2011 DMax stock Susp sagged - any Upgrade suggestions?

The new ute
Getting to know the place
Posts: 16
Joined: September 11th, 2013, 11:38 am

2011 DMax stock Susp sagged - any Upgrade suggestions?

Unread post by Ryno82 » November 6th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Hey guys,

I have a 2011 DMax, with upgrade so far of ARB Canopy, RhinoRacks, ARB bullbar, LED spotties, Stereo, UHF, and just 245 Goodrich ATs.

However, I still run stock suspension and the ute is now no higher than a damn SUV or 2WD hilux run-about. I live in Cairns (Far North QLD) and it's honestly not riding well (as you would expect) when I take it up the Cape.

I'm looking for feedback on what to do with my suspension, and then any next 'steps' you guys have taken ie. what kind of exhaust systems, ECM, etc, etc. I've read a bit on here about the IM gear (Isuzu Motorsports) being alright, but not sure if it's good for the Cape and then my daily work vehicle. Mind you, I only live 10min from work.

I would obviously want to get some clearance as my towball seems to hit any reasonable incline or rock, so my goal is to get 285's or similar on there. Maybe a 3 inch lift? I did see a guy in Cairns I was told about and he just reckoned to wind up my torsion bars and put another leaf and a leaf helper in as I take the camper trailer and some heavy boats from time to time.

Once suspension is sorted, I need to get a bigger damn fuel tank (just 75L is stupid where I go) and then work on power and efficiency.

ANY advice or suggestions are welcome. Thanks all.


Getting to know the place
Posts: 16
Joined: September 11th, 2013, 11:38 am

Re: 2011 DMax Suspension and Upgrade suggestions?

Unread post by Ryno82 » November 13th, 2016, 2:18 pm


Peter Aawen
Posts: 20928
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: 2011 DMax stock Susp sagged - any Upgrade suggestions?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » November 13th, 2016, 2:58 pm

Ryno, a 3" lift on one if these vehicles/front suspension designs is not a cheap job, and if you try to do it on the cheap, you'll almost certainly end up with a stuffed vehicle!! Sounds like the guy in Cairns you spoke to probably hit the nail on the head for your suspension!! Wind the Torsion bars up - but don't go over about 40mm lift or beyond the safe CV operation & steering/wheel alignment limits, which are generally an absolute MAX of about 40mm on that suspension type, before you need to do a whole lot more & quite expensive susp mods!! :eek:

As for the towball, if you don't have the camper trailer on right now, wtf is it still there for?! If it hits anything (or should that be when it hits!) with the vehicle loaded, a projecting tow hitch stands a good chance of damaging itself if not the rear chassis or sub frame! Sooo, if you aren't using the tow hitch right now, take the bloody thing off or out!! You'll free up a lot more departure angle that way, & you won't be anywhere near as likely to eventually face expensive chassis repairs!! :thumb:

The extra leaf/leaf helper should help you heaps with load carrying (altho it might make for a harsh ride while empty) just so long as they fit under & support the existing suspension leaves & are mounted on/to transfer weight/lift thru the OE Designed chassis suspension fitting points - the cheaper air bag helpers are fine just so long as you only use them occasionally (3 weeks or so a year maybe?!?) & for ride levelling, NOT for continuous suspension lifting!! If you want to do that with air bags, sure, it can be done, but it takes fairly expensive kits & they support much more of the chassis rails or you'll likely eventually break your vehicle in half!! More :eek:

So like I said, the guy you spoke to up there about this seems to be aware of local conditions & what works vs what will eventually destroy the vehicle. Why not listen to him? ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Need to get out more
Posts: 5384
Joined: August 4th, 2011, 10:43 pm

Re: 2011 DMax stock Susp sagged - any Upgrade suggestions?

Unread post by mydmax » November 13th, 2016, 7:35 pm

The factory specs on ride height are,

29.7mm between front arm and bump rubber. Mine is raised a little by holding vehicle off it's sup and winding the bars about 6 turns on the adjuster.
Now around 35mm clearance.
Rear, supposedly 80 bump clearance. Mine was 60 when new.

Tie rods have to be shortened by adjustment after the camber is reset. ie removing shim thickness of about 3mm. Adjust to suit particular vehicle of course.

Rear std springs of 2011 Tub Dmax, 3050mm wheelbase, ( cab chassis 3200mm)
have a 6mm thick leaf and a 7mm thick leaf respectively. What do you have.

I use a reset set of 3200mm WB springs with a lower load leaf removed and the second leaf of a 3050mm set in 3rd position in the 3200mm leaf pack.

My rer ride height to rubbers is approx 100mm, bit more perhaps.
With a load and Tvan on that drops to about 75-80mm.

The original shocks are really good for holding the garage door ajar. They do not work as shock absorbers in anyone language. Useless for ride and control of vehicle especially horribly if any braking is ever required.
I have a set of Bilstein front and rear.

Fronts suit Navara
Rears are Hilux.
Now it handles and actually brakes too. These two features are a plus over the std Isuzu masterpieces from KYB. I threw mine away at 5000km from new.

Result is no bottoming and outback road undulations with load is controlled by the Bilsteins which control the moving mass.

Return to “DMax”