My pet peeve with OEM shocks

Have I told you how pitiful I find stock standard suspension – as it comes off the showroom floor – to be? Yes of course I have! That, and standard tyres and shocks on OEM vehicles, are my greatest 4WD peeves in life because vehicle manufacturers will have you believe that bakkies and SUVs are ready to head into the bush as soon as they come of the production line. Sure they are! (That there was a dash of sarcasm for effect.)

A stock-standard 4WD is so far removed from reality it isn’t funny. You, the poor mug who’s just bought it, are going to have to shell out around another R50 000 to fix both issues, so that money had better be spent wisely.

For me, the suspension issue is one deserving of some serious consideration. However, my use and your use might be two completely different experiences that will require quite different setups. So, what are my requirements?

For around town and on the highway, I want something firm (I loathe driving a 4WD that leans on corners like a superbike in MotoGP. At the same time, that firmness on-road must also provide some suppleness on dirt and off-road. It needs to be supple enough to soak up the initial bumps on high-speed gravel roads and later give me some decent flex to keep the wheels planted and driving the car forward. Oh, and just to complicate things even more, it also needs to be able to carry the tow ball downforce of a big camper trailer or keep the vehicle level when loaded with a canopy, rooftop tent and all your goodies for you next overlanding trip

It can’t be easy to deliver on all those requirements, but Old Man Emu (OME) from ARB has been able to do just that for me for a long time. I have had OME on my bakkies and will always recommend it.

But there’s another reason I like OME’s stuff, and it’s two-fold and… dare I say it… parochial. One part is found in Melbourne, where a bunch of Aussie engineers are toiling away at ARB HQ in Kilsyth designing the shocks, coils, leaves and sundry attachments. The other part is found in Adelaide, where the gear is made at Tonsley Park by Monroe, who has been making automotive gear forever. The fact that it is not coming out of a mass-producing multi brand factory in China does provide great peace of mind and gives you faith in the product.

My 2015 Hilux D4-D spent a lot of time on the roads of all our neighbouring countries. On all one of those journeys, I knew that instead of a wallowing, crash to the bump-stops, vomit-inducing ride with no carrying capacity I had a vehicle that sits flat – irrespective of the load – and soaks up the bumps as it should.

OME can offer you a suspension price-point that need not be eye-watering. The incredible engineering that goes into the BP51 shock range deserves a premium price when you want the best, but on the flip side, I find their Nitrocharger range totally affordable. That’s not only backed up by a nationwide network of installers, but you will also find support in most of our neighbouring countries as well, and their warranty is worth something.

So, if you looking for a new suspension kit for you 4×4 look no further! Check out the link below.

Available from 4×4 Mega World:

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