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smooting out my ride?

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by Kevin, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin

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    I posted this same question on CCOT message board and just curious to see if I get similiar opinions from here. I have a stock 1977 FJ40. I think the springs are a little flat judging by the slight forward angle of the shackles (the not perpendicular to the ground). When I go over a pot hole or a bump in the road, it's borderline painful. I actually tense up my stomach muscles now when I see a bump in the road. The CCOT board didn't offer up much relief. All but one individual pretty much said that this is normal for a cruiser. Does anyone on this board have any suggestions on how to soften my ride?
     
  2. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Well the cruiser is a bumpy ride. Hard to tell how bad your ride is though compared to a normal one. If there is a problem it would be most likely with the shocks first and the springs second. You can try shocks with different settings to get either a stiff or loose rise. Go to a place that specializes in 4 wheel parts and accesories because they would be able to better help you.

    You might go out to your cruiser while it is parked and push hard on the front end and see if a bounces several times or immediatly stops. The bounce would indicate a shock problem. Do the same with the rear.

    Even, if the shocks are OK, different shocks could change your ride, but not a lot if they are OK.

    The Springs take care of the bounces and variances in the road. The Shock dampens out the immediate impact of the road. Otherwise you would feel every little thing.

    Good Luck

    ken
     
  3. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    Um...

    Welcome to mud..

    and welcome to the "Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40 does not ride anything like any form of modern transportation klub" ;)

    New springs and new shocks, new bushings and on and on, and you still will not have a " cushy" ride...

    What tire are you running, what size, and what air pressure?

    Good luck!

    -Steve
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I am running the little piner tires. I would like to replace them when I get some $ with some 31" or 33". The ones on there now are 29"( I think). I also have them max out on the PSI to help with the gas millage. I am sure this is not helping the ride? I don't have much of a bouncing problem. It is more of a slamming bang when I hit a bump. There is no residual bouncing after I have gone over the bump.

    I weigh almost 180lb and if I stand on the front bumper and bounce, then thing barely budges. Just for kicks I did the same thing to my wifes Dodge neon and it looked like it could have been on the cover of "low rider magazine". I am not sure why the FJ40 is so stiff. Let me know if anything I said gives you any clues to weather or not there is anything wrong with my suspension.

    Thanks
     
  5. fsusteve

    fsusteve

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    It rides like a 30 year old truck cause it is. High tire pressure as you surmised isn't helping either.

    The only two setups I have ridden in that were what I would consider to be a very comfortable ride were a spring over axle setup and an OME setup.

    I have 4" springs that were an improvement but not choice like the above mentioned. Shocks aren't gonna help you as much as new springs will.
     
  6. paulj

    paulj

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    Kevin;
    I asked this forum the exact same questions you did when I got my 40. Since then I've put in new CCOT springs and BDS shocks.
    That helped somewhat, but I still felt like I'd been kicked in the back everytime I drove my truck. I recently put in new seats (from Bestop) and that was a major improvement in comfort, but I still put a large foam rubber pad behind my back to absorb the (reduced) pounding I experience even on city streets and highways. The one thing I haven't done is shackle reversal. I keep getting different answers from people whether or not it'll help. If you go to the tech links section of this website there's an explanation of the factory design by Jim Chenoweth. The way I understand it, when the front spings compress after hitting a bump, the front axle actulally gets pushed forward toward the obstruction, which is what it feels like even when hitting a slight bump. You might consider Old Man Emu springs and shocks, but they're pretty expensive. Also lower tire pressure will help a little.
     
  7. Rocky_LC

    Rocky_LC

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    What kills me is these washboard desert roads out here. It sounds (and feels) like the whole truck is coming apart. I'm just about used to it by now.
     
  8. KgB

    KgB

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    [quote.You might go out to your cruiser while it is parked and push hard on the front end and see if a bounces several times or immediatly stops. The bounce would indicate a shock problem. Do the same with the rear.
    Can you do that with your cruiser?
    Mine is more like jump up and down on bumper and see if it moves at all.

    BTW,I have OME springs and shocks,potholes and washboards are murder,original setup was way smoother.
     
  9. 72FJ40

    72FJ40

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    When i replaced my bushings, shocks, and spring pins with greasable it smoothed out my stock suspension ride greatly.
     
  10. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    You could change your shocks and your springs, and if you do I agree with the greasable pins and shackles. I noticed an improvment with my 4 inch lift from Skyjacker, but it still rides like a 30 yr old truck. I'd hate for you to sink that kind of money and be disappointed by the results. On the hand, if you plan on wheeling and want to put on 33 or bigger tires, then a lift might be a good mod for you. Of course, thenyou will have to research that in compariosn toan SOA.

    Welcome to the what should I do with my rig now club!
     
  11. fsusteve

    fsusteve

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    [quote author=KgB link=board=1;threadid=13292;start=msg122845#msg122845 date=1079560648]
    Can you do that with your cruiser?
    Mine is more like jump up and down on bumper and see if it moves at all.

    BTW,I have OME springs and shocks,potholes and washboards are murder,original setup was way smoother.
    [/quote]

    Kinda surprised by this statement as it's the first time I ever heard anyone say this. Are these the heavy springs? Are your shackles greasable or tighten too much? I've ridden in several OME setups and found the ride pretty decent especially compared to stock.
     
  12. KgB

    KgB

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    [quote author=fsusteve link=board=1;threadid=13292;start=msg122887#msg122887 date=1079567763]
    Kinda surprised by this statement as it's the first time I ever heard anyone say this. Are these the heavy springs? Are your shackles greasable or tighten too much? I've ridden in several OME setups and found the ride pretty decent especially compared to stock.
    [/quote]
    The front pack has eight leafs,so I would consider them HD.Greasable shackles and I have lubed the leafs.
    I get full(to the bumpstop)articulation.The stock suspension was softer and it drove a lot better before the lift.
    Having said all that I think the OME was worth the money.
    I compare the ride to my suburu wagon that I can go 60 miles an hour over washboards while drinking coffee.
    Based on that comparison the 40 is crap.Compared to other 40's it's a pretty good ride.
     
  13. tclndcrz

    tclndcrz

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    in my 62 the greatest ride smoother outer has been greasable shackles and better/newer shocks
     
  14. IDave

    IDave

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    Kevin,
    Welcome!

    The tire pressure thing is an easy one to adjust. You say you are maxed out. What does that mean? 50 PSI?

    You should probably not be running that sort of pressure. Beyond a certain point,you lose any gas milage improvement, and cause uneven wear (not to mention, a rough ride) by overinflating your tires. I run 29 inch ATs, which are stock size, so I have gone through this. The owner's manual says 18 PSI, but that was for bias ply tires. Basically, the goal in tire pressure is to get the tread to run essentially flat on the ground across its width. No cupping (underinflated) and no rounding out (overinflated). That proper pressure will depend on the construction of the tire and your vehicle weight, about 4000 lbs in the case of an FJ40. A heavier vehicle will require more pressure, a lighter vehicle less, to achieve the correct result. For my tire, the correct pressure is between 26 and 30 PSI, best I can tell. You can try using the "Business Card" method, referred to in this link from the tech section: http://www.4x4now.com/sfjun96.htm, but I think that may still have you overloading your tires. If you focus on his street pressure section, you'll note that he ends up with 26 PSI for a 4000 lb Ford Explorer.
     
  15. 76kcfdeng

    76kcfdeng

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    I found that the shackle reversal helped the ride on my cruiser. I also removed 1 spring from the rancho springs to keep the ride height the same, also lengthened the shock tower and added longer shocks. Before these mods the suspension was extended to the maximum length of the shocks while sitting on the ground, ie no suspension droop at all. If you have stock springs the shackle reversal may help, fair amount of work if you do it yourself and cheap if you use the method in cruiser tech. All the other suggestions are good places to start.
    Good luck, Glen
     
  16. lowtideride

    lowtideride

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    before i touched my stock setup...well it was kinda like riding with the axles welded to the frame, it dint give at all like you said...if you got some time on your hands and like getting dirty i would take the front two springs off take them apart and paint and grease them...then grease the shackles it should improve the ride greatly i know it did for me..at least just by doing the front you could tell if that was the problem and you would only be out a few bucks for grease and paint...or if ya dont like getting dirty you could buy two really nice pillows for the beeeeehind.... good luck man, if it were me id do the first one tho...
    -al
     
  17. zebrabeefj40

    zebrabeefj40

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    I've driven a restored to stock FJ40 with good shocks, springs and bushings; I thought the truck drove darn nice!

    On my first FJ40 I replaced the busted stock stuff with OME medium. Drove the washboard logging roads up in Canada at 65mph and liked the ride better than concrete highways around Boston.

    If the suspension does not move when you jump on the bumpers the frame pins and shackles are rusted to the bushings. They're supposed to rotate in the bushings. Time for new spring pins, shackles and bushings. After these are replaced I think you'll be much happier with the ride of your truck.

    HTH,
    Nick Jennings
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin

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    First let me say that I am really impressed with the amount of people that have responded and their insightful advise. I played around with it again last night and the only movement I saw when jumping on the bumper was in the front tire. From the majority of responses I got I am thinking that the stock springs are softer then any aftermarket springs. I am a little confussed because some people have said that they replaced their stock springs with OEM and the OEM are stiffer. I don't understand this because I always thought that OEM stood for (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Why then is there a difference b/t OEM and stock. The last thing I want to do is to buy after market springs that are even stiffer. How big of a deal is it if my stock springs are a little flat. I am thinking my springs are a little flat because my front shackle is not perpendicular to the ground (has a slight angle). I also only have about a inch of travel before the leaf hits the ruber stop on the frame. I was thinking about having the springs rebent. Have you heard of this? This way I can keep the softer ride that the stock springs seem to provide.

    I think the main problem is what everyone has suggested, no movement in the shackles. So I am definelty going to take mine apart and grease. In a way I don't want to take them apart only to put springs back on that are too flat. Do you think my springs fall into that catagory?

    Thanks again.
    Kevin
     
  19. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Kevin, they ment OME (Old Man Emu) which are very expensive. I picked the Skyjacker because it looked to me that it was almost as good as OME, but at a fraction of the cost. Hell Creeck and Rancho are way to stiff based on reviews I read here.

    But, I am sure there will be those that disagree. It's almost as bad as asking which is the BEST Motor Oil.
     
  20. Kevin

    Kevin

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    I actually read it wrong. What a rookie move. It sounds like shopping for springs is as risky as buying something on the QVC home shopping network. If I just want to go with 31" or 32" I can get away with my stock springs and a shackle lift? I also saw something on JT outfitters page that looked interesting. They are called "Slinky Strips". I think they go in b/t the leafs? Can the leafs be taken apart? Is this something that a shop would have to do? Here is the description from JT outfitters (I just cut and pasted). Do you think these things work.

    "We found the slickest, most durable material we could. Then had it made into
    strips to fit Leaf Springs. We tested it and ramp scores jumped up and the ride
    VASTLY improved. These Slinky Strips run the entire length of your springs,
    totally eliminating any metal to metal contact. The spring now works just as it
    was designed. Our strips take away the friction! We have thoroughly tested this
    setup and it works great with little to no wear after a year of HARD use."
     
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