Spring spacers, and stock springs? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
737
Location
N. California
I'm daydreaming about lifting my FZJ80, and considering options. My current front running plan is just to add 1" spring spacers. I'm guessing my 20 year old springs have settled at least an inch, so I'd expect that would just bring the 80 back to original stock height. A set of 4 Slee spacers should be under $100, or Mr. Gasket at Summit Racing look like the set would be under $60.

From reading the FAQs, it sounds like I can run 33" tires with stock springs, and might be able to run 35s. Common comments are that to run 35's with no rubbing, I'd have to lower my bump stops, or lift more than 2.5". If I lift 2" or more, I'll need some sort of caster correction, sway bar drops, possible brake line relocation. If I run 35" or larger tires, it's suggested I re-gear my diffs. If I lift more than 2.5", I may start causing driveline angle issues.

With springs, shocks, steering correction, new gears, possible driveline correction, bigger tires, etc., it looks like lifting might cost me well over $3000. Spacers $100 or less, and perhaps a bit easier to put in than new springs. I'd also expect the ride quality not to change. I know I might prefer a firmer ride, but the plush stock ride is not at all bad.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Messages
82
Location
Tucson/Flagstaff, AZ
I have no answer for you, but have also been curious about going this route. I've wondered if installing spacers along with new oem factory shocks might bring the truck up just a bit. I just can't justify spending $1000+ on a lift right now.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
737
Location
N. California
OK. I'm a noob to the forum, and just found the "Parts for sale" section, which seems to have some springs available from people who went too big or too small. I suppose a 2.5" lift can be done for under $1000., but $60 is still less than the lowest prices I've seen for 4 springs with shocks.

Hasn't anyone tried 1" spacers with stock springs? I'm nearly certain it won't be enough lift to suit me eventually. For now it seems like I could even stay with my stock shocks, if used with old (presumably saggy) springs. It really seems like it would be under $100 (plus labor) with shipping.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Messages
368
Location
ELK GROVE,CA
I use to have man a fre 30mm spacers on all four corners with stock springs with 33". The ride wasn't bad and it looked good.
Now I have 2.5" and 35s around with 30mm in front because I have a ARB and winch. The ride quality is much much better.
I brought my springs here for $300, just cruise the classified everyday and you'll find deals.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Messages
4,794
Location
Queens, NYC and sometimes Orlando, FL
I used to run original OEM coils all around with 2" Metal Tech spacers up front and 1.5" aluminum Slee spacers out back with AirLift bags.

Couple years back I swapped out the rear saggy coils with 860's (no spacer) and only added a few psi to the bags when I needed it.

Now I'm looking to swap out the saggy front coils for 850's and hope I won't need any spacers.

No caster correction, but when I go to 850's, I'll probably get a set of MAF drop brackets :hmm:
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
879
Location
Southern Maine
stuck 002.JPG


This one is set up with one inch (30 mm) spacers on the factory springs. 265 tires, or about 32". I added air bags to the rear after this pic was taken, but only really use them when loaded or towing. Goes pretty good too!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
737
Location
N. California
Excellent! Thanks for the anecdotal experiences. Good to hear it's been done, and worked. I'm not too surprised to hear that you were happier after switching to spring lifts. Of course I'd also like to hear from anyone who tried it, and had some problem, but would be surprised if anything severe came up
 

Flank

American by Birth, Texan by the grace of God.
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
2,185
Location
Flower Mound, TX
Original poster - forgive me, not trying to be a pr!ck, but I did not see a question in your post - was there one?
it seems you have done your research, well sort of, but you never stated your actual goal - how you plan to use your truck, how high do you want your truck and why (see also #1), what size tires to you plan on running, and what is your budget?

It seems that you want your truck lifted as high as you can afford to, but want it to be as easy and cheap as possible? First, answer the the questions above and that will help guide you.

I, for one, wheeled quite a bit, albeit fairly mildly, at bone stock with 33" mud terrain tires. Ran up to 305s with no problem. But I wanted to go harder so I removed running boards that had mild damage, then added 1" spacers in front and OME stock height replacement springs in the back (which give a mild lift to an old truck). After that I started adding armor so that when I pressed my luck, I would not regret it. Now I'm at the point where I know I need more lift to do more of what I want to do. If I had the $$$, I probably at this point will still not do a 4,5, or 6" purely because my 80 is my daily driver, my work truck, and my kid hauler. I have a 2.5" lift complete in the garage waiting for time to install.

I recommend you figure out how you want to use the truck and your budget and work from there.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
737
Location
N. California
My post is more of a request for comment, than a question. If I were phrasing it as a question, I suppose it would be, "Is there some issue that will arise if I lift my truck an inch, using spacers?" ...or "Can I give myself an extra inch for under $100 (like I read in a men's magazine)?"

What I'd really like is the most awesome truck ever, but want it for free. I'm guessing I can't have that, so then the question is bang for the buck. 44" Swamper Boggers look cool, but they're expensive. I might have some serious mods to do before I could run them. It sounds like 37" tires are around the upper limit where the 80's axles are reliable. For 37" tires, I need higher than average lift, and regearing would make plenty of sense. For 35" tires there are people who say anywhere from no lift, to 5" lift is appropriate. Regearing advised by most, but not all. I haven't seen any posts suggesting a lift is needed for 33" tires, even with 20 year old stock springs.

So if I decide to stay with 33" tires or smaller, and want the lowest price lift that won't cause damage to my truck, are spacers a viable option; or do spacers not work well with stock springs? As far as how will I wheel my Cruiser? I just want to keep up with my brother (who currently has 33" tires and 2.5" lift). Even "keeping up" is a flexible term. We wheeled the same trails when he had the lifted, locked Cruiser; and I had a stock Isuzu Trooper. I just dragged more, and needed to be winched through.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
113
so what your saying, is... you might wanna send your ome stock hieght springs and 1 inch spacers to Arizona for reuse?

Original poster - forgive me, not trying to be a pr!ck, but I did not see a question in your post - was there one?
it seems you have done your research, well sort of, but you never stated your actual goal - how you plan to use your truck, how high do you want your truck and why (see also #1), what size tires to you plan on running, and what is your budget?

It seems that you want your truck lifted as high as you can afford to, but want it to be as easy and cheap as possible? First, answer the the questions above and that will help guide you.

I, for one, wheeled quite a bit, albeit fairly mildly, at bone stock with 33" mud terrain tires. Ran up to 305s with no problem. But I wanted to go harder so I removed running boards that had mild damage, then added 1" spacers in front and OME stock height replacement springs in the back (which give a mild lift to an old truck). After that I started adding armor so that when I pressed my luck, I would not regret it. Now I'm at the point where I know I need more lift to do more of what I want to do. If I had the $$$, I probably at this point will still not do a 4,5, or 6" purely because my 80 is my daily driver, my work truck, and my kid hauler. I have a 2.5" lift complete in the garage waiting for time to install.

I recommend you figure out how you want to use the truck and your budget and work from there.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
879
Location
Southern Maine
Mine is locked as well, and I am continually amazed as to what terrain it will handle. You do have to pick your lines a little more carefully and try not to follow in the ruts if the guy in front of you has 44's, but get you some armor for underneath and just let her drag, it won't hurt anything. That's what I do anyway!

I also did a lot of reading here before spending money and I decided that the minuses occurring with lifts and big tires outweighed the plusses in my case. Of course, YMMV. I run 32 inch mud tires and the suspension as above, and I pretty much go wherever I want. Again, you do have to drive it a little more carefully. There are a buch of off-camber trails in my area that will flip a lifted truck right over. I have had mine leaned over as far as 28 degrees of tilt and just drove on through, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't do 30 degrees without tipping over, there was quite a bit of 'pucker factor' going on that day. I would not want to try that trail with a lifted truck.

I did get a big winch but haven't installed it yet, and in reality I have only really needed it one single time so far(had to get pulled out by my friend) so not in much hurry to get that done. I have no complaints with my setup- it is stable on and off road, power is fine, nothing needs recalibrating, alignment is good, no regearing, goes where I want when I want. For me, it's just perfect. Well, the tires are kinda loud, but WTF, ya can't have everything!
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
737
Location
N. California
For me, it's just perfect. Well, the tires are kinda loud, but WTF, ya can't have everything!

Oh yeah. I forgot to add that my perfect truck with locked Rockwell axles and 44's, should have a low center of gravity, better clearance than real world Rockwells, and my Boggers should run quiet and smooth on the road ...all for free. Who says you can't have everything? (...aside from artech.)
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
3,223
Location
Phoenix, AZ
So to your question, yes a spacer will lift the truck by whatever the size of the spacer. 1" spacer lifts 1", 2" spacer lifts 2", etc. There will be no real improvement to your ride quality. Lift spacers and coils will both have the same effect on caster, however a 1" spacer is going to be fine on this old truck ie it's likely just returning you to about the stock height but taller spacers could benefit from some correction just like a couple inch coil lift. You can fit 33" tires with no lift.
If you really want a mud bogging rig on 44" Swampers I would argue you have the wrong truck to get you to that goal.
 

Flank

American by Birth, Texan by the grace of God.
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
2,185
Location
Flower Mound, TX
Much better
so what your saying, is... you might wanna send your ome stock hieght springs and 1 inch spacers to Arizona for reuse?
Short answer is yes, I'll pass on the stock height replacement rears when I upgrade will probably keep the spacers and re-install with the springs, can't wait to put on the Fox 2.0s in the front with the setup.

So to your question, yes a spacer will lift the truck by whatever the size of the spacer. 1" spacer lifts 1", 2" spacer lifts 2", etc. There will be no real improvement to your ride quality. Lift spacers and coils will both have the same effect on caster, however a 1" spacer is going to be fine on this old truck ie it's likely just returning you to about the stock height but taller spacers could benefit from some correction just like a couple inch coil lift. You can fit 33" tires with no lift.
If you really want a mud bogging rig on 44" Swampers I would argue you have the wrong truck to get you to that goal.

Much better answer. Your spring spacers are the best bang for the buck to cheaply and easily lift without modification. However it is no easier than swapping springs, because you need to remove your springs to put the spacers in first or on the springs.
Verdict: IMHO, spacers are a good cheap first step to scratch the "gotta mod my truck without the :princess: approving funding" itch if you are not ready for an $800+ suspension.
 
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
746
Location
Ito city, Shizuoka Japan
So...you wanna talk spacers. Here ya go. 2.5" Diorama springs with 5 inch alloy spacers. It's the best of both worlds for on-road handling and light to medium offroading. It handles speed bumps ...really.... really well..!! :flipoff2:

It wasn't really any cheaper doing it this way as it was based on a 2.5" basic lift but I like the look and how it handles. It's more like an expedition 80 with a bit more lift. The springs have settled some so I think it sits at right around 6.5" total. I may get a set of custom made (here in Japan) 6~8 inch springs in the future but right now I'm happy with the setup.

Just wanted to show you what you "can" do with spacers.

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom