Newb Tire / Lift Questions

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Joined
Apr 14, 2008
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Location
North of LA California
I was planning on building my truck up slowly but my old work buddy invited me to big bear with his crazy group in June. My task is to get tires and suspension done in 6 weeks.

My primary use will be slow rock crawling. I will be in snow and sand very seldom.

Questions:
Can I achieve 35 in tires? How many negative aspects are there to running this big of tire with an almost stock rig? If there are too many negatives then I'll stick with 33". My budget is around 2 grand maximum for suspension and wheels. I'm looking at medium to heavy suspension setups as beefy bumpers and weight will be added. I have no plans to go SOA at this time. I want to keep my rig low and i have no problem cutting up the fenders.

I'm looking for good links and I'd like to hear from your experience. I apoligize for the subject. I am rushed by this timeline and I know these questions get asked a million times. The FAQ tire links don't go into a lot of detail and the registry only gives basic setups. I've been on pirate4x4 as well researching. Thanks for your patience and expertise.
-Randy
 
I'd definitely look for some decent used tires to get that cost down and get some good springs with some lift (usually the bigger cost). A locker is going to get you pretty far so slap one in or weld up the rear diff. Since you've got no problems cutting up the fenders stuff some 35s under it and cut away. Those pretty much take care of the budget and the short time frame but gearing will help slow you down and recover some power due to bigger tires. You probably want to carry some spare birfs too.
 
If you want to do slow rock crawling and only minimal mods then you dont want to go with the 35's. With 33 you will already be abusing your truck trying to go slow. The 33's are called a poor mans overdirve. You will either need a crawl box or re-gear your truck which will be more than your budget for the first option or most of your option for the second choice. I installed a toybox in mine and it really allows me to finally go over things that used to just kill me. Speed kills on these truck parts. You can get procomp steel wheels for a little over $200 and tires for around $600 to $700.
 
This advice was based on a 60. Cant tell if you have a 60 or 62.
 
Sorry, I have a 1988 FJ62... Any good links for suspension? Any good links for shackle tech?
 
You wont have the clutch abuse problem but you will be geared tall. On the road you will find the transmisson hunting for gears. I have no personal experience around someone with a 62 and 35's The main lift that is used is ARB. ARB Air Locker Heavy Duty 4x4 Bumpers is the site i think. Search arb if nothing else
 
If you want to do slow rock crawling and only minimal mods then you dont want to go with the 35's. With 33 you will already be abusing your truck trying to go slow. The 33's are called a poor mans overdirve. You will either need a crawl box or re-gear your truck which will be more than your budget for the first option or most of your option for the second choice. I installed a toybox in mine and it really allows me to finally go over things that used to just kill me. Speed kills on these truck parts. You can get procomp steel wheels for a little over $200 and tires for around $600 to $700.

Lets say I went 35" tires and regeared while installing a rear locker? Could I use stock suspension for another 6 months until my paychecks could handle another blow? Would regearing, a selectable locker, and tires run real high in price? Does ARB sell gears with their lockers? I can go over $2,000 as I want to get a locker sooner or later.
 
Take a look at Cruiser outfitters.

Cruiser Outfitters

They have a drop in landcruiser third that you can get with a arb for around $1426 an axle. The install of a third member is not very hard. You can also go with a aussie locker around 400 less. Either of these will give you lower gears and a locker. If yo have time you can take your springs off and have them re-arched and install longer shackles as a way to save money. You can get a set of 2 springs re-arched with leaves added for around $160. You can, with a saw, stuff the 35 in with no lift but you will not be able to do much more than street driving. You will have no room for it to flex on a trail. You will be doing some major cutting.
 
I have no problem cutting the fenders almost completely off. I value low center of gravity.

What practical reasons do people have for lift other than clearing tires? Your differentials are still the low point.

What are the limiting factors to articulation? I know diconnecting the sway bar gives a little bit but that doesn't explain the crazy articulation people have. Suspension is one of the most difficult things on an offroad rig for me other than wiring and circuits. I like the drop in third idea, thanks for the reference.
 
another reason for the lift in entry angle and exit so you dont rip off your bumpers
 
Any good reading / tech on shackles?
 
use the search on here for "shackles" to get different opinions. You can also got to retailers like CCOT, MAF, and Spector and check out their info. Several people use anti-inversion shackles on there rig. I have 3" MAF on the rear and 2 1/2 HFS from CCOT on ther font.
 
Alright, I'm going to have to concede and go with 33's for awhile. Can't justify the 35's right off the bat.
So here's my thoughts and where I'm headed. I need a decent rig ready by June. Here's my list of things to do.

1. Rock Sliders
2. Sway Bar quick disconnects
3. 33 in tires w/ stock lift
4. Add a rear bumper
5. Onboard air of some sort.

Will this setup be a good start? Are there any other main quick upgrades that are highly recommended? Big Bear will be hot in June. How important is a trany cooler?

As always, thank you for all the input.
 
It's been a few weeks so what did you decide?

1. Rock Sliders - IMHO the single best thing you can do to preserve your rockers
2. Sway Bar quick disconnects - I removed mine w/o any negative effects
3. 33 in tires w/ stock lift - depends on how saggy your stock springs are
4. Add a rear bumper - expensive, better off buying new springs in my opinion
5. Onboard air of some sort - always a good idea

FYI - I also have an 88 FJ62 and I just burned up my tranny. It looks as though the stock cooler was plugged.

I strongly suggest you add a tranny cooler, it's expensive to replace a transmission! ;)
 
It's been a few weeks so what did you decide?

1. Rock Sliders - IMHO the single best thing you can do to preserve your rockers
2. Sway Bar quick disconnects - I removed mine w/o any negative effects
3. 33 in tires w/ stock lift - depends on how saggy your stock springs are
4. Add a rear bumper - expensive, better off buying new springs in my opinion
5. Onboard air of some sort - always a good idea

FYI - I also have an 88 FJ62 and I just burned up my tranny. It looks as though the stock cooler was plugged.

I strongly suggest you add a tranny cooler, it's expensive to replace a transmission! ;)


Frontrange:
I’ve been working on my truck a lot but not doing the stuff that needs to get done. I am in the middle of replacing the carpet in the back. I pulled the old out and the padding was horrible. The back of my rear seat was covered in rust so that got taken out and wire brushed and painted. I took my starter out and tore it completely apart and then put it back together after cleaning the contacts. It starts a lot better now that the copper contacts and plunger are clean. I ordered $180 worth of seals and gaskets from Dan as well as new starter contacts.
Immediate needs are:
  • Radiator: Mine is leaking and it’s gotta go.
  • 33 in tires (not sure of width or style yet. I want knobby ones, no A/T’s for me.)
  • my friend and I will get rock sliders built asap.
  • New suspension: Can’t decide yet. Too many people with opinions and not enough straight facts.
  • rear bumper will wait. I want to make my own and turn it into a 7 gal air tank w/ tire carrier and gas can.
  • onboard air will wait too. Trying to decide between electric or pully.
  • sway bar will be taken off for the trip. Disconnects will be fabbed after new susp and lift is in place.
  • Trany cooler is a must. I need to get to a junk yard and get that done asap. The trany is the scariest part on the FJ62 for me. I rather replace an engine any day. The trany is the most expensive and daunting thing on the vehicle at this time.
Other than that it’s a slow process. I replaced the plugs. Learned how to operate 4wd with a burnt out VSV. It’s a healthy obsession and I love my new toy. I’ll post some pics for everyone so I can get some more insight into my endeavors.
 
That padding sure can stink!

Sounds like you're making progress and the obsession has taken hold. ;)

Accept that you'll go with an OME suspension with all it's goodies and you'll be thrilled. The only choice IMHO.

33x12.5 work well with the OME, a bit of inside rubbing now and then but no big deal.

The tranny has a small cooler in the lower part of the radiator, may have clogged on mine so check that out along with adding one.

I'll be spending as much for a 5 speed installed as I did for my truck originally and probably something you want to avoid.

Pics are mandatory so show us what you've got. 88 62's rock!

:cheers:

Frontrange:
I’ve been working on my truck a lot but not doing the stuff that needs to get done. I am in the middle of replacing the carpet in the back. I pulled the old out and the padding was horrible. The back of my rear seat was covered in rust so that got taken out and wire brushed and painted. I took my starter out and tore it completely apart and then put it back together after cleaning the contacts. It starts a lot better now that the copper contacts and plunger are clean. I ordered $180 worth of seals and gaskets from Dan as well as new starter contacts.
Immediate needs are:
  • Radiator: Mine is leaking and it’s gotta go.
  • 33 in tires (not sure of width or style yet. I want knobby ones, no A/T’s for me.)
  • my friend and I will get rock sliders built asap.
  • New suspension: Can’t decide yet. Too many people with opinions and not enough straight facts.
  • rear bumper will wait. I want to make my own and turn it into a 7 gal air tank w/ tire carrier and gas can.
  • onboard air will wait too. Trying to decide between electric or pully.
  • sway bar will be taken off for the trip. Disconnects will be fabbed after new susp and lift is in place.
  • Trany cooler is a must. I need to get to a junk yard and get that done asap. The trany is the scariest part on the FJ62 for me. I rather replace an engine any day. The trany is the most expensive and daunting thing on the vehicle at this time.
Other than that it’s a slow process. I replaced the plugs. Learned how to operate 4wd with a burnt out VSV. It’s a healthy obsession and I love my new toy. I’ll post some pics for everyone so I can get some more insight into my endeavors.
 
Post some pics of your cruiser.I live up near Big Bear.Do you have a winch on your rig?You should think about that.33s are ok.That's what I run on my 87' 60.I have a soa on mine.My truck does really good up here.A locker would be a plus and a couple of inches of lift would be great.OME makes one for your truck.I just costs money.The more money you have the tricker your rig.Good luck
HPIM1056.JPG
HPIM1058.JPG
 
OME Medium with Pizza Cutters...

Sort of...

33 x 10/50s with OME Medium Lift. :cool:
 
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Update / Progress

Hey Macneill,
Here's my stock rig. 280,000 miles. It's gonna need a lot of work. Money isn't too tight but time is. My boss is going to big bear middle of June so I need to get goin. Here's a few pics of what i've been up to.
randysnewcar007.jpg

randysnewcar004.jpg

randysnewcar001.jpg

Working on a drawer system.
drawer1.jpg

drawer2.jpg

drawer3.jpg

Was gonna replace carpet but I found this... so it's taking longer.
rearseatrust2.jpg

rearseatrust4.jpg

rearseatpainted.jpg

rearseatpaddingandcover.jpg

New vs old carpet
trimmingnewcarpet.jpg

Rebuilt starter
starterpulled.jpg

starterdisassembled.jpg

Here is the worn plunger and contacts
plungerandcontacts.jpg

majorly worn contact
worncoppercontact.jpg

Final painted starter
starterreassembledandpainted.jpg

I hope all the pics aren't too big. I don't want to freeze people's computers. :)
 
IMO, a rear locker, sliders, OME lift, and 33s make for a good well-rounded traveling and wheeling rig. It will go more places than you would think, without putting too much strain on stock parts.

As for the swaybar, simply remove the link from one side when you hit the trail. It takes about two minutes and you can still have it on for the ride to/from.

:beer:
 
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