200-series Sahara leveling kit. Tough Dog suspension and airbag installation.

200-series Tough Dog airbag suspension

G'day! How are you going? Check out the 200-series Landcruiser Sahara above. It looks pretty neat, but only till now.... We've just fitted Tough Dog struts and coils to the front end, plus shocks and airbags to the rear, utilizing the factory coils for a level stance. The 200-series has an unfavorable nose-down appearance from new, and it's worse on Sahara models. Add a bullbar and/or winch and the front-end virtually rides on the bump-stops. Read on....

200-series Tough Dog airbag suspension

G'day! How are you going?

Check out the 200-series Landcruiser Sahara above. It looks pretty neat, but only till now.... We've just fitted Tough Dog struts and coils to the front end, plus shocks and airbags to the rear, utilizing the factory coils for a level stance. The 200-series has an unfavorable nose-down appearance from new, and it's worse on Sahara models. Add a bullbar and/or winch and the front-end virtually rides on the bump-stops.

Read on....

200-series nose down stance

(above) Nose-down and tail-high, this 200-series Sahara is ready for some Tough Dog and Airbag Man treatment. Once installed, it will be remarkably pleasant to drive in any given situation.

tough dog suspension kit with airbags

(above) Here is the gear we're installing. They're Tough Dog fast-fit assemblies using heavy-duty coils and externally ride-adjustable struts. The rear shocks are also Tough Dog adjustables, plus Airbag Man airbags with mesh high-pressure sleeves.

Sam Tough Dog fast-fit assembly

(above) Sam shows off one of the Tough Dog fast-fit assemblies. He's smiling, but not for long... He's really trying to say "Hurry up and take the photo Kirk!.. This thing is heavy you know!"

installing tough dog strut

(above) Sam locates the new strut assembly. The fitment is more involving than some other independent front suspension vehicles. In order to create enough space for getting the unit in and out, the brake and ABS hose points must be disconnected, as well as the swaybar. The centre cap and CV nut is removed and the CV shaft is then tapped inwards to prevent it from slipping out with the temporary over-extension required to install. Then the top spindle knuckle is unbolted as is the tie-rod that connects to it. Then you're ready to go! The top mount is installed first, followed by the alignment of the lower mount. If the 200-series has KDSS, there are bleed-valve instructions  to follow prior to working on the vehicle and also after the work has been completed.  

inserting airbags into coil

(above) Ian inserts the Airbag Man airbags into the original rear coils. In this customer's case, the rear end of the vehicle was already high and firm enough for their general purpose and use. On occasion they tow a heavy van. The airbags provide a best-of-all-worlds approach for both ride-comfort and load-carrying ability. This version is fitted with the optional mesh high-pressure sleeves. These only add $75 to the product total, but allow for double pressure (and double loading ability) compared to the normal spec. Plus, they provide extreme protection for hard offroad use.

200-series bumpstops

(above) The black part Ian is holding in his right hand is the combination bump-stop and coil spring saddle. Sometimes it's technically referred to as a "thingymajig". It gets trimmed and centre-drilled to allow the installation of the bag and airline. For more detailed video instruction, check out > https://youtu.be/otefvjPM7ho

tough dog adjustable shocks

(above) Whenever Ian installs a suspension product, he holds his breath as he does so. It seems to help him concentrate, except when his face starts look a bit like the airbag he's fitted :) Here Ian is lining up the bottom mount of the Tough Dog 40mm bore adjustable rear shock. With the Tough Dogs on, you can simply choose the damping firmness of personal preference just by twisting a knob on the shock with your fingers. There are nine positions to choose from. The difference between position 1 and position 9 is around 400% so the choice is immense. Even if you play with the adjustments like a kid with a new toy for a few days, and then "set and forget", it is very nice to be able to decide exactly how you want the vehicle to ride.

Tough Dog fast fit strut assemblies 200-series

(above) Here's a quick front end suspension pic just before the last couple of bolts are tightened and the wheels going back on.

200-series nose down stance

(above) All done. This is the final result and the 200-series now ready to drive just about anywhere. Everything about this vehicle application is an improvement - no downside. From ride comfort, movement under braking, steering feel and general handling, this vehicle is now very pleasant to drive, and yet can handle heavy loading and towing if required.

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