4X4Labs Heavy Duty Steering System for 60 Series (1 Viewer)

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I've long been unhappy with the stock steering system on the 60 series. If the truck is loaded up for expedition travel, with a bullbar, rear carrier, 2 spare tires, spares, tools, roof tent and stuff for a few weeks, the stock steering does not perform well. There is a delay in the system and it could be much more responsive. Furthermore, I've been going through tie rod ends every 20k miles or so, as they just don't hold up to the washboard roads in Baja.
So I've seen Kevin Rowland's experiments with 4X4 Labs steering systems, talked to Luke Porter and he made steering arms and rods for my truck. It took a little back and forth to get the arms right, and they came out perfect. The arms as well as relay rod and steering rod are much heavier duty than stock. The tie rod ends are FJ80 ends, which are still available from Toyota and heavier duty than the 60 series ends.
The System is simply great. there is zero lag in the steering and the truck is more responsive than it ever was. Time will tell whether the ends hold up better than the 60 series ones. I am off to 9 days in new Mexico tomorrow, so this is a start.
Here are some pics of the arms, ends and the system installed.
 
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Here is what I did for the steering dampener: I bought weldable shaft collars with a 3/4 and 1 1/4 bore from McMaster Carr (McMaster-Carr) and TIG welded them together. This allows to securely attach the piece of the stock relay rod end that originally held the stabilizer and attach it to the new relay rod. So far it seems to work great.
Cheers,
Jan
 
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Rigger

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I like that. I like it a lot!

My FJ62 has wandering and imprecise steering. It is on my to-do list to spend some time working on improving things. I have suspected for a long time that the danged springy relay rod ends are one of the culprits. I even put up a thread about it a while back:

https://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/325024-aftermarket-non-springy-relay-rod-ends-sua.html

Your system neatly removes those springy ends.

Nice going! Glad you solved the problem!

Do you mind sharing what the system cost?
 
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I like that. I like it a lot!

My FJ62 has wandering and imprecise steering. It is on my to-do list to spend some time working on improving things. I have suspected for a long time that the danged springy relay rod ends are one of the culprits. I even put up a thread about it a while back:

https://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/325024-aftermarket-non-springy-relay-rod-ends-sua.html

Your system neatly removes those springy ends.

Nice going! Glad you solved the problem!

Do you mind sharing what the system cost?

Putting on new good quality ends will probably help you out for a while, but in my opinion they are just not a long term solution, especially if you load up your truck and drive it over bad roads a lot.

The system was $550. I probably spent easily that in tie rod end kits and alignment over the last 5 years :rolleyes:
 
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I think it is worth saying that a dampener should be positioned as close to souce of the shock you are trying to dampen as possible. That would mean between the axle and the tie rod, not on the drag link where it is subject to to vertical position changes as well as lateral and subjects the drag link to a beating that would otherwise be dampened upstream.
 
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I think it is worth saying that a dampener should be positioned as close to souce of the shock you are trying to dampen as possible. That would mean between the axle and the tie rod, not on the drag link where it is subject to to vertical position changes as well as lateral and subjects the drag link to a beating that would otherwise be dampened upstream.

It's actually in the stock position. Toyotas designed it so that the one bracket is on the upper front of the frame at the passenger side, and the other one is incorporated in the driver's side relay rod end.
Which does not mean it could not be improved.
It works well though. I drove the truck without the dampener for a while, and there is quite a difference.
cheers,
J
 
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I'm really pumped about this thread--can't wait for the results of the Mexico trip!

This is using the stock pump and steering box then? Saginaw pump? Can Luke Porter repoduce your setup upon request? What do you think about a Howe truggy system with those steering arms for the ultimate baja 60? AHHH, so many questions!!!
 
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I'm really pumped about this thread--can't wait for the results of the Mexico trip!

This is using the stock pump and steering box then? Saginaw pump? Can Luke Porter repoduce your setup upon request? What do you think about a Howe truggy system with those steering arms for the ultimate baja 60? AHHH, so many questions!!!

The pump is from an HJ61 and the box has been rebuilt by West texas Off Road. Otherwise the system is stock. I think the truggy system would be overkill-the stock system is plenty strong for what I need it.

I am sure Luke can reproduce the arms.
cheers,
Jan
 

Rigger

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Putting on new good quality ends will probably help you out for a while . . .

I put all brand-spanky-new Toyota OEM TRE's on; the two on the tie rod and the two on the relay rod. I think my problem is a combination of need a few more degrees of caster and need to be rid of those springy relay rod ends. I also am going to check to make sure I don't have loose wheel bearings.

Your set-up is really trick. I like it!
 

Rigger

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Can Luke Porter repoduce your setup upon request?

X2. I spoke to Luke about something like this a year or so ago. In the end, I decided to go factory. I wonder if Luke has this dialed in as a kit now?
 
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X2. I spoke to Luke about something like this a year or so ago. In the end, I decided to go factory. I wonder if Luke has this dialed in as a kit now?

He has the arms as a kit. However, mine needed a little tweaking, as the setup he had in stock caused the steering rod to touch the diff. pumpkin when the wheel was fully turned. Luke then made arms where the holes are 0.125 inches further out, which solved the problem.
This will probably depend a little on what lift kit you have on, and whether you have caster correction shims or not.
If you check in Kevin Rowland's 60 series built thread, I think he could use the stock arms and did not have a problem with the rod hitting the pumpkin. Maybe my truck is weird (heavy duty OME lift).
In any case, Luke was great to work with and solved the puzzle.
cheers,
J
 

Rigger

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In my conversations with Luke, he came across as very smart and very willing to help. His reputation on this board is solid.
 

Spook50

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Nice setup. I've been wanting to have Luke do up a setup for me that I can easily integrate ram assist into. Can the setup he made for you be easily converted to hysteer in the future if need be?

Is he also going to leave the arms the way they were before your setup, or keep them 0.125" longer to avoid rubbing issues in the future?

Ideally, I'd love to beef up my steering system now and be able to tweak it as I make changes to my suspension (spring swaps, SR sooner or later, SOA later, etc.) later on down the road.
 
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Nice setup. I've been wanting to have Luke do up a setup for me that I can easily integrate ram assist into. Can the setup he made for you be easily converted to hysteer in the future if need be?

Is he also going to leave the arms the way they were before your setup, or keep them 0.125" longer to avoid rubbing issues in the future?

Ideally, I'd love to beef up my steering system now and be able to tweak it as I make changes to my suspension (spring swaps, SR sooner or later, SOA later, etc.) later on down the road.

Hi Spook,

I think if you want to convert to hysteer you will need different arms. The ones I have bend downwards-I think hysteer arms bend upwards to clear the spring on a SOA. But I am not an expert there.

Also I don't know whether he will keep the holes .125 further out. It would make sense IMO, as it does not max out the steering box and avoids the rubbing problem. But apparently not everyone had this problem in the first place, so tiny differences in the setup might count big.

cheers,
J
 

FJ60Cam

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I just ordered this kit yesterday, after seeing yours I really can't wait :bounce::bounce2:

I was thinking of doing the steering stabilizer similar to yours, but cutting the tab off the old mount and welding it directly to the 1.25" bar clamp (or two clamps if needed.)
 

FJ60Cam

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Does anyone know if you can you replace the new steering arms without tearing the knuckle apart? Do the bearings stay in place? I don't want to tear it all down if not needed...
 

Cruiserdrew

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You need to take it apart enough to get the backing plate for the brakes out of the way, but that's all the disassembly required.
 
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I just ordered this kit yesterday, after seeing yours I really can't wait :bounce::bounce2:

I was thinking of doing the steering stabilizer similar to yours, but cutting the tab off the old mount and welding it directly to the 1.25" bar clamp (or two clamps if needed.)

That might work. I did not do it, since one is weldable steel, the other is cast iron, and I was not sure of the outcome. Let me know how it works.
cheers,
J
 
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Does anyone know if you can you replace the new steering arms without tearing the knuckle apart? Do the bearings stay in place? I don't want to tear it all down if not needed...

You need to take it apart enough to get the backing plate for the brakes out of the way, but that's all the disassembly required.

You do not have to take the knuckle apart. You can take the soft brake lines off between the axle and the backing plate. That is enough to get the arm off.

cheers,
J
 

FJ60Cam

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I saw this pic on kevinmrowland's thread which gave me the idea...

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