FJ 40 Suspension linking (1 Viewer)

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Good Morning ... first time on this forum and hopefully not the last!
I have a 71 FJ40 ready for suspension upgrades, need help on a shop or individual that can get it done, not really interested in doing it myself since i dont have the time or the knowledge , need someone that has done it successfully.
3 link in the front ?
3 link in the rear ?
4 link in the rear with 3 link in the fornt?
3 link in the front and leaf springs in the rear?
sooo confusing, oh what to do?????
help!!!!
Thanks in advanced!
 
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why do you want to link your FJ? and how much $$$ you got?
sorry for late reply... i like old school look with new school comfort, no other reason.
i have spoken with a few guys about this idea of linking the fj and i'm being told that it can get complicated due to steering, current location of transfer case , etc, etc...
i think i just need to talk to someone that has done it and learn more about what else needs to be changed . my budget was $20k but i'm being told it's not enough.
hasta la vista..
 

DangerNoodle

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SOA could be a good option with your budget. It will ride much more nicely than SUA and would be much more budget-friendly if you were wanting a shop to do it. My front links ride amazingly well. I'm probably going to eventually link the rear, or at least play with my spring packs and shocks a little. The wheelbase is not in your favor for the ride quality, nor is any SWB rig. If you are dead set on linking it, 3 link front works well, and a single/dual triangulated rear.
 
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oh man... you have given me very encouraging news, i have heard nothing but bad news about linking the front end so it's good to know you got it to work, who did yours?
i'm thinking SOA on the rear and linking the front... it's got to be better than what i have now!!
i have 35" on it now but they barely fit...
 

DangerNoodle

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oh man... you have given me very encouraging news, i have heard nothing but bad news about linking the front end so it's good to know you got it to work, who did yours?
i'm thinking SOA on the rear and linking the front... it's got to be better than what i have now!!
i have 35" on it now but they barely fit...

I did everything on mine. My links are on my crawler build. I'm SOA Rear, Link front with Coilovers. @SuperBuickGuy Also has an amazing linked 40, both front and rear.

Here is my build thread. It was a lot of work, but the 40 performs amazingly well, and will still do 70 down the highway with basically no body roll. I'm extremely happy with it.

 
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Mine is 3 linked front, double triangulated 4 link rear. I built it, it works awesome and it's really not that difficult. My build is attached, there's some noise at the start but eventually the build gets moving - I didn't really decide what I wanted to do until a few things kind of fell in place (to wit, the trade of trailer for great axles) - that said, I put what I used, what numbers I used to get there and most of my rational behind my build. Some don't agree, but the funniest thing is the ones that don't agree - I've never met nor wheeled with.... what I did do wrong was not put a diesel or NV4500 transmission in at the start.... that would have saved me more then a little headache - but I still have it and I am just waiting for time to happen to replace the trans... diesel will come later.

 
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Mine is 3 linked front, double triangulated 4 link rear. I built it, it works awesome and it's really not that difficult. My build is attached, there's some noise at the start but eventually the build gets moving - I didn't really decide what I wanted to do until a few things kind of fell in place (to wit, the trade of trailer for great axles) - that said, I put what I used, what numbers I used to get there and most of my rational behind my build. Some don't agree, but the funniest thing is the ones that don't agree - I've never met nor wheeled with....

not that i spend a lot of time on the highway with the cruiser but i like to drive it around town, how does yours drive on the road? and... what do you think this would cost ( materials wise) just need a range of cost i already know it's gong to grow but...
thanks for your help by the way!
 

DangerNoodle

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not that i spend a lot of time on the highway with the cruiser but i like to drive it around town, how does yours drive on the road? and... what do you think this would cost ( materials wise) just need a range of cost i already know it's gong to grow but...
thanks for your help by the way!

I'm not SBG, but my front links are really great. I'm running a 383, NV4500, Toybox (Doubler), and 60 split case. I can go 70mph all day long on the highway no problem, and my current crawl ratio is 156:1. It is great for the rocks as well. I really wish I linked the rear at the same time. The links have almost no body roll, flex great, and are reallllyyyyyy smooth on the King 2.0s that I am running. My front links were not cheap. You could make your own brackets, but I'm not sure if I would do that. I went with the TMR Customs universal Johnny Joint 3 Link kit (~$1,000), Shock Hoops and Mounts (~$200), Axle Mount Brackets, Limit Straps, Coilovers (~$2,000), Tube for the Links (~$200), lots of scrap to plate frame and build gussets. I did all the work myself, I would hate to know what a shop would charge for a custom suspension build. I'd Plan for ~7K in parts for front + rear links, which is probably high, but it is always nice to spend less than more. I probably spent 30+ hours designing and fabbing my front links. Figure in a shop rate of $150-$200 an hour, so somewhere around 12K+ in shop time if you don't do the work yourself.

What are your plans with the build? Is it supposed a dedicated wheeler, DD, or mix?

I would be very hesitant about letting someone build a link system cheaply.
 
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not that i spend a lot of time on the highway with the cruiser but i like to drive it around town, how does yours drive on the road? and... what do you think this would cost ( materials wise) just need a range of cost i already know it's gong to grow but...
thanks for your help by the way!
Cost:
I bought a complete 'kit' with Johnny joints on all links... iirc (been 4 years) it was like $1,200 for the kit.
2" 1/4" wall DOM wasn't cheap, think I spent around $300 for what I used... I still have 2 lengths 'left over'

Driveability
a 3 link, when you accelerate will turn your steering wheel and keep you going straight if you have a soft system and a lot of travel. With that said, once you know, it's really easy to drive. I wanted to do 4 link front but there's simply no space to run that 4th bar if you keep your vehicle low. My travel is 4" up, 6" down... and I have a flat belly.... by keeping it low and limiting up travel, it makes it far better at 70 plus mph. Yes, I drive it 75 mph on our rut-filled-highways and I just put radials on, that's 75 mph on swampers. The radials are a bunch wider, so it wanders more - but with the bias ply tires, it actually drove a bit better.
the other 'thing' is use a rear sway bar but not a front. I tied the rear, lower arms together on the back - means I don't lean when driving and I still get all the travel available.
I have links that I'm going to work more on reducing the steering angle change... that's just a 'when I get time' but it'll be a bit because I'm racing the Optima Challenge this year (in a Corvette) - and that takes all my free time and money.

Get a grasp of what instant center does for a vehicle. on a 4x4, you can get great traction simply by adjusting where the 'lift point' (aka instant center) is on your vehicle. On mine, instant center is 1" below the flywheel centerline. When I nail the throttle, the weight of the vehicle increases the load on the tire (it's like I'm literally prying up the entire weight of the vehicle at its heaviest point - because that instant center is also 50/50 weight point of the vehicle) - thus giving me far better traction. In the drag world, that's call separation and they tend to try to get neutral balance. With a bit of separation, you can actually climb better because you're keeping the nose down on your rig (think, like tying it down with your winch rope) - yet still leaving the front free to get whatever traction is available....

one thing I am considering for the front.... using a ball joint system for the upper control arm on the front like Defenders (and Discovery 1s).... that just might fit in the space available.

my opinion about driveability - I think that a 4x4 can have good road manners and still be capable of everything a similar 'buggy' can do. The only challenge is the increased weight of the full body vehicles. The only downside is you have to remember you need to drive it home.
 
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Messages
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I'm not SBG, but my front links are really great. I'm running a 383, NV4500, Toybox (Doubler), and 60 split case. I can go 70mph all day long on the highway no problem, and my current crawl ratio is 156:1. It is great for the rocks as well. I really wish I linked the rear at the same time. The links have almost no body roll, flex great, and are reallllyyyyyy smooth on the King 2.0s that I am running. My front links were not cheap. You could make your own brackets, but I'm not sure if I would do that. I went with the TMR Customs universal Johnny Joint 3 Link kit (~$1,000), Shock Hoops and Mounts (~$200), Axle Mount Brackets, Limit Straps, Coilovers (~$2,000), Tube for the Links (~$200), lots of scrap to plate frame and build gussets. I did all the work myself, I would hate to know what a shop would charge for a custom suspension build. I'd Plan for ~7K in parts for front + rear links, which is probably high, but it is always nice to spend less than more. I probably spent 30+ hours designing and fabbing my front links. Figure in a shop rate of $150-$200 an hour, so somewhere around 12K+ in shop time if you don't do the work yourself.

What are your plans with the build? Is it supposed a dedicated wheeler, DD, or mix?

I would be very hesitant about letting someone build a link system cheaply.
wow... this is very helpful, i have a good friend that owns a shop dedicated specifically to fabricating & supporting off road racing teams, i will print out your comments and have conversation regarding the project, my biggest concern has always been not to experiment ( too much) with this project, i have built a desert car in the past and it took 2 or 3 times to get it right, sooo im trying to avoid that...THANKS!
 

DangerNoodle

Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
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wow... this is very helpful, i have a good friend that owns a shop dedicated specifically to fabricating & supporting off road racing teams, i will print out your comments and have conversation regarding the project, my biggest concern has always been not to experiment ( too much) with this project, i have built a desert car in the past and it took 2 or 3 times to get it right, sooo im trying to avoid that...THANKS!

If you are serious about doing this, I'd take the time to stretch and move the wheelbase around. It will significantly help with handling and comfort.
 

DangerNoodle

Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
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Get a grasp of what instant center does for a vehicle. on a 4x4, you can get great traction simply by adjusting where the 'lift point' (aka instant center) is on your vehicle. On mine, instant center is 1" below the flywheel centerline. When I nail the throttle, the weight of the vehicle increases the load on the tire (it's like I'm literally prying up the entire weight of the vehicle at its heaviest point - because that instant center is also 50/50 weight point of the vehicle) - thus giving me far better traction. In the drag world, that's call separation and they tend to try to get neutral balance. With a bit of separation, you can actually climb better because you're keeping the nose down on your rig (think, like tying it down with your winch rope) - yet still leaving the front free to get whatever traction is available....

What is your anti-squat/anti-dive set at? I've heard a lot of conflicting opinions about whether it should be above or below 100%
 
Joined
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Messages
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Cost:
I bought a complete 'kit' with Johnny joints on all links... iirc (been 4 years) it was like $1,200 for the kit.
2" 1/4" wall DOM wasn't cheap, think I spent around $300 for what I used... I still have 2 lengths 'left over'

Driveability
a 3 link, when you accelerate will turn your steering wheel and keep you going straight if you have a soft system and a lot of travel. With that said, once you know, it's really easy to drive. I wanted to do 4 link front but there's simply no space to run that 4th bar if you keep your vehicle low. My travel is 4" up, 6" down... and I have a flat belly.... by keeping it low and limiting up travel, it makes it far better at 70 plus mph. Yes, I drive it 75 mph on our rut-filled-highways and I just put radials on, that's 75 mph on swampers. The radials are a bunch wider, so it wanders more - but with the bias ply tires, it actually drove a bit better.
the other 'thing' is use a rear sway bar but not a front. I tied the rear, lower arms together on the back - means I don't lean when driving and I still get all the travel available.
I have links that I'm going to work more on reducing the steering angle change... that's just a 'when I get time' but it'll be a bit because I'm racing the Optima Challenge this year (in a Corvette) - and that takes all my free time and money.

Get a grasp of what instant center does for a vehicle. on a 4x4, you can get great traction simply by adjusting where the 'lift point' (aka instant center) is on your vehicle. On mine, instant center is 1" below the flywheel centerline. When I nail the throttle, the weight of the vehicle increases the load on the tire (it's like I'm literally prying up the entire weight of the vehicle at its heaviest point - because that instant center is also 50/50 weight point of the vehicle) - thus giving me far better traction. In the drag world, that's call separation and they tend to try to get neutral balance. With a bit of separation, you can actually climb better because you're keeping the nose down on your rig (think, like tying it down with your winch rope) - yet still leaving the front free to get whatever traction is available....

one thing I am considering for the front.... using a ball joint system for the upper control arm on the front like Defenders (and Discovery 1s).... that just might fit in the space available.

my opinion about driveability - I think that a 4x4 can have good road manners and still be capable of everything a similar 'buggy' can do. The only challenge is the increased weight of the full body vehicles. The only downside is you have to remember you need to drive it home.
well, i think im getting an idea of what this will take , ( both financially and effort wise) the good part is that someone has done it successfully, i need some thinking time, wish you guys were in the state... by the way, i'm not going to pretend i totally understand your explanation but i appreciate it , im a construction guy with a off road addiction... thanks for the education and the help!
 
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What is your anti-squat/anti-dive set at? I've heard a lot of conflicting opinions about whether it should be above or below 100%
I can't believe I'm saying this because this is my MO. You're making this wayyyyyy too hard. I'm far more concerned with keeping my steering geometry the same throughout travel then I am about using links to control dive. Shocks and spring rates do these two functions (on the front). As far as squat - that's instant center. But to put this another way, when I press the throttle (no matter how hard), I want a slight separation between the axle and the frame... very very slight because what I'm doing is putting as much weight as I can on the rear tires to provide the go. If your vehicle squats, basically it's pulling its tires off the ground and losing traction. On the other hand, if you put too much separation then the amount of weight you're putting on the rear tires is being lost because the axle is moving forward but the vehicle isn't (on linked rigs).
Keep this in mind when you read this. My opinion is based upon my experience, what I drive and where I go. What works awesome for me could be dead wrong for someone else. Following so far? great - I think stretching the wheelbase to have far too many negatives for any perceived positive. I "stretched" mine only to keep the tires out of the front fenders and to give me long enough links to allow the travel I built into the system. The number is 5" total, 2.5 front, 2.5 rear. I do get some humor out of watching stretched rigs try to get around the gatekeepers in my area. Washington doesn't want long wheelbased rigs on their trails - thus they make gate keepers which make anything over 100" a veritable PITA.
However, If I was still mudding on Detroit Lake in Oregon - the longer the better because it's all straight line, bottomless mud type wheeling.
 

DangerNoodle

Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
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I can't believe I'm saying this because this is my MO. You're making this wayyyyyy too hard. I'm far more concerned with keeping my steering geometry the same throughout travel then I am about using links to control dive. Shocks and spring rates do these two functions (on the front). As far as squat - that's instant center. But to put this another way, when I press the throttle (no matter how hard), I want a slight separation between the axle and the frame... very very slight because what I'm doing is putting as much weight as I can on the rear tires to provide the go. If your vehicle squats, basically it's pulling its tires off the ground and losing traction. On the other hand, if you put too much separation then the amount of weight you're putting on the rear tires is being lost because the axle is moving forward but the vehicle isn't (on linked rigs).
Keep this in mind when you read this. My opinion is based upon my experience, what I drive and where I go. What works awesome for me could be dead wrong for someone else. Following so far? great - I think stretching the wheelbase to have far too many negatives for any perceived positive. I "stretched" mine only to keep the tires out of the front fenders and to give me long enough links to allow the travel I built into the system. The number is 5" total, 2.5 front, 2.5 rear. I do get some humor out of watching stretched rigs try to get around the gatekeepers in my area. Washington doesn't want long wheelbased rigs on their trails - thus they make gate keepers which make anything over 100" a veritable PITA.
However, If I was still mudding on Detroit Lake in Oregon - the longer the better because it's all straight line, bottomless mud type wheeling.

Makes sense. It was never something that I was really chasing when I designed mine, I just wanted you opinion since you have both ends linked. I completely agree with the wheel base. I'm right about 99", and it is really great for just about everything, besides ledges. It just needs a little more go juice to get up those.
 
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Makes sense. It was never something that I was really chasing when I designed mine, I just wanted you opinion since you have both ends linked. I completely agree with the wheel base. I'm right about 99", and it is really great for just about everything, besides ledges. It just needs a little more go juice to get up those.
I preach "build what works for you" and "don't hate on something that isn't the way you'd do it" It's comical to review some of the stuff that was told to me on my build.... one of my favorites was someone who claimed when I hit the throttle, it'd wheelie over backwards.... and that's the deal, all the 'horrors' I was told, not so much as one has come to pass.... not even one.

In the automotive world, there's many ways to achieve the result you want. I'm running a BBC in a class where everyone else is LS. I know why, even thought about doing an LS, but it's not my formula .... and I do okay, it's not cheaper (or even more expensive), it's just my way. So I preach, decide what you want and build to that goal - I wanted something that wouldn't see a trailer - and it doesn't - but there were decisions and compromises I made because that was my goal.
 

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