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Suspension will make or break a 4WD, and as such I’m very picky about what I use on my own vehicle. I have a HiLux with a camper on the back, so the loads I carry can vary from day-to-day. With the ability to carry 100 litres of water, 170 litres of diesel and all my camping gear one day, to none of that the next, I needed something capable of handling my specific needs. And this is the reason I decided to install an adjustable suspension kit from Outback Armour in my HiLux (we installed it back in issue 060 of Unsealed 4X4click here to read the install). Now, I already had an aftermarket kit installed consisting of TJM coils and struts, Bilstein shocks in the rear and some 300kg constant load leaf springs in the rear; not bad gear at all basically (albeit in very used condition). So how much better could the new stuff be? Absolute chalk and cheese, basically. Let’s take a look at why I rate this as the best suspension kit I’ve ever run in any of my 4WDs.


WORDS BY EVAN SPENCE

IS THIS TWO-INCH LIFT FROM OUTBACK ARMOUR WORTH THE MONEY?

OUTBACK ARMOUR SUSPENSION 

REVIEW

GEAR

ABOVE Check out those shocks, they are seriously beefy

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I HATE BEING POSITIVE
One thing I hate about product reviews is when the reviewer only has positive things to say about the product being reviewed. Nothing is perfect at the end of the day, and it’s the reviewer’s job to find these faults. I have nothing negative to say about the two-inch lift supplied by Outback Armour other than it isn’t the cheapest gear out there. Also, because of the extra lift in the front end, I’ve split the driver’s side CV boot. With 285,000 kays on those CVs, I’m not mad. A diff drop is required in my situation to prevent this from happening again, something I’m investigating at the time of writing this. So let’s go through why I feel this is an absolute quality bit of kit. As always, nobody has paid me to write this, these are my genuine feelings about a product I am wrapped with for my circumstances 5000km down the track.

BELOW As a result of the lift, I’ve split a CV boot … time for a diff drop

BELOW I’ve found on road, having the shocks set to half provides a super-smooth ride, and bugger all body roll considering this is a camper

“Because of the extra lift in the front end, I’ve split the driver’s side CV boot. With 285,000 kays on those CVs, I’m not mad. A diff drop is required in my situation to prevent this from happening again”

NEED A UTE CANOPY?
REQUEST A QUOTE TODAY!

AMERICAN TRUCK UTE CANOPIES
SLIDE ON CAMPERS
INTEGRATED CANOPIES

ADJUSTABILITY
I wanted adjustable shock absorbers, to help cater for the varying loads I carry as mentioned above. We went with the Adjustable Bypass Expedition HD struts in the front end, as I have a steel bull bar and soon to have a winch. These have 20 stages of adjustment, with the adjuster knob sitting on top of the strut, making for the easiest adjustment change of any adjustable shock I’ve owned. It’s also a steel adjuster, not plastic, so it should last longer … they are stupidly simple and cheap to replace anyway. In the rear, we’ve gone with adjustable shocks as well, and a 350kg constant load leaf spring. With this set-up, we’ve gained ride height, increased down travel, it can carry more weight and it rides like a limo. As well as being adjustable to suit load and comfort settings, they are also height adjustable to help with the weight of additional accessories, and overall ride height. I’ve not played with that yet.

ABOVE With over 20 stages of shock adjustment, you can perfectly fine-tune the ride to suit the terrain – I use it often!

LEFT The leaf-spring shackle angle is right where you want it – laidback enough to provide flex but steep enough to carry a load (this is unloaded)

“We’ve gained ride height, increased down travel, can carry more weight and it rides like a limo”

DRIFTA CLEAR TOP BAGS
CLEAR TOP
UTILITY BAG
DRAWER BAG
MILK CRATE CLEAR
TOP STORAGE BAG

WTF IS A JOUNCE STOP?
The thing that impressed me the most about this suspension system, is how complete it is. From the brake line spacer to the supplied hardware, everything has been thought of. Including these magical little things called Jounce Stops. All 4WDs have bump stops fitted; these stop the tyres from munching the guards, and allow for a respectable amount of up/down travel. In most 4WDs, these are quite literally hard rubber blocks, which when you find the limit … you feel it, basically. Outback Armour has included more progressive bump stops, which are taller and softer, to progressively absorb impacts, and they bloody work a treat! Hit a speedbump at any speed, and the suspension just soaks it up – it’s as good as a 2005 SR HiLux can ride with a bolt-on kit. And if you want to take my vehicle for a drive, I’m more than happy to prove it.

LEFT The jounce stops really help provide a smooth ride over rough ground, you don’t need Outback Armour suspension to fit them either

WARRANTY
When I used to sell suspension, the one thing I’d always ask customers coming in with kits from other manufacturers, is what sort of warranty do they offer? Also, if something was to go wrong, where can you get parts? The warranty on this Outback Armour kit is insane, coming in at three years and unlimited kilometres excluding strut mount bushes, which have a one-year warranty. That’s one of, if not the best, suspension warranties on the market, and one of the core deciders for me to say yes to Outback Armour … and I’m honestly so glad I did. Again, I hate gushing over a product, but this suspension kit is first class.

TELL ‘EM THE PRICE
As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. This kit for my vehicle runs the premium adjustable shocks and 350kg constant load leaf springs, so there are cheaper options in the range for you. But if you carry varying loads, trust me … go with the adjustable shocks.

Expedition HD 350kg constant leaf springs: $670
Bushes: $125
U-bolts: $60
Shackles: $70
Greasable pins: $40
Rear Jounce Stop: $165
Front Jounce Stop: $55
Front strut: $1080 (a pair)
Fitting: $40 for pizza – we did it ourselves (budget at least $400 if paying for a professional install)
Total cost: $2265

For more information, visit: outbackarmour.com.au

GEAR

Suspension will make or break a 4WD, and as such I’m very picky about what I use on my own vehicle. I have a HiLux with a camper on the back, so the loads I carry can vary from day-to-day. With the ability to carry 100 litres of water, 170 litres of diesel and all my camping gear one day, to none of that the next, I needed something capable of handling my specific needs. And this is the reason I decided to install an adjustable suspension kit from Outback Armour in my HiLux (we installed it back in issue 060 of Unsealed 4X4click here to read the install). Now, I already had an aftermarket kit installed consisting of TJM coils and struts, Bilstein shocks in the rear and some 300kg constant load leaf springs in the rear; not bad gear at all basically (albeit in very used condition). So how much better could the new stuff be? Absolute chalk and cheese, basically. Let’s take a look at why I rate this as the best suspension kit I’ve ever run in any of my 4WDs.


WORDS BY EVAN SPENCE

OUTBACK ARMOUR SUSPENSION 

REVIEW

IS THIS TWO-INCH LIFT FROM OUTBACK ARMOUR WORTH THE MONEY?

ABOVE Check out those shocks, they are seriously beefy

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BELOW As a result of the lift, I’ve split a CV boot … time for a diff drop

BELOW I’ve found on road, having the shocks set to half provides a super-smooth ride, and bugger all body roll considering this is a camper

I HATE BEING POSITIVE
One thing I hate about product reviews is when the reviewer only has positive things to say about the product being reviewed. Nothing is perfect at the end of the day, and it’s the reviewer’s job to find these faults. I have nothing negative to say about the two-inch lift supplied by Outback Armour other than it isn’t the cheapest gear out there. Also, because of the extra lift in the front end, I’ve split the driver’s side CV boot. With 285,000 kays on those CVs, I’m not mad. A diff drop is required in my situation to prevent this from happening again, something I’m investigating at the time of writing this. So let’s go through why I feel this is an absolute quality bit of kit. As always, nobody has paid me to write this, these are my genuine feelings about a product I am wrapped with for my circumstances 5000km down the track.

“Because of the extra lift in the front end, I’ve split the driver’s side CV boot. With 285,000 kays on those CVs, I’m not mad. A diff drop is required in my situation to prevent this from happening again”

AMERICAN TRUCK UTE CANOPIES

NEED A UTE CANOPY?
REQUEST A QUOTE TODAY!

SLIDE ON CAMPERS
INTEGRATED CANOPIES

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADJUSTABILITY
I wanted adjustable shock absorbers, to help cater for the varying loads I carry as mentioned above. We went with the Adjustable Bypass Expedition HD struts in the front end, as I have a steel bull bar and soon to have a winch. These have 20 stages of adjustment, with the adjuster knob sitting on top of the strut, making for the easiest adjustment change of any adjustable shock I’ve owned. It’s also a steel adjuster, not plastic, so it should last longer … they are stupidly simple and cheap to replace anyway. In the rear, we’ve gone with adjustable shocks as well, and a 350kg constant load leaf spring. With this set-up, we’ve gained ride height, increased down travel, it can carry more weight and it rides like a limo. As well as being adjustable to suit load and comfort settings, they are also height adjustable to help with the weight of additional accessories, and overall ride height. I’ve not played with that yet.

LEFT The leaf-spring shackle angle is right where you want it – laidback enough to provide flex but steep enough to carry a load (this is unloaded)

ABOVE With over 20 stages of shock adjustment, you can perfectly fine-tune the ride to suit the terrain – I use it often!

“We’ve gained ride height, increased down travel, can carry more weight and it rides like a limo”

DRIFTA clear top bags
MILK CRATE CLEAR
TOP STORAGE BAG
DRAWER BAG
CLEAR TOP
UTILITY BAG

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

WTF IS A JOUNCE STOP?
The thing that impressed me the most about this suspension system, is how complete it is. From the brake line spacer to the supplied hardware, everything has been thought of. Including these magical little things called Jounce Stops. All 4WDs have bump stops fitted; these stop the tyres from munching the guards, and allow for a respectable amount of up/down travel. In most 4WDs, these are quite literally hard rubber blocks, which when you find the limit … you feel it, basically. Outback Armour has included more progressive bump stops, which are taller and softer, to progressively absorb impacts, and they bloody work a treat! Hit a speedbump at any speed, and the suspension just soaks it up – it’s as good as a 2005 SR HiLux can ride with a bolt-on kit. And if you want to take my vehicle for a drive, I’m more than happy to prove it.

LEFT The jounce stops really help provide a smooth ride over rough ground, you don’t need Outback Armour suspension to fit them either

ABOVE With over 20 stages of shock adjustment, you can perfectly fine-tune the ride to suit the terrain - I use it often!

WARRANTY
When I used to sell suspension, the one thing I’d always ask customers coming in with kits from other manufacturers, is what sort of warranty do they offer? Also, if something was to go wrong, where can you get parts? The warranty on this Outback Armour kit is insane, coming in at three years and unlimited kilometres excluding strut mount bushes, which have a one-year warranty. That’s one of, if not the best, suspension warranties on the market, and one of the core deciders for me to say yes to Outback Armour … and I’m honestly so glad I did. Again, I hate gushing over a product, but this suspension kit is first class.

TELL ‘EM THE PRICE
As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. This kit for my vehicle runs the premium adjustable shocks and 350kg constant load leaf springs, so there are cheaper options in the range for you. But if you carry varying loads, trust me … go with the adjustable shocks.

Expedition HD 350kg constant leaf springs: $670
Bushes: $125
U-bolts: $60
Shackles: $70
Greasable pins: $40
Rear Jounce Stop: $165
Front Jounce Stop: $55
Front strut: $1080 (a pair)
Fitting: $40 for pizza – we did it ourselves (budget at least $400 if paying for a professional install)
Total cost: $2265

For more information, visit: outbackarmour.com.au