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Safety of Kei Trucks

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by Samurai9, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member

    In light of the various videos showing that the rear wheels of Kei trucks leave the ground when the brakes are applied hard, what safety issues does this fact imply? I take it that brakes do not work very well when two wheels are off the ground and that the action of the truck flexing over its front wheels can harm the driver and passenger. Please discuss. Do all Kei trucks do "nosies" or only certain models? Is this action related to lifting the trucks or installing oversize tires? Are Kei trucks exceptionally front heavy and light in the rear when not loaded?

  2. Colin

    Colin Member

    Oh, please.

    We manipulated the truck to perform a stoppie. We had two 300lb guys in the cab, no load in the rear, and Nate pumped the brakes several times to get the truck rocking fore/aft before he eased onto the pedal and allowed the rear to rise. Simply jabbing the brakes is not enough - the tires will skid, even with two fat guys in the cab.

  3. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member

    There is also a video on YouTube in which the rear of the truck flips up without much coaxing. The title of this clip is "Suzuki Carry Kie (sic) Mini Truck Nose Wheelie."

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  4. Colin

    Colin Member

    Look closer. There are two big guys in that cab, as well as a heap of wheels and tires strapped to the back of the cab. It's a non-issue if you load the truck correctly, even in a panic stop situation.

    As I stated in the other thread, I cannot get my '90 Sambar to do it with any amount of persuasion. It's possible Nate's truck has more worn-out shocks/struts than mine, or maybe the lighter weight and different suspension design of his '89 Sambar is more conducive to hooliganism. :D

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  5. Mighty Milt

    Mighty Milt Active Member

    i can contribute first hand knowledge that, in a panic stop situation at 60MPH, my truck skidded as any non-ABS vehicle will do. i swerved, got it going straight again and by a norrow margin managed to miss the car ahead of me that was being a jack ***.

    this has nothing to do with the fact that i tip the scales at a mere 135lbs, it has to do with proper engineering and weight distribution.

    it is common knowledge that front brakes in ANY VEHICLE are proportioned to be 70% of your stopping power. simple math of weight and moment will tell you that putting a majority of the weight in front of the wheels that are responsible for 70% of the stopping power will result in a "nosie" or "stoppie".
  6. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member

    Hey, Colin, you may be right but I thought I heard a distressed feminine voice in the video and I also thought that there was some load in the cargo area. It was stated that the truck was lifted three inches. I believe that the more the truck is lifted, the less stable it will be in all directions.

  7. jtpc

    jtpc Member

    I prefer a body lift over suspension lift so that the frame/mechanics of the truck will still be low to the ground and have a lower center of gravity than lifting the suspension. I will also have heavy duty front springs on my truck. The condition of shocks/springs may make a difference. I'm really not too worried myself about the rear coming up during stops seeing that the japanese don't build wrongly-engineered vehicles.
    However, when I do get my sambar I don't plan on going much beyond 55mph seeing the size of the vehicle and I sure won't get close to other vehicles like I do in my Ram 3500 diesel. Ya know, just in case an emergency happened in front of me.
  8. Clifford

    Clifford Member

    Sam, were you scared to touch the brakes in that avatar picture. You were already halfway there!
  9. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member


    That rocky slope is very steep. Going up I have to step on the gas a bit, but coming down I drive like an old lady. Because of the lift and big tires, the Hijet's brush guard does not hit as I come down to the stream bed. I also have a four wheel drive F150 that goes up and down that hill without a problem.

    I grew up in Vicksburg. I have a number of family members in the Jackson area (Madison and Brandon).

    in Nashville
  10. Colin

    Colin Member

    That's true.
  11. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

    I loaded a LARGE refrigerator in the back of mine, and proceeded to drive down what easily has to be an 8% grade out of the parking lot at Lowes. The truck felt nose heavy, but not about to tip up when I stepped on the brakes.
  12. MiniBrutes

    MiniBrutes Member

    Endo-s are quite easy to do. I find it is easier on soft dirt than anything else. Pavement is OK if its quite clean. Gravel is difficult.

    I have had Subies and Hondas off the ground in the rear, but only a couple inches.

    Suzukis are easy to touch the bumper to the ground.

    Hatsu's I havent actually tried yet.

    Much good fun, but realistically, the conditions and braking have to all be correct, and I would not worry about it in any normal situation. Even if it happens, you wont get hurt. (Unless you dont wear your seatbelt... then you may kiss the dash or windshield)

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