Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Share Your Real World Radflo Results and Experiences

BDS, ReadyLift, Smaxx... You name it, we know about it here.

by HARDTRAILZ » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:47 am

Let's discuss our actual results from the Radflo install. If you got em and love em or hate em...let's hear it. If you dont got em...just read this and keep your 2 cents out of it.

I am still in testing mode right now. Not super impressed but keeping an open mind as I put miles on them. They don't seem to have any negative but price. They work.

Still debating if slight improvement of softer topping out is worth the extra coin over previous 88 w MarkMC 3 inch and HD Bilstein. I have not experienced much gain other than that.

They did add a bit of lift. I have them at 3.5 inches per our decided way of measuring.

I may switch back and see if I notice any loss in performance.


EDIT: Full compliment of bumper and skids and winch up front. Been running sans swaybars for awhile so neither setup would be affected by that aspect. Running 35 12.5 17 tires.
Last edited by HARDTRAILZ on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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by Moots1288 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:54 am

With my 2.5 lift I was bottoming out constantly. This was on road, off road wherever. When I installed the Radflos there was an significant change and a lot less noticeable. The ride is also way smoother then it was before. And I was also replacing strut bushings because of the pairing lift with 89 springs on 32s. Ive put 20-25k on the Radflos and couldnt see ever going back to 2.5 with 89s and z71s. My rear setup with fox shocks and skyjackers work great with the Radflos.
Last edited by Moots1288 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by mikekey » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:56 am

Thanks for starting this thread. :thumleft:

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To some degree I really believe this is a subjective topic. Almost as subjective as what the ride is like with Z71's versus the Skyjackers. While one might be stiffer, how that ride feels "whether to stiff" or "just right" is a subject experience to the individual. And if that makes it "worth the cost" is also a matter of opinion.

For that reason, I think we should try to give as much detail as possible when posting our findings and our personal experiences. For starters, HARDTRAILZ already specified he had 88's and Mark's 3inch lift and HD Blistens. We should all include what we are comparing the Radflo's too, if we have bumpers, armor, maybe even tires. This will help others as they learn from our experiences, especially if they have a similar setup, are experiencing a similar result or are making a determination about purchasing Radflos.

:cheers:
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I don't have that much milage on my Radflo's just yet, because I've been rebuilding the front suspension, which I suspect is going to change how my ride handles.

For me, the Radflo's have solved one real world issue that has been reported here: viewtopic.php?t=3361 & that is the failure of the front upper shock bushing when lifted.

Image

I had stock springs on the front of my vehicle combined with a BDS 2' lift and Bilstein HD Shocks. The only additional weight on the front of the rig is from MDB Fabrications Radiator & Oil skid plates. In the rear I am running Z71 springs with BDS 5500s shocks (which are kind of worn out). And rolling on heavy Nitto Trailgrapper tires in 315/70/17 usually at 35psi on the road.

The front of my vehicle previous tended to have this floaty feeling to it. I know this is not a very detailed description, I apologize. But the front of always felt kind of loose. I think it's one of the reasons we preferred leaving the front sway bar on the vehicle.

Image

When I installed mine, I set them to 3.75 inches, and found that to be a tad bit too high for the lack of weight on the front of my vehicle. However, the ride was markedly improved in responsiveness it felt. The vehicle felt more planted and firm.

I did some gravel road testing and rolling over some train tracks, and the ride also felt smoother and improved. I haven't had the chance yet to get the proper testing to see how topping out has improved, but I will do that shortly.

I also made an adjustment in height, and have dialed mine down to 3.5 inches.

Further details and testing to follow. :thumleft:
Last edited by mikekey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by bartonmd » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:18 am

I don't have any more or less topping out than I did, but I'm only at roughly 3" of suspension lift with them. I was at 1.5" or so on the Bilstein HD / 87 spring / Mark's outside spacer combo, and originally put these in the same position. I've since raised them up to 3" of lift, and don't have any notable top-out issues, unless the front sway bar is disconnected and I'm running down potted gravel roads, but that's to be expected.

I'm running 245/70-17 BFG AT LT/E tires, so with the above B-HD/87/top spacer setup, the tires would bounce over mid-corner bumps on the street, and you didn't have the control of near constant contact on bumpy gravel roads. With the Radflos, the control on the street, in mid-corner bumps, is amazing! They don't leave the ground on bumps, like the B-HD/87 combo did. No more seeing a mid-corner bump and knowing you are going to shift over half a foot in the lane when you hit it. On fast, bumpy gravel roads, the difference that the stronger spring rate and more digressive valving make are amazing, as well! The Bilstein HD are frankly just under-damped for anything bigger than stock. People with really large tires, like Kyle, might not notice as much difference as I did, because the larger tires at lower pressure soak up a lot more, so the vehicle doesn't see as much input from the road surface as a smaller sidewall on a narrower tire, with higher air pressure in it.

Mine are slightly different than the GB models, because mine has the small black external bump stop, where the ones in the GB all have the larger white/yellow OEM-style external bump stops that are more progressive for the last 1/3 of the travel on compression. Mine bottom out and make a semi-loud but dull thud noise, where yours likely don't. Mine do, however, have more linear free travel, where it's just the spring and valving doing the work, rather than the progressive extended bump stop toward the bottom. This means mine will be more smooth going just a little faster on the trails, but I know it when I hit the bump that's just a little too big, just a little too fast, because it's a sharper bottom out thud than you guys get. Everything's a trade-off.

Also, the stronger spring rate took a lot of the body roll out of it while driving with no sway bars connected. Made the handling almost acceptable for short-term road trips between wheeling spots, or back home from wheeling, before hooking the front back up.

As an aside, the Radflos combined with the longer rear Bilstein 5200 gas-charged off-road shocks make a REALLY good team!

All in all, though, they make as much difference in the TB as the difference between crappy stock sport-touring bike shock and fork valving and Ohlins or Penske stuff on a motorcycle. That is to day, a BIG difference!

Mike
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by Trail X » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:32 am

I think your opinion will greatly depend on your desired usage. If you want to get the maximum articulation out of your front end to crawl over rocks, this is not exactly what you're looking for unless you went with a 200 or 300 lb/in spring or something closer to a stock spring.

If you want to be able to hit trails and cover rough ground at a faster pace without having to slow down for every water-break cut into the trail (or potholes, or rocks) then I think they are worth the added cost. That's what these seem to be tuned for.

I need to really exercise them on some more trails before I can give them a true rating though. I just haven't had the chances lately. I've hit a couple, but they weren't that rutty.

I am comparing them to 87s and bilstein HDs with a BDS 2" lift, and extended downward travel on the bilsteins. I have a front bumper, front winch, and full aluminum skids under the front end. I dialed my Radflos into the same height as the prior setup, so I am lower than some of the others here. I am now running swaybarless, and had previously felt the need to retain the rear swaybar. The real test there will be mounting up the roof top tent.

The biggest concern still on my mind is whether I should get extension limit straps or not. I want to protect my investment, and it seems the best way might be with straps. But my concern is that they will only limit the articulation that much more. They would have to be installed in conjunction with a top spacer on top of the radflo. But - I don't want to hijack the conversation with that thought. It's just an observation so far.

Mike, I'd like to know more about your rear shocks and how they feel with the Radflos. I'm running worn out BDS 5500s in the rear and am looking for a good pairing with the radflos. I'm also considering the BDS Fox gas shocks.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:14 am

One of you fancy mods want to edit these rear end discussion posts out because....

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4988
Last edited by Trail X on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Edited. Continue with the discussion of the Radflo performance only.
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by Regulator1175 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:33 pm

My previous set up was 87's with Bilstein HD's and MarkMC 3" lift. I have been completely disconnected with bars removed for a couple years. I have a full bumper, winch, radiator and oil pan skids. I am running 315/70/17's. I have my Radflo's set to the standard 3.5". I picked up a little more then an inch in height, and seem to have a bit better articulation.

The ride quality on the road is wonderful. They are stiff enough that it feels like a truck, but not teeth chattering. They absorb the normal bumps and pot holes very well. The truck feels more stable on the road and it takes a bit of the pucker factor out of running without sway bars.

Off road they have not seen a lot of use yet, with only one weekend out. They handled the large, 18" or more, ruts without a problem. Naturally they were topping out, but it was far less violent than the previous set up.

My overall impression, I would certainly recommend these to new builds where the additional cost will be minimal. For existing builds it is a toss up. The added stability, better absorption, and addition height is nice; but is not necessarily needed for most peoples missions.
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by dk318is » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:33 pm

Finally got a chance to drive on pavement!

When I installed radflo I had to adjust them at 2 and 2.25" to get both sides to 21.25" I first suspected uneven driveway but after moving the TB around the driver's side was consistantly high so I readjusted to even out both sides. I finally took on on a paved road and it tracked true and straight.

The suspension was stock with almost 100K miles prior to the radflo so the ride was vastly improved. It feels great at 70-80 mph. Off road I have hit a few speed bumps way too fast and I was surprised how well it takes them. (yeah, they put speed bumps on dirt roads here) It would have bottomed the stock struts. I bought the TB used and suspect it was in an accident, 2/3 of the fasteners on the bumper cover were missing.

I'm very happy with my purchase not only for the performance but not having to peice together a front strut and hope I'm not missing any parts or tools. Right now it's the second week of waiting for an insulator to install Z71 which is holding up the 265X75-16.
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