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Discussion Starter #1
I went from stock to “upgraded” rear lower links. I was looking for beefier links and ended up with a set of Califab brand with adjustable heim joints. Installed per the instructions to the letter, even measured 30 times to make sure I had the 3/16” longer link adjustment (supposedly to compensate for pinion angle shift from the 3 inch lift). I used loctite and set the torque on all bolts to 100ft/lbs. Verified all specs multiple times. I wasn’t sure of what changes I was going to have but here’s my experience:

I’ve driven the FJ with the lift and stock links for 1 year and so I’m used to the way it feels on the road. I am running OME heavy springs on the rear and the FJ is top heavy given the RTT. Typically I got alot of body roll when cornering but the rear end felt “solid” around corners.

After the link swap this weekend, cornering feels “mushier” for lack of a better term. The springs feel less firm and it almost feels like the the rear is sliding sideways (opposite of where my steering wheel is turning). I feel the body roll is somewhat diminished but nothing amazing. The most noticeable change is definitely the “sliding” rear end feeling and it is strange! I’m not worried about it per se, I expected a different feel since it is a completely different joint after all... I guess I just didn’t know what to expect so I am mainly interested in seeing if others noted something similar.

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My only thought on this is that the original ones had some resistance to movement due to having to "flex" the rubber bushings. Where the new ones have no resistance.
 

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My only thought on this is that the original ones had some resistance to movement due to having to "flex" the rubber bushings. Where the new ones have no resistance.
I was going to say the same thing. The sliding feeling description sounds more like tires or track bar.
 

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I just put on the MT ones and felt ride was smoother than before. If you have heim joints on each end those would flex / articulate more I would think. Did you upgrade the panhard bar?


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Discussion Starter #5
Took the boss (wife) out on a test drive and didn’t prompt her for what she felt, just told her I had done some suspension modifications. Her impression was “feels bouncier overall and smoother on the corners, like the car is digging in more when you corner, but at least it doesn’t feel like we are going to roll over every damn time anymore!” Haha! Basically confirmed I’m not crazy... or maybe I am, but not about this, definitely feels more “floaty”.

Anyway, I can get used to this new flex feel if it doesn’t seem like a red flag to anyone. Thanks so much.

Also, I did not upgrade the panhard rod. For that matter, nor the upper links or the sway bar. I’ll have to read more about that. What are the recommendations on those components/ when are those needing upgrade?
 

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Good to hear the boss seemed happy - that can never hurt. As far as when to replace the uppers I did mine at the same time so can’t say but I can say that the stock uppers were seized and really stiff.


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Lower links shouldn’t make it drive any different. Track bar is still holding the side to side movement in the same place.

I would also set my lower links to attain correct pinion angle now that you have adjustments. Some recommend measurement might be ok but this is easy to check
Here is a how to and all you need is a protractor or make your own and string.

 

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I swapped my rear end out to the MT long travel and I had almost a torque steer issue. Hit the gas and the vehicle wanted to go right. Just a little. I am not sure if that's what you mean when you say sliding. Turns out I didn't get the front of the lower links torqued enough on one side and that's what was pushing me over when I hit the gas. After a re-torque, the issue was completely gone. Maybe double check that. I was "Sure" everything was tight... I was wrong. Hope this helps someone if it doesn't help you.

Panhard bar- I have heard when lifting the vehicle, you should upgrade the panhard. If you go suspension higher, your rear axle shifts slightly to the passenger side because that side mounts to the frame.

Upper links- I haven't swapped mine yet but the stock bushings give almost a spring-load. When you disconnect one, you will see. That wont necessarily give you more travel, but new ones should help things move easier. Plus you can get adjustable uppers to really control your pinion angle in conjunction with your lowers.

This is what I think I have learned but everyday I learn something else. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all. Checked angles this morning (good article by the way) and I am in spec. Last night I was doing the scuba mod and rechecked the torque while I was down there. All good there too. Also, for what it’s worth, had an alignment done and rear numbers look good (no change in angles since before the lift or the links were upgraded). Will continue to drive around town before I go on any long trips and see if anything changes.
 
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