Old Man Emu, or OME has been around for a very long time, distributed by ARB and sold all over Australia (and in fact the world!). Back in 2018, we fitted a GVM upgrade to our Isuzu Dmax, and used OME Suspension with their nitro charger shocks.
Since then, we’ve done about 50,000km of varied terrain, from the usual school drop offs and general commuting through to the Gibb River Road, lots of 4WD tracks and a huge number of corrugations. Put simply, the suspension has been used fairly well, and now its time to do a review.
Prior to that, we also replaced the suspension on our 80 Series Land Cruiser with Old Man Emu, and had that for several years, giving it quite the flogging off road.
Now, the usual disclaimer here; this product in both cases was purchased with our own money, and we’ve received no kick backs from ARB. This post was not initiated by ARB, and none of the opinions below have been influenced in any way by them, or anyone else.
What’s good about Old Man Emu Suspension?
It just works
For me, what I care most about in a product is how it functions. I don’t care how it looks, or what others think about it, but it must work, and the old man emu gear does exactly that. It gets used on a heap of 4WD’s all over the place, and for us, it just works. We’ve had no leaks, no cracking, nothing come loose, or anything else go wrong.
I’m sure there are better products on the market, and we could have certainly purchased something else, but they didn’t fit the bill in terms of warranty, price, GVM upgrade capacity or lift amount.
It hasn’t sagged
I’ve seen some pretty shocking suspension kits that have been a decent height for a year or two, and then sagged considerably. I haven’t measured our Dmax, but its still sitting up very high, and I have no doubt that the sag would be minimal, if any at all.
I have seen some other brands sag very quickly, and long term too. Given ours is about 3 years old and has had a pretty serious work out I’m pretty confident in it.
It’s cost effective
Our Dmax build was done with the idea of using products that would do the job, but not break the bank. Some of the ARB gear is extremely expensive, but their OME nitro charger shock absorber and springs GVM upgrade is pretty decently priced. I compared it to a number of other brands and it was in the middle, with a warranty that was better than some of the other brands.
I don’t mind paying a bit more for a quality product, but paying more for something that doesn’t last like it should is not much fun at all.
It’s available anywhere
You can get OME suspension replacement parts from all over the country. This is important when something goes wrong and you are miles away from home, or from the nearest major town. Touch wood we haven’t needed to do this, but if it happens, there are distributors available.
What’s not so good
The only complaint that I have about the OME suspension is the fact that the rear leaf springs squeak terribly sometimes. I have no idea why, and even after greasing, they will just squeak. You’ll hear it backing out of the driveway and going off the curb, or when you go around a sharp corner, but the most annoying is when you are off-road, and doing slow speed work.
Its not the end of the world, and hasn’t caused any issues, but it is certainly annoying.
Would I get Old Man Emu Suspension again?
Yep, absolutely. If we had need of remote reservoir options I’d shop around, but for this build the OME gear has been perfectly suited to our needs, and trouble free.