July 26, 2016
The Hilux Project

Gen 8 Hilux or REVO as it is known was released in Thailand May 2015.

In conjunction with our Thai Partners, Graham Scudamore Smith, Fulcrum Managing Director visited Thailand to take measurements and understand the suspension of the new Gen 8 Hilux/Revo vehicle and important changes from the previous model.

Some of the major changes in geometry and suspension hardware observed were, rear semi elliptical leaf spring which changed the design to incorporate having the centre bolt and the axle positioned in the middle of the spring.There was increased chassis stiffness, increased spring rates front and rear, repositioning of rear dampers on the axle and chassis with the shock eye turned 90 degrees, these along with other items presented opportunities and a challenge.

November 2015

The Australian delivered Fulcrum Hilux SR5 and was immediately taken into our R&D department for the once over to gather all required measurements. The Thai vehicle heights and spring / damper specifications were not used for a benchmark to develop suspension settings because as EXPECTED the new Australian released vehicle was quite different

Why did Fulcrum buy a SR5?

This top end model has an actuating device fitted to the rear shackle to aim headlights during load variations and as part of a thorough development program understanding the outcome for lift kits was critical.

Development began and the goals were established, which were… Up to 50mm lift kit, comfort and constant load carrying systems of 250kg and 350kg. This new car had a really plush cabin feel and was a responsive vehicle so maybe make it handle like a sports car, with better off road capabilities.

Vehicle was driven on a set course, measured, stripped, dampers graphed on the SPA Dyno and the springs rated.

Using this information two sets of leaf springs were made, Bilstein and Raw dampers valved and the combinations were driven and tested.

The rear suspension presented a challenge, however using such features as a rebound leaf and carefully designed leaf pack of various spring steel thicknesses, a new leaf spring graph was achieved. The dampers were set to a length and valve code to match.

An important addition to all lift damper kits will be spacers for rear brake lines to ensure safety when the shock absorber is on full droop.

The outcome is the first kits are available now, with comfort, 45mm lift height and 350kg constant load carrying.

Why only 45mm...

At this height optimum control arm angles are achieved and there is adequate droop in the damper without interfering with the coil spring. When a 350 kg constant load is added to the vehicle, the vehicle drops 30mm in the rear suspension and still maintains a level rake.

The managing director drove around for over two weeks with the load to experience this in all situations.

Stay tuned for the next Fulcrum Suspensions kit release.

 

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