Stock lift & tire size

Alex Waddell

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I see that quite a few people are reverting to stock spring height & tire size.
Is this for stability, looks, or for another reason.
I have always thought that big tires make for small rocks and more ground clearance is better.
 

Alex Waddell

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2-1/2" lift springs, ~2" longer shackles and 33" tires.

That's a relatively mild lift/tire setup. If you get into 4" lift and 35s, you're starting to look (and be) far from stock.
This is my first 40 and was wondering if there is a stability issue that I was missing.
I have rebuilt my knuckles & trunions, added caster shims, all the ball joints have been replaced, new Bilstien shocks, and am adding minitruck power steering. Hopefully that will be enough to not be too scary on the highway.
 
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If you're having issues on the highway, have you checked your alignment?

It's something you can do yourself, not complicated. Set it at 1/8" toe in and it should track straight and true.
 

4Cruisers

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Here's my favorite, see Post #27:

 
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Some of us are running stock height suspensions because they just work perfectly for our needs. We play in the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges and their vast network of fire roads. With good tires, there’s no road conditions in those areas I can’t handle. I regularly drive elderly relatives, small children and various animals in my 40s and I couldn’t do this if it was lifted much. However in your case if I was building your truck and already had the new springs and tires I would just run them. Your combo and proportions are great and all things being equal will have more capability off road.
 

Alex Waddell

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Here's my favorite, see Post #27:

I used the bar clamped to the disk brakes method after I rebuilt my front end but only made them parallel.
Measuring tow in by drawing and measuring a chalk line on the OD of the tire seems to be the method I see on line with a recommended tow in of 1/32" to 1/8" front to back.
 

Alex Waddell

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Some of us are running stock height suspensions because they just work perfectly for our needs. We play in the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges and their vast network of fire roads. With good tires, there’s no road conditions in those areas I can’t handle. I regularly drive elderly relatives, small children and various animals in my 40s and I couldn’t do this if it was lifted much. However in your case if I was building your truck and already had the new springs and tires I would just run them. Your combo and proportions are great and all things being equal will have more capability off road.
Some of the trails down here around Tucson can be challenging and a linked suspension seems to handle them the best. But I don't plan on linking my 40 project and taking it out to see what it is capable of. I have seen several people roll their rigs around here trying to do that. Capable but not too capable is fine with me.

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I’d also recommend doing a chalk test to see how much of your tires are touching the road. When I left the tire shop, they’d inflated the 33x10.50 BFG ATs on 8” rims to 35 psi… it was scary and felt tippy. Only the centre 4” of the tires were touching the road. At 25 psi, most of the width of the tire is on the road… going lower would likely be better, but it keeps the Armstrong steering easier to turn.

Next time I’ve got it on the road it’ll have power steering, so I may bring it down a bit more. Time will tell. I’d guess 22 psi would ride even better… but chalk is the easiest way to tell.
 

Alex Waddell

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I’d also recommend doing a chalk test to see how much of your tires are touching the road. When I left the tire shop, they’d inflated the 33x10.50 BFG ATs on 8” rims to 35 psi… it was scary and felt tippy. Only the centre 4” of the tires were touching the road. At 25 psi, most of the width of the tire is on the road… going lower would likely be better, but it keeps the Armstrong steering easier to turn.

Next time I’ve got it on the road it’ll have power steering, so I may bring it down a bit more. Time will tell. I’d guess 22 psi would ride even better… but chalk is the easiest way to tell.

I’d also recommend doing a chalk test to see how much of your tires are touching the road. When I left the tire shop, they’d inflated the 33x10.50 BFG ATs on 8” rims to 35 psi… it was scary and felt tippy. Only the centre 4” of the tires were touching the road. At 25 psi, most of the width of the tire is on the road… going lower would likely be better, but it keeps the Armstrong steering easier to turn.

Next time I’ve got it on the road it’ll have power steering, so I may bring it down a bit more. Time will tell. I’d guess 22 psi would ride even better… but chalk is the easiest way to tell.
The tires in the photos are some junk tires that are temporarily. I picked up a set of Toyo M55 255/85/16 tires so I will to wait until I put them on to test. However, I don’t know how to do the chalk test or what to look for.
 
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Here’s the first explanation I came across with google:

I’ve never looked at the ground… only driven a block and checked what was left on the tire.
 
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All, I have a new-to-me 78 FJ40 with lift and 35's. I'd like to get it closer to stock...using as a towed and 2nd vehicle, mostly gravel, camping, etc. The pics show what is currently installed. What are the specs on what would allow 33 BFG ATs? Probably looking for different wheels, as well (more OEM, but not totally stock). If anyone is interested in trading old "stock" lift parts and wheels, please let me know. If you know the specs for the ride height that will enable the 33's, please also point me in that direction. Not sure what to ask for other than "stock shackles". If you have other suggestions, I'd like to hear 'em. Thanks!

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