Author Topic: Marlin Crawler's upcoming HD LCA Frame Brace Kit  (Read 1866 times)

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BigMike

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Marlin Crawler's upcoming HD LCA Frame Brace Kit
« on: May 22, 2019, 09:35:51 AM »
Update June 8, 2019: Now taking orders for 2005 and newer Tacoma applications!

Update June 13, 2019: Added a Basic Overview video:



-----------------------------------

Calling all IFS off-roaders!

We will soon begin production of our new patent-pending IFS Heavy Duty LCA Frame Brace Kit and would like to start this thread to build interest and answer any questions you may have.

Heavy Duty LCA Frame Brace Kit
https://www.marlincrawler.com/armor/axles/front-axle-armor/heavy-duty-lca-frame-brace-kit


early prototype image

Quick Background

I've been off-roading since 1983 and Rock Crawling since Marlin founded the industry in 1994. In 2016 I bought my first IFS truck, a 2016 TRD Sport Tacoma (build thread), and have transformed it into a formidable Rock Crawler with a 580:1 Triple Transfer Case Crawl Ratio and a coming-soon over-the-counter Toyota IFS capable of handling 40" tires in the rocks. This IFS is known as the "Rock Crawling Long Travel" (RCLT) system (more info).

I've known about the shortcomings of the weak 1995+ IFS camber adjustment tabs, and during a Rubicon trip last September, I managed to badly bend my tabs while leading a group up Cadillac Hill in the dark. A rock caught the side of my 40" passenger front tire at about 15 MPH which ripped the steering wheel out of my hand and killed the engine. It knocked my alignment out and I had to get the truck re-aligned which cost $70...

(Click each image for a larger view)

Top of Cadillac Hill, 4:30am, and how limited the view is out of the Tacoma



Then this past February we entered our first prototype RCLT IFS system into the King Of The Hammers (KOH), which is the World's most difficult one-day off-road race. Our V1 prototype RCLT was the only Toyota IFS system in the competition and was installed under a V8-powered 4th gen 4Runner that got ranked as the #2 vehicle of KOH (source). Unfortunately it got taken out early due to clipping a large rock with their 35" passenger front tire at almost 30 MPH. Their damage was worse than mine as it sheered the steering arm and bent the frame at the lower control arm's (LCA) rear mount.



It was the combination of both weak camber tabs and thin LCA frame mount flanges that prompted the development of the new Marlin Crawler HD LCA Frame Brace Kit.

What is this?

The new Marlin Crawler HD LCA Frame Brace Kit is a set of USA-made laser cut 1/4" plate steel components that are welded to your IFS sub-frame assembly. The kit includes parts for all four LCA frame mounts, and once installed they...
  • Fully encompass all 16 factory camber tabs,
  • Cover the outer face of all 8 LCA flanges, making each flange 3.8-times thicker than factory, and
  • Convert each LCA flange pair into a double-sheer design!



What does it do?

Our new HD LCA Frame Brace Kit strengthens both your camber adjustment tabs and LCA frame mount flanges in one innovative Heavy Duty product.



As shown in the above image, we've increased the thickness of the cam tabs as follows:

Outer tab width: Stock: 0.10" (2.6mm), Marlin Crawler: 0.60" (15.3mm)
Inner tab width: Stock: 0.10" (2.6mm), Marlin Crawler: 2.10" (53.4mm) **

** The inner cam tab enjoys the largest strength increase which is ideal for handling larger side impact loads (sliding into a rock or landing off-camber from a jump) (this is the cam tab that I bent on the Rubicon).




How difficult to install?

Our new HD LCA Frame Brace Kit installs over the top of your frame and existing factory components. Therefore, our new kit can be installed without removing your suspension or alignment hardware, which means this job can be done with the truck on the ground and without requiring vehicle re-alignment.

Welds may be added between each flange mount pair for maximum strength, however this is not required and could be done at a later date, for example when servicing, replacing, or upgrading your LCAs.

Minimum installation steps:

  1. Clean & prepare frame for welding
  2. Weld HD Cam Tab Uprights to all 8 flanges
  3. Weld HD Lower Brace Plates to all 4 LCA mounts
  4. Paint to prevent rust

That's it! No grinding required. No jack stands required. No suspension disassembly required. Just weld-on and go!


What if I already have aftermarket Cam Tab Gussets?

If you already have aftermarket 1/4" thick cam tab gussets installed, then simply shave 1/8" off our Uprights and install to your frame like normal.

Our HD LCA Frame Brace Kit is designed to be many times stronger than 1/4" thick lower cam alignment tabs, and adds additional strengthening features described below.

What's Included?

8 x Heavy Duty LCA Flange & Cam Tab Upright Gussets

As opposed to "upgrading" your cam plates by removing your suspension to drill & chisel 24 spot welds, we use 1/4" thick plate steel Upright Gussets that slip over and fully encompasses all 16 camber tabs. As mentioned above, each cam tab thickness goes from 0.10" (2.6mm) to 0.60" (15.3mm) inner and 2.10" (53.4mm) outer.

For reference, this is 2.4- and 8.4-times stronger than 1/4" cam gussets.

In addition, these Upright Gussets increase the wall thickness of each LCA flange from 0.126" (3.2mm) to 0.472" (12mmm), for nearly 4 times the wall strength of every flange!

4 x Heavy Duty Lower Frame Mount Gussets

We then add 1/4" thick plates to the bottom of each LCA mount, converting each into a very strong double-sheer design.

These plates also gusset the sub frame assembly, spreading forces across a very wide area to resist bending under severe impacts or bottoming out while jumping.

They also bridge the gap under each LCA mount, protecting bushing sleeves & grease Zerks (if applicable) while providing a flat surface that slides over rocks instead of exposed factory-thin edges that can get damaged while wheeling.

Finally, the front lower frame mount gussets are angled and extend forward to deflect objects safely away from your alignment hardware.




What vehicles will this kit fit?

Initial applications include:
  • 2003+ 4Runner
  • 2003-2009 Lexus GX470
  • 2005+ 2WD Prerunner or 4WD Tacoma
  • 2006+ FJ Cruiser
Additional applications we plan to support:
  • 1995-2004 2WD Prerunner or 4WD Tacoma
  • 1996-2002 4Runner
  • 2000+ Tundra (all)
Prototype installed to my 2016 3rd gen Tacoma:




Why we recommend this kit:

Practical Reasons:
  • It is extremely easy to install
  • No suspension disassembly required
  • Does not alter your current alignment
  • Does not require a new re-alignment
  • Retains all original alignment hardware
    • If you optionally remove your control arms to install, you can reinstall using the same alignment marks to restore your truck extremely close to it's original alignment spec
  • Compatible with both factory and aftermarket suspension arms with serviceable bushings & centered grease Zerk fittings
  • Does not restrict the range of motion of your suspension
  • Because our Flange Uprights are thicker than the indexed flange of each eccentric, your alignment hardware is fully is protected from forward or rearward impact
  • Highly competitive price!
Performance Reasons:
  • GREATLY increase strength and durability of your suspension mounts
  • GREATLY prevent costly alignments from being knocked out of position
  • Prevent excessive wear to your tires and loss of fuel mileage from unknowingly having bent factory cam tabs
  • Excellent upgrade for Rock Crawlers who want to keep their alignment hardware protected while on the trail
  • Excellent upgrade for Desert Racers who want to prevent loss of alignment caused from hitting big bumps, dips, or bottoming out while jumping
  • Excellent upgrade for the daily driver to prevent loss of alignment from an accidental contact with curb or unavoidable objects on the highway


Has a Kit Price been set?

Yes! Retail will be only $129, and we will have a special introductory price of $99 for the first round of production!


When will this kit be ready for shipping or local pickup?

On or before Friday, June 7!


Can I get added to a waiting list?

Yes! Please click here to visit the Product page on our website, and use the "Notify when in stock" button to receive an instant email notification the moment they are ready to go!

Feel free to post up any questions and I'll reply to this thread with any and all updates!

Regards,
BigMike

« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2019, 12:22:51 PM by BigMike »
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Here come some installation detail pictures from our first prototype with my Tacoma

My suspension was removed because I was in the middle of installing my second V2 RCLT Prototype. Otherwise I could have left all suspension components installed and just welded the new Marlin Crawler HD Brace Kit parts on.

This info will be included in the Installation Guide, but if you're worried about heat affecting your bushings, then just do one bead of weld per LCA mount at a time, misting some water to help with cooling.

More on this is that (1) the majority of the welding is done away from your bushings, (2) our HD parts are very thick and absorb most of the heat, such that (3) heat transfer to your bushings is not a big concern. In fact, the original Toyota frame paint on my factory cam plates and inside face of each flange didn't even melt off. :thumbs:

Close-up of the angled front LCA gusseting with Uprights encompassing factory cam tabs



Close-up of the rear LCA gusseting with Uprights encompassing factory cam tabs.



Here is what a camber eccentric looks like installed. Depending on the position of your hardware, our HD Uprights add additional support around the indexed flange, spreading the load across a surface far greater than only just the cam tabs.



And finally, a couple pics showing the massive strength increase to your LCA mounts!





-------------------
EDIT: I forgot to include the carnage picture of the bent rear LCA mount from the King Of the Hammers 4Runner. This is their passenger side rear LCA mount. Both flanges bent rear-ward (left in this view) pretty badly, and for sure our HD Brace Kit would have prevented this!


-------------------

Click here for product pricing and details: https://www.marlincrawler.com/armor/axles/front-axle-armor/heavy-duty-lca-frame-brace-kit

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 07:38:04 AM by BigMike »
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

Phessor

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I am definitely interested in the 1st Gen Tacoma brackets when they are available.

ntsqd

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oh man, talk about a tease. I thot this was some first gen IFS goodness.......
Cross threaded is tighter than Locktite

BigMike [OP]

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We are now taking orders for our NEW Heavy Duty Lower Control Arm Brace Kit!

The first kit we are releasing is for 2005 and newer Tacomas, which we will begin shipping out Monday afternoon.

Regular price is $129, and our special introductory price of just $99 will last for the first 40 kits sold!

We are already developing kits for additional applications which are now listed on our website:
https://www.marlincrawler.com/armor/axles/front-axle-armor/heavy-duty-lca-frame-brace-kit

If you don't have a 2nd or 3rd gen Tacoma, then please locate your application from the list and use the "Notify when in stock" button to be added to your specific application's notification system.

I'll be posting more info early next week. Thank you and have a nice weekend!!

Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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We've put together an Overview video showcasing how parts are installed to the frame


We also created an easy to remember link to view applications and more info at:
MarlinCrawler.com/lca-brace

Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

Jaysen

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Hey Bigmike, I have a few questions. I run a 4 pieces aftermarket skipplate. By the way I have a 3gen 4runner 97. I was just curious if it will clear my skips. They are high clearence skips for ifs front end. You can pm me I live locally, maybe we can figure something out
95 22RE. Toyota Ext.Cab SAS. Dual Case.
1988 Honda Civic 4dr lx,
2007 Honda Ruckus scooter

 
 
 
 
 

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