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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

You going to post some before and after pics of the body mount chop?
The first chop of the "body mount" is done and it looks like everyone else's chops with the welded piece/painted covering the chop. If I hadn't removed that I would have rubbing issues there -- but I don't.

The "second chop" will go down after the new aluminium UCA's are installed because they do move the position of the wheel slightly. That will change the position of the tire to the body and no need to chop until it's "where it will be". I'll post before and afters on that one. Essentially the plastic crap at the rear of the front wheel well (why is it there in the first place??) must go because that's where it's rubbing. I think that will do it but if we need to be more aggressive, we will be. That's one thing that Jason Demello is not shy about (aggressive modification to suit the purpose).
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

I think that will do it but if we need to be more aggressive, we will be. That's one thing that Jason Demello is not shy about (aggressive modification to suit the purpose).
:lol: Yeh, I have seen the pics of Todds (Air2air) :cowsmile:

Thanks buddy:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

:lol: Yeh, I have seen the pics of Todds (Air2air)
:worried:

I'm waiting for Jason to suggest a full internal roll cage. And I don't know if I can resist. Where the FJ is concerned I can resist anything but temptation.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Nice Build-Up! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

looks good bro...se you soon
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

:worried:

I'm waiting for Jason to suggest a full internal roll cage. And I don't know if I can resist. Where the FJ is concerned I can resist anything but temptation.
Inchworm...lefty...craw gear...solid axle...portals...cage...:grinbiginvert:
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Inchworm...lefty...craw gear...solid axle...portals...cage...:grinbiginvert:
Thanks, Tony -- like I needed suggestions/temptations -- but I'm looking hard at the URD Supercharger as the next big mod -- and the transmission gear ratio change since that's a given if I boost the HP along with the larger tires I'm running. I've been chatting with AIR2AIR and he seems to be on the cutting edge of the whole FJ Supercharger metamorphasis. URD is coming out with a new supercharger in a few months that's significantly less expensive than the present model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

RUBBING ISSUES - Nitto Terra Grappler AT 305/70/R17



I know a lot of you have talked about getting 35x17 tires but it's going to require a 6" lift to make that dog hunt. I'm running a (roughly) 3" lift over stock with the DR's. The T/G's are just under 34" and this is what it is like at full lock: (note the contact with the mud-guard mounting)



So I took off the mud guards since the rub was not against the chopped body mount, but against the mud flap rubber:



It clears, but not by much - maybe 1/3 inch. That was the R/F tire. Because of lighting, you can see it more clearly on the L/F tire:



TIGHTENING THE BEADLOCK RINGS ON THE WALKER EVANS WHEELS:

I've put about 600 miles on the new tires and just tightened the Walker Evans Beadlocks for the first time. Each bolt took about 1 turn to click the torque wrench at 20 lbs. The Gorrila lugs were all tight.

NOW AND THEN
The FJ is cool. I like the FJ a lot. But this was my ride --- in another life:



(photo taken at Camp Billy Machim near Nyland, California - between the Salton Sea and the Chocolate Mountains in 1989 prior to the First Gulf War)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

CB ANTENNA CHOICE: 5’ Wilson Silver Load



Incorporating the now famous BANDI mount (of course)!

unfortunately, size does matter

About 60% of the antenna should be above the plane that the antenna is broadcasting from. When I throw on metal fuel cans, that means a 5' antenna. I know that many of you have smaller antennas and they work but they won't work as well. The 5' antenna does pose problems with drive-through bank/fast food, etc. situations and use the quick disconnect for daily driving and just leave the antenna inside the FJ when I'm not going to use the CB.

This is why I chose the Wilson 5' antenna.

(1) My radio is a P.O.S. Midland 75-822 Handheld CB Radio with Vehicle Adapter. So we're not talking high output and high quality. However for the FJ, it works and while I tend to be a radio snob, I put that ego away and bought the most adaptable unit I could find.

(2) Given the above, I wanted the best possible signal. So we are left with the antenna and a good signal match. Those are the only variables left to me.

(3) I wanted an extremely rigid antenna that didn't flex around, smacking the FJ (damaging the antenna).

So given the variables: 5' (60% above plane), rigid, and higher gain, I had to look at what was out there.

Many of the popular fiberglass antennas put losses, like a dummy load, to make their antenna look good on the SWR meter, but sacrificed most of the power gain. (not good considering we're starting out with the POS radio)



I found propaganda from Wilson on the 4' antennas (above) but nothing was available for the 5' antennas. I think that the same ratios apply.

Features of this antenna:

Wilson designed the Silver Load, with an impedance matching transformer, to give good SWR without sacrificing power gain. Additionally, using spaced windings on the top load to eliminate the dielectric losses, and silver plated wire for maximum radiation.

-It uses a flying lead from the antenna DC ground to reduce static & ignition interference.
-Adjustable tip for fine tuning SWR & Resonant Frequency.
-3/8" Fiberglass rod for heavy duty performance on FGT
-Fully linear top loaded for maximum transfer of power out of antenna (better than Helical winding).
-Spaced winding to reduce dielectric heat loss.
-18 gauge silver plated wire to reduce resistive losses on FGT
-PVC protective covering around antenna on FGT
-Impedance matching transformer (paragraph above)
-Power Handling: 5 ft. @ 1,000 watts. Since the Midland puts out 2.5 watts on a good day, I'm not overloading the antenna's capability.

 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Larry, I've had trouble with my magnet mount antenna in areas with some low hanging tree branches. I would've had no problem with a more flexy antenna. What do you do? Just power through the tree? I've had a lot of trouble in the SB mountains. My antenna is about 3-4 ft taller then the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

ANTENNA ISSUES:

Larry, I've had trouble with my magnet mount antenna in areas with some low hanging tree branches.
It's a lot more robust than a magnet mount in terms of its ability to take a hit, however the tree branch problem can be an issue if they're BIG branches. I was up there last week and didn't have a significant problem. WHERE I WENT.

I would've had no problem with a more flexy antenna.
Except that when you're driving down the freeway it will be bent way back or on surface streets it will beat itself to death against the FJ.

This is why I bought the POS Midland. I can use the quick disconnect mount, remove the antenna and go to hand-held mode if the brush is too thick. You can't get out that far on hand-held, but it's a quick alternative. I haven't had to do that yet, but it was a design consideration for the build-up.

MARKER

I keep a good field of view on the left side of the FJ but the right side is prone to trail damage simply because I can't judge clearance well enough on the right side.


Recent "carnage" from Cleghorn Road, San Bernardino Mountains, SoCal.

So I copied VOLHOO and plugged the cheapest 2' antenna I could find into the pre-drilled hole (for an antenna) in the ARB bumper to use as a distance marker to help me figure how far I was from taller brush, rocks, etc.


2’ Francis antenna

So far it has worked well and it's worth having something bolted into the rig to help me judge distances.

I was recently buffing out the desert pinstriping on the FJ and there was easily 2x more pinstriping on the right (passenger) side than on the left. I attribute it to some degree to not being able to judge distances quite so accurately.

It's nice to have an experienced spotter but (a) the spotter may not want to walk 10 miles while I drive and (b) it's not that easy to find a really good spotter even though it looks easy to flail your arms in the air and have me move in one direction or another in response to your prompting.

 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Use your right mirror? :p I position it towards the doors and down on the trail so I can see. I move it back when I'm ready to get back on highway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Use your right mirror? :p I position it towards the doors and down on the trail so I can see. I move it back when I'm ready to get back on highway.
Yes, but it doesn't tell me where the nose is. The marker/antenna is useful for that. That trail scrape is one of those things -- other rigs scraped too -- an example of some right-side blindness only. I also have a spot mirror on both right and left r/v mirrors. The marker will help me guage distances along/diagonally across the hood. I've seen some info on the NET about people who've put cameras there and that would be useful - but takes it further than I think I need to go.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

I've been thinking seriously about getting a convex mirror or camera for spotting the front. Mirrors are cheap and can be removed when not in use. Cameras are very cool, but more expensive. A front convex mirror might be useful for wheel placement or seeing over a blind crest.

 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

UPPER CONTROL ARM REPLACEMENT

I'm jumping the gun with this post because the upper control arms are supposed to be installed tomorrow (Friday). Because of a delay in the shipment of the Light Racing Chubbies, it might even be delayed until Monday. Jason Demello and Chris are tired of seeing me ghosting the shop. Still and all, I wanted to share my thought process on the build-up page and will share photos when they're finally bolted into place.

---or---Did I drink the cool-aid?

There is certainly a lot of controversy about whether or not after market Upper Control Arms (UCA’s) are necessary. I've been told by people smarter than I am that THEY ARE and by others equally smarter that THEY ARE NOT. My sense is that if you keep everything else stock – primarily the tires, you never need to swap out the UCA’s. Let me tell you why I went with the people who said that they're necessary:

BIGGER TIRES, HEAVIER WHEELS -- LET'S TALK TIRES
When I swapped out the stock alloys for Walker Evans Beadlock Wheels with the wide rings and the 256/17 Bridgestone H/T’s for 305/17 Nitto Terra Grappler A/T’s I roughly DOUBLED the weight of the tires and wheels. So I exceeded design specifications by at least 100%. The Nitto T/G’s are also roughly 50% wider than the stock Bridgestones. My sense is that once you go down the slippery slope of mods, everything that you do changes everything else. The question is the extent to which those mods are radical enough that they will tend to cause other engineering on the FJ to fail.

I leave it to you, my fellow FJ drivers, to determine if my decision was cost-effective or foolhardy.


The FJ Cruiser uses a high-mounted, double-wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar, and a 4-link rear suspension with lateral rod with coil springs and stabilizer bar. The upper control arms are an important part of your FJ’s suspension system. The control arms manage the motion of the wheels in relation to your FJ’s body. Too much movement and wear and tear occurs to the rest of your suspension system including your tires due to the inadequate (now under-engineered due do mods) stock control arms.

SCRUB AND SINGLE AXIS INCLINATION
In this is double-A suspension, the wheel spindles are supported by an upper and lower 'A' shaped arm. In this type, the lower arm carries most of the load. If you look head-on at this type of system, what you'll find is that it's a very parallelogram system that allows the spindles to travel vertically up and down. When they do this, they also have a slight side-to-side motion caused by the arc that the wishbones describe around their pivot points. This side-to-side motion is known as scrub.


Unless the links are infinitely long the scrub motion is always present to some degree. Scrub radius is the distance between where the Steering Axis Inclination (SAI) intersects the ground and the center of the tire.


This distance must be exactly the same from side to side or the vehicle will pull strongly at all speeds. While included angle problems will affect the scrub radius, it is not the only thing that will affect it. Different after-market wheels or tires from side to side will cause differences in scrub radius as well as a tire that is low on air. Positive scrub radius is when the tire contact patch is outside of the SAI pivot, while negative scrub radius is when the contact patch is inboard of the SAI pivot.

OE Scrub radius is designed at the factory and is not adjustable. After market UCA's do have an effect on scrub radius and that impact is more profound on a WIDER TIRE/WHEEL.

STEER ANGLE
There are two other types of motion of the wheel relative to the body when the suspension articulates. The first and most important is a toe angle (steer angle). The second and least important, but the one, which produces most pub talk is the camber angle, or lean angle. Steer and camber are the ones, which wear tires.



As with camber, toe will change depending on vehicle speed. As aerodynamic forces change the riding height, the toe setting may change due to the geometry of the steering linkage in relation to the geometry of the suspension. Modern allignment processes address this through SAI, thrust angle and reference the vehicle's centerline by putting instruments on all four wheels.


When you steer a car through a turn, the outside front wheel has to navigate a wider arc then the inside wheel. For this reason, the inside front wheel must steer at a sharper angle than the outside wheel. (and with oversize tires you'll find that one tire may scrape when the other doesn't - this is explains why that happens) The toe-out angles are accomplished by the angle of the steering arm. This arm allows the inside wheel to turn sharper than the outside wheel.

CAMBER
Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is positive. If it's leaning in, then the camber is negative. If the camber is out of adjustment, it will cause tire wear on one side of the tire's tread. If the camber is too far negative, for instance, then the tire will wear on the inside of the tread.


If the camber is different from side to side it can cause a pulling problem. The vehicle will pull to the side with the more positive camber.

CASTOR
When you turn the steering wheel, the front wheels respond by turning on a pivot attached to the suspension system. Caster is the angle of this steering pivot, measured in degrees, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. If the top of the pivot is leaning toward the rear of the car, then the caster is positive, if it is leaning toward the front, it is negative. If the caster is out of adjustment, it can cause problems in straight line tracking.


Caster has little affect on tire wear.

If the caster is different from side to side, the vehicle will pull to the side with the less positive caster. If the caster is equal but too negative, the steering will be light and the vehicle will wander and be difficult to keep in a straight line. If the caster is equal but too positive, the steering will be heavy and the steering wheel may kick when you hit a bump. After-market UCA's assist with keeping the vehicle on track while driving with larger tires and heavier wheels.

IN SUMMARY
Because I changed the design perameters of the wheels and tires SIGNIFICANTLY, I have added Donahoe Racing Upper Control Arms.


DR's UCA's are "machined aluminum arms that use a recessed uni-ball for inner fender well clearance and full articulation. It is protected by a billet o-ring dust cover that protects the uni-ball from debris ensuring a longer life. They also incorporate castor and camber adjusting rod ends for easy alignments without the need to take off the arms. The Teflon lined rod ends ensure great control and handling with minimal deflection."



Putting larger wheels on the FJ to increase ground clearance came with all its own problems, changes to the steering and suspension geometry and steering load. It's also a possibility that larger tires and steering load may cause other components to fail more quickly. By adding heavier tires and wheels I have added stress to A arms, track rods, knuckle and ball joints. Changing the UCA's should tend to reduce this and at the same time they'll help keep the vehicle going down the road closer to Toyota's design specifications than is possible with stock UCA's

 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

The ARB bumper works with the Toyota airbag deployment system and doesn't void the warranty. It would void the warranty on the OE bumper since you're taking the front OE bumper off and replacing it.

That's as far as it goes -- based on my research and discussions with my neighbor who lives across the street who owns the local Toyota dealership (Toyota of Corona).

I also spoke with my brother-in-law, Ken Hunt, who owns Hunt Nissan (Chatanooga, Tenn) about warranty issues. He used to be the GM of Longo, Toyota (Los Angeles) and he said that in cases of more extreme mods, if the mod you make clearly causes something else to fail, there will be issues. For example if you did as I have done and change the suspension system...if that causes X to fail (clearly), there would be a warranty issue.

And I can live with that.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Nice write up buddy on the UCA's...I too will be going with either TC or Camberg's...I would love to stay with the all DR setup, but at double the price, ouch...I can use the money else :D Rep Points to you :D

Damn, it won't allow me to give you any points, it says I have to spread the love[email protected]$% I'll try again in a day or so. :(
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Nice build up, looking forward to meeting you in person soon!!!!
 
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