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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning out a suspension upgrade for my X, I had zero'd in on Radflo as probably the best choice (upgrade from Bilstein 5100), but now I am seeing the latest Dobinsons kit is available in the US, and it looks pretty nice. It's got an internal floating piston like a radflo, threaded preload ("height", as companies like to call it...) adjustment, but is more like a strut and has traditional rubber bushings and top hat like a bilstein so should be better longevity and noise wise versus spherical bearings and what not on coilovers. Also, there's plenty of spring options specifically for the X or a Frontier, with a bumper, without a bumper, etc. All in all it seems like an attractive option to me. Pricing is about the same as Radflo 2.0's. Less attractive is it's coming from AUS (though I generally find AUS manufactured off road parts very high quality) versus Radflo which has a major center local to me if I ever had an issue.

Does anyone in the community have experience with these dobinsons struts or rear shocks? (yes I used the search feature for "dobinsons" and "dobinsons ims" and didn't see much so I am starting this thread).

Examples:

Front struts: Dobinsons IMS Monotube IFP Front Struts for Nissan Frontier D40, Xterra, R51 Pathfinder
Full suspension package: Dobinsons 2nd Gen Nissan Xterra IMS Suspension Lift Kit

Thanks,
Brad
 

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Never heard of Dobinsons in my life, and I troll this forum WAY more than the average person (note post count). Sounds like they are new the game. Certainly look interesting. Radflo has been the "standard" for a long time but I'm starting to think they aren't all that remarkable, so I think it would be worth a shot. I'm confused on the shock length though... doesn't indicate whether or not they are OEM length or extended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never heard of Dobinsons in my life, and I troll this forum WAY more than the average person (note post count). Sounds like they are new the game. Certainly look interesting. Radflo has been the "standard" for a long time but I'm starting to think they aren't all that remarkable, so I think it would be worth a shot. I'm confused on the shock length though... doesn't indicate whether or not they are OEM length or extended.
I agree, I'm not totally enamored with Radflo, enough that I'm considering these. I believe Dobinsons is a big competitor to OME in Australia, it hasn't generally been available in US till recently. They are big in the 4Runner/ GX market though which is where I came across them, looking at a GX kit and it looked really nice. I assume they are "extended" length, as they offer springs for various levels of lift (though I'm only looking for about 1.5 so I don't care too much). Their model seems to be a longer spring at the correct rate for the height increase at no preload, which is great, but I do assume it will be longer than an OE "off road" shock for example. I'm doing UCAs too so I don't care about matching OE length but it would be interesting to measure the length.
 

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I'm going with Bilstein 6112. I've seen too many failed Radflo's and complaints about clunks, etc.
 

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Dobinson makes great stuff we just don’t get much of it here stateside. I have dobinson lift springs on my r52 Pathfinder and I love them. My buddy has dobinson coils on his landcruiser and he loves them. I don’t know about their Xterra gear but i bet the quality is great. I agree with albatrosscafe about radflos, they aren’t as good as they are hyped up to be. They are loud and clunky, and seem to start leaking around 30-40k miles. I’m on my second pair and I don’t know if I would buy them again. Unfortunately we just don’t have that many options for our rigs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dobinson makes great stuff we just don’t get much of it here stateside. I have dobinson lift springs on my r52 Pathfinder and I love them. My buddy has dobinson coils on his landcruiser and he loves them. I don’t know about their Xterra gear but i bet the quality is great. I agree with albatrosscafe about radflos, they aren’t as good as they are hyped up to be. They are loud and clunky, and seem to start leaking around 30-40k miles. I’m on my second pair and I don’t know if I would buy them again. Unfortunately we just don’t have that many options for our rigs.
Thanks for your feedback. I currently have Bilstein 5100s with stock OR springs, and the spring rate is just not high enough with my steel bumper, though it's not the heaviest bumper (~120lbs) and I have no winch currently. I have considered getting either dobinsons or all dogs off road lift springs and running them at the lowest preload setting on the 5100 to remedy this. But, with the all dogs the spring rate would only go from 485 > ~500 lbs, and the dobinsons springs only I'm not sure the exact rates. I am concerned this will still be too soft still and honestly I do not want to take apart the Bilsteins again.

The dobinsons seem like a great option to me, I like them more than the Radflo on paper because they use rubber bushings like the Bilsteins, but have a threaded spring preload, IFP, and correct spring rate options like a Radflo.
 

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Dobinsons makes great suspension components, they're on par with Old Man Emu. You're correct, they're relatively new to the US market but they've been available in Australia since the 1950's. The IMS kits are a new offering monotube for the company which has been rolled out in the past year as an upgrade over their standard twin tube offering. The only downside to Dobinsons is that they don't have US availability on an Xterra leaf pack but we've been talking to them about the possibility of bringing it stateside.

They've been gaining a lot of traction in the Toyota world as @BradB mentioned. GX / Tacoma / 4Runner forums have plenty of reviews and information out there on the performance and quality of the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dobinsons makes great suspension components, they're on par with Old Man Emu. You're correct, they're relatively new to the US market but they've been available in Australia since the 1950's. The IMS kits are a new offering monotube for the company which has been rolled out in the past year as an upgrade over their standard twin tube offering. The only downside to Dobinsons is that they don't have US availability on an Xterra leaf pack but we've been talking to them about the possibility of bringing it stateside.

They've been gaining a lot of traction in the Toyota world as @BradB mentioned. GX / Tacoma / 4Runner forums have plenty of reviews and information out there on the performance and quality of the parts.
Thank you for your input on this, it is welcome and appreciated! I haven't seen a lot of concrete reviews on the monotube stuff since it's so new, even after browsing the toyota forums and AUS forums (plenty of twin tube reviews or springs only but not a lot on the monotube), but yeah it seems really high quality. That would be sweet if they could make Xterra leaf packs and bring them to US, they seem to be good at springs...so that would be welcome I'm sure. By the way I am told that the standard spring options for the Xterra coilovers are a 541lb spring, which is listed at ~1.6" lift (dobinsons part C45-254), and then springs made for constant weight like a bumper (C45-256) are also 541lb spring that's just longer to deal with the extra weight. Similar idea to your springs @AlldogsOffroad .

Also as a general note for the community I asked importer Exit Off Road (first link in original post) if I was able to order the Xterra monotube suspension with the Dobinsons "MRA" kit, which is basically a bigger shock body (2.6" vs 2.2") + reservoirs with 3 way adjustment:

10 High Speed Compression Adjustments

20 Low Speed Compression Adjustments

15 Rebound adjustments

Pretty fancy stuff. Haven't seen anything else offering that sort of adjustment for the price. Basically it doubles the base price of the struts both front and rear. Not sure if that much tuning is for me, but nice to know it can be had. It's a special order with a wait time, though.

-Brad
 

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Dobinsons makes great suspension components, they're on par with Old Man Emu. You're correct, they're relatively new to the US market but they've been available in Australia since the 1950's. The IMS kits are a new offering monotube for the company which has been rolled out in the past year as an upgrade over their standard twin tube offering. The only downside to Dobinsons is that they don't have US availability on an Xterra leaf pack but we've been talking to them about the possibility of bringing it stateside.

They've been gaining a lot of traction in the Toyota world as @BradB mentioned. GX / Tacoma / 4Runner forums have plenty of reviews and information out there on the performance and quality of the parts.
Thank you Alldogsoffroad for giving the community more options. Just one question are the Dobinsons products available right away or are they on back order like other imported suspensions?
 

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Thank you Alldogsoffroad for giving the community more options. Just one question are the Dobinsons products available right away or are they on back order like other imported suspensions?
From what we can see right now the backorders / leadtimes being experienced are similar across the board - domestic and imported. We can check on a part-by-part basis to see what Dobinsons has available for whoever needs it in order to prevent backorders. For sake of reference we've sent some Frontier orders to Dobinsons recently and the parts were on the shelf and shipped normally.
 

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I'm looking at their products and the springs are rated at 220 lbs? Am I understanding that right? If so, that's waaay too soft for our application. Their stuff does like nice and fancy though...
 

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I'm looking at their products and the springs are rated at 220 lbs? Am I understanding that right? If so, that's waaay too soft for our application. Their stuff does like nice and fancy though...
That doesn't sound correct, there might be a conversion error from metric to freedom units. Their coils are closer to 550lb/in if I recall correctly.
 

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That doesn't sound correct, there might be a conversion error from metric to freedom units. Their coils are closer to 550lb/in if I recall correctly.
Maybe I'm not understanding it right then... when you choose the coils to be added, it says "Nissan Xterra 110-220 lbs constant weight". Constant weight is different from spring rate I supposed?
 

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Maybe I'm not understanding it right then... when you choose the coils to be added, it says "Nissan Xterra 110-220 lbs constant weight". Constant weight is different from spring rate I supposed?
The catalog indicates that you'd be able to run with 110-220lbs over the factory rates. It can be a little confusing. Old Man Emu does the same thing in their application catalog.
 
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