I was in the market for updated suspension for my Hilux. With 325,000km travelled on the original kit, I thought it was a good time to upgrade.
But there were so many options. Which kit was best for me?
What I wanted out of the suspension was a 50mm lift and better articulation, but, most of all, it had to be comfortable to drive and handle well on- and off-road. All this led me to Pedders’ TrakRyder Outback kit.
A 50mm lift is usually all a car needs to tackle difficult terrain while remaining practical and serviceable. Any higher than 50mm generally requires extensive and expensive modifications to the related steering and axle components.
I’m also not a huge fan of the high centre of gravity that comes with extreme lifts. Perch a tall 4x4 like a Troop Carrier atop super-tall suspension and load up the roof rack with a few hundred kilograms, and you will begin to get a very unstable car when cornering or picking along sloping ground.
Don’t get me wrong; taller suspension is definitely handy off-road where the ability to crawl over large obstacles can be the difference between getting stuck or moving on.
The Outback kit’s spring and shock absorber rates were developed to improve a vehicle’s ground clearance and suspension travel while also improving its stability on all road surfaces.
This kit provides improved articulation on uneven road surfaces and improves tractability of all four wheels in difficult situations. It also allows you to carry heavier loads with confidence, so packing extra camping gear or similar equipment shouldn’t be a problem.
The increased ride height of up to two-inches (50mm) enables the vehicle to cross most creeks or rivers (within reason) without your feet getting wet. It also improves the car’s entry and exit angles on extreme terrain.
With the upgraded suspension fitted to my old Hilux, its on-road manners were hugely improved. Its dated, original soft suspension wallowed around corners and the vehicle nose-dived under hard braking. With the Pedders Outback suspension, the Hilux now feels like it’s on rails. Cornering is much more sure-footed and the Hilux stays flat under braking. It feels a lot safer to drive.
Off-road, the suspension is firm but comfortable, soaking up the bumps with minimal fuss. It’s easy to maintain good speed on rocky tracks, and there’s definitely more flex in the Pedders suspension than in the car’s original springs and shocks.
I can feel that all the wheels are in contact with the ground on uneven tracks. This makes it a lot easier to drive away from terrain where I would have lost traction in the past.
Pedders say this kit is compatible for vehicles used on- and off-road, as well as for general commuting. It’s ideal for vehicles towing caravans, horse floats, campers and general trailers. The kits are also acceptable for vehicles fitted with bull bars, driving lights, dual battery systems, and standard wheels with off-road tyres fitted.
Generally included in TrakRyder kits are coil and leaf springs, suspension bushes, alignment kits, shock absorbers, u-bolts, and shackles.
The kit can manage the extra weight of items, including under car protection plates, roof racks, long-range fuel tanks and rear drawer storage systems, which is an excellent platform to build on if I ever want to fit more gear.
For more info on TrakRyder suspension kits visit: www.pedders.com.au