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OME J springs and OME L shocks

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Imagery, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Hey guys... I am having a real delima over this current upgrade I am about to perform. I have a 1997 FJZ 80, OME 851/860 with N73/N74E Nitro's. The springs have 100K on them and I want to stiffen the suspension back up like when the OME suspension was first installed back in '97. I am running BFG A/T 33" tires and they seem to be a good combination. However, I would like a little more lift and am considering going with 35" BFG A/T's pretty soon. I have already ordered my suspension parts which will be here tomorrow...

    Here is what I decided to go with...OME 850J/863J and N73L/ N74L Nitro's. I have an ARB Bull Bar w/winch mount but no winch at this time but will have one soon. I have stock rear bumper but plan on going with one of the rear steps with tire/cooler mounts. May some day go with the long range fuel tank but not a priority as of now. And I have a full length roof rack which I load down all the time.

    With this being my current set up, I now have concerns about changing how the vehicle handles, i.e. Caster alignment primarily. I do have the OME replacement bushings already installed but I understand that they only give about 2 degres adjustment and perhaps the additional heigth provided by the J springs will put the caster way out of alignment. Also, I read where there may be drivetrain vibrations added due to the extra height. And I fear that there will be several other modifications necessary in order to get the vehicle set up correctly.

    Also, if I do go with the 33' tires, will I need to change my gearing and speedo gear? I was told that with the 35", the transmission may not shift as well eitheI just want my Land Cruiser to be pretty agressive and capable of handling most off road situations as well as handle like it does now on the highway. My current setup is good now and has worked very well but I just would like a little more aggressiveness. I would love to hear what you all have found in your experience so I may make an educated decission. I may have to just try it and see for myself and make changes from there. Thanks for any advice given.
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Welcome.

    Go to Christo's site: www.sleeoffroad.com and read his well laid out information regarding the modifications required to run 35's and that much lift. In quick summary you will need adjustable panhards front and rear, front leading arms, rear adjustable control arms, front driveshaft with CV joint and 4.56 to 4.88 gearsets.

    Oh, and some cash ;)

    Dan.
     
  3. Junk

    Junk

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    For power and speed detection.... stick in 4.56 and your truck will still have power and your speedo won't be off by much. If you're worried about the speedo, stick in a gps - good investment anyway.

    oh, yeah, read slee's page too.
     
  4. Imagery

    Imagery

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    I have read through tthe Slee.. web site and that is why I have concern with my recent investment. What if I just stay with the 33"'s (I think likw BFG 315's A/T Radials) Would I be ok with the J spring setup??? I am not really sure about what different tire sizes there are but I believe mine are something like 33". The actual size printed on the tire is LT 285/75 R16, 122/119Q M+S BFG. I don't know what size they would be equal to but I think they are close to 33". A friend told me that the next size up from there would be 315, but it would not actually be 35" so I could probably go with the next size up and not run into problems. He said they would actually be smaller than 35".
     
  5. MTNRAT

    MTNRAT

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    The suspension geometry won't change whether you are running 33s or 35s. The tire size does not change the real lift. For my experience with the J set up and 285s, I went with the j springs and long shocks, front swaybar blocks and rear swaybar brackets, and longer brake lines to start. I also had the OME castor correction bushings previously installed. I then changed to 315 MTRs. With the 315,s the performance decrease was noticeable. I have a S/C and felt like it was back to about stock. Without, i would definitely regear for 315s or stick with 285s till you can. I drove it this way for abut 4000 miles as well as wheeled the rubicon with the inaugural 80s trip. It drove well on the interstates, but was a little loose on the two laners that are not as smooth. No big deal offroad. If i really had to make a true emergency maneuver :-\?????. Since then I have put adjusters on the rear upper control arms, and that improved the tracking as well as got rid of a slight vibration that I did not know I had. I also put in a true speed, but that is for the 4.88s that are sitting in my living room. Next I will get the front and rear panhard adjusters, slee front control arms and the CV jointed front driveshaft.
    I am making my truck up to Christos recommendations a couple of parts at a time, and am aware of the shortcomings of not having the complete system all at once. That said, you must make your own choice, like i said... in a true emergency maneuver....?
    Christo has written, http://www.sleeoffroad.com/technical/tz_35.htm for a reason. To make us aware of the reality of just lifting without making changes to the other parts of the suspension and handling system. However, man do these things wheel with 35s. :D :D :D Well worth it.
    Cheers,
    Sean
     
  6. Junk

    Junk

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    Imagery,
    This is just my take on this and of course many will likely have varied opinions.

    Bought my truck about 2-1/2 years ago. Was stock with 275 LTX's. Except for the blown engine, it drove sweet on road. Managed to get stuck in about 3" of snow (long story - very :-[ ).

    In 2001, put on OME reg lift (can't remember spring #'s but was the 2-1/2"). Ran the stock tires for street and the GY MT/Rs in 285/75r16. Truck ran great on street. I had the castor correction insalled for this.

    For 2002, I upped the ante. Along with 4.56 and supercharger, and a bunch of other crap, installed the J springs and L shocks. Went to 295/75r16 BFG AT KO's (34") and 36x13r16 bias ply Swamper TSL's for trail. Truck was awesome offroad and a little more squirely doing 95mph in traffic, but I drive a tad fast.

    Recently, went to new trail tires, and still have the 295 BFG ATKO's, but now have the slee panhards, control arms (f&r) and the truck drives, both on and offroad, like a 22 year old stripper. Only thing bad now is the front driveshaft sounds like it will explode any day :( (but I knew that would have to be replaced - just can't find the right person yet).

    Did the sway bar spacers when I went to J's.

    I think you can go with your set up for 33-34 on road and 35 off road. I would not go 35 on road because that's at the point where the 1FZFE is really working hard every day, you'll get more slop in your steering etc. To get the 35's to fit offroad, you'll have to lower your rear bumpstops prob about 3" and your fronts about 2" (this is for a true 35, not a 315 MT/R). If you go this route, I view this as a temporary stepping stone. I would not run 35's on trail for more than 1 season without the proper set up. Anyone that has, has never tried it with the proper set up to see what the difference is.

    I have a slightly different approach. I find the tire I want, then figure out how to make it fit. ... and when it doesn't? I call Christo and cry and beg him to help me figure out options. :D

    And lastly? The happy :flipoff2: :D
     
  7. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Well you all have given me good info. I figure that since I am not able to do everything at once, I will just have to go a step at a time like suggested. My main concern is causing undue stress and strain on drivetrain and suspension and end up beraking something. I don't know even how much the Slee adjustable control arms F/R cost and any of the other components recommended to complete the system, but I will have to start looking into that and coming up with a game plan. I have always liked to do each modification to any vehicle at once to be able to see the real difference. By doing a little at a time, it is sometimes almost a negligible at best. But at least I will know what each added componet is contributing to the whole suspension.

    As for putting true 35" tires on for trail, I probably would just run the BFG AT's all the time. I may go up from my 285's to 315's and just stay with that. I am not really needing to go through much rocky terrain, but there are times when I have to cross up through washouts etc. so I will still need as much articulation a spossible. I am really happy with my current setup as far as that is concerned but a little more would be nice. I really try to avoid stuffing the wheels as much as possible but it does happen sometimes.

    So all said, I am going to go ahead and install this week the new J springs and matching longes Nitro's, and break line extensions and then see how it feels. At that point, I guess I will have to decide which parts to upgrade from there first. I just don't want to get into a hugh money pit with my Cruiser. It has been trouble free all along and I don't want to ruin that. It's funny beacuse my father is of the belief that anything modified from stock is bad. He just can't seem to understand that the stock LC setup is just a compromise between on and off road driving...about 75% on road and 25% off. But then again, he does not do any off road driving at all so his real experience is very much limited. I just don't want to wind up proving him right! :(
     
  8. Junk

    Junk

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    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35624#msg35624 date=1062005216]
    I just don't want to get into a hugh money pit with my Cruiser. It has been trouble free all along and I don't want to ruin that. It's funny beacuse my father is of the belief that anything modified from stock is bad. [/quote]

    Every cruiser is a money pit.

    A dude ran the Baja whatever the other year in a stock 80. Only thing he changed was the suspension. Guess what broke? Yup, the suspension. :flipoff2:
     
  9. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Yea...I know you are right about it being a money pit. The only thing worse would be a boat. "A boat is a big hole in the water into which you throw your money into".

    I guess that I want to be real careful with my cruiser and know its limits and my own so that I do not cause undue damage. I know what will tear up any 4WD, I have seen it many times. I don't look for obstacles, mud holes etc. to run through just for the fun of it. I use my Land Cruiser to take my wife, friends, dogs, camping etc and I am usually loaded down with all the gear, including one or two 17.5' Kevlar canoes on top. I am always looking for remote places which are remote simply because they are difficult to get to. I take my time and carefully think out each situation as they arise.

    My Cruiser is my only vehicle and I depend completely on it being in good working order. I used to like just playing in the mud and such but now that I am older, I realize that there is plenty of opportunity for that just in getting to your chosen destination. I used to see just how much mudd I could get on my car, not my current LC but my previous '90 4 Runner and then '93 80 LC. I grew out of that stage and now I take pride in keeping my truck as clean as possible but still getting exactly where I want to go. Besides, I hate having to spend hours cleaning the thing top to bottom.

    I think that many of the guys who I have met here and seen elsewhere are primarily running in drier, more rocky type terrain. Down here, we have alot of dirt roads and logging roads deep into the woods. I love to check out logging roads but sometimes they are pretty bad, where even the skidders and log trucks are stuck, they just leave them there until it dries up a little. I sometimes just have to turn around and backtrack, which I hate to do. If I had a winch, I would be better able to get through without having to tear up my Cruiser. Yea, I probably could make it if I followed some friends advice to just hit it fast as I can. I don't drive like that. I like to let the vehicle work for me and by knowing its capabilities and my own, and put it into situations where I know it will work fine. I would rather slow pull via winch through areas of deep mudd and skidder rutts and not be spinning and cutting up my tires and slinging mudd everywhere.
     
  10. NW-sickboy

    NW-sickboy

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    I just did the J springs this past weekend to my 97. I am doing it in stages and here is what i have so far..

    did the springs and shocks.....drove it around. felt fine but started to notice the steering was out of wack

    2. threw on my 315 MTR's......really noticed the steering and the ride quaslity wasnt as great but losing the radials was worth it.

    3. caster Kit....drives better. not only straighter but feels alot more sturdy under your hands.....

    i also wheeled it to some extent between each step just to keep tabs on the changes...

    (i also did my brake lines and breather tubes with step 3)

    the one thing that worries me now is that i do think there may be a slight vibration now that i have done the castor kit.

    hopefully this helps....as far as power goes it didnt seem that noticable. and braking is still super.

    I still plan on gearing down becuse i want to be lower while wheeling anyway.....If i were you i would stay in the same path and go with the 35's.
     
  11. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Thanks for sharing your findings with me. I think I should be fine and on the right track by going ahead and installing the new J springs and L shocks. But when you say there may be slight vibration, what is causing it exactly and how can it be corrected? Hopefully it is not going to occur on my truck but if it does, I will want to get it taken care of early on. After I do the install, I am going to take it to my tire shop mechanic and have them check my work and dial back in the rear brakes. They will also check alignment and caster just to see how far it is away from factory. With the OME caster bushings already installed, there is probably not much else I can do to further correct the difference. If it still drives near like it does now, I will live with it until I am ready to take the next step.

    Here are a couple pictures of my Cruiser.
     
  12. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    IIRC, some of the vibration will come from the front driveshaft. that is why Christo says you need one with a cv joint in it. You could pull the driveshaft and lock the transfer (you do have a CDL switch,no?) and go for a ride to see if it's still there.
     
  13. Junk

    Junk

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    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35805#msg35805 date=1062041298]
    Here are a couple pictures of my Cruiser.[/quote]

    Ok, we helped you a tad, now we're gonna bust you up. :flipoff2: Where the frick are the pics of the rig? :eek: :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :D :D :D :D

    Just kidding, but post some so we can see. Oh yeah, one more :flipoff2: for good measure. :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2:
     
  14. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Well...I am trying to get my pictures up but it is not working for me. They are 80K and it appears that only one can be posted at a time. I will keep working on it though.

    I'll try again...
     
  15. Junk

    Junk

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    No worries - we just like to keep people in line. :eek: :flipoff2: :D

    Actually - if the pics are online, it works much easier. You can use the fifth button from the left, bottom row of the YABBC tags and put the url inside the img stuff. Or, if you need help, I can host them for you or anyone (plenty of room) - if ya want, email me and I'll throw them up. :D
     
  16. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Ok, I think I have it this time... ???

    It is kind of large but it gives a good close look anyway. I will try the other way later. When I do the 5th button from left, and it puts something like IMG/ in brackets, what does that mean and what do I do next? Do you mean I put them on the web on my own URL and I just type in the address as a link?
     
  17. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35805#msg35805 date=1062041298]
    But when you say there may be slight vibration, what is causing it exactly and how can it be corrected? Hopefully it is not going to occur on my truck but if it does, I will want to get it taken care of early on.
    [/quote]

    The vibration is from the dirveshafts due to incorrect angles. Caster and correct driveline angles on the front is mutually exclusive. If you fix the one, you screw up the other one. Bottom line is there is no way to currently get both correct with the J springs. It can be done DIY but nothing that you can just bolt in.

    When we designed our suspension, we wanted to have a 5" lift. From testing this works really well with 35" tires. That is about the max you want to go and still have the truck as a daily driver.

    We are brutally honest when doing suspension work. When you go over the regular 2/2.5" OME lift, you open a can of worms. How you address it is your own choice.

    We deal with this on a daily basis. I am all for experimentation, however from your posts in the tread it seems like you don't want any negative effects, don't want to change the way the truck works, don't want to spend the $'s, yet you are still going to do it. Against some advice from other people as well. I might sound arrogant in posting this, however it gets frustrating when I deal with these situations both on the phone and in emails.

    I wish I counted the hours we spend on the phone / wring email in trying to get their suspensions sorted out.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35805#msg35805 date=1062041298]

    After I do the install, I am going to take it to my tire shop mechanic and have them check my work and dial back in the rear brakes. They will also check alignment and caster just to see how far it is away from factory.
    [/quote]

    Please post the numbers from the allignment.
     
  18. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    Junk -- my girlfriend's 22 -- she's coming to your place with me when we make a date to put in my 851/860s... :)
     
  19. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Well, not exactly what I wanted to hear but at least you are being honest. I know you to extensive testing on suspension systems and I strongly value your opinion. As I said earlier, with my current set up, with 100K on the OME springs, I feel that it has settled and softened a bit more than I like. I am trying desperately to decide between going on ahead with the J springs because I really want the lift, added stiffness and better articulation, or sending everything back ( it is being delivered today) and exchanging it for the 850/863 combination. The latter does seem to be the safest route for me to follow but I know myself and more lift is what I really want. If I go with the 850/863 setup, I am afraid I will end up regretful for not having gone with the J spring setup. If I don't do it now, I will want to very soon and perhaps even the 5" lift package would be where I want to go knowing now that it is posible. I realize the cost associated with this building up suspensions and everything else we do to our Land Cruisers, and some people would say it is crazy (like my wife), but I don't care, it is just what we do.

    I guess that ultimately what I am trying to find out is that if by installing the J springs, brake line extensions and breather tubes, can I drive it every day for a month or two without causing any damage to the drivetrain? I can handle it if it feels a little squirly. It already pulls slightly to the right supposedly not being caused by allignment or toe. I forget why my tire shop guy said the reason was but he did say it is not causing irregular tire wear so not to worry,,, I just have lived with it now for a while. I know I will have to replace my U joints with CV joints, but I have been thinkink of replacing the U joints anyway because they have slackened somewhat over the years. They sound and feel pretty good when the are freshly packed or greased but it doesn't last long. One question I have about CV joints though... Are they as strong or stronger that standard U joints?

    So its not really that I don't want to spend the bucks because I already have, I just don't want to have to do it all at once unless I just save up and get all the necessary components acquired (say over the next 4 or 5 months) and then install the completed system all at once.
     
  20. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]
    Well, not exactly what I wanted to hear but at least you are being honest. I know you to extensive testing on suspension systems and I strongly value your opinion. As I said earlier, with my current set up, with 100K on the OME springs, I feel that it has settled and softened a bit more than I like.
    [/quote]

    I can agree that it has probably softened up and sagged a little.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]
    I am trying desperately to decide between going on ahead with the J springs because I really want the lift, added stiffness and better articulation, or sending everything back ( it is being delivered today) and exchanging it for the 850/863 combination. The latter does seem to be the safest route for me to follow but I know myself and more lift is what I really want. If I go with the 850/863 setup, I am afraid I will end up regretful for not having gone with the J spring setup. If I don't do it now, I will want to very soon and perhaps even the 5" lift package would be where I want to go knowing now that it is posible. I realize the cost associated with this building up suspensions and everything else we do to our Land Cruisers, and some people would say it is crazy (like my wife), but I don't care, it is just what we do.
    [/quote]

    We might be over sensitive. The last think we want as a shop, is install a syspension and not make the customers aware of what the issues are and what comes up.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]

    I guess that ultimately what I am trying to find out is that if by installing the J springs, brake line extensions and breather tubes, can I drive it every day for a month or two without causing any damage to the drivetrain?
    [/quote]

    If you have vibrations in driveshafts, and can and will trash your seals and bearings on the transfercase, and even the differential pinion. Will this happen in a week, probably not. In a month, maybe, depending on how bad it is.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]
    I can handle it if it feels a little squirly. It already pulls slightly to the right supposedly not being caused by allignment or toe. I forget why my tire shop guy said the reason was but he did say it is not causing irregular tire wear so not to worry

    [/quote]

    These trucks should not pull. If you have those kinds of issues, they will become worse with a taller truck with less caster.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]
    ,,, I just have lived with it now for a while. I know I will have to replace my U joints with CV joints, but I have been thinkink of replacing the U joints anyway because they have slackened somewhat over the years. They sound and feel pretty good when the are freshly packed or greased but it doesn't last long. One question I have about CV joints though... Are they as strong or stronger that standard U joints?

    [/quote]

    You have to replace the driveshaft, not just the u-joints.

    [quote author=Imagery link=board=2;threadid=4688;start=msg35890#msg35890 date=1062077683]
    So its not really that I don't want to spend the bucks because I already have, I just don't want to have to do it all at once unless I just save up and get all the necessary components acquired (say over the next 4 or 5 months) and then install the completed system all at once.
    [/quote]

    I can understand and appreciate that. If this was a trail truck, driven on weekends no problem. If this is your commuting truck, you will have to deal with it. There are a number of our customers that do run the J springs with just the OME caster correction bushings. I have driven their trucks. Although ok, some have vibrations and some feel ok on the road, however I am not sure they would handle that well when you have to make an emergency maneuver.

    Also, fwiw, we are working on a new lift that will be 5" with only springs, and no spacers. We are just about done testing the new springs and should be able to supply it before Christmas :D

    Christo