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Old 06-14-2021, 02:48 AM #1
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Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High

After waiting on backorder for roughly 6 months, and being entirely certain that I was scammed out of $700, I finally found my Icon FJ80 suspension at the foot of my door. Coincidentally, this was right in the middle of rebuilding the nightmare sitting between the firewall and bumper. In addition to the 5VZ rebuild and lazily procrastinating all of my projects (College back in session with full-time work), a year's worth of dust had piled on all of my new suspension parts. Why is it so easy to find an excuse to put this crap off?

The rust bucket 3rd gen had seen a long 15+ years of neglect and offroad abuse, so every single suspension project only took a measly 3-5x longer than it should have. Luckily, I will never have to deal with rust welded sleeves, seized ball joints, ripped off sway bar brackets, broken off bolts, rust seized bolts, or anything similar with it ever again! Dealing with anything beyond basic surface rust/neglect on one of these will be far more expensive in the long run than buying one that has been maintained properly. Please be smart and listen to all of the people on here who have already been through this hell!

Does anyone know what shocks/springs these might have been? I cannot find a reliable source to what these shocks came from and I was told these were 4" Rear lift springs when I bought the vehicle 6 years ago.

Rear Shocks
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring5-jpg

Rear Spring Compared to the front FJ80 Icon lift Spring
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring1-jpg
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring2-jpg
These "4-inch lift springs" had sagged to the point where they would fall completely off of the vehicle if I even thought about going past 9 inches of travel. On the contrary, these Icon springs are so tall that they wouldn't fall off even if I wanted them to. I actually had to install them in a fairly dangerous way combining a spring compressor with a fully lifted body. Please be safe and DO NOT try that at home.

Old rear shock compared to the FJ80 Icon Rear lift shocks
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring4-jpg

Previous Rear Height
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring0-jpg
Current Hunk of Junk Height
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-spring-3-jpg

Bonus Video
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:03 AM #2
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Quite the major difference. What set up are you running up front? LT or just a lot of lift?
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:01 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
Quite the major difference. What set up are you running up front? LT or just a lot of lift?
I put the front suspension on a few weeks ago. Bilstein 5100 adjustable 0-3 inches of lift on highest setting, OME 2883 coils, 1.25 inch strut spacers, Whiteline bushings, JBA upper control arms.

Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-4runner-front-suspension-jpg
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-4runner-front-suspension-2-jpg

I'll find a picture of the previous destroyed stuff later today if you would like that.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:28 PM #4
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You will basically have no suspension travel in the front... Fine if you like the look, but it won't actually work on or off road.

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Old 06-14-2021, 02:54 PM #5
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OME 883 are not meant to be run on the top clip on those bilstein's. You have very little down travel left.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:18 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
You will basically have no suspension travel in the front... Fine if you like the look, but it won't actually work on or off road.

-Charlie
I appreciate the feedback!

I researched the rear like crazy and love the result I have with the rear springs not falling out in the extreme frame twisters now. Unfortunately, I took a complete shot in the dark when it came to redoing the front, so I have this stupid-looking, useless vehicle now.

The CVs pull out/dislocate if I turn or lift the vehicle off the ground. I am limited to 2 inches of travel at the tire with the swaybar disconnected. As an added bonus, the UCA is making contact with springs on both sides. A big celebration for these brand new parts being damaged haha.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:45 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
OME 883 are not meant to be run on the top clip on those bilstein's. You have very little down travel left.
If I would have just researched what people were doing with the cheaper front suspension setups, I would have seen that posted everywhere. I initially was going to run adjustable resi coilovers, but the gains on everything that wasn't an extended control arm were disappointing for a huge price mark-up. The current price on my suspension shenanigans is closing in on $3500

These 5100/2883s were supposed to be a placeholder for finishing school and getting a real job. It makes zero sense for me to spend 8-20k on extended LT when I'm already kicking my own butt for wasting so much money on this restoration with my current income.

Thank you so much for giving me the idea of swapping the clip to a lower position! It is such a simple solution that I completely overlooked it (It also saved my butt on doing this project correctly the second time).

This is coming from someone who has rebuilt, installed, tuned, and given tons of advice to people on their builds. I am slapping my head in disbelief, but dumb people like me have to learn these lessons sometimes. I can give anyone else the proper advice most of the time, but here I am messing my own stuff up haha
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:53 PM #8
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You know what's funny is I researched suspension choices religiously for well over a month before committing and I can barely remember a thing now
I was gonna say it looks like your UCAs were dipping pretty hard (I'm running JBAs as well) so no real shocker there. I'm willing to bet your ball joints are taking a beating too with such high spacers. I get money's tight for many but I'm also gonna put my hat in and highly recommend doing something about it sooner than later though cause you're definitely asking for trouble as is. Or rather, more than you've already received
You don't necessarily have to go LT, as said you could just mess about with perches or get a different set of coils to use, depending on what kind of 5100s you got (4Runner specific, Tundra specific, etc) you might even retain nearly 3in without any top spacers. LT is a major commitment for certain
If you wanted bring down the rear to avoid rake while also being smart with your money, you could always go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a couple 50-80lb bags of sand or concrete for like $5 each. You might even find it rides better with a little weight if you think your rear coils are on the stiffer side
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:07 PM #9
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Top plate spacers extend the overall compressed length of the coilover assembly. What that means, is that instead of using your LCA bump stop, your LBJ is now taking the brunt of the bottoming out. I personally would never recommend running one even though lots of people run them.

You shouldn't be more than about 3-4” lifted even with aftermarket UCA’s unless you’re talking about a body lift in addition to suspension lift because the truck will ride like crap and wear steering and front ball joints really fast. Not surprised the CV’s are trying to come apart! Nothing over 24” hub to fender without a body lift IMO. What is your setup measuring?
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:07 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
You know what's funny is I researched suspension choices religiously for well over a month before committing and I can barely remember a thing now
I was gonna say it looks like your UCAs were dipping pretty hard (I'm running JBAs as well) so no real shocker there. I'm willing to bet your ball joints are taking a beating too with such high spacers. I get money's tight for many but I'm also gonna put my hat in and highly recommend doing something about it sooner than later though cause you're definitely asking for trouble as is. Or rather, more than you've already received
You don't necessarily have to go LT, as said you could just mess about with perches or get a different set of coils to use, depending on what kind of 5100s you got (4Runner specific, Tundra specific, etc) you might even retain nearly 3in without any top spacers. LT is a major commitment for certain
If you wanted bring down the rear to avoid rake while also being smart with your money, you could always go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a couple 50-80lb bags of sand or concrete for like $5 each. You might even find it rides better with a little weight if you think your rear coils are on the stiffer side
My LBJ probably would have ripped off the hub if I even tried to drive it the way it is now. It has not left the driveway because my intuition tells me I would die if I took it for a spin. Previous experience with this happening taught me not to risk it with a faulty suspension system.

I am unexplainably lucky with this happening the day after my 500-mile engine break-in. I did the break-in while driving way too fast up and down steep, hairpin turn-filled mountain passes. Between the body restoration and engine rebuild, my electric VSVs had both seized. This resulted in my 4WD light not coming on, no vacuum making it past the VSVs, and my ADD actuator not engaging/disengaging. I swapped some spare VSVs in place and was finally getting vacuum to the ADD actuator. I was testing my front ADD actuator and about 20 feet from my house it finally thunked into true 4WD. The vehicle instantly started pulling to the left without me steering. The 4Runner stopped in its tracks suddenly, but I didn't heed the warning. I tapped the gas and heard a massive boom. The vehicle started to roll towards the passenger side but thankfully came to a halt before going over.

Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-lbj-failure-jpg
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-lbj-failure-2-jpg
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-lbj-failure-3-jpg
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:32 PM #11
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Smart man, I definitely wouldn't chance it
Did you repaint the front of your frame or did you somehow manage to preserve it that well? Looks good either way
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:46 PM #12
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Smart man, I definitely wouldn't chance it
Did you repaint the front of your frame or did you somehow manage to preserve it that well? Looks good either way
I ground and painted most of the frame before I did the bodywork. Unfortunately, we over-sprayed the heck out of it during the primer stage, so it became a cloudy, polka-dotted Frankenstein.

The engine rebuild gave me the opportunity to fix most of the issues I was not able to fix from the outside of the vehicle. A lot of this was because everything was caked in at least a quarter an inch of grease. I wish I would have taken better before pictures of this, but this is what I have for the transformation.

Engine bay and front frame after 2 gallons of purple degreaser and tons of scraping/scrubbing
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-inner-frame-transformation-jpg

Most of the crap finally washed off revealing some frame issues
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-inner-frame-transformation-2-jpg

Post engine bay paint showing I only fixed a few of the issues. I actually went back after this and grinded the fresh paint and rust off the pinch welds and painted it again (I forgot to take pictures of it though haha).
Lifting the Hunk of Junk too High-inner-frame-transformation-3-jpg


The suspension swap gave me access to the last pinch welds, control arm mounts, coil buckets, and a few other things I missed before. I did also miss a few of the mounting brackets that were a PIA to prep. Time constraints, my rack and pinion exploding, and insane heat rushed the current suspension to being put back together the way it is now. Eventually, I will go back over everything on the outside of the frame and sand, prep, and repaint it all to be a solid black.
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:01 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezert4Runner View Post
Top plate spacers extend the overall compressed length of the coilover assembly. What that means, is that instead of using your LCA bump stop, your LBJ is now taking the brunt of the bottoming out. I personally would never recommend running one even though lots of people run them.

You shouldn't be more than about 3-4” lifted even with aftermarket UCA’s unless you’re talking about a body lift in addition to suspension lift because the truck will ride like crap and wear steering and front ball joints really fast. Not surprised the CV’s are trying to come apart! Nothing over 24” hub to fender without a body lift IMO. What is your setup measuring?
Yeah, the suspension doesn't even work the way it sits now. I did not know this before, but the high lift on these short-arm ifs vehicles will bind the suspension to the point that it is guaranteed to catastrophically fail along with binding it from being able to flex. Fun lessons to learn, I simply got lucky that I did not die learning these lessons.

I will measure it when I go to take it apart again. Until the suspension is back in harmony, I will not drive it. My steering rack and new tie rod ends just came in (The dual project that I am going to do at the same time), so I will get to it as soon as I figure out what I want it set to.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:06 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravThePro View Post
If I would have just researched what people were doing with the cheaper front suspension setups, I would have seen that posted everywhere. I initially was going to run adjustable resi coilovers, but the gains on everything that wasn't an extended control arm were disappointing for a huge price mark-up. The current price on my suspension shenanigans is closing in on $3500

These 5100/2883s were supposed to be a placeholder for finishing school and getting a real job. It makes zero sense for me to spend 8-20k on extended LT when I'm already kicking my own butt for wasting so much money on this restoration with my current income.

Thank you so much for giving me the idea of swapping the clip to a lower position! It is such a simple solution that I completely overlooked it (It also saved my butt on doing this project correctly the second time).

This is coming from someone who has rebuilt, installed, tuned, and given tons of advice to people on their builds. I am slapping my head in disbelief, but dumb people like me have to learn these lessons sometimes. I can give anyone else the proper advice most of the time, but here I am messing my own stuff up haha
When you redo the front clip setting I would recommend the bottom clip setting. From what I've read that is the correct clip setting. Lots of people in this thread have that combo and say that they still got around 3 inches of lift on the bottom clip: OME and Bilstein help I would also leave out the top strut spacer. You're already getting a lot of lift and you don't want to put too much stress on the axle shafts by making your droop too much lower than just aftermarket UCA and good shocks can do.
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Old 06-15-2021, 01:01 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
When you redo the front clip setting I would recommend the bottom clip setting. From what I've read that is the correct clip setting. Lots of people in this thread have that combo and say that they still got around 3 inches of lift on the bottom clip: OME and Bilstein help I would also leave out the top strut spacer. You're already getting a lot of lift and you don't want to put too much stress on the axle shafts by making your droop too much lower than just aftermarket UCA and good shocks can do.
The 883's on the bottom clip with no spacer should be around 3" of lift... which is already on the high side for stock(ish) geometry in the front. You need droop travel to flex, otherwise you are just lifting wheels and not getting anywhere.

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