Lifted 80 drives like krap,, I'm thinking of going back to stock ride height

desmocruiser

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Regardless of the type/brand of springs, they are likely 20 years old and worn out as is other parts of the suspension and is due a makeover.

It sounds like it’s time to get to work inspecting and then replacing most of what was already done and yes Cruiser Outfitters will be your primary go to for most of what you need!

Here is where I would start, all as the big first initial step:

-Thorough inspection to identify anything loose, broken, worn beyond service etc. to address and potentially add to your parts list.
-Front end rebuild
-Tie Rod Ends, steering components addressed
-New Lift or replacement stock height springs and new Shocks
-Lift specific caster correction, new bushings with whichever correction method.

To do it correctly and get that planted feel back, I would budget $2-3000 for parts and another $2-3000 for labor if this isn’t anything you can complete yourself. This is all pretty typical for an 80 Series with unknown history and that mileage level.
 
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I would start by replacing the radius arm bushings with OEM rubber bushings. If you choose to use caster correction bushings then the OME ones are fine. Personally I would use caster plates rather than bushings. That will set proper caster and keep the factory rubber bushings in the arms.
Replace the tie rod ends. The tie rod behind the axle can rotate. That’s not necessarily a problem since the rod ends are basically ball joints that allow for that movement. You just don’t want up and down or other sloppy movement from the rod ends.
Sounds like the shocks are a serious contributor to the bad ride. I think o would personally go with some ToughDog shocks for a 3” lift. I think they ride better than OME shocks and they’re a fairly affordable option.

Check again for frame cracks around the front panhard bracket.
I ordered OEM rubber bushings for the radius arm today.. the Old Man Emu spring set I was looking at are heavy duty in the front,, further inquiries where answered by their automated system..
 

Azca

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When I lifted mine originally, OME 2 1/2", the ride became noticeably more darty, even with the castor correction bushings. Before I changed the springs were tired and socks were original and not in great condition. Still, the change did not do what I was hoping.

After a couple of years of just living with it, I started to work the problem. First try was to add a Delta rear panhard bracket. It was a noticeable change and cheap. Help the darty feeling.

Second, ditched the OME bushes, and went to OEM on Delta radius arms and changed all bushings at all locations on the suspension Wow, what a difference! This was a game changer. Driving down the canyon roads and through the mountains became so much easier. Much less fatigued and much more confident. I had no idea of how much I was "working" until I did this. So, as previously discussed, bushes, bracket and your choice of arms or caster correction plates. I did not want to weld the plates and why I did the arms.

It is easy to get these things right, just not cheap.
 
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When I lifted mine originally, OME 2 1/2", the ride became noticeably more darty, even with the castor correction bushings. Before I changed the springs were tired and socks were original and not in great condition. Still, the change did not do what I was hoping.

After a couple of years of just living with it, I started to work the problem. First try was to add a Delta rear panhard bracket. It was a noticeable change and cheap. Help the darty feeling.

Second, ditched the OME bushes, and went to OEM on Delta radius arms and changed all bushings at all locations on the suspension Wow, what a difference! This was a game changer. Driving down the canyon roads and through the mountains became so much easier. Much less fatigued and much more confident. I had no idea of how much I was "working" until I did this. So, as previously discussed, bushes, bracket and your choice of arms or caster correction plates. I did not want to weld the plates and why I did the arms.

It is easy to get these things right, just not cheap.
I think Toyota did it right the first time,, I'd love to have some new factory springs and shocks,, but looks like rear springs are discontinued,, thanks for all your help guys, I do have radius arm bushes headed my way.. trends auto has some packages, and I like old man Emu,, but they don't seem to know if they have what I'm looking for. If you know of reasonably priced std springs or similar spec,, feel free to post a link.. I have followed some of the links, and a fellow member here has an engine and factory springs with 300,000 for practically give away,, I'd rather have new
 
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I recently bought a 1994 80 series Landcruiser with a 3" lift.. It goes down the road straight, but is loose and floppy and pretty miserable to drive.. I knew this before I bought it, so not a surprise...

I'm considering the Old Man Emu kits sold by ARB,, but I may purchase some factory springs on the cheap,, since that Old Man Emu package is around a 1000 bucks, but I'm looking for that stock 80 series "planted" drive my 95 Lancruiser impressed me with for 10 yea

I had that standard 2.5” OME lift kit w the standard 33 KO all professionally done and it was a little tipsy.
I swapped out for OEM shocks and OME stock height coils with OEM radius arm bushings and it’s a much much better ride. Someone mentioned stock being more than acceptable and I agree.
 
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I had that standard 2.5” OME lift kit w the standard 33 KO all professionally done and it was a little tipsy.
I swapped out for OEM shocks and OME stock height coils with OEM radius arm bushings and it’s a much much better ride. Someone mentioned stock being more than acceptable and I ahead.
Yes, I'm going to agree,, I would actually like something that improved the road handling. But going to replace as many bushings as I can afford to at present,, they are no doubt in need after 311,000 miles.. all fun and games,,, latest discovery is a sneaky coolant leak into the cabin, right passenger foot well.. oh boy...
 

desmocruiser

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Yes, I'm going to agree,, I would actually like something that improved the road handling. But going to replace as many bushings as I can afford to at present,, they are no doubt in need after 311,000 miles.. all fun and games,,, latest discovery is a sneaky coolant leak into the cabin, right passenger foot well.. oh boy...
Ouch, sorry to hear that. There is an AC hose that runs through the firewall that can get kicked loose and is easy to see.

Unfortunately if it is coolant, likely the heater core which are somewhat common failures when they see neglect and mileage and are in a tough spot, most of the dash is removed for access. Happened to friend’s 80 earlier this year, he couldn’t find a replacement and had the original redone by a radiator shop
 
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Depends on what time of year.
I had the OME 2.5" in my LX for years, on 35s with 5.29 gearing. Loved the way it drove, last year before the Rubithon we added 2.5" Radflo shocks, really liked the way it drove after the shocks were tuned properly. We also added heavy duty steering gear from Georges.. LX handled the rough roads as good as you would expect. I got to thinking... I may need more lift, springs were getting old... I went ahead and got 3" for a refresh... Loved the way it looked, hated the way it drove... The wife damn near killed me... went from a very well mannered DD to a horror show to drive. We got down to Kansas and went straight to a shop.. went back to OME 2.5" HD in the back and its right back where it needs to be. I have not driven it in close to a year, cant wait to get back to Texas and get it back out on the road again... IMO, OME is the way to go, enough lift for 35s. Another thing that makes them sloppy is the sway bar, if thats wore they get real squishy in my experience. I put a HD sway bar in the back with the HD mounts and it really firmed up the ride. Good luck, and welcome to this awesome community.
 

mudgudgeon

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My 93 still had original springs, original shocks on it.
It's sagged on the springs, and shocks really need to be changed.
It still drives great. Predictable and steady as a rock. And still amazes me with where it will go.

I'll put a 2" lift under it at some point.

Dobinsons make a stock height spring. These with Tokico shocks would be the cheapest way give you back factory ride height.

Then, replace all bushings, check wheel bearings, check/replace tie rod ends, rebuild knuckles and replace trunnion bearings
 
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Yes, I'm going to agree,, I would actually like something that improved the road handling. But going to replace as many bushings as I can afford to at present,, they are no doubt in need after 311,000 miles.. all fun and games,,, latest discovery is a sneaky coolant leak into the cabin, right passenger foot well.. oh boy...
I have the stock Toyota springs I removed from my truck with 225K miles on them. I went with OME heavy 2-1/2" lift.

I also have a set of rear OME Medium 2-1/2" springs I need to sell.

Gotta clean out the garage.

Send me a PM if you're interested in any of it.

Get new Toyota Tokico shocks. They are actually less costly than aftermarket shocks and work great. Check prices at your local Toyota dealer, then compare them to the site below.

 
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I have the stock Toyota springs I removed from my truck with 225K miles on them. I went with OME heavy 2-1/2" lift.

I also have a set of rear OME Medium 2-1/2" springs I need to sell.

Gotta clean out the garage.

Send me a PM if you're interested in any of it.

Get new Toyota Tokico shocks. They are actually less costly than aftermarket shocks and work great. Check prices at your local Toyota dealer, then compare them to the site below.

I'm finding the Tokico shocks are discontinued??? anybody have a link or a source for Toyota Tokico's.
 
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I ran stock sagging coils for a while, I installed spacers to restore some sagging. I also installed new toyota shocks. It drove great that way.

I've been running og coils with spacers for about 5 years. These put ride height back to or a little above stock height. With all new susp. bushings, new tokico shocks, etc. in the last few years it drives great and the spring rate is a pretty good balance as I drive the 80 empty most of the time and like the cush ride. The springs are a little too soft at times (towing, heavily loaded including on the roof) though the air bags in the rear help a lot with that. I know it could handle better, particularly when loaded, but I could also make it a lot worse so I keep considering springs/shocks/lift heights/tire sizes as I put the miles on my close to stock setup.

Seems like some/most aftermarket springs may be stiffer which would be nice when loaded but will make the ride less plush otherwise. The OME dual rate stock height are high on the list of springs I'm considering for my uses and I really like the OEM/Tokico shocks and imagine that they are a better fit for the 80 than many aftermarket/generic shocks are given that the Tokico's were specifically designed for the 80 as I understand it.

Good luck getting it sorted.
 

alia176

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@billymagg I wouldn't do anything but replace ALL bushings first and foremost. This alone will be expensive and time consuming but it's badly needed regardless of what lift or no lift you end up with. Once this is done, I'd get a lifetime alignment from Firestone, then you can decide if the lift is worth keeping or switch over to something different.

At 3" of lift, get one of the caster correction plates and drive it around for a while to regain the lost love. Sounds like you have OME caster correction bushings and they should be replaced with OEM bushings and correct the caster with the plates.

Your rig needs a solid foundation before you come to conclusions ;)

As an example, my 3" lifted 80 with all kinds of crap up top comes in at 7200# and she's fully planted. However, it took a fair amount of $$$ to get her that way.
 
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I'm finding the Tokico shocks are discontinued??? anybody have a link or a source for Toyota Tokico's.
Quoted directly from the man that REALLY knows.

Call a human in a parts department.

@OGBeno
 
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My notes on the OE / Tokico shocks from when I purchased them for my 97.

Your 94 may require different shocks as there were various changes made to 80s over the years and that's where research or chatting with a parts pro comes in.

right/passenger rear shock48531-69485$25.00https://partsouq.com/en/catalog/genuine/unit?c=Toyota&ssd=$*KwFoXE1EOD0oJA09NxdcTDAkBAMdbGNub31jUSF5KH9geQZ8Ly9yeGFuICQuNTpDdjM5Mjh_YGlwfGVkdXhhfmlia2h8Ly94NHlmf25jbGk7NFJ4JiIrMz8cJSFucnhhfH9tYm1tNz0zdnt-NC55Zn4hXVAIGhF_dnt-M2AvK3p5GgcQY2wSLkpSCh4XC3h3fHx1bjNgezIoNjdwfiFreD55Zn1paiEAAAAAnLE5NQ$&vid=0&cid=2&uid=335070&q=48531-69485 Genuine Toyota Shock Absorber Assembly Rear Left - https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/oem/toyota~absorber~assy~shock~rear~rh~48531-69485.html
left/driver rear shock48531-69485$25.0048531-69485 Genuine Toyota Shock Absorber Assembly Rear Left - https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/oem/toyota~absorber~assy~shock~rear~rh~48531-69485.html
right/passenger front shock48511-69388$29.00https://partsouq.com/en/catalog/genuine/unit?c=Toyota&ssd=$*KwG7j56X6-77997u5MSPn-P319DOv7C9vK6wgvKq-6yzqtWv_Pyhq7K98_f95umQpeDq4euss7qjr7a3pquyrbqxuLyv_Pyr56q1rL2wv7ro5oGr9fH44OzP9vK9oauyr6y-sb6-5O7gpait5_2qta3yjoPbycKspait4LP8-KmqydTDsL_B_ZmB2c3E2Kukr6-mveCzqOH75eSjrfK4q-2qta66ufIAAAAAcFzLgQ$&vid=0&cid=2&uid=335069&q=48511-69386 - Toyota Parts Deal - https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/oem/toyota~absorber~assy~shock~front~rh~48511-69386.html?Make=Toyota&Model=Land+Cruiser&Year=1997&Submodel=&Filter=()&Location=front-spring-shock-absorber,,48510
left/driver front shock48511-69386$46.0048511-69388 - Toyota Parts Deal - https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/oem/toyota~absorber~assy~shock~front~rh~48511-69388.html?Make=Toyota&Model=Land+Cruiser&Year=1997&Submodel=&Filter=()&Location=front-spring-shock-absorber,,48510
 
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baldilocks

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By their nature a variable rate, tapered coil design will allow more body sway and the old “blown” shocks will only amplify this effect. If the 80 won’t be used for rock crawling where every MM of travel that can be squeezed from an 80 is necessary then it makes sense that a mono-rate coil of the proper capacity and matching shock for the eventual weight of the vehicle be installed.

Having said that, I would, as earlier stated, replace all bushings, worn steering componentes, service the wheel and trunnion bearings, and correct the castor before spending money on springs.
 
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Lots of good advice. I’m surprised at how many folks want a stock ride height. If your plans are not to wheel it, then this makes sense for all kinds of reasons, but honestly I cannot see why anyone would want or need to daily drive a 25 year old plus gas guzzling pig other than the sheer joy it brings. These trucks are the best of the best in terms of their design and engineering for off-road/ rugged terrain. That’s really what they were built for in the rest of the world, only in NA did it become stylish to be driving these things in the cities/urban areas.
I will say that the stock Lexus suspension on my truck when I picked it up in 2007 was really tipsy. The OME 2.5” lift with mediums up front and heavies out back solves all that. The only issue was the near 0 degrees of castor. This affect was amplified with the 35s and Toyota steelies, but I learned to live with it. Stay away from poly bushings and any castor “correction” bushings. Rubber is always the best for flex and energy absorption. Fast forward to today, and my OME springs and shocks are shot and I’m now looking into a new lift, maybe even a 3” one, but my rig is not a daily driver, and it will be loaded to GVWR for long road trips across NA.
 

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