Cruiser Lean

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Apr 6, 2003
Sumner, WA
I have insalled a 4" lift on my fj40. It leans about 1" twards the drivers side. I have heard or read some different reasons for this. I would like to know who else has had this problem and what the best fix is. I was told Toyota used to sell a shim to fix it but it is no longer available.
Thanks for any info. :beer:
MAF sells the shims, or they can be easily made from stock 1/8 inch metal. You use them on top of a spring pack to lower a high corner of the '40. This brings up the opposite and diagonal low corners. I have tried 3 different sets of springs, including the OEMs. The rear driver's side lean is always there. The shims correct the problem: I used one on the right front and one on the right rear, but it depends on which corner(s) is(are) high.

Scroll down on this page to a link at the CCOT site for an article on the subject:

My BJ40 leans to the right on the front and left side on the rear.

Remember that the Engine and Gearbox is offset to the left to compensate for the Transfercase and Diffs on the right.  :stupid:

Leaning to the left on the rear could be: Becouse of the Spare Wheel. Another reason could be: Becouse of the Camber of the Road.
Leaning to the right on the front could be: Becouse of the Driver usually being the only passenger.

In the back of my BJ40, I have HJ60 OME rear Dampers and a Tool box behind the drivers seat; and a Box of Recovery Equipment and Spare parts behind the passenger seat; and a Shovel diagonally accross the back.  [Realise in Australia we drive on the right side :slap:]
I had a local spring shop make an add a leaf for my left rear spring pack (Skyjacker 4"). It runs the full length of the large spring and has the same arch. Spring rate is perfect with it on there, it is not hard on one side or the other, and the lean has vanished. IMO shimming the high spring only compensates for appearance. The issue here is a heavier drivers side, not an uneven frame, so you need to beef up the heavier side's spring in order to even-up the spring rates.
My spare wheel is on the right, so that should contribute to a right-sided lean, not left. The off center driveline, the fact that the differentials are on the right, and the right-sided transfer case all should make the lean go to the right, if weight were the issue. Unless, like Jonathan says, the engine and tranny completely neutralize them. These factors are there all of the time, unlike a lone left side driver, and I should think more than compensate for the driver on the whole. So, I am not convinced at all that it is a weight factor unless the Toyota engineers put the engine and tranny too far the the left. Virtually all of the '40s that lean, lean to the left in the rear (right or left side driver). I therefore believe there is something else intrinsic to the issue, but I don't know what it is. Adding a leaf and stiffening the suspension on the left is a solution that works, too. I don't know if it is only cosmetic like putting in a shim, but I'll bet it is more expensive. Shimming was the official Toyota "fix" for this problem, (Toyota Service Bulletin; Volume 5; Reference, Body; Number 10; November 14, 1976; Model FJ; Title, Body Slant), so that is what I have done.
You could also try swapping the springs from side to side. When I first put my Skyjacker kit on it leaned badly to one side. I decided to switch the front springs and it helped it tremendously. Just something to try....and it doesn't cost anything to try :dunno:
It is something about the leverage. According to MAF, you can stack up to Three 1/8" shims on a spring pack. I find that with my new, "OEM Style" no-lifts from MAF, I need one on the RF and one on the RR to correct the lean. I had to have 2 on each with the old, worn springs. I had about a 1 inch sag at the L corner. If you have to use more than 2, you'll probably will need extra long Ubolts.

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