How much lift do i NEED?

rc51kid

Adventurer
I just picked up a 94 FZJ80 and am trying to develop a plan for it. I have a LONG list of PM and have already ordered several OEM gaskets and a full Toyota hose kit, thermostat and cap. But i am also trying to plan what mods need to be done. I actually want to try to be smart about this and do mods that help make it more useful for me and not just make it "look cool". It has factory lockers and brand new set of 285/75/16 BFG ATs on it. I figure it is probably a very capable truck as is. But it is hard for me not to modify stuff and i have been thinking about springs. The springs in it now are 20 years old with 180,000 miles on them, probably pretty tired.

This is what i want to do with the truck. Eventually it will be my DD when i get everything PMed and worked out. We will be using it for long trips, camping, climbing, biking and backpacking. For example, this summer my girlfriend is talking about going out to Wyoming and doing some backpacking. We would be hopefully sleeping in the truck and car camping also. I would try to plan some 4wd exploring for the trip as well. I dont consider any hardcore off roading but since we are traveling alone i really dont want to be getting stuck. I figured a little lift might not be bad. Also we travel pretty light but gear adds up fast. Also we are CONSIDERING a bumper and duel batt. So there is the load and spring issue.

I would also like to use the truck for some wheeling on weekends with friends. Nothing extreme, just exploring trails and rough mountain forestry roads.

The other big thing is that with all they road miles we are trying to not totally give up MPG. We are planning to try to avoid a roof rack as well. So i could stay with the factory 20 year old springs, really nothing wrong with them.

Or i am mostly looking at the OME "stock height" springs. These give the truck about .75-1" lift over factory springs. Since most factory springs are a little droopy they might even be a little higher. But they are heavier rate to deal with bumper and gear. Slee actually said that they ride harder than the 2.5" medium weight springs. Also they dont need any caster adjustment.

The other option is the OME 2.5 springs. I originally thought that these were to tall for my taste but the more i look at them the more i like them. But from what i read the FJ80 will clear 285/75 with factory springs. So the lift is not really needed with that size tires. Also the MPG would be even worse. Correcting the caster with bushings becomes necessary. I dont mind doing that but i would like to keep things as simple and as factory as possible. It is easier to repair or replace things in the middle of no where the more stock things are. This kind of has me feeling like the 2.5" would mostly be for looks and not really needed for me. But Slee did say that they actually ride nicer on the road than the OME "stock" springs due to a softer spring rate.

I dont know, what do you guys think. Trying to do what i actually need for my use and not just what others are doing.
 

The_Dude

Adventurer
The 80 will clear some 35s with 2.5-3 inches of lift. Mine has the 2.5" OME lift/285/75/16 and its perfect. I don't rock crawl and it still goes wherever I point it. For exploratory driving I think its a perfect combination of performance and aesthetics. :safari-rig:

 

rc51kid

Adventurer
That looks really nice. Could you post some more pictures of the front bumper? I was actually looking at ti just the other day.
 

rc51kid

Adventurer
Yep that's what i was looking at the other day.It looks like they come unfinished. Did you have yours powder coated? What dd that cost?
 

cruiseroutfit

Supporting Sponsor: Cruiser Outfitters
2.5"

The 80 Series responds extremely well to lifts in the 2-3" range, they work really well in 3+" but the cost goes up drastically and they likely don't add much in the way of value for your needs as I read them. Now, if/when you decide to go with something in the 2-3" range, the bigger question is which components to use as there are dozens of different combinations out there and often the deciding factor is the weight you need to accommodate. For that reason we like to help customers plan their builds completely and design their suspension to cover their past, current and future needs up to say 6 months out. If front and rear bumpers, winch, rack, etc are on your list but admittedly 2-3 years out, go with a light/medium suspension NOT the heavy. Then when your needs change, swap the coils and sell your old ones.
 

brentbba

Explorer
Having gone from worn out stock springs and shocks in progression:
1. Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks
2. OME stock height springs and shocks - wow, what an improvement over worn stock or even worn stock springs and rancho shocks.
3. OME 2.5" heavy springs and shocks.

I've got a lot of weight on the truck. ARB front bumper w/winch, Kaymar rear bumper w/tire carrier and jerry can carrier, Inti rack, tool/junk drawer and ARB fridge in the rear, Hanna sliders and Slee T-case skid plate. Running 285's. 2.5" heavies ride great with all this weight and the height is just enough to keep me out of trouble. I don't run extreme trails. I've done a few '6' rated trails as rated by the Rising Sun guys for Moab. Truck at this height is much more capable than I am as a driver! :)

My advise - do this once, not the progression I went thru. You might regret it as I did. All that being said, 4" seems to be the new 2.5" of yester year on 80 series trucks. At least I was able to sell the rancho shocks and the OME stock set up as well that helped with what I have now.

Truck as she sits now fully loaded including 10 gallons of gas in the jerry cans, a ton of wood and washing machine tub on the rack for Mountain Rendezvous last fall with trailer in tow. She sits level but the pic seems to show some squat from all the weight - it was just the ground I was on.
 

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mattafact

Adventurer
I have had the stock height springs with Bilsteins on 285s, the 850/860 combo with 255/85s, and J's with spacers on 37s. For what you are describing the stock height springs with Bilsteins rode the best and I enjoyed driving that cruiser the most on a daily basis. It looked the least awesome but the ride was amazing and it did great on and off road. The only downside to those springs was that they bottomed out pretty bad when I had my RTT and my dual swingout rear bumper and was fully loaded for 2 weeks of camping. Other than that they were great.
 

86tuning

Adventurer
The 80 will clear some 35s with 2.5-3 inches of lift.

Actually I've driven around for a couple years with 315-75-16 (35") tires with stock suspension. The tires fit fine, there is some rubbing over speed bumps and stuff, but low-speed rock crawling isn't a big deal.

So you don't NEED a lift to run 35s, but its not ideal.

35s fit fine with OME 850-860 springs which is what I'm running now. Heavy front, medium rear, and about 3" lift overall. Cheap and easy, until you decide on what dampers to run.
 

roscoFJ73

Adventurer
Do a few trips with as it is and then make up your mind,but 20 year old springs will probably die quick once you load the vehicle up and take it offroad.
 

JohnnyS

Explorer
2.5"

The 80 Series responds extremely well to lifts in the 2-3" range, they work really well in 3+" but the cost goes up drastically and they likely don't add much in the way of value for your needs as I read them. Now, if/when you decide to go with something in the 2-3" range, the bigger question is which components to use as there are dozens of different combinations out there and often the deciding factor is the weight you need to accommodate. For that reason we like to help customers plan their builds completely and design their suspension to cover their past, current and future needs up to say 6 months out. If front and rear bumpers, winch, rack, etc are on your list but admittedly 2-3 years out, go with a light/medium suspension NOT the heavy. Then when your needs change, swap the coils and sell your old ones.

What Kurt said :)
I love my 850Js & 868s but going more than 2.5" does complicate things slightly.
 

rc51kid

Adventurer
Just a update on this old thread as the OP. I have basically settled on a good setup FOR ME. I am running OME 861/862 springs with 30-40mm spacers all round. Very level stance, no stink bug. Great spring rate, firmer but not harsh. Gives it ABOUT 2" maybe a little more. I have a M1200 up front and a bumper but the bumper is aluminum. I am about to add a 2nd battery so i might need a a stiffer spring up front. the rest of my suspension is as follows, Fox 2.0 smooth bodies, front sway bar drops, extended OEM brake lines, caster bushings (probably not needed) and BGF KO 285/75.16. I still drag some stuff on my trails so i added a Bump it Off Road skid plate and OPOR sliders. I am REALLY happy with this set up. I do plan on some different tires soon. Really looking at the Toyo Open Country MT. I think the more aggressive tire will really benefit me the most. I think keeping the overall ride height relatively low avoids a LOT of problems with drive line. Also i handles nicer on road. I do have to use some common sense off road because of limited ground clearance. But the sliders and skid plate let me "make contact" at times with out much worry.

If i could do it all over i would start my build with something about the height i have with good 285/75/16. I would compress the suspension all the way and then extend all the way with no shocks in place. Take some good measurements and try to get shocks made for that. In other words get the most flex i can. The 285 tires should stuff really well. My Fox shocks might be ideal as is, but i dont know. It might not be worth doing a custom shock to gain .5 inch flex. But if i could gain 2-3" it would be worth it.

Future mods? I do still look at 315/75/16 from time to time. They look nice but are not logical. Hopefully i will stick with 285. 17" wheels with 285/75/17 look ideal but are really expensive. As i add weight to the front i might go 850/860 which should be about the same height i am now, not sure it is really needed and i think it will lift the rear too much.

This simple set ups with my lockers has taken me crazy places. The tires loading up with wet mud have really been the limiting factor. And i have hit mu sliders a good bit, but that is what they are for.
 

Upland80

Adventurer
I went from 285 to 315 and I would have a hard time going back. The little extra clearance is nice in rocky terrain.
 

alia176

Explorer
Just a update on this old thread as the OP. I have basically settled on a good setup FOR ME. I am running OME 861/862 springs with 30-40mm spacers all round. Very level stance, no stink bug. Great spring rate, firmer but not harsh. Gives it ABOUT 2" maybe a little more. I have a M1200 up front and a bumper but the bumper is aluminum. I am about to add a 2nd battery so i might need a a stiffer spring up front. the rest of my suspension is as follows, Fox 2.0 smooth bodies, front sway bar drops, extended OEM brake lines, caster bushings (probably not needed) and BGF KO 285/75.16. I still drag some stuff on my trails so i added a Bump it Off Road skid plate and OPOR sliders. I am REALLY happy with this set up. I do plan on some different tires soon. Really looking at the Toyo Open Country MT. I think the more aggressive tire will really benefit me the most. I think keeping the overall ride height relatively low avoids a LOT of problems with drive line. Also i handles nicer on road. I do have to use some common sense off road because of limited ground clearance. But the sliders and skid plate let me "make contact" at times with out much worry.

If i could do it all over i would start my build with something about the height i have with good 285/75/16. I would compress the suspension all the way and then extend all the way with no shocks in place. Take some good measurements and try to get shocks made for that. In other words get the most flex i can. The 285 tires should stuff really well. My Fox shocks might be ideal as is, but i dont know. It might not be worth doing a custom shock to gain .5 inch flex. But if i could gain 2-3" it would be worth it.

Future mods? I do still look at 315/75/16 from time to time. They look nice but are not logical. Hopefully i will stick with 285. 17" wheels with 285/75/17 look ideal but are really expensive. As i add weight to the front i might go 850/860 which should be about the same height i am now, not sure it is really needed and i think it will lift the rear too much.

This simple set ups with my lockers has taken me crazy places. The tires loading up with wet mud have really been the limiting factor. And i have hit mu sliders a good bit, but that is what they are for.

Your lift and tire size is perfect for just about most things we tend to encounter with these fat pigs. You must resist the urge to go any bigger or higher. :) I'm on 4"/315/4.56 and had another 80 on 2.5/285s and it did very well on most things and most importantly, had great road manners. It's important to note that most of us are sharing the driving duties with other people (friend/spouse/etc) on long trips. Having a predictable vehicle with good hwy manners is a must while you snooze on the passenger seat. Having a rig with a large lift, no sway bars, large tires, sexy flexy suspension with crazy caster angles, etc only makes the driver more tired. Just my opinion.
 

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