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  1. #1
    All Terrain
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    Suspension Advice

    Hey all,

    I'm looking at overhauling the ride of the 3. I have Bilstein 5100's up front and I think I'm riding stock in the rear. Anyway, on road driving feels super boaty and I want to fix that. I know that Fox's Performance Series 2.0 IFP smooth body shocks are recommended but I'm wondering how they feel. I'd like a stiffer suspension and I'm not sure if this will get me on track to that.

    I've also noticed that the rear end is sagging pretty bad, I'd assume that is contributing to the problem as well. But regardless, is that a sign I need new leaf springs?

    Aside from those two things, what are some suggestions I can take to improve the currently sluggish on road driving experience and fix the sagging rear end?

    Thanks all in advance!

    2009 Hummer H3 Alpha

    35" Nitto Mud Grapplers
    Gobi Stealth Roof Rack
    Diablo Performance Tune
    Magnaflow custom exhaust
    Bilstein 5100s
    AirDoc Intake Sys.


    Check out my Alpha build thread

    "If liberty means anything at all, it means the
    right to tell people what they do not want to hear"
    -George Orwell



  2. #2
    Super Swamper
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    I went from the Bilstein 5100's to the Fox 2.0's. Not sure I'd call it stiffer, but it felt better.

    As for the rear leafs, if you're sagging then it's time for either a re-arch, or new leafs. You can either go with factory leafs, a custom pack, or the Old Man Emu leafs. I went with Old Man Emu springs and really like them. They have a bit more capacity I think than the factory spring rates, and more arch so they will help keep the rig level when loaded. They aren't much more than the factory leafs either.

    Here's the post I made about them in my build thread: https://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/for...l=1#post226476
    2008 H3 Alpha

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  3. #3
    Street Tire
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    If the rear is sagging, yeah you probably need new leaf springs and do that first. You might consider heavy-duty springs if yours doesn't have them. If you do, check the front torsion bars (make sure they match the spring rates of the rear springs you buy). Does your rig have the adventure pkg ...or regular suspension? Also, look into the tires on your rig. Tires with 6 or 10 ply tires are going to be firmer.

    Mine's got the adv pkg with heavy-duty suspension, Pirelli Scorpion tires, I'm running AC Delco heavy-duty shocks (OEM for the off-road pkg), and there's nothing bouncy or 'boaty' about my rigs ride. It's very firm. I like the way it rides and handles. You can find them on Rock Auto. The delcos are engineered for our vehicles. Mfgrs spend quite a bit of time engineering spring rates and shocks for vehicles. I usually try to stick with OEM shocks when I can. Not taking away from Fox or others (I haven't tried them).

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by Jeepwalker; 03-07-2020 at 12:21 AM.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
    Toyota Hilux

  4. #4
    El Diablo
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    When my rear springs were worn out, I had them re-arched and I added a leaf for additional weight support. I also had them re-arch to about 1" above the original height, essentially giving me a 1" suspension lift in the rear. The cost to have it done was about the same cost as a new set of OEM springs, but without the high shipping cost that comes with new springs. I did get a stiffer ride with the added leaf.

  5. #5
    Mud Terrain
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    I really like my Fox shocks. Big improvement on ride quality.

  6. #6
    Street Tire
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    When my rear springs were worn out, I had them re-arched and I added a leaf for additional weight support. I also had them re-arch to about 1" above the original height...
    That's a good point, and an option worth considering (assuming your springs are in otherwise good condition). A leaf spring shop (yes, they exist) are used to working on large trucks (dump trucks etc) and they can zip off pick-up springs and re-arch them super quick. To them, working on pickup springs are like working on a toy. I've had it done too in the past. I had a car with new springs but I wanted a certain height (stance), and they did it super quick. It was really cheap in my case.

    Whatever you have done to the rear, don't forget about the front. Spring rates need to match or you'll get bobbing up/down if the fronts are weaker. I have a pick-up I owned for years and the previous owner put heavier duty springs on the rear to handle the weight of towing a trailer. But for normal driving it tends to bob up/down in the front. On some roads it's annoying (and I've tried a few different shocks on the front of different stiffness). I've meant to modify the rear springs, but I bought a Ram in the meantime. So, whatever you do, make sure the springs match, or crank the fronts stiffer (which won't change the 'rate' but might help some). As I said before, just do some research and you'll find that mfgrs spend a lot of time experimenting with different shocks and spring rates to achieve a certain best-case ride under various conditions.

    I know we all think we're smarter than those OEM engineers (GM, Ford, Toyota), but at least give consideration that they've spent quite a bit of energy to make the rates as good as possible. Springs and shock absorbsion is a compromise and not always a one-size-fits-all exercise. Lot of times guys remove worn-out shocks and run around claiming how the new ones were so much better (well of course they were!). But certain owners like stiffer or softer ride too. Most of the Monroe/Gabriel shocks I've bought sucked compared to OEM rates. IDK if they just supply a shock that 'fits' the mount and that's it? ..or what. I don't waste my money on them anymore. Can't say on the Fox's. I know guys like them. They probably take the OEM shocks and pick one of theirs that'll fit the mount/length ...add 10% - 15% stiffness and throw them in the box. That's probably the extent of their 'research'. Sometimes ya need that extra stiffness for off-roading or handling mods, etc.

    Shocks are one of those nebulous things that are almost impossible to compare. Most guys don't have the time or resources to have a trunk-load of different shocks, different rates, different mfgrs, and multiple vehicles to put one set on one vehicle, and compare the differences to another set on the same exact vehicle (same test track) with different shocks. You just gotta try some and see if it fits your style.

    Whatever you get, be sure to let us know what you did and how you like it. Look your old shocks over, I'd be curious if they had leaks or 'loose spots'.
    Last edited by Jeepwalker; 03-09-2020 at 02:01 PM.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
    Toyota Hilux

  7. #7
    Super Swamper
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    Not sure where you're going to get new torsion rods from. Only upgrade I know for the torsion's is if you have a 3.5/3.7 liter and go with the Alpha rods. Us Alpha guys are pretty stuck. Might be able to find someone to custom make torsions though, but I'm not sure how cost effective that would be.
    2008 H3 Alpha

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  8. #8
    Hammer Down!
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    Old Man Emu/ARB still makes and sells H3 torsion bars that are stronger/firmer than the ORM Apha torsion bars.

    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
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  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bigunit For This Useful Post:

    alrock (03-09-2020), JPaul (03-10-2020), jphh20 (03-09-2020)

  10. #9
    Super Swamper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigunit View Post
    Old Man Emu/ARB still makes and sells H3 torsion bars that are stronger/firmer than the ORM Apha torsion bars.

    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
    So they are. I thought they stopped making those.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    2008 H3 Alpha

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  11. #10
    Super Swamper
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    Are they stronger? The arb ones were made originaly based on the H3 in australia, and they only got the 5 cylinder models!
    The rear leafs are the same for 5 cylinder and Alpha models, so the arb ones are an upgrade for both. I run them and so far Im happy with them. They provide a slight lift too
    Last edited by amrg; 03-10-2020 at 10:06 AM.
    06 H3, Birch White, Lux , Cooper AT3 35s, Borla Performance Cat-back, Bilsteins front w/ 1/2" extended stops, Hunner sleeve, Air Doc w/ K&N filter, Oem Roof lights, 55W HID Headlights and 35W Fog lights.

    09 H3 V8, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Arctic Silver, 35s, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x8 Front 17x9 Rear, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, Daystar 1" Body Lift, Borla Performance Cat-Back, custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights


 

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