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Old Man Emu Suspension Information and Tech

Old Man Emu Suspension Information and Tech

Posted by Cruiser Outfitters on Mar 2nd 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What's the difference between Old Man Emu and Emu Dakar Springs?

In approximately 2005 Old Man Emu began producing the Emu Dakar springs. The Emu Dakar springs feature the same specifications, features and warranty of the original OME springs, at a lesser cost. The original Old Man Emu marked springs are no longer produced, the Emu Dakar springs are the permanent replacement for the springs. We've now sold hundreds of the Emu Dakar springs with excellent results.

Why the A & B sided rear leaf springs?

In some Old Man Emu applications, the manufacture has developed "sided" rear leaf springs in an attempt to eliminate the instance of lean in the finished product. The "A" spring is generally slightly taller (1/2" or less) than the "B" sided spring. We make every attempt to get the right springs order from day one. We select A/A, A/B or B/B springs depending on recommendation from Old Man Emu's engineers and tech department as well as our experiences with past installation. For example the 1st generation Tacoma's will always get an "A" and a "B", with the taller "A" spring going on the drivers side of the vehicle. However for a standard 60 Series application we most often use an A/A or B/B setup, with the A/A resulting in slightly more rake and the B/B resulting in a more level stance. We have received several calls immediately after an install with a leaning truck, in all but a couple cases they have leveled out to an acceptable level. Some don't like to think they need to "break" in their springs, but it works. We ask that you allow your springs to settle in under load and off-road use for at least 4-6 months before making any attempts to correct lean. When applicable (springs offered with an A or B) we will discuss the best options at the time of ordering. Note: This information pertains to leaf springs only. For more information and specifications on OME coil springs, please visit our coil springs tech page here.

Which way do I orient the leaf springs?

For most leaf spring applications such as the 40, 55, 60 and Tacoma applications. The shorter end of the spring will be the 'fixed' end of the spring. This is measured from the spring bushing eyelet to the spring center pin. OME has recently started placing a painted arrow on the top leaf that will indicate the fixed (non-shackle) side of the leaf spring. Furthermore, this should match the existing springs you are removing. While it is entirely possible to flip the springs to gain additional wheelbase, this is not recommended by the OME engineers and customers will need to sort out the additional modifications such as driveline lengths, pinion can caster angles, etc.

Where do I place an additional leaf (AAL) in my leaf pack?

Old Man Emu additional leafs (OME D1XL, etc) are designed to fit in the pack according to their length. So when fitting in the pack, they will always go underneath a spring that is longer and above a spring that is shorter, keeping with the hierarchy of the spring pack. This applies to the normal active springs, not the short/thick overload leaves that are on the bottom layer of some heavy duty option springs such as the CS004R, etc. Likewise, the direction of the leaf in the pack should match the rest of the spring, i.e. the long side of the AAL (measured from either end to the spring pin hole) should match that of the existing leaves. The spring pin supplied by OME should be adequately long enough to add an additional leaf in most applications. If yours appears to have less than 1/4" of additional thread or has been cut/damage, please discuss a new pin at time of order.

What should I do if my vehicle is leaning?

1. Allow it to settle. We realize the idea of driving it (loaded heavy helps too) doesn't sound like a feasible option, but you would be surprised how much it can help. We've had rigs settle over an inch in a matter of time and some actual off-road travel on the springs. That being said if your initial difference is ~2", there is something we ought to address sooner than later. To date I can only think of a couple case where this has been necessary... in those cases we sent out a replacement spring and solved the issue.

2. Consider swapping side to side... if your low side is on the "A" spring side, consider swapping them... this has been done with satisfactory results, and its easy enough to do, worth an effort before bringing a new spring into the equation.

3. Consider pulling a leaf out of the "high" side, and or adding an additional leaf to the low side. Sure this might increase/decrease the spring rate of said spring, but not enough that you will be able to notice (roughly a 10% difference in spring rate). I've heard from some that they don't like the idea of a medium on one side, and a heavy one the other. While its not that drastic, its still a valid concern... its ultimately up to you.

4. Doing an A/B or B/A setup where applicable (not all springs are offered in an A/B offering). Not uncommon at all, but not common either. In the end there is not "right" setup for every truck, and when the retailer doesn't have the truck (nor know of all its current & future modifications), it gets difficult to assume anything will sit level. In our instance, we do our best to send out a kit we think is best per that customers application and our past experience .In the event of a spring "sagging" more than the inch as discussed above, it could just be a "bad" spring, extremely rare, but possible. So, for those experiencing issues, we would first recommend you consider the solutions above, and if that doesn't pan out, contact either ARB direct or the dealer you purchased it from to get something figured out. While we don't think its majority issue by any sort, it does seem like there are a few experiencing this so. If anything I will try and spend more time with customers on the phone determining what setup they have (and just as important what they plan to add in the future. To date I can't think of a single local 60 Series OME equipped rig that we have worked on that has had this issue... having one here to "measure up" would help allot but in the meantime we'll work through your experiences!

What do the +,o,- marks on my spring mean?

OME/Dakar spring will often have a +, o, or a - painted on one end of the leaf spring, so what does that mean? The + means slightly over spec, and when we say slightly it wasn't enough to consider the spring an error rather it is by design. The o is exactly at spec and the - slightly below spec, again by design. As the drivers side of a vehicle often has more weight, its common to use a + on the drivers side and a o or a - on the passenger side. Or, a o on the drivers side and a - on the passenger. The total difference side to side is likely just 1/8"-1/4" but it can be just the right amount to level the vehicle. This is particularly important when A and B springs are not offered such as many of the newer spring applications.

Why the spring bushing insert?

The spring eyes are hand formed, they could have made them to fit the 35mm bushings just as the old springs did, however it was decided that by using an insert, the bushing would have a much more consistent surface to ride against, as well as be less likely to be damaged by the spring itself. According to the tech, it is pretty uncommon to have sleeve move, but the fix is easy. If you can pull the sleeve all the way out of the spring, do so, and slightly "crush" it in a vice to make it an elongated shape (very slightly). Then, press it back into the spring, this should hold it for good. If it moves a bit, but not enough to completely remove it, use a punch to "stake" it into the spring, the best location being right where the main leaf eye terminates as there is a small gap there. Update Note: Loose inserts were only an issue on very early Emu Dakar leaf springs in the 2005/2006 time frame, everything since that time and current manufacturing is a non-issue and no correction should be necessary.

Why the OME leaf spring bushings with OME/Dakar leaf springs?

Some of the poly bushings on the market, are not made to the same tolerances of the OME springs, this isn't to say every manufacture, but there are some. This play can lead to premature wear of the bushing. Also, some are using a much harder poly material, while harder might sound better this is not always the case. The harder bushing is more likely to fail by loosing the "ear" than a similar bushing made of a softer material... make sense?

Why are my shackles not sitting perpendicular to the frame when looking from the front or back?

Well, the issue resides in your axle, not the leafs or the shackles (assuming your frame isn't tweaked at all). While the spring has a center pin that locates it into the spring perch on the axle... there is a slight amount of "play". When you install the axles on the vehicle in the air and then you sit it down, things might be misaligned slightly, and with the u-bolts tight its going to stay that way. The easy fix would be to put the front end in the air (on jack stands) to that the axle is free hanging. Loosen the u-bolts enough that you can "slide" things a bit... either by hand, or using a rather strap between the leafs, "suck" them together. Make sense?

What are the CBS01 (Center Bolt Spacers) for in your 60 Series Suspension Kits?

Late model FJ60's and all FJ62's came from the factory with a rubber/steel spring isolator assembly that cupped the rear leaf spring between the spring pack and the axle housing. This was done to remove slight road vibrations with the stock springs. This setup is not used when installing an Old Man Emu suspension setup and thus is removed all together. If equipped, the spring center pin holes on the axle's spring perch will have an inside dimension of approximately 1", however the new springs (and old springs too) have a pin outside diameter of approximately 1/2". This gap was taken up by the old spring isolator. By using the center bolt spacers (1/2" tall piece of tube with a 1/2" ID and a 1" OD), that gap is eliminated and you can accurately position your axle.

What is the purpose of the plastic clip -liners on the spring clamps?

The clip-liners provide a friction point for the sides of the individual leaf springs as they cycle under normal suspension operation. They are a wear item and do require replacement when broken or damaged. These are available from Cruiser Outfitters as a service item. Please call with the lengths of clip-liners you need and we can get you a price.

What is the purpose of the yellow interleaf pads in between leafs in the spring pack?

The inter-leaf pads provide a friction point for the ends of the spring. These pads are greasable which helps reduce noise and prolongs spring life by educing wear. These pads are a wear item and over time will require replacement. They are sold in a pack and available directly from us. Please call to place an order.

Why are my U-bolts longer than needed? How to I resolve?

The Old Man Emu and aftermarket u-bolts are available only in select sizes. With so many different leaf spring and additional leaf variations, many applications require the U-Bolt to be trimmed following installation. We recommend you get 500 miles on the vehicle, re-torque the u-bolts and then trim off flush with the nut.

What maintenance do my springs require?

The Old Man Emu springs do have industry leading longevity particularly in extreme conditions thru out the world. That said the do require periodic maintenance to keep things operating smoothly. We recommend you grease interleaf pads (insert grease gun from bottom), grease leaf spring bushings via the shackle pin and fixed-end spring pin on applicable models. Lastly we recommend you inspect and replace damaged clip-liners.

*See something missing, wrong, or incomplete? Please let us know!