spring retainers vs dislocation cones - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 20th, 2012, 01:09 PM
wantone
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Rick Thompson
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spring retainers vs dislocation cones

hello everyone. i run a 2" lift w/blocks and stock springs with no swaybars. when wheeling i have had the rear passenger spring come out when the axle drooped low enough and 9/10 times it popped right back in. yesterday it did not pop back in twice and i simply used the hi lift to put it back in. so the question is, should i simply make some spring retainers or buy a set of dislocation cones? i understand with retainers it will limit the downward travel abit, but will it limit it alot compared to just using the cones? i mean there comes a point where the traveling arms will only go down so far. fyi, where i wheel there are not rocks, just alot of dirt ruts and climbs and i am not a super extreme wheeler (dont really want to roll it or bend the truck all up, that is what suzuki and jeeps are for, disposable!) . as always, thanks so much for the generous help!


duh, my bad, just remembered the shocks will limit travel before the arms. i have +2 shocks, so i imagine when the shock tops out the spring barely clears the tower to pop out?
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  #2  
Old March 20th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Don Bunnell
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I put in upper and lower retainers when I put in a new axle in my truck. I think there is + and - for both but I did retainers based on my findings here, on Dweb and Pirate.

Searches on discoweb.org, pirate4x4.com and on here should yield plenty of reading.

EE also has some good explanation was well: http://www.expeditionexchange.com/retainers/
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  #3  
Old March 20th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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If articulation is your goal, then I personally would use dislocation cones.
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  #4  
Old March 20th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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Jamie Austin
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Ahem..... relocation cones....
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  #5  
Old March 20th, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Ian Gregory
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When you are doing your research and reading (especially on Dweb) keep in the back of your mind that you are not driving a fat arsed, 100” wheelbase Disco and ledge hopping in Moab. You are driving a shorter truck with a different weight balance. Sounds like you don’t have 3 tonnes of crap in the back typically either.

You will find I am guessing about 75/25 in favor of retention but the majority of those are driving Discos not 90s. Your truck handles and will respond differently in the same situations. You should take what you read and apply it to your particular situation. There is no one size fits all advice or set up for suspension. A truck in the NE running mud pits is going to require a different set of compromises out of its set up than a truck in the SW running rocks for example although there are constants and similarities.

The argument between retention vs. cones typically comes down to balance. A cone will allow a truck (especially a lifted one) to tip or feel unbalanced in some situations whereas a retained spring can help balance the truck and be more stable using the weight of the retained axle. This is true more for a Disco that uses its rear springs in its balance more than a for a 90 with its lower and further forward CofG. Even more so if the Disco is lifted or slinkied out as many of the owners whose opinions you are going to read are. In a 90 you can get away with a cone much better than you can in a longer, higher more rear biased truck.

What the cone does for you is allow you to keep the wheel on the ground longer and retain that bit more traction because it generally allows the wheel to drop further than if it was retained. It’s a matter of inches though so the argument is a very fine line. Your stock rear trailing arms are going to bind up well before you will be able to experience the full benefit of the longer travel cones can give you.

For reference I run a 90 in the rock gardens and washouts of AZ. I need my wheels to go down as far as possible and up as little as possible for the particular terrain I typically drive in. When going up I want it to lift the truck to help it clear an obstacle, not just compress a spring. I run stock height springs, extended bump stops, cones, and a droop kit in the rear of my truck. I am in the process of gathering the parts to unbind my rear links further, extend my rear shock travel and get even more drop out of the rear axle. My front is stock. If I end up doing any work to extend the travel at the front it will be with retained springs while keeping the cones in the back. The only reason I would consider lifting my truck is to help with clearance for larger tires (I currently run 33’s). Then I would only go up as much as I have to to clear, no more. I doubt I will do it with this truck though as the suspension set up and axle strength is more of a limitation than the tire size. To effectively go much beyond where I am at will require cutting and customizing the axles and suspension and I don’t plan to do that to a good NAS 90. This are what I mean by compromises and considerations.

My truck goes through the same trails as highly modified and lifted discos with no problems typically. When a Disco is pointing its nose in the air and gets up and begs on its back wheels, my truck is generally level and keeps its front wheels mostly on the ground while its back stretches and helps push the truck through. When most lifted disco owners are white knuckled and tipping in side slopes or on tippy rocks, I don’t have the same problems. Part of it is because it’s a 90 with a different CofG, part is because it’s not lifted so it balances better and part is because it has the ability to stretch its legs in the back but not in the front so it keeps it balanced better in a more nose down orientation. My retained front helps offset my unretained rear essentially. Since a 90 takes more of its balance from the front it works. The same set up will work completely differently in a disco and would be more tippy or prone to sudden movement.

Take a look at the attached.

Crack 1 and 2 pics. 2 trucks, same obstacle, same line, same spotter. Other discos that go through that obstacle end up in about the same attitude.

Play Hill 1 and 2 Pics. 2 Trucks, same spot, same line. The D1 is a few inches further forward than me and the rear wheels of the 2 trucks are in about the same spot. So you can mostly rule the wheelbase out as a factor in the different stances. Jon’s D1 and my 90 both have about the same weight in the back as well. If Jon had cones (he doesn't) when his front starts to drop it may come down faster and be more unbalanced as he wouldn't have the retained weight of the rear axle to counterbalance. Not a big problem there of course but if that was a rock or a tricky ledge it might be an issue.

If I had cones in the front I wouldn’t get as much benefit from my front axle in counterbalancing the truck and it would be more unpredictable in tricky spots.

My point then is that both cones and retainers have their positives and their drawbacks and you have to consider which is the best fit for a given axle on YOUR truck based on the extent and the type of wheeling YOU do. Don't just decide because some guy on Dweb in a lifted Disco insists that cones are crap.

HTH

Ian
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  #6  
Old March 20th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Ian....

Very well said.
My biggest objection to cones is the banging on the trail as they seat and unseat.
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  #7  
Old March 20th, 2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdb View Post
Ian....

Very well said.
My biggest objection to cones is the banging on the trail as they seat and unseat.
Not all cones bang.... some are extremely quiet.
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  #8  
Old March 20th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Ian Gregory
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Thx. Mine are not too bad. I had to experiment a little with them and move them around (I have RTE single sided ones) until I got the sweet spot. Now they make zero noise on road as the spring never touches them. Off road they are not too bad unless its really dusty and dry, then they might groan or squeal occasionally. I just treat it as a way to tell I haven’t lost the back axle and the suspension is doing its job. Kind of an audible indication of what my back axle is doing… J

I should point out that even in my set up there are drawbacks. If I go nose 1st into a hole or depression then my truck can nose dive quite alarmingly if you’re not expecting it as the front drops and the back unloads. I have to be aware of it and know what is happening. It’s all about knowing your truck. That said the benefits for me outweigh the drawbacks because the majority of the time I use/need the rear extension capability more.

The other issue with retainers IMHO is that they work against how your spring is designed to operate. The springs on our trucks are designed to operate in compression, not extension. When using a retainer you are extending the spring during articulation. I have no evidence that this is a bad thing but I believe it doesn’t do the spring much good in the long run. Just my unscientific opinion there. No basis of fact to support it so take it with a pinch of salt.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for the write up Ian. Those are some good pointers.
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  #10  
Old March 21st, 2012, 08:48 AM
wantone
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Rick Thompson
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Thanks for the Excellent write up Ian. Very good insight & explanation. I now know what my setup will be. I wil run the retainers. Our hills can get rutted but are very steep with no rocks. Going down a steep hill & hitting a hole & have the rear end come up wouls be a bot scary, so would going up & hitting the gas in a steep section& have the front come up. Coupled with ruts i will be going for stability more than extreme articulation. I believe i will lose the 2" lift, throw on HD axles & 35's or slightly bigger. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old March 21st, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Ian Gregory
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Yup, downhill going into a hole is where a 90s forward bias works against it whatever type of set up you have. Rear cones can make it a bit more 'interesting' though as there is less to balance the truck as the nose drops.

Glad you got it worked out.

Ian
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