Daily driven FJ40 suspension/stability questions

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Jun 7, 2005
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As some of you know I got my first FJ40 a couple days ago. It has a 4" Rancho lift with 33" tires, that I believe are 10.5" wide, not sure.

I'm thinking in two different time periods here, there's now, with the 4" and 33's, and there's next summer, when I hope to be running 35's and a more stable suspension setup.

I'm going to be honest, driving this thing around corners scares the s*** outta me, especially on the freeway, even just going 45mph. I know these are known for body roll and such, but there's got to be some way to make it more stable. If the Jeep guys can do it, I know we can.

With my current suspension/tire setup, what could I do to make it more stable?

So, for those of you who have daily drivers on 35's, what suspension setup are you running? how stable is it? I've driven many Jeeps with 35-37" tires and it didnt feel like we were going to roll going around gentle corners like on the freeway. What would be the best suspension setup for a daily driver on 35's with stability being the most important factor. I don't want to cut my fenders, hopefully it's possible to fit them, be stable, and leave the fenders stock.

Most of my wheelin is done on the sand so I don't need much articulation.

*flame suit on*
 
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From the pics you posted, looks like 12.50's on 8 inch wide wheels if I recall correctly. 10 inch wide wheels will help cornering a little bit. But for the most dramatic improvement, lose the hardtop. My old 40 was super scary, even on 31's. My current one with roughly 3 1/2 inches of lift and 33x12.50's on 8 inch wheels actually corners quite good. But I only have a soft top. And saginaw steering greatly helps eliminating the spookyness in the stock setup.
 
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Yeah I have saginaw steering, it scares me how easy it is to turn, small corrections lol. I'll definately pull the top in the next couple days. I imagine not having all that weight so high would help quite a bit.
 

PabloCruise

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joey93turbo said:
As some of you know I got my first FJ40 a couple days ago. It has a 4" Rancho lift with 33" tires, that I believe are 10.5" wide, not sure.
Joey, take a look at the sidewalls on your tires - that will tell you! :doh:

As for roll and stability, I have 4" and 33's and it feels fine. My hardtop is on.

I also just replaced all my suspension bushings and have everything tight - including steering linkage. You might want to start looking through your suspension set up to see if everything is in good shape. Do you have greaseable shackles and pins? Those will help the susp. do what it is supposed too...

Good luck!
 
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Lol Pablo, I know how to find out, I can't go outside right now though haha. I will definately check the suspension when I get a chance.
 

Landpimp

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hmmmm, my fj40 with 2.5" lift and 33x9.5's is a dream to drive and handles VERY VERY good, I would toss anyone the keys to drive it with no worries.

me, I think that the Sagninaw PS is part of the problem, the ones I have driven scare the crap out of me, there is no road feel, fast steering ect, just don't feel right on a 40 IMOP.

prolly not much you can do about the current suspension besides changing it to a quailty suspension like OME or ?

a skinnier tire will prolly help a bit but with the GM PS.......it might be worse, I dunno

John
 
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I would think a skinnier tire would decrease stability. I thought wider was better?
 
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I went from a 4" Backspaced rim with 31x10.50s to a 2.75" Backspace with 33x12.50 and my stability got much much better as I expected. What I hadn't expected is that it got easier to steer?? I have manual steering.
 

Landpimp

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yes and no, wider is/can be more stable, but wider will/can also follow all the grooves in the road, making driving a real PITA.

If you ever get down my way(gig harbor) come take my 82 fj40 out for a drive.......you will be shocked at how un-eventfull it is to drive

My freind Lee, drove a 78 fj40 with 33x12.5's and GM PS all the way from Texas to Seattle, I took the 40 out for a spin and it was a nightmare on the road. I tossed Lee the keys to my fj40(with OEM PS) and he s***.......a HUGE HUGE difference.......it was prolly pretty cruel of me to have him drive my 40 after his trip in the 78 :D

joey93turbo said:
I would think a skinnier tire would decrease stability. I thought wider was better?
 

brian

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i have/had something like 5"s in shackle/bodylift/suspension. enough for 35's, they handled fine. i've been running 33"s for a while now, 12.50's and now 9.50s(they SUCK in the winter). handles fine, for not being a porsche.
sag steering isn't bad, for being a 3.5 turn-or-whatever it is, i have a stock wheel in it.
she leans in the corners, but it's either not bad, or i'm used to it, i don't recall ever being skeered so......
i don't have a top at the moment, but i can't see a HT changing it much.

you have a S/R on it or not?
how long are the shackles?
bushing shot?
shocks toast?

those rancho springs are *supposed* to be hard as a rock.
 
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I just checked, my current tires are 33x9.50. I'm wondering if my shocks don't need to be replaced. Where are the bushings supposed to be? what's an S/R? not sure how long the shackles are, I'll check.
 

Landpimp

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silly question, but what is the air presure in the tires? if someone has them at 50lbs(which is max I think those)

TRE's, spring/shackle bushing, lots of little stuff can add up to poor handling or ride.

are the shackles REALLY long? are the stright up and down or angled?
 
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the bushings are around the pins or bolts that go threw your shackles and around the spring pins. and S/R is shackle reversal wich means your shackles are now at the rear of the front springs instead of out front were they were from the factory.
 
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couple of quick thoughts: having had both Jeeps and FJ40's I can tell you that there is a huge amount of difference in the weights of the tops and doors. Taking the top and doors off will make a tremendous difference in a '40. The other consideration, and I know it's heresy for most off-roaders is to look at reinstalling anti-roll bars. If you are not too concerned with articulation, sway bars can make a big difference. Try one on the front first and be aware that too stif on either end can cause under/oversteer issues. Also. and this is something I learned from the hot-roddrers, there is a torque rod inside the Sag boxes that determines the amount of steering effort required to activate the power-assist. This also has a lot to do with "road feel" and feedback. While I've never done a switch, I understand it's pretty easy to put in a rod from a z-28 for better steering feel. As mentioned above, check bushings for excess play, maybe just tightening spring hanger and shackle bolts a little may help.
 
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Landpimp said:
me, I think that the Sagninaw PS is part of the problem, the ones I have driven scare the crap out of me, there is no road feel, fast steering ect, just don't feel right on a 40 IMOP.
It's not a really a Saginaw problem. There are several different turn ratios. The one I have is a tight one, like the one you mention. 1 & 7/8 turns lock to lock. It's hard to get used to, but, I like it fine with my original steering wheel. I didn't like the smaller diameter wheel from a P/U that I had for a while. Hammerhead hates mine, but his saginaw is more like 3 turns and he has my old small diameter steering wheel. When I drive his it feels to slow.
 
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Damn this thread kinda kills me... While I'm happy to see somebody with an interest in the FJ40 and he's asked a lot of great questions in the 9 threads he's posted in the past couple days I keep feeling like a Honda Accord would have suited him better... Nice and pretty (seems like you're worried about the paint) and handles like a car instead of a 90 inch wb 4x4...

I don't mean to offend so I'm sorry if I have but I'm so torn as I drive the piss outta my 40s... Maybe I should shut the hell up as the two 40s I have are like my 6th and 7th cars so I can just accept them as novel but you need to drive something comfortable..

So with that said I'll respect your choice to buy a less the normal or comfortable mode of transport... Damn I'm an arse sometimes!!!

I don't recall but it could be a body lift, otherwise your shocks look good, shackles look normal (no lift) but you could invest in some con-ferr shackles, more of an H shape so there's a little less flex but the ones you have will wear out the bushings so that could be an issue.. I would try some things first then go from there.. The top isn't going to do it and the 33s aren't either.. I have a top on my 74 with zero difference and I take a very curvy road everytime I drive mine to get into town..
 

VTFJ40

 
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sonoranfun said:
Damn this thread kinda kills me... While I'm happy to see somebody with an interest in the FJ40 and he's asked a lot of great questions in the 9 threads he's posted in the past couple days I keep feeling like a Honda Accord would have suited him better... Nice and pretty (seems like you're worried about the paint) and handles like a car instead of a 90 inch wb 4x4...

I don't mean to offend so I'm sorry if I have but I'm so torn as I drive the piss outta my 40s... Maybe I should shut the hell up as the two 40s I have are like my 6th and 7th cars so I can just accept them as novel but you need to drive something comfortable..

So with that said I'll respect your choice to buy a less the normal or comfortable mode of transport... Damn I'm an arse sometimes!!!

I don't recall but it could be a body lift, otherwise your shocks look good, shackles look normal (no lift) but you could invest in some con-ferr shackles, more of an H shape so there's a little less flex but the ones you have will wear out the bushings so that could be an issue.. I would try some things first then go from there.. The top isn't going to do it and the 33s aren't either.. I have a top on my 74 with zero difference and I take a very curvy road everytime I drive mine to get into town..
I agree. A good search would've answered his questions, but he's excited about his rig, and he'll get used to the cornering.

That being said, going to 35's is not going to help. Even with stiff springs and sway bars and a SR and proper shackle angle. Raising yer center of gravity will enhance the tippy feel.

I also agree that a sloppy steering can make it feel sketchy in the corners. This was the first thing fixed on my rig and made a world of difference.

Good luck.
 
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I just took my top off at 11pm tonight, AMAZING difference in the way the rig corners. I don't feel like I'm going to tip anymore.
 
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