Needed information for OME lift project (1 Viewer)

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Feb 24, 2011
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Colorado country
Hey. I just ordered an OME heavy duty lift (yeah!) for my 1986 FJ60 and would like some advice/input. My 60 is stock now. Eventually I'd like to put on a roof rack, bumpers, jerry cans, sliders, and the list goes on and on. Another words, latter I will be adding some weight to it. For the next couple of years, however, there will be little added weight. Should I remove a leaf for now before the installation? If so, which do I remove? Also, I am a novice big time. What tools should I have ready to go, i.e. impact wrench and different size sockets? Thanks :idea:
 
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Hi, Colorado. I would just keep all the leaves. Although you're not planning to install heavy stuff on your cruiser in the near future, you'll probably do some camping and all, and then you'll be glad you installed the whole pakkage. But okay, I'm a Eurpean guy, so I'm not used to the spongy American suspensions:hillbilly:.
About the tools. We did it with a torch, a crowbar, some sockets, and some wrenches. That's about it.
You already know which tires you're gonna use? Because with this lift, standard tires look awful,
 
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Thanks for the quick reply. Currently I have Michelin LT 235/75 R15 tires on it. These are newer, so I'd hate to have to change them so fast. Do you have suggestions for tires? Do you think my current tires will work, or will they "look awful"? Also, I'll have to borrow some tools. What size metric sockets will I need?
 
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Those tires will not look good. Your 235s are the original size tires for that truck, roughly 29'' I believe, and I rode around on 31's for a while and they looked stupid too. I know it sucks but your goin to want some 33's or atleast 32's, your 235's are very common on lots of makes and models and should be easy to sell. lets see some pics when your done.
 
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as for tools you will need 24mm, 22mm, 21mm, 19mm, 18mm, 17mm, 15mm, 14mm, 12mm, 10mm. I don't think you will need all of these but it would be a good idea to have them all, you can probably find a set for cheap. You don't have to use impact grade you can get buy with chrome. 21 is for your lugs and your u-bolts are 17-22 ish and you will need a deep socket for these. I can't remember what the size of the shocks or stabilizer but I remember the stabilizer was stuck and I had to use a air hammer with a pickle fork. I would soak every bolt atleast a day ahead of time and if your truck is rusty you should have a torch on hand. you need a grease gun with moly grease for your bushings when your done. My kit was stubborn on the rear and I had to pull the axle 1/2'' forward with a come-along, to get the center pin on the leaf to line up. jack stands, jack, prybar....Good luck
 
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Buffalo Grove, IL
 
 
 
If you bought the heavies and do not plan to have a beefy bumper or beefy storage box in the rear, then I would pull a leaf from the rears.
 
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cwwfj60...that is some great information. I went out this afternoon to price some 33 BFGs. Also, I am in the process of gathering up all the tools you recommended. Thanks. chitown40...why do you think I should remove a leaf? I won't have any added weight for some time. In the meantime, will the ride be way rough/stiff? Which rear leaf do I remove? What do you think cwwfj60?
 
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Hey, Colorado, to give you an idea what the original tire size with lift kit looks like, here's a picture of mine with the originals. The second one is with BF Goodrich 35x12.5x15. But 33's are nice too.
HJ60 66.jpg
HJ60 53.jpg
HJ60 80.jpg
 
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cwwfj60...that is some great information. I went out this afternoon to price some 33 BFGs. Also, I am in the process of gathering up all the tools you recommended. Thanks. chitown40...why do you think I should remove a leaf? I won't have any added weight for some time. In the meantime, will the ride be way rough/stiff? Which rear leaf do I remove? What do you think cwwfj60?
You said it exactly -- you won't have any added weight for quite some time. Putting a leaf back in is not a real big project. Basically with no weight in the back, the truck will bounce rather than flex the suspension due to the lack of weight. OME was designed to be used with a load in the back. When you look at the spring pack, it will almost be pretty obvious. When you get your springs, post a pic and we will confirm which leaf to pull with you. Start PB blasting all your shackles and spring hangars and shock bolts now. :D
 
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Oct 31, 2010
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Boulder,CO
I installed OME mediums in November. I've been driving around with tools and chains in the back. Some light wheeling and driving with a load in back has settled my springs a bit. I think if you are going to add all the weight eventually, just let the suspension be stout... That way everything will break in 'in unison'.
I've got about 3.5" lift and BFG 31x10.5. The tires look too small with the lift, but regearing for 33-35" will be costly. Even the 31s cause me to 'diesel' at start ups and in the hills. No issues in 4lo, but the larger tires are definitely harder to spin with the stock 3.73 gears. If you drive in the hills you will notice some seriously poor acceleration with larger tires. Anyway... have fun! Make sure to inspect your steering links when you are down there. Pretty easy to do tie-rod ends for cheap when you have everything else off, also look up the alignment thread, as you will need to re-align your steering after the lift. perhaps doable without some of the below, but these will make the job much easier.

4 jackstands (2 for vehicle, 2 for axle, an extra for pinion is nice)
2 jacks (allows adjustment of vehicle and axle height relative to one another)
deep well metric sockets
standard metric sockets
breaker bar
torque wrench
mini-sledge and mallet
pickle fork or other separator tool (especially if you do tie rod ends)
various files, pliers, vice-grips.
Some say a torch for the old bushings
4.5" angle grinder (quick way to dispose of u-bolts and stubborn parts that will be replaced)

Best tip I got from mud:
take the grease zirk out of the drive shaft, this will allow some compression in the ds allowing you to realign the center pins.
The exhaust hangers will likely need to be removed to get the driver side rear shackle in. Be prepared for drive shaft vibrations if you get too tall.
Also, i messed around with shims to get caster right, but it made my pinion angle horrible in the front. Ended up with shims in rear to match ds angles, but none in front. still drives ok, just be prepared to deal with DS issues later.
Good luck! you will be very very proud...

Here is my build, I found many others as well
https://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/434835-getting-started-holy-molygrease.html
 

Elbert

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I would leave spring packs alone and just install them and be done. Also a small ratchet strap can help you position the apring packs to get the bolts to line up. I would do one end of the truck at the time and one side at the time. Use jackstands to hold truck off the groud by the frame, then you can use a roll around jack to position the axle and whatever else how you want. I would also take the tires off to reduce teh weight you are having to deal with. Ifyou have another person helping it might be eaiser to just drop each axle and install with new spring sattached on both ends.. Of course if you have access to a lift that would be the best choice
 
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According to Kurt Williams, the difference in the rear springs between heavy and medium is the 3rd spring down from the top. I drove mine with it set up heavy for several years and recently removed that spring to make it a medium. Much recommended! Your rig will not have that high rear end look.
If it is not too late, examine the eyes of the OME springs. THey install a steel cylindrical sleeve in the eye for the bushing to fit into (at least mine had that set up). Yours are probably more modern versions of the spring and OME probably has done something to anchor that sleeve in the eye. I had a chronic problem with a popping noise that seemed to be due to that sleeve moving around in the spring eye. Kurt says you can fix it by staking it with a chisel. That is a method that I would recommend if you can do it BEFORE you put the springs on the vehicle. I recall that someone on this board actually tack welded the sleeve in place. Don't know what that would do to the temper of the spring eye.
You really need a 22mm deep well six point socket for those u-bolts. The torque on those things is 90 lbs. Rachet straps are a simple way to adjust the axle if necessary.

In regard to tires, you are going to be caught in the dilemma of looks vs function. If you have a 4 speed and 3.70 diffs, you will love 33 inch tires on flat ground but hate them on hills. 5 speed will not be useful either. I would say that 31s are about as far as I would go with 3.70s although I drove 33s for a while.

Building a 60 is like chewing on a piece of gristle. The more you chew, the bigger it gets.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
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Colorado country
This is some great information. Thanks to everyone so far who has posted responses. I didn't realize that if I went with 33's I would have to do so much additional work to my rig. Does anyone have an idea of cost and what all exactly needs to be done? I saved up all my pennies for this OME lift kit and there is no way that I have the know-how to do this kind of work. Do you think it is really worth just sticking to 31's? Does it look silly at all? Also, I will look into replacing the tie rod ends. Thats a great idea. Also, I decided to remove a rear leaf until I get more weight on the rig.
 
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Oct 12, 2006
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Orangevale, CA
According to Kurt Williams, the difference in the rear springs between heavy and medium is the 3rd spring down from the top. I drove mine with it set up heavy for several years and recently removed that spring to make it a medium. Much recommended! Your rig will not have that high rear end look.
If it is not too late, examine the eyes of the OME springs. THey install a steel cylindrical sleeve in the eye for the bushing to fit into (at least mine had that set up). Yours are probably more modern versions of the spring and OME probably has done something to anchor that sleeve in the eye. I had a chronic problem with a popping noise that seemed to be due to that sleeve moving around in the spring eye. Kurt says you can fix it by staking it with a chisel. That is a method that I would recommend if you can do it BEFORE you put the springs on the vehicle. I recall that someone on this board actually tack welded the sleeve in place. Don't know what that would do to the temper of the spring eye.
You really need a 22mm deep well six point socket for those u-bolts. The torque on those things is 90 lbs. Rachet straps are a simple way to adjust the axle if necessary.

In regard to tires, you are going to be caught in the dilemma of looks vs function. If you have a 4 speed and 3.70 diffs, you will love 33 inch tires on flat ground but hate them on hills. 5 speed will not be useful either. I would say that 31s are about as far as I would go with 3.70s although I drove 33s for a while.

Building a 60 is like chewing on a piece of gristle. The more you chew, the bigger it gets.
I have 33's, 3.70 gears, and the H55F 5speed. The 5 speed helped alot. The biggest issue with the 4speed was the tall 1st gear. The 5 speed has a much lower 1st gear. Even with 33,s and 3.70's, 1st gear is almost too low for the street. The overdrive is great, 2400RPM at 70MPH. However the 1st sign of the slightest hill will mean a downshift. If I was in your shoes (which I was at one point) I would do the 33's now and start saving for the 5 speed.
 
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So T-bones, I can run 33's without having to change anything? I like the idea of putting in a 5-speed. Is that a costly conversion? I assume your gas milleage has improved somewhat. Is this right?
 
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After doing some reading, I think I might go with 33x9.5 15 BF Goodrich. Is it best to change the gear ratio to 4.10, or put in a 5 speed, or both? Again, until I save up some cashola, can I just run with the current stock 3.70 without any real issues? Also, does anyone have any input on tie rod ends. What are recomended and where do I buy them?
 
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Colorado country
Methusalum...I like your rig! My '86 is the same color (my favorit). Is that an OME 2" lift? Did you have to do something special with the rear bumper to close the gap? Is it a 4-sp and did you change the gear ratio? How's the overall performance? Once agian, nice rig.
 
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Thanx. It's a OME Dakar heavy/heavy with the standard lift of 2.5 inch. But with the shackle reversal kit (with longer shackles) it gives approximately 4 inch lift in total. But I also did a home made body lift with new, thicker bushings made out of fork lift tires and I also made 1 inch teflon pucks.
Yeah, my bumper. The rear bumper was gone, so we took the front bumper, welded a few extra centimeters in the middle, so it would fit the back side, and changed the bumper brackets so that it would fit the lift.
It's a 2H diesel with a 5 speed. No, I didn't change the diffs, although I would like to. 4.56 or maybe better a 4.88, because this engine just gives 105 hp. But if you're not in a hurry (why would you?), it's okay. I really like the suspension, especially when loaded.
 
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So T-bones, I can run 33's without having to change anything? I like the idea of putting in a 5-speed. Is that a costly conversion? I assume your gas milleage has improved somewhat. Is this right?
Yes you can. The 5spped conversion should be a bolt in for your 60 assuming it's an 86'. It's not cheep, figure around $2200 for the trans, maybe cheeper if you shop around. I ponied up the dough for a brand new one and have no regrets. Plus figure on resurfacing the fly wheel, changing the rear main, and putting in a new clutch, while you've got it appart.

As stated before. The biggest issue with 33's, stock gears, and the 4speed was 1st gear in high and low. With the 4.9 1st gear of the 5 speed (4speed has 3.9) it was a HUGE improvment! IMO the 5 speed is one of the best mods you can do to a 60. More expensive then just changing the diff gears, but well worth it if you plan on keeping your rig for a while. If you do 33's now it will be alittle harder on your clutch, but if you plan on replacing it all down the road, it's tollerable for now. Just don't expect to do any 'crawling'. However you will get some 'rubber' overdrive on the highway and your 2F will be thanful for that.
 

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