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Discussion Starter #21
Iconic’s rear recovery points
Hang your whole rig from these. Pull a building out of a swamp. I’m pretty sure you’ll break the frame before these things give out. Powder coated mine orange for visibility. You really should buy a set before he gets famous and doubles his prices. ;)



Clears the stock muffler pretty well.



 

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Discussion Starter #22
King OEM shock kit

This whole endeavor wouldn’t have happened without @TCao’s indispensable build thread, followed closely by @Loganbeere's build thread. If he hadn't nudged me, I wouldn't have started this posting at all.

My stepdad and I installed both front and rears in a day...the first time. He’s a retired mechanic, I’m mostly dead weight on the end of a wrench, so between us we had about 1.5 people working on this. If we can do it, you can do it.

King’s OEM kit has gone through some revisions since TCao wrote his build thread. Notably, the front and rear reservoir brackets have changed, though they still have issues as you will see. King has also added rear shock rock guards for about $37/each.



Also added SPC UCAs—I set these to +4 caster and not only do the front wheels fit better in the wheel wells, but the steering has a nice resistance to it. I’ve always felt like the FJ’s steering was a bit squirrelly.

Seems fine?



The passenger side front reservoir bracket cleared the UCAs with a solid 1/4”. The driver’s side has maybe 1/16th. After several calls with King, their sales rep sent out a new bracket free of charge. Didn’t expect that, given what I’ve heard about King customer service, but it was a pleasant surprise. Going to install this weekend. Interestingly, I have no actual contact between the mount and the UCA, even after putting the suspension through full extension on bumpy trails. But any amount of mud is going to cause problems.



Something that I never caught is that the front brackets also have an integrated sway bar relocation. Big points for King here. Wish I had known so I didn’t end up buying a relocation kit, but hey.



One of the rear shocks shipped without any nitrogen, unfortunately. The King rep was pretty unhappy to hear that. Had it charged at a local shop for about $15. Not the kind of thing you want to find out in the middle of a build.

While the rear brackets line up with the bump stop mounts, they are bent at too steep of an angle to fit properly. A little tweaking on a bench vise and all was well. I’m not super impressed with the hose routing above the reservoirs at the rear—probably not a big deal, but the hoses are pullling pretty hard against the sharp edge of the reservoir housing. I’m working on a fix, which I’ll post soon enough.



A few other things I learned in the process:

- King shocks lifted my front end about 2”, which I figured would level the front with the rear on stock springs—wrong! The back end drooped like a German Shepherd, headlights pointing skyward. Installed a set of ICON 2” lift springs and the vehicle now has about the same amount of rake as stock, which means the frame is nearly level with a slight lift at the back end. You can see the stance in the first photo in this thread.

- We got the UCA ball joint bolts and the tie rod ends off with a ball joint puller (Autozone “rents” these for free with a deposit), but had to destroy the ball joint boots on the stock UCAs to fit the puller. Hadn’t intended on saving them anyway, but worth noting. These bolts (both UCA and tie rods) come off with an impressive bang—much like a gunshot and the whole spindle/hub assembly is suddenly free floating and it’s heavy, so I recommend hearing/eye protection and some safety wire to keep things from slamming to the ground and possibly pulling your drive shafts out of joint.

- Didn’t have to disconnect brake lines or ABS wires at the rear to install shocks or springs (but we did loosen all the mounting brackets for them so they could free float), however I also discovered that I don’t have extended travel in the rear. When I asked the vendor I bought from, they said “there’s no extended travel option for the rears” but I have come to find out that not only is there an extended travel option, it’s recommended for running tires over 33” in diameter. Seems I will be dropping the rear axle again soon...

- Coming from an old truck with blown shocks, then the off road “stock” Bilstein’s, the King setup is an absolute revelation. Off-road, everything feels about the same <10mph. At 20mph it starts to smooth out, and >30mph the entire vehicle feels like it lifts up and floats over all but the worst bumps and washboard. It's a hard sensation to describe, but the ride is both smoother and more controlled. Floaty without any vagueness. On-road, everything feels "tighter"--more precise, but with much better handling on bumps and swells. I can feel the tire tread vibrating on the asphalt through the steering wheel, but the vehicle feels more solidly planted. I can't think of anything that has a more pronounced effect on ride quality.

- The compression adjusters are worth the money, imo. Being able to tighten them down on-road minimizes brake dive, sway and squatting under acceleration. Opening them up off-road makes for a plush ride. Having 25 increments of adjustment is overkill--four would suffice, but the adjustment is easy enough.

- With 285/70-17s you WILL rub the UCA ball joint boots and rear reservoirs without wheel spacers. Not badly, but the sound of the tires rubbing on the reservoirs is unsettling. Fortunately, I caught this after only a few incidents. Which brings me to:

- FJ wheels are HUB centric, not lug centric. The more you know...;)
 

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King OEM shock kit

This whole endeavor wouldn’t have happened without @TCao’s indispensable build thread.

My stepdad and I installed both front and rears in a day...the first time. He’s a retired mechanic, I’m mostly dead weight on the end of a wrench, so between us we had about 1.5 people working on this. If we can do it, you can do it.

King’s OEM kit has gone through some revisions since TCao wrote his build thread. Notably, the front and rear reservoir brackets have changed, though they still have issues as you will see. King has also added rear shock rock guards for about $37/each.



Also added SPC UCAs—I set these to +4 caster and not only do the front wheels fit better in the wheel wells, but the steering has a nice resistance to it. I’ve always felt like the FJ’s steering was a bit squirrelly.

Seems fine?



The passenger side front reservoir bracket cleared the UCAs with a solid 1/4”. The driver’s side has maybe 1/16th. After several calls with King, their sales rep sent out a new bracket free of charge. Didn’t expect that, given what I’ve heard about King customer service, but it was a pleasant surprise. Going to install this weekend. Interestingly, I have no actual contact between the mount and the UCA, even after putting the suspension through full extension on bumpy trails. But any amount of mud is going to cause problems.



Something that I never caught is that the front brackets also have an integrated sway bar relocation. Big points for King here. Wish I had known so I didn’t end up buying a relocation kit, but hey.



One of the rear shocks shipped without any nitrogen, unfortunately. The King rep was pretty unhappy to hear that. Had it charged at a local shop for about $15. Not the kind of thing you want to find out in the middle of a build.

While the rear brackets line up with the bump stop mounts, they are bent at too steep of an angle to fit properly. A little tweaking on a bench vise and all was well. I’m not super impressed with the hose routing above the reservoirs at the rear—probably not a big deal, but the hoses are pullling pretty hard against the sharp edge of the reservoir housing. I’m working on a fix, which I’ll post soon enough.



A few other things I learned in the process:

- King shocks lifted my front end about 2”, which I figured would level the front with the rear on stock springs—wrong! The back end drooped like a German Shepherd, headlights pointing skyward. Installed a set of ICON 2” lift springs and the vehicle now has about the same amount of rake as stock, which means the frame is nearly level with a slight lift at the back end. You can see the stance in the first photo in this thread.

- We got the UCA ball joint bolts and the tie rod ends off with a ball joint puller (Autozone “rents” these for free with a deposit), but had to destroy the ball joint boots on the stock UCAs to fit the puller. Hadn’t intended on saving them anyway, but worth noting. These bolts (both UCA and tie rods) come off with an impressive bang—much like a gunshot and the whole spindle/hub assembly is suddenly free floating and it’s heavy, so I recommend hearing/eye protection and some safety wire to keep things from slamming to the ground and possibly pulling your drive shafts out of joint.

- Didn’t have to disconnect brake lines or ABS wires at the rear to install shocks or springs (but we did loosen all the mounting brackets for them so they could free float), however I also discovered that I don’t have extended travel in the rear. When I asked the vendor I bought from, they said “there’s no extended travel option for the rears” but I have come to find out that not only is there an extended travel option, it’s recommended for running tires over 33” in diameter. Seems I will be dropping the rear axle again soon...

- Coming from an old truck with blown shocks, then the off road “stock” Bilstein’s, the King setup is an absolute revelation. Off-road, everything feels about the same <10mph. At 20mph it starts to smooth out, and >30mph the entire vehicle feels like it lifts up and floats over all but the worst bumps and washboard. It's a hard sensation to describe, but the ride is both smoother and more controlled. Floaty without any vagueness. On-road, everything feels "tighter"--more precise, but with much better handling on bumps and swells. I can feel the tire tread vibrating on the asphalt through the steering wheel, but the vehicle feels more solidly planted. I can't think of anything that has a more pronounced effect on ride quality.

- The compression adjusters are worth the money, imo. Being able to tighten them down on-road minimizes brake dive, sway and squatting under acceleration. Opening them up off-road makes for a plush ride. Having 25 increments of adjustment is overkill--four would suffice, but the adjustment is easy enough.

- With 285/70-17s you WILL rub the UCA ball joint boots and rear reservoirs without wheel spacers. Not badly, but the sound of the tires rubbing on the reservoirs is unsettling. Fortunately, I caught this after only a few incidents. Which brings me to:

- FJ wheels are HUB centric, not lug centric. The more you know...;)


Nice work. I had the same rubbing on the driver side rear reservoirs. I think it has to do with the panhard bar not long enough to center the rear axle after a lift thus shifting the axle slight towards the passenger side. I had to use wheel spacers for a short period before I put on new wheels with better backspacing. An adjustable panhard bar could fix the problem as well. @jamesepoop has one so maybe he could provide some input


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I work in commercial insurance. keep in mind you need to advise your broker of mods to your FJ. reason being If you file a claim and the insurance co. is not aware of the changes you will only recover a little less than Blue Book. In order to have coverage for the extras you will need to pay a small surcharge. its an endorsement for the improvements.
It sucks but there it is
 

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トヨタ Master
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When I read the title, I was thinking:



Then I saw your Bimmer neighbor's lack of parking respect and realized it was about him. :lol:

J/K Nice Work!
 

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the panhard bar not long enough to center the rear axle after a lift thus shifting the axle slight towards the passenger side. ....An adjustable panhard bar could fix the problem as well. @jamesepoop has one so maybe he could provide some input
If your offset is conservative and you're running huge tires, you may rub the inner wheel arch on compression (as a few members have). The area was above the rear reservoirs. Panhard may adjust it but you'll probably rub both sides if your offset is too high or tires too large. After an alignment, depending on your lift height, you can decide if a panhard is necessary due to how far off the rear is. If it rides fine and not rubbing incessantly, you'll be okay.


Just a fyi. Rear extended travel is not needed or required with 33s. You'll have to limit strap it if you're not using sway bars. Standard travel is fine and the extended is only .5", not enough to make any real difference.

For the rear resi, just cut some rubber and zip tie. My hose is the same. No issues after sandwiching some rubber there
 

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Great looking rig man! I had a similar move from my good old manual everything, power nothing, GMC Sierra to my FJ. Initially, had my truck listed for sale but when I actually got offers, I couldn't get myself to part with it, so ended up gifting it to my father to hang onto. Picked up the FJ with 80K on it and immediately went on a month long desert trip. Now back in PA, I can hear the FJ calling to be in the desert again!
 

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It warms my heart to see Iconic_ Fab parts in people's mod lists. Keep it up!

I work in commercial insurance. keep in mind you need to advise your broker of mods to your FJ. reason being If you file a claim and the insurance co. is not aware of the changes you will only recover a little less than Blue Book. In order to have coverage for the extras you will need to pay a small surcharge. its an endorsement for the improvements.
It sucks but there it is
It entirely depends on the insurer. My auto insurance company refuses to give me a yea or nay on whether or not they will insure my vehicle for more. I've offered to pay them more and all they'll tell me is to just keep receipts for everything. I'll be switching providers after this summer once I pump more $$ into it, there are a few out there that do agreed upon value and specialty stuff.

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/general-discussion/665202-insurance-mods.html
 

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It warms my heart to see Iconic_ Fab parts in people's mod lists. Keep it up!



It entirely depends on the insurer. My auto insurance company refuses to give me a yea or nay on whether or not they will insure my vehicle for more. I've offered to pay them more and all they'll tell me is to just keep receipts for everything. I'll be switching providers after this summer once I pump more $$ into it, there are a few out there that do agreed upon value and specialty stuff.

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/general-discussion/665202-insurance-mods.html

Generally when people give vague answers is because they don’t have an answer. But yet they still want to give the impression that they are smart.
Keeping receipts, ok you put 20 grand on a fourteen k FJ without paying an up charge for additional equipment.....😁
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks @Loganbeere for shining the bat beacon. He speaks!

So @jamesepoop, I had the alignment done and the thrust was off by less than half a degree, which I believe is related to the rear orientation. So it sounds like a panhard probably isn't necessary at this point. As for the extended travel rears... Filthy Motorsports recommended dropping the rear end and measuring the distance between the shock mounts and they will custom build shocks to fit. I recall when we put the 2" lift springs in, we had to jack the rear axle up a bit--maybe 1.5"--to re-attach the shocks. So there's a little more travel to be had in there if the shocks allowed it. Is the additional .5" of travel in the extended shocks at the shock or at the wheel, or is it the same? Spending another $1300 and dropping the rear end again for 1/2" of travel seems kind of not worth it. Maybe Filthy can add even more travel, since they build them custom to the application? Was planning on adding sway bar disconnects front and rear, but not removing the bars. Are limit straps needed with a disconnect as well?

I was planning on designing some 3d printed caps for the reservoirs that would soften the edge that the hose bends over. I guess rubber and a zip tie would work too. ;)


If your offset is conservative and you're running huge tires, you may rub the inner wheel arch on compression (as a few members have). The area was above the rear reservoirs. Panhard may adjust it but you'll probably rub both sides if your offset is too high or tires too large. After an alignment, depending on your lift height, you can decide if a panhard is necessary due to how far off the rear is. If it rides fine and not rubbing incessantly, you'll be okay.


Just a fyi. Rear extended travel is not needed or required with 33s. You'll have to limit strap it if you're not using sway bars. Standard travel is fine and the extended is only .5", not enough to make any real difference.

For the rear resi, just cut some rubber and zip tie. My hose is the same. No issues after sandwiching some rubber there
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Great looking rig man! I had a similar move from my good old manual everything, power nothing, GMC Sierra to my FJ. Initially, had my truck listed for sale but when I actually got offers, I couldn't get myself to part with it, so ended up gifting it to my father to hang onto. Picked up the FJ with 80K on it and immediately went on a month long desert trip. Now back in PA, I can hear the FJ calling to be in the desert again!
Likewise! The salmon color is begging for desert miles. Matches the southwest perfectly.

I work in commercial insurance. keep in mind you need to advise your broker of mods to your FJ. reason being If you file a claim and the insurance co. is not aware of the changes you will only recover a little less than Blue Book. In order to have coverage for the extras you will need to pay a small surcharge. its an endorsement for the improvements.
It sucks but there it is
Thanks for the heads up--was meaning to talk to my insurance company about mods at some point...

It warms my heart to see Iconic_ Fab parts in people's mod lists. Keep it up!
Warms my heart to support another forum member doing the community a solid, and even better that they're built like a tank. Make more stuff!
 

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Thanks @Loganbeere for shining the bat beacon. He speaks!

So @jamesepoop, I had the alignment done and the thrust was off by less than half a degree, which I believe is related to the rear orientation. So it sounds like a panhard probably isn't necessary at this point. As for the extended travel rears... Filthy Motorsports recommended dropping the rear end and measuring the distance between the shock mounts and they will custom build shocks to fit. I recall when we put the 2" lift springs in, we had to jack the rear axle up a bit--maybe 1.5"--to re-attach the shocks. So there's a little more travel to be had in there if the shocks allowed it. Is the additional .5" of travel in the extended shocks at the shock or at the wheel, or is it the same? Spending another $1300 and dropping the rear end again for 1/2" of travel seems kind of not worth it. Maybe Filthy can add even more travel, since they build them custom to the application? Was planning on adding sway bar disconnects front and rear, but not removing the bars. Are limit straps needed with a disconnect as well?

I was planning on designing some 3d printed caps for the reservoirs that would soften the edge that the hose bends over. I guess rubber and a zip tie would work too. ;)
I have the extended travel kings in the rear and I also remember having to jack up the rear axle to reattach the shocks. I didn’t have to do that with my previous fox 2.0 shocks. Not sure you are missing out on much. I have the toytec superflex HD rear springs.

Those sway bar “disconnects” seem to be a high maintenance item and the front ones have ripped many CV boots lol. Not having swaybars is more beneficial for the front than the rears offroad. Another option to consider is to remove the front swaybar and add the Addco 2301 rear swaybar which is thicker and stiffer than oem to control the body roll better. Also if you haven’t done so the skyjacker rear swaybar links for the FJ cruiser are cheap and will help.
 

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Thanks @Loganbeere for shining the bat beacon. He speaks!
Half a degree is hardly any cause for concern. There is some bump steer correction necessary, but the thrust angle effects tracking of the vehicle mainly. I forgot who mentioned the extended panhard brackets, but those would help eliminate the excessive panhard angle.

The .5" is at the shock. The extended shock is a shortened internal bump stop. It's a little more at the wheel but if you run disconnects, then you're no longer able to limit the droop (think of the coilover at max extension). It's a lot of weight for your suspension to take, eventually leading to premature failure. So you strap it .25" from maxing out anyway. I'm sure you can and I've heard of people that have gone without straps/sway bars and are doing so successfully but it seems like an easy fix to a problem you may cause later. I've seen many people post about over extending and damaging coilovers and CVs while not necessarily on extended travel either. So with a disconnect, it's still the same if you apply the principles.

The custom order while considering maxing drop out with a custom shock, you'll be compensating with a longer shock body. Pretty much you'll be doing what Metaltech does with their LT kit. Without moving the shock points by modding the upper or lower mount, you're only moving around the travel range by customizing a longer alternative.

Give the 3d printing a go. We all love some custom work. Possibly can help others too if you decide to share your results
 

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Desert Moderator
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Great looking rig man! I had a similar move from my good old manual everything, power nothing, GMC Sierra to my FJ. Initially, had my truck listed for sale but when I actually got offers, I couldn't get myself to part with it, so ended up gifting it to my father to hang onto. Picked up the FJ with 80K on it and immediately went on a month long desert trip. Now back in PA, I can hear the FJ calling to be in the desert again!
A month in the desert. That's a lot of peyote...
 

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Discussion Starter #36
@jamesepoop @Loganbeere You guys are the best—thanks for the info. Leads to more questions, but I’m doing my homework...

Half a degree is hardly any cause for concern. There is some bump steer correction necessary, but the thrust angle effects tracking of the vehicle mainly. I forgot who mentioned the extended panhard brackets, but those would help eliminate the excessive panhard angle.

The .5" is at the shock. The extended shock is a shortened internal bump stop. It's a little more at the wheel but if you run disconnects, then you're no longer able to limit the droop (think of the coilover at max extension). It's a lot of weight for your suspension to take, eventually leading to premature failure. So you strap it .25" from maxing out anyway. I'm sure you can and I've heard of people that have gone without straps/sway bars and are doing so successfully but it seems like an easy fix to a problem you may cause later. I've seen many people post about over extending and damaging coilovers and CVs while not necessarily on extended travel either. So with a disconnect, it's still the same if you apply the principles.

The custom order while considering maxing drop out with a custom shock, you'll be compensating with a longer shock body. Pretty much you'll be doing what Metaltech does with their LT kit. Without moving the shock points by modding the upper or lower mount, you're only moving around the travel range by customizing a longer alternative.

Give the 3d printing a go. We all love some custom work. Possibly can help others too if you decide to share your results
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I looked at my rear end lateral alignment today and the rear end is pretty obviously shifted to the passenger side by a solid 1/2", if not more. I see an adjustable panhard rod in my future, at the very least. Not looking forward to dropping the rear end again, but may do it just so I don't stay up at night thinking about all the travel I'm missing out on. :rolleyes:

It sounds like extended rear sway bar links are a better idea than disconnects. If only I hadn't ordered the disconnects already...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
The replacement front bracket King sent is identical to the other one—they must have figured the other one was out of spec. I pulled the bracket and discovered a weld bead that I hadn’t noticed.



Five minutes with a file and a dash of primer, and it was time to put the bracket back on.



Before:



After:



Hard to tell from the pics, but there’s an extra 1/8” clearance between the bracket and the UCA, which makes a huge amount of difference.

Also noticed that the lower end of the King shocks hits the LCA—just slightly, but there’s a tiny nick on either side of the shock end. Probably nothing to worry about, but I might get back in there with a file at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Not sure why your 2011 brackets are so close. Looking up random Google shots, looks like it matches yours
It does seem like they could make the brackets tip a little further forward to offer additional clearance from the UCAs, but after getting a replacement bracket shipped it's clear that the position is King's intent. I'd say the gap is just under 1/4", so shouldn't present any issues.
 
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