Suspension tension
  |  First Published: April 2010

Every vehicle comes with a dedicated suspension system. But for an even safer, fine-tuned performance most off road vehicles can benefit from suspension upgrades offered by ARB.

Vehicle suspension is a very complex matter, especially for four-wheel drives. To achieve the best possible end result a lot of factors must be considered, such as requirements for the vehicle and anticipated weight loads.

When taking a trip off the beaten track or heading to a remote area where assistance would be hard to come by, most 4x4 owners don't hesitate to stock up the car with sufficient fuel, water and spare parts as well as all the required camping gear and other necessities.

But they often overlook the fact that the car is then well and truly loaded to capacity, which puts a great strain on standard suspension systems once the punishing off road conditions start to take effect.

Tuned suspension the way to go

ARB have suspension tuning down to a fine art after years of testing and modifying relevant shocks, springs, coils and other components within their Old Man Emu (OME) brand.

OME offers a range of integrated suspension options for vehicles as diverse as the ‘soft roaders’ – cross over vehicles, like the Rav 4, Nissan X-Trail and similar – through to the big hitters such as the Ford F250 as well as all varieties of dedicated 4x4s in between.


Coil spring suspension systems are prevalent in most off roaders today and OME have a massive range of coil springs on hand that offer upgraded performance, a longer life and are corrosion resistant.

Ride height can also be enhanced with coil spring systems which are purpose matched to different makes and models of vehicles in order to provide the best performance for your needs.

Some of the advantages of OME coil spring systems include longer life, a high resistance to sagging, and improved towing and load carrying.

Torsion bars

Used in conjunction with OME coil or leaf spring systems the OME torsion bar systems are designed to improve both ride and handling while maintaining maximum wheel travel which is vital for off road action in hard going terrain.

Again longer life and extra durability are expected and optimum ride performance is an added bonus. ARB torsion bar systems work best when used in conjunction with a set of OME Nitrocharger shock absorbers.

These special torsion bars are manufactured from premium grade spring steel with a resilient powder coating to guard against corrosion. Hardened and tempered to exact specifications plus the pressure rolling of torsion bar splines all ensure ultimate durability.

Leaf Springs

Many 4x4s like the Hilux, Navara, Triton and B250 are designed to be work vehicles during the week and recreational vehicles on weekend.

These vehicles come from the factory with leaf springs at the rear in order to carry substantial loads in the Monday to Friday work mode. The comprehensive range of Emu Dakar leaf springs will allow an owner to set up a vehicle to provide the best ride quality for its proposed use.

A vehicle that needs to carry large loads without sacrificing ride quality can be equipped with heavy duty Emu Dakar leaf springs. Likewise a 4x4 that is mainly used recreationally can be similarly equipped for that application.

Dakar Emus leaf springs come with special bolt clamps and liners, are load tested to exact specifications and are graphite coated to reduce friction.

A two stage leaf spring pack is available which sees the unloaded vehicle largely riding on a primary stage with additional leaf springing on hand for more support when extra heavy loads are carried.

Leaf springs go hand in glove with shackle and bush systems, which offer support plus a degree of flexibility.

Where factory leaf/shackle/bush systems tend to be rigid and have no direct lubrication, ARB offer greasable shackles for those extra hard driving conditions that cause wear and tear on components.

With shackles capable of being greased and matching hard wearing urethane bush kits the four-wheel drive owner can be assured that components are going last for the long haul.

The Nitrocharger advantage

The Australian made Nitrocharger Sport shocks are a premium product with a three-year 60’000km warranty and are so popular they are used worldwide.

Features include a hardened chrome piston rod to reduce friction and optimise seal life within the piston, a triple lip oil seal to handle higher operating temperatures and internal pressures, and an improved check valve to prevent interior gas leakage.

Filled with high performance oil and set up with increased wall thickness to prevent stone damage, the nitrogen gas within each Nitrocharger will increase operating temperature range as well as improving oil flow though heavy duty valving for optimum performance under all conditions.

Vehicle specific Nitrocharger sport shocks have the ability to transform performance, greatly improve ride quality, plus ensure that when heavy loads are carried under extreme off road conditions a vehicle's driving characteristics won't deteriorate.

The current range of Nitrocharger products are the end result of years of research and development.

ARB offer consultation plus fitting and tuning services for suspension kits and components at their various outlets; a service that serious off road drivers have used to their advantage for years.

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