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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So first off I should say that I can never leave well enough alone.

This is the result of almost a year of planning and designing on the front suspension and dual cases. My build thread for the front coil spring suspension




I wheeled it hard this summer and it worked flawlessly, the only issue is that when you wheel with a group of trucks that all run 36's or bigger tires, the obstacles are a bit big for my 31's... So I figure I need bigger tires. Of coarse that's the easy part, the hard part is keeping the sami axles in one piece while running 33-35" tires. So far I have never snapped a suzuki axle shaft or broken a birfield, but its not something I want to start doing in the future either.

Anyways after searching for a set of toyota mini truck axles and not liking what I was finding (everything either used and abused or rusted to nothing...) I found a sweet deal on 2 FJ40's and the 80% 35x12.5 BFG MT's that came with the trucks all for $300. Only issue is I had to dispose of what was not needed.






After disposing of what was left of the rusted out cruisers I was left with 2 offset rear housings, 2 front housings, 35's, and lots of misc parts.

So the plan so far for this build is:

Rear
-Offset FJ40 Housing
-Stock 4.11 gears and shafts
-ARB
-Monte Carlo Disk brakes
-Still not sure if it is staying leaf sprung or going to coils with links

Front
-Keeping current coil springs and radius arms
-Either mini truck or shaved FJ front depending on if I can find a mini truck front...
-Vented disk brakes from FJ40 front axle
-ARB
-Stock shafts with Longfields (might just get 30 spline longs though)

The fenders will also be copiously trimmed to allow the 35's to fit when flexed. I want to keep it as low as possible so that I can still easily DD it and keep the COG low for wheeling. Right now the truck has about a 5" lift and I like its stance, so hopefully I wont have to go any higher.

More to come.
Chris
 

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Wow incredible deal on the 40s, the one looks like it was not too bad either. Good choice in axles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ya I was originally thinking about trying to fix up the forest green one, but once we got it on the car trailer and took a look underneath it was clear that the rust had its way with the body, floor, and frame. The motor still ran after about 10+ years of sitting though. Other goodies I found was that the splines on the T-Case input shaft were almost stripped and the case of the transmission was split because it was full of water and froze at some point... Anyways I think I made the right decision and put them out of their misery.

The rear axle is going to be a pretty straight forward swap, just some new spring perches. The front on the other hand is going to require knuckle cut & turn to get the right pinion angle.
 

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Cool swap project. But I dare say it isn't too hard to break a Landcruiser birfield. When in reverse (they tend to break in reverse), wheels turned, with a locker all it took was gently releasing the clutch to blow a birf in my old cruiser. Keep it in mind, otherwise bullet proof axles. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ya the cruiser birfs worry me a bit, but I think they have already been replaced with mini truck birfs because I got 2 pairs of different length warn hubs with the truck and the short ones are on the front axle.

So the swap has started off pretty slow so far, but I finally got tired of looking at the axles just sitting in my carport. I pulled the rear apart and it doesn't look so good for the ring and pinion. Apparently the previous owner had problems with the bolt that holds the center pin in... I found washers welded to the top and bottom of the pin. Once I got the washers off, i had to pound the pin out. Turns out the spider gears had worn 1/8 off the dia of the cross pin and pretty much chewed up everything inside the diff. I had to pound it out until it hit the housing, cut it off, then repeat. All of the bearings are shot because none of the bearings were pre-loaded and the backlash wasn't even close. Oh and the pinion gear has chunks missing on two of the teeth. I guess the center pin worked itself out while he was driving it and made contact. Its a good thing I've got 4 thirds to steal parts from.



 

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Nice project, Keep us updated with how things are going. Shit i only wish i could find deals on cruisers like you guys do . Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I got the rear axle stripped down and thankfully didn't really find any more surprises. Considering the axle is over 40 yrs old, its in great shape. Just for a comparison, I took this pic. (Left - Right) Sidekick 5.13:1, Samurai 3.73:1, and FJ40 4.11:1. It's a good thing I'm stepping up tire size, because these diffs are huge compared to Suzuki stuff.



I stripped the axle completely. Cut the perches off, wire wheeled it, and pulled the bearings and seals. I had to make a stepped puck with the same OD as the ID of the bearing in order to get them out. I ended up standing the axle on end on top of a drum brake and dropping the puck down the tube. Once it was seated, I used a 6' steel rod to tape out the bearings/seals. Worked like a charm.






Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be getting some of the parts I've ordered to finish off the rear axle. Still waiting to find the best deal on an ARB for the rear. Has anyone ever ordered from these guys -> ARB Canada? Apparently they have pretty good deals on everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So finally got around to buying some of the bigger price tag items... On the way is an RD153 ARB locker for the rear and a CKMA12 High Performance Compressor from OIPACK (ARB Canada). In the mail this week I got my disk brake brackets from Sky Manufacturing. These brackets are beefy and bolt right up.




The Brackets use mid 80's Monte Carlo calipers and chevy 1500 rotors that I will have to enlarge the bore to 4.200". It's nice to be able to get everything at the parts store and simply bolt everything on.

The FJ40 front end has now been stripped down, but its not looking good. All of the seal surfaces on the spindles and hubs are pitted and worn beyond repair. So basically I think I'm going to be looking for a mini truck front end... I have to steal the front end ring and pinion to replace the rear chipped gear set anyways, so I think the smaller dia housing and lighter axle weight of a mini will be the best option. I'll still be using the vented rotors and calipers from the FJ axle even if I go with the mini. Lets just hope I can get my hands on one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Look what was waiting for me when I got home today!!!



I couldn't resist, so I unwrapped it and it looks good



Anyways, I have a little bit of progress to share, but not much. Finally got around to painting the third, housing, and disk brake brackets with POR-15. Nice and shiny now... Hopefully this weekend I'll get the diff setup and the ARB installed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well not much progress since last time I posted.

My samurai let me down for the first time in 4 yrs, stupid starter and battery both decided to go on me while I was at work one day... Nothing like changing out a starter in the middle of the parking lot while the plant manager walks by... Anyways, one flight to Vancouver and a quick road trip back to Kitimat and I have a new daily driver.



Oh and I ended up bringing some parts back with me from Van. The FJ40 front axle was pretty thrashed, so I got an armored and trussed 85' mini truck axle from a buddy with high steer, 30 Spline Longs, and an E-locker.

The only good thing in the FJ40 front axle was the diff, I was amazed to find a fine spline 4.10 gear set. Now I can put the fine spline gears in the rear and ditch the 8 spline pinion. The rear axle should be going in soon and I'll be starting on the front just as soon as I get the E-locker shipped up. More pictures to come as I get everything together.

Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well there is nothing like selling the axles out from under your rig to motivate a person to get the axle swap done fast...

I finally assembled the rear third with the ARB and fine spline 4.11 gears, got the new bearings/seals on the axles/housing, and got my rotors back from the machine shop. The rear end when together perfectly and fits like it should under the samurai. I also added some 1/4" plate to the diff cover for some much needed rock protection. Everything has been painted with POR-15 and will get a final top coat of Tremglad once the spring perches are welded on. The only issue I ran into was when rebuilding the third I could not find a beam style in-lb torque wrench anywhere locally. So I came up with a quick way of measuring the pinion bearing pre-load with a string wrapped around a socket and a spring scale. A little math later and I had the pre-load dialed in.






The Monte Carlo calipers, Chevy rotors, and Sky Offroad brackets bolted on great and look like they were meant to be.




The trail gear spring perches come with 3 holes for the spring locating pin. I set the axle on the center hole and I think this will be the best for tire clearance. Here she is with 35x12.5 BFG's





The E-locker for the front will be arriving this week and then I'll be installing 4.11 gears and solid pinion spacer. The front axle will end up being fitted with 30 spline Longs and chromoly hub gears in samurai locking hubs. From what what I've read the bodies are identical and its just the gears that are different because of the spline count.

More to come once all the parts get here.
Chris.
 

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Nice effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Daddy Style.

So the E-locker showed up today.



After who knows how many miles in the back of a 4runner, being stripped down, boxed up, driven to Williams Lake in my buddies Land Cruiser, and then taking Greyhound to Terrace. It's now being cleaned up and getting 4.10's.



First thing I found is that the actuator motor is pretty much shot. Magnets loose inside the motor, lots of corrosion inside, and a cracked housing. Don't think I'll be salvaging this one.





So what to do now? well I see three options

1. get a new actuator $$$$$$
2. buy a Chilkat cable actuator $$$ http://www.chilkatdesigns.com/E-Racer.html
3. make an actuator using an air cylinder $

Well I guess I'll sleep on it and see if I can scrounge up some materials tomorrow.
Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Been a while, but I finally got the axles in and wheeled it a bit this summer. The build ended up being a bit different than planned, but it wheels great and only has a few issues to sort out.

The front e-locker motor windings turned out to be shorted. I ended up making a manual shifter, but I still haven't gotten around to hooking the air cylinder to it. String works pretty good for now though...






The front axle went in pretty easily, the clearance between the coil springs, panhard bar, and steering links is pretty tight, but nothing binds. The sky manufacturing arms and fj80 tierods were closest setup to flat steering arms and I just so happened to get them with the front axle I picked up. This helped keep the panhard low on the axle, but I still had to make a high panhard bracket to clear the diff. The sidekick power steering box was way too small for what I wanted to do with the new axles, so I went with a toyota IFS box with a trail gear flat pitman arm. The power steering pump is actually a jeep cherokee TC syle pump with integrated resevoir on a spidertrax bracket. Works great and is a lot cheaper than the high pressure aftermarket pumps.





The drive shafts are a combination of front/rear 4runner shafts. Because of the angle on the front output (points slightly upward) the double cardone shaft was put up front and the pinion was pointed straight to the output. The shafts were trued up on my lathe and then welded. I was able to get a TIR of less than 0.008" by rotating the shafts between centers and using a dial indicator to find the high spots. With the offset fj40 axle in the rear, the drive shaft almost has a straight shot to the rear output.





With the added width, weight, and 33's now she flexs out pretty well. All in all I'm very happy with the new axles and lockers.


 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, its still a work in progress but it go's everywhere I point it... Up next is coils/3 link in the rear and stretching the rear 12" behind the doors.

thats an awesome little zuk. where did you get your soft top? i want one :)
Soft Top is from Bestop. Its called a sprint fast back I think. Great top, but can't use the back seat with it.
 

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right on, thanks. those rear seats were useless anyhow, mine got replace by a sub and speakers a long time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey samuelv47, how do you like the 1.6TD? I'm throwing around the idea of swapping in a TD or building a turbo 1.6L 16 valve DOHC from a sidekick block and a swift DOHC 16 valve head (would have megasquirt stand alone injection too). I would love the bottom end torque of a TD, but I think my right foot might kill it prematurely...
 

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Hey samuelv47, how do you like the 1.6TD? I'm throwing around the idea of swapping in a TD or building a turbo 1.6L 16 valve DOHC from a sidekick block and a swift DOHC 16 valve head (would have megasquirt stand alone injection too). I would love the bottom end torque of a TD, but I think my right foot might kill it prematurely...
i love the diesel, go for it. you can squeeze a surprising amount of power out of these things with very little work. and as long as you keep an eye on your EGT's it will outlast your suzuki and get amazing mileage at the same time. the only drawback is the extra weight up front.
 
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