Control arm drop brackets vs poly caster correction bushings

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jvazquez53

El Tractor
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Just replaced the Ironman caster correction bushings with the MAF 4.5" control arm brackets. The poly bushings lasted 1 1/2 year and never fully corrected the caster. Vibration is gone. These brackets with the OEM bushings are the way to go, unless you don't mind replacing those bushings often. They bring the control arm to the correct position which moved the axle about 1 inch forward. The ones removed to install the poly bushings were the originals that came with the vehicle. :wrench:

PS: Picture tells the story :steer:
Poly Bushing.jpg
Bracket 2.jpg
 
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I like how the maf brackets drop the arm to a more parallel position for a smoother ride but the clearance you loose is a big draw back.
I'm running the rubber tjm 2.5 deg bushings instead of the typical poly and so far so good.
 
this company has a version compatible with the drop brackets.

Toyota FZJ80 Rock Sliders

Cool site. Hadn't heard of them before.

Yeah, I got the Slee step sliders already. That was actually my first mod. I'm looking at the Slee caster plates now. The OME caster bushings aren't doing the trick. I want to try the OME Comp 3" springs F/R anyway, so I'll need the plates.

We don't do rock crawling, but we do ride on what appear to be quad trails sometimes. We go over steep and sharp little roller berms here and there and I think the drop brackets would cause the arms to slide for us.
 
Metaltech has 3.5 deg castor plates. I think Slee's are 5 deg. Might be too much?
 
Never though about drop brackets causing an obstruction with sliders - is this true on Slees and/or Cruising off road brands?
 
Never though about drop brackets causing an obstruction with sliders - is this true on Slees and/or Cruising off road brands?

I believe it's true for all brands except the one I posted above. I searched for a long time to find sliders compatible with drop brackets and those were the only ones I could find. Now if you weld the sliders on instead of using the u bolts you may be able to use the more popular brands.
 
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Really?

They don't say how much correction there is. I thought they were all the same. :frown:

Doesn't mention the angle on the site. But Landtank, SLEE and Metaltech plates are all different angles of correction. You have to call....

All work with sliders, so where's the advantage to using drop brackets?
 
Yeah, Landtank told me his plates rotate the axle 7 degrees which provides 5 degrees of caster correction. He said his are specifically intended to be used with a double cardon driveshaft.

Metal Tech says theirs is for 3.5 degrees of caster.

The Slee site doesn't specify. Slee and Metal Tech say theirs are for 4" of lift. Then again. Rick (Landtank) told me his worked great with some J springs (3.5" of lift) recently.

I admit, this all makes less sense to me now. I don't really care whether it makes sense as long as I get the right solution, but I think I need to understand it in order to get the right solution. Slee's explanations on his site in his tech article don't clear it up for me.

I did email Metal Tech over the weekend and am waiting for a reply.

My basic understanding is that while the bushings and plates do return the axle itself to the correct orientation to the ground/frame, which has to do with steering, they still change the arc of travel as the axle moves up and down and the angle from the diff to the xfer case is no longer stock. The driveshaft is spinning at a new angle top and bottom. Apparently the way to keep the movement of the axle up and down the same as it was when everything was stock height is if you drop the axle 2 inches from the frame, you have to drop the rear of the control arm 2" from the frame. That keeps the steering correct and the arc of axle travel correct. But it doesn't address the drive shaft angle issue. The axle moves in an arc up and down, not in a straight vertical line up and down. When you increase the distance of the axle from the frame, but don't change the length of the arms or the pivot point on the frame, you've changed the axle's movement away from what the Toyota engineers figured out worked best.

Something like that.

This stuff all has to do with steering, axle arc of travel, and angle of driveshaft operation at the diff and xfer case.

The axle needs to be at 2-4 degrees of caster for proper steering.
The axle need to be able to move up and down the way Toyota intended it to.
The driveshaft angles need to be whatever so that you don't get vibration, blow the joints, or cause greater damage internally.

The advantage of drop brackets is the axle is doing what it's supposed to. The downside is you've sacrificed some of the lift you created because the arms are still at stock height above the ground.

Someone should create an hour long instructional video on this topic. Maybe they did and it's here on 'Mud somewhere?
 
your comment brings up an interesting point - I recently switched from drop brackets to caster correction plate. There is definitely a difference in handling. The plates seem to make the vehicle looser and more prone to wander from inputs from crosswinds. The brackets didn't seem to cause this problem.
 
your comment brings up an interesting point - I recently switched from drop brackets to caster correction plate. There is definitely a difference in handling. The plates seem to make the vehicle looser and more prone to wander from inputs from crosswinds. The brackets didn't seem to cause this problem.

Who's plates did you use? What did you have previously?
 
rockrod said:
your comment brings up an interesting point - I recently switched from drop brackets to caster correction plate. There is definitely a difference in handling. The plates seem to make the vehicle looser and more prone to wander from inputs from crosswinds. The brackets didn't seem to cause this problem.

This is an interesting review because these are the symptoms I am experiencing and was hoping would be cured by plates. I am now second guessing my decision and wondering if I should have gotten drop brackets?
 
I have a 3inch lift in the front.

I was using MAF's drop brackets with no other caster correction. Handling was like stock but the brackets hang down too low for me.

I sold those and went to a set of ironman plates. No other changes other than replacing the drop brackets with the plates.
 
We'd all like to know what people had before and what you have now.

Is there a comprehensive list of the effects of different caster plates? MT just replied to my weekend email. Says theirs are equivalent to Slee's.

Slee: 4*
Metal Tech: 3.5*-4*
Ironman: 5*
Landtank: 5* + Double Cardon Driveshaft

Also, did you get an alignment? What are your caster numbers? What bushings are you using? What lift?

On top of the effects the front lift and caster correction have on caster, the height of the rear end relative to the front end also affects caster. I think that means your caster numbers are taken as is when the shop has your vehicle on the lift. Then, if your rear end goes up, it's as if you lifted the vehicle more. If your rear end goes down, it's as if you added caster, reduced lift.

As for steering that is. The front drive shaft angles are only affected by the front lift and front caster correction.

For example:

I have OME 850 front springs. 2.5" heavy lift. I have ARB bumper, winch, sliders, full length 4'x7' roof rack. OME caster correction bushings. I recently measured my springs and they are at 14 inches, compressed, with a small spacer on top. At my last, only, alignment, my caster went from 1.56 degrees to 1.36 degrees on the left side and from 1.41 degrees to 1.36 degrees on the right side.

However, since my rear end was light, unladen and with 860s, I was stinkbugging. They also measured the effect of my rear end being higher up and said that would add 0.7 degrees to the caster. I presume that means if it was level.
 
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your comment brings up an interesting point - I recently switched from drop brackets to caster correction plate. There is definitely a difference in handling. The plates seem to make the vehicle looser and more prone to wander from inputs from crosswinds. The brackets didn't seem to cause this problem.

Mine was wandering off with the caster bushings. I replaced them with OEM rubber ones. As soon the truck drove off, the wander was totally gone. True the brackets go down and are prone to get hit, but for one, they are built way stronger than the factory. Also, most of our four wheeling is done on mud, river crossings, sometimes rock trails but nothing extreme. The alignment on these trucks is very easy to do once you correct the caster with bushings, plates or brackets, you correct the toe in-out. As far as I know you don't adjust camber. All you need for this is a piece of chalk and a tape measure. Google it how is done. I have done it this way in the USAF trailers with straight live axle and always worked

How to Adjust Toe Alignment | eHow.com


tape measure front end alignment - YouTube
 
That's a scary looking bushing and only after 1.5 years!!!!

I just installed Slee CC black bushings yesterday. I hope they last longer than 1.5 years! I don't want to go through this process anytime soon. The OEM ones were in the truck for 22 years and looked like new when I took them out.
See my thread here with pictures of the bushings.

https://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/602236-caster-correction-bushings-experince-notes.html


For what I've been told by mechanics the problem on the eccentric bushings is that. the bolt hole moved to almost to the bushing wall weakens the bushing that combined with the bushing material, polyurethane which is harder than rubber, will never be as strong as the regular OEM bushing. The factory ones I took out to put the caster correction bushings looked like new.
 

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