Suspension/Tyres dilemma

Which scenario do I go for? I list them in order, cheapest to downright bloody rediculous

  • 1) Uprated rear springs only, upgrade two tyres (265/75R16 Cooper STT) at a time.

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  • Total voters
    13

Jimbo4x4

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Mar 2, 2010
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Chaps, I'm at a loss as to what to do next with Rex. As my head's swimming with confusion it's difficult to put these scenarios into words but I'll give it a go. Basically I want to (finally) sort out my sagging rear suspension and at least make a start on new tyres, not that there's anything wrong with the Coopers, they're just getting close to worn out.

For me to change two tyres at a time would obviously be alot more affordable than changing four, so I was thinking perhaps replace my two rears then keep those as spares (my rear tyres are at about 8-9mm, the fronts 9-10mm), then when the fronts get down to 5 or 6mm replace them and so on.

As for suspension I have two roads I could go down - I could get uprated standard hieght rear springs to sort the saggy arse, or I could go the whole hog and fit a full +50/100kg 2" OME kit in anticipation of all the heavy overlanding gear I will be fitting in the future. Points to consider - I will miss my variable rate shocks if I go for a lift, and I've never really fallen short (excuse the pun) with regards to ground clearance, I have however wished for more articulation on more than one occasion..

Tyre dilemma - part two - came when I was thinking about fitting the 2" lift and filling the extra given arch space with rubber :? Now, I don't want to go any wider than the 265/75s that are fitted as that would mean extending arches, increased fuel consumption etc etc (I know increased tyre hieght will probably increase the fuel consumption, I just don't want the width doing it aswell!), so really my best option is to go for 255/85s. Herein lies another dilemma, my favourite tyre (Cooper STT) doesn't come in that size - I'd have to downgrade to the ST or change manufacturer, and probably end up going for BFG KM2's.

Before voting there is one more point to consider. I have been keeping some money to one side to put a deposit on a rental, but while Laura (my girlfriend of six years) is out of work we can't afford to get a decent place, so the money is just sitting there doing nothing (except for Nationwide adding a few pence to it every month). Laura has given me permission to dip into these savings for Rex's sake, so long as I can save up the money again within a couple of months if required :? It's solely these savings that will be paying for any upgrades and no matter what, one of these scenarios will go ahead in the next month or two.

Help me out here, which scenario do I go for? I list them below in order of expense to me:

1) Uprated rear springs only, upgrade two tyres (265/75R16 Cooper STT) at a time.
2) Fit 2" lift, keep the Coopers and upgrade them as above.
3) Fit 2" lift, then save again to fit 255/85R16 tyres.

Also, any idea what components to go for to complement your vote? (Tyres, springs, shocks...)

Cheers guys, I didn't know where else to turn!

Jim.
 

Julian

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Sep 9, 2012
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Jimbo feeling your pain,
Not sure it is fair to vote as the last one is the obvious choice, and you will wish you had done it in the long run
 

Jon Wildsmith

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Feb 24, 2010
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Lifted suspension and bigger tyres just bring more excuses to spend more money and make things more complicated (broken parts, hankering for better gearing, lockers ...). If you're basicly happy with the truck and just want to fix a sagging rear end I'd stick with doing just that.
 

Jimbo4x4

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Thanks Julian and Jon.

I hadn't seriously thought of the effect on the gearing with the larger tyres, I only have a lowly 2.4 auto! It coped well with the last size upgrade but that doesn't mean to say it's not near it's limit..
 
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Andrew Prince

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Feb 23, 2010
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Hi Jim,
It's a tough question to grapple with - difficult to separate the cold logic from emotion! We've all been there lusting after a perfect truck that would cost a lot more than we're prepared to pay and in reality the truck provides more than we need.

I would be reluctant to advise you to spend your hard-earned money on consumables like car parts when you've been saving for a good reason. If you're able to use your head and not heart :lol: and decide what you really need and base your decision on that, then I think you will find your decison easier to live with.

To my way of thinking, tyres are what keep you out of the hedge in a rain storm, moving forwards when driving through mud and stopping when the great British public on the road have all jammed on brakes to rubberneck at a Highways Agency disco driving on the opposite motorway :roll: ... So tyres are pretty important and replacing two sounds like a relatively painless (out of your options) expense. As Jon mentioned, 255s will be quite a bit bigger than the 265s - I noticed the difference between 275s and 285s when changing on my 80 so I suspect you will feel the difference and you run the risk of it being a slug to drive. You don't want your expensive new investment to leave you feeling disappointed :mrgreen:

If you absolutely must have a lift, then go that route but if cash is a little tight, maybe wait until you're closer to actually needing the lift (like heading off overlanding) rather than shelling out the £££ just to ride around town a little taller and your big trip is still many months off.

Maybe the most cost-effective solution is to try and pick up some hardly used STTs in 265 to replace your wearing rears and keep saving :idea: You will still enjoy the feeling of buying your new parts, even if that day is further off than you first thought :lol:

Cheers,
 

Jimbo4x4

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In truth, the rear springs are really starting to do my nut in, so something has to be done. I figure if I'm going to do anything with the springs then I might as well fit a lift if I think I will be fitting one eventually anyway. Just uprated rear springs may well end up being wasted money when I finally decide to do a lift and can't sell them on with 70 series being fairly rare in the UK :?

Think I might well be following the highest votes and getting the lift but keeping these tyres, at least that can leave room for some larger tyres if I feel I need them at some other point in the future.

Thanks for all the help people, I knew I could rely on you ;)

Jim.
 

Gilmour Dickson

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May 22, 2010
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If the sagging rear is the issue, then consider airbags - they might well still be useful when you lift the car if you are running heavy payloads. As for tyres well my turbo'd 78 certainly noticed going from 265 to 285. If the car had been standard I think I would have been cursing the decision. Would an old set of 80 coils fit the rear of an LJ? Might be worth a shot and there must be plenty guys with old springs lying around?
To be really honest out of all the expensive stuff we fit to our vehicles I find suspension the least satisfying in some ways. And let's face it how much does a 2" lift REALLY do for clearance issues. If you do overland it later then carrying capacity, CoG and braking ability will IMHO all be far more important than the body being 50mm higher.

So in short I would do airbags on the rear and sort the rest later (but not going higher size, especially if you are overlanding. 265 is a more common tyre size than anything larger or narrower and larger!)
 

Jimbo4x4

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Gilmour Dickson said:
If the sagging rear is the issue, then consider airbags - they might well still be useful when you lift the car if you are running heavy payloads.
Agreed, but the cost to set up would be more than uprated standard height springs. Remember that these springs are tired, and would need the airbags constantly to keep a level ride height. With the lift I would go for uprated springs again so heavy payloads shouldn't be a problem. May be an avenue to look down if I happen to need yet more load capacity further down the line.

Gilmour Dickson said:
Would an old set of 80 coils fit the rear of an LJ? Might be worth a shot and there must be plenty guys with old springs lying around?
I have been down this road, the 80 springs are around 100mm longer when both sets of springs are unloaded so I would need to change shocks too (which are different to the 80). I figure I might as well fit a full kit if I'm lifting the back anyway.

Gilmour Dickson said:
And let's face it how much does a 2" lift REALLY do for clearance issues. If you do overland it later then carrying capacity, CoG and braking ability will IMHO all be far more important than the body being 50mm higher.
You would say that, you drive a troopy! :p
Seriously though, the lift would help solve problems with regards to articulation, approach/departure angles, and the annoying tendancy to succumb to the current during deep wading, not to mention increasing the load capacity. As for the centre of gravity issue I may end up giving in to my brothers peer pressure and buy some wheel spacers, but I would see how it handles first and then make the decision.

Points taken with regards to the tyres and I think I will stick with what I have. Gearing, braking, and availability of spares worldwide are all factors.

I've started exploring the lift route further, but in truth I'm still not 100% decided. Maybe TBR will come back to me with an offer not to refuse but we shall see :)

Thanks again everyone for all the help on this, you're invaluable :cool:
 

Richard Jackaman

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Apr 6, 2010
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Jimbo4x4 said:
Seriously though, the lift would help solve problems with regards to articulation, approach/departure angles, and the annoying tendancy to succumb to the current during deep wading, not to mention increasing the load capacity.

I've started exploring the lift route further, but in truth I'm still not 100% decided. Maybe TBR will come back to me with an offer not to refuse but we shall see :)

Thanks again everyone for all the help on this, you're invaluable :cool:
I've got a 2" OME lift on my LJ70, mostly because the original springs were knackered. While it does give you slightly better approach/departure angles it does nothing to aid articulation. The radius arms are the limiting factor on the 70 series. They seem far less articulate than the 80 series. Removing the front anti-roll bar helps a bit but you still pop a wheel on very uneven ground.

Having said all that, a 2" lift is a mod I'd do again. The whole driving experience on road is much better. It corners without any body roll and is not harsh or uncomfortable. I run 31" KL71 tyres which I fitted before the lift and, if I was doing it again, I'd get 33" as they would fill the arches more and give slightly more axle clearance offroad.

More importantly......it looks better lifted :)

Cheers
 

Gilmour Dickson

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May 22, 2010
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Jim,
before pulling the trigger with TBR have you checked Dobinson's with All American in Holland? I remember somewhere people saying that the Dobinsons for the coil sprung LJs is even better than OME? Worth checking.
 

Jimbo4x4

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Gil, that was worth checking. I have just been looking at the Dobinsons catalogue for the LJ78 and they say I can keep my standard shocks with their 45mm lifts ;) might make things a little cheaper + I get to keep my variable rate shocks. I didn't imagine I would be able to lift more than an inch or so and still keep my standard shocks but I am glad that I have now been told :D

Do you have any details for All American?
 

silvercruiser

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Mar 22, 2010
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Hello Jim when my dad had his lj70 he put bf muds 255/85/16 on it and it didn't have a bad affect on the gearing if anything he reckons it improved it on the motorways but he's was manual so i don't know about yours and it did look nice with that size tyre. if it was me then id be buying the full kit but the decisions yours :D


Joe
 

Jimbo4x4

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Thanks guys. Next question, which front springs?
I can get "light load-GVM" rated rears in that height only, so that sorts that, but I have a choice for the front :?
One set is for up to 50kg of accessories
The other will allow 50kg-110kg of accessories.
I plan to fit a winch bumper (and, of course, a winch) probably sometime around the new year depending how things go.
Will the +50kg springs be enough? I'm thinking not, especially if I will be using them on corrugated roads.
Then again, will I be able to live with the harshness of the springs until I can get the bumper sorted?
Thanks again, Jim.
 

Gilmour Dickson

Active Member
May 22, 2010
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Jim, I can only relate to my experience with Dobinsons on the HZJ78...
All American recommended the +50Kg fronts as I had no intention of fitting a winch, but I did fit a very heavy (circa 50kg) home made bull bar to the front. The front did not sag at all - not even a tiny bit! That is the only comment I have, but you would be better to speak to George at AA to see if he has some experiences with LJ customers.
 

mark lang

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Jun 9, 2010
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Hi Jim , i know this is an old thread but here goes , i am looking at a lift aswell for my 78 , i am running on 32/11.5/15 bfg at's , mine is the 3.0 td version and has plenty of grunt on motorway for cruising , it will happily tow 1 - 2 ton trailer at 70 all day long .
you mentioned about front spring load on front , the winch/bumper alone would be 50-75kg , my winch alone on the other truck is 50kg .
I am contemplating ome but one or two people rave about Dobinson for ruggedness and longevity , i am happy with how my truck looks at the min , i just want a slightly smoother ride not that its really bad or anything .
when i get the rack /tent fitted plus 6th wheel + front bumper/winch then she may start to sag a little :think: .
cheers fella, Mark.
 

Jimbo4x4

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Hi Mark, I've had my dobinsons springs fitted about a month now and it seems they've bedded in nicely. I went for the +50kg fronts and light load rears in 45mm and fitted shock extensions to my standard variable rate shocks to suit. They flex nicely and ride very nicely, noticably smoother than before. I'm planning now just to fit a winch tray behind my standard bumper, the entire setup hopefully shouldn't weigh more than 50kgs.

In hindsight I don't think the rears are uprated quite enough for my kind of usage - they're fine for a weekend off road/greenlaning trip with the rooftent and a few effects in the back, but once I throw the bikes on and enough gear for a week away it does seem to sag a little. I've just got back from 5 days away in the Scottish Highlands and it was noticable then :?

Might see how I go but if things get any worse then I'll have to fit some new rears in..

HTH, Jim.
 

JJ-Namibia

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Aug 30, 2013
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Hi Guys, quick question - I am getting a LC76- 4.5 V8 Diesel SW soon!! :)

So I have one change of doing it right and I have a tire size question and some other - I am looking at 255\85R16 BF's and 265\75\R16 Hankook Dynapro's to replace the standard Dunlops 265\70R16.

Will I need a suspension lift to fit the 255's? as I prefer larger diameter tires to wider tires?

What does a lift entail as I would like to keep the suspension standard and rather spend the money on other mods?

Thx
JJ
 

Shayne

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Feb 2, 2013
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Coil spring spacers and body lift kits are cheap as chips and will let you fit whatever tyres you want . I opted for this because A. off-roading is likely never to be more than an occasional fun weekend or day out for me and the truck will spend 95% of its time on tarmac and B. None of the aftermarket suppliers of "upgraded" suspension have even a fraction of the wealth that Toyota has spent on suspension research since 1937 .

This set up actually means i have retained Toyota's research as all the standard parts remain unaltered and simply biased the vehicle more towards off road use in a way Toyota cannot do as all vehicles are designed to appeal to the largest market as possible .

P.S if you go up then it makes sense to go out as well using offset wheels or wheel spacers . All vehicles (even double decker buses) are designed to reach maybe 45 degrees tilt (sideways on 2 wheels) without actually tipping over . When the body weight sits higher than the manufacturer intended it seems reasonable to assume the tipping point becomes lower . Moving the wheels out should i think counteract this to some extent and with luck bring the tipping point back in line with what the manufacturer intended

Just my opinion .
 
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