

Claude io
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spring

fordem wrote:

I find it a little strange that you would describe the ride in standard form as harsh, but that might have been related to the load you were carrying which might cause the car to sit low and possibly bottom out - personally I've found the ride (with the vehicle unloaded) to be quite soft and somewhat "boaty".

 

Maybe is refering more to the car being very bouncing more than being firm

Happy io 

ChrisiO
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I have the LWB version with

I have the LWB version with dobinsons 2 inch lift.

From the bottom of the guard to the approx. centre of the hub is 480cm in the front & 490cm in the rear using kyb's high pan strut. Unfortunately I never took this measurement while it had the standard springs & shocks in.

No issues re topping out, but that could be attributed to the weight that I'm running.

And yes, exactly right. Due to the weight it was not taking much at all to bottom out. I'm unsure whether I would still find my current setup comfortable to drive without all the weight, but as it is I find it suits my setup very well.

I think I'll probably swap out the front springs pretty soon though and do Glen's coilover mod to enable me to run larger tyres.

Should I be looking at 3 inch coils with a 12inch free length @ 200lb if I wanted to retain the current ride height and feel? I'm a bit of a noob with this stuff so go easy haha.

fordem
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As far as I know...

Looking at Dobinsons catalogues, they don't offer a two inch lift for the Pajero iO - 30~35mm - which is perhaps an inch and a quarter, at most an inch and a half - do you know which part numbers were used?  I'm not trying to be nit-picky here, one of the things I've read (here on the forum) is that the 30mm lift spring when used with the high pan strut will give a 50 mm or two inch lift and in doing so, reduce the droop (or down travel) creating a possibly dangerous situation.

Measuring from the hub center to the arch on my car I get approximately 440 cm in front and 450 cm in rear suggesting you have around a 40mm lift.

Regarding the 3", 200 lb/in springs - I cannot offer guidance, I am curious though - how did you arrive at that 200 lb/in rating?  If it's any help, the Dobinsons springs could be as much as 245 lb/in, depending on which spring you're using.

ChrisiO
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Maybe simmo can chime in here

Maybe simmo can chime in here as I'm pretty sure it was one of his friends that I bought the kit off, but I'm pretty sure this bloke had a friend of a friend that works at dobinsons and had these springs made up specifically for him. I didn't really think to measure them up before I put them in, just took his word for it that it was a 2 inch lift. I know that when I compared the standard springs to the dobinsons ones they looked to be a very similar height front and rear, coil thickness was noticeably thicker though.

I was just going by what you said further up the page, and knowing that the standard springs are 150lb, so I just thought 200lb probably sounded about right. Mine feel a bit firmer than standard up the front, but it's the rear where I really feel the difference.

bob_oz
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custom dobisons

Hi,

Aside from mobs like "adelaide spring foundary" the only custom option you'll get from Dobinsons is a different powercoat colour.

you've either got the low-pan dobinsons or high pan dobinsons. both are hard. serial number stampedor printed onto the coil will identfy

Carrols out at wacol can measure spring rate, my end plan is to get springs made for my io that are the same rate but longer - the 1.8L LWB pre '99 front coils on a post 99 strut seem to work well in my 2003 SWB, astina coils in the rear also good rate. Front needs to be about 1.5" longer uncompressed to balance a bar and winch.

If you're going the xtrail strut i'd recomend softer longer springs so you can take advantage of the droop - we've already seen how the kings limit the travel and flex in the rear compared to the softer astina's that have slightly less height to them.

.

fordem
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Again - from their catalogue...

bob_oz wrote:
you've either got the low-pan dobinsons or high pan dobinsons. both are hard. serial number stampedor printed onto the coil will identfy

Dobinsons apparently don't differentiate between high pan & low pan struts - they do however offer different springs for SWB & LWB vehicles.

Quote:
Carrols out at wacol can measure spring rate, my end plan is to get springs made for my io that are the same rate but longer - the 1.8L LWB pre '99 front coils on a post 99 strut seem to work well in my 2003 SWB, astina coils in the rear also good rate. Front needs to be about 1.5" longer uncompressed to balance a bar and winch.

If you do get the spring rate measured, please share the information and I'll add it to the spring data thread.

simmo777
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Dobinsons - From Memory

ChrisiO wrote:
Maybe simmo can chime in here as I'm pretty sure it was one of his friends that I bought the kit off, but I'm pretty sure this bloke had a friend of a friend that works at dobinsons and had these springs made up specifically for him. I didn't really think to measure them up before I put them in, just took his word for it that it was a 2 inch lift. I know that when I compared the standard springs to the dobinsons ones they looked to be a very similar height front and rear, coil thickness was noticeably thicker though. I was just going by what you said further up the page, and knowing that the standard springs are 150lb, so I just thought 200lb probably sounded about right. Mine feel a bit firmer than standard up the front, but it's the rear where I really feel the difference.

 

Was it from a guy called Zade near Caboolture / Woodford way? Advertised on gumtree? If it was I believe from memory (just sent him a facebook messege) that his neighbour worked for dobinson or some spring place and measured up and got the best springs to suit. I believe it may have been some custom modification of a non IO catalogue spring. Could be wrong. Glad they are working well for your rig when loaded! Zade ran them on his IO with no gear in it and didn't have any complaints, maybe they are only troublesome in the 3-door IO's

2002 5dr Pajero IO QA 2.0L Auto - Lifted, Locked!! 1.925 Low Range - Muddies (205/80/16) - Redback Extractors to 200cell cat to dump at diff Exhaust 

ChrisiO
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Yeah mate, that's the one!

Yeah mate, that's the one! Hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on it and put this mystery to bed. Whatever the case, they're a brilliant spring :)

fordem
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The question in my mind is ...

simmo777 wrote:

If it was I believe from memory (just sent him a facebook messege) that his neighbour worked for dobinson or some spring place and measured up and got the best springs to suit. I believe it may have been some custom modification of a non IO catalogue spring.

Why wouldn't/shouldn't the "best springs to suit" be the ones that they sell for the vehicle?

Given the fact that they offer springs designed for this vehicle, why search through a database (I'm assuming that this guy would have access to specifications) looking at length, diameter & rate, when one of them is known to be a near perfect match?

fordem
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It would be nice to know the spring rate of the OEM springs.

I've been a user of online forums for many years, and also a moderator - one of the advantages of forums is that they contain a tremendous wealth of experience & information, one of the dangers is that the information is rarely verifiable, and not always accurate.

The 150 in/lb rating is reported somewhere in this forum by a member who claims he got it from, if I remember correctly, someone selling King springs, and that sales person indicated the King Springs were rated at 175 lb/in - when I contacted King Springs myself, I was given 165 lb/in (for all three of the springs that Kings offers for this vehicle)

I have yet to find a definitive or verifiable source of information for the spring rates of the OEM springs - the service manual has details on free length, wire diameter and coil diameter, but not the rate - inquries to OE replacement spring manufacturers have, for the most part been unrewarding, but OsakaBane, a Japanese manufacturer has indicated that their replacement spring is rated at 2.8 kg/mm or 157 lb/in.

Claude io
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lift

A spring giving 50 mm on the 334405 kyb strut (high pan) is dangerous as it has very little to no droop left. To compensate you will need strut extender.

Happy io

fordem
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For those who may be curious ...

I've fitted Dobinsons coils to my iO, which is a 98 JDM 5 door with the 1.8 GDI engine, the front has C43-240 fitted to the existing KYB 334442 (low pan) struts, and the rear has C43-115, fitted to the existing Monroe D7002 shocks - lift at the front has been dead on 30mm, at the rear, 30mm on the left and 60 mm on the right - I have reseated the right side rear spring with no change and I'm currently driving it to see how/if it will settle.

Ride comfort is very good, slightly underdamped at the rear which does not surprise me, it was that way with the OE springs, and I may consider replacing the Monroe shocks with KYBs in the not too distant future, so far I've put a little over 100kms on the springs, including some corrugations, which were barely noticeable, much less than my OME equipped Suzuki.

This weekend I'll take another look at the measurements and also check the droop and report back.

fordem
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I now have several hundred kms on the new springs ...

I've put several hundred kilometers on the car since the Dobinsons springs have been fitted, the first impression is a much improved ride, noticeably less roll in turns and the horrendous "nose dive" on braking is all but gone - there has been no hint of the front struts "topping out", not even when attempting to "provoke" this over speed bumps, but these springs are definitely intended for use with the "low pan" struts as fitted to the earlier models, and there probably would be issues if fitted to the "high pan" struts - I have yet to engage Dobinsons on this, even though their listings suggest the springs can be used with both old & new models.

I drove the Suzuki yesterday and immediately noticed that the ride was slightly harsher, this I suspect is a matter of the OME shocks being a little firmer, but, by the end of the day, I had to admit, the Suzuki with the matched OME springs & shocks has the better (more balanced) ride, and I can't help but wonder how the Pajero would fare with matched springs & shocks.

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