Rancho/Downey Lift

Discussion in '95-older Toyota Truck Tech' started by Bear80, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well I just got the new lift on and just thought I should share some thoughts and pictures. It is the Rancho upper a-arms with the Downey slip yoke axles. I also installed all new Downey poly bushings upper and lower, mega travel upper ball joints, ss longer brake lines and a new steering link.

    First, I do have one major issue with the t-bars/height to work out. I previously had installed sway-away 25mm t-bars, low profile stops, poly control arm bushings and gained about 2" lift over stock. Now with the new Rancho a-arms installed I adjusted the t-bars just past where I had them adjusted for my stock 2" lift. I got it initially up to 24" hub to fender, which is where I wanted it. Yet as soon as I rolled it out of the garage the truck sat down to stock level. Then further down my driveway it went back up to the height I had it set at. WTF?? Right. And the front end feels really soft, like the t-bars have almost no pre-load on them. Rancho and Downey both told me to just crank my t-bars more, which I don’t think is a great answer but I'll see what happens. I broke a t-bar anchor bolt so I have to wait for a new one so it’ll be this weekend till I can get at it. Breaking the bolt isn't related to my problem, just due to a “fix” that the previous owner did to the t-bar frame mount after the truck was rolled…….but that’s another story.

    Well enough about that, now for the good stuff! I had to do some engineering to get the stock Rancho RS5000 shocks to work. My goal was to avoid having to cut off my stock upper shock tabs and installing Downey mounts for longer shocks. I don't have pictures of the shocks but in a short story I had to add an extender on the top stud of the shock. To achieve the correct compression length I had to cut the stud on the shock so the added length of the shock with the extender would not over compress but still fully extend. In addition I had to put about 15mm of spacers on the lower control arm stops to protect the shocks from over compressing and would help gain clearance for 33" tires.

    The axles are also an area of debate; they cannot take speeds over 40-45mph. They shake like crazy around 30mph and then smooth out somewhat but 40mph is probably really pushing them. I've heard that the stock axles will work but when I did a test fit, the inner joints where at their maximum and IMO probably would break pretty easy under hard wheeling. Also the inner and outer boots are about to rip themselves apart. Speaking of boots, I could not get the Spiral Tech boots supplied by Downey to work properly. They would not stay in place on the birfield joint since the joint and stock boots have groves that hold them in place in conjunction with the outer boot clamps. The Spiral Tech boots lack these groves and when clamped down they will not stay in place no matter how tight the clamps are put on. I went ahead and installed stock replacements boots and they seem to be just fine.

    Bottom line, the kit gives a big improvement over the stock setup but I cannot justify the Downey price. I got this whole kit off a rolled truck for $250 and $50 for new bushings so I don't feel bad at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2006
  2. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Ok it was just at 24" hub to fender and now it's as low as stock??

    And then it's back, and all I did was roll it down the driveway.

    But after driving it and stoping on level ground it sets low.:confused: :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  3. bjowett

    bjowett

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    Nice work!

    This is coming from 1991 memories, so don't fault me if it is wrong, but the height change may be due to out of whack alignment. I quite distictly(?) remember backing my truck out of the garage after installing the Rancho kit and having the front end suck to the ground just as your's is doing. When driving forward it would return to normal height. The alignment goes waaaaay out the window when you place those Rancho upper arms in there. The new arc of travel, which is pretty much opposite from stock, needs to be set and then tweeked on a good alignment machine. I could go further with my long winded explanation... have you had it on a machine yet?

    IMO loose the Downey U-joint shafts. You'll have to spend a little more than $250 to get some proper axles in there, but they'll be much more reliable.

    Arrrgggg, you reduced the wheel travel! :flipoff2: Get some longer shocks on there... the IFS needs travel to shine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2005
  4. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well I have yet to get on a machine yet. I figured I needed to set the ride hight at what I wanted, then take it to a shop. I did mark my alignment cams so I figured it'd be somewhat close. So how should I adjust the height pre-alignment?

    As far as axles, I don't know if these are the pre-1999 axles which are only as strong as the stock ones. Honestly I don't care if they are or not the new stronger axles because I have never broke my stock axles. I'd say I don't 'wheel it hard enough to do that. All I care about is that they shake but it's only down at the coast that I wold run 35-40ish down the beach. Which I don't think I'll make to very often anymore and I'm sure 2wheel drive will be even more fun.....or scary if you're the one riding with me. :D

    15mm.... that's about 5/8". I don't think I lose any significant wheel travel, becuase I still have the full amount of downward travel. Also I plan to run 33" tires and I'm sure even with 15mm spacers they will rub the crap out of my fenders. Right now I've only got 31".
     
  5. bjowett

    bjowett

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    Toe and camber are probably off a bit. You can get the toe close with a tape measure, but even a little bit off on the IFS creates issues like you are having. Get it on a machine, you will be amazed at how well the suspension works both on and off road when it's tuned in.
     
  6. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well after setting in my garage for a month, I finally took the truck and got an alignment.

    Downey needs to have added that it will take SEVERAL alignments before you get it right! Every time the height is changed the alignment is thrown off.

    My alignment was way out of whack and was the cause of the height issues. After the first time on the machine, the alignment came back nice but the height of the truck was all off. It was about halfway to the height that I wanted to achieve and a little low on the passenger’s side. Well after a few tweaks and a trip to the alignment machine each time (4) I finally got it close to what I want but the height will still need to be tweaked some more. The T-bars do really need to be cranked way down, however they do not act pre-loaded. I figure it has to do with the new geometry of the a-arms.

    Another area that I'm interested in is the comments that I've heard that "Every time you ‘wheel the alignment is thrown off." I did take it wheeling after the second alignment; however before I went I tweaked the height, which throw the alignment off. After wheeling the alignment was off even more. This time I didn’t wait at the shop but was told it was the Toe that changed. After I finally get it set to the height I want and have it aligned I'll take it ‘wheeling again and see what's happens.

    The only shop that would work with me about the numerous alignments is NTB. Their alignments come with either a 1, 2, 3 year warranty and is not voided by me adjusting anything on my truck. I got the one-year but if the alignment is off every time I wheel this lift could cost me some money down the road. :doh:

    So far though I was really impressed with the wheel travel when I went ‘wheeling, but this repeated height/alignment has been getting old. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't need an alignment after each time I go 'wheeling
     
  7. Bear80

    Bear80

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    So after a trip down into the creek my alignment seems to be just fine :cool:

    Took a few shots of the wheel travel which isn't fabulous but for me and my IFS I'm very very happy. I've taken my 80 series over this same obstacle and it lifts a tire just as much as my truck. I'm sure in certain places the soild axle will move with the terrain better but I'm shocked that my truck flexs close to the 80 now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  8. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    Your truck looks great!:cool: It flexes well for IFS, but if that's all your 80 is flexing it needs work.:D :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bear80

    Bear80

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    hey I only said close........:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  10. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    Looks great, just giving you grief!:cheers:
     
  11. yotadude77

    yotadude77

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    I would suggust a rear locker if you are gonna be lifting that rear tire all the time...other than that looks like a great rig...if your happy with it then thats all that matters
     
  12. 4x4CPOSEADOG

    4x4CPOSEADOG

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    How come I don't see the red Toyota OEM manual locking hubs? Your 80 is looking good along side your other Toy truck. Oh, you still have the damage multiplier huh? Don't feel bad, I got that too on my LX until I get the money to go for the ARB bar.
     
  13. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well I usally try and paint alot of parts that I take off my and as you can probably see I painted the lower arms to match the rancho uppers etc. I'll snap a picture of the hubs when I get back up to my house. They are the asin hubs but I have the 30spline nob painted silver and the original black part is polished.

    Oh and don't tell anyone in the 80's group but I like my "damage multiplier" and an ARB is last on my list for mods.
     
  14. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well I finally made the call and put the 3" block in the rear and so far they have worked out great for height. I'm going to buy a set of 3" All-Pro Offroad's rear springs in the near future and call it done. But for now I just wanted to share some drive way shots with it all leveled up and on the pro comp 305's off my 80. I plan on running goodyear mtr's in a 305 size with the lx450 wheels I bought. I love the truck, even with the 4.30 gears it pulls great on the road and down the highway. :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  15. Lockd97

    Lockd97

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    I had the Ranch A-arms on my 86' and really liket them. That negative camber on copmpression with those arms really made it handle for a 4x4. When I bought the Taco I was really unimpressed with the TRD suspension in comparison. I ran the stock half shafts and never had any problems. I miss that truck.......;p
     
  16. Bear80

    Bear80

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    no kidding, the truck handles as well as it did with the stock arms and 31" tires. It's as if there was no added lift or taller tires.
     
  17. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Well I'm still learning and working out the details with this lift. First, due to a change in my allocation of funds, I dropped the plans to run All Pro Off-roads' 3" springs. So my rear set up will remain - 2" sagging Downey springs minus load leafs, Downey 1-1/2" longer shackles, 3" blocks from AutoZone, and 3" lift Racho RS5000 shocks. I'll just add, that the height of the blocks pretty much raised the height of the bump stops. However, with my previous setup (Downey springs and stock load leaf) the axle could never travel up to touch the bump stops because of the load leaf. Now without the load leafs the springs can really compress. So with the deleted load leaf springs and blocks I only lost aprox. 1" of upward travel compared to the previous setup. Also without the load leafs I only gained a slight amount of downard travel but the blocks added about 2"-3" of drop. And the on street, the ride is noticeable better without the load leafs.

    Now on to the front. I will have to remove my modified RS5000 stock front shocks and weld on new longer shock tabs. I will most likely order the tabs from Downey even though the price is a bit high IMO. But since I no longer plan on buying rear springs I'll be using that money for shock tabs and other extras. The reason for the longer shock tabs is due to ball joint spacers that will increase upward and downward travel. From my measurements the RS5000 shocks that I took off the rear of my truck, which are listed as stock to 2" lift will be exactly what I need. I just hope the rear shocks will be stif enough for use on the front.

    As you can see in the previous pictures the suspension never got close the lower bump stops. Which I have concluded to be due to the pre-load on the t-bars and the fact they are stiffer 25mm. SOOO....adding heavy bars, my help give you added height without excessive pre-load but will in the end hurt the upward travel. To solve for this I will be installing 1-1/2" ball joint spacers. Usally these are used for guys with stock trucks looking for a easy and cheap way to lift and increase wheel travel. For me it will allow to take atleast 1" of pre-load off the t-bars and hopefuly soften it up so the suspension will travel up better and add 1-1/2" of drop. The spacers will be comming from www.trdparts4u.com
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  18. Bear80

    Bear80

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    So here is some current flex shots (next few posts). The first pictures shows how the front refuses to travel up to the lower bump stops. It takes a hard flex, (the second set of pictures) to get the suspension to lightly compress against the lowered stops, which I really want to replace with 1" urethane stops. Which then I need to soften the front (ball joint spacers) and increase the shock lengths (longer shocks/new tabs). With this setup 33" tires will no doubt rub so I think I'll stick with 31" tires and advoid larger fenders or adding cutout fender flares. This is the amount of wheel travel I'm looking for:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  19. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Too stiff.....:mad:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  20. Bear80

    Bear80

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    Close, but I need more flex now :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
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