Should I drop my front diff? - Page 2 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
4x4 / Off-Road Tech This section contains all discussion related to taking the FJ Cruiser in Off-Road situations, 4x4 applications and any armor modifications.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 02:24 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

I'm wondering why everyone is commenting on how hard it is to run skids with a dif drop? Its no harder than running skids without a dif drop. I run a Ricochet HD skid with my ToyTec dif drop and they work together fine. Admittedly, I have no experience with other skids (Bud's, AP, RCI, MAF, etc) so they might be different.

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not you need a dif drop, and the most important is the lift. Most everyone here runs a "3 inch lift", but theres actually a lot of inconsistency in how much additional height a "3 inch lift" provides. OME 3" lifts differ on the spring rate, but IIRC, my 886 coils measured out to provide a 2.5" lift. I had a Rough Country spacer lift before that and it measured out to 3" exactly. I'm currently running Icon's and I can dial my ride height in wherever I want. Other lifts only provide 2", so keep in mind that a CV on a 2" lift will perform differently than a CV on an actual 3" lift. The more lift you have, the greater the angle on your CV's.

Offroad clearance is the other consideration, and while your dif drop might affect your obstacle clearing somewhat, keep in mind that if your hitting your skid after a dif drop, you're also going to be hitting your lower links, your shock and link mounts and your rear dif. Something to keep in mind.

CV's are under the least amount of stress when they are perfectly horizontal. A 3" lift will put additional stress on your CV's. They might last their normal lifespan, or not. A dif drop is cheap insurance to potentially prevent this. With my OME 886's up front, my CV's were under a lot of stress and would constantly leak grease. I used Bandi's suggestion to use the Norma clamps to prevent the CV's from leaking, and it worked for a while. I added the dif drop and have had no additional issues, even after replacing my drivers side CV.

Last edited by shack; 11-04-2014 at 03:27 PM.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 06:36 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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I'm wondering why everyone is commenting on how hard it is to run skids with a dif drop? Its no harder than running skids without a dif drop. I run a Ricochet HD skid with my ToyTec dif drop and they work together fine.
I suspect your FJ is pre 2010. Later models have radiator support bars that also require spacing with the diff drop. Brad himself has told me Ricochet does not support diff drops on 2010+ models due to these complications. Below is his response to my question of putting his skids on my 2011 with Toytec diff drop.


"Here is my recommendation:
Remove the diff drop, you don't need it. Leave the sway bar relocate in place you will need that. If the rad support bars needed to be dropped to clear the sway bar, then you need to cut the anemic middle portion of those bars out and bolt the ends back on as stock. If those bars have not been spaced down then you don't need to worry about them. Ricochet skids are not compatible with a diff drop."
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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1GreenYota previously said: View Post
I suspect your FJ is pre 2010. Later models have radiator support bars that also require spacing with the diff drop. Brad himself has told me Ricochet does not support diff drops on 2010+ models due to these complications. Below is his response to my question of putting his skids on my 2011 with Toytec diff drop.


"Here is my recommendation:
Remove the diff drop, you don't need it. Leave the sway bar relocate in place you will need that. If the rad support bars needed to be dropped to clear the sway bar, then you need to cut the anemic middle portion of those bars out and bolt the ends back on as stock. If those bars have not been spaced down then you don't need to worry about them. Ricochet skids are not compatible with a diff drop."
That would be correct. I have an 08.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 02:23 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

I just hit this wall today. My FJ is a 2012, 3" Toytec lift, with a diff drop (came with lift) and I planned on getting Ricochet skids only for Brad at Ricochet to tell me it won't fit well. If I want aftermarket skids, it seems like I am forced into removing the diff drop (which I assume should be fairly simple). Previously, the diff drop felt like good insurance since both Toytec and Desert Rat told me I needed it. Now I think I'll remove it and get the Norma clamps to prevent possible future boot leaks. This should get me back on the road to aftermarket skids. I hope ....
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-06-2015, 08:59 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

Personally I wouldn't get into the Norma clamps until you need them. You may never need to.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 08:38 AM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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Jacoblax6 previously said: View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. I plan on wheeling my FJ (why someone would spend all this time and money not to off road is beyond me.)
I remember being single and not having a kid once....
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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I remember being single and not having a kid once....
Haha yea it's pretty nice
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 11:22 AM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

I had the leaky seals also. Bought the clamp kit & adjusted the seals. Now I have new rebuilt CV shafts with the drop kit and no seeping. paid 20$ for an AL drop kit your call but cheap.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 12:27 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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If you don't off road at all, then do it
If you do then its not worth the loss of clearance.
As mentioned above, the purpose of the diff drop is to maintain the CV axle closer to straight and horizontal, because the CV joints are weaker at more extreme angles. So I would say the opposite - do the diff drop if you are going off road (especially rock crawling), but don't bother for a road rig.

As for skid plate fitment...well I've been offroading for 15 years without aftermarket skid plates and it's never been a problem.

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 12:40 PM
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Re: Should I drop my front diff?

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Serenity Now previously said: View Post
As mentioned above, the purpose of the diff drop is to maintain the CV axle closer to straight and horizontal, because the CV joints are weaker at more extreme angles. So I would say the opposite - do the diff drop if you are going off road (especially rock crawling), but don't bother for a road rig.



As for skid plate fitment...well I've been offroading for 15 years without aftermarket skid plates and it's never been a problem.

You probably don't wheel like I do then...

Rock crawling with IFS is all about ground clearance, ask guys who actually wheel their rigs if they would want to loose a inch in clearance.

As for the skids, my stock ones where bent on the first time wheeling, and my aftermarket ones are bent also, I use my rig.
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