Suspension bandaid vs. long-term upgrade decisions (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
I know I will add aftermarket bumpers with swingout spare, roof rack, sliding drawer system, etc., but probably over several years. My first priority is to address underbody rust issues and make sure my 2002 LC is mechanically sound for trips. Will finish my fuel tank replacement in the next week (thanks for the great threads and forum advice). The suspension needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Corrosion and age have taken their toll.

It would be great to get some general advice on replacing with OE suspension components as needed for the next few years versus stepping up to a full suspension upgrade now that will bounce me around without the additional weight of the bumpers and all. I will be lightly loaded for some rooftop camping and at times towing a light standard camper (Mini Winnebago @ 3,800 pounds) for the next few years until the serious overlanding begins with a purpose-built offroad trailer and full LC upgrades.

Please share any thoughts and guidance on suspension priorities.

(By the way, if you are looking to buy a cruiser and the veterans on this forum suggest higher miles without rust over lower miles with rust . . . listen to them. I didn't.)
 

ramangain

Clarksonian disciple
SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
2,493
Location
Atlantis
You can try contacting Slee to see if they have some used, but still working, OE LC suspension parts they can sell. They probably do enough suspension swaps that the removed OE parts may be available at a discount over new - especially if it is a band-aid for a few years before you do a full swap on your rig
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
You can try contacting Slee to see if they have some used, but still working, OE LC suspension parts they can sell. They probably do enough suspension swaps that the removed OE parts may be available at a discount over new - especially if it is a band-aid for a few years before you do a full swap on your rig
I like this idea. Was looking at a Slee kit for the eventual suspension upgrade. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
69
Location
USA
My 99 also has frame rust, which I addressed first as well as focusing on making the engine mechanically sound. Like you I'd like to do suspension upgrades at some point, but for now I replaced the original shocks with stock toyota as well as the sway bar links. I could probably use springs but I want to make sure car is reliable first. what did you do with your tank? My tank guard is badly rusted but the tank seems OK.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Wilmington nc
If you decide to go the band aid route I may have what you need to hold you over until you want something more. I'm installing my new Icon kit from Just Differentials hopefully within the next week or so, so I will have all my current stuff taking up space in my garage. And I have a set of unopened OEM rear shocks I never used as my band aid before ordering the Icon kit. (I keep meaning to post them in classifieds but I've just been too lazy :rolleyes:)

My cruiser has 180k on it so the stock parts have some age but corrosion has not been a problem for me and I think there is still good life left in the springs/torsion bars. And the front shocks are Bilstein with ~30-40k on them.

I have no idea how much it would cost to ship the stuff from coastal NC to Utah but if you want anything let me know! The band aid route never lasts me very long but it is certainly better than riding around with a shot suspension. :beer:
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
My 99 also has frame rust, which I addressed first as well as focusing on making the engine mechanically sound. Like you I'd like to do suspension upgrades at some point, but for now I replaced the original shocks with stock toyota as well as the sway bar links. I could probably use springs but I want to make sure car is reliable first. what did you do with your tank? My tank guard is badly rusted but the tank seems OK.
I ended up buying a kit locally with OEM sway bar refresh kit, OEM front and rear shocks, and Old Man Emu light springs. Should get me going until I'm ready for the serious suspension investment. Working on installing a new fuel tank now. If I can only find a way to stretch the tank straps to bolt back up, then I can move on to the suspension.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
69
Location
USA
I ended up buying a kit locally with OEM sway bar refresh kit, OEM front and rear shocks, and Old Man Emu light springs. Should get me going until I'm ready for the serious suspension investment. Working on installing a new fuel tank now. If I can only find a way to stretch the tank straps to bolt back up, then I can move on to the suspension.
Did the tank have a leak? Also, did you replace the tank protector? My protector is badly rusted but the tank is fine. I feel your pain as I dropped the tank in my tundra a few months back to do the fuel pump and getting it back in not easy. Lucky I had my wife to hold it up there while I put the pins in. ;)
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
I ended up buying a kit locally with OEM sway bar refresh kit, OEM front and rear shocks, and Old Man Emu light springs. Should get me going until I'm ready for the serious suspension investment. Working on installing a new fuel tank now. If I can only find a way to stretch the tank straps to bolt back up, then I can move on to the suspension.
Did the tank have a leak? Also, did you replace the tank protector? My protector is badly rusted but the tank is fine. I feel your pain as I dropped the tank in my tundra a few months back to do the fuel pump and getting it back in not easy. Lucky I had my wife to hold it up there while I put the pins in. ;)
Calling it a leak does not do the tank justice. You have to see for yourself.

Old Tank.jpg


Replacement Tank.jpg
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,542
Location
Colorado
Bandaid it. Look for take off springs and throw some small spacers on top of them for now if needed. You can tow that trailer no problem, and can get a set of airbags to level if needed.

OEM springs and shocks are very cheap and work far better on a stock rig than an aftermarket set of springs.

Also, you will find that when you introduce parts that change the stock geometry of the vehicle, you need more maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to compensate.

I'd get to know it as a stock vehicle, knock out what it needs and start on the things you want at your own pace, not the vehicle's.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
Bandaid it. Look for take off springs and throw some small spacers on top of them for now.

OEM springs and shocks are very cheap and work far better on a stock rig than an aftermarket set of springs. Don't introduce problems from parts that out the vehicle out of OE spec.
I thought the same thing, but there's a Cruiser shop here in Utah that knows these rigs stem to stern. This is a common kit they sell for exactly my situation. I'll give feedback here if this solution creates any driveability or wear issues.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,542
Location
Colorado
I thought the same thing, but there's a Cruiser shop here in Utah that knows these rigs stem to stern. This is a common kit they sell for exactly my situation. I'll give feedback here if this solution creates any driveability or wear issues.

Sounds like you have determined your solution before asking here?

There are a lot of great cruiser shops in Utah.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Utah
Sounds like you have determined your solution before asking here?

There are a lot of great cruiser shops in Utah.
I just spoke with the shop here a few days ago and decided to run with their solution. Also spoke with Slee Offroad last week and no dice on the used springs there. I appreciate the input. Had to make a judgment call on several options. I like that I just found a well-respected shop ten minutes away I can pull up to if something isn't running as expected.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom