Ever oversize-tire and lift a truck, vacation/tour/trek it, and regret the mods?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by mason, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. mason

    mason SILVER Star

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    1. I've searched and read some threads, but wanted to add another perspective;
    2. I tend to rattle on a bit, so please forgive me!

    e9999's thread on expedition mods was excellent, and I've read some great other threads, but having gone out this weekend for a jaunt, I wanted to ask it in a different way.

    I'm so tempted to lift (2.5) and slap 285s on my truck, as that seems to be the "starter" modification to our rigs, but, I don't want to make this change simply for asthetic purposes (not being critical). On the other hand, after dragging my receiver and scraping on some rocks this weekend while taking my daughters into the backcountry, feel obligated to do some kind of mod.

    Sounds like I answered my own question, right?

    Well, I reviewed the conversation I had with a fellow who took four Discoverys on a 44,000 mile, 16 month trek around the world, and contemplated the modification to his trucks. ARB w/winch, Stock-size BFG MTs, and heavy stock-size ARB springs (produced a little lift). He said his only regret was the wide-offset aftermarket wheels, 'cause the tires rubbed a little. Didn't want anything more oversized, or any more lift. These trucks literally went through hell (well, with LR support), and he liked them the way they were.

    I also watched GlobeTrekker last night, and saw these stock 60s and 62s going through the Sahara, bouncing up and down dunes! No lifts or oversize tires, and they seemed to do fine.

    And, there's Scott Brady, owner of Expeditions West (regular IH8MUD contributor) who runs tall, narrow tires, with good reason.

    I'm wondering if, after some of the people on this board have done the "obligatory" mods, then vacationed, roadtripped, and mildly trekked, they felt they could have done just as well, or better, if left stock.

    Keep in mind NO rock crawling. This is, and will be for some time, my only vehicle. I have no intention of tearing it up. Just want it to take me and the girls to see the country with as few unnecessary mods as possible.

    Basically, to present it in another way, I am confident most people in this forum would pick an 80 to get around in if they were the only people left on the earth. But, being the only ones left, would they still lift it and throw on 285s? or 315s? Or would they put on tall/narrow or even stock treads?

    --Eddie
     
  2. noah91fj80

    noah91fj80

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    IDAHO
    If it were me i would install a set of 285/75r16 with no lift and drive it , make a decision after that
     
  3. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    22,289
    Media:
    55
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    13,430
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    A 2.5ā€ lift and 285ā€™s will eliminate the need for Dramamine on your travels.
    Stock suspension is too soft and loading up the vehicle only makes is worst.
     
  4. OZCAL

    OZCAL

    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queensland and California
    That's exactly where I am right now, and I am very impressed with the improved ride on road and off.
     
  5. mooker82

    mooker82

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    285's with OME heavy front and med rear. ARB with no winch yet. Never have regretted it. Even my girlfriend loves the ride of the OME better than the stock.
     
  6. Rich

    Rich

    Messages:
    1,805
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    I think some of you guys are missing the point. Eddie is already tired of dragging the rig on the ground!

    Eddie, I understand your objective. You want to go off road, without beating up the truck. You don't like hearing it scraping, probably even less so with your family as witnesses! You are not planning on driving the Rubicon, smashing up the chassis, and pushing in the bodywork. You want to get out there and back with minimal fuss, with the truck looking much the same on the return as it did on the departure. You are not interested in making it look like a macho 4x4 just for the looks. Am I right?

    First order is to get sufficient springs to be able to carry the required load without dragging butt on the trails. New springs, longer shocks, caster correction bushings, and optionally (if you stick with a 2.5 inch lift) sway bar drop brackets will do the job.

    The stiffer springs are going to result in a bumpier ride on the road than the stock springs, but that is the very worthwhile tradeoff necessary to obtain the load capacity that you need to go off road and not be scrapping and dragging over the rocks.

    If you don't want to drag the spare tire, then a bumper mounted tire carrier is next in line. Traveling with passengers probably means no room inside the cargo bay for a spare. Putting it on the roof is a bad choice in my opinion. So you are really looking at a new rear bumper with swing way tire carrier.

    With respect to tires, the extra clearance provided by going from 31 to 33 tires is, obviously, 1 inch, which in itself I would not consider critical. The additional clearance is beneficial, but of much more importance is getting tread with good traction for the conditions that you will encounter. Many portions of the normally dry southwest have trails that vary from rocks to clay that get pretty slippery when wet. No place for street tires. The other very important factor in an off road tire is stronger sidewalls so as to better resist getting cut. Other than soft sand, I don't think the wider tires offer much advantage. No mandatory need to go taller and wider in my opinion. If you want to fine, if not, fine again. For what you want to accomplish, your choices boil down to sticking with stock 31" tire, or upsizing to 32" or 33" tires, with a few choices of width. Compared to upsizing, I think it is of more importance to get durable tires with better traction off pavement than you will have with the typical ā€œM+Sā€ street tires.

    But back to rock crawling. I know you said you NO rock crawling. But what you need to consider, is that you will find yourself, after having traveled hours down a trail, encountering the occasional rough section that has washed out or been rutted up by the wheelers that have passed before you. It may be only a section 3 or four feet in length, or maybe a few car lengths longer, with miles of clear sailing behind and beyond. Now you get to choose, turn around, or crawl a few rocks. For exactly this type of situation, I do advise you to be prepared with sliders and a transfer case skid plate. I already discussed the tire carrier, as you don't want to get hung up on a spare carried underneath, nor do you really want to possibly cut open the spare, unbeknownst to you until you need to use it. Out West, you can not avoid encountering the occasionally nasty spot, and the equipment I have mentioned will give you the option, in some cases, to carry on, while reducing the risk of coming home with a bad case of rock rash.

    This post is some much like one I posted yesterday, I guess I just like to jabber.

    The short answer to your specific question is that I have not regretted upping my tire size, lifting my truck, and putting on sliders, skidplate, and rear bumper with tire carrier. I don't rock crawl as an objective. I crawl the occasional rocky washout or dry waterfall to get to my objective, and I find that the mods I have made have been appropriate for the task. One of these days I will add a winch and an exta battery. Other than that, I am pretty much equipped to hit the mountain / canyon trails that are miles and miles from civilization, and am able to do so with a relative ease that is not possible with a stock Land Cruiser.
     
  7. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Messages:
    11,009
    Likes Received:
    2,517
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Centennial, Colorado
    OME's with med 2.5" lift in front and rear. 1" spacers on front.

    The lift and 285's were my first mod and I thought it rode great. I would recommend it for just highway driving. Since doing the OME will fix the soft suspension, a little lift is free during the process and not too much.

    When I added the bumper and winch I just added spacers instead of the heavy springs on the front.
     
  8. riverguide

    riverguide

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Location:
    WY
    very good post RICH
     
  9. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    23,289
    Likes Received:
    4,709
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I went 295s, then 2.5" lift, regretted it, put J's on, now regret the 295 and "need" 37"s. :D

    It's my daily driver, expedition wheeler, I don't care what they do to get Rovers across the Sahara, because I don't intend to take this truck there. It's built to handle the local terrain, that includes rocks, I have the choice of crawling over them to get where I am going, or looking up the trail, seeing rocks and turning around and going to the mall. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  10. Riley

    Riley

    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Langley, BC
    ditto..... Rich hit it.

    Only difference in my case is I run my spare in the stock location (but with the additional height mod). My wife would kill me if she had to swing the tire every time she had a bag of groceries.
     
  11. reffug

    reffug

    Messages:
    3,925
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    'in dat der briar patch'
    Go OME heavy at least.

    Sooner or later you will rock crawl. Its just one of those things that eventually happens.
     
  12. clarkrw3

    clarkrw3

    Messages:
    1,595
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    I agree that Rich and Tools have it right.

    My father has 2.5" with ARB font and slee armer and tire carrier and 305's and has never regretted it and it has made most but the most extreme trails in AZ doable.

    I went with the 6" because of the same thought process that Tools has and I haven't and don't think i will ever regret it. I have however walked into the garage several times and thought " I am really glad I didn't go smaller"

    It seems that I have seen many posts of people going 2.5 then J then J with spacers then 6". Might as well just start with 6 IMO. But thats just me. :flipoff2:
     
  13. CharlieS

    CharlieS

    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    39
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    I'd like to offer a dissenting opinion.

    Mine is mostly a kid hauler/boat dragger, I do logging roads, but no real offroading. For the majority of my driving - 85% street - I'd stick with a closer to stock setup.

    I currently have the 285s, 2.5" OME lift, ARB bumper.

    I needed better springs years since my stock coils were sagging bad, but for my usage, if I were to do it all over again, I'd just go with the stock height OME springs and stock sized tires (still would have gotten revos). I wouldn't have gotten the ARB bumper.

    I think Toyota did a great job with the stock rig and messing with it gains offrad capability at the expense of road manners and economy. I can live with it, as they were my choices, but I think the stock configuration was done with a pretty well balanced set of compromises.

    Even with a small lift, he changes in suspension geometry, while minor, were noticable, the bigger tires lower mileage (minimally) and the ARB bumper looks cool, but I don't have or need a winch. At this point the bumper just adds weight to the front end.

    I'm not sure I should 've gone down the path I did. When I did it, it was all deliberate and it made logical sense to me. At this point it is too late to turn around without another big chunk of money. If I were starting over with the stock rig today, I'd probably make some different choices.

    Charlie
     
  14. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    Messages:
    16,634
    Likes Received:
    523
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    US
    the main thing to do is to simply tailor the mods -if any- to the type of wheeling you plan to do.
    Obviously, one can always turn back if it gets too hairy for your vehicle.
    So either you adapt to the terrain -choose where to go- or adapt your vehicle to the terrain you want to go to!

    (and be aware of the mutually-induced mod frenzies built up on this site... :D )
     
  15. Arya Ebrahimi

    Arya Ebrahimi

    Messages:
    3,402
    Likes Received:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    I'm also of the opinion that a lift is not necessarily necessary. I came from a Jeep w/ 8" of lift and 35" tires and have wheeled my 80(without any damage mind you) in damn near every place I had taken the Jeep. My setup is stock everything with 285/75 Dueller Revo's and the stock lockers. My rear springs are sagging BADLY and I drag the hitch on EVERYTHING. However, it's made out of sufficiently thick steel and I really don't think I'm going to hurt it by dragging it over a few rocks. It's kinda amusing now when I come down on it and all my passengers cringe and look at me in disbelief when I don't. I simply tell them it's the hitch and that it's better than hitting my bumper, and they seem to understand. I have put an ARB rack on, and put my spare tire up there, but that's it for mods affecting clearance/performance really.

    I would recommend some good armor such as sliders and a T-case skid. 'Wheelin without them tends to be stressful when you inevitably hit something you didn't intend to and hear a loud bang. Knowing you're protected underneath will ease a lot of those worries.

    Good luck, and don't give into the peer pressure of lifting, these trucks are amazing in stock form!

    Ary

    P.S. With all that said, I may lift mine soon, but just for the looks ;p
     
  16. powderpig

    powderpig SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Location:
    Boulder Foothills, CO
    I have done several lift combo's over the years. I also have done some prettty hardcore stuff with my truck in it's several forms. I really like my current set up, but the best so far was the 35 inch tires, on a 4 in lift. it fit the truck well. I regeared the truck to 4.88 in the diffs. the lift was OME 850/864 (with 1.5 hard spacer)combo with L shocks. the truck handles great(way better than stock), handled the loads I threw at it(extra fuel tank, drawer system, roof rack, fridge, tools, spares), It would hual ass down dirt roads like you would not believe. Real stable. Wheel well in the hard stuff, but banged the under bits at time.
    With the 6in lift it is a little less stable at high speeds on dirt, but on the road does real well, handles the loads well. I hardly hit the stuff under neath that much any more. Both a combo of extra height, and time in the seat.
    The stock height did not do well for me and the trails I run. even with armor I just banged up stuff underneath the truck, armor is a must if you wheel it stock. I do like Rich's statements, What if you only have a few yards of hards stuff and then clear sailing for a while then hard stuff again, do you turn around or go ahead. Me I go ahead, I love to see what is ahead, that is why I have a crusier I want to see stuff and know I can go and come back.
    Even in stock form the truck is tougher then you think and will drag you through stuff you may not want to go over, that is where time in the seat will benifit you more than mods, but to get the time in the seat you may hurt some stuff in the begining and have to fix it more than necessary.
    My first year of my first 80 was done with only tires (285/57/16), on stock rims, I did a lot of stuff, but had to fix alot of stuff as well and hit alot of stuff under neath the truck that could not easly be fixed unless I replaced it.

    So like some else stated, by a set of tire and wheel it until you deside what you want. But know that rocker panels are hard to fix(I never did on the first truck and came home one day to the wife telling me I can not hurt the truck like this again, so sliders made it on the truck soon) Those dents do not go away easily, tie rods get bent easyly, t-cases cost alot of money, drive lines are not cheap, etc. That first year I learned alot and did a lot of had stuff, even followed a guy through the hard goods on Charlou gap In AZ in a stock rig with just 285. He had a 80 with a 4" kit and runing 35. I did bang, kit and claw my way through stuff. I jsut did the work after words except the rocker dings.
    So I guess it boils down to if you can take the bangs, dings and other stuff you may do to the stock truck with a spoon of sugar or you kill yourself(or the wife kills you for damaging the truck(if you have one)) the first time you hurt your cruiser? The cruiser is tougher then most of us think, it just keeps amazeing me on how tough they are.
    any way enough from me. good luck on your choice.
    I like my truck as it sets today. robbie
     
  17. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    23,289
    Likes Received:
    4,709
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    The Gap stock, I am willing to bet that included some scraping! :cheers:
     
  18. clarkrw3

    clarkrw3

    Messages:
    1,595
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Hey powderpig was yours the rig in 4 wheeler mag recently? If so nice to see it in there.
     
  19. Godzilla FJ80

    Godzilla FJ80

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I did OME 2.5" Heavy, ARB w/12,000 winch, and 295 75/16 tires. I absolutely love it. The truck aligned perfectly without the caster plates, (with some adjustment left!), and it drives great. I can do 80mph if I want with no wandering or vibrations. I would have gladly gone with a 6" lift, but I didn't have the $3,000! The 2.5" was less than a quarter of the price, and it's still awesome.

    No real regrets. These trucks are awesome, and even more so when slightly modified. Like I said, I would have loved to get the 6" but instead I decided to invest that $3,000 in an up and coming company called Enron. Looking back I would have gotten more value out that money just giving it to Christo.

    Heck, I could have gotten more value by giving it to a stripper!
     
  20. FirstToy

    FirstToy

    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    Location:
    Socal
    Eddie,
    Get the stock height OME and do it up your way. It will be good to hear how you like it. Stock height 80 has very good clearance so if you don't need more height, it's better to stay stock.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.