2.5" or 4" Lift...Shackles, Springs and Shocks (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Spokane WA
I have a '72 FJ40 and I have been looking for the best combination of shackles, springs and shocks...and of course there is just an abundance of information out there. I am hoping we can get it narrowed down a little bit here.

Here is what I want:

1. I want to run 33x10.50 tires
2. I want to be able to take my hard top off and have the truck stay relatively level. A little higher rear than the front is OK but nothing too high.
3. Proper shackle geometry. I can't stand the look or ride of shackles that are vertical.

Currently I have stock springs and worn out shocks and at some point, the shackles were extended from 2-3/4" to 4-1/2". Anyways, it all needs to be changed and upgraded. Everything else on the FJ40 is stock. I have 5100 series Bilsteins on my Tacoma and I love them. I would like to put them on my 40 as well. Bilsteins seem to get high praise on several threads here.

Here is what I have my eye on/looking for:

1. Shackles: Lots of options out there, I just want the right ones.
2. Springs: Skyjacker looks like they make a good 2.5" and 4" lift option. Everyone also seems impressed with the OME 2.5" kit as well.
3. Shocks: I am looking at Bilstein 5100 (33-185552) shocks in the rear and Bilstein 5125 (33-185606) shocks in the front.

I am open to other options as well, this is just what I have come up with so far.

I would like to see some pictures of setups that are similar to what I have explained here. Part numbers are also appreciated. I am looking to order these parts up soon! Thanks for the help in advance!

P.S. I am not interested in having the stock springs re-shaped to achieve a lift. I just don't think it is durable in the long run.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
393
Location
Somerset KY
I'm in the same boat. I know a lot of folks like the OME springs. I'm not real enthused with their dampers, and their steering damper mounting type is completely wrong. I haven't seen many issues out of the OME springs on 40's, but they aren't Japanese quality. A quick google search shows a bunch of issues with OME springs in other applications. I have seen several quality control issues with the OME shackles and their plating doesn't look very good at all.

I wish we could just get factory Toyota leaf springs, a Japanese made shackle, and Tokico shocks at a longer static length.

KYB makes an OEM replacement steering damper (possibly for Toyota) but they don't offer it in the US market. I've been trying to get them to ship some over but they are very difficult to deal with.

I wouldn't mind pulling the trigger on an OME kit minus their dampers but the cost just seems way too much for what you get.

Pro Comp offers springs but haven't heard much about them.

Like you I am leaning towards Bilsteins. I may forgo springs right now, replace all shackles, bushings, and shocks and see how it goes after that. Cruiser Corps had some decent looking anti inversion shackles for about $45/piece.
 

77mustard40

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Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
1,682
Location
Austin, TX
I’ve had the OME 2.5” kit for about 10 years and recently went to 4” Skyjackers up front. I like you had extended my front shackles to try to keep a somewhat level stance but was still nose down. FYI I have a warn 8274 up front with the top off.

I went back to the shorter shackles when I swapped the front springs, and swapped in longer Bilsteins 5125’s. I’m now sitting level and really like the new springs. They are slightly longer than the OME springs, my axle came forward about 3/4” to center the pins in the axle perch. I needed longer center pins in the springs (I have 4 degree shims). Shackle angle is much better than it was with the OME’s. My vote is Skyjacker.

9A38CC1B-4D69-4ADF-B9B4-7C5AD394CF5F.jpeg
 

rkymtnflyfisher

Day drinking instructor
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Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
6,592
Location
Montana
How does it ride on paved roads or the highway? I hear the skyjackers are pretty rigid.
It rides great, for a leaf spring rig. I run 65 mph all day long, no kidney damage. It sways a bit on hard corners but nothing that isn’t expected driving a top heavy FJ40.
I don’t think they are rigid at all, hell I even have an add-a-leaf in the rear spring packs because I’m a little heavy.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Spokane WA
I'm in the same boat. I know a lot of folks like the OME springs. I'm not real enthused with their dampers, and their steering damper mounting type is completely wrong. I haven't seen many issues out of the OME springs on 40's, but they aren't Japanese quality. A quick google search shows a bunch of issues with OME springs in other applications. I have seen several quality control issues with the OME shackles and their plating doesn't look very good at all.

I wish we could just get factory Toyota leaf springs, a Japanese made shackle, and Tokico shocks at a longer static length.

KYB makes an OEM replacement steering damper (possibly for Toyota) but they don't offer it in the US market. I've been trying to get them to ship some over but they are very difficult to deal with.

I wouldn't mind pulling the trigger on an OME kit minus their dampers but the cost just seems way too much for what you get.

Pro Comp offers springs but haven't heard much about them.

Like you I am leaning towards Bilsteins. I may forgo springs right now, replace all shackles, bushings, and shocks and see how it goes after that. Cruiser Corps had some decent looking anti inversion shackles for about $45/piece.
It sure seems like the OME springs are popular but I have a feeling that good marketing is likely why they sell, not necessarily a great lift. I have also seen lots of mixed reviews on the OME lift kits and I am convinced I can do better with less money.

I am sold on Bilsteins. The price is right and they work incredibly well on my 2000 Tacoma. The ride is great on and off road. Bilstein says to put their 5125 (33-185606) up front and their 5125 (33-185552) on the back.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Spokane WA
I’ve had the OME 2.5” kit for about 10 years and recently went to 4” Skyjackers up front. I like you had extended my front shackles to try to keep a somewhat level stance but was still nose down. FYI I have a warn 8274 up front with the top off.

I went back to the shorter shackles when I swapped the front springs, and swapped in longer Bilsteins 5125’s. I’m now sitting level and really like the new springs. They are slightly longer than the OME springs, my axle came forward about 3/4” to center the pins in the axle perch. I needed longer center pins in the springs (I have 4 degree shims). Shackle angle is much better than it was with the OME’s. My vote is Skyjacker.

View attachment 2639681
Are you still running OME 2.5" springs in the rear? By shorter shackles, do you mean stock length? It looks like your shackle geometry is about right. Did you shim both axels?

At this point, I am really leaning towards the Skyjacker 4" springs with Bilsteins. I would like to see a side picture of your FJ40 if you have one.
 

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