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2014 Fj Cruiser Ultimate Edition - Heritage Blue
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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed a Demello bumper on my fj and I'm now starting to look more into getting a lift and maybe some new wheels/tires later on. Right now I have the 14' Trail Teams Bilstein suspension with front and rear reservoirs. Obviously it rides amazing and is great on the trails, but I want more clearance. I realize getting a lift but not having the reservoirs would almost be a downgrade, but the price difference between with/without can be quite large. I've been looking at the
Toytec Boss Aluma Series 2.5 with all of the reservoirs and UCA's and thats about ~$3500. My question is what brand or kit is best? I know ICON is one of the best but thats even pricier. Most posts I've seen on here are a few years old so I though asking now would be beneficial. Any opinions/recommendations?
 

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4-Corners Moderator
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Congrats on the Demello bumper and on having a 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition. Super cool! As far as suspension goes, all the external reservoirs do is help with cooling down the shock's internals and only make a difference if you plan to off-road Baja style and will really be giving the suspension a work out or if you wanted the reservoirs with the adjustable knob on them to increase/decrease compression. Otherwise, a standard 2.5" diameter shock suspension setup will be enough for most people's needs and will still be an upgrade over the factory suspension, even the special TRD Bilstein suspension that came on the TTUE.

ToyTec is a great option for the price and what you get, but you probably don't have to spend the extra money to get the reservoirs. So you could even look at options like Stage 1 or 2 kits from Icon, or even other lift options from OME, Radflo, etc. Be sure to check out my lift comparison thread to see what all is out there on the market. (link in my signature)
 

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One thing to remember is when going to a suspension set up like KING, Icon etc is they will need a rebuild at some point.

OEM style kits as OME, Bilstein, Ironman do not.
 

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I realize getting a lift but not having the reservoirs would almost be a downgrade, but the price difference between with/without can be quite large. I've been looking at the
Toytec Boss Aluma Series 2.5 with all of the reservoirs and UCA's and thats about ~$3500. My question is what brand or kit is best? I know ICON is one of the best but thats even pricier.
No offense to Icon, but they had quality issues a few years back that I'm not sure if they've fixed yet or not. They're priced up with the rest, but I don't know if the quality is there.

The top tier for remote-resi suspensions are King, Fox and Old Man Emu (OME). The OME BP-51's have a 3-year warranty, the others only warranty for a year. They're also, usually, the cheapest of the three. Not to talk you out of the Toytec options, but I'd talk to Hugo @ Toytec and get him to explain the difference between their remote-resi product and the OME's and see which one sounds better to you.

One thing to credit Icon: their upper control arms with the delta joints. They've got the flex of a uniball without the open top of the Total Chaos UCAs.
 

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I was in a similar situation six months ago. Just installed Demello and winch. I went with Dobinsons newer IMS. So far, I couldn't be more satisfied.
 

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One thing to remember is when going to a suspension set up like KING, Icon etc is they will need a rebuild at some point.

OEM style kits as OME, Bilstein, Ironman do not.
Somehow you make it sound like rebuildability is a bad thing.
Yes, King, Icon, etc. can be rebuilt, while OME, Bilstein and Ironman would have to be replaced.
 

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Replaced leaking OME @ 20K with Icon 2.5 no res and went 85K with no rebuild/still holding origninal charge (replace 1 tophat and spherical bearings).
Now have Kings with res and clickers and have another 60k before I hit the same distance on Icons.

Do your research, check oil volumes, piston diameters and serviceability.
 

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Somehow you make it sound like rebuildability is a bad thing.
Yes, King, Icon, etc. can be rebuilt, while OME, Bilstein and Ironman would have to be replaced.
Not at all, its just a factor to consider. Rebuilds take time and if it is a daily driver with no alternate means of transport....it can be a pain unless you are handy enough and have the right tools to rebuild yourself. As well additional costs.
 

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I spent a bucket of money on a full Icon suspension and was totally disappointed. After 4 months I removed it and installed Bilstein products with JBA upper control arms. Some might consider this a downgrade but my current setup provides better ride quality and handling characteristics.

Perhaps you could consider keeping your current Bilstein shocks and simply change springs. I would first call Bilstein and discuss this issue. They have always been very helpful when I've talked to them and even made recommendations outside of their brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Congrats on the Demello bumper and on having a 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition. Super cool! As far as suspension goes, all the external reservoirs do is help with cooling down the shock's internals and only make a difference if you plan to off-road Baja style and will really be giving the suspension a work out or if you wanted the reservoirs with the adjustable knob on them to increase/decrease compression. Otherwise, a standard 2.5" diameter shock suspension setup will be enough for most people's needs and will still be an upgrade over the factory suspension, even the special TRD Bilstein suspension that came on the TTUE.

ToyTec is a great option for the price and what you get, but you probably don't have to spend the extra money to get the reservoirs. So you could even look at options like Stage 1 or 2 kits from Icon, or even other lift options from OME, Radflo, etc. Be sure to check out my lift comparison thread to see what all is out there on the market. (link in my signature)
Thank you so much, that whole list was super helpful. Ive narrowed it down now to Toytec and Icon, but im leaning towards toytec. Without the reservoirs I'm seeing it'll be about $2700 all in with upgraded UCAs. Obviously thats a lot of cash and i'm only 18. So, how much do you think I could get for the Trail Team Bilsteins should I sell them, or would just having them as a souvenir be cool?
 

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Thank you so much, that whole list was super helpful. Ive narrowed it down now to Toytec and Icon, but im leaning towards toytec. Without the reservoirs I'm seeing it'll be about $2700 all in with upgraded UCAs. Obviously thats a lot of cash and i'm only 18. So, how much do you think I could get for the Trail Team Bilsteins should I sell them, or would just having them as a souvenir be cool?
Well if they are in good condition, and depending on where/how you sell them, you should be able to get a few hundred from them at least. They should definitely be appealing to those with 2010+ FJ Cruisers who are looking for a leveled out ride height with the most premium factory FJ suspension that ever was offered. But it may also be a good idea to keep them around, should the need ever arise to put them back on.

If I were you and had ~$3000 to spend on suspension, I would either go with this setup:
-25BOSS-FJP-ALM - Toytec Boss Aluma Series 2.5 Performance Suspension System (07+FJ Cruiser/03-09 4Runner) with the following options: Toytec Boss 2.5 Front Aluma Series IFP Coilovers (no reservoirs), Front Differential Drop Kit, No front duro bump stops (unless you really want to upgrade them), Toytec Rear Aluminum 2" Bump Stop Kit, Toytec 2.5 Aluma Series IFP Rear Shocks, Toytec Superflex Rear Coils (don't need heavy duty coils unless you're planning on adding like a swing-out rear bumper, rear drawer setup, and roof top tent), and the SPC Adjustable Upper Control Arms. That puts the total at $2,929.91.

OR I would go with this kit from Metal Tech 4x4 that comes with Icon front coilovers, their rear long travel kit, and then you would purchase SPC Upper control Arms as well ICON FJ Cruiser/4Runner Rear Long Travel Kit w/ Icon Coilovers and Metal Tech Lower Links for a total of 2,900.75.

The second option is very similar to what I am running now, however rear long travel may not appeal to everyone, especially since the Metal Tech rear links have sort of a bad reputation (that's why I have RESZ Fab non-adjustable rear links with the DuroFlex joints) and the ToyTec kit comes with the diff drop that increases the longevity of the CV axles and it has their own "superflex coils" and 2" rear bump stops which are similar to Metal Tech's rear long travel kit but it doesn't allow for as much wheel droop.

Either way, don't rush into a decision, and if anything wait for about a month for when all the vendors start offering sweet Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals! Good luck and feel free to message me if you have any questions. The FJ was my first vehicle and I know what it is like to be a young guy in the FJ world, but here I am like10 years later still drooling over FJs. But man have I learned a lot and still have a lot to learn!
 

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X2 on Metaltech long travel, except with with the RADFLO shocks option - way better than Icon for both reliability and actual amount of articulation. Radflo is a family business in California, awesome guys who I’ve met at Summit, and they build every shock to spec. Fantastic customer service too.
 

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Somehow you make it sound like rebuildability is a bad thing.
Yes, King, Icon, etc. can be rebuilt, while OME, Bilstein and Ironman would have to be replaced.
Yes, but logistics will bite you in the butt. How long is your FJ going to be sitting in your driveway waiting for new legs?

I went with King and dread the day I have to send them in for rebuild. May consider buying a rebuild kit and doing it myself.
 

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I’ve got old Bilstien, OME and ICON shocks I’ve used in the past I toss on up front when I need to send in the others for warranty work. It’s not my daily so I just let the pig sit on springs in the back when I send the shocks in.


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Yes, but logistics will bite you in the butt. How long is your FJ going to be sitting in your driveway waiting for new legs?

I went with King and dread the day I have to send them in for rebuild. May consider buying a rebuild kit and doing it myself.
True, that is something you have to plan ahead for. I've kept my OEM coilovers and shocks for that occasion.
Also, AccuTune is about 30 minutes away from me.
 

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Yes, but logistics will bite you in the butt. How long is your FJ going to be sitting in your driveway waiting for new legs?

I went with King and dread the day I have to send them in for rebuild. May consider buying a rebuild kit and doing it myself.
They're not difficult to do a basic rebuild and can be done with basic hand tools. The hard part is IF you find something wrong ( scoring on ID of the body ) how do you fix it.
 

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I'm in the process of picking new coilovers and rear springs. I've been running Icons for 12 years, but in that time I've had 7 springs break. Icon sends me replacements every time, but it costs time, aggravation and money to install them and I'm just done with it. They ride really well, but I cant do it anymore. I'll keep the control arms and links. I like them and they work well, but the springs are horrible.
 
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