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How to fit an aftermarket suspension

11 July 2017

If the suspension fits…

We go behind the scenes with 4×4 Megaworld and find out, step by step, how Mega World Strijdom Park fits an Old Man Emu BP-51 suspension to a Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up

Installing the Old Man Emu BP-51 suspension on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 is no run-of-the-mill installation process and making it even more challenging is the fact that this is the first installation of its kind on this model. This is how 4×4 fitment experts, Johan Groenewald and Lukas Ngobeni, get the job done.

Step 1: The wheel nuts on the rear driver’s side are loosened and the Cruiser is jacked up using a four-ton trolley lift jack.

Step 2: The wheel gets removed and stored out of the way.

Step 3: The standard ‘leaf’ is loosened at the eye-pin and shackle whereafter the shock is loosened at the top and bottom. The tension is relieved with the jack still in place.

Step 4: The shock absorber gets separated from the leaf spring. The leaf is then separated from the axle and lowered by the jack.

Step 5: The new OME leaf gets prepped and the bushes greased to prevent future ‘squeaks’ which can result from extensive water driving. The new leaf gets lifted onto the jack.

Step 6: The Old Man Emu leaf gets jacked up and loosely attached to the chassis. This is followed by a distinctive click.

Step 7: The ‘U-Bolts’ get prepped and fastened underneath the leaf. These bolts provide the necessary force to clamp the leaf spring components firmly together and maintain the desired spring stiffness.

Step 8: The axle and diff unit gets jacked up for the shock absorber fitment. The BP-51 suspension utilises existing mounting points, eliminating the need for vehicle modifications.

Step 9: Mounting brackets get sorted for the fitment of the shock absorber and its accompanying reservoir canister.

Step 10: The shock’s top and bottom rubbers get greased. Now the slow and painstaking process of finding the ideal fit begins.

Step 11: The shock is bolted to the chassis at the top using a No 13 spanner.

Step 12: With the weight of the Toyota Land Cruiser secured on the jack-stands, the jack is used to lower the rear axle into place to fasten the bottom end of the shock absorber. When the suspension fitment is completed on the Cruiser it will ride 20mm higher.

Step 13: Mounting brackets for the high-pressure nitrogen reservoir are mounted to the underside of the vehicle.

Step 14: The reservoir is delicately fitted into place using exact measurements to ensure the best and safest fit.

Step 15: One rear suspension fitted, one to go. Time to start from scratch on the other side.

Compiled by: Deon van der Walt