recent thoughts on my 4:88's, Tundra LT suspension & 35's

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Kinda did my build in a different order than some. Did a BP 51 suspension, then 4:88's and Arb lockers as I waited on Jason's artful bumpers and the @TonyP kamikaze testing on the version 1 bumper.

While waiting for my 40 gallon gas tank and bumpers I have been considering how tall a tire I really want and need.
I'm still on my stock 31's :) with the 4.88 gears. I've gotten spoiled to the acceleration with the small tires....similar to my Turbo Porsches which have been an addiction for 20 years and a dog from hell I can't shake.

I recently began looking at and costing out a Tundra long travel suspension setup with my local partner in crime Duc @duggy's garage. After beating around and considering parts brands, actual needs & costs, ...while balancing quality without overkill, we agreed on a list of parts that seemed right for me and not overkill (billet arms for example...no don't need) :)

So we felt this was a good balance in parts quality and cost:

> Tundra King Coilovers ( could have saved $$ here but it was irresistible and way cool )
> 200 series King shocks
> Tundra OEM front LCA
>Tundra OEM Outer tie rods
>Tundra OEM CV Axle
> Tundra Total Chaos UCA
> Extended brake lines
----------------------------------------
total came to $5807 in parts

On the way home I was enjoying Houston's 75 & 80 mph traffic and feeling the acceleration of the 4.88's
when I punched it.
But I am moving to a more rural setting (where I can wheel more) and out of this madhouse city. So fast driving will be relegated to long stretches of highways mostly thank God.

I am now debating on putting 33's or 34's with my current BP-51 setup for a while ....then deciding whether a LT suspension has gains (for me ) that justify the cost.

Also want to see how it accelerates with possibly 34's. I have kept the weight on my rig to a minimum.
Aluminum skids, 2nd row seats will be removed, and 200lb Arb drawers replaced with a lightweight setup being built by one of the subs I use in my homebuilding and construction endeavors.
So...been up all night thinking about this.
Any comments, or thoughts welcome. :)

Jim L
 
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TexAZ

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If you are happy with the feel of the bp51 set up, you would be disappointed to spend almost 6k in suspension mods, for a similar ride. I haven't ridden in a truck with kings, and I LOVE my tundra icon set up. But I doubt it is 6k worth of better ride quality or vehicle ability.

The tundra set up is nice if you are going 35s. It eliminates some of the clearance issues with the kdss.
Parts are easier to find, if you break something.
 

Mogwai

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I would never try and talk you out of the EXACT setup I would have done if I had the cheddar. Speed? You won't lose the speed with just the bigger tires, especially with the re-gear. W/ the wider stance of the Tundra front and that fancy setup you might go even faster!!

Not that you prob care for the hassle, but you can save a whole bunch of change if you find Tundra OEM take-offs, mine came off before they ever left the dealer lot, I just looked back, I paid $300 for the Tundra LCAs, $40 for the OTEs, and $185 for both CV axles.

PS Re: the BP-51st, anyone have stroke length/dimensions for the front coilovers and how they compare to standard and extended length Kings, etc...? I had heard a rumor that the travel of the BPs was actually less than stock.
 
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There's a loss of torque (perceived anyway) going from 31s to 34s, but in general if you stomp on the gas there's still a ton of power in the LC, particularly in flat lands or lower altitudes. On 34s, lack of regearing is noticeable when towing in the mountains, but without a few tons on the hitch IMO the impact is limited.

4.30s with 34s will put your acceleration back to stock. Though I haven't done it yet I wouldn't be concerned about an impact to acceleration with running 34s and 4.88 gears. Even with 34s on stock 3.90 gears I can throw my passengers back in their seat, either from a standing start or when flooring the truck to merge or pass in traffic.

Full disclosure: I always use the "ECT PWR" button.
 

indycole

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Re: tire size go with 34s if you plan on doing "difficult" technical trails (i.e. ones rated red in the FunTrek books); otherwise, I'd suggest sticking with 33s for weight and fuel economy.
 
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Re: tire size go with 34s if you plan on doing "difficult" technical trails (i.e. ones rated red in the FunTrek books); otherwise, I'd suggest sticking with 33s for weight and fuel economy.
@indycole I remember when you changed to the 34" Nitto's. You were rubbing a little if I recall. What remedied it. Just some trimming or were you hitting the UCA??
 
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What wheels?

I have 34s and they rubbed slightly mostly around the plastic. I have +25 offset Icon wheels though. +50 RWs or +60 factory may need a UCA with better clearance
 
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Just unboxed 7 Rock Warrior wheels. All look new. So I have one extra wheel just in case. A beautiful sight. :)))

Short 4 sets of lug nuts though. Got 4 wheels on Ebay so the guy was naturally squeezing every dime he could out of the deal.
Now $600 to spend on lug nuts....geez......
 

indycole

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@indycole I remember when you changed to the 34" Nitto's. You were rubbing a little if I recall. What remedied it. Just some trimming or were you hitting the UCA??
What wheels?

I have 34s and they rubbed slightly mostly around the plastic. I have +25 offset Icon wheels though. +50 RWs or +60 factory may need a UCA with better clearance
I have Fuel Beast wheels with 20mm offset. I had already cut out a bunch of the fender liner because my original wheels had no offset at all and my original 33s rubbed like crazy. Mudflaps were also already gone when I put on the 34s.

Originally, I had serious rubbing on the rear wheel well with the Nitto 285/70r18s but it was resolved via alignment. They had to move the wheels forward a bit. I haven't had issues so far with the UCA, steering linkage, and KDSS. I think I'm in good shape now, to be honest. The Baja trip would have definitely surfaced rubbing although it's possible I just never heard it over the sound of the panhard smacking the floor of the truck.
 
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@indycole, do you have an SPC UCA? If so do you happen to know how your UCA is set up (i.e. is it in the "default" +1 degree of caster, or did it get adjusted) and/or any idea what your alignment specs look like?

I rub on the PS sway bar and I'm wondering if I should dial in more (or less) caster with the SPC UCA. Your Nitto 285/70R18 is supposedly within 0.1" of my Nitto 285/75R17 and your +20 offset wheels are close to my +25 offset, so I'm wondering if it's really that close or if your alignment is set up slightly better (probably)
 

indycole

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@indycole, do you have an SPC UCA? If so do you happen to know how your UCA is set up (i.e. is it in the "default" +1 degree of caster, or did it get adjusted) and/or any idea what your alignment specs look like?

I rub on the PS sway bar and I'm wondering if I should dial in more (or less) caster with the SPC UCA. Your Nitto 285/70R18 is supposedly within 0.1" of my Nitto 285/75R17 and your +20 offset wheels are close to my +25 offset, so I'm wondering if it's really that close or if your alignment is set up slightly better (probably)
Yeah, I have the SPC UCAs. I'll see if I can find my alignment specs. If not, I'll probably need an alignment soon as I may be swapping out some of the stock rear components with adjustables.

Alignment-wise, I searched high-and-low for a Bay Area alignment specialist and encountered a shop that pretty much only does alignments but usually on exotics. My understanding is that it took quite a bit of fiddling to get the alignment figured out... the bill was ~$500.
 
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What year is your Cruiser? (I'm assuming 6-speed tranny?)

What are you looking for out of long travel front suspension?

From one turbo-head to another.

If you want an aggressive setup, I would prioritize tire height. That is true lift as it's the only parameter that increases clearance under the axles. With 4.88's and 35s, you'll still be at better than stock gearing with the 31s. So you'll still have snappy performance. Something closer to a 34, would be ideal for a cruiser, as it minimizes interference and needing to limit travel type issues.



In terms of handling, keeping the suspension geometry and lift close to stock as possible, with big tires, is the way to maximize performance. As it doesn't compromise roll resistance geometry and keeps bump travel alignment changes as minimal as possible. Which is why I suggest lifting more via tires. Then do a mild lift (1"-2") via suspension.

With the taller tires, you'll want to add a bit more width to the track. Not necessarily via Tundra long arms. Wheel offset, either by spacers, or new wheels, aiming for something in the 30-45 offset range would be ideal. To optimize scrub radius geometry, but also to regain some lateral stability. Without going so far in offset that it starts degrading geometry.

If someone were to desire more lift then tires and suspension as proscribed above, then I'd do a minimal (.5"-1") body lift. This keeps the suspension geometry still optimal, keeps the center of gravity low, while gaining more vertical height in clearance for bumpers and potentially 35's.

This staggered lift strategy and modifying the vehicle as a "system" is the way to go IMO. Long travel front suspension can still make sense if your goal is to chase Raptors and baja running through whoops, where travel is king. FYI I suspect based on some anecdotal reports that there is some binding in the CV at steering and articulation limits with the tundra setup on the LC.
 

Mogwai

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Edumacate me please. Is a stock Tundra's geometry out of whack? Or are you saying front to rear there's a mis-match in geometries? Does changing stock front end geometries with wheel offset and spacers not affect "roll resistance"? Does a body lift raise the COG less than the equivalent spring lift? I'm sure these could all be SQODs which is why I'm asking.
 

Markuson

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Edumacate me please. Is a stock Tundra's geometry out of whack? Or are you saying front to rear there's a mis-match in geometries? Does changing stock front end geometries with wheel offset and spacers not affect "roll resistance"? Does a body lift raise the COG less than the equivalent spring lift? I'm sure these could all be SQODs which is why I'm asking.
Body lift only raises the body higher...not the frame...so you are not raising the engine, tank, power train and all the heavy stuff under the body. So ya, since a body lift doesn’t raise all the heavy mechanical components...it effects your COG less than raising *everything* via springs etc.
 
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TexAZ

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This staggered lift strategy and modifying the vehicle as a "system" is the way to go IMO. Long travel front suspension can still make sense if your goal is to chase Raptors and baja running through whoops, where travel is king. FYI I suspect based on some anecdotal reports that there is some binding in the CV at steering and articulation limits with the tundra setup on the LC.
As the probable owner of the anecdotal CV binding with the Tundra conversion, let me set the record straight.

I did have issues with driver's side CV joints failing. I went through 3 axles towing a boat and sheared one in Moab. This was a very specific one off set up issue I created. The SPC upper control arm instructions state that you can use the adjustability in the upper arm to reposition the wheel further forward in the wheel well to clear body mounts or fenders.
I took my truck to the alignment shop and just told them to follow the instructions and push it as far forward as they could.
I had no idea they could get well over an inch of forward movement. THIS is what put the CV joints in a bind.
I have since spoken with an engineer at SPC and he said to NEVER go beyond 3/4" forward adjustment.
Somewhere I documented the setting of the lower control arm and how they move the wheel. Dead neutral on the lower caused 35s to rub on the body mount. full swing forward set the wheel almost 1 1/4" forward. 1/4 turn on the adjusting cams set the wheel close to 3/8" forward.
enough to clear the body mount, and not bind the axle.

Now, if you don't go all bat s*** crazy adjusting your drive axle angle, the longer control arms will reduce the overall angles of the driveshaft joints for the same amount of lift. I'm at 3 3/4" lift in the front, have a 1" diff drop and my CV angles are not extreme at all.

The Tundra conversion is good for parts availability (if you are stateside where hundreds of thousands of Tundras have been sold). It helps clear larger tires from rubbing KDSS bars, and widens the track width without using wheel spacers.

Even at close to 4" of lift, my truck is super stable, has great articulation, and rides like a dream. It took several iterations to get it where I want, but that is what makes it a hobby!
 

TexAZ

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On a separate note, if you go up to 34s or even more so with 35s, you WILL need to upgrade your brakes.
at a minimum, stainless lines, aftermarket pads and probably rotors.

if you are towing with 35s consider bigger brakes. for some reason if you are leaving extra room to slow for a light or traffic, other drivers think this is the perfect spot to cut in and stab their brakes. I'm thinking driver's ed just isn't what it used to be...
 
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On a separate note, if you go up to 34s or even more so with 35s, you WILL need to upgrade your brakes.
at a minimum, stainless lines, aftermarket pads and probably rotors.
I'm waiting for my brakes to wear out before I upgrade, but I haven't felt any significant difference when braking between 31s and 34s. I'm sure there is a difference in distance, but the pedal feel is similar to me. And I can still lock up the ABS at 70mph on the highway when some dumbass trying to merge jumps 2 lanes at 30mph right in front of me. So yeah, what you said about driver's ed...
 

duggy

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As the probable owner of the anecdotal CV binding with the Tundra conversion, let me set the record straight.

I did have issues with driver's side CV joints failing. I went through 3 axles towing a boat and sheared one in Moab. This was a very specific one off set up issue I created. The SPC upper control arm instructions state that you can use the adjustability in the upper arm to reposition the wheel further forward in the wheel well to clear body mounts or fenders.
I took my truck to the alignment shop and just told them to follow the instructions and push it as far forward as they could.
I had no idea they could get well over an inch of forward movement. THIS is what put the CV joints in a bind.
I have since spoken with an engineer at SPC and he said to NEVER go beyond 3/4" forward adjustment.
Somewhere I documented the setting of the lower control arm and how they move the wheel. Dead neutral on the lower caused 35s to rub on the body mount. full swing forward set the wheel almost 1 1/4" forward. 1/4 turn on the adjusting cams set the wheel close to 3/8" forward.
enough to clear the body mount, and not bind the axle.

Now, if you don't go all bat s*** crazy adjusting your drive axle angle, the longer control arms will reduce the overall angles of the driveshaft joints for the same amount of lift. I'm at 3 3/4" lift in the front, have a 1" diff drop and my CV angles are not extreme at all.

The Tundra conversion is good for parts availability (if you are stateside where hundreds of thousands of Tundras have been sold). It helps clear larger tires from rubbing KDSS bars, and widens the track width without using wheel spacers.

Even at close to 4" of lift, my truck is super stable, has great articulation, and rides like a dream. It took several iterations to get it where I want, but that is what makes it a hobby!
Definitely good insight on your issues with the CV joints failing from moving the wheel forward too much. Was a body mount chop not an option? This is popular in the 120 series (FJC, 4R, Tacoma) and Tundra crowds. With a body mount chop, we can get almost 1.5" of clearance at the body mount. We typically cut the body mount and weld a plate back on for aesthetics.
 

TexAZ

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the frame modification is very common on Tundras. it does require cutting, welding and painting.
adjusting the lower control arm cam bolts can be done in the driveway with minimal tools. ;)

The rub was so minor, an easy adjustment took care of it.
I honestly had no idea the arms offered as much movement as they do, or I would have been much more specific with the alignment shop.

simple solutions and lessons learned.
 
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