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Off-Road Unloaded - Letters To The Editor - February 2011

2007 Toyota Tacoma Sport
Posted February 1, 2011

Letters To The Editor

Letters Of The Month
This month, every letter writer who has a published letter in this issue is getting a copy of Dezert People 8. It's filled with some great action and has some great music from bands like Costello.

Pick up a copy of your very own at

Retraction: Air Shocks Are NOT Emulsion Shocks!
In December 2010's issue, OFF-ROAD ran a story on air shocks. Unfortunately, the story was written after a long day of work-during one of those times where all the information in your head starts to swirl together from exhaustion and sleep deprivation, and our author simply made a small error. Therefore, we tied his feet together and roped him to the rear bumper before hitting a whoops section in Plaster City-we take our mistakes very seriously around here.

Thanks to Chris, at F-O-A shocks, for pointing it out below:
"I'm guessing you've heard about this already, but I just leafed through the latest issue that has the Fox Emulsion shock article in it.

"Air shocks (which is what is in the article) aren't emulsion shocks. There is info on two completely different kinds of shocks.

"Emulsions can't support a vehicle; they are just a regular shock with no oil/air division."

Our author replies:
" are right. I think I went off on a bad tangent one late night and spewed out some misinformation. The article was strictly meant to address air shocks that can alone support the weight of a vehicle using pressurized nitrogen. As you mention, nitrogen-charged emulsion shocks are a different animal and are meant to be used with a separate spring that serves to support the vehicle weight. I apologize for the confusion describing the shock characteristics. Thanks for catching my error."

K5 Queries
I have an '82 Chevy K-5 Blazer and I'm having a hard time with the suspension being extra stiff. I have BFGoodrich AT 35s kept at 50 to 55 psi and a Pro Comp 6-inch lift with dual shocks on the front. The shocks in the front are the Pro Comp ES9000 and the ES1000 on each side with a 6-inch spring on the front and a standard spring with a 2-inch block on the rear. I flipped the shackle on the rear to get an even ride height. I also have a new Pro Comp steering stabilizer, and I installed everything at the same time. With these new suspension upgrades the truck still rides very rough. The smallest potholes make it feel like you just fell in a hole that would make Alice and the white rabbit wish for a parachute, and it pulls hard to that hole. I don't know why the ride is so stiff - maybe you could help. Long-time reader, first-time writer. Love the mag; keep up the good work.
James Holmes
Butte, MT

James, I think your problem is a simple one. Your tires have too much air pressure in them. The 50 to 55 psi might be a good air pressure on a 1-ton truck with Load-E rating tires on it, but it's probably 20 pounds too much in your K5. Try 30 to 35 psi in your tires. On my Blazer, I run about 32 psi in the front and rear. If it's a similar truck (not an SUV), I run 32 psi in the front and 30 psi in the rear since the bed is lighter than the front end. Try this, and I'm sure you'll notice a huge improvement in ride quality, and a minimal drop in fuel economy.

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