HJ61 Japanese "Suspension" Woes

Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Vancouver, bc
I bought a wonderful 1989 HJ61 in October 2017. Its proven itself as reliable and seems mostly gremlin free. Under the hood completely stock. Some goofy wiring in the dash, but otherwise an excellent truck.

In this post I've included a bunch of photos that will serve to exemplify my suspension frustrations ("A pictures worth a thousand words, just ask a camera man" - Jimmy Buffet).

My truck is an example of Japanese landcruiser suspension at its best: Circus sized shackles, add-a-leafs in the front and deader-than-dead shocks (all in laughing stock photos). The cumulative result is suspension that will rattle 30 year old fillings out of your teeth on a slightly potholed gravel road. I even shook a battery lead loose which resulted in a lot of head scratching trying to figure out why my engine wouldn't start 100km up in the sticks (While aired down to 18lbs no less).

My Question is multifold: What can I do about this suspension?

-My tires (that were on the truck) are a 315/75/15 - A 35".
I've been lead to believe that OME suspension will result in bad rub/not feasible for this size of tire. Is this correct? I'm not about to get rid of my more or less new tires, they are 2016.

-The circus shackles result in quite poor steering and wobble. Further, there are no castor shims, resulting in excessive outside wall tire wear.
I want to get rid of these shackles or cut them down and redrill new holes in them. Is this an option? (At this time, a proper spring over is not an option)

-The shocks were so dead the bushings turned to dust in my hands when I pulled them off. I'm currently riding around on leafs only.

What I need: A solution for new leaf springs (custom build leafs are nasty expensive), the appropriate hardware that will keep the current hight and not result in rub, the appropriate hardware, a case of beer to go with all of it.

Question and (hopefully) answer period:

-widthwise, will the OME leafs fit my existing shackles if used with the OME bushing kit? Question is due to the fact that I don't believe I will avoid rub and achieve the current lift if I use OME's smaller shackles. Perhaps I get OME leafs and bushings, install and hopefully cut down my current shackles a bit, then size the appropriate shocks I need?
-Are there other lift leaf options out there I could utilize but just don't know about now?
-Should I be putting a steering stabilizer on the list too?
-The current shackles are greasible, but are likely as dead as everything else on this ridiculous setup.

Without droning on, I believe I've captured the gist of my issue. There is lots going on with this for me to figure out - as I've not done this sort of thing before. What fits with what, what will work but what could be used that would work better type scenario. I would certainly appreciate all the feedback you're willing to give. I've seen this on other cruisers from Japan as well, where look and aesthetics were clearly behind the suspension decisions rather than utility.

At the end of the day, I'm looking for an improved ride and handling, and peace of mind that I've got a solid suspension system that is going to see me and my passengers up into the sticks and back to home base safely.

If it's of any relevance, I'm located in Vancouver, BC. I'm familiar with the guys who own shops or work on cruisers in this area.

Pictures below.














The "Shocks"

Sums up in photos what this little predicament looks like.

Cheers and thanks!
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Vancouver, bc
The question remains: Will this kit fit a 35" tire? Not addressed in FAQs, and seemingly, not a commonly addressed topic online either.

Edit: obviously you can have 10 different 35s, and each one will have different physical dimensions including axle offset etc. How is this addressed when sizing/choosing a lift kit?
 
Joined
May 11, 2014
Messages
690
Location
Utah
I have that lift on my HJ61 installed by Cruiser Outfitters themselves. 33's were not an issue, and I am currently running 295/75/R16's. I occasionally get a rub here and there. If you are going to run 35's I would do a spring over axle conversion.
 

lovetoski

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
4,628
I have an OME suspensiona nd run 35’s. Minor front fender trimming in front plus 1.5” body lift. Works great.

But, I would start with what tire size do you need? 33’s are fine for 99% of what 60 series owners do. Winch and rear locker will be more generally useful than an extra inch of clearance.

Spring over is a very different path, drive one before you go there.

Suggest selling the 35’s and install OME and enjoy many years of trouble free wheeling...
 
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