Adventure Truck

Old Man Emu Rear Suspension & Lift for the Nissan Frontier

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Nissan Frontier D40 Navara Expedition Truck with Old Man Emu Suspension, Eezi-Awn Roof Tent, Baja Rack Roof Rack, Shrockworks Winch bumper

The Old Man Emu Dakar Suspension Brings Life Back to My Heavy Nissan FrontierConsider all the weight on the back of this truck:

  • an aftermarket steel bumper and tire gate (~100 lbs)
  • Eezi-Awn tent (~120 lbs)
  • Water tank (~120 lbs when filled)
  • Custom storage drawers (~75 lbs)
  • Tool box with aux. battery, air compressor, and extras (~80 lbs)
  • Total: 500 lbs (approx)

To manage all that extra weight, doesn't it seem reasonable to employ the gusto of proper shocks and load tested leaf springs?

The Old Man Emu Rear Suspension: Dakar Leaf Springs, Nitrocharger Sport Shocks, & Greasable Shackles

  • Heavy Load Emu Dakar leaf springs - for ultimate load carrying
  • Greasable shackles - for smooth, noise free operation and longevity
  • Nitrocharger Sport Shocks - for off-the-shelf vehicle control when loaded and driving on unimproved roads and trails
  • Molded and splined spring bushes - perfect mates between the shackle bolts and leaf spring eyes

Of course, I could have just as easily had some custom leaf packs made and fitted some high performance racing shocks.  Slick as can be, but inappropriate for me in terms of my budget and my desired end result.

Most importantly, ARB produces these parts with a philosophy and technology to the engineering, along with a warranty and applaudable customer support.

Details and Features That Inspire Confidence in the Parts That I Bought:

  • progressive design that distributes the weight and reduces stress at the leaf ends, ultimately creating a stable and quality ride that'll last for years
  • anti-squeak nylon leaf liners
  • graphite coating that also keeps the packs noise free
  • load tested to ensure a long life
  • military wrap on the spring eye provides safety and "back-up" in case the top leaf should break, the military wrap will keep the packs in place and attached to the truck
  • flat axle seat area also reduces stress and increases the spring's life
  • the tension side of the leaf is shot peened, which also aids in inreasing the life of the springs
  • two overload leaves engage primarily when the truck is under a heavy load

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? "Damn, these are nice springs . . ."Well, in my best tradeshow pitchman voice, "AND THAT'S NOT ALL!"  The greasable shakles use heavy, precision milled hardware that reassures me that I'm going to enjoy squeeky free cycling and a smooth ride.

The new Nitrocharger Sport shocks have been lauded for "being like an external reservior shock, but without the reservior."  I can't attest to such a claim, but I'm certainly pleased with them.

What I appreciate most about the Old Man Emu suspension equipment is the common-person sensibility to the design and performance.  I just want something that performs to my needs - as I stated, I could have simply used some racing shocks and customs leaf packs, which would have a serious drool factor, but perform beyond my needs.  Make no mistake, as I wouldn't dare say that the Emu system is merely "good enough."  That's not my position.  Quite different, actually, the Old Man Emu system provides superior ride, load handling, and a fair lift for a reasonable price.

Installed Lift Height: 23.5" (center hub to fender)

Disclosure: I did not receive any of these parts, nor payment of any kind (cash, credit, or other goods), from the manufacturer, distributor, or an outside firm for this review.

Comments   

 
Dave G.
0 / 0
# Dave G. 2010-01-26 13:25
That's a nice setup. but do you only have the OME rear, or front too? What did it cost? and where did you get it from? I was thinking of getting the deaver AAL, but I like your setup.

Great pictures.
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2010-02-02 23:01
I had to special order the set from Sierra Expeditions. www.sierraexpeditions.com

Right now all I have is the rear OME suspension. I'll finish with the front in the future.
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Daniel
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# Daniel 2010-07-17 19:11
Hey I was wondering what the specs are on springs that you ordered are.... lift, rate, and such I am interested in setting up my D40 and I really like the way your rig is done
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2010-07-21 19:28
The part number for the springs is CS051R. Specs? Yikes. I don't remember precisely. On paper I think they say 40mm lift height. Spring rate, no idea. A tech at ARB could probably find out though.
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Paul
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# Paul 2010-08-28 06:05
In photo 9 of the install, it looks like your shackles are installed backwards.
I understand that installing them on the opposite sides would place them further inboard by about an inch, and might not line up 100% perfectly with the spring perches on the axle, but in that photo, it looks like the bend in the inner shackle plate is binding on the frame rail, which will certainly limit travel and comfort, and possibly cause you to break a leaf at some point. I'd highly recommend double checking for proper unrestricted movement while cycling the suspension.
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Paul
0 / 0
# Paul 2010-08-28 06:07
and by "backwards", I mean, it looks like the "flat" shackle plate should be installed inboard of the frame rail, and the "dogleg" shackle plate should be installed outboard of the frame rail.
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Mark
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# Mark 2010-08-28 14:20
Thanks Paul! I see exactly what you mean, and I can't believe I never noticed that. Good eye.

Indeed, the driver's side plate on the inside of the frame is actually rubbing on the frame.

Both bent dogleg plates are supposed to be on the inside of the frame. The passenger side isn't rubbing though.

I have the dogleg plate on the driver's side upside down and flipped - that's the problem. I'm going to go fix that now . . . THANKS!
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Paul
0 / 0
# Paul 2010-08-28 18:22
Gotcha. The bend in that dogleg plate isn't centered, so by flipping it upside down, there's a tiny bit more clearance for the frame rail.
I notice the stock shackle in the previous pictures are a LOT longer before the bend, giving a ton more clearance.
The reason I thought they should be flipped to the other side of teh frame rail is because it looks like there is a sleeve sticking out on the outboard side of the rail. if the leaf is the same width as the frame rail, it looks like they would line up perfectly, giving you lots more travel, if the flat plate was on the inboard side and the dogleg kicked out on the outboard side to accomadate that sleeve (tube) that protrudes. Like I said though, I can understand how that might not work, as the springs probably wouldn't line up with the spring perches on the axles. Interesting setup.
Love the site, by the way.
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Mark Stephens
+2 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2010-08-29 12:39
Correct, the springs wouldn't line up with the dogleg to the outside of the frame. But I know what you mean. The previous shackles weren't stock, though. They were 1.5" lift shackles, which is why you see much more length.

Thanks to you pointing it out, I got that shackle fixed. You can see where the frame left a mark on the plate. Kind of amazing that's it after all these miles in Baja and on trails:
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Paul
0 / 0
# Paul 2010-08-29 14:26
Looks much better.
Gave you the opportunity to put some fresh grease in there too. ;)

I envy your climate. a year and a half in my climate, and the whole thing would be unrecognizable for the rust.
Just got in from replacing all the steel brake lines on my truck. The old ones broke out in pieces like pretzels!
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John
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# John 2010-11-14 18:33
Nice setup for the rear; kinda what I would like to get on my rig.
Can you tell me a few things:
A) have you noticed any excessive sagging since you've had this setup?
and
B) do you recall the cost for your setup?
Thanks again Mark,
John
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Mark
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# Mark 2010-11-14 21:38
Gotta say, the springs haven't faded to speak of. I'm still super pleased in that department. Which is pretty impressive, I think, because of all the weight we pack along on trips.
Cost? I think about $800 with the shocks, the shackles, the bushings, etc.
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dave
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# dave 2011-05-25 14:19
Hey, just wondering, did you also replace the coil springs with OME?
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Jacomien
+1 / 0
# Jacomien 2011-06-30 10:43
hi almal ek het 'n 2010 navara SE dubble cab en het 'n olman umo sus kit en als pas behalwe my vere is 100mm te kort wil net weet of enige iemand ook die SELE KAK HET
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Mike
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# Mike 2013-03-11 22:30
Hi Mark,
I was wondering how the OME suspension is holding up for you ? I have the same truck (2006 SE 4WD crew cab minibed) outfitted with a FWC Ranger 2 (same as Eagle). I'm looking to upgrade our suspension in the near future. Do you know how much your setup weighs ? Any problems with airbags and OME suspension ? I appreciate any advice you might have. Great website by the way. Our camper has given our family a lot of great memories. -Mike
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Mark Stephens
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# Mark Stephens 2013-03-27 10:47
I did weigh the truck fully loaded with all the camping gear and stuff once. However, I don't remember it was so long ago. Sorry.

I can tell you that I ditched the air bags once I put in the Old Man Emu leaf springs. In general the air bags did their job when they worked. But I kept shredding them on technical trails (too much articulation).

It's such a puzzle trying to make the rear suspension work for both unloaded daily duty and when everything is piled in for a trip. I'm rather happy with these leafs, but I think if I had a camper I might just take the truck to a spring shop and investigate the possibility of a custom leaf pack.

Do you take the camper off between trips? How big is your family? I'd much, much, much rather have a FWC....
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Mike
0 / 0
# Mike 2013-03-30 20:46
We love our FWC. We were lucky to find a well cared for, used model nearby. We have two girls, ages 7 and 10. It's a tight fit, but it works for us. Here is a pic of the girls and our GSP during our first season with the camper.
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