Another Caster question. Bushings, front correction plates or rear drop brackets for a OME 3 inch 97 on 35s (1 Viewer)

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Oct 30, 2018
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Sorry to ask but after reading threads about lifts for 4 days my head is spinning. I'm building my 97 around 315/70/16s and for better or worse have gone with the OME 850J and OME 863J springs. I have a winch and winch bumper now (hence the front J spring). That said I see three choices for putting the kit on. (Well 4 if you think bout new front arms but they are not in the budget) So I'm asking for any and all input on what i think are the 3 most used solutions and an pros and cons i may have missed

1/ use the case correction bushing that came from OME. I have a press and the bushing die to push them in. Down side is i just don't like the idea of the holes bushings not being centered in the bushings and the rear arms getting close to the other suspension components

2. Use caster correction plates at the front. Whist end don't seem to make the 2-3 inch ones any more and the Slee ones (and all others i can find) seem to be for 4" this would in theory give me too much caster correction Slee 4 inch brackets the question here is will the Slee or other brands have to much caster correction for a 3 inch lift?

3/ Iron Man and others do a rear arm drop bracket that seems an elegant solution bit naturally has reduces clearance somewhat. with 35s this should be offset to some degree and on the plus side it seems to keep the arms close to the stock angles for geometry reasons. Rear arm Drop Boxes Down side is they talk about for 2 inch lifts..

So you can see my dilemma, its Friday, its payday and i would like to get something on order today so i can work on it next weekend. I have a welder so that should not be a consideration and extended brake lines nd new pan hard bars sway bar drops that will all go on at the same time

Thanks and always in advance and any guidance will be much apricated to help me get out of this decision paralysis..

Dave

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Heckraiser

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Don't use the bushings--they don't last and most provide inadequate caster correction for a 3" lift. The OME yellow CC bushings are among the worst, do not use unless you plan to go in and fix it later!

As for caster plates vs. drop brackets, it's really a matter of preference.

Drop brackets will correct the caster with the least amount of compromise in terms of suspension geometry. There's no possibility you'll get tie rod/radius arm rubbing and you don't need to drill any holes in your rig. Those are all plusses. The big minus is they will reduce your ground clearance under the truck so if you do serious rock crawling where you're in danger of dragging belly, you'll make more contact with the ground. You should look into the @eimkeith drop brackets if you're OK with welding it up. Using a 2" drop may under-correct the caster a little bit for a real 3" lift, but it's better than nothing and better than the yellow bushings.

Caster plates correct the caster with no loss of ground clearance. Some run into clearance issues with the tie rod, but most do not. I run Landtank 4" caster plates on a 3" lift and it works great for me, but I do have a double cardan driveshaft. I had the driveshaft before I installed he plates, so I can't say whether it's necessary (every truck seems to be different in this regard, anyway). In my experience, the greater the caster angle, the better the handling, so I had no qualms with going with the 4" plates and I didn't run into any clearance issues.
 
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Joined
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Olathe, KS, USA
You can get caster plates from @landtank . He was the supplier to Wits' End during that time.

Contact him direct and buy direct these days. Wits' End site advises that.

Start out with OEM bushings and Landtank Caster Plates and Eimkeith or Delta Vs rear panhard bracket
 

sxp

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Jul 23, 2017
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Portland, ME
Currently, I use Delta arms, but before that, I had drop brackets. Drop brackets get a bad rap around here because they can limit clearance. I think they are a great solution for fixing the front end, especially if you aren't overly concerned about hitting them.
 

Delta VS

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NO bushings are going to give you the component life you're looking for.

Always recommend the Landtank plates over any others.

Drop brackets are good if you don't do any "technical" off-roading (according to most).
 

brockdeck

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I have the Landtank 2.5-3” correction plates and could not be happier. OEM bushings, worth every penny. I am happy that I didn’t go in any other direction. You can purchase them directly from @landtank

Every setup is different, so to be sure to measure what you need to measure. This option worked perfect for me and allowed me to avoid driveline vibes.
 

Heckraiser

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In all fairness to the drop brackets, I have dragged my stock (not brackets) radius arm mounts over rocks with some regularity and have yet to really damage them. I have bent stock radius arms. It's more of a nuissance and makes you cringe a little when it happens, but it's not like your suspension will fall apart if you get hung up in the rocks with a drop bracket.
 
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I had caster correction bushings for the longest time and just got used to the truck dodging on every rut in the road. I thought that was normal for an 80. Then, a Mudder posted a set of caster correction plates and I had them installed - instant improvement in tracking and steering.

The plates get the job done economically. New arms get the job done professionally, albeit at higher cost. Definitely do one or the other - this is probably the single biggest improvement you can make to the road handling of the vehicle if you're going with a lift and bigger tires.
 

leonard_nemoy

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I would 2nd the eimkeith RAM drop brackets. They are very budget friendly if you can weld. Plus the design should help keep them from hanging up on rocks. They are nice and rounded.

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Plus if you ever want to go back the oem holes are waiting for you. It would be as simple as cutting the brackets off.
 
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bozeman montana
I had this exact set up on my last 80. I had about 3” of lift and dobinsons caster plates. I didn’t have any vibrations and it drove pretty good! BUT I did have to grind down the radius arm so the tie rod would clear when the front end flexed. I was happy with it but I can’t leave anything alone and wanted something that flexed more. Soooooo

my current 80 has dobinsons tapered coils and I get about 4” of lift. I run slee caster plates in conjunction with the eimkeith RAM. This set up drives WAY better. But you have to run a part time kit or else you WILL get vibrations due to the pinion angle.
 
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Texas
3/ Iron Man and others do a rear arm drop bracket that seems an elegant solution bit naturally has reduces clearance somewhat. with 35s this should be offset to some degree and on the plus side it seems to keep the arms close to the stock angles for geometry reasons. Rear arm Drop Boxes Down side is they talk about for 2 inch lifts..
Wow I've never seen those! I might go this route, thanks for sharing! And I think you misread their description a little:
"The Ironman 4x4 Drop Boxes (DBOX's) were engineered to lower the chassis side of the radius arms down 3 1/8” (80mm) from the frame rails."

That sounds about right for a 3 inch lift, which I am also planning on doing (j springs and 315s)
 

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