Upgraded suspension components: Data points

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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Hey all:

While what I did might be old hat to the experienced heads here, I just wanted to write up a few words about some work I did recently on the rig.

First off, I want to say thanks to Christo and Ben and the rest of the folks at Slee. These guys know their stuff and they are an extremely important asset to our community. Also, I want to give a shout out to Tim Harris (gray FJ60) and Kirk McCauley (green 6" lifted FZJ80) from the Akron, OH area--they were kind enough to take time out of their day to weld and let me use their shop and tools; I couldn't have done it without their help and expertise.

1. Rebuilt Front Drive shaft:

After my OME heavy lift, apparently the angle up front really didn't jive with the truck. That said, I blew a rear u-joint going into the t-case. (reference thread: https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=53309)

So I pulled the front drive shaft and had it rebuilt by Sam Winer (http://www.samwinermotors.com/) here in Akron, OH. They deal specifically with heavy truck equipment and they did a wonderful job rebuilding the front axle (and making sure to assemble it 90 degrees out of phase--that threw them for a second). I gave them OEM Toyota joints, flange, dust cover, and yoke assy. and they put it together, balanced it, greased it up, and painted it.

2. Slee sway bar drops:

Both front and back (though backs aren't in yet because of a couple of busted bolts in the frame.... :mad: )


3. OME Castor Bushings--Front Control Arms:


I can't believe how much better the handling and the ride is with the bushings up front. I assume that the castor was also corrected as the driveline vibrations are gone and no clunkity-clunk sounds. They were rather easy to put in actually...now that I've done four... :rolleyes: I used CDan's explanation which was indeed the easiest to follow and the most clearly written; if it's not in the FAQ's, it should be: https://forum.ih8mud.com/showpost.php?p=60293&postcount=32

Once you get the arms off, it's pretty simple to see what the OME folks mean.

By the way, these arms are definitely the biggest pieces of metal I've seen. They are enourmous--the folks over at Toy really thought them out. They are made to last. The re-install was the toughest part, as lining up the holes was difficult (as well as nerve racking...hoping that the bushings were pressed in correctly--7.25" was right on the money). Definitely a two person job...I almost broke my back trying to pry the front axle back in line with the rear frame attachment of the control arms...they weigh a ton!


4. Slee Adjustable front and rear panhard DIY joints:


These are some beautifully machined pieces of metal. The directions ( http://sleeoffroad.com/installation/diy_adjuster_install.htm ) at Slee's site were perfect and Tim Harris's clean TIG welds were spot on. I painted them afterwards and the installation was simple. The truck no longer leans and alignment is nicely corrected.

5. New OEM Toyota Bolts/Nuts/Washers:

While I'm in there, might as well start making some spares. I assume the old ones were fine on all the big pieces of metal, but as the logic goes here--better to have spares then to not have them.

6. New OEM Bushings--All control arms:

I figured after 150K or so of riding on the same bushings, a new set of bushings might be in order to smoothen out the ride and tighten up the body/suspension movements. Front control arm rears were replaced, along with front and rear panhards, upper and lower rear control arms. The ride is significantly better and the response crisp.

Upcoming:

1. Rebuilt rear drive shaft: Waiting on the yoke assy. Next week: $69
2. Drill out busted nuts in frame for rear sway bar. The sway really isn't that bad and I've gotten used to driving without them.
3. Replace bolt into frame for OME Stabilizer: busted that one too...waiting for a replacement bolt that attached to the frame side of the stabilizer from Slee & Co. I've also gotten used to driving without one of these too.
4. Rear Upper control arm DIY adjustable joints (when $$$ available)
5. Stainless steel brake lines (sitting on shelf)
6. OEM Toyota Exhaust manifolds and exhaust gaskets

Results:

In-town and on highway the ride is significantly and noticeably better. I am amazed at how just replacing things out will make a big difference in how the rig handles. It really is like having a new truck.

The correction of the suspension components has made a big difference (+ difference). I am now becoming a believer of correcting for lift geometry...it might cost more $$$ up front, but I think that in the end and in the long run the benefits definitely out weigh the cost issues.

Total OEM costs: ~$1478
Total aftermarket costs: (not including springs/shocks/stabilizer): ~$367
Total Hours: ~30

Phew.

Pics for those who enjoy this kinda crap.

I must say that I gain more and more respect for both this rig and the Toyota design team. They really wanted this to be the toughest rig around...I think they've succeeded. ;)

Best.
-onur
Akron, OH
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Damn dude, nice write up and at 3:30 CT. :eek:

Gotta love the dudes that wrench late into the night and then feel they have to write it up and share with the forum. :cheers:

Nice work beno, I'm sure your rig has a whole new attitude. :cool:
 
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Nice Work!

I also noticed a HUGE improvement when the CC bushings were installed! I drove it for like 3 weeks without them and it was VERY Noticeable once they were installed! ALMOST back to stock, but not quite!

Good Work!
 

phatairman

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beno said:
So I pulled the front drive shaft and had it rebuilt by Sam Winer (http://www.samwinermotors.com/) here in Akron, OH. They deal specifically with heavy truck equipment and they did a wonderful job rebuilding the front axle (and making sure to assemble it 90 degrees out of phase--that threw them for a second).
I had that same conversation with the guys doing my front drive shaft yesterday.

Me: The front drive shaft needs to be 90 degrees out of phase.
Them: We worked on plently of Land Cruisers and have never done that before; are you SURE you want that?
Me: That's what I want.
Them: Ok, we will do that for you with a look of bewilderment on his face. :rolleyes:
 

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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phatairman said:
I had that same conversation with the guys doing my front drive shaft yesterday.

Me: The front drive shaft needs to be 90 degrees out of phase.
Them: We worked on plently of Land Cruisers and have never done that before; are you SURE you want that?
Me: That's what I want.
Them: Ok, we will do that for you with a look of bewilderment on his face. :rolleyes:
These guys were miffed for a second and then I saw a light come on and they said--"oh, I can see why that might be the case."

The only thing wrong is that the front u-joint grease zirc is pointed inside...I assume I can just turn it a bit so it is pointing the in the same direction as the rear u-joint on the front shaft? (keeping them lined up)...

Thanks for the comments.
Best.
-onur
Akron, OH
 

GeoRoss

 
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Great thread beno,


I'm planning something similar (PM'ed you w/ ?'s).

I wonder if the medium lift has the same geometry issues you encountered as the heavy lift?

Ross
 

mason

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Okay, I understood from OME's components that they only make lifts that WILL NOT require any modifications to the truck, but it sounds like everyone has to modify theirs to get the ride back to normal. What's the deal?
 

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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Mason, Ross, etc.: I think technically 'yes' you can just do the lift and get away with only installing springs/shocks/ stabilizer/front control arm bushings via OME and get away with being under $800 or so for that stuff.

THat said, every truck is indeed different and to quote G. Bateson, it's the difference that makes a difference.

I've spent countless hours and days reading through the archives here (link on forums homepage at bottom), going through FAQ's, asking Q's to folks who have done things to their trucks, and going to the SOR archves, the birfield archives, the 80'scool archives, etc.

It seems that even slight geometry changes put incredible wear on our trucks--basically taking them out of design specs. that Toyota carefully crafted. Since most of our rigs are now at 90k+ miles, changing geometries definitely increases wear and increases possibilities of failure of driveline components.

I've read a pattern in all of the data here: many failures occur AFTER a lift.

I must also say that I probably went overboard in doing what I did. The panhards were probably not necessary. The OME bushings definitely were. The rebuilt driveshaft, in my case, definitely was needed as well (as the saying goes--lifts generally bring out small problems and make them worse). Everything else was sort of logically justified by myself as PM on a high mile truck. The old bushings were probably OK, as were the old bolts/nuts, etc., but rust in my area made them ripe to change, and to tell you the truth, the ride is 1000% better with new bushings at all the arm connection points.

My goal with this rig is to slowly take out all worn components and replace. I am well on my way to doing this.

If any of you want to discuss this via PM or email, feel free to drop me a line... ;)

Like I stated in an earlier post, it seems that many of the rigs here are part of the 'rule' for these trucks. Though, some of us maybe a part of the 'exceptions' to that rule.

best.
-onur
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beno,

Do I have to get the adjustable panhard rods for a 3 inch lift? I know you did a lot of research and have done a lot of reading, but have you read anything about these panhards are required on a 3" lift?

I'm contemplating to get the 3 inch lift OME shocks and springs or the 2 1/2 inch lift HD.

Thanks
 

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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4x4CPOSEADOG said:
beno,

Do I have to get the adjustable panhard rods for a 3 inch lift? I know you did a lot of research and have done a lot of reading, but have you read anything about these panhards are required on a 3" lift?

I'm contemplating to get the 3 inch lift OME shocks and springs or the 2 1/2 inch lift HD.

Thanks
Probably not...but like I said above, each truck is indeed different in terms of how it responds to lifting it.

I know many of the more experienced guys have NOT either replaced panhards or made them adjustable via Slee's kit. They just either deal with the ride as is, or they don't need to.

According to Slee and Co. and folks like CDan and some other experienced folks, the panhards are not necessary for a mild lift (2.5"-3.0").

I'm working on a thread to post here that should answer all of your questions with pertinent links etc.

Best.
-onur
Akron, OH
 

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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Here are a list of sites/links that I used for this work and to diagnosis specific problems I had:

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=15195

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=44674

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=22649

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46852&highlight=drive+line+u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=3923&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=4858&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=8582&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=12372&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=12677&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=22067&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=21140&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=34819&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=33462&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=20022&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=40544&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=53309&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=50778&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=50203&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46852&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46506&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46277&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46798&highlight=u-joints

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=45945&highlight=u-joints

All of the above links have to do with lift geometry, u-joint problems, and drive shaft problems.

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=1766&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=2107&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=5724&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=6075&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=15946&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=15614&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=13541&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=10048&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=8415&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=6525&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=31206&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=31174&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=29329&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=14506&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=20339&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=19055&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=40337&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=38771&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=35631&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=32136&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=48836&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=47782&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=46277&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=45603&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=44558&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=42659&highlight=OME+bushings

https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=53248&highlight=OME+bushings

All of the above links talk about lift differences, lift castor and pinion angle questions, problems post-lift, and the OME castor correction bushings...

http://www.toepper.net/Landcruiser pages/drive_line_vibrations.htm

http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/ujoint_install/

http://www.geocities.com/baja/dunes/6948/toe-in-adjust.html

http://www.lcool.org/technical/80_series/brake.html

All of the above links talk about specific issues regarding suspension.

http://www.birfield.com/modules.php?name=Archives&p=/archives/html/80scool/

http://www.birfield.com/modules.php?name=Archives&p=/archives/html/80scool_usa/

http://www.a1.nl/phomepag/markerink/main_4x4.htm

All of the above links are archives which will take you forever to go through, but lead to lots of questions answered....

Hope these links help you out as all of these links are bookmarked for me...I've spent a lot of time going through all of this stuff and I think if you hve a question regarding lifting, suspension, etc., it'll be answered here.

Best.
-onur
Akron, OH
 

beno

Gihee Arakawa
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tea LC said:
DAMN!!!

That is.... DAMN!!!


But where the fawk are the before and after pics??????
First one= before

2nd one= after

;)
-o-
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Wow!

Beno,

Thanks a lot for the awesome write-up and link compilation!! Most of this stuff is on the horizon for me, so it helps to have a comprehensive look at what I'm up against. Looks like there is much research to be done... :popcorn:

Thanks again!
Chip
:cheers:
 

MoJ

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beno said:

4. Slee Adjustable front and rear panhard DIY joints:


These are some beautifully machined pieces of metal. The directions ( http://sleeoffroad.com/installation/diy_adjuster_install.htm ) at Slee's site were perfect and Tim Harris's clean TIG welds were spot on. I painted them afterwards and the installation was simple. The truck no longer leans and alignment is nicely corrected.

Onur -

Can you elaborate on, "the truck no longer leans?" I'm not sure I understand what caused it to lean to begin with, which direction it was leaning, how much, and how that is related to the panhard joints. (Gee that sounds a bit like an essay exam. You may now open your blue book.)

Thanks and :beer:

Jason
 
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