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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I guess a few of yall saw this coming. Same issue, rear springs aren't stiff enough to support the weight needed. If towing at the limit, your riding the bump stop, same with a large amount of cargo. Plus I've added a lot of weight to the car that made it ride low. Some already know this, I've already replaced the rear springs on my FWD limited with AWD sport springs (from least stiff to most stiff ones available), that got me stock ride height back, but it still bottoms with a large weight behind the axle. SO....

I got these, SuperSprings Coil SumoSprings CSS-1195

Real easy to install, so here is my pics of the install and the end result/review.

They are a lot bigger than I expected...by a lot. I don't know if my mind was playing tricks but I didn't expect them to be this large (granted they are the right size for our springs).

They are a foam/rubber composite...thing, they are very stiff, but easily bent for install.





The install is REALLY easy, took about 30 min total.
Step 1) jack up the car so you can easily get to the springs (and you need to get the load off them so they open up)

Step 2) wipe down the springs to clean them in the area where your going to install them. I chose the bottom as it was easier to install there, no other reason.

Step 3) Start one end on the spring, and push it around the spring seating it as you go.



Step 4) Ziptie it to the spring to secure it.

Step 5) put the car back on the ground, tighten the zipties and cut off the tail. and your done. Pics below have the weight of the car on the inserts.






Review:

Well, this combined with the AWD Sport's stiffer springs, I now have a lift kit on the rear wheels :lol: The rear is riding higher than stock now, which necessarily isn't a bad thing. It isn't noticeable looking at the car, in fact the roof-line looks more level instead of sloping down toward the back. The rear is definitely stiff than it was before, it doesn't bounce multiple times over bumps. its like I installed much higher dampening struts. I personally like that as it made the ride a little more sporty as the back end had a bad tendency of bouncing and having excessive body roll, this seemed to curb that a bit. Also, the overall "spring" rate has increased, so its progressively stiffer as it compresses. The same weight as before the mod only makes it drop ~50% of the amount it did before. Here are some numbers to support what I'm saying, These were measured off the bottom edge of the hitch to the ground (so they will be exaggerated due to distance from the axle.


(Remember my "stock" includes the weight added by my other mods ...aka 300-400lb of weight throughout the car)

Also worth noting, a 100% factory HL with just a hitch will measure ~12" to the bottom of the hitch receiver and ~14" to the top with no weight in the trunk. Use those to give these numbers below meaning.

With no weight in trunk, measured from bottom of hitch receiver:
Stock: 11"
With AWD Springs Added: 12"
With SumoSprings & AWD Springs: 13.25"

With ~200lb of tools in the trunk, measured from bottom of hitch receiver:
Stock: 10.5"
With AWD Springs Added: 11.5"
With SumoSprings & AWD Springs: 13"

With ~200lb of tools in trunk AND 280lb tongue weight on the hitch, measured from bottom of hitch receiver:
Stock: 8"
With AWD Springs: 9"
With SumoSprings & AWD Springs: 11.5"

With ~200lb of tools in trunk & 510lb tongue weight on hitch (trailer + me standing on hitch :lol:), measured from bottom of hitch receiver:
Stock: 7" (needless to say, basically totally bottomed)
With AWD Springs: 7.7"
With SumoSprings & AWD Springs: 9.5"

So, I'm happy, this will keep the car much more level under load and will keep me from having to get a WDH. Ask if you have Q's about these, these are just about the ONLY aftermarket suspension mod for the HL :lol:

edit: see, not very noticeable. But the new height is there.
 

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2011HL
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Although "that" works.. Your spring is now compromised. A portion is made much stiffer.. and thus not used.. meaning the rest of the spring is used more. Whether this matters enough to be significant is up for grabs.
This concept would be much better.. (in my opinion) if the inserts were less stiff (compressible) and had enough coils to cover the entire spring length.
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Timbrens for struts. Lifting your ride. We need to have a talk. Ever test drive a Tacoma? :naughty:
:lol:
I've said it before, if I were in the market for a vehicle right now, it wouldn't be a HL. I want the utility of a truck, but prefer an SUV for trips/etc. I was looking for a 4runner (something that would be better suited for what I use the car for) but due to unusual circumstances when purchasing the HL, I had to choose between the HL or a bunch of used Cadillacs. Can the HL do what I want it to do, yes, can it do it well without lots of modifications, nope...and that's the issue.

Although "that" works.. Your spring is now compromised. A portion is made much stiffer.. and thus not used.. meaning the rest of the spring is used more. Whether this matters enough to be significant is up for grabs.
You know that's crossed my mind. I would think toyota built in enough of a safety factor in the springs to account for that. Its not like I'm going over the limit of the vehicle, I'm still under the gross axle ratings/GVWR/GCWR (barely at times for the GVWR & GCWR)
 

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AvConsult
'02 Highlander V6
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3,556 Posts
I think the Sumos are a creative solution, that avoids solid coil blocking. These blocks offer some ride height control and a gradual bump stop action.

I don't think the spring longevity will be materially affected.

Good find, Doctor F. Give Igor my regards.
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Would the springs from Australia (King?) give you the same result that you're looking for?
The Kluger's King Springs? The main difference is that those springs are slightly taller so they force the car to ride higher. They would still compress under a heavy load. Plus I don't even want to think about the shipping from AU to here....

The thing with these, is that it effectly creates a 2 part spring. The lower portion (with the sumospring) has a much much higher spring rate so it won't compress much at all, while the top is the same. Basically, I shortened the compressing portion of the spring, so even under heavy load, there won't be much of a drop as only that top part will really compress.

I think the Sumos are a creative solution, that avoids solid coil blocking. These blocks offer some ride height control and a gradual bump stop action.

I don't think the spring longevity will be materially affected.

Good find, Doctor F. Give Igor my regards.
solid blocking....like a spacer on top of the strut or spring?
 

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2008 Hlander Sport
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11 Posts
Canadian HL's have stiffer springs? Shocks for 08.

I saw these when I was looking for shocks for my HL. Its interesting that so many of our friends in the US complain about the soft springing of the HL. I have an 08 Sport V6 AWD and it has a very firm, European type ride and handles really well for a big vehicle. That's one of the reason's I bought it. In fact one of my friends who borrowed it said it feels like a big sports sedan. Very fast and very stable. I can easily take many highway interchange ramps @ 75mph + no sweat. Also I tow a 4000 lb horse trailer pretty often on back country roads and through fields at horse shows and never bottomed the suspension once. BTW when we do these shows there is several hundred pounds of gear in the back as well.

When I was talking to a service adviser at Toyota he told me that all Canadian models have "heavy duty" springs. This is backed up by the fact that there is only one spring part number for Canadian models where as on AlldataDIY they list different part numbers depending on the model.
Anyone looking to firm up the suspension might want to take a look at the Canadian springs as an alternative.

The other thing that occurs to me is that the Hybrid versions must be quite a bit heavier so they should have stiffer springs and shocks. That might be worth investigating.

Now if someone could just point me to an adjustable shock for the HL I would be a happy man. I had Rancho 9000's on my Durango that absolutely transformed that vehicle's ride and handling. I put Munroes' on my wife's car a few years back and they are absolute crap. They killed the great ride and handling of that car. Way too stiff with very little low speed compliance. The KYB's out there are dual tube design which is really old school and won't offer much of an upgrade from OEM. If anyone has any experience with aftermarket shocks that they like let me know.
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Your lucky your not having issues, even with these modifications, I have to avoid excessive trunk weight with a trailer...its rather annoying.

I had no idea about the canadian "heavy duty" springs, I wonder why yall get those...:dunno:

I had figured hybrid models would have stiffer springs, only reason i didn't get hose is I didn't have the numbers to back up that idea. I had the spring rates for the gas models only (and apparently US only), so I stuck with those. Now I'm curious to know what the spring rates are for the hybrid and Canadian sold HL's.

Good luck on your search, beyond King Springs in AU and the SumoSprings, I haven't found ANY aftermarket support for suspension mods for the HL. Main issue with our suspension is because its a Macphearson setup, your basically limited to a coilover conversion to actually get any kind of real adjustability/performance increase. Maybe component strut/springs would comeout, but its unlikely IMO. Its not like your durango where you could slap on a new shock with the leaf springs. Heck, even a dual wishbone suspension would be easier, that would open up the possibility of airbags within the springs, and get away from these stiffer springs and spring insert shenanigans. (Lucky future 2014 owners :lol:)
 

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Correct:the Sumo Springs Coil does change the way the spring works.
The best way to explain how it works is to look at it like it's a progressive rate spring. (After install).


Which brings up a good question. Why not use a progressive rate spring in the manufacture of this vehicle. It would ride soft when unloaded but would not sag,(Bottom out), when loaded. Come on Toyota a little help in this area would make this great vehicle better!
Tollbooth
 

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While browsing for suspension components, I found out that KYB makes struts for the Highlander. Has anyone tried these or something similar? I have personal experience with Bilstein and Koni, but never used KYB.

Google "Auto Parts Warehouse" and look in the suspension category for your specific model. They are KYB GR-2 or Excel-G front and rear struts for the Highlander.
 

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AvConsult
'02 Highlander V6
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3,556 Posts
I've used KYB GR-2 or Excel-G (I believe the same product, branded for different markets) on three vehicles in the last 8 years, including my 02 HL. A good OEM replacement. They've held up well for me.

The '08 OEM struts are still holding up well, now at 81k miles.
 

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I saw these when I was looking for shocks for my HL. Its interesting that so many of our friends in the US complain about the soft springing of the HL. I have an 08 Sport V6 AWD and it has a very firm, European type ride and handles really well for a big vehicle. That's one of the reason's I bought it. In fact one of my friends who borrowed it said it feels like a big sports sedan. Very fast and very stable. I can easily take many highway interchange ramps @ 75mph + no sweat. Also I tow a 4000 lb horse trailer pretty often on back country roads and through fields at horse shows and never bottomed the suspension once. BTW when we do these shows there is several hundred pounds of gear in the back as well.

When I was talking to a service adviser at Toyota he told me that all Canadian models have "heavy duty" springs. This is backed up by the fact that there is only one spring part number for Canadian models where as on AlldataDIY they list different part numbers depending on the model.
Anyone looking to firm up the suspension might want to take a look at the Canadian springs as an alternative.

The other thing that occurs to me is that the Hybrid versions must be quite a bit heavier so they should have stiffer springs and shocks. That might be worth investigating.

Now if someone could just point me to an adjustable shock for the HL I would be a happy man. I had Rancho 9000's on my Durango that absolutely transformed that vehicle's ride and handling. I put Munroes' on my wife's car a few years back and they are absolute crap. They killed the great ride and handling of that car. Way too stiff with very little low speed compliance. The KYB's out there are dual tube design which is really old school and won't offer much of an upgrade from OEM. If anyone has any experience with aftermarket shocks that they like let me know.
Canadian springs sounds hot- Anyone ever sourced and installed these onto a US H/L ?
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
So 5'ish month update...

still working 100%. Snapped a few zipties (they were tightened while the weight was on the car, as soon as the springs uncompressed with it being in the air, plastic snapped), but nothing has changed. Foam has not compressed under the vehicles weight and the car is in the exact same position with the exact same response to weight as the day I installed it.
 
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I just put some coil SumoSprings on the rear of my 2011 VW Sportswagen. Mine were really hard to install, but finally managed to squeeze them in there - and I immediately noticed much less rear drop going over curb/street transitions. No more scraping the trailer hitch :) I appreciated your follow up!!!
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
You'll have to contact them about that. Their site DID say 1195 when I bought it, you'll have to ask them why it changed.

What I can say is the 1195 I bought is most definitely working as I just finished loading a trailer this afternoon to go to a race this weekend, and even with a tongue weight of 625lb (I weighted it), the rear is only slightly sagging.
 
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