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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone...Getting ready set up my 2010 FJ to pre-run the Baja 500 course. For those of you experienced FJ desert runners, I was hoping you could save me some trial and error and help with the set-up. I'm prob going with either Icon, King or Fox (anyone built a 2.5 Fox rear yet?). Also, have any of you revalved and/or changing spring rates from the norm. I'm looking for a setup that's comfortable at cruising speeds and can still get through the rough at speed. Thanks!
 

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Up front I'm running the Total Chaos 2" long travel with Fox shocks. I'm currently working on my rear end. I'm going with the Fox 2.5 and will fab a hoop for the shock mount. Upgrade your lower rear links at least (if you haven't done them), and get new bushings for the uppers. I got my bushing kit at Energy Suspension.

Here are some pics from some prerunning yesterday. We were prerunning Yerington, NV. The last pic is the race truck going through the whoops. The FJ can get through the whoops, just not fast. I was running through the whoops at about 10-15 mph. The race truck was doing about 60-70.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm currently working on my rear end. I'm going with the Fox 2.5 and will fab a hoop for the shock mount.
Thanks for the info Mike...Just curious what shocks you currently have on the rear. (Trying to get a reference on the prerun speed) Also, how do the TC arms work in front and how much travel are you cycling with that setup?

BTW: Like the pics of the FJ and class 6 truck. Nice!
 

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Hi everyone...Getting ready set up my 2010 FJ to pre-run the Baja 500 course. For those of you experienced FJ desert runners, I was hoping you could save me some trial and error and help with the set-up. I'm prob going with either Icon, King or Fox (anyone built a 2.5 Fox rear yet?). Also, have any of you revalved and/or changing spring rates from the norm. I'm looking for a setup that's comfortable at cruising speeds and can still get through the rough at speed. Thanks!
The Total Chaos 2" kit is supposed to get 11.5" of travel.

*Preface: I am no expert*

I think a nice set up for baja type stuff would be the Camberg or Total Chaos 3.5" Long travel kit. Any of the coilovers you mentioned would be great (add a resi even better), and you can also add a secondary bypass shock to that front kit to help manage multiple compresssion and rebound zones. Ideally you could throw a coilover in the rear; however, that will require some fab work. If not, throw a bypass shock on the rear. You are not going to beat one of those race trucks; however, it will do pretty good speed in the bumps I imagine (especially if you throw a URD supercharger in there).
 

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the total chaos setup is probably the best, but I would suggest swapping out the FJ for a tacoma for this type of driving.
 

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OP - refer to my build thread (specifically the last 5 pages or so) in my signature below. The current setup I'm going with would make a pretty nice prerun rig.

In regards to the TC wheel travel #'s. You aren't going to get a full 11.5" of travel like they advertised. To date I think I'm the only person who has actually measured numbers with their kit. From the rotor you'll get 10.5" of wheel travel...add the additional width of the tire and you'll be close to 11"...but not the full 11.5" they advertise. Refer to my build thread for reasons and pictures why not.


The Total Chaos 2" kit is supposed to get 11.5" of travel.

*Preface: I am no expert*

I think a nice set up for baja type stuff would be the Camberg or Total Chaos 3.5" Long travel kit. Any of the coilovers you mentioned would be great (add a resi even better), and you can also add a secondary bypass shock to that front kit to help manage multiple compresssion and rebound zones. Ideally you could throw a coilover in the rear; however, that will require some fab work. If not, throw a bypass shock on the rear. You are not going to beat one of those race trucks; however, it will do pretty good speed in the bumps I imagine (especially if you throw a URD supercharger in there).

Keep in mind. Just cause you can throw bypass's in there doesn't mean you need them or will even notice them (if not dialed in properly). Rule of thumb is you don't need bypasses until you are maxing out the performance of your coilovers or shocks. I have only seen a couple people on this forum even play with the valving and other items to tune their coilovers or shocks into an ideal place to begin with. Really that should be done prior to spending $2-$5k on bypass shocks, if you can't notice changes in your valving or rates then you aren't driving the vehicle hard enough to warrent bypass shocks. Most seem to skip this step and just splash the cash though.

Of course they are cool to have nonetheless. Just have to wonder how many are actually maximizing their vehicles performance before hand.


the total chaos setup is probably the best, but I would suggest swapping out the FJ for a tacoma for this type of driving.
I'd recommend going with Camburg 3.5" over the TC 3.5" system for several reasons. If only doing a 2" system TC is your only option.
 

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OP - refer to my build thread (specifically the last 5 pages or so) in my signature below. The current setup I'm going with would make a pretty nice prerun rig.

In regards to the TC wheel travel #'s. You aren't going to get a full 11.5" of travel like they advertised. To date I think I'm the only person who has actually measured numbers with their kit. From the rotor you'll get 10.5" of wheel travel...add the additional width of the tire and you'll be close to 11"...but not the full 11.5" they advertise. Refer to my build thread for reasons and pictures why not.





Keep in mind. Just cause you can throw bypass's in there doesn't mean you need them or will even notice them (if not dialed in properly). Rule of thumb is you don't need bypasses until you are maxing out the performance of your coilovers or shocks. I have only seen a couple people on this forum even play with the valving and other items to tune their coilovers or shocks into an ideal place to begin with. Really that should be done prior to spending $2-$5k on bypass shocks, if you can't notice changes in your valving or rates then you aren't driving the vehicle hard enough to warrent bypass shocks. Most seem to skip this step and just splash the cash though.

Of course they are cool to have nonetheless. Just have to wonder how many are actually maximizing their vehicles performance before hand.
Brian,

I agree that yours will be a sweet pre-run or rock crawler when done.

I was under the assumption that if he is going to run his truck on the baja 500course, he will know how to tune bypass shocks. Jason Demello slapped the Icon Omegas on his rig and said it made a tremendous difference in performance. Those are not even the VERY complicated 5 bypass shocks that King has out there (3 compression and 2 rebound zones I believe). If you have not, check out their 4.5" bypass; that thing is crazy looking (albeit waaaayyy over the top for 99.999% of people).
 

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Up front I'm running the Total Chaos 2" long travel with Fox shocks....
Hi Mike,

I am a newbie with a stock FJ and still deciding on a suspenstion mod. I am close to Sacramento and was wondering if you installed the Total Choas suspension or a shop? If it was a shop would you recommend them?

Thank you,

Bill
PS the pictures looked great :bigthumb:
 

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Brian,

I agree that yours will be a sweet pre-run or rock crawler when done.

I was under the assumption that if he is going to run his truck on the baja 500course, he will know how to tune bypass shocks. Jason Demello slapped the Icon Omegas on his rig and said it made a tremendous difference in performance. Those are not even the VERY complicated 5 bypass shocks that King has out there (3 compression and 2 rebound zones I believe). If you have not, check out their 4.5" bypass; that thing is crazy looking (albeit waaaayyy over the top for 99.999% of people).

I'm not dissagreeing with you, yes they can make a tremendous difference. However, my point was so can tuning your existing off the shelf coilovers that people already have on their rigs (valving, angle which shocks are mounted, etc). And it can be done at a fraction of the cost of a bypass shocks.

If you are not maximizing your existing setups performance then you aren't going to be getting the full capabilities out of your suspension just by adding a bypass setup either. Sure it may perform better, but you might have been able to obtain the same performance through dialing in your existing setup.95% of FJs are running a single spring rate which a basic shock can handle pretty well. Its when you start running progressive spring rates that there is a greater need for the variable dampening of bypass shocks.

Personally where I envision the true value of bypasses is once you've got your suspension fully dialed in and are maximizing its performance, then toss in bypass's and you are adding a whole new tool to further enhance your front end (or rear).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OP - refer to my build thread (specifically the last 5 pages or so) in my signature below. The current setup I'm going with would make a pretty nice prerun rig.
Really Nice Build Brian!

The MT progressive rear springs look interesting. Lots of cycle travel.

P1010656.JPG


...I'd recommend going with Camburg 3.5" over the TC 3.5" system for several reasons. If only doing a 2" system TC is your only option.
The LT systems are real nice, but not sure I want to go wide right now. I'm favoring the stock width Camburg UCA for now. I'll probably spend more time dialing the shocks initially.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I bet you'll even be seeing some bypass's with external coolers in the not so distant future.
Yep...Not sure what I think of FOXs bypass example, but I'm planning to go circulating reservoir lines for cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Any of the coilovers you mentioned would be great (add a resi even better), and you can also add a secondary bypass shock to that front kit to help manage multiple compresssion and rebound zones.
I really like the idea of going dual shocks in front, even with the stock lower arm up. Would also like to do multiple shocks in the rear without cutting into the cab.
 

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Really no input on suspension (I only have the TT bilstein with a 3" leveling kit) but the truck did fairly well in Baja. Did about 400 or so miles on the dirt a couple of years back. The dirt roads where killer, very bumpy, small rocks, etc... could only do about 40 or so mph but when I got the truck a couple of feet off the trail onto some sand, 70 to 80 was feeling pretty good! Now this was loaded with trail gear, camping gear and firewood... sagging in the rear...

Have fun and hope to hear what in the end you went with and how it handled!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the total chaos setup is probably the best, but I would suggest swapping out the FJ for a tacoma for this type of driving.
...I was thinking the short wheel base Tundra would be the way to go, but the FJ is already sitting in the driveway. :)
 

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I did some pre running of the 07 1000 in my fj with icons front and rear, rear was the cheaper mono tube shock, and the front did great rear not so much. Today your best bet for the rear IMO is the icon piggy back or by-pass if you have the $$$ for it. The king rear shocks are anice runner up. As for springs it all depends on how much weight you'll be carrying in the back, try and keep it light and use a medium spring around 220lb.
 

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Thanks for the info Mike...Just curious what shocks you currently have on the rear. (Trying to get a reference on the prerun speed) Also, how do the TC arms work in front and how much travel are you cycling with that setup?

BTW: Like the pics of the FJ and class 6 truck. Nice!
I still just have my OME shocks on the rear. Just trying to figure out what to do in the rear. Great stuff favailable or the front, but no one makes anything for the rear. My friend who built that race truck is going to help me fab some new rear links and fab a shock hoop. The rear end just sucks. The FJ does ok at speed, but not in the whoops or large ruts.

Up front, I get about 10 inches of travel. After I redo the rear suspension, I'll be adding fiberglass fenders to the front, and will be tubing the front end so I can cut away some of the inner fenders.

Is that 2 foot long travel?
It is 2 inches. The 2 inches doesn't refer to travel. The 2" kit is 2 inches longer than the stock length (the wheels stick out 2 inhes further on each side).

Hi Mike,

I am a newbie with a stock FJ and still deciding on a suspenstion mod. I am close to Sacramento and was wondering if you installed the Total Choas suspension or a shop? If it was a shop would you recommend them?

Thank you,

Bill
PS the pictures looked great :bigthumb:
I installed it with the help of my friend. He has built 3 race trucks and is sponsored by Total Chaos. I can check with him if he knows any shops in this area.

I first went with OME. If I was doing it over again, I would go with TC first.
 

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I really like the idea of going dual shocks in front, even with the stock lower arm up. Would also like to do multiple shocks in the rear without cutting into the cab.
I would go with the Total Chaos lower A-arm if you are going with two shocks up front. They have one for stock width.
 

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I really like the idea of going dual shocks in front, even with the stock lower arm up. Would also like to do multiple shocks in the rear without cutting into the cab.
Neither of those is too difficult to do. Issue on the rear is mounting angles to fit it all in there and ensuring you are running the right pressures in the shock to make them effective.

Might have to run spacers on the rear to fit, but if your going that far it wouldn't be hard to run a shock hoop with a 12" coilover in there. It'd be more effective than the shock, spring, and bypass option.
 
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