Building an OME lift piece by piece -- shocks, bushings, etc. that fit?

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Dec 28, 2010
Vashon, WA, USA
So, I got a screamin' deal on some barely used front leafs, and I'd like to piece together the rest of a lift for as cheap as possible without any serious, rig/life-threatening drawbacks.

Here's what I'm assuming is basically mandatory:
- Front/rear springs (duh)
- 24 bushings
- Front/rear shocks
- New u-bolts? (Since I'm assuming the ones with my factory springs are going to be too short, along with the whole 'you should get new ones when you put on new springs' aspect)

Can I get by with just that? My cruiser is pretty much rust-free on the underside so I'm assuming my pin/bolts will be salvageable, and I can use my stock shackles.

Next, are there non-OME-branded u-bolts that fit which I can get for cheaper?

Also, do 'stock-sized' bushings work with OME Dakar springs? I found a thread that seemed to suggest that people like Energy Suspension Poly Bushings, and those look like they're about half the cost of OME.

Last but not least, can anyone recommend shocks that are long enough for OME springs but aren't friggin' $100 a piece? So far I've found some Skyjackers for $45 a corner that *claim* to fit a 60 with "0-2" inches of lift, and then SOR sells some Procomp shocks for $61 a piece, but the choices they offer are 1-2 inches above stock, and 3-4, so I'm not sure which would make more sense for a 2-2.5" lift?
As for U-bolts...
If you're pinching pennies, you can reuse the original Toyota U-bolts without risk. I know, I know, lots of guys will tell you to replace them, but the fact is, they will never break. They are long enough to accept a thicker spring pack. I have 8 leaves in my rears/7 in front).

I've been re-using my original Toyota u-bolts that came with the truck for 30 years and have changed spring packs 3 times. The truck has been way overloaded and has driven thousand(s) of miles on the roughest dirt "roads" in Baja over the decades. Pounded. Hard.

I've never heard of someone breaking a land cruiser u-bolt ever. And if it was going to break, mine surely would have.
You will want to call Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters with questions and to order missing bits.

I 2nd (within reason) the re-use of u-bolts. I had aftermarket ones made for my FJ55, and when I torqued them to spec, they just kept stretching and stretching.

I have used KYB Gas-adjust shocks on many Land Cruisers and F-series Fords, and have been very happy with the low price, durability, and performance.
Steve, do you have stock springs or a lift with those KYB shocks? If lifted, are the shocks the KG4026 and KG5475 that KYB's catalog seems to think will fit my '85?


Right now, I'm thinking strongly of just getting the bushings and rear springs, then seeing if I can make everything else work, and replace anything that's too rusted on to use (but I've had good luck with everything else that should be rusted solid on this rig, so fingers are crossed).

If my (still perfectly fine) stock shocks limit axle droop too much for mild offroad in the short term, I'll go through the hassle of figuring out part numbers etc. If I end up getting those KYBs, that's only an extra $120ish.
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I think I found that KYBs may be fractionally shorter than what was on my truck (unknown - possibly Toyota). Ihave an AAL in the back, and some HJ-61 springs in the front that brought it back to about stock height.

I would wait and get the shocks last, until you know how much lift you are really getting. Obviously, having your shocks limit your suspension travel is a bad thing. Measure your wheelwell-to-ground height before you start swapping parts, so you know for sure how much lift you have.

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