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Thank you to anumeric. Your Install write-up for Donahoe UCAs was a great help. This is basically an update to your thread. It shows how I installed an Icon stage 2 suspension on my 2010 FJ. The stage 2 included:

  • For Front
    • (2) IVD extended travel coil-overs. The coil-overs come with1 long and 1 short spacer zip tied to the bottom mount. They also come with 6 hex head bolts and 6 lock washers (3 each per coil-over). ICON P/N 5-8645
    • (2) IVD upper control arms (UCAs). The picture shows the Icon UCA with a taper installed in the uni-ball. They come with 2 tapers, 2 taper caps, and 2 dust covers (1 each per UCA). The dust covers come with 8 Allen bolts (4 per UCA) and 2 o-rings (1 per UCA). They also come with 4 long and 4 short spacers (2 each per UCA) and 2 12 point bolts (1 per UCA). ICON P/N 5-8550
    • (2) IVD sway bar relocation brackets (the 2010 version comes with 6 washers 11/64” thick, 4 socket head Allen bolts and 4 hex head bolts with washers). I also received the bracket on the bottom which came with 4 hex bolts and washers but was unnecessary. ICON P/N 5-8645
  • For Rear
    • (2) IVD 2” lift coil springs. ICON P/N 5-2700
    • (2) IVD piggy back shocks. They come with 4 spacers (2 per shock), 2 hex head bolts (1 per shock), and 2 rubber coated metal tube brackets (1 per shock). ICON P/N 5-7710
Why I did this to my FJ:

I wanted to increase the ground clearance of the FJ and wanted a suspension which could handle the weight of skids, bumpers, etc. I decided to do this myself because heck I think anyone can. Also if I had let someone else do it I’m sure they would have forced some defective parts to fit (see ‘BEFORE you lay a wrench to the FJ’) and I’d be left with a messed up suspension.

Why Icon:

I chose an Icon suspension because I heard good things about them from other members of this forum. I wanted a company that had good customer service and who made a good quality product. I wanted a suspension that wasn’t too radical but could enhance the wheeling ability of the FJ.

Required tools:
  1. (2) Jacks preferably a floor jack and some other jack like maybe a bottle jack
  2. (2) Jack stands
  3. 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm & 9/16 inch sockets and socket wrench
  4. ½ inch 12 point socket
  5. 8mm Allen (hex) socket style wrench (a socket Allen wrench will allow you to use your torque wrench)
  6. Torque wrench for above sockets
  7. Small (import style) tie rod puller and wrench (I think this is much better then a pickle fork and the repair manual shows a puller)
  8. 9/16 inch and 17mm open end wrench
  9. Pliers
  10. 6 inch crescent wrench
Optional tools:
  1. 19mm or possibly 22mm wrench or socket (to hold the taper while you torque down the 12 point bolt)
  2. Trim and molding removal tool (to remove wheel well splash guards)
  3. 12mm 6 point socket (to grab stuck bolts better then a 12 point socket can)
  4. 14m 1.5 pitch die (to if necessary cut threads on IVD UCA tapers)
  5. Workbench mounted vise (to hold UCA while you assemble it)
  6. Punch or alignment tool (to remove the bolt at the bottom of the coil-over)
Required supplies:
  1. Red Loctite
Optional supplies:
  1. (2) 14m 1.5 pitch bolts (to hold the taper while you torque down the 12 point bolt)
  2. Black paint (to paint parts and rusty FJ)
  3. (2) New OEM ball joint castle nuts (the repair manual says to use new nuts. The Toyota P/N I got was 90171-A0001)
  4. (2) Large washers (about the same size as the washers included with the sway bar relocation bracket) big enough to fit over the UCA taper threads and about 11/64” thick (to enable cotter pins to engage castle nuts)
  5. (2) Custom brackets (to hold piggy back shocks stationary, replaces included IVD tube holders)
  6. (2) 8mm 1.25 pitch bolts (to bolt above brackets to FJ frame)
BEFORE you lay a wrench to the FJ:

To relieve yourself of any potential frustration you should check a few things before you start disassembly of the FJ. I found that Icon was happy to replace some defective parts. If you need to talk to Icon I recommend going straight to a phone call and don’t rely on email or voice mail.

If you bolt on the Icon coil-overs you will have a problem trying to put back the OEM units. This is because the total width of the bottom of an IVD coil-over (with the spacers) is almost 2/16 of an inch less then the bottom of an OEM coil-over. Therefore when you toque down the bolt you will bend the bracket on the LCA to the width of the IVD coil-over and the OEM coil-over will no longer fit.

Icon says this coil-over can provide up to 3.5” of lift. They also say that the coil-over is preset to net about 2” of lift. Furthermore they say that you should never set the adjuster ring to expose more than 2” of thread between the shock top cap and adjuster ring. The preset gap between the top cap and adjuster is about 1 ¼”. If the adjuster ring is moved down another ¾” and you assume you get 2 inches of preset lift then the total real attainable lift is about 2 ¾” not 3 ½” (depending on the weight of your FJ).

The sway bar relocation bracket has some washers that are used to lower the brackets for the front skid. This will affect your FJ in a few ways. Since the skid is lower, the tabs on the front of the skid will no longer line up with the holes in the front of the frame cross member. The jack point at the rear of the skid will no longer be usable (unless you don’t mind bending the skid) because the skid will be moved away from the frame cross member underneath it. The skid will be a little lower then the skid under the engine (unless you also lower this skid).

Here’s what to check:
  1. Make sure you have all the IVD pieces and parts and the correct 2010 sway bar relocation brackets (see pictures above).
  2. Make sure a 14m 1.5 pitch nut will screw onto the UCA tapers without using excessive force i.e. using only your fingers. You might have to clean up the threads a little bit around the hole drilled into the taper for the cotter pin. Here is a picture of 2 tapers. Look at where the two tapers are touching. The threads in the green section of the left taper are flat on top instead of pointed like the one on the right. This is because the threads are not cut deep enough and are not fully formed. The red area of the left taper indicates the area I re-cut with a 14m 1.5 die. Before I did this a nut would not even go 1 turn onto this taper without using a wrench. You could force a castle nut onto this taper but if you did you would ruin the nut, the taper, or both. Notice the ‘rough’ area around the hole on the right taper.
  3. Assemble (temporarily) the tapers into the UCAs with the 12 point bolts and caps and make sure the tapers will rotate far enough to actually touch the side of the UCA. Here is a picture of 2 UCAs with the tapers mounted in the uni-ball. The top taper will rotate so far that it touches the UCA. It actually put a small dent in the UCA when I had it on the FJ. The bottom taper will not rotate near as far. It turned out the cap used on the bottom UCA was not machined properly and it prevented the full rotation of the taper.
  4. Make sure the UCA spacers will fit on a 14m bolt. This isn’t a show stopper and is easy to fix with a round file. Here is a picture of one of the long spacers. The arrow is pointing to a lip that was left on the inside of the spacer. This lip stopped the bolt from going thru the spacer.
Time to get started:


Now that you are relatively sure you have the parts necessary to complete the install it is time to begin. The first thing to do is jack up the FJ and remove both front wheels. After you remove each wheel you should place a jack stand under the frame rail just forward of the body mount (notice the jack stands in the picture). After you have the wheels removed you will see something like the picture below. This is the passenger side.

You can use your molding removal tool to pop out the 4 indicated plastic fasteners. This will give you access to required areas. Next remove a 10mm bolt attaching the speed sensor wire to the knuckle

and another attaching it to the UCA.

Then you can remove 3 12mm bolts attaching the brake line. 1 is on the knuckle.

Another 2 are on the frame. These bolts might be stuck so a 6 point socket might work better then a 12 point socket because the bolt heads will be less likely to get rounded off.

You want to remove the above bolts to allow the steering knuckle to drop without stretching the speed sensor wire or the brake line. Next remove the front skid so you can get to the sway bar. There are 2 12mm bolts in the front

and 2 12mm bolts in the back.

Next remove the 2 sway bar brackets. Each is attached with 2 14mm bolts. You might want to cover the sway bar with a towel so when it drops to the tubular brackets below, it won’t knock off any paint.

Then disconnect the sway bar links from the knuckles. There is 1 17mm bolt per side.

Now you can rotate the sway bar up and out of the way. You are now ready to remove the coil-over. First remove the 3 14mm nuts on the top of the coil-over.

Then remove the 19mm nut and bolt from the bottom of the coil-over. You may need a long punch or alignment tool to push out the bolt.

You can now remove the coil-over. Push down on the coil-over to free the top 3 bolts and pull the bottom from the LCA bracket. If you try hard enough you can fish the coil-over around the tie rod and remove it. If you can’t get it out then first remove the UCA. Remove the cotter pin and then the 19mm castle nut.

Then use the tie rod puller to pop the taper from the knuckle. You might have to fiddle with the puller a little to get it on the knuckle. I slid it on from the rear. You might also want to support the LCA with the jack.

Next remove the 19mm UCA pivot nut and bolt. I had no problem sliding the long pivot bolt forward and all the way out of the UCA.

If you couldn’t remove the coil-over before it should be easy to do it now with the UCA out of the way. With all the old parts off the FJ it’s time to install all the new parts. The first thing to do is put in the coil-over. The top of the coil-over has a brass charge port. Make sure this port is facing toward the outside of the FJ. The bottom of the coil-over has a long spacer and a short spacer. Make sure the long spacer is toward the front of the FJ. I put the top of the coil-over in first and then pushed down on the LCA (real hard) while I pushed the bottom of the coil-over into the LCA bracket. Before you bolt in the coil-over make sure the 2 spacers on the bottom of the coil-over did not fall off and you installed it like specified above. Use 3 of the 1 inch long 9/16 inch bolts with lock washers to secure the top of the coil-over to the shock tower. Torque the bolts to 47 ft. lbs. I could not get a socket on the back bolt so I used a wrench.

Use the bolt, washer, and nut from the bottom of the old coil-over to attach the new coil-over to the LCA. The bolt goes in from the rear so the nut and washer are on the front. Torque the nut to 100 ft. lbs.

Now you need to assemble the IVD UCA. Below is how I did it. The Icon install doc says to use red Loctite and torque the 12 point ½ inch bolt to 50 ft. lbs. I used 2 14m 1.5 pitch bolts locked together on the taper to keep the taper from rotating while I applied 50 ft. lbs. to the 12 point bolt.


63 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
ICON Vehicle Dynamics (IVD) stage 2 on a 2010 CONTINUED


Below is the passenger side IVD UCA assembled and ready to go on the FJ. I tested the alignment of the heim joints with the pivot bolt. The spacers go on the UCA just like in the picture. The long arm of the UCA goes towards the front of the FJ. I elected to not reuse the 2 big washers that the old UCA had on either side of the UCA. It might be a good idea to put the castle nut on the taper so you won’t mess up the taper threads while you install the UCA

I was able to hold the new UCA in place while I pushed in the pivot bolt with 2 fingers. After I got the bolt all the way in I installed the last long spacer and the 19mm nut. Torque the nut to 85 ft. lbs.

The next thing to do is insert the taper into the knuckle. I decided to put a big washer (11/64 inch thick) between the bottom of the knuckle and the castle nut. This was so the hole in the taper for the cotter pin would line up with the notches in the castle nut. I also decided to use a new castle nut. The repair manual says to use new castle nuts so you’d think dealers would stock them but no local dealers had any. I had to wait a couple days for them to arrive from another state. Torque the nut to 81 ft. lbs. and install the cotter pin.

If you didn’t install the UCA uni-ball dust cover and o-ring before then you could do it now. Then you need to put back the various brackets you removed. This includes 3 brake line brackets each with 1 12mm bolt torque to 21 ft. lbs. and 2 speed sensor brackets each with 1 10mm bolt torque to 9 ft lbs. The last thing to do is to snap the splash guards back in place.
Repeat the above coil-over and UCA procedure on the other side of the FJ and then install the sway bar relocation brackets.
The brackets come with 6 11/64 inch thick washers. They are used to lower 2 tubular brackets that go from the cross member under the radiator to the cross member behind it. I don’t know what these brackets are for so I’m just going to call them tubular brackets. Apparently they were not on previous model FJs. If you don’t lower them then when you install the relocation brackets, the sway bar will hit the drivers side tubular bracket. Remove the 3 14mm bolts holding each tubular bracket.

Then reinstall them with the washers. The washers go like shown in the picture below. I painted them black.

I could not find the torque setting for the tubular brackets but it felt like they were at about 30 ft. lbs.

Now you can install the relocation brackets. They are used to move the sway bar forward away from the coil-overs. The threaded holes in the brackets should therefore be positioned toward the front of the FJ. The picture below shows the drivers side. The 8mm Allen bolts that come with the brackets attach the brackets to the frame. Torque them to 30 ft. lbs.

The 9/16 inch hex head bolts and washers that also came with the brackets are used to attach the Toyota sway bar brackets to the relocation brackets. I painted them black. Torque them to 30 ft. lbs.

Now you can reinstall the front skid. The skid is bolted to the tubular brackets. Since you lowered the brackets the skid will also be lower. The tabs on the front of the skid shown in the picture below will no longer align with the slots the frame cross member. You’re going to have to bend them out of the way with your pliers. Reinstall the 4 12mm skid bolts and torque them to about 30 ft. lbs. I couldn’t find the torque setting for these bolts but they felt about 30 to me.

You are now finished with the front of the FJ. Here’s what it looks like (without the uni-ball dust cover and skid).

You can now reinstall the wheels and remove the jack stands.

It is now time to install the rear suspension. The first thing to do is jack up the rear of the FJ, remove both rear wheels, and put the FJ on jack stands. I put the jack stands under the frame rail just forward of the lower link. You will see something like this. This is the divers side.

I decided to disconnect the sway bar so that maybe I could articulate the axel easier. First disconnect the sway bar from the axle. Remove 4 14mm bolts, 2 per side.

The brackets that hold the sway bar have tabs that you need to disengage from the axel. If you jack up the axel they will come right out.

Remove the 17mm bolt from the bottom of the shock.

Then remove the nut from the top of the shock.

The shock shaft has a flat spot you can put a wrench on to keep it from turning while you remove the nut. I used a 6 inch crescent wrench on it. I could just fit both the crescent wrench and a 17mm open end wrench up under the fender.

After you get the nut off you can pull forward on the bottom of the shock. After it clears the bottom stud you can pull the shock down and out of the FJ. You then need to remove the other shock. After the shocks are out you can remove the coil springs. The way I did this was to jack up one side of the FJ with a bottle jack and then jack up the axel on the opposite side with a floor jack. As the floor jack pushes up one side of the axel the other side will move down and almost touch the ground. The higher the bottle jack the more articulation you can get. This will remove all pressure on the bottle jack side coil spring and you can pull the coil spring right out. Below is what it looked like.

It is easier to remove the stock spring then it is to put in the new spring because the new spring is taller. You might have to push down on the rotor to get more articulation. I wedged a board in between the axel and the body so I didn’t have to push down on the axel and put in the spring at the same time. Notice the notch in the lower mount which matches the turn of the spring coil.

Take the rubber bumper out of the old coil spring and put it in the new spring.

After you get both new springs installed you can re attach the sway bar. Torque the 4 14mm bolts to 22 ft. lbs. Then you can install the piggy back shocks. They come with 2 spacers per shock which go on the bottom mount. I painted them black.

Install the shock and re install the lower 17mm bolt. Torque it to 72ft. lbs.
The reservoir goes to the front of the FJ. I couldn’t get a torque wrench on the top nut so I just put it on pretty tight.

The shocks come with 2 rubber coated tube mounts. They are used to secure the bar coming off the reservoir to the frame and thus prevent the reservoir from rotating into the tire. They also come with a bolt that you’re supposed to thread into a hole in the frame. The hole in the frame seemed a little too big and I didn’t like this solution. It seemed to me the bolt was just going to fall out. Right close is a threaded hole. I decided to make a bracket to hold the reservoir bar using this bolt hole.

Here are the brackets.



63 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
ICON Vehicle Dynamics (IVD) stage 2 on a 2010 CONTINUED


Here is the front before

and after.

The FJ before

and after.

After a couple days I took the FJ to a Firestone by my house and had the wheels aligned. They of course were way out. Later the FJ settled a little so I decided to get a coil-over wrench and adjust the coil-overs down a bit. Each complete turn gives about 1/16 of an inch of lift. Here is a coil-over before any adjustment.

Here it is after 3 turns.

The drivers side sits a little lower then the passenger side so I decided to adjust it down a little more then the passenger side. I made the above adjustment to make the FJ sit a little more level and to make up for the fact I had to lower the front skid to install the coil-overs.


Install write-up for Donahoe UCAs

An Idiots Guide to install Stage I lift

Toyota torque settings from repair manual pages SS-42, SS-47, and SS-48.


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