100 series driving dynamics

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Not sure if title is correct. New owner of a 2004 100 with Ironman lift, front and rear bumpers, 33” BFg at tires. I’ve never owned a cruiser or an awd vehicle I guess the closest I’ve owned is a fjcruiser. The steering seems heavy and the vehicle wanders quite a bit, reminds me of a 1 ton truck with 19.5 wheels of that makes sense to anyone. Alignment is good, as far as I can tell everything is tight- maintenance has been impeccable on this truck. I guess I’m asking if this is normal, I’m comparing to my daily driver- a new Silverado 1500.
 

abuck99

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How much lift do you have going on? Do you have any rake, or does your rig sit level? A little rake goes a long way in terms of steering composition on the highway. If you’re lifted 2-3”, which seems to be the norm around here, your caster will be off with factory upper control arms which will affect your steering feel at freeway speeds. Don’t forget these are heavy vehicles. The truck feel is half the fun.
 

jLB

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A 2004 LC (without VGRS), and a 2004 LX (with VGRS) feel a bit different.

Depending on the condition of various bits & pieces, and your frame of reference, it could be "normal" or "not normal"...
 
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ClassyJalopy

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At least 1" rake front to back and at least 2⁰ caster on front wheels will help a lot with th wandering. But yes the steering is heavy on these vehicles but not vague at all.
 
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I'm assuming you have a LC because VGRS does smooth a lot of this out. If its an LX, then bring your steering geo back to OEM with proper links and UCA, etc. and it should be a lot more compliant. Hard to grasp when folks go for this much lift but don't compensate with geo corrections, unless it's a primary trail rig.

Remember, these are very heavy and proper body on frame trucks disguised as an "SUV"...
 
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Thanks guys. Yes it's and LC not a LX. I'm not sure if the upper arms are stock or not, I need to check. As far as rake it looks pretty level, Ironman bull bar on the front, dissent bumper with swingouts on back.
 

abuck99

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Drop the air in front tires to 32-34lbs. Try getting an alignment from a qualified tech- (most suck)

Coming from another vehicle the steering generally feels a little vague combined with the slightly taller A/T contribute to the wandering steering sensation. If you’ve too much front lift that makes it worse. 21” and under fender to hub center measurement is your target.

More caster >>>2+<<< (degrees not inches) Toe in setting makes an impact on wandering as well
 
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When i had my steering rack replaced it went from a loose 80s pickup to tight like a BMW.......
 

ClassyJalopy

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When i had my steering rack replaced it went from a loose 80s pickup to tight like a BMW.......
Aww, come on man, we are all koolaid drinkers here but "tight like a BMW"?!? That level of exaggeration must eat at your soul :rofl:
 
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Aww, come on man, we are all koolaid drinkers here but "tight like a BMW"?!? That level of exaggeration must eat at your soul :rofl:

A gazillion other comparisons that would be more fitting than a...BMW? :moon:
 
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I will say for what these rigs are and their age, the on-center steering is impressive, especially with a newer rack down there:steer:
 
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Drop the air in front tires to 32-34lbs. Try getting an alignment from a qualified tech- (most suck)

Coming from another vehicle the steering generally feels a little vague combined with the slightly taller A/T contribute to the wandering steering sensation. If you’ve too much front lift that makes it worse. 21” and under fender to hub center measurement is your target.

More caster >>>2+<<< (degrees not inches) Toe in setting makes an impact on wandering as well
I measured 22” tonight. Maybe adding a winch will “help” lol
 

hoser

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Your experience is common but not exactly normal. If you wanted to improve the "driving dynamics," (and didn't want to return it back to stock), you would:

-Increase caster via aftermarket upper control arms (even consider reduce front ride height)
-You have RW wheels which means you likely have wheel adapters. What size? Increasing the scrub radius also increases steering effort
-steering rack bushings are often worn, have somebody turn the steering wheel left/right and watch the rack for excessive movement (also check inner and outer TRE's)
-Swaybar bushings are often worn. New bushings along with extended sway bar links (to match lift height) will help
 

abuck99

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Aww, come on man, we are all koolaid drinkers here but "tight like a BMW"?!? That level of exaggeration must eat at your soul :rofl:
:steer:Ok, here goes....we have an '02 FJ100, AND an '03 E39 530i (along w/an '03 Tundra & Dodge 2500 work truck), the Tundra is Lifted & has 20" Moto Metal Rims & 33's on it, bounces around like a damn clown car, Drives me bat feces crazy & I'm going back to stock for the TRD SR5's. I REGULARLY Go from the 530i to the Box Stock LC W/Mich Defenders on 16" Rims 275/70/r16's) and Both are tight like You're driving on Rails. YES, the Beemer's exponentially Faster, but the LC's, when left original, are tight as a tick w/the factory wheel-tire setup. I already hear u-joints failing in the lifted Tundra. Feel them in my seat too.....much fun for 2 weekends from now. A New steering rack we don't need, but I can relate to a tight FJ rivaling steering in bmw's, btdt, weekly if not daily! Can take hands off the wheel for 20-30 seconds & Both the bmw & FJ100 track scary straight down the road; both also have super low miles, but apples 2 apples, the LC's more fun at the 2 hr mark than the bmw, & the BMW goes downhill fast from there on out. Not comfortable for a 4hr haul, & the LC's just getting fun at 4hrs? Handling & Comfort really start making a difference at the 3hr mark imho, & if I have to drive 9-20 hrs, I know which keys I'm grabbing!:clap:
 
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Aww, come on man, we are all koolaid drinkers here but "tight like a BMW"?!? That level of exaggeration must eat at your soul :rofl:
Im serious, i dont think guys know how good these 100s can drive with the proper setup.
 

ClassyJalopy

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:steer:Ok, here goes....we have an '02 FJ100, AND an '03 E39 530i (along w/an '03 Tundra & Dodge 2500 work truck), the Tundra is Lifted & has 20" Moto Metal Rims & 33's on it, bounces around like a damn clown car, Drives me bat feces crazy & I'm going back to stock for the TRD SR5's. I REGULARLY Go from the 530i to the Box Stock LC W/Mich Defenders on 16" Rims 275/70/r16's) and Both are tight like You're driving on Rails. YES, the Beemer's exponentially Faster, but the LC's, when left original, are tight as a tick w/the factory wheel-tire setup. I already hear u-joints failing in the lifted Tundra. Feel them in my seat too.....much fun for 2 weekends from now. A New steering rack we don't need, but I can relate to a tight FJ rivaling steering in bmw's, btdt, weekly if not daily! Can take hands off the wheel for 20-30 seconds & Both the bmw & FJ100 track scary straight down the road; both also have super low miles, but apples 2 apples, the LC's more fun at the 2 hr mark than the bmw, & the BMW goes downhill fast from there on out. Not comfortable for a 4hr haul, & the LC's just getting fun at 4hrs? Handling & Comfort really start making a difference at the 3hr mark imho, & if I have to drive 9-20 hrs, I know which keys I'm grabbing!:clap:
I agree about seat comfort on long drives in LC vs. BMW. I too have had at least one BMW in the stable at all times for at least 6 years now. My LX is set up nice with all new rubber/control arm everywhere but still old steering rack and I can't for the life of me mistake the LX for my BMWs! Just the body motions of a 2.5 tons are on a different playing field altogether.
Perhaps a new steering rack on my LX would change the steering feel slightly but there is no play in it at the moment so not sure it will change much.
Perhaps the difference in our experience is because of the condition of your BMW's suspension? They tend to worn out by the time they hit 90k! I usually put all new suspension on my Bimmers and have never found them in any way comparable to the LC.

Here's what I have owned so far in the BMW land:
e46 325i, e46 325i 5MT, e46 325xi, E39 525iT 5MT, E53 530i, E53 530i 5MT, E60 530xi 6MT, F15 35i X-drive.
 

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