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Old 07-17-2021, 12:23 AM #1
Dahlken Dahlken is offline
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Front Suspension Binding

I figured I’ve lurked through enough troubleshooting on here with no luck on my issue. So I’ll let you in on my problem child and see what kind of ideas I get.

I’ve got a 99 SR5 5spdT4R that I bought from a college student a couple months ago. It had a 3” spacer lift up front, +3 coils in the rear, snorkel, a coastal offroad bumper “partially” welded up, decent rims tires blah blah blah. The down side was “it had been sideswiped, reconstructed title, but no frame damage” and the radiator had a slight leak. Drove great with only slight pull to one side which figured it needed an alignment anyway. So I set to work on it, added a full coastal skid plate, new OEM LBJ, UBJ, Timing belt, Water pump, all fluids and filters.

I knew I needed to get an alignment so started looking at all the suspension/steering stuff so new sway bar ends and bushings, and outer tie rods done. When doing the steering bushings I found the large bolt through the steering rack on the driver side was physically bent to the point that the only way it was coming out was with my 3lb persuader. Of course being Alaska the local dealer had none, and wanted stupid amounts of money for shipping up here. Luckily we have a great yota fabricator up here, and I dropped by for a visit and he got it straightened out enough to put it back together until I could get actual replacement.

While he was at it I had him fix the coastal bumper right, weld up a coastal full skid plate, and make the mods to get a 12k smitty winch mounted up. This was the time that I really began to notice the driver side front lean. I took it that the front coils were undersprung and when I looked seen that one shock body was actually leaking. So new Toytec Boss Alumas with 600lb springs were ordered. And installed correctly unlike the college kid.

So the problem now is that the lean is still there. When on jack stands the passenger side seems to droop far more than the driver side. In every aspect. I was going to try to adjust the preload in the driver side when I noticed that the UCA doesn’t droop enough to get in to make the adjustment on the coilover, not even travelling past the upper coil hat where the adjuster is. But there is more than enough on the passenger side as it travels all the way past the adjustment ring and then some. Of course I could keep throwing money at it, but really want to figure the issue out.

What could be binding the driver side up over an inch?
Top of tire to bottom of fender measurements are:
DF: 6”
DR:7.5”
PF:7”
PR:8”

I’m ready to buy some SPC UCA, am also going to try some new bushings in the LCA on my days off as they need it anyway, along with the new steering rack bolts. Could it be a bent Sway bar? It has me completely scratching my head here. I know it’s a book but figured give as much info as can up front.
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Old 07-17-2021, 01:30 AM #2
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Alaska eh? @3bears I think you finally found a friend
I had the typical drivers side lean and new UCAs helped correct it altogether, so if you were debating getting some already that might actually be a good start. Though understand the typical lean I'm talking about is only about 1/2in and doesn't affect droop. Still wouldn't be a bad idea though. In most areas you look you'll find UCAs are "recommended" after a lift but I've come to find out it's a pretty much a requirement the majority of the time. Will probably ride much better too
I don't think a bent sway bar would help pull it down but if it was sideswiped hard it wouldn't hurt to take it off and see, shouldn't take more than a few minutes. You might even like how it rides without it, and it's technically not needed if your suspension is stiff enough. Even then there's a good chance it's probably straight, the end links would bend and give before the bar
Another thing you can check is if your UBJ spindle/steering knuckle is contacting the coils
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Old 07-18-2021, 01:24 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
Alaska eh? @3bears I think you finally found a friend
I had the typical drivers side lean and new UCAs helped correct it altogether, so if you were debating getting some already that might actually be a good start. Though understand the typical lean I'm talking about is only about 1/2in and doesn't affect droop. Still wouldn't be a bad idea though. In most areas you look you'll find UCAs are "recommended" after a lift but I've come to find out it's a pretty much a requirement the majority of the time. Will probably ride much better too
I don't think a bent sway bar would help pull it down but if it was sideswiped hard it wouldn't hurt to take it off and see, shouldn't take more than a few minutes. You might even like how it rides without it, and it's technically not needed if your suspension is stiff enough. Even then there's a good chance it's probably straight, the end links would bend and give before the bar
Another thing you can check is if your UBJ spindle/steering knuckle is contacting the coils
thanks...hes an 8 hour drive away....but thanks
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Old 07-18-2021, 01:28 AM #4
3bears 3bears is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlken View Post
I figured I’ve lurked through enough troubleshooting on here with no luck on my issue. So I’ll let you in on my problem child and see what kind of ideas I get.

I’ve got a 99 SR5 5spdT4R that I bought from a college student a couple months ago. It had a 3” spacer lift up front, +3 coils in the rear, snorkel, a coastal offroad bumper “partially” welded up, decent rims tires blah blah blah. The down side was “it had been sideswiped, reconstructed title, but no frame damage” and the radiator had a slight leak. Drove great with only slight pull to one side which figured it needed an alignment anyway. So I set to work on it, added a full coastal skid plate, new OEM LBJ, UBJ, Timing belt, Water pump, all fluids and filters.

I knew I needed to get an alignment so started looking at all the suspension/steering stuff so new sway bar ends and bushings, and outer tie rods done. When doing the steering bushings I found the large bolt through the steering rack on the driver side was physically bent to the point that the only way it was coming out was with my 3lb persuader. Of course being Alaska the local dealer had none, and wanted stupid amounts of money for shipping up here. Luckily we have a great yota fabricator up here, and I dropped by for a visit and he got it straightened out enough to put it back together until I could get actual replacement.

While he was at it I had him fix the coastal bumper right, weld up a coastal full skid plate, and make the mods to get a 12k smitty winch mounted up. This was the time that I really began to notice the driver side front lean. I took it that the front coils were undersprung and when I looked seen that one shock body was actually leaking. So new Toytec Boss Alumas with 600lb springs were ordered. And installed correctly unlike the college kid.

So the problem now is that the lean is still there. When on jack stands the passenger side seems to droop far more than the driver side. In every aspect. I was going to try to adjust the preload in the driver side when I noticed that the UCA doesn’t droop enough to get in to make the adjustment on the coilover, not even travelling past the upper coil hat where the adjuster is. But there is more than enough on the passenger side as it travels all the way past the adjustment ring and then some. Of course I could keep throwing money at it, but really want to figure the issue out.

What could be binding the driver side up over an inch?
Top of tire to bottom of fender measurements are:
DF: 6”
DR:7.5”
PF:7”
PR:8”

I’m ready to buy some SPC UCA, am also going to try some new bushings in the LCA on my days off as they need it anyway, along with the new steering rack bolts. Could it be a bent Sway bar? It has me completely scratching my head here. I know it’s a book but figured give as much info as can up front.

I think I remeber that one when it came up for sale. Im not sure what could be causing the lean like that, I dont think its the lower control arm bushings, and I dont think replaceing the uppers will help it. I think you have something else going on. I would say a shock or bad spring, but you just went through those you say. What I dont know. Sorry, im no help
__________________
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2001 SR-5...sold june 2021
2000 SR-5 V6 Auto . lifted, e locker, other cool stuff, totaled 10/20
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:05 PM #5
Dahlken Dahlken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3bears View Post
I think I remeber that one when it came up for sale. Im not sure what could be causing the lean like that, I dont think its the lower control arm bushings, and I dont think replaceing the uppers will help it. I think you have something else going on. I would say a shock or bad spring, but you just went through those you say. What I dont know. Sorry, im no help
It still needs the lower bushings, and having the LCAs off I will be able to see if there is anything bent or out of whack. Short of that all that's left is bent knuckle or frame bent/twisted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3bears View Post
thanks...hes an 8 hour drive away....but thanks
The vastness of this incredible place puts most of us much further away than most of the lower 48 realize until you see it for yourself! But well worth it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
Alaska eh? @3bears I think you finally found a friend
I had the typical drivers side lean and new UCAs helped correct it altogether, so if you were debating getting some already that might actually be a good start. Though understand the typical lean I'm talking about is only about 1/2in and doesn't affect droop. Still wouldn't be a bad idea though. In most areas you look you'll find UCAs are "recommended" after a lift but I've come to find out it's a pretty much a requirement the majority of the time. Will probably ride much better too
I don't think a bent sway bar would help pull it down but if it was sideswiped hard it wouldn't hurt to take it off and see, shouldn't take more than a few minutes. You might even like how it rides without it, and it's technically not needed if your suspension is stiff enough. Even then there's a good chance it's probably straight, the end links would bend and give before the bar
Another thing you can check is if your UBJ spindle/steering knuckle is contacting the coils
I'll be tearing the front end completely apart after work today and see what I end up with. The sway bar will definitely be removed for atleast the rest of our summer here. As for the UBJ/knuckle, at full droop the passenger side does set down onto the coil. But not on the driver side. I'll have a real good look at it tonight and see what I come up with. Hopefully its something stupid and easy to sort.
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Old 07-19-2021, 12:56 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlken View Post
It still needs the lower bushings, and having the LCAs off I will be able to see if there is anything bent or out of whack. Short of that all that's left is bent knuckle or frame bent/twisted.



The vastness of this incredible place puts most of us much further away than most of the lower 48 realize until you see it for yourself! But well worth it!



I'll be tearing the front end completely apart after work today and see what I end up with. The sway bar will definitely be removed for atleast the rest of our summer here. As for the UBJ/knuckle, at full droop the passenger side does set down onto the coil. But not on the driver side. I'll have a real good look at it tonight and see what I come up with. Hopefully its something stupid and easy to sort.
good luck and keep us posted.
Yes it is incredible up here, the vastness and beauty

...but for a car guy it can be a hassle , at least in fairbanks.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:23 AM #7
Dahlken Dahlken is offline
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Figured it out! Bent LH LCA! As soon as I can figure out the pics thing I'll post them up. Now hoping can find one close by tomorrow in one the local salvage yards!
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Old 07-19-2021, 12:10 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlken View Post
Figured it out! Bent LH LCA! As soon as I can figure out the pics thing I'll post them up. Now hoping can find one close by tomorrow in one the local salvage yards!
wonder what could have bent it..a real hard hit for sure.
up here they run $50 used each
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:20 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3bears View Post
wonder what could have bent it..a real hard hit for sure.
up here they run $50 used each
It must've been a really good hit for sure. When lying both sides next to each other the rear mounting point on the driver side arm is atleast a half inch higher than passenger side. So when the mounts are set evenly on the bench the ball joint end winds up being REALLY tweaked up at an odd angle. So it makes sense to the >inch lean on the driver corner.

I was going to order one out of Fairbanks from Interior Auto but luckily I was able to find one local for $75. So it will work out about the same. Hopefully they get it pulled today so can get her back together tonight, aligned tomorrow, and back out on the trail.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:43 AM #10
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Got it back together with 2 full turns onto the Toytec coilover on the driver side. WAs quite the ordeal finding someplace to remove and replace the bushings on both the lower arms. I do know that if I ever bend another....going to get some of those aftermarket ones from Solo Motorsports. Also left the sway bar out and see how I like that over the next couple weeks. But am sitting much better than it was. Though still not quite level but that is just a matter of dialling in the coilovers and letting it settle completely.
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