So I’ve finally found some time to sit down and write a review of the OME BP-51 suspension system. It’s been on my 2007 FJ Cruiser for several months now, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. This suspension is so smooth, it’s like driving a touring car. The Internal Bypass technology absorbs every bump in the road, and the easily adjustable rebound and compression has been outstanding. Suspension systems like this should be standard equipment on every vehicle out there.
Like most people reading this site, my truck is a daily driver, so on-road handling is key. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed when driving on pavement is that there’s no more death wobble when taking those high speed slopping corners on bumpy roads. I used to take those white knuckled because I knew a small bump could cause the truck to loose traction momentarily. This certainly inspires confidence, so much so that even my girlfriend likes driving the FJ now. She was really uncomfortable before, especially when we had it loaded down with camping gear.
The off-road handling is every bit as great. This past month, I finally got some time off from work and went out to Green Ridge State Forest, with my buddy Rob following in his Rubicon. I wanted to give the BP-51’s a real shakedown on some dirt roads and needless to say, the suspension performed flawlessly. We took Carrol Road into the forest and then explored for several hours. When we first got to Carrol Road, I might have driven a little recklessly, but I wanted to get a feel for what the suspension would actually absorb. I was driving fast, much faster than I usually would. On back roads, I usually stay under 25 MPH since you never know what might be around the next bend. This section of GRSF has pretty good visibility, and there’s no blind turns, so I felt safe driving faster then I normally would. I was pushing 50 mph at some parts and luckily we never came across anyone else on this section of the trail, no harm, no foul. We drove through every type of terrain we could find, including rutted and rocky trails, mud, stream crossings, steep hill climbs up loose dirt roads, to slow 4×4 only technical sections. In all areas, the suspension never let me down. It really eats up everything at every speed and there was no more bottoming out on the sharp drop-offs.
A couple weeks after the GRSF trip, we headed to the DRT Campout which was held in George Washington National Forest. I got to spend some more time off-road with the BP-51’s. Long Run Road is notorious for it’s long stretches of teeth rattling washboards. With the old suspension, my hands would get numb after a while and fatigue would set in, making steering the truck difficult at higher speeds. This time, I was able to bomb down these roads and still have complete control over the steering. In fact, the only thing slowing me down this time was my buddy Rob who had a full load out with his wife and two toddlers (Sorry for throwing you under the bus Rob).
The ultimate question everyone has is, what am I getting for my money? Well, at first I was a little skeptical at the price of Old Man Emu’s BP-51 suspension. But after some research, I learned that in order to play, you have got to pay. A $3000 dollar investment in your suspension is not something to take lightly for most folks, but after comparing the BP-51’s to other Internal Bypass Suspension systems that incorporate adjustable rebound and compression, it’s a hell of a deal… just ask Ben!
My 2015 Tacoma front BP51 are at factory height and still feel pretty firm driving around town. Would adjusting the height down to put more pre-load on the springs help with daily driving?
Rick, what springs are you running on the front coil and on the rear? You can adjust the preload, but if the truck is over sprung you’re not going to be able to effectively compensate for that.
Did you leave them at the factory settings/out of the box? I don’t have an aftermarket bumper on my 2015 Tacoma to add weight. It still seems stiff to me. But agreed the confidence in the on road driving and off is much higher with the BP-51
Rick, there were some slight adjustment made to accommodate the weight of the modifications, no two trucks are going to be setup the same.
Del Quijano says
What actually are your factory settings for both compression and rebound front and rear?
Fahad Safari says
this article was a good review. but want to know, did you have any adjustments done for everyday onroad driving or it was the factory setting for the rebound and the compression… and do you have any desert driving reviews on this suspensions?
Tony Schulstad says
For everday driving I use the factory settings. It’s a good setting for good road manners and for moderate offroading without being too stiff.
Rob McCaslin says
One thing I would like to add is that we didn’t air down at all for either of those trips, so any washboard absorption was all suspention. While my Bilstein 5100 set up held up, it left me wishing I had let a bit of air out, I don’t think it even crossed Tony’s mind.
Tony Schulstad says
That’s a good point Rob! Thanks for mentioning it!