Need advice on a complete suspension/bushing overhaul (1 Viewer)

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Yes, there are a thousand threads on what lift/tire size etc. I just want some advice on what you would do if you could do it all over again.

I want to run 35s, it's not a daily. I read that 37+ can cause axle issues with stock lockers. I plan to make it an expedition vehicle.

This truck has been off road only for 10 years, it needs everything and there are a few dented or bent components that I'm still discovering. While I'm working on general baselining, I'm still figuring out what suspension set up to go with.

I know I could throw a 2.5" OME lift and the 35s will fit. That being said, if you had to replace every suspension component/bushing, what all would you change?

Given that I am either refreshing or changing every component, what is the "perfect" set up to where I can take on 90 if not 99% of trails in the US and possibly Alaska?
 
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Well I’m sure not everyone will agree, but for an expedition vehicle I would go with high quality 33” tyres. With a front/rear locker, front/rear mounted winch and a bit of experience there isn’t many places you won’t get to.

when on an expedition (Eg long trips far from home) you try to avoid really extreme off-roading as an accident or broken part can leave you stranded and ruin your trip.
For a hardcore rock crawler where you’re on tracks near to home/civilisation then 35”/37” can be good fun.

A mildly modified 80 series (33”, lockers, 2” suspension lift) will still drive nicely and be Reliable. Once you start going bigger wheels everything gets considerably more expensive and less reliable.

35 or 37s mean you can drive a lot of obstacles, whereas 33s mean more winching. But that’s pretty much the only difference...
And I would rather have to get out and winch a bit more often than potentially get stuck somewhere in rural Alaska because 37 tyres blew up a gearbox/diff etc
 
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Well I’m sure not everyone will agree, but for an expedition vehicle I would go with high quality 33” tyres. With a front/rear locker, front/rear mounted winch and a bit of experience there isn’t many places you won’t get to.

when on an expedition (Eg long trips far from home) you try to avoid really extreme off-roading as an accident or broken part can leave you stranded and ruin your trip.
For a hardcore rock crawler where you’re on tracks near to home/civilisation then 35”/37” can be good fun.

A mildly modified 80 series (33”, lockers, 2” suspension lift) will still drive nicely and be Reliable. Once you start going bigger wheels everything gets considerably more expensive and less reliable.

35 or 37s mean you can drive a lot of obstacles, whereas 33s mean more winching. But that’s pretty much the only difference...
And I would rather have to get out and winch a bit more often than potentially get stuck somewhere in rural Alaska because 37 tyres blew up a gearbox/diff etc
Solid advice, I've been going back and forth between 33s and 35s with lots of opinions on either side. You're likely right though. Any other suspension correction parts or parts that need some beefing up?
 

alia176

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I think the OP should ask himself will he ever travel to the West and hit the overlanding or rock crawling scene. NY is pretty far, so many days of driving will usually sway the decision to be lower lift, smaller/AT tires and be less "bulky" overall. Driving a tall rig on giant, aggressive tires usually lead to a high degree of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and this will definitely contribute to driver fatigue.
 
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Solid advice, I've been going back and forth between 33s and 35s with lots of opinions on either side. You're likely right though. Any other suspension correction parts or parts that need some beefing up?

couple of options here... OEM/Rubber is a good solution but a major pain in the ass to change unless in a proper workshop.
nothathene or poly bushes are much easier to change on the trail, but will contribute to NVH.

generally speaking it’s worth overhauling the vehicle yourself. With a copy of the factory service manual and buying parts via one of the cheaper genuine providers will save a bucket load of money and you’ll learn all the moving parts. As these rigs are 30 years old there is a lot to do, but it’s not that expensive. Can probably do the majority of preventative maintenance for $5k (depending how far you want to go). The other thing is spend some time driving trails with front/rear lockers, 33s and a good winch. You’ll learn the capabilities of the rig then decide if you need to go further.
A competent driver on 33s is more capable than a novice on 35s (and maybe 37s in some cases).
 
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I think the OP should ask himself will he ever travel to the West and hit the overlanding or rock crawling scene. NY is pretty far, so many days of driving will usually sway the decision to be lower lift, smaller/AT tires and be less "bulky" overall. Driving a tall rig on giant, aggressive tires usually lead to a high degree of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and this will definitely contribute to driver fatigue.
Absolutely a consideration. I just don't want to be far from home and get stuck anywhere since I generally do solo trips. I live in the southeast so any real overlanding trips would be at least 2-3k one way.
couple of options here... OEM/Rubber is a good solution but a major pain in the ass to change unless in a proper workshop.
nothathene or poly bushes are much easier to change on the trail, but will contribute to NVH.

generally speaking it’s worth overhauling the vehicle yourself. With a copy of the factory service manual and buying parts via one of the cheaper genuine providers will save a bucket load of money and you’ll learn all the moving parts. As these rigs are 30 years old there is a lot to do, but it’s not that expensive. Can probably do the majority of preventative maintenance for $5k (depending how far you want to go). The other thing is spend some time driving trails with front/rear lockers, 33s and a good winch. You’ll learn the capabilities of the rig then decide if you need to go further.
A competent driver on 33s is more capable than a novice on 35s (and maybe 37s in some cases).
I've got a decent amount of tools and I'll get a press at some point as well. I've got about $2k of parts on the way to do the seals, hoses and odds and ends on the engine as well as refreshing the axles and driveshafts. After that I'll do the suspension bits. I'll be doing all of the work myself and I'm fairly competent. I've rebuilt most of my Tacoma. This is just my first SA vehicle.

Since I'm fully going through the vehicle, I just want to do everything right the first time.
 
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"Since I'm fully going through the vehicle, I just want to do everything right the first time."



Impossible!;)

As others have alluded to the fact that it is all a compromise. A cruiser with BFG 295/75/16 will get you 33+ inches of tire. Good enough for many, many trails. It will also do 80 miles an hour. But, with a little wind blowing, you will still have to "catch" the slightly lifted truck sometimes due to the air traveling under it at that speed. You compromise ride quality on long hauls for trail capability. No way around it. You said you want an "expedition vehicle". That tells me you want to drive it more than crawl it. I can tell you from my experience, the number one thing the fully loaded cruiser does for me is get me down the dirt roads quite a bit faster than most others. I come up on people in Utah and Colorado all the time who can't push their rigs more than 15mph, while I can easily do 20mph. Now mind you, my favorite saying on long trips from home is "my junk has to get me home". So I am not out there beating the snot out of it just to get somewhere fast. The cruiser is a perfect platform with the elegant design of the 5 link in the back, and 3 link in the front to get down the rough roads at a good speed. I would encourage you to stay with 33 inch tires, and OEM bushings all around. Use castor correction welded plates. And enjoy the ride!

My fully loaded cruiser with 6 days of water/food and camping gear has been over Elephant Hill in the Needles District at Canyonlands national park 8 or 9 times over the years. Driving it from Texas the 1100 miles is tiring, but not too bad. I am happy with the middle ground I have found with the build. Not "perfect". But a good enough comprimise.
 
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Joined
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"Since I'm fully going through the vehicle, I just want to do everything right the first time."



Impossible!;)

As others have alluded to the fact that it is all a compromise. A cruiser with BFG 295/75/16 will get you 33+ inches of tire. Good enough for many, many trails. It will also do 80 miles an hour. But, with a little wind blowing, you will still have to "catch" the slightly lifted truck sometimes due to the air traveling under it at that speed. You compromise ride quality on long hauls for trail capability. No way around it. You said you want an "expedition vehicle". That tells me you want to drive it more than crawl it. I can tell you from my experience, the number one thing the fully loaded cruiser does for me is get me down the dirt roads quite a bit faster than most others. I come up on people in Utah and Colorado all the time who can't push their rigs more than 15mph, while I can easily do 20mph. Now mind you, my favorite saying on long trips from home is "my junk has to get me home". So I am not out there beating the snot out of it just to get somewhere fast. The cruiser is a perfect platform with the elegant design of the 5 link in the back, and 3 link in the front to get down the rough roads at a good speed. I would encourage you to stay with 33 inch tires, and OEM bushings all around. Use castor correction welded plates. And enjoy the ride!

My fully loaded cruiser with 6 days of water/food and camping gear has been over Elephant Hill in the Needles District at Canyonlands national park 8 or 9 times over the years. Driving it from Texas the 1100 miles is tiring, but not too bad. I am happy with the middle ground I have found with the build. Not "perfect". But a good enough comprimise.
Hahah you're definitely correct, just wanna get kind of close or at least not backtrack.

295 seems like a good alternative as well. I have a lifted FJ so I know about driving a box down the road.

Not big on crawling, just don't like getting stuck anywhere. I'm starting by replacing any hose I can find so random things don't break on me.

Do I need castor correction welded plates with a 2.5" lift?

That sounds like a nice trip! Canyonlands is definitely on my list. I might have to do it in my FJ while I rebuild the 80.
 
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Flagstaff, AZ
I'm about to do it all over again, this time on a triple-locked FZJ80. For my purposes, touring, the aim is to increase tire height and suspension flex while retaining Toyota's original suspension geometry.

- tall, skinny 33s (255/85) for clearance, minimize weight per unit height gain, and retain under-body spare storage
- new plush OEM bushings
- stock- or low-height springs, load appropriate, and shocks to increase flex while avoiding caster correction, drop brackets, etc.
 
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I'm about to do it all over again, this time on a triple-locked FZJ80. For my purposes, touring, the aim is to increase tire height and suspension flex while retaining Toyota's original suspension geometry.

- tall, skinny 33s (255/85) for clearance, minimize weight per unit height gain, and retain under-body spare storage
- new plush OEM bushings
- stock- or low-height springs, load appropriate, and shocks to increase flex while avoiding caster correction, drop brackets, etc.
What suspension setup are you thinking? Stock height OME?
 
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What suspension setup are you thinking? Stock height OME?

I'm not sure yet; I've yet to inventory the stock and low-height spring options.

For front -- from what I've seen, Dobinson's progressive or comforts are intriguing.

For rear, I need heavy load -- and the only low-height option I've found is OME. I've run OME and found them harsh under load. I'd love to find another option.
 

leonard_nemoy

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Also remember that 35"s vs 33"s can give you more sidewall flex assuming the same sized wheels. I think very often people forget to take into consideration the amount of "suspension" you can get out of more sidewall.

Personally I am running 315/75/16's. Not because I want bigger tires for rock crawling and extreme stuff. Rather I run this tire set up because when I air the tires down to 18psi it makes the rig twice as comfortable and twice as smooth for long drives on washboard roads. This also leads to less wear and tear on the vehicle due to vibrations and loose bolts. I really think this is very important for "overlanding" or whatever the hipsters want to call it these days.....

part000001.jpg


Go drive 100 miles on roads like this and you will appreciate some extra sidewall and low psi.
 
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Also remember that 35"s vs 33"s can give you more sidewall flex assuming the same sized wheels. I think very often people forget to take into consideration the amount of "suspension" you can get out of more sidewall.

This also leads to less wear and tear on the vehicle due to vibrations and loose bolts. I really think this is very important for "overlanding" or whatever the hipsters want to call it these days.....

Go drive 100 miles on roads like this and you will appreciate some extra sidewall and low psi.

100% key for vehicle preservation and longevity with frequent dirt road travel--especially with aging rigs.
 
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Oviedo, FL
Hahah you're definitely correct, just wanna get kind of close or at least not backtrack.

295 seems like a good alternative as well. I have a lifted FJ so I know about driving a box down the road.

Not big on crawling, just don't like getting stuck anywhere. I'm starting by replacing any hose I can find so random things don't break on me.

Do I need castor correction welded plates with a 2.5" lift?

That sounds like a nice trip! Canyonlands is definitely on my list. I might have to do it in my FJ while I rebuild the 80.

Living in FL and having to drive FAR to do ANY decent offroading is the main reason I stuck with 295s and low lift. I like to do 80+ on the highway and still can with this setup. Sometimes keeping it simple is just nice

156825694_10221091756937712_3865910120691452534_o (1).jpg
 
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Also remember that 35"s vs 33"s can give you more sidewall flex assuming the same sized wheels. I think very often people forget to take into consideration the amount of "suspension" you can get out of more sidewall.

Personally I am running 315/75/16's. Not because I want bigger tires for rock crawling and extreme stuff. Rather I run this tire set up because when I air the tires down to 18psi it makes the rig twice as comfortable and twice as smooth for long drives on washboard roads. This also leads to less wear and tear on the vehicle due to vibrations and loose bolts. I really think this is very important for "overlanding" or whatever the hipsters want to call it these days.....

View attachment 2632101

Go drive 100 miles on roads like this and you will appreciate some extra sidewall and low psi.
That is a good point as well. How is it for highway speeds? I hate when the trans starts searching for gears while going up a hill. 80 is pretty much as fast as I need it to go, some cities have a much faster traffic flow.

Living in FL and having to drive FAR to do ANY decent offroading is the main reason I stuck with 295s and low lift. I like to do 80+ on the highway and still can with this setup. Sometimes keeping it simple is just nice

View attachment 2632182

I'm in the same boat from SC with a much rougher rig. So I'm somewhere between a nuts and bolts restoration and just general baselining. A few stretches of I85 basically require going 80mph, does it search for gears on hills? What suspension setup did you go with?
 

leonard_nemoy

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That is a good point as well. How is it for highway speeds? I hate when the trans starts searching for gears while going up a hill. 80 is pretty much as fast as I need it to go, some cities have a much faster traffic flow.
It does pretty well on the interstate for me. Here in Utah we got plenty of "hills" on the I-15. I am running 4:88's and I can set it to cruise at 70 and it runs great right at 2600ish rip ems. I don't like running my engines at high rpm's but it will cruise 80 if I want..... Sometimes on some of the steeper grades I have to put it in 3rd gear to keep up with traffic.
 
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It does pretty well on the interstate for me. Here in Utah we got plenty of "hills" on the I-15. I am running 4:88's and I can set it to cruise at 70 and it runs great right at 2600ish rip ems. I don't like running my engines at high rpm's but it will cruise 80 if I want..... Sometimes on some of the steeper grades I have to put it in 3rd gear to keep up with traffic.
That sounds pretty good. I don't want to re-gear just yet since I'm still trying to get the truck working :worms:How was it without the re-gear?
 
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I've got 33's (285/75R16) and a 3" lift and I can go anywhere I have any business going. I keep up with my club guys in jeeps running 37"+ tires and I might have to winch once more than they do on harder trails. Rig does 75 all day long on the highway and right now serves as my daily driver. Another nice thing with this tire size is they tuck up into the wheel wells all the way so you don't rub and you don't have to limit up travel with bump stop extensions. Plus you can buy a replacement at any tire store or even Walmart if need be.

As for suspension bushings OEM is great but they are expensive. I used some Moog bushings when I redid mine last year, getting OEM for the locations Moog didn't make something. So far so good and with the miles I drive they will probably get replaced again due to age before they actually wear out. No matter which way you go be sure to buy the bushing press kit from Wits End, worth every penny. Harbor freight 20 ton press with upgraded arbor plates from Swag off road will get them all out.

For other upgrades in addition to your lift look at getting the rear panhard lift bracket from Delta. I'd go with radius arms for castor correction and if you don't want to drop the coin for those plates would be my second choice, I just don't like the offset bushings. Consider upgrading your steering stabilizer too. Other than that the stock stuff will be fine for moderate to hard wheeling on 33's.
 
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That is a good point as well. How is it for highway speeds? I hate when the trans starts searching for gears while going up a hill. 80 is pretty much as fast as I need it to go, some cities have a much faster traffic flow.



I'm in the same boat from SC with a much rougher rig. So I'm somewhere between a nuts and bolts restoration and just general baselining. A few stretches of I85 basically require going 80mph, does it search for gears on hills? What suspension setup did you go with?

Yeah, it searches a little bit between 3rd and 4th but it doesn't bother me as long as can keep up with traffic. I'm on Dobinson stock height with 30mm spacers front and rear. It was between that or the 1.75" they offer
 

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