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  #111  
Old 05-07-18
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I forgot to mention wheel travel.

When taking the Dobinsons out, with the Paj at a comfortable height on a hoist and the wheels off, the Dobinsons were still under compression at full droop of the suspension, and had to be compressed to remove. I didn't check to see what was limiting droop.

When installing the Old Man Emu shocks, with the bottom end bolted into the suspension arm, the top stud barely protruded through the top mount - we had to lift the suspension arm to get the top nut on. So maximum droop with the OMEs is limited by the full extension of the shock.

At the time, we didn't take any measurements, but this morning I jacked the car up until both rear wheels were off the ground, and measured eyebrow heights - 655 and 660. In (very) round figures, that's 4 inches / 100mm of droop travel from my current part-loaded ride height, and 5 inches (ish) from nominal factory ride height.

I'll repeat the measurements when the Dobinsons are reinstalled.
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NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #112  
Old 09-07-18
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So my Dobinsons are back in, but the saga isn't over.

As previously posted, the most recent failure was due to under-sized O-rings on the reservoir pistons. I had already pointed out to the local Dobinson that these O-rings were supplied by Dobinson as part of a re-build kit, but I had thought that the re-builder had put the O-rings onto the original pistons, and perhaps should've twigged that something wasn't right. Tonight, I found out that Dobinson had supplied the piston with the O-rings already on it - so I've been charged to re-build my shocks for a failure caused entirely by the fitment of parts supplied by Dobinson.

To add insult to injury, the new shorter hoses (for which I was charged extra) are still too long. I mounted the reservoir low enough to ensure the hose can't rub anywhere, but tonight I discovered that the top rubber bushes compress under load, so clearance at full droop isn't clearance at normal ride height. So I had to lower the reservoir further, to the point that it will now hit the lower control arm once the rear suspension compresses about 30mm below factory ride height.

Why am I doing Dobinson's R&D for them?

The only ray of light in this sorry saga is droop travel. With the rear off the ground, and both wheels at full droop, eyebrow heights are 710 / 720mm - that's a handy 50 to 60mm of additional droop, or 7+ inches of droop from factory ride height, to help keep tyres on the ground in rough terrain. Not much to write home about for a Land Cruiser, but I'll take it.
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NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #113  
Old 06-08-18
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Back from another crossing of the Simpson with twisted32, Birdsville to Oodnadatta. This time, Knolls Track to WAA line, out via Rig Road back to French Line (with a detour to the Lone Gum Tree). No dramas on the desert crossing , although I think one of my rear CVs is at the end of its life, and I was wondering if it would survive the trip. It did.

There was a minor drama discovered at camp at Dalhousie (technically the end of the desert crossing) - the contents of my lower drawer had moved around, and a large screwdriver ended up wedged between the upper and lower drawers. The top drawer was partially open, and unable to close, and I couldn't pull the lower drawer out far enough to access anything - the wedged screwdriver pulled the top drawer with it, until it reached the end of its travel. We poked and prodded with a number of long skinny items until twisted32 managed to poke the screwdriver out of the way.

The Dobinson MRRs are still a work in progress - to put it politely. Trying to track down the rear noise, I noticed that one of the remote reservoirs had moved on the shock body, and was getting close to bodywork again. Because the top bushes are so soft (more on that shortly ) I was wondering if they were actually striking occasionally (and causing the suspicious noise), although I couldn't see any evidence of such striking. But, to be safe, I pulled the wheel off, then disassembled and cleaned the mounting bracket, shock body and reservoir. At twisted's suggestion, I put a layer of cloth tape on both the body and the reservoir, to ensure the clamp could clamp tightly, then snapped one of the M8 socket-head cap screws that hold it all together. Using a 6mm allen key - not an insert in a rattle gun, or on the end of a breaker bar. A 6mm allen key. We found another high-tensile M8 bolt and washer to do the job, and the reservoir doesn't appear to have moved since.

The top bush on the driver's side shredded itself. Because Dobinson don't sell bushes to suit their shock absorbers, insisting that they are designed to use OEM bushes, I had to source replacements from Pedders. Because of the shoulder on the top stud, there is a limit to how much the bushes can be compressed, leaving plenty of room for the shock body to move in the bushes. Maybe this had something to do with the less than impressive suspension performance on some of the chopped out sections of dunes? I don't remember where I first spotted the buggered bush, but we replaced it in William Creek with layers of chopped up rubber hose, held together with cable ties. The lower half bush appeared fine, and the other side also appears fine.

The booty-fab bush certainly has less movement in it than the Pedders bush, because that shock absorber stopped rotating about its vertical axis, so the hose stayed clear of body work for the rest of the trip. Not so the passenger side, which was found to be rubbing against bodywork near the end of the trip. I had placed an extra layer of heater hose over the reservoir hose, but I guess it moved - so I chopped the cable ties, moved the heater hose, and applied new cable ties again.

I also had to add a layer of heater hose to one front MRR, where it was rubbing on the metal brake line where it comes through the guard. I originally had a protective sleeve on the brake line and some plastic clips on the shock hose, hoping that would prevent any issues, but the protective sleeve wore through, and the plastic clip disappeared. So another length of heater hose was cable-tied into place. The MRR on the other front corner has yet to show any sign of issues - my protective "rubbing clip" has rubbed a bright spot inside the wheel arch, and others have rubbed against the spring, but the hose appears undamaged.

So. Dobinson MRRs? At this point in time, I would not recommend them.

Note that I'm not criticising the Pedders bush that failed. It would be designed for an OEM application, not King EHD springs with Dobinson MRR shocks. I don't believe it was ever intended to cope with the loads to which it is subjected by my rear suspension.
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NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #114  
Old 06-08-18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj swb View Post
Back from another crossing of the Simpson with twisted32, Birdsville to Oodnadatta. This time, Knolls Track to WAA line, out via Rig Road back to French Line (with a detour to the Lone Gum Tree). No dramas on the desert crossing , although I think one of my rear CVs is at the end of its life, and I was wondering if it would survive the trip. It did.

There was a minor drama discovered at camp at Dalhousie (technically the end of the desert crossing) - the contents of my lower drawer had moved around, and a large screwdriver ended up wedged between the upper and lower drawers. The top drawer was partially open, and unable to close, and I couldn't pull the lower drawer out far enough to access anything - the wedged screwdriver pulled the top drawer with it, until it reached the end of its travel. We poked and prodded with a number of long skinny items until twisted32 managed to poke the screwdriver out of the way.

The Dobinson MRRs are still a work in progress - to put it politely. Trying to track down the rear noise, I noticed that one of the remote reservoirs had moved on the shock body, and was getting close to bodywork again. Because the top bushes are so soft (more on that shortly ) I was wondering if they were actually striking occasionally (and causing the suspicious noise), although I couldn't see any evidence of such striking. But, to be safe, I pulled the wheel off, then disassembled and cleaned the mounting bracket, shock body and reservoir. At twisted's suggestion, I put a layer of cloth tape on both the body and the reservoir, to ensure the clamp could clamp tightly, then snapped one of the M8 socket-head cap screws that hold it all together. Using a 6mm allen key - not an insert in a rattle gun, or on the end of a breaker bar. A 6mm allen key. We found another high-tensile M8 bolt and washer to do the job, and the reservoir doesn't appear to have moved since.

The top bush on the driver's side shredded itself. Because Dobinson don't sell bushes to suit their shock absorbers, insisting that they are designed to use OEM bushes, I had to source replacements from Pedders. Because of the shoulder on the top stud, there is a limit to how much the bushes can be compressed, leaving plenty of room for the shock body to move in the bushes. Maybe this had something to do with the less than impressive suspension performance on some of the chopped out sections of dunes? I don't remember where I first spotted the buggered bush, but we replaced it in William Creek with layers of chopped up rubber hose, held together with cable ties. The lower half bush appeared fine, and the other side also appears fine.

The booty-fab bush certainly has less movement in it than the Pedders bush, because that shock absorber stopped rotating about its vertical axis, so the hose stayed clear of body work for the rest of the trip. Not so the passenger side, which was found to be rubbing against bodywork near the end of the trip. I had placed an extra layer of heater hose over the reservoir hose, but I guess it moved - so I chopped the cable ties, moved the heater hose, and applied new cable ties again.

I also had to add a layer of heater hose to one front MRR, where it was rubbing on the metal brake line where it comes through the guard. I originally had a protective sleeve on the brake line and some plastic clips on the shock hose, hoping that would prevent any issues, but the protective sleeve wore through, and the plastic clip disappeared. So another length of heater hose was cable-tied into place. The MRR on the other front corner has yet to show any sign of issues - my protective "rubbing clip" has rubbed a bright spot inside the wheel arch, and others have rubbed against the spring, but the hose appears undamaged.

So. Dobinson MRRs? At this point in time, I would not recommend them.

Note that I'm not criticising the Pedders bush that failed. It would be designed for an OEM application, not King EHD springs with Dobinson MRR shocks. I don't believe it was ever intended to cope with the loads to which it is subjected by my rear suspension.
Have you asked Sharkcaver how his MRRs are fairing?
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  #115  
Old 06-08-18
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Originally Posted by vladguan View Post
Have you asked Sharkcaver how his MRRs are fairing?
The MRRs that went back to Dobinson, or the MRRs still in his Paj?
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Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #117  
Old 12-08-18
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My second Inawise TPMS had two sensors fail, and I couldn't obtain replacements, either in Australia, or from the manufacturer (in China).

After seeing the Masten name here, then stumbling across it on Dig Options' website, I ordered aTP-16 Masten TPMS system, with an extra sensor for the spare tyre. At the time of posting this, these systems are out of stock, and listed at $9,166 - I paid a little over $200 delivered.

After a Simpson crossing, I'm happy.

The system comes with a cigarette lighter plug, with a micro usb plug on the other end. Perfect, I thought - I have a dual USB outlet on the dash with one spare socket, I wanted to mount the display on the windscreen, so it would all be really simple to install. Except the display wouldn't work plugged into my USB outlet. The supplied cable puts 12V onto the micro USB plug.

Running out of time, I routed the cable from the 12V socket in front of the shifter, under the dash and up the windscreen pillar, to put the display at the top of the windscreen.

First day of the Simpson trip I discovered a major flaw of my rushed install - the display was in the way of the sun visor. In camp that night, I pulled apart the cigarette plug to see what was inside - a resistor and LED. The device was running directly on the car's electrical system, with no regulation in the plug. So I cut the wires, and cobbled together some connectors to piggy-back the supply off another circuit I had already installed. The extra length freed up allowed me to reposition the display above the rear vision mirror, and there it still sits.

The unit requires a set pressure, then alarms for +/- 25% of that pressure. It has two settings, one for "light load" (two seats filled in the display) or "heavy load" (five seats filled in the display). Switching between the two settings is very easy (single push of a button) so I set them up for off-road and on-road, but of course, I was regularly adjusting tyre pressures up and down as road / track conditions changed, so I also adjusted the set pressures regularly. This too is quite a simple process - front and rear tyres can have different set pressures, although they don't always adjust in 1psi increments.

Particularly when set for lower pressures, the +/- 25% can get a bit "tight". From driving at 20 degrees to cold start around 5 degrees, it's tricky to find a set pressure that doesn't get upset at one end or the other. But that's a minor issue.

The internal sensors come with caps that have a yellow & red symbol on the top, to indicate to tyre fitters that sensors are fitted. The installer commented on that, thought it was a good idea. I'm still getting used to the look.

I have discovered that the thread on the valve stems is only just long enough for the caps, so my angled tyre inflation clip no longer clips on properly, and I can't clip on my inflation hose and do other things as my compressor does its thing - I need to squat by the tyre and hold it. I've done some research on the thread (quite odd - 0.305" by 32tpi, apparently), and found a die that should let me extend the thread enough for my clip to work again (5/16" UNEF is 32tpi, nominally 0.3125").
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NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #118  
Old 12-08-18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladguan View Post
Have you asked Sharkcaver how his MRRs are fairing?
I'll steal Scott's thread to give you all an update.

MRR's fitted March 2016, front and rear.

Along with SteveMc181, who had MRR's fitted on the rear only, we killed 3/4 rears on our CSR trip. That had me abort the CSR and limp 750 odd Km's solo into Newman for replacements. All I could get was OME in the isolated township.

I believe there was a manufacturing issue with the hose, the mounting rubbers, the top washer and the compression valving. Dobbo customer service was second to none, they took all onboard I suggested and fixed those issues. They replaced them without drama, although it took a while. So kudo's to Dobbo. I note Scott hasn't had the same experience. When I mention going back to Dobbo, I mean the local agent, not Dobbo direct. The local agent is just an onseller and sells all other product too, Billies included. So whilst Ii have a good agent, It seems Scott's isn't of the same calibre.

The replacements have been very good since they were replaced about December 2016, with multiple rough trips including desert crossings.

Fast forward to Feb 2018. Chasing an annoying squeak in the front end, I discovered my front wasn't aligned in its seat in the top hat. Off it came, back to Dobbo for a disassembly. Shockingly, it was discovered that two crush washers had to be installed, but only one was. the squeak was the top hat screw rubbing on the vehicle strut mount. An assembly issue, not a Dobbo design problem. So the other side came off too, same deal. interestingly, I reviewed my CSR footage and this squeak was evident then. It has actually damaged the vehicle as the mounting screw has worn a slot in the hole of the strut mount.

Again, Dobbo were very accommodating, but I'm starting to get over the 60Km round trip to have my issues sorted. I note there is some clunking and a different squeak in the front. Something is not perfect there. I also have to say, these fronts have been punished over some pretty rough ground (enough to break other items on the vehicle), and apart from the assembly error and the clunk and squeak, they are going great guns.

In june 2018, noticing a thud in the rear, progressively getting worse, I pulled a wheel off one morning thinking it sounded very "shocky". I discovered on both rears that the lower rubber bushing had parted company with its housing. The vulcanising had failed. Again, Dobbo has been very accommodating, sending me a new set of shocks as they don't have spare bushes....WTF??

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a standardised design, they sent non piggy backed units. I like the piggy back. When set up correctly, it works well and there is no need for drilling of holes to mount the res. However, Dobbo has now chosen the latter for their design. For the piggy back to work, you need to set the height correctly or as Scott found out - the res will hit the control arm on compression. It also needs decent top rubbers to stop the top assembly from rotation. My original sets had crap rubber and i was watching them move in position every time I stopped. The new versions haven't done this because they changed the rubber. The bigger issue is the side clearance to the tyre sidewall. If it walks the wrong way, you could easily damage or destroy your Tyre. So I think from a risk perspective, non piggy back is probably the way to go.

I also note there is some alignment issue with the vehicle. With the shock secured at the top, the base doesn't up with the control arm mount. Conversely, when the bottom is secured in the control arm the top doesn't meet the mounting hole. To make it fit, the shock has to be side loaded and I reckon this is why the lower bushes failed. I have to state here, this is not a shock issue but a mits design issue.

As the control arm swings up/down, the lower pivot point will move in relation to the top mount and it could well be, that at oem height with wheel on the ground, this position is centred. Add a lift and stiffer springs and this side loading will increase. When i get around to replacing these shocks, I will investigate this issue further.

My rears have now been with Dobbo for a month. To be fair, I did state there was no rush. last update, they sourced some rubber bushings and were going to have an attempt at fitting them. I guess after a week, they are having some issue doing this.

So, you can see I've had some issues. Dobbo customer service has been great, but the product is slowly starting to wear me down. So much so, I looked into some alternatives, but couldn't find a cost effective solution. I have proven the remote res keeps temps under control in the rough, that's why I want to stay with them. But if I have to perform major maintenance every 12 months, I am slowly thinking, maybe I should go back to just plain vanilla monotubes. But where to go? Billies are not on my list any more and neither are OME. Its the conundrum I'm facing.

Sorry for the detailed thread Hijack Scott, but I hope it helps both yourself and others reading this thread.
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  #119  
Old 12-08-18
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Sorry for the detailed thread Hijack Scott, but I hope it helps both yourself and others reading this thread.
No issues here - it's all about sharing experiences, the good and the not so good.
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Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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  #120  
Old 01-11-18
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Time for a bit of an update.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
The Masten TPMS is still working well. The first button die I bought to extend the thread couldn't cut far enough while the valve stem was installed in the tyre, so I found another smaller hex die on EBay. Winding it on by hand, the cheaper die is obviously rougher than the first die, but it still cut the thread far enough, using only a socket on the hex (i.e. didn't need a ratchet or other leverage). My compressor hose once again clips onto the valve properly, so I don't need to crouch beside the tyre while airing up.

I won't mention suspension - I don't wish to jinx anything.

CVs
One front CV became noisey, so I pulled the CVs from my wreck (with a little help ), had them reconditioned, and paid my friendly mechanic to do the swap. I'm glad I did, because the passenger's side of the diff began leaking oil, which the mechanic offered to fix immediately. A minor comedy of errors ensued, so the 1 hour fix took 3 hours, but he refused to accept any payment - I figure the seal might've been about to go anyway, and I was happy to make a contribution to the fix.

Tyres
After 43k km of service, I have swapped out my Kumho MT51s. They still had approximately 5mm of tread to the wear bars (what's that - about half worn?) but I wanted to have new tyres for my upcoming High Country pilgrimmage, and Toyo offered a "Buy 4 / get 1 free" deal for the 4wd Show. It worked out $1500 for the set, fitted and balanced, or $300 per tyre. Driving away from the tyre store they felt a little rough, but pressures were a little high (40 - 44 psi on my gauge). Once I dropped them to 38/40 (warm) they seemed to ride a little better (or I was already conditioned to the feel), and the hum is a different pitch, but not noticeably louder than the part worn Kumhos. Given the stiffer sidewalls for which these tyres are known, I might need to run slightly lower pressure again - I'll keep an eye on them.
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NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 Toyo MT, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

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