Surf Mods: Suspension | Shocks, Roof Rack, Snorkel

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Firstoneman
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Town: Maputo
Vehicle: 1999 Surf 2.7L 4x4
Real Name: David
Location: Maputo

Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:06 am

I'm considering some mods: It's a 1999 Surf, 2.7L 4x4.

1) New Shocks: Am also thinking about ridding the Surf of the press-of-a-button adjustable suspension system - disable or remove?
My shock interest revolves around my wife's neck problem, jolts give her some pain. I'm not sure how to achieve a smoother ride. As a competent 4x4, I consider the Surf to have pretty good ride manners. But I knew when I bought it it was going to need shocks in near future. I'm there now and probably should have considered it 4-6 months ago. Anyhow, I want to be able to handle corrugated roads in Kruger and the sandy and bumpy, non-tar roads of Mozambique - but smooth is the name of the game. Any suggestions on brand and model of shocks?
Regarding the smooth ride: If I need to get my wife into something else more comfy (she loves the Surf), does anyone know if the Prado has better manners, what about a Land Cruiser? I would consider looking into a newer vintage if it helped make the ride better. Also, a longer wheelbase can smooth things out. (my 1991 Chevy 4x4 extended cab, full size pickup in the US is a marvel of road manners and 4x4 capability).

2) Roof Rack: one for long trips. Not looking for something like the Thule it came with. Want one with full wrap around bars/tubes, etc... What brands do you all think are worthy of attention?

3) Snorkel: found myself in some water in Maputo and while that wasn't dangerous that time, if I get into it somewhere I don't want a problem. What brand is a good fit?

As always, thanks for thoughts. If I need to, I would probably have work done in Nelspruit. I can change the shocks myself. The snorkel, don't know if manageable on my own and the roof rack - I'd probably want someone who knows what they're doing to fit it.

Cheers!

PS. I did see an older post about some mods, but most of it was in Afrikaans...beyond my linguistic capabilities. Thanks.
May You Thrive!!

David

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george
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:16 am

3) Snorkel: found myself in some water in Maputo and while that wasn't dangerous that time, if I get into it somewhere I don't want a problem. What brand is a good fit?
Hi David.
We have one that fits on the left side. See thread here for the model it fits
viewtopic.php?f=87&t=40083&sid=b9cee0c7 ... dc984b664b

BUT the 2.7 air intake sits on the right side.AFAIK.

So I dont think this one will work.
DO you have a pic of your Surf.Maybe the Hilux 2.7 99 one can fit.
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.-Saint Augustine"

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Mud Dog
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:12 am

My opinion for what it's worth ....

Don't be in a hurry to discard the air jackers, they can help getting over some obstacles and also through water crossings - additionally, if the rear can be separately adjusted, it's a bonus for levelling off the vehicle when loaded.

Ride comfort is much more dependant on the front suspension than the rear, both of which in turn are determined by the spring rate of the suspension and the damping rate of the shocks. These can be altered with replacement - upgrading the suspension can be a pricey exercise and since the shocks plat a bigger role in the ride comfort, that's where I would start. Consult with a suspension specialist because it's a trade off between comfort and road holding even though the spectrum of the 'sweet spot' is relatively broad, it drops off dramatically to either side.

You can fit a "FrontRunner" roof rack or have one made up - light weight aluminium is the better option of course and also pricey, so you would need to justify whether you need or want it. Also bear in mind that loading on the roof increases your COG, a negative impact, but may have less bearing on your considerations depending on your intended use of the vehicle.

IRO a snorkel, I'm sure that George of 4x4Direct will be able to get you sorted.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!

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Firstoneman
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Vehicle: 1999 Surf 2.7L 4x4
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Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:25 am

george wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:16 am
3) Snorkel: found myself in some water in Maputo and while that wasn't dangerous that time, if I get into it somewhere I don't want a problem. What brand is a good fit?
BUT the 2.7 air intake sits on the right side.AFAIK.

YES, you are correct, it does sit on the right side.

So I dont think this one will work.
DO you have a pic of your Surf.Maybe the Hilux 2.7 99 one can fit.
YES, you are correct, it does sit on the right side.
I'll get a pic soon. Do you want engine compartment or exterior shots? I posted exterior pics when I first bought it.
Thanks.
May You Thrive!!

David

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Firstoneman
High Range 4WD
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Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:57 am
Town: Maputo
Vehicle: 1999 Surf 2.7L 4x4
Real Name: David
Location: Maputo

Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:19 am

Mud Dog wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:12 am
I'll get a pic soon.
Mud Dog wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:12 am
My opinion for what it's worth ....

Don't be in a hurry to discard the air jackers, they can help getting over some obstacles and also through water crossings - additionally, if the rear can be separately adjusted, it's a bonus for levelling off the vehicle when loaded.

Ride comfort is much more dependant on the front suspension than the rear, both of which in turn are determined by the spring rate of the suspension and the damping rate of the shocks. These can be altered with replacement - upgrading the suspension can be a pricey exercise and since the shocks plat a bigger role in the ride comfort, that's where I would start. Consult with a suspension specialist because it's a trade off between comfort and road holding even though the spectrum of the 'sweet spot' is relatively broad, it drops off dramatically to either side.

You can fit a "FrontRunner" roof rack or have one made up - light weight aluminium is the better option of course and also pricey, so you would need to justify whether you need or want it. Also bear in mind that loading on the roof increases your COG, a negative impact, but may have less bearing on your considerations depending on your intended use of the vehicle.

IRO a snorkel, I'm sure that George of 4x4Direct will be able to get you sorted.
I'll keep the "air jackers" didn't know they might be useful in the manner you mention - thanks. I'm fairly certain that system is functional. However, it is used for what Toyota designates as sport suspension or road...so don't know if it qualifies for the function you mention. I want to see how it works after I get new shocks.

Do you know if there is a good suspension specialist in Nelspruit? I'm familiar enough with what you say, but honestly it's been nearly a decade since I played with my truck suspension. And I'm not up to speed on what's available this side of the globe. I do want a more serious off-road build for more aggressive 4x4 activity one of these days. If I can get the road manners worthy of my wife's needs in the Surf, then I'll start thinking about another 4x4 ride. I've thought about bringing a Chevy here...love that truck.

The Surf's interior space is somewhat limited when three of us in family go for weekend outing...so roof rack is needed. Will definitely prefer a lighter weight rack so thanks for reminding me about aluminium. Also, any opinions on camper tops/tents that fold out of the rack? What are solid brands? There seem to be quite a few.

Sorry, can you tell me what "IRO" means? Googled it and all sorts of interesting things showed up but nothing for what I think you mean, which is "I recommend". Is that it, or is there a third word I'm not thinking of?
Anyway, I'll get a picture on for George to look at am sure the snorkel will situated in the next few months. Shocks are first!

Thanks much Mud Dog!
May You Thrive!!

David

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Mud Dog
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Vehicle: '90 SFA Hilux DC 4X4, Full OME, 110mm lift. Brospeed branch, 50mm ss freeflow exhaust. 30 x 9.5 Discoverer S/T's on Viper mags. L/R tank. (AWOL) '98 LTD 2.4 SFA, dual battery system. Dobinson suspension, LR tanks, 31" BF mud's.
Real Name: Andy

Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:42 am

:D: ... "IRO" means "in respect of". :winkx:

Hopefully some of the guys up your way can refer you to a suspension guy - I don't know anyone up that way.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

ImageImage
Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!

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