Flatout Suspension

Outer Banks
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Hello everyone!!

This is my first post (wanted to wait for vendor status), so just wanted to give a little product update, a bit about us, the usual stuff. I've chimed in on a topic or two here, but felt the need to establish more presence.

So, I'm here to promote our suspension lift. I know there are already options out there, but hear me out. The options currently are limited to strut top spacers as it seems. We do things a bit different. Ok, a lot different. Our lift is a complete package. It is a full replacement to the OEM hardware. Couple of quick facts:

1. Height adjustable. Maybe today you want 1/2" but tomorrow you want 2". Just set the perch height.
2. Weight compensation. Besides adjusting height to counter sag, we have overload springs that take the sag away.
3. Adjustable dampers. Cushy to firm (not like riding on bricks, just more responsive).
4. We have everything you need. Adjustable endlinks, camber arms (rear), camber bolts (front).
5. REBUILDABLE shocks! Don't throw them away, we can give them new life for $195 per corner.

Ok, if you're still here, thank you...

I could expand with paragraphs on points 1-5, but do I need to? I'm happy to, but I find most is self explanatory.

So why us? Well...[deep breath]...we were founded in offroad. A different bit of offroad than maybe you are used to. Half the efforts went towards racing (rally/ rallycross) and the other was the light off-roading/ overlanding types for Subaru vehicles. Both have absolutely blown up in popularity, especially the overlanding. We know the CUV market, we live and breathe it, every day.

We are constantly asked everyday, "can you make a suspension for _____ or for a _____?" Well, one of those times (several, actually) was "Can you make a suspension for the Bronco Sport?" We were intrigued. So much so, that we bought one as a company vehicle.

IMG_8831.jpg


We bought this 22 Outer Banks because any time we need to develop something, it's right outside. Any time one of you has questions about our suspension, we can video chat and walk right up to the car and answer with video in real time. And also because, well, I really like driving it!

We've already started with this one... obviously the suspension (our own BS was used to develop), Method 17" wheels, some BFG A/Ts, we have the cross bars, a roof basket, skid plate, etc. etc. We are going to make this a fun little rig and we're going to tour the country (as time allows, of course).

We are starting with our suspension offerings....

1. GR Lite. Our entry-level for ground clearance and light offroad.
2. GR Plus. This is our mid-level set up using inverted shocks. Stronger than the Lites.
3. GR40. This is our heavy-duty off-road suspension built for endurance.

Take a look here ---> https://flatoutsuspension.net/search?q=bronco

Ok, so I'm just going to close with a little story about what we do, what we've done, etc...

As mentioned before, we started in the world of rally and offroad Subarus. So we like to think we know a bit about making a tough, long lasting suspension. Our venture into other brands really took off last April. I mean, we had built some crazy stuff for people; which quickly became our thing. But last April, Rhys Millen Racing (google them!) contacted us about partnering on a build for the Baja 1000 race. Volkwagen wanted to do the unthinkable and run a production EV (Volkswagen ID.4) in the baja race. They said Tanner Foust (famous rally racer, drifter, Top Gear USA host (maybe google him too) was going to be driving the car. Did we want in? Immediately YES. So we did. If you know anything about the baja race...it's brutal. A lot of cars don't finish. Baja breaks cars. The VW ID.4 finished. Our spare suspension didn't even get unpacked.

After that, we just soared. Since then, other manufacturers have contacted us about other projects. It's been really fun.

I don't mean to make it sound like a horn tooting fest, but I think it's important to know we aren't just some fly-by-night dipping their feet in the pool. We are in it.

This intro ended up longer than intended, so lets start some conversations. If you have questions about our suspension, fire away. If you want to know my favorite planet, I'll answer that too.

Anyhoo, I'm really excited and happy to be here and I hope we can do a lot for everyone here.

Thanks for reading!

 

MNVKSFN

Badlands
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Let me start by saying thank you for posting.
That being said: why not post a picture with the lift installed adjusted at different heights?
It appears the one shown is standard IMHO.
 

Bluebaru

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I have a set of the GR Plus on order. So of the things I consider important to maximizing the lift on my 22 Badlands are, in the front, there should be a way to keep the wheel centered, fore/aft, in the wheel well, if not to actually push it forward a little, as there is a problem with tires rubbing the liner and pinch weld when going to larger diameter tires. I know this can be done with a camber/caster plate but from my past experience, these are usually all metal, increasing noise and ride harshness. If you can make an oem type top mount that adds just a little negative camber and some positive caster, that would make your coilovers much more desirable.

In the rear, it seems at higher lifts that trailing are spacers and a sub frame drop are also desirable, to keep the wheel centered and minimize CV joint angels. I know these things are available elsewhere, just saying.
 
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Flatout Suspension

Flatout Suspension

Outer Banks
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Let me start by saying thank you for posting.
That being said: why not post a picture with the lift installed adjusted at different heights?
It appears the one shown is standard IMHO.
Good question, easy answer! The lift isn’t going to be ready to test fit for another 2 weeks or so. Right now, we have 106 orders to build and ship so that slows us down quite a bit. The pic is just a “before”.
 


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Flatout Suspension

Flatout Suspension

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I have a set of the GR Plus on order. So of the things I consider important to maximizing the lift on my 22 Badlands are, in the front, there should be a way to keep the wheel centered, fore/aft, in the wheel well, if not to actually push it forward a little, as there is a problem with tires rubbing the liner and pinch weld when going to larger diameter tires. I know this can be done with a camber/caster plate but from my past experience, these are usually all metal, increasing noise and ride harshness. If you can make an oem type top mount that adds just a little negative camber and some positive caster, that would make your coilovers much more desirable.
The hardest part about the top mount is how it's closed off at the top. That's going to effect how much angle we can get from a camber plate. If you pop the little cover off on the cowl, you'll see what I mean, There's a half-dollar sized hole and the shock shaft sits just above the plane of the metal. As far as the bearing causing some noise...our OEM style mount will be rubber isolated, but no adjustment. Our camber plate uses a spherical bearing, but we are going to create a shim (1-2mm thick) that will sit atop the camber plate to isolate metal to metal contact. I have had each style of our top mounts on my 11 WRX, and I haven't noticed anything being worse that the other. Just for reference, I am the type that flips out if I hear a plastic bag flapping while I drive - so I'm easily annoyed by noise, and that quirk of mine goes into development. I'm very detail oriented in that sense.

In the rear, it seems at higher lifts that trailing are spacers and a sub frame drop are also desirable, to keep the wheel centered and minimize CV joint angels. I know these things are available elsewhere, just saying.
Subframe drop is something we're going to look into. The main issue with that is you lose ground clearance. In a Subaru for instance, the bottom of the car is actually pretty flat. There is no "ledge" to get hung up on. We offer a 1.5" subframe drop which is the max you want to do. Others offer a 2 and 2.5" subframe drop, but that puts the leading edge of the subframe below the floor pan, and that is just waiting to get nailed by a rock you're crawling over. I know a lot of thought was put into the Bronco Sport (take the angled muffler for example; absolute genius). We need to ensure a subframe drop does not create a low spot to get hung on when offroading.

As far as other bits, our lift is going to include the toe arm drop spacers. We also have the adjustable camber arm as well. Our main focus right now is the suspension itself. Making sure it rides perfect, we can counter sag under weight effectively, etc. Everything relates to one another, but the suspension itself has to be perfect first and foremost.
 

Bluebaru

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The hardest part about the top mount is how it's closed off at the top. That's going to effect how much angle we can get from a camber plate. If you pop the little cover off on the cowl, you'll see what I mean, There's a half-dollar sized hole and the shock shaft sits just above the plane of the metal. ..our OEM style mount will be rubber isolated, but no adjustment. Our camber plate uses a spherical bearing, but we are going to create a shim (1-2mm thick) that will sit atop the camber plate to isolate metal to metal contact.



We need to ensure a subframe drop does not create a low spot to get hung on when offroading.
Absolutely, on the subframe drop!!!
As far as the caster/camber plate goes, I don't have my car yet and have not looked down in the half-dollar sized hole . But I would think, if any kind of adjustable plate could be made and that's not what I'm looking for, then a fixed oem stlyle plate could be made to work with mostly some positive caster built in but a little bit of camber. i.e. move the shaft center mostly back but a little in.
Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but I'm trying to fully understand you and make myself clear also.
 
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Flatout Suspension

Flatout Suspension

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Absolutely, on the subframe drop!!!
As far as the caster/camber plate goes, I don't have my car yet and have not looked down in the half-dollar sized hole . But I would think, if any kind of adjustable plate could be made and that's not what I'm looking for, then a fixed oem stlyle plate could be made to work with mostly some positive caster built in but a little bit of camber. i.e. move the shaft center mostly back but a little in.
Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but I'm trying to fully understand you and make myself clear also.
I fully understand! We're just bound by that little opening. Not sure what hugging the "10 o'clock" portion of the hole will do for caster/camber, but you seem to be describing our offset mount we make for Subaru (which has a HUGE opening in the strut tower).

offset.png


This wouldn't be entirely possible on our rubber bushing mount because the bushing assembly itself is about 4" in diameter. That would also yield negligible results shifting it such a small fractional amount due to clearances (the hole, and in relation to the mounting studs).

For our Bronco Sport, we will be doing a 1.5" lift, using an OEM style mount (rubber bushing with a radial bearing built in) and a camber bolt.
 

Bluebaru

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I fully understand! We're just bound by that little opening. Not sure what hugging the "10 o'clock" portion of the hole will do for caster/camber, but you seem to be describing our offset mount we make for Subaru (which has a HUGE opening in the strut tower).

offset.png


This wouldn't be entirely possible on our rubber bushing mount because the bushing assembly itself is about 4" in diameter. That would also yield negligible results shifting it such a small fractional amount due to clearances (the hole, and in relation to the mounting studs).
That's exactly what I had in mind but made of rubber!! Maybe I'd be willing to try the above, with the shim you mentioned, if it can be located well.

I understand you can't move the top much, with a 4" bushing assembly and it's at the wrong end of the lever arm to make much difference at the bottom. I'd say if you can't move the bottom at least 1/8" forward it wouldn't be worth any extra cost, you might incur.

Will a plate similar to the pic but with a shim, be available at or shortly after you start shipping?
 


dakman

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I'm looking forward to this setup. Look like 3" holes in the strut towers might be needed. Still have my bit.

PXL_20220306_131605581.jpg
 
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Flatout Suspension

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That's exactly what I had in mind but made of rubber!! Maybe I'd be willing to try the above, with the shim you mentioned, if it can be located well.

I understand you can't move the top much, with a 4" bushing assembly and it's at the wrong end of the lever arm to make much difference at the bottom. I'd say if you can't move the bottom at least 1/8" forward it wouldn't be worth any extra cost, you might incur.

Will a plate similar to the pic but with a shim, be available at or shortly after you start shipping?
The problem with that style mount, notice the threaded shaft coming up through the offset bearing? That is where I foresee clearance issues. The ONLY way I can see that mount style being used is by enlarging (cutting) the hole in the strut tower larger, otherwise, it won't work. The top of the OEM shock shaft already sits above the tower. It can only move so much inside of that hole (without modification to the tower). I think once you have your Bad Lands and you can lift that cover to expose the strut tower, it'll make a lot more sense.

We're going to play with some ideas, but right now, the plan is to launch with an OEM style mount and bring out the alternative mounts (if they can be made to work without modification) shortly after.

Maybe we can draft up an offset/ OEM style mount that way it gives a bit of camber and caster. I'll see if I can make something work.
 

Bluebaru

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This should offer some clarity about the hole, how the shaft doesn’t have much wiggle room, etc. That hole might be more like a quarter vs a half-dollar.

E8F85A15-A6FA-4E27-9EB6-46E682317BFE.jpeg
I missed this picture before my last two replies. It does give me an idea though. As spring length and position are the determining factor on ride height and I don’t think, but correct me if I’m wrong you will be limited in any real way by Spring Length, what about making a spacer for the top that would put the top of the shaft below the plane, of the metal?! That way the shaft could be behind the hole.
 
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Flatout Suspension

Flatout Suspension

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I missed this picture before my last two replies. It does give me an idea though. As spring length and position are the determining factor on ride height and I don’t think, but correct me if I’m wrong you will be limited in any real way by Spring Length, what about making a spacer for the top that would put the top of the shaft below the plane, of the metal?! That way the shaft could be behind the hole.
That is a thought we had, we can also make a “deep dish” top mount (I don’t have an example close by to show). We have options for sure.
 

DatWayMon

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Our lift is a complete package. It is a full replacement to the OEM hardware.
I see all of your lifts are adjustable between 1/2" and 2". I own a Badlands that already has 1" more lift than every other trim package. You say it's a full replacement of the OEM hardware so am I correct in assuming that if I install one of your lifts I'll only get 1" more of clearance instead of 2"?

 

 
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