Linked FJ45 Coilovers with FJ80 Control Arms

Tank5

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I am not in a position to start this anytime soon but researching and thinking through it is part of the fun, so I am planning way ahead of the action.

I am considering my options for installing a linked suspension on my 65 SWB fj45. The 45 has already had the leaf spring suspension modified prior to my buying it and I don't like it. It is flexy but dips like crazy when I hit the brakes and on the highway it is not a nice as i want it to be. Currently it is setup with a 5" SUA lift using Alcan custom springs and a shackle reversal in the front. I am running 37" tires and want to keep that size tire and lift height.

I am really interested in keeping the road handling manners at highway speed as good as possible. I intend to use the 45 for overlanding type travel and want to drive it to the trail head or cross country where ever I am going. I want to keep it trail capable to run some of the passes in the Silverton and Ouray area, mildly technical trails in Moab, and the Rubicon.

When the conversion is done I will swap the current axles for a fj62 stock front axle and a narrowed FF 80 rear axle to 58 WMS, so I am trying to maintain a 60 series axle width under the 45.

I have been considering adding a complete 80 series suspension under the 45 but using coilovers instead of the sock spring and shock configuration.. I already have all of these components except the coilovers to build this I am just not sure if this is the right way for me to go.

I am also considering Proffitt's Cruiser's 3 link front and 5 link rear set up. I sent them an email to get a quote and their thoughts. I expect it will be pricier but I like their work.

I have searched the foum and the web and found 45 on 80 chassis builds, linked 40 builds, and even a 40 with all 80 series suspension components welded in but not a mix of 80 series arms with coilovers on a 40 series frame. I expect someone has done this or has though it out and I am curious to know the pros and cons. If I missed it and there is a build like this please post the link.

Because everyone likes pictures this is what I am stating with.

VC.jpg
 

Tank5

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Tank5

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That does look like a good idea. I will have to talk to George about that.

I see they went with rollovers too.
 
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It’s possible to put 80 series radius arms under a 40 with coil overs. I did it with coils and shocks on an 80 series front axle. It rides way smoother, but it dives when you brake hard too so you won’t cut that out. I don’t have a front sway bar and I wish I did for on road driving at speed. Coil overs would make packaging a sway bar easier attached to the frame. You might find the 60 series width is tight for coil overs but I think it’s do able. The 80 series radius arms are good in the rubber bushings keep things quiet as compared to hiems. Use Johnny joints for the panhard to keep it quiet, I made this change after the first heims started banging on my panhard bar and they are great. What you propose will be smoother, but I’m not sure it would be worth the work or cash having done it already, given you have a functioning rig, I might just buy some nice shocks and rock the leaves if it was me. Just my 2 cents, take it for what what it’s worth. If you do it post it up so I can follow along.
 

Tank5

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It’s possible to put 80 series radius arms under a 40 with coil overs. I did it with coils and shocks on an 80 series front axle. It rides way smoother, but it dives when you brake hard too so you won’t cut that out. I don’t have a front sway bar and I wish I did for on road driving at speed. Coil overs would make packaging a sway bar easier attached to the frame. You might find the 60 series width is tight for coil overs but I think it’s do able. The 80 series radius arms are good in the rubber bushings keep things quiet as compared to hiems. Use Johnny joints for the panhard to keep it quiet, I made this change after the first heims started banging on my panhard bar and they are great. What you propose will be smoother, but I’m not sure it would be worth the work or cash having done it already, given you have a functioning rig, I might just buy some nice shocks and rock the leaves if it was me. Just my 2 cents, take it for what what it’s worth. If you do it post it up so I can follow along.
thanks for the comments. Do you have any pictures of your build. Curious to see how tight is is.

Eventually I would like to link the front and rear trying as best I can to recreate the way my fj80 rides. You suggest ed just running the leads which is what I have to do for a while anyhow but I could upgrade the shocks and see what difference it makes.

I wonder if I added a coilovers with the leaves if it would improve the road manners without making it supper stiff. i will research this some and see what I find. Has anyone tried thisthis? It would be a good interim fix until I could do the link set up.
 
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thanks for the comments. Do you have any pictures of your build. Curious to see how tight is is.

Eventually I would like to link the front and rear trying as best I can to recreate the way my fj80 rides. You suggest ed just running the leads which is what I have to do for a while anyhow but I could upgrade the shocks and see what difference it makes.

I wonder if I added a coilovers with the leaves if it would improve the road manners without making it supper stiff. i will research this some and see what I find. Has anyone tried thisthis? It would be a good interim fix until I could do the link set up.
There is a build thead in this section a few pages back. I think there is a link in my signature but I can’t seam to see it on my phone so here it is: '74 FJ40 Build: My 1st Cruiser

The fj80 suspension graft is somewhere in the middle.

If you give up 2” on either side of the axle width your coil overs might need to be vertical and there could be interference with the frame on the droop side when you twist it up, assume you are talking about 14-16”. I set these up with 9” shocks cause I felt that was the limit of the radius arms and I had the shocks already.

This camera angle makes it look like there is more room than there actually is. There is just the diameter of the coil plus 1/2” there.

image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Tank5

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There is a build thead in this section a few pages back. I think there is a link in my signature but I can’t seam to see it on my phone so here it is: '74 FJ40 Build: My 1st Cruiser

The fj80 suspension graft is somewhere in the middle.

If you give up 2” on either side of the axle width your coil overs might need to be vertical and there could be interference with the frame on the droop side when you twist it up, assume you are talking about 14-16”. I set these up with 9” shocks cause I felt that was the limit of the radius arms and I had the shocks already.

This camera angle makes it look like there is more room than there actually is. There is just the diameter of the coil plus 1/2” there.

View attachment 1800011View attachment 1800012
I read through your build, I like your 40. I saw you used the full 80 width axle with your front conversion. I understand why you say a 60 width would be tight.
 
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Removing the shackle reversal would reduce brake dive considerably if the shackles are put back up front. Getting caster dialed in also will really increase road manners. I have a similar setup as yours, I personally don't mind the brake dive.
 

Tank5

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5 link radius arm front and standard 4 link rear, that's what I'm running and it works great. The huge challenge with a 40/45 series LC is that there is VERY limited room for any front suspension links. And yeah, this is my happy face.....

View attachment 1802580

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That is a nice looking 40. How does it handle on the highway? I really want to maintain good highway manners.

I traded emails with Proffitts Cruiser's as I am interested in their 3 and 5 link set up but also considering an 80 suspension because I have it all already. They suggested going with the 80 suspension for what I am trying to achieve. I am leaning towards the complete 80 series suspension a the moment.
 
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It’ll do 80mph no problem. I run a rear sway bar and it’s pretty damn stable, much more so than when it was sprung over. I’ve done probably 10k in highway miles (some towing an M416 trailer) with no issues. RTI is over 1200 with 12” coilovers
 

69LC

 
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@Mieser how do those tires perform? I’d like to find a set of 37” that are skinny looking and could handle road/snow use, save the chubby swampers for the mostly off pavement.
 
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