Author Topic: Marlin Crawler's New Rock Crawling Long Travel IFS Suspension System (#RCLT)  (Read 21881 times)

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BigMike

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May 1, 2019: First Road Trip on RCLT HD!

The very next morning with less than 10 miles on RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 I loaded up and headed south for a 500 mile round-trip journey to the Los Angeles area!

And HOLY CRAP guys this front end rides LIGHT YEARS BETTER than the one-off prototype LT setup I've been running all these trails with. Unbelievably better!!

It rides WAY smoother, corners WAY better, comes out of corners WAY better, drives PERFECTLY STRAIGHT at 75 MPH on the highway, and is simply everything I could ever ask for thus far.

I've been intentionally driving up and off curbs all over the place and am completely amazed at how the front end sucks up bumps, NOTHING like my old LT setup.

I can NOT WAIT to get this baby out on a trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RCLT HD. Amazing.


And I thought the rear leaf spring setup was a pile of crap before??? The front suspension is SO GOOD that now the rear suspension is SIMPLY UNBEARABLE!!!!!!! What can I do to improve the crappy rear suspension??


Coffee break, south end of Bakersfield, CA



Filling up in "what am I doing here" Tujunga, CA



Eat your heat out automatic owners!! Ha! And this INCLUDES going up and over the Grape Vine! (~ 4,000 ft climb & descent)

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BigMike [OP]

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Finally, I addressed timeline for pricing and availability in response to a user from another forum as follows:

===========QUOTE =============
Quote
In In In we need release dates and pricing please :D :D :D :D
I know :( and I'd like to chat about this real quick.

We still have a LOT of work to do... Thus far everything RCLT related has been a two man show: Myself designing/producing/installing/marketing, and my lead fabricator Rocky doing the welding.

So far we have only made 1 x each prototype, which is very slow to produce and extremely expensive.

The good news moving forward is that I now have confidence for the next prototype (V3.0) to be considered a RC (Release Candidate, sorry I'm also a programmer :p) which means we'll be producing a few of them. Sorry, they have long been scheduled for specific vehicles with tight and confidential (NDA) criteria.

I am mentioning this now because I am confident that V3.0 will be the last prototype after which I will *finally* pass the reigns of RCLT HD over to CruzrDave, who is my lead production and operations manager. He will then have the uphill task of establishing vendors, creating production schedules, creating part numbers, getting raw materials in, organizing warehouse space, figuring out packaging & shipping, educating our sales and installation teams, and so on.
Somewhere in there he will figure out costs and finally a retail price. I'll then move to working on the installation guide, pictures, video marketing, and getting all the information up on our Store website.

This is all shorthand for WE HAVE A SH*T TON OF WORK TO DO and RCLT HD will have one of the highest SKU counts for a single product we've ever done as a company. So this isn't something where we just blow our nose and suddenly we have RCLT HD listed on our website with same day shipping ready to go.

I am still hopeful for a Summer release, but, the Standard RCLT kit obviously is behind schedule. Of course it was never our intent to release info and get all this hype started without actually having a product ready to sell (not many companies spend hours of time posting to forums about progress of expensive prototypes with ROI no where in sight) but we were motivated by specific factors to get progress of RCLT out as soon as we could.

It's a lot of moving pieces :cheers:
======================END QUOTE========================

...and that's where we are today as of early May, 2019!

Current Progress on hopefully the last prototype:
I've been working late nights trying to get V3.0 CAD files submitted today for the next and hopefully final round of prototyping, but I probably won't get it finished until early next week. We've had a lot of other things going on at work and I just returned this past Monday after spending the previous 9 days out of town working on another project.

I will keep the thread updated and will check in to respond to questions. Thank you everyone for your patience and we know RCLT is gonna be a game changer for Rock Crawling + IFS!!

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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

Mtkid

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Great job Mike, and your enthusiasm is contagious for the release of the final version!

Can you comment briefly on the steering angle you have?

Can't wait to see this become available for other platforms and continue to push the industry  :biggthumpup:
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Wainiha

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Very nice suspension.  If I needed it here and could afford it I'd buy it.

BTW, Mike where did you run your extra light wiring through the firewall?  I have more lights to put on.

2000 3.4L xtra-cab Tacoma.
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All stock for now.

^ Who let Wainiha into the mainland?? :yikes: - Big Mike

BigMike [OP]

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Great job Mike, and your enthusiasm is contagious for the release of the final version!

Can you comment briefly on the steering angle you have?

Can't wait to see this become available for other platforms and continue to push the industry  :biggthumpup:
Thank you for the kind words Mtkid. I took many measurements with my former LT setup but have not had time to work on the Tacoma since getting it back on the road. I'll be posting comparative data sometime soon hopefully.

Very nice suspension.
Mahalo nui loa!!

BTW, Mike where did you run your extra light wiring through the firewall?  I have more lights to put on.
Yes, for the front. I've poked a small hole in the driver side's main rubber grommet.

For circuits leaving the back of the Access Cab, I found an unused hole with rubber plug approximately directly behind the driver rear passenger lower seat belt bolt/mount and have fed a few wires out back through there. :thumbs:

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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

V-Man

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What are the chances of V3.0 having some kind of manual hub?. :headscratch:
I would not care if I had to sit on the ground with wrench every time if I could just have manual hubs on the front. :thumbs:

Toyotadon

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I may know of a place you could go for alignments. Send me a PM to discuss.

Superbad

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So much awesomeness here. I need to start saving for its release. :D

BigMike [OP]

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What are the chances of V3.0 having some kind of manual hub?. :headscratch:
I would not care if I had to sit on the ground with wrench every time if I could just have manual hubs on the front. :thumbs:
I know, we have already looked into this and it is going to be a lot of work. There are a couple solutions out there that use 1st gen Tacoma axles (extremely weak) as well as Dana 44 axles (also weak) that I would have zero confidence with handling 40" tires. For example, first gen Tacoma axles already break with 33" tires, so... :outtahere:

I may know of a place you could go for alignments. Send me a PM to discuss.
Hello Don! PM incoming!

So much awesomeness here. I need to start saving for its release. :D
:beerchug:
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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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Got a few more pics I should copy over from my build thread. These are from my first 500 mile road trip with RCLT a few weeks ago:



#RCLT HD Passenger Side



#RCLT HD Driver Side





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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

dankunz

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Still here with my ready hat on :)

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Iron Jack

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This is a kit to be really excited about! I will be putting it on my 2020 Tacoma later this year when they are released. Right now, just thinking about if I will run 37" or 39"  tires. Thanks for posting all the details and taking the time and high effort to get it as good as you can!

Two Dogs

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Just a quick reply to subscribe to this thread. This looks like exactly what i am looking for and i will be following along closely.

Iron Jack

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Thanks for working on building this RCLT HD kit optimized or trails. There is an awesome full blown kit out there but like you said, it's for desert race and 4.5" is too wide for narrow trails. As far as your comment about the crapy leaf spring in your rear, I see in your latest pictures you have one of the coolest 3 link set ups I have ever seen in it's place now. Your latest suspension looks like the new gold standard. I will be doing the same on my new 2020 Tacoma in a few months.

canadian bum

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Looks like you're getting pretty close to the working limit of the heim for your steering. Have you thought about using an actual beefy tie rod end? Much better working angles for a steering application and better for steering than a heim. You were talking about potential for more down travel but you're going to be binding soon if not already. I've attached a couple of pics to show the working angle as well as my own application that I got.

This V2.0 looks much better than V1.0 by a lot.



78 FJ45 Now going to be 1HD-T on 80 series axles / http://forum.ih8mud.com/fj45-owners-club/107069-fj-45-build-up-restoration.html
79 BJ40 Going to be a 1HD-T on 80 series axles / http://forum.ih8mud.com/40-55-series-tech/266976-bj40-build-up-resto.html#post4143046
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gnob

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Shouldn't the TRs be flat at ride height?  I know the lift angle is what kills inner TREs on stock rack and pinion.
hold this. . .

dankunz

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*poke poke*

I am still ready!  We need pics and updates!  Did you solve the V8 problem!?!

4stair

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do we have any fitment pics or info on the fj cruiser version of this yet????

BigMike [OP]

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Thank you for all the nice replies everyone. It's been a long summer for me as I broke two ribs early last month which has slowed down my productivity. No major updates as of yet, however I plan to submit all drawings for V3 (hopefully the last) prototype this Friday to begin building it in about 2 to 3 weeks (time it takes to laser cut as well as build V2 jigs). I'll be posting more once that process begins. I am definitely behind with the Standard RCLT kit production unfortunately...

Looks like you're getting pretty close to the working limit of the heim for your steering.
Thanks for the reply. I do prefer the idea of a double sheer setup but am not committed on the TRE of choice yet. What is the source on that tie rod end? I'd like to review it's specs. As for the bend angle, I have designed the steering arm with a 10-degree slant which could be increased more if needed.
Currently and in order, the downtravel limits are:
#1: The inner CV joint. (RCV cannot improve this any further so the only option is a diff drop which defeats a major purpose of RCLT)
#2: The MarRack ITR joint. (Easy to improve this design)
#3: The TRE jam nut interfering with the steering arm. (Easy to improve this by adding more than the 10-degree angle in the steering arm)
#4: Finally, the heim joint max bend angle. (Same as #3: Easy to improve this by adding more than the 10-degree angle in the steering arm)

So downtravel is already limited by the axle shaft long before the heim joint. I've discussed a few different axle designs with RCV including the use of a slip-joint mid-shaft, which they actually designed for UTVs but the added cost for this was very high (on already one of the most expensive parts) and even despite the use of roller bearings still encountered too much friction resulting in other issues. The concept is to ditch the 30-degree max angle inner slip joint and use the fixed (non-slip) 43-degree angle outer CVs at both out-board and in-board locations... The end result would have a quite large diameter meaning the spacing of the RCLT V-Groove would need to be increased which would result in a major loss to ground clearance...

$$$$



Shouldn't the TRs be flat at ride height?  I know the lift angle is what kills inner TREs on stock rack and pinion.
Ideally, yes. Same for the axle shaft. But it's not easy fitting 40s haha My ride height is, however, about 0.75" taller than before, which I do not like, so once I get healthy and resume working on the Taco I plan to lower it a bit which will help level those parts out.

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: Jul 17, 2019, 09:17:36 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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

OVRAROK

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That tie rod is an EMF tie rod.. there out of canada.. :thumbs:
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