Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Northern Catskill Mountains, NY
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Re: Rocky Road or Calmini?
I do not own any OME products so I can't comment on that.
But I do have the Calmini 2.5" suspension for the Grand Vitara and love it. As for off-road capability, it has made a great improvement. I've seen both the 2" and 3" Kick kits in action, and was quite impressed with the 3" performance. There are many similarities between the Kick and GV kits.
The one issue that truly made me choose the Calmini set-up was caster/camber issues. Both the Kick and GV are IFS, with the only alignment correction being toe in/out. If you significantly lift the vehicle, it will negatively affect your alignment. The only correct way to compensate for this is to redesign the lower control arm. It is common for many other brands of lifts (Rancho, Fabtech, etc) that outfit other IFS trucks, such as Toyotas, to redesign the control arms to overcome this issue. And my impression of the Calmini control arms? Beefy. Pure and simple. They make the stock ones look like cheap Jap crap. The Calmini units also have a replaceable Moog ball joint, unlike the stock unit, which must be replaced in it's entirety when the ball joint wears out.
Obtaining lift by springs only does not address this. Adding coil spacers only compounds the problem.
You also need relocation brackets for the rear panhard bar otherwise the geometry will not be correct. Along with a needed longer brake line in the rear. These come in the Calmini system for the GV. With regards to the Kick system, it’s a little different, but there are longer replacement lower trailing arms, rear driveshaft spacer and a redesigned center V link with a Heim joint. It really is a well thought-out kit IMHO.
With regards to the shocks/struts, the ones on my GV kit have the same valving and dampening rates as stock units.
Calmini also offers a steering/strut brace and a reinforcement bracket for the steering doo-hicky. Very important add-ons if you will be running big sneakers
I've dealt with Calmini for many years and have had no problems whatsoever. If I need to speak with them, they are always just an 800 phone call away.
This is just my opinion as a Calmini system owner. What ever kit or system you choose, do your homework and make sure you get the best value and performance for your bucks.
<font color=blue>Yankee Tim</font color=blue>[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]