1985 FJ60 cheap lift?

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Hey all, I just purchased a beater FJ60 that I'll be using for getting up and down some mountain property of mine in the high desert and exploring the surrounding areas. I'm not looking to pour tons of money into this rig but currently its looking pretty sad with some weak leaf springs, ancient shocks and 10 year old street tires. I'm trying do something about all of these things in one fell swoop. I'm hoping someone has some insight on a few things: Is it a terrible idea to get a cheap rough country 3" lift kit for $650 (front and rear leaf springs, shocks all round, u bolts, bushings etc..) or is that an acceptable kit for a beater? Does anyone have any better ideas for a similar price point? If the rough country kit is acceptable for a beater then my next question is what size tires would be ideal for an fj60 with a 3" lift? I don't want the fully stuffed look and I don't want to cut fenders or anything. Just want tires that look like they belong. I'm attaching a photo showing the passenger side rear leaf spring which I assume are worn out mainly because the rear sags a little lower than the front when completely empty. Thanks so much, this forum is amazing!

IMG_7726.jpeg
 

OSS

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High desert = 2000 to 3000 foot elevation?
There’s nothing the high desert that requires tires bigger than 31" and 31s are pretty much the max you want to go with stock axle gears.
The trick is finding a shop that will mount them on the narrow 6” wide original wheels.
I’d call your nearby tire shops to confirm they’d mount them.
Otherwise you’re going to have to get new wheels- 7” wide.

Any new spring pack set that’s designated to fit a FJ60 will be fine. 3” lift is pretty high. I’d aim for a 2” lift. It’s plenty high for everything
 
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High desert = 2000 to 3000 foot elevation?
There’s nothing the high desert that requires tires bigger than 31" and 31s are pretty much the max you want to go with stock axle gears.
The trick is finding a shop that will mount them on the narrow 6” wide original wheels.
I’d call your nearby tire shops to confirm they’d mount them.
Otherwise you’re going to have to get new wheels- 7” wide.

Any new spring pack set that’s designated to fit a FJ60 will be fine. 3” lift is pretty high. I’d aim for a 2” lift. It’s plenty high for everything
3500ft in elevation but its mountainous here and I can be below sea level in 40 minutes. 31" sounds good to me. Do 31's fit nicely with the stock FJ60 springs (when they're not sagging like mine)? Or are they a better fit with a 2" lift? Thanks for the response!
 

OSS

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31X10.50R15 All-Terrains are THE classic desert tire for the FJ60. You can’t go wrong with that setup. Aired down they will take you across any loose granite sand wash/arroyo.
That tire will fit and not rub no matter how smasked and flattened the springs are. They look balanced and in proportion on a 2” lift too.
 
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31X10.50R15 All-Terrains are THE classic desert tire for the FJ60. You can’t go wrong with that setup. Aired down they will take you across any loose granite sand wash/arroyo.
That tire will fit and not rub no matter how smasked and flattened the springs are. They look balanced and in proportion on a 2” lift too.
Exactly the info I'm looking for, thank you!
 

John Staton

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1667690511212.png

31 with a refreshed Old Man EMU suspension. Mine was pretty flat too when I got her.
 
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That sounds good, do you have a recommendation on the shackles and add a leafs?
You would have to research it. You would also have to hope you have no cracked leaves in your current packs. You wouldn't know for sure until the pack is apart. Sometimes going cheap ends up being a waste of time on old rigs. It may just be time to buy a ome kit. If your suspension still works just save up for it. The truck will ride really nice
 

OSS

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The thing about adding another leaf (add-a-leaf) to a worn out tired pack is that you’re then asking that one new leaf to lift up the vehicle.
It might add a little height in the beginning but itll get overwhelmed by the excessive weight trying to do everything by itself.
They don’t last long when added to tired old saggy packs.
 
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The thing about adding another leaf (add-a-leaf) to a worn out tired pack is that you’re then asking that one new leaf to lift up the vehicle.
It might add a little height in the beginning but itll get overwhelmed by the excessive weight trying to do everything by itself.
They don’t last long when added to tired old saggy packs.
Thats a good point. I think my first choice would be to find new springs that keep the height close to stock or at most an inch or so higher than stock. From photos I've seen 31's can look sort of small on certain fj60's with a 2" lift. Some look really good though. I found another thread on here from someone trying to find stock height springs and it ended up taking months for the front springs to show up and by then they just purchased a 2" lift instead. Would it be a bad idea to just throw 2" lift shackles on the front and rear springs just to get the ride to around 1" over what stock was when the original springs were fresh? Ive also found OME has front springs with the model number CS004F that are apparently only a 1.2" lift. I havent found the equivalent for the rear yet but does anyone have experience with these springs?
 

batthewmrown

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Exit Offroad (@crikeymike) has a 15% off coupon for the month of November on their site. I get that you're looking to go the most economical route but the Dobinsons kit is A+ and will only help the ride/performance and (potential) future resale. Jus' sayin'.
 
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Exit Offroad (@crikeymike) has a 15% off coupon for the month of November on their site. I get that you're looking to go the most economical route but the Dobinsons kit is A+ and will only help the ride/performance and (potential) future resale. Jus' sayin'.
The Dobinsons kit is a 2" lift right? I'm hesitant to lift this thing 2" and only put 31's on it, seems like fj60's sometimes look a little weird with that combo from the photos I've seen. Seems like if I want bigger tires I'll have to re-gear since I'm in a mountainous area. By the time I'm done buying a lift kit and re gearing I'll have spent more than I paid for the truck within a week of owning it haha. It needs new tires ASAP so I think I'm just going to go with the tried and true 31's and slightly longer shackles to get it closer to original height then enjoy it for years as is and maybe collect parts for a bigger lift/tires/regear when I'm due for new tires in several years. Hopefully by then I'll understand more what I want out of this thing and maybe I'll have collected some used parts.
 

batthewmrown

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The Dobinsons kit is a 2" lift right? I'm hesitant to lift this thing 2" and only put 31's on it, seems like fj60's sometimes look a little weird with that combo from the photos I've seen. Seems like if I want bigger tires I'll have to re-gear since I'm in a mountainous area. By the time I'm done buying a lift kit and re gearing I'll have spent more than I paid for the truck within a week of owning it haha. It needs new tires ASAP so I think I'm just going to go with the tried and true 31's and slightly longer shackles to get it closer to original height then enjoy it for years as is and maybe collect parts for a bigger lift/tires/regear when I'm due for new tires in several years. Hopefully by then I'll understand more what I want out of this thing and maybe I'll have collected some used parts.
When I replaced my saggy springs, I may have gotten 2" of lift from stock height, but I got almost 6" from where I was before. I don't know where I'm at now, now that it's inevitably settled some but I've got 30" KO2s and, while it doesn't look super modded out and aggro, it doesn't look bad. Anyway, 100% agree on the not lighting the credit card on fire just yet. That time is sure to come.
 

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