I recently had the opportunity to be one of the first in Australia to fit the Terrain Tamer Parabolic suspension kit to a 75 series! Parabolics are something I thought I would never ever do but after 10 years of trying other setups and seeing many other parabolic suspension setups, I have decided to finally see what all the fuss is! To understand where we are today lets go back to 2011 when I was purchasing my first 4wd, the car that will now be known as Olboy.
In the Beginning...
I purchased Olboy from a used car dealer in 2011, it was an ex company vehicle, very stock and came with about 5 years of receipts. There was no receipt for the suspension which did include lifted springs (unsure of brand) and Raw shocks. My conclusion from the lack of receipts and the visible age of the suspension was that it was installed over 5 years ago.
The springs that were in it were very heavy duty, with 12 leafs in each pack including helper leafs in the rear. I had an aluminium tray at the time with no weight so you can only imagine the ride, even typing that gives me a twinge in my kidney. They had two additional helper leafs also so did a very good job of carrying loads of soil and rocks for my parents place at the time.
Around 2012/2013, I was at the point where I wanted more “flex”. I now have a much better understanding of articulation and suspension in general but back then I thought I just needed new suspension. I priced up a few kits…Dobinsons, Ironman, Tough Dog etc. All around the $3-4k price point and for a broke uni student working a casual retail job it was just a tad much, so I endured with what I had.
In 2014 I had Old Man Emu shocks fitted in the rear and a set of Fox shocks fitted to the front. I also changed shackles to extended shackles and had 5 leafs removed from each pack. The drastic change in parts was definitely noticeable. The front worked beautifully and the rear I found was limited by the short travel length of the Old Man Emu shocks. I did however run this setup for many years until around 2018 when I found my springs were sagging (downside to removing leafs from a pack, no longer a correctly rated spring). I had them hot reset back to 2” of lift.
Between 2018 and 2022 I haven’t touched the springs too much, played around with removing retainers etc, just generally being dodgy to try and scrape every last bit of travel from the springs. The springs now being at least 15 years old had significant travel purely because of the lack of leafs in the pack (low spring rate, eventually had to run airbags in the rear to accommodate this) and their age. They were well worn in and this allowed them to shift and move well when off-road. These factors led to many people thinking I have amazing “flexy” springs when in reality…they’re just old.
I also continued to play around with shocks finally settling on the Dobinsons Remote Res 3-way adjustable which will be in a future blog post. I also trialled extended shackles and drop shackles. Both unfortunately aren’t something that are easily engineered for on-road use so a huge disadvantage there. The drop shackles sat lower when closed and without running a custom length tailshaft, a lot of the open length isn’t usable. I like to try run as many factory parts as possible to avoid being remote and not having access to custom made parts etc.
Now here we in 2022 I was approached by Terrain Tamer, who we deal with a lot at Jrace Industries, to trial out their newly released Parabolics for the 75series. I had seen plenty on the 79series and Im consistently blown away with the weight they hold and how light they are! I had heard about parabolics for the last decade, seen and heard all the good and bad.
Actually I have had a number of people think I already ran parabolics. Personally I had always been hesitant on Parabolics because I had just never seen a vehicle with them achieve the same or similar amount of travel that a custom made multi leaf pack could achieve. I should also mention I dont put a high amount of value on comfort and have just grown to accept driving a leaf spring is never going to compare to a coil vehicle.
When speaking to Terrain Tamer I made it very clear that I just didn’t have faith in their kit (huge foot in mouth moment later on), I expressed concerns that I would lose travel. I knew they would handle the load, be far comfier, lighter and quiet but was incredibly hesitant on losing both up and down travel. Speaking to Terrain Tamer they were confident I would love their kit and if not they would appreciate a genuine, honest review on what could be improved. So I was
The Terrain Tamer 75series kit comes with everything you need to install, shop here. Including shackles, pins, u bolts, damper, Pro bushes and grease. The Pro bushes are a very unique bush with lots of benefits listed so I am intrigued to see how they last! You can read more on them here.
The most noticeable difference for me was how much lighter each leaf spring was. I could easily pick each pack up with one hand compared to my old springs which were almost a 2 person lift. After weighing the vehicle I found I had lost over 200kg in weight!
We articulated the 75 before and after on the forklift and found I actually had better range of travel than I did before! Achieved more up travel and I think with a slightly longer shock that allows the same up travel I can get even more out of this kit. Im certainly very happy to finally not be running extended shackles!
Overall I am blown away with how capable this kit is and I would happily recommend this kit to anyone who carries weight but doesn’t want the added weight of a multi-pack and would appreciate a comfortable ride. The install is a breeze and the pricing at under $3000 is incredibly well priced.
Find your local Store...
Don Kyatt Spare Parts Townsville
431-433 Woolcock St, Garbutt QLD 4814
Contact: 07 4725 2199
Don Kyatt Spare Parts Brisbane
188 Kerry Rd, Archerfield QLD 4108
Contact: 07 3434 3200