Old Man Emu (OME) has an excellent reputation, Australia wide backup and a wide range of 4WD Suspension options for every 4WD model.

4WD Suspension

OME has a comprehensive range of single off-road suspension components plus fully integrated Suspension Kits for the 4WD Tourer, the Tradie, the hard core Off-Roader and any 4WD that tows either a van, camper, boat, horse float or any other trailer.

Putting the technical details of sophisticated suspension engineering to one side, what
are the benefits of investing in a properly selected, well engineered and quality suspension upgrade?

 

OME Suspension Kit

  • Great on-road ride quality including more supple absorption of bumps
  • Flatter cornering due to reduced body roll
  • Shorter braking distance
  • Much improved high speed stability
  • Reduced shock fade, so softer ride over corrugations
  • Increased load carrying so won’t drop its rear-end on trips
  • Improved off-road performance with the extra ground clearance of the 2” Lift.

It is the integrated wide range of components that makes Old Man Emu 4WD Suspension Kits a standout in the International 4WD suspension market. An example of this integration is the fact that for many 4WD vehicle applications, as the coil or leaf spring rating increases, the compatible shock absorber valving also changes, there are several Nitro Sport shock absorber part numbers for the same application. This is not common practice for other 4WD suspension manufacturers!

Old Man Emu Nitro Sport & BP51 Shock Absorbers explained

For most applications, we suggest you look at the Nitro Sport shock. It has advanced valving compared to the older Nitro Gas model, along with a host of other features:

  • 18mm chrome shaft
  • Triple top seal
  • Teflon piston ring seal
  • High pressure nitrogen gas (hence the triple top seal)
  • 14 point velocity valve stack
  • 54mm OD shock body (Note, stone guards available)

The OME Nitro Sport shocks have a 35mm piston. The size represents the piston diameter, so the greater that number the greater the oil capacity, hence oil temperatures are lower. Cooler oil results in greater viscosity, and importantly – less Fade.

All shocks have oil in them, this is what does all the work, as the oil moves through the valving in the piston head, it is restricted by that valving.

Shocks work at their hardest on corrugated dirt roads at moderate speeds or faster. The repetitive rapid movement of the piston results in heat build up, hence oil viscosity drops and the shock fades.

Slowly articulating over big rocks etc requires great articulation and balance – but doesn’t make a shock fade.
The higher gas pressures in the OME Sport model results in a higher boiling point of the hydraulic fluid, compared to the Nitro Gas and other shock manufacturers.

Aeration is also limited by this higher pressure. Aeration of the hydraulic fluid occurs due to the hydraulic oil boiling or bubbling as the shock extends rapidly after compression. The ‘vacuum’ or pressure reduction created as the piston head moves quickly, allows the oil to boil at a lower temperature compared to ‘normal’ pressure.

That said, it depends on the vehicle set-up and more importantly the use of the vehicle to determine which shock is best.

For example, if your ‘thing’ is beach fishing, then driving on soft sand doesn’t develop heat, therefore viscosity loss, leading to shock fade, as does driving for hours-on-end over outback corrugations with 2 weeks worth of supplies on board. This is really tough on shockers.

For vehicles with extra weight (of accessories or extra load), travel extended periods on secondary roads, or for those that simply want the best there is, then the BP51 shock absorber option is it!

Most drivers think the OME BP51 shock looks like a shock for a racing application, but the BP51 provides fantastic ride control on-road as much as off-road.

BP51’s significant features

  • HUGE 51mm piston diameter – remember, the size represents the piston diameter, so the greater that number, the greater the oil capacity (volume increases exponentially not linearly with the diameter of a cylinder), hence oil temperatures are lower. Cooler oil results in greater viscosity, and importantly – less Fade.
  • Remote Reservoir – again, increases oil volume and cooling.
  • Velocity adjustable piston head – where the faster the piston moves, the greater the level of damping (the way most shock absorbers work).
  • PLUS Variable By-Pass rate – which means as the piston moves further away from its resting height or position, the valving rate increases. ie, the bigger the bump, the stronger the shock rate becomes! This is not related to velocity or speed of movement. Huge capacity to absorb uneven terrain, and the HUGE piston diameter directly relates to heat dissipation into the equally HUGE volume of oil.
  • Independent Adjustability of both Rebound and Compression Rates (on vehicle) – allowing ride customisation for different vehicle setups or even individual trips. Usual shock absorber adjustment is only biasing the balance between rebound and compression, not adjusting them independently.

In our experience, the on-road ride quality of these shocks is unsurpassed, and the feel of leaf spring vehicles approaches that of a coil!

On coils, its heavenly!

OME Leafs

Original manufacturers leaf springs are well known to have a limited life and perform poorly with a harsh ride during that life. Also known to sag in the rear with less than maximum legal load capacity.

Old Man Emu leaf springs provide optimum performance in all conditions.

OME leaf springs are manufactured from SUP9 high grade spring steel, have drawn & diamond cut leaf ends to ensure progressive loading, nylon interleaf anti-friction pads to reduce friction and wear at the high load leaf tip, have ‘military wrap’ for extra support of the spring eyes, precision manufactured, heat treated in an electronically controlled furnace, Shot Peened, Scragg & Load tested – all processes aimed to eliminate long term sag and maintain performance.

OME leaf springs have increased height for ground clearance and increased bump stop distance – hence more time to absorb a bump resulting in an improved ride compared to standard leafs.

Accurately calculate the extra weight of accessories fitted and load when considering what leafs your vehicle needs.

Available

  • Ride Comfort – Medium Load
  • Heavy Duty – Constant Load or Occasional Heavy Loads
  • XHD – for Excessive loads

Consider Air Bags in conjunction with HD leafs for substantive Loads or a GVM Upgrade if loads are going to be Excessive.

Remember, HD springs with load will flex & ride like medium springs do with a lesser load, and greaseable shackles and pins will add extra flexibility – help to compensate a tight ride inherent in HD leafs with minimal load when empty, plus extend the life of the shackle bushes and spring eyes.

OME Coils

OME coil springs are precision manufactured, heat treated in an electronically controlled furnace, Shot Peened, Scragg & Load tested – all processes aimed at eliminating long term sag and maintain performance.

Available in a variety of coil wire diameters and numbers of coils, providing a range of options of ride height, ride comfort and load carrying capacity for different applications on the same vehicle.OME coil springs are precision manufactured, heat treated in an electronically controlled furnace, Shot Peened, Scragg & Load tested – all processes aimed at eliminating long term sag and maintain performance.

Available in a variety of coil wire diameters and numbers of coils, providing a range of options of ride height, ride comfort and load carrying capacity for different applications on the same vehicle.

Linear Rate (evenly spaced coils) – Improved ride and load carrying Progressive Rate (variable spaced coils) – excellent ride with acceptable loaded height.

‘Progressive Rate’ coils can be made to sound like nirvana by the inexperienced Salesperson but unfortunately this is often NOT the case.

When loaded, the Progressive Rate Coil will often ‘sit-down’, the close wound coils will go ‘coil-to-coil’, (metal to metal), so that part of the coil has no movement at all. Immediate loss of height.

Be honest and accurately calculate the extra weight of accessories fitted and load when considering what coil your vehicle needs. If you are not sure, contact one of our experienced team to help guide you to the best result.

Don’t forget, HD springs with load will flex & ride like medium springs do with a lesser load.

 

Available

  • Ride Comfort – Medium Load (Linear or Progressive)
  • Heavy Duty – Constant Load or Occasional Heavy Loads (Linear Only)
  • XHD – for Excessive loads (Linear Only)
  • Consider Air Bags in conjunction with Coils for substantive Loads or a GVM Upgrade if loads are going to be Excessive
  • Consider Air Bags for HD or Substantive Loads, particularly if there is a big variation in load.
  • If Ride Comfort Coils are fitted, but the situation changes and you require greater load carrying capacity in the future, ie significant towing, then Air Bags can be added at that time.

Small Suspension Components

Steering Stabilisers

OME HD Replacement Steering Stabilisers, often called Steering Dampers, have a 35mm piston diameter. Used on vehicles with replacement suspension, or larger tyres.

Coil-Over style Steering Stabilisers have a 35mm piston diameter piston with external coil spring mounted over the damper body. Used on vehicles with over sized tyres OR very high lift OR to neutralise ‘front-end shimmies’.

XHD Coil-Over style have the 35mm diameter piston with XHD coil mounted to the damper body. Used on more extreme examples of above, 35” or larger tyres.

Torsion Bars

OME Torsion Bars have an increased spring rate or load capacity by increasing the diameter relative to standard plus manufacturing from higher quality material.

This has several advantages

  • Reduces brake dive under severe or sudden braking that results in loss of traction reduces body roll during cornering reduces tyre wear by maintaining correct wheel alignment longer.
  • The IFS Torsion Bar front is a flexible design that provides good ride comfort due to the control arms moving independently of each other but with limited wheel travel.
  • However, the Torsion Bar design uses quite ‘short bodied’ shocks, hence low oil capacity (compared to long bodied shocks used in other suspension designs).
  • Consider Air Bags in conjunction with Coils for substantive Loads or a GVM Upgrade if loads are going to be Excessive
  • Consider Air Bags for HD or Substantive Loads, particularly if there is a big variation in load.
  • If Ride Comfort Coils are fitted, but the situation changes and you require greater load carrying capacity in the future, ie significant towing, then Air Bags can be added at that time.

This has several advantages

  • If the vehicle has done a reasonable number of kms or had a hard life – upgrade them
  • If there is a significant lean to one side or a wide variation in the adjusters – upgrade them
  • If not, then simply adjust the existing Torsion Bars. Ride will be better with original bars and minor front load.

For IFS Torsion Bar suspensions, the upper bump stop on most applications should have approximately 10mm clearance to give adequate ‘down stroke’, yet achieve good height increases over standard.

Upper Ball Joint Spacers and Replacement Upper Control Arms are available for some models – to allow for greater travel and adjustment, in combination with a Diff Drop Kit.

Hardware

OME and GO 4x4 have a wide range of smaller Suspension Kit complimentary parts.

  • Poly Urethane BushesRubber Bushes
  • Greaseable Shackles and Pins
  • U-Bolts
  • Coil Spacers
  • HD Adjustable Tie Rods
  • HD Adjustable Drag Links
  • HD Adjustable and fixed length control arms
  • Extended brake Hoses
  • Sway Bar Kits
  • Myriad of Extension and Relocation brackets, trim packers, Centre Bolts, Spring liners

Polyurethane and Rubber Bush Kit

Polyurethane and Rubber Bush Kits are designed to withstand the rigours of off-road. They are not a replica of the original rubber bush, they have ‘pockets & slots’ to trap grease – to improve ride and life of the springs and the bush themselves. Available for shock absorbers, leaf springs, sway bars, panhard rods and control arms.

Greaseable Fixed End Pins & Swinging Shackles

Greaseable Fixed End Pins & Swinging Shackles are designed for factory or OME leafs. Used to facilitate satisfactory lubrication of bushes and leafs – to extend life and improve ride. The grease applied during initial fitting will wear away/dry (in time) or be washed away by water and mud – so it makes sense to be able to apply grease right into the centre of the bushes and spring eye at regular service intervals.

U-Bolts

Manufactured from high tensile 10.9 grade steel. To suit Ride Comfort & Constant Load leaf packs.

Extended Brake Hoses

Braided Stainless lines eliminate the ‘spongy’ feel observed in extreme braking conditions – sometimes observed with rubber lines. Stainless exterior also provides resistance to corrosion and abrasion. Swagged directly onto hand drawn tensile stainless steel braided Teflon hose.

Castor Correction

Castor Correction – by Bushes, Plates, Drop Boxes or replacement Drop Arms – for lifts 50mm or more. For lifts below 50mm (2”) it is advisable but not mandatory. Generally 4WD vehicles will have less Castor Angle than the equivalent year 2WD, and most 4WD’s will benefit with extra Castor above standard.

There are various arguments for and against the differing ways of achieving improved Castor Angles. Briefly:

If the radius arm bushes are already worn (commonly the case), then replacing them with 2.5 to 3degree Off-set Bushes, makes perfect sense (assuming you have to do the bushes anyway.

Castor Plates result is approximately 5 degrees more castor. Drop Boxes achieve the goal of greater castor but also have the advantage of putting the radius arms back to a more ‘normal’ geometry – ie horizontally pushing forward, rather than ‘angling down’. This improves stability. When the arms are at a steep angle it can feel a bit like you are driving on ‘stilts’.

For Patrol: the rear T bushes on the arms allow articulation by compression of the bush, if it is already under compression due to the ‘angling down’, there will be reduced movement of the arms, particularly droop.

Drop Boxes hang down below the chassis line and if you are sliding over rock ledges etc then this is a definite ‘hook-up’ point. New longer Radius Arms which result in an equivalent amount of Castor with good geometry.

So it depends on your budget and your use of the vehicle as to the best option to achieve greater Castor Angle.

Note: For Nissan Patrol lifts over 50mm, the steering box will move ‘off-centre’ as the factory Drag Link (which goes from Steering Box on RH chassis to the LH front wheel) is non-adjustable.

So it is advisable to fit an HD Adjustable Drag link, to get the steering box back to centre (especially the case when SRS airbags are fitted and removing the steering wheel is problematic).