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OME spring rates and suggestions


Super Moderator
Feb 24, 2010
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OK, not been asked before on THIS forum so here's an opportunity to plug that gap. Looking at OME springs and dampers for my UN peace-keeping ice cream van. Always a contentious issue I know, but this is the picture. The vehicel will be carrying extra weight, but I am not going to be traversing the sub continent in it. Yes, I'd like to, but not going to happen. Trust me, so forget that plan. I will have drawers, extra batteries, recovery kit etc that will pretty much live in there all of the time, so it will always be 'on the springs' as it were. I doubt that it will ever be loaded with anvils and ship's anchors so 400kg springs are probably not needed. I do want them to lift the vehicle against its usual load so an uprated spring is definitely on the cards.

On the front, there will be a winch and bumper, but the bumper will (I think) only be a bumper, not a bull bar configuration with great big eyebrows over the lights. So extra load is not going to be enormous.

I was thinking 850 51-110kg for the front and
863 200kg on the rear.

Now I can't really see any other combination in the OME range. It's either 'standard', 'hard core' or middle of the road.

OK, anyone got any thoughts on that? You may tell me that actually you really need the 400kg springs on an 80 due to........X, Y or Z

I'd go heavy duty flopper stoppers on each corner. Not sure if they do HD and Std for the 80?

Why OME? Well had them before and liked them plus I can get hold of them without having to try too hard.

I know that people have tried other things like slinky springs. I am not closed to those, but can I get them off the shelf, delivered next day? This is not a reincarnation of Lil Blue, it is a medium duty off roader with cruising tendencies. That's medium duty - not medium capability before you start!

Cheers boys

I was considering the same set of springs and in the end decided to go for a budget Ironman coils and OME used shocks lift. The 850s on the front usually pair with 400kg and 600kg springs. I was told that i would not need 850s on the front even if i mounted a winch and bumper. I guess it depends on what type of winch you go for, if you go hydraulic with a very heavy bumper then get the 850s. Cant say much more than that im afraid other than OME only do one type of nitrogas shocks for the 80.
Chris, I have 850s on the front with a 25mm packer and 868s on the rear. If I was doing it again I would go for 863s on the rear, but then again I am adding the rear bumper and swing out carrier, so the 868s might be about right.

Paul, forgive me - 25mm packer? I understand the principle, but where - how, who from?

I got mine from Gwyn Lewis 4x4. Same place as the springs ;) I know he has some springs in stock.

Anyway the packer is a "ring" of plastic type stuff. The reason I have the packer is the 850s are not tall enought on their own. You use to be able to get 850 long springs, but I could not get any in the UK.

Hey Chris, unless you have your heart set on OME, I really would give serious consideration to the Ironman kit...

Talk to you know who at West Coast Offroad in Southport
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Really? Why? Not got heart set on them. Just don't want to faff about. There isn't anything wrong with OME, but unless IM are significantly better in some respect and are similar in price, then it's a case of OME is good enough for me. But that was the whole purpose of this thread.

So tell me about Iron Man. Incidentally, I don't know 'who' at WC4x4. Never used them. Website is pretty dull, doesn't tell me anything.

But wallet is on 'pause' for the second..... :idea:

Paul at West Coast Offroad Centre, Southport.

When I got my Ironman kit off him, he had stocks readily available & looking at other prices (at the time) it was miles cheaper. This due to the fact that Paul imports directly himself & there are no intermediaries like many of the other stockists have to deal with, all putting their slice on top... However, the Aussie dollar is much stronger these days & prices may be suffering.

The quality seems bombproof from my experiences & Paul is a very helpful & knowledgable bloke. This must be the reason that people from Holland are bringing their trucks to him for work to be carried out on them...

Yup, the website could do with a bit of sharpening up but he's worth a 10-15 minute phone call of anyone's time.

Just putting it out there...
they are cheaper than OME and generally have a better ride when compared to the quite harsh OME ride at low weights (200kg). OME is definitely the better option for overlanding especially if you have a very heavy vehicle but if you are just going to use it for off road in the uk with not allot of weight i would consider Ironman. the only negative is according to Julian V there are reports of Ironman coils starting to sag after 12-18 months of abuse in the bush down under but i expect that this is after some miles.

it seems gav beat me to it :evil:
My OME have NOT sagged in over 2 years and it comes in at about 3.5T :shock: BTW I am still running ProComp shocks that I had from Tony :? :lol: :lol: :lol:

OK, still listening. Good stuff. Keep it coming in. Just revising for hub strip down this weekend. Looking at my dampers they are totally stuffed in terms of visual inspection. One has spurted all its oil all over the drive already. Springs look low to me. There is about 3/4" to the bumps stop as it's parked.

If you're doing your hubs, check that thread on the old site that SUVSteve did - I compiled a PDF file from that thread but it was never posted.

PM an email address & I'll forward it to you if you like Chris - It chopped down the pages significantly...
One of the other reasons I chose IM was our own JW saying he had experiences of the OME stuff going soft - can't recall if it was spring or damper though; possibly damper...

But, its each to his own - I'm happy with my lot :D
Hi Chris, congratulations on your purchase (80).

I fitted OME 850 front, 860 rear and Nitrocharger Sport shocks all round. The 80's completely standard at the mo, but I fitted 850's as I plan to install a bumper at some point. I chose the 860's as my research suggested that anything stronger would have the back end taking lumps out of clouds with no weight in the rear, and my previous experience with ome springs is that they stand up well to excess weight and lots of abuse without sagging. I will run with the 860's and once the weight on the rear starts to warrant heavier springs I'll look into the higher rated springs, I didn't want to compromise the ride and handling in the mean time.

I was undecided between OME shocks and the more expensive Koni's, but OME then announced a new shock, the Nitrocharger Sport, which I was informed was designed to be a firmer shock than the existing ome shocks. They are slightly more expensive but if memory serves me correctly they come with a three year warranty.

The old springs were pretty tired and the 80 looked like it had been lowered, once I'd installed the new springs the front went up by 2.83" and the rear by 3.1". The ride is firm and the 80 handles much better, it rides speed humps well with no reduction in speed as opposed to the old set up which would hit the bump stops at the first sight of a hump at 20mph.

As my 80 is standard I'm perfectly happy with this set up and I think I would regret stronger springs on the rear without the weight to move them!

Good luck, and happy shopping!!

HI Chris

got OME on mine fitted by Julian V.

Worth having a quick check with him with your intended use since he knows much about them also.

i'm really pleased with mine - does ride better with weight in the back. great road manners to.

My set up:
850's at fron and 860's at rear.
On the red car (closer to what you're doing than my green one) we found 860's were over damped by ProComp 9000's and OME N shocks giving a harsh ride but when it came back from Ian with 863's on it was much more compliant but could feel a bit bouncy sometimes even with approx 150kg in the boot. The spring rates of the 860 vs 863 are not massively different, 38.5N/mm vs 44N/mm (864 is 56N/mm for comparison) and they're the same free height.

The green car ended up with 850's and 3" spacers on the front and 868's with 2" spacers on the rear but I don't think you're going that high. I had a couple of OME shocks go soft on me on the green car but I think that might have more to do with insufficient spring rate (ProComp front & 863 rear) than bad shocks i.e. the shock is doing a lot of high frequency work when paired with too soft springs.

I've been very impressed with the RidePro springs and custom Bilsteins Julian V sourced for my 100. They give a nicely compliant ride but maintain control when you're chucking it about on or off road. If I was doing another 80 I would skip the rest and go directly to slinky RidePro springs & the custom Bilsteins but they're expensive and you'll have to be a bit patient or lucky ;)
I'm running Ironman too - ride is very good. I have the standard load ones as I do not intend to routinely carry a lot of extra weight.
The OME sprung 80s I've been in are quite a bit harsher compared to what I have - dunno whether that's because they were wrongly specced or if its an OME thing. :?

In terms of longevity, lots of 80 and 105s in South Africa are running Ironman on overlanding rigs and lots of praise. Ironman is preferred to OME in many cases there and there is little to choose between them in terms of price in SA, so it's not a cost thing.

Ironman is quite a bit cheaper than the other offerings here - less than half the price of the Ridepro basic set-up for example. I'm guessing the slinky/Bilstein set-up is even more? Paul at West Coast offers almost overnight service - I ordered on a Wednesday eve and had the kit on Friday. I rather felt that the OME stuff, while undoubtedly good, has been around for a while and some of the newer stuff like Ironman might have improved on a few things. I do think it's cheaper because Paul is offering a good deal rather than it being inferior quality. So now we wait and see how it goes :mrgreen:

I think the RidePro / Bilstein 'premium' package was twice as much as a TBR OME package but it gives a nice ride with good load carrying ability and control. Maybe someone who's driven Julian V's 80 can comment on the ride, I haven't been very far in it. The only other 80 I've been in that I thought had a nice ride was standard ones ;)
Julians truck has very impressive handling, much better than what i have, i cant understand how it doesn't tip over in the corners due to the height.
Fellas, all tremendously useful. Thank you.