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Discussion Starter #1
I have been getting a lot of questions lately from customers in regard to rear upper and lower links so I figured I would try to answer them in a thread. The main question is,” What are the benefits of aftermarket links for my FJ”

The benefits of aftermarket links are basically two fold. The first benefit is strength. The stock links, both lower and upper are anemic at best and in my opinion under built. Anyone that has wheeled their FJ in the rocks has either bent a lower link themselves or seen it done by others.



The worst case of this is that the link gets a kink in it and then tears on the link leaving the vehicle without a major rear axle location component. The tube used on the OEM links is 1.25” in diameter and has less than a .120” wall thickness. That is less than 1/8”. Our replacement links us 1.5” X .250” wall DOM tube on the standard links and 1.75” X .250” DOM on the adjustable links. The standard links can also be ordered with the 1.75 DOM tube as well.



Bending can also be an issue with upper links. These links use aprox. ½” tube. The photo shows a link from my FJ that was “stress” bent. The only explanation I can give is that the suspension moved farther than the link could handle and it bent. It was bent down. Our replacement links use 1.25” X .125 wall DOM tube, far stronger than the tube it replaces.





The second benefit of aftermarket links is the use of better end links. In our case we use a Johnny Joint on one end that provides 30 degrees of side movement and a high quality, graphite impregnated urethane joint on the other end. What the combination of these joints does is allow the rear suspension to move freely.

I am often asked if our links provide more travel of the rear axle. The answer is no. If pushed hard enough the stock links will max out the available travel of the rear axle. What the Johnny Joints and urethane rod ends do is allow the axle to move much easier. You will notice this most in the area of droop, where the old links held the axle back, the new links allow it to get to full droop without the links holding it back.

The problem with the OEM links is the rubber bushing used, both upper and lower. The way this bushing works is at the heart of the problem. The inner sleeve, where the bolt goes through the bushing, gets locked to the axle and the frame when the mounting bolt is tightened down. The sleeve can not move. The rubber bushing is fused to this sleeve and also to the outer sleeve. The outer sleeve is then pressed into the rod end.



What happens is that when the link rotates on the bushing the rubber twists and creates tension. If you were to remove the 4 bolts holding the upper and lower links to the axle and remove the panhard bar and remove the axle from the rig this would leave all 4 links hanging in space from their frame side mounts. If you were to pull down on any of these links and release it, it would spring back to it’s original position.

The Johnny Joints and urethane joints both swivel freely and would simply rotate down until something stopped their travel. The Jonny Joint also allows 30 degrees of movement side to side, or in “twist”. This is more movement than the stock geometry of the FJ will allow, thus only one Johnny joint used.

One more point. For those of you that have added a lift to your rig and have the stock links in place. Go out and loosen the mounting bolts to all 4 of your links and then tighten them back up. This will release the tension stored in the rubber bushing that was put in when you installed the lift. What happens is that when you lift the truck you change the ride position of the links, they swivel down. But the links are still locked in and this twists the rubber in the bushing causing the bushing to be under stress while just sitting there.

I hope that this helps answer some of the questions I have been hearing.
 

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I have seen Stan's products in action on the rocks of Rausch and I think I can say that his links are probably the most popular aftermarket links amoung the Northeasters....And for very good reason.

Home Page

(Besides that they look very cool)

Thanks so much, glad that you guys like our products

Stan
 

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Very nice links! I have been looking to get a set for a long time, but have a question. Do your links with poly bushings transmit more road vibration to the frame? I really enjoy the factory bushings ability to isolate road vibrations, but they are a weak link as you say. I had a bad experience when I change out from rubber-poly on my Jeep Grand. The road vibrations was horrific!:(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have not experienced any additional vibration using the urethane joints and Johnny Joints. I have not heard from any customers reporting it either.

You may have had very stiff urethane joints on the Jeep you mentioned that led to more road vibration.
 

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Are your links heat treated?
Is it necessary to have them heat treated?

No, our links are not heat treated. Our links are constructed using 1020 DOM, heat treating is not necessary.

Heat treating is generally a process used when using Chromo like 4130. It can either be heat treated or heat "normalized". In either case both the material and the heat treating process would drive the cost of the links up considerably.

The link below will lead you to many threads discussing this issue.http://www.google.com/search?source...&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS324US333&q=heat+treating+dom

Stan
 

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:rocker:And if all that is not enough of a reason to get Toyouffitter links, they will improve the looks of any FJ out there. I have not noticed any additional road vibrations at all either. Thanks Stan, your stuff is awesome ( I know that word is overused, but in this case it true!). :cheers:

Thank you, glad you like our products :)

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Questions answered in blue in above posts
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Great info and an easy fix to free up movement of the rear suspension on any rig that's been lifted in the rear. I'm installing a set of Stan's LCA's and Bilstein's long travel 5100 in a week to my rig that already has a set of TOytec's Superflex coils intalled. Spoke with Stan on the phone and he explained about the fused bushing in the oem link, so I plan on reseting the UCA's and any other linkage per the advice given by Stan.

Thanks very much Stan for the very useful info :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Glad the information is helpfull :)

Stan
 

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My Sexy links come this week! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Have a question for you Stan. Are there any added benefits of having your UCA's along with the LCA's. The obvious is strength, but my question is there any noticeably added ease with articulation of the rear suspension when you combine both your UCA's and LCA's over just having your LCA's working with the stock oem UCA's? Or is it negligible? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The added benefit, aside from strength, of the UCAs would be the same as the LCAs. The Johnny Joints and the urethane bushings will allow for smoother movement. Customers have told me that they had a noticeable difference in rear axle flex after installing the uppers in addition to the lowers.

I stress bent one of the stock uppers, photo above, when I had only our lowers on the rig. I can only think that this is because the axle was pushed past the limits of the UCA.
 

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The added benefit, aside from strength, of the UCAs would be the same as the LCAs. The Johnny Joints and the urethane bushings will allow for smoother movement. Customers have told me that they had a noticeable difference in rear axle flex after installing the uppers in addition to the lowers.

I stress bent one of the stock uppers, photo above, when I had only our lowers on the rig. I can only think that this is because the axle was pushed past the limits of the UCA.
Thanks for the response, much appreciated. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Any time :)
 

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It would be great to see this thread made into a sticky for "Threads in Forum : Suspension / Steering Tech" for anyone installing a lift on their rig regardless if they are installing aftermarket links with the lift. This info is paramount to allowing the optimal performance out of any lift that is using the stock links :clap::clap::clap:
 

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I have read enough about these rear upper/lower links that I plan to buy these as my next upgrade. Couple questions though. Do the upper rear links need to be adjusted when you lift the FJ? I'm at stock height and will eventually lift it (3 inches at most), but I really like the simplicity of non-adjustable upper links like the lowers. Are non-adjustable uppers even available? My other question had to do with maintenance. As far I understand, the stock bushing require no care or maintenance what-so-ever. I believe your links with the new bushings have zerk fittings? How often do they need to be greased? I'm basically looking for something that I rarely need to maintain (upon reason of course, every oil change is not a problem), is reliable and of course has the strength. I know the second two are true from what I have read, but I haven't seen much in regards to the maintenance of them.

Thanks in advance for any info.
 
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