*UPDATED* Eimkeith RAM (radius arm mount) install (2 Viewers)

leonard_nemoy

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Vehicle: 97 with ironman 2" lift & ironman 30mm front coil spacers and nitto trail grappler mt's(315/75/16).

When I got this rig last year I installed the ironman 2" kit and I was running toyo open country rt's in a 315/75/16. These tires only had about 30% tread left and hardly measured to 33" on the vehicle but I was still experiencing a rare rub on the drivers side when I would hit a good bump or dip at speed offroad.

The rig previously had a slee 6" and 37"s installed but it hadn't been driven for quite awhile and the PO had removed half the slee parts for one of his other 80's so she was sitting in suspension limbo. The PO gave me the ironman kit with the vehicle and it was missing the caster bushings, but the rig already had OME caster bushings. After getting her aligned the caster still needed to be addressed so I assumed the OME bushings were toast and I decided to try out the icon 4.6 caster bushings. At the time I thought I would be driving the truck across multiple states at the end of 2020 and using it as a daily while I finished school. This is why I went with the bushings and a 2" lift instead of bigger lift and a more permanent caster correction solution. The icon bushings were supposed to be a band aid and I figured it would be a good opportunity to test out a caster bushing that claimed to give 4.6 degrees.

Well plans changed and my clinical rotations for school got re-assigned from New Mexico to my home town. This saved me some money and changed my plans for the rig so I just kept driving it and got to new tire time. I went with the nitto trail grappler mt's in the same size as the toyo's (315/75/16) and they were a good 1.5" taller than the toyo's and heavier. My rubbing situation became much worse so I went ahead and installed the ironman 30mm spacers. This helped with the rubbing but didn't quite eliminate the issue and I could tell that I still needed more caster correction to make up for the heavier tire and 30mm spacer.

This brings me to @eimkeith and his weld in RAM drop brackets. I figured this is just what I needed. These brackets push the tire forward a bit which should completely eliminate my rubbing and the 2" drop should get my caster to 4 or 5 degrees, in my opinion this is the perfect caster setting for larger heavier tires.

Currently this rig is a daily but I still use it a lot for exploring, boonie bashing, fishing, and hunting. If everything goes as planned I will be upgrading this rig to 37"s in another year or so, this is another reason I went with the RAM brackets. When I go to 37"s my plan is to go with a 4" lift. I will keep the stock arms and swap the icon bushings back to oem. I will either use caster plates or trunion bearings to dial in the caster at that point.

The RAM brackets are great because they have pushed my axle forward and give me caster correction without moving the radius arms closer to my heavy duty steering components. Hopefully when the 37"s come I won't have rubbing issues with my arms and steering once I get her dialed in.

Sorry for the long winded intro but I figured a good background was in order to explain why I chose this product.

On to the install....

The brackets showed up saturday afternoon so I promptly got to work.

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Step #1: Install the sticker. I always do stickers first. Success with this step helps boost my confidence for the trial ahead....

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Step #2: Give the welding surfaces on the truck a quick run over with a grinder for clean welds. I also ran over the RAM brackets quickly with the grinder to help paint adhere.

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Step#3: Tack them in position. I was super impressed with the fit of these mounts, they fit perfect and really made it easy to tack them up. No need for a third hand or a burnt hand from trying to hold the piece in just the right position while tacking, often times when fabbing and tacking stuff I feel the need to hold the piece just right and a big welding glove can make this difficult. I am only a 1 :banana: fabricator so this usually causes me to burn myself... But these mounts nestled right in place for the perfect fit and I was easily able to hold them in place with one GLOVED hand and tack them up.

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voodu3

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Thanks for posting this. I’ve been wanting to give these brackets a try to get my caster to 4. I’ve got 4” Ironman lift (that measures to 5”) and 6” delta arms and I’m at 3. I’d like to see how much you gain with the bracket.
 

leonard_nemoy

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Step #4: Remove the radius arm and continue with the welding. @eimkeith recommends installing an old or extra bushing with the bolt and nut in his bracket at this point to keep the mount properly aligned. I was lucky and had an old bushing to use. I highly recommend this step because things like to warp when they get welded. I think you could also use the radius arm with its bushing for this but it would require slower welding and a wet rag to keep the arm cool so you don't melt the bushing in the arm.

Pro-tip, when welding do a little on one side and than a little on the other. If you just burn one side in completely and neglect the other side your likely to have warping issues.

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Excuse my bird turd welds, I swear the wind has something against me.... everytime I do a fab project it will be so nice and calm out. Than as soon as I start to weld the wind starts blowing like a mother. If you have access to a lift or the option to do the welding inside I would highly recommend it. When the wind blows your shielding gas away it can really screw up your welds, plus laying on your back and welding all cramped up under the truck doesn't help with pretty welds either. But all in all I am not too worried, they may not be the prettiest welds out there but I trust them. Kind of like my 80.....

Step #5: After your done welding paint them up. I sprayed them with some primer followed by whatever black paint I had in the garage.
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leonard_nemoy

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Step #6....... enjoy 1 or 6 cold ones and wait for the paint to dry.

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Step #7: Onto re-installing the radius arms. This can be tricky but there are some tricks to make it not so tricky....

Trick #1: Only do one side at a time. Always keep one arm installed.

Trick #2: Tools, the right tools help tremendously, a bottle opener, ratchet strap, floor jack, and something to help align holes. I used this big punch.
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Trick #3: Install the frame side bolt first, than the front most bolt and the rear front bolt last.

Trick #4: Make sure to loosen all 3 bolts on the other arm but do not remove it. At this point I used a ratchet strap from the axle to a tree in front of the rig and the floor jack under the arm to get the front most hole aligned. After you get that one done, undo the ratchet strap and re-position the floor jack underneath the rear front bolt and jack the rig up until the third bushing lines up and you can get the last bolt in.

Just follow these same steps for the other arm and it should go smoothly. One strange thing I noticed was on my second arm I had to use the ratchet strap to pull the axle backwards instead of forwards to get the holes aligned.

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Step #8: Once you have both arms installed with all 6 bolts loosely tightened it is time to torque. A couple of things to point out at this point. I always like to put a small amount of anti-sieze on my threads. I have also been told that before you torque anything suspension related that it is important to have the vehicle on the ground and settle the suspension first. I got the floor jack out and stood on my sliders and front bumper and proceeded to bounce the rig before I started torquing stuff.

Torque specs: 127 ft lbs (I like 140) torque the two front bolts from the bolt head and the rear bolt from the nut side. This is due to the positioning of the locking teeth on the front nuts and rear bolt head that are designed to bite into the steel.

Also, make sure to double check the torque after a 100 miles or so.
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leonard_nemoy

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Thanks for posting this. I’ve been wanting to give these brackets a try to get my caster to 4. I’ve got 4” Ironman lift (that measures to 5”) and 6” delta arms and I’m at 3. I’d like to see how much you gain with the bracket.

Yeah, one thing I should have done is check the alignment before the install.... I really don't have a baseline to go off.

My last alignment was -1 on caster. After that I installed the icon 4.6 bushings. This gave me quite a bit of improvement but after adding a 30mm front spacer I could tell I needed more.

Hopefully I don't have too much caster after these brackets. If it has problems I will get the alignment checked again and go back to OEM bushings. I am more of a drive it and feel it guy than one to go off the #'s......
 

leonard_nemoy

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How much is ground clearance impacted with those?
They are exactly 2" lower than factory. But on the passenger side it is only slightly lower than my slider where it covers the cat. They are very beefy though, so if they hit a rock I am not worried about deforming them. They also seem to be a much better profile compared to the Man a Fre brackets.

Pics
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Great write up. Do you think I should leave the land tank caster plates installed or run the factory bolt holes? I do have some concerns about the lack of material on the factory mounts.
 

Irish Reiver

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Great write up. Do you think I should leave the land tank caster plates installed or run the factory bolt holes? I do have some concerns about the lack of material on the factory mounts.
Yep, asking the same question. How do these brackets impact the axle rotation? If i leave the LT correction plates installed will i get a cumulative caster correction? Apologies for the basic questions but i am struggling to visualize the different setups.
 

leonard_nemoy

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Great write up. Do you think I should leave the land tank caster plates installed or run the factory bolt holes? I do have some concerns about the lack of material on the factory mounts.

Yep, asking the same question. How do these brackets impact the axle rotation? If i leave the LT correction plates installed will i get a cumulative caster correction? Apologies for the basic questions but i am struggling to visualize the different setups.

I have never used caster plates, but they basically accomplish the same thing as caster bushings. Caster plates just reposition the holes on the axle where caster bushings reposition the holes on the bushings. Both methods rotate the axle slightly clockwise (clockwise from the point of view of looking at the drivers side hub). This rotation of the axle is what corrects the caster.

3_How_to_Know_if_You_Need_a_Wheel_Alignment_Image_of_the_caster_angle_in_relationship_to_a_fr...jpeg


This picture might help, when you install taller springs it rotates the axle forward or counter clockwise if viewed from the drivers hub. This takes the caster from + to -

So to answer your questions, I believe that plates and these RAM mounts would both add + caster. Ie, if the plates provide 2 degrees of correction and the RAM mounts provide 2 degrees of correction, then together you would get a total of 4 degrees correction.

The RAM mounts will keep all the factory settings the same for a 2" lift. Lift the vehicle 2" and correct it back to normal with a 2" drop. If you have a 4" lift and use these than you only have the issues that would be caused by a 2" lift to deal with.

If you already have the plates installed than the main reason to add the RAM mounts in addition to the plates would be to get additional + caster.

Toyota factory specs call for 3-4 ° of + caster. But remember that is for an oem tire size. If toyota engineered these with 35" tires than the factory spec would probably have been more like 4-5° + caster. A bigger heavier tire will put more force on the steering and make the tires want to follow ruts and bump steer more than a smaller tire. It is not uncommon to need more + caster than oem specs for extra large tires.

If your caster is dialed in but the plates have caused issues with either your front pinion angle or issues with your steering linkage interfering with your radius arms, than you might consider removing the plates and using the RAM mounts.

I am under the impression that lowering the radius mount corrects caster without causing pinion angle issues or steering linkage interference.

Disclaimer* I am not an expert, the above explanations are true to the best of my knowledge, but I could be completely wrong..... maybe an expert will chime in
Calling @Delta VS
 
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leonard_nemoy

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Well I got two birds stoned with one bush..... or something like that.

Took it for a test drive and let the dogs get some exercise.

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She drives skookum now. No bump steer, no need for constant steering input, no heavy steering, and it returns to center just fine.

Weirdly enough though after the install my steering wheel is a little of center. So I will definitely be getting an alignment soon. I will make sure to update with the new #'s.
 

Delta VS

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1. Toyota factory specs call for 3-4 ° of + caster.
2. I am under the impression that lowering the radius mount corrects caster without causing pinion angle issues or steering linkage interference.
Only a couple things I’d add/change:
1. It’s actually 3*, +- 1*, but basically the same thing. Few people would notice a difference of 1*.
2. Caster and pinion angle move one and the same, unless you go through the effort of a cut and turn, or use the offset trunnion bearings. Those are the only two ways I’m aware of you can separate the two. Dropping the chassis side of radius arm 2” is going to move the pinion just as much as putting “2 inch” caster plates would.

I would like to drive a rig pre/post install of these drops. Would be nice to feel the difference. It is an intelligent solution for sure (dropping mount point), aside from the loss of ground clearance (which really only effects a small portion of users).
 

leonard_nemoy

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Those are the only two ways I’m aware of you can separate the two.

Thanks for the clarification. You really seem to know your alignment based on some of your posts/explanations.

I would like to drive a rig pre/post install of these drops. Would be nice to feel the difference.

Maybe I can make it up to your shop one day, I am pretty sure I need one of your consoles and new locks......
We could move my arms back to the oem location and let you drive it, and then lower them back down and drive it again.
 

GW Nugget

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Great write up.
Those look like the new thicker .25" ones.
How far forward are they now.
 

leonard_nemoy

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Update after alignemnt

Last alignment:
20210211_160913.jpg



After this alignment last July, I have installed the icon 4.6 caster bushings, lifted an additional 30mm in the front with coil spacers, and installed these RAM mounts. These changes were made in the order listed.

I do not believe I got a full 4.6° of correction from the icon bushings, but I didn't get it aligned after so I have no proof. After the icon bushings it drove like my last rig did at 2° +. It was acceptable after the icon bushings, but not as good as I knew it could be.

After the 30mm spacers the road manners were no longer acceptable for me and the kind of driving I do.

After the RAM mounts from @eimkeith the rig drives perfect.

New alignment:

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My best guess is that the RAM mounts gave me 2.5°- 3° of + caster correction.
 

eimkeith

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Update after alignemnt

Last alignment:
View attachment 2582696


After this alignment last July, I have installed the icon 4.6 caster bushings, lifted an additional 30mm in the front with coil spacers, and installed these RAM mounts. These changes were made in the order listed.

I do not believe I got a full 4.6° of correction from the icon bushings, but I didn't get it aligned after so I have no proof. After the icon bushings it drove like my last rig did at 2° +. It was acceptable after the icon bushings, but not as good as I knew it could be.

After the 30mm spacers the road manners were no longer acceptable for me and the kind of driving I do.

After the RAM mounts from @eimkeith the rig drives perfect.

New alignment:

View attachment 2582697

My best guess is that the RAM mounts gave me 2.5°- 3° of + caster correction.
should be 3.45 degrees if my maths are right (it's just geometry, after all, right?)
 

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