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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Wondering if you experienced off roaders have some advice for what could be the cause and any suspension /weight improvements.

When driving on gravel/dirt roads that have formed a ripple or washboard type series of bumps on them, the back end starts to hop and quickly will jump to one side or the other so that I have to quickly brake and correct for the slide.

Obviously I can slow down but this seems to happen at speeds that other cars / trucks can handle without breaking loose. I understand that since there is no independent rear suspension this can be more likely happen, but I do have newer rancho 5000 shocks so damping should not be a problem. I have not changed the stock springs.

In winter I generally put a 50 lb bag of salt over each rear wheel well to help improve traction, so I am guessing the rear end of troopers is a little light in general.

So in anyone's opinion, should I be looking at beefing up the springs, adding more weight to the rear, etc?

Any help is appreciated, Thanks!
 

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You're driving too fast. Slamming on the brakes is a great way to land you in a ditch. You should be easing off the throttle and trying to keep it straight.

Also, do you have a Limited Slip Diff in the rear? That will really make it easy for your truck to start sliding all over.

I had this problem when I had my supercharged Tacoma, but I also didn't have anything in the bed. Trooper should be a little more stable. How fast are you going? Are the roads flat (from side to side)?
 

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You are experiencing a normal symptom of a solid rear axel. However, generally in a straight line this effect is not overly severe unless you have; worn control arm bushings, panhard bar bushings, over-inflated or too hard tires, worn shocks (yes i know yours are new).

Beyond that, slowing down is never a bad thing.

Back when I was 16 I used to own a 1976 Buick electra 225 4dr. That BIG, soft riding, big block, (did i mention BIG) car used to do the same thing to me on the gravel roads I used to go down. I just got really good at keeping my hands soft on the wheel and being prepared for the worst. :lol:
 

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I live miles back on a gravel road.

I had the same problem you describe, when I was driving an s10 blazer with a welded rear.

Never have that same trouble with an s10 blazer that doesn't have the solid rear. Or an s15 jimmy. Or an 88 trooper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the confirmation of being the 'nature of the beast' with a solid rear axel.

I do have some new sway bar bushings to put on that may help, but otherwise may just have to keep it slow. I'm talking probably under 15 mph is where it doesn't get squirrelly.

I will try adding some weight back there to see if that helps keep it down. In my experience I actually seem to get a little better driving all around when the troop is a little bit loaded.
 

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mine used to do the same thing, when i switched my springs to 929's the problem went away completely.
 

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Those rancho 5000s are part of the problem. they are not well suited to these trucks in my experience. I've owned 3 sets on different trucks and all had way too much compression damping and not enough rebound damping. If you have a Limited slip rear end you will likely break loose faster with your foot in it.

The best solution besides slowing down it to put it in 4hi. With the front wheels pulling the rears will follow. If you are dancing there is enough slippage to prevent driveline bind in 4wd.

More tire. A good tire will help immensely. All 3 of my Troopers 1st and second gen have been a blast to drive on gravel fast with some mild mods. But that's part of what I built them for.

Calmini still sells HD front and rear sway bars for the 2nd gens. They are awesome. gets rid of the body roll. Add some OME or bilstien shocks. HD front torsion bars reduce the front end dive which helps to keep the rears planted.
 

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my company's ford ranger does this badly, even at very slow speeds.

my rodeo doesn't do this though, it has a solid rear axle.
 

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Also note that the 3 link found in the back of the troopers isnt exactly the greatest rear suspension design. Its about the cream of the crop for front suspensions but not really for the rear. Hell a wishbone 3 link is even better...
 

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tyre pressure is too high,
or your shocks arn't good enough - try an australian brand, like OME, Toughdog or on the cheap, Ironman, they are moreso made for corrugations
or your coils are too stiff
 

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chikoroll said:
tyre pressure is too high,
or your shocks arn't good enough - try an australian brand, like OME, Toughdog or on the cheap, Ironman, they are moreso made for corrugations
or your coils are too stiff
X2....plus too soft spring rate....lower your air pressure in your rear tires small amounts at a time and try driving over the same wash boards,this will show you where your problem is....soft tires will conform to the ripples and stop the rebound that the shocks should be taking care of..
Kenny
 

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Another vote for Old Man Emu. When I had my 99 I spent a lot of time on dirt roads as you described, stock the truck was all over the road, switched to OME shocks and the difference was night and day. Now that I have an 02, OME all around will be one of my first investments.
 

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I'll be that road became a washboard road from people driving too fast in 2wd. :?

I would run in 4 hi on the road it should even you out a good bit.
 

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It can be a pain in the arse for short trips on gravel / washboard but if you are going to spend some time off pavement you will be amazed at the what reducing tire presure will do for the ride. I spend allot of time on gravel / washboard (like a billion miles of it in the PNW) and I always ALWAYS drop my presure to at a min of 20psi. Most times I will run at 15 for very extended travel. It will grealy help the manerisms of your rig on the washboard and it will smooth the ride out dramitacly over all. Of course having a good compressor is nice but you can manage w/o just make sure after you get off the trail to drive easy till you can get to a service station and air back up.

-C
 

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Good shocks will help a lot, especially if slowing down isn't an option. :D I like Bilstein.
 

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It's tuff to have a suspension that can do everything. I think four link is naturally softer but the light springs in the little ford rangers and toyota's generally have only two to three leafs. You might have a friend drive it while you watch if it's safe lol. Sometimes seeing what's going on helps to. I'm thinking my amigo would probly wheel hop bad if I tried to burn off on pavement so I just don't do it. It did it on hard packed gravel. How close are you to your bump stops ?? But consensus is the shock thang which most likely that's not helping.
 
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