Delta Vehicle Systems Panhard Lift Bracket, 3" & 5"

Delta VS

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Boise, ID
Howdy folks! By now you’ve probably seen @woody's Panhard Lift Bracket (PLB) review thread (Review: Delta VS Panhard Lift Bracket). Whether you have seen the review or not, it’s time for an official Delta Vehicle Systems (DVS) thread on these things now that we have finalized it.


We designed a product to make your lifted rig (suspension lift, not body lift) drive and handle better. As many fans of the 80 have noticed (including us) after a suspension lift, your rig starts pulling in one direction (or both) and you find yourself constantly correcting the steering to compensate. Our fix for this is to adjust the lifted rear suspension geometry so it is closer to Toyota’s original design.


Let’s start with a few definitions, then some suspension geometry basics and what happens when you put taller springs on your rig. Working through that, the benefits of the DVS PLB will hopefully be clearer for those interested in the fine details.


“Panhard bar” = the metal tube that keeps your axle from moving side to side. One end is attached to the frame while the other end is attached to the axle. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘track bar’ or a ‘lateral link’, but we will be sticking with panhard. The green line below:

IMG_1227.jpg


“Floor” = a smooth, level surface flat enough to accurately measure from. A concrete garage slab or similar work great.


“Track” = the distance between the centerline of your driver and passenger tires on a particular axle.


“Lift” = height difference between the center of bolts at each end of panhard bar.


“Frame of reference” = the perspective you are looking at something from. Example: while driving, your frame of reference is from the cab of the rig because you are essentially attached to it in an unmovable fashion. From this “frame of reference”, the axles move relative to the cab, the road is moving relative to the cab, that crotch rocket going 120 up the white line is moving relative to the cab.


“Static system” = a system that doesn’t move.


“Dynamic system” = a system that does move.


Now, let’s discuss suspension geometry and how these parts interact. As mentioned, the panhard bar mounts to both the axle and the frame. For our purposes, we will be using the chassis of the vehicle as our frame of reference. This makes the center of the circle below the chassis side mount of the panhard bar. The outside edge of the circle is where the panhard mounts to the axle. The green line represents the panhard at stock height, the red line represents the panhard at a lift height somewhere between 2” and 4”, and the brown line represents the panhard at a lift height somewhere between 4” and 6”. As you can see, the more the lift, the more your geometry gets messed up.

IMG_4070.jpg


There are two main ways your geometry gets messed up when the angle (with respect to the ground) of your panhard bar increases.


The first way the geometry gets messed up is by pulling your rear axle to the right side of your rig. This messes with the tracking of your rig. If you’ve ever been following an old Ford pickup down the road and wondered why it looked like it was going down the road sideways, that is an exaggerated version of what’s happening to your 80. What’s happening is the front axle and the rear axle are both pointed forward, but they are slightly offset from each other left to right (see below, top view of wheels/tires). This will be felt the most as “wander” or “darting”, especially when on things like worn out or grooved pavement. Now, if your rear suspension was a static system, the issue could easily be addressed with a simple adjustable panhard bar. This would relocate your rear axle to follow the same lines as your front axle. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), our rigs are dynamic systems, so this is not the only thing that gets messed up.

IMG_1384.jpg


The second way the geometry gets messed up (which can be much more noticeable than the first) is slightly more complicated as it involves movement of the axle relative to the chassis. When the panhard is flat, like in the “stock” location mentioned above (the green line) and you go over a 3” bump/pothole/log/skunk/combo of these, the axle moves up and down a little bit. Since this up/down motion is “around” the big circle seen above, the side-to-side movement is very little (see “1” below). As the distance between the chassis and axle increases, along with the panhard-to-ground angle, the up/down axle motion from going over those same bumps is translated to more and more side-to-side movement of the axle. This side-to-side movement is felt as “rear end shake” when hitting a bump.

IMG_1228.jpg


Now, with a good understanding of the issues, what’s the best way to solve the problem?? We say it’s with one of our panhard lift brackets! After a lot of test fitting and drive testing, we have settled on two different versions, the 3” and the 5” models. The 3” PLB is good for a 2” to 4” lift and the 5” PLB is good for a 4” to 6” lift. You may notice the overlap for 4” lifts there and be wondering what the heck that is all about. Fear not, there are reasons.


Like:

1. What size tires do you run?

2. What is most of your driving?

3. How heavy do you load your rig?

4. Do you have any bump stop spacers? If not, would you be ok adding some?

5. Do you already notice the “rear end shake”?


More of these questions will come up as time goes on, but basically just have to start thinking about your use case and go from there. If you’re going to ask Delta “which one should I get?”, at least come to the table with answers for those questions and we’ll go from there.


“How do I choose which bracket to get?”


You will hear a number of different ways to measure how much lift you have for this or that, but for the Delta PHB, the best way to determine this is by crawling around on the floor. Get yourself a tape measure and measure from the floor to the center of the panhard bolt on the axle side and the center of the panhard bolt on the chassis side. Subtract axle side measurement from chassis side measurement, and that is your number. The idea is to get your panhard bar as flat as possible (your two measurements as close to the same as possible) withouthaving the axle side higher than the chassis side. So if you’re difference is 4-3/4” and you put a 5” PLB on there, you’re going to run the risk of having panhard/frame entanglement (this is bad-ish), depending on the rest of your setup (see above question list). Do you run 40” tires? Those tires are now your bumpstops so no biggy. Etc.


NOTE: there has been a single report (in @woody's review thread) of interference with the Slinky HD springs. We have tested in house with stock springs, OME springs, and ICON springs, all with zero issues. Many brackets have been paired with other springs, also with zero issues.


So there you have it, the where’s why’s and how’s of the Delta Vehicle Systems Panhard Lift Bracket.


Order here: FJ80 Delta Panhard Lift Bracket
Or here: Land Cruiser Products - LCP

IMG_4062.jpg
 
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Delta VS

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Boise, ID
Do you have an application for a 60 series?
Edit: Just kidding, I thought this was a steering bar lift.
Great question! The 60 series has all leaf spring suspension, so no panhard on those rigs. We DO have a 100 series and a 200 series in the works though.
 

HDJdreams

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What’s the minimum bumpstop extension to run 5” bracket? (Mine are .75” longer than stock) but I have 6” difference between the trackbar mounts. Slinky springs.
 

HDJdreams

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So, I tried to install my bracket yesterday and everything went well, until I tried to install the new hardware through the panhard rod. Not sure what the issue is. The bolt appears to be too long and is actually making contact with my driver's side spring. Not sure if it may be because the Heavy Slinky spring diameter is greater than other springs?

I guess I could address this by either turning the bolt around and inserting it the other way so that the head of the bolt is near the spring, or just cut the bolt and make it a bit shorter.

The other issue is that the reinforcement brace that runs along the back of the bracket seems to be making contact with the spring as well when it is compressed. Again, I guess I could notch it, but not the ideal solution.

Any input, especially from someone who is running the HD Slinkys, would be helpful.

View attachment 1768661

View attachment 1768662 View attachment 1768663
So this was the only post that I found in Woody’s thread mentioning Slinky interference. Was it resolved?
 

Delta VS

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Boise, ID
Is there any need to adjust the steering bar once you lift a vehicle with a steering box?
Another good question, but a very different topic.

What’s the minimum bumpstop extension to run 5” bracket? (Mine are .75” longer than stock) but I have 6” difference between the trackbar mounts. Slinky springs.
That will depend on things like what size tire, what offset rim, etc.

So this was the only post that I found in Woody’s thread mentioning Slinky interference. Was it resolved?
He did just post another reply with some of his thoughts.
 

GW Nugget

There's nothing funnier thn dyslexic perfectionist
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How far out to drivers tire side more than stock when fully articulated?
 
Joined
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What is the chassis side minus axle side number for a totally standard 80 as it would have come from the factory?
 

HDJdreams

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What’s the minimum bumpstop extension to run 5” bracket? (Mine are .75” longer than stock) but I have 6” difference between the trackbar mounts. Slinky springs.
That will depend on things like what size tire, what offset rim, etc.
Does the 5” bracket need bumpstop extension? The first thread on this bracket hinted that anything over 3” would. If so what extension is needed for 5” bracket?

As for my tires, I have 33” pizza cutters so will likely hit the bumpstops.
 

Delta VS

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Boise, ID
What is the chassis side minus axle side number for a totally standard 80 as it would have come from the factory?
We have a totally stock 95 here at the shop with 292,xxx miles on it. No idea if springs are original but the chassis side is 1.5" higher than the axle side.
 
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Delta VS

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Messages
680
Location
Boise, ID
Does the 5” bracket need bumpstop extension? The first thread on this bracket hinted that anything over 3” would. If so what extension is needed for 5” bracket?

As for my tires, I have 33” pizza cutters so will likely hit the bumpstops.
33" tires and over a 5" lift? Got any pictures?

Below is @swankstar's rig fully articulated with a forklift to the point of the right rear tire barely touching the ground and right front 27" off the ground. As you can see, the bump stop is almost touching and has over 1" between bracket and frame. That distance is what we are comfortable with, so would recommend a 2" bump stop extension for the 5" for your individual case.

IMG_1391.jpg
 

HDJdreams

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615
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33" tires and over a 5" lift? Got any pictures?
No, not yet.

I don’t think I a 5” lift. Got the “75 mm Slinky Intermediates”. Does the trackbar sit perfectly on OEM springs? (Been a long time)

I measured from the garage floor 16” to axle bolt and 22” to the frame bolt (had put old 31s on to fit in garage).
 
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