I'm too tall for my own good!

Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
25
Location
northern indiana
Here are some pics of my 1970 FJ. I think I have a 4" lift kit on the truck but I am not sure. It is too d*mn rough riding for my tastes. I want something that doesn't bounce around so much. Little history of this FJ. I bought it years ago off ebay. The guy that built it put in a pontiac saginaw power steering system in it. I don't know if that is the reason for the lift kit but I got it with the truck. It is a hfs system with front and rear hfs "X" springs and hfs shocks. I would love something else. I don't plan to run the truck on trails. Mainly it is a FJ to drive to the lake and back. Maybe running it in the shallows of the lake. I have read info on oem springs and pro comp springs with bilstein shocks. I am looking for a more civilized ride. I have all kind of jeeps, IH scouts, and land rover defenders and this FJ is the most harsh ride I have ever had.
Thanks,
Buck

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Last edited:
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
48
Location
san luis obispo, ca
I am not an expert on Springs, but my FJ40 has won some articulation trophies in the short wheel base category. The HFS springs are by name stout and therefore stiff. My springs are very flexible and soft riding, which I want on the trail. Scary on sharp turns in the road though. I would look for stock springs since it looks like you have plenty of tire clearance. Or you can try taking one leaf out, but not sure about safety issues on that.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
48
Location
san luis obispo, ca
I am not an expert on Springs, but my FJ40 has won some articulation trophies in the short wheel base category. The HFS springs are by name stout and therefore stiff. My springs are very flexible and soft riding, which I want on the trail. Scary on sharp turns in the road though. I would look for stock springs since it looks like you have plenty of tire clearance. Or you can try taking one leaf out, but not sure about safety issues on that.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
6,315
Location
Southern Colorado
You have no metal roof, which makes the truck lighter (ride worse). The springs have a lot of leaves, and your shackles (those shown in the photos) are nearly vertical. I would start by removing some leaves and seeing if that lowers the truck slightly and softens the ride. You also don't need strong gas shocks - the cheapie ones from a parts store are sufficient and might improve the ride slightly. FJ40s ride poorly, but I imagine yours is particularly bad from what I see.
 

Skreddy

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Feb 3, 2020
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Stanwood, WA
I’m really pleased with my procomp 2.5” and Bilstein shocks. I believe @wngrog has been using Dobinsons (?) and really likes them. I think. If I’m wrong, sorry.
 

fjwagon

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Dec 7, 2004
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1,955
I have 2.5" Old Man Emu springs and shocks on a 45 and shocks I'm ok with them. I'm not super exited about it. It could be worse.
I have a 40 with 4" Alcans with bilstiens and it is a stiff ride to say the least. I really need to have it tweaked. To do this I would have to weigh it with out the hardtop and have the spring professionally redone by Alcan and there is no guarantee I will be happy with it. Anytime you have more of an arch to achieve the 4" height it becomes harder to get a soft ride. I have also heard if you rearch oem springs it will not ride the same. That being said I have thought about giving up on the Alcans and get it lowered to 2.5". I have no experience with Dodinsons but I have heard a lot of good things. A lot people like them but also say it's too pricey. I say it's not pricey if you have back issues. The last thing I will say is I also have a spring over setup on another 45 and I really like the way it rides and handles. It's a lot softer than the Alcans. With all this being said there is no guarantee once you go beyond or up to a 4" lift that it you will have a soft ride.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
22,073
Dobinsons IMS is the best riding 40 suspension I’ve found by a long shot.


How would rate them on washboard roads? Do you have a lift? Almost forty years ago switched my doors on my 68 for a set off of a 79. Two piece doors rattled so bad thought the windows would break.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
717
Location
Connecticut
I had the same problem and pulled my rough country 4" for skyjacker 2" on stock shackles. The new shackle angles with skyjackers were right where I wanted them, free shipping and the customer service was great! I have a bumper and winch in the front which adds some weight. No top on since I've had the lift and the back doesn't po-go. Wife approves. In the front I have Bilstein 5100s (get the 0-2" as the 2-4" are much closer to 4"). In the back I took Downey's advice and went with soft stock type shocks from KYB (made in Japan) since nothing is going on back there. People act like shocks give you lift or firmer is better when their primary function is to provide dampening.
Dave (DSB345), I recommend something very velocity sensitive (like Bilsteins) for the front, and something very soft for the rear (like Doetsch-Tech MV-12's, that are no longer available). Nothing is happening at your rear end, no engine weight/no pounding, so the softer the shock the better the ride on and off road.
I asked KYB what they had that was the same but longer compared to the stock length shock. I think they are from a T100. Cheap and made in Japan. My 1970 still has the lower shock bolts on the axle

Dimensions - KYB Americas - https://www.kyb.com/resources/technical-information/dimensions/
343403 25.11 14.96 10.15 X X - E1 E1
344090 22.95 14.09 8.86 X - - E1 E1
 

wngrog

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Feb 10, 2002
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Canton, Mississippi
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www.seeandeatms.com
How would rate them on washboard roads? Do you have a lift? Almost forty years ago switched my doors on my 68 for a set off of a 79. Two piece doors rattled so bad thought the windows would break.
The kit I use raises the 40 about like a light OME. 2”.

Best riding. Washboard. Yep rocks. Road.

All.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2004
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3,328
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here
I don't care what leaf you put on a 40 it will suck on washboard, IMO. I would go with wngrog suggestion for out the box stuff and if you really want comfort you could spend the coin for a custom set which may or may not be better than the retail stuff. Wngrog has seat time in alot more set ups than most and is a great source for real world feed back & advice.
 

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