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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard nothing but mixed reviews on the diff drop being beneficial and being a hindrance. My question is should I make the purchase on the kit and drop the diff? If not, what is the solution to prevent my CV boots from damage? I have a 3" OME suspension lift.
 

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Most will tell you no, and most dont. If you drop the differential you are then cancelling out some of your lift (clearance). :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most will tell you no, and most dont. If you drop the differential you are then cancelling out some of your lift (clearance). :bigthumb:
That's what I was thinking. Probably just going to save for a long travel kit and swap out the axles all together. I was just wondering if there was an alternative to losing CV boots and grease until I got the money for the LT kit haha
 

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I had the OME and no diff drop with no problems with boots or axles in over 203K miles.
 

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I've seen a lot of speculation both ways on the diff drop, but never any verifiable issues caused by dropping or not dropping it (some claims of CV leaks is about it). So my opinion is there's no point in fixing something that I'm not even certain is broken. And it causes clearance and skid plate issues on top of that.

Playing devil's advocate, I think the best argument for a drop is that Toytec recommends and includes it with their kits, and their opinion is well-respected around here. It's only like a $35 set of hardware so it's not as if they're just trying to milk money, they legitimately believe it helps.
 

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I ran through this same debate as my rig came with a Toytec ultimate lift already installed. That included the diff drop. I can tell you that if you do any offroading it will cause you a lot of grief in the aftermarket skid plate department.

After talking to multiple very knowledgeable sources I decided to remove mine. My research indicated that issues with the cv boot leaking were equal in both those with and without a lift.

Hope this helps:rocker:
 

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Just removed my diff drop. Couldn't get my Buds to fit with the kit. I had an OME on my last FJ with no kit and it was fine. Running a pro comp lift in my new FJ and removed the kit and it runs fine. Plus my skids fit now?


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Discussion Starter #10
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.) But it seems the guys who wheel say leave it and the guys who don't say drop. I'm gonna leave it.
 

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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. 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.
 

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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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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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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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Personally I wouldn't get into the Norma clamps until you need them. You may never need to.
 
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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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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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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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