Author Topic: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...  (Read 345 times)

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CliffordYota

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tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« on: Apr 04, 2020, 07:46:17 AM »
Im fairly new to the real crawler game and semi recently picked up a 1981 pickup with a 6in lift and 35s. the suspension is ridiculously stiff. It has pro comp explorer es1000 shock absorbers i believe. Is pro comp really that bad? I was thinking of doing bilsteins and some chevy 1500 leaf springs but i'm not totally sure what to do. the thing doesnt even want to flex over a lil mulch pile lol. I just would appreciate if someone could give me some nice soft 6in lift ideas.

Thanks,

toyodaaddict

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #1 on: Apr 04, 2020, 11:13:21 AM »
 :welcome:
I started with pro comp springs on my 1980 and I would say yes, pro comp is that bad. I would recommend looking at AllPro springs or RUF (rears up front) and 63"chevys. Bilsein 5125's will work well with either setup.

If you go with AllPro I would recommend there 4" springs or maybe 5" with low profile front hanger and shorter shackles. A 6" spring combined with front hanger and shackles will be way tall. Generally you want to keep these trucks as low as possible to fit the size tire you're going to run.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyota-truck-4runner/20665-63-chevy-1-2-ton-spring-swap-faq.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyota-truck-4runner/265669-rear-up-front-faq.html
80 shortbed-22re,w56,Marlin 23 spline dual cases,HighAngle drivelines,RUF/63"chevy's,35''mtr's,30 spline Longfields, Allpro highsteer.87 rear axle,5.29 gears,rear spool,BudBuilt cm, marlin HD clutch,ramsey 8000 winch. 
     https://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=101882.0

Rocksurfer

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #2 on: Apr 04, 2020, 01:10:55 PM »
Best way to fix Pro-Comp stiffness is to not have bought it in the first place, not known for being very flexy.
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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #3 on: Apr 05, 2020, 04:12:36 AM »
Im fairly new to the real crawler game .... I just would appreciate if someone could give me some nice soft 6in lift ideas.
Thanks,

Welcome aboard CliffordYota,

Flashing back to the beginning of my serious rock crawling days, discussions about flex and articulation were very frequent. As a member of the Mesa 4-Wheelers, I was among the most serious and experienced rock crawling gurus I knew.

There are two basic considerations for attacking and modifying a vehicle for serious rock crawling. Is it your daily driver and week-end rockcrawler?  Or is it a trailer queen, not driven on highways.

A trailer queen can be radically modified.  A daily driver must be safe on the highway.

My vehicles were daily drivers and serious crawling machines.

Here’s what I did to look at suspension and articulation on my 1985 shortbed…. First - I drove it up on one those ramps and looked at and studied what is binding or limiting suspension movement in both rear and front ends.  With the eye and help from friends, after about an hour we could see it, all opinions and suggestions were carefully noted.

Next, I experimented with the more common modifications – I removed leafs from the spring packs, that made a very noticeable difference. I bought shocks that had enough droop and compression lengths.  Next, I replaced the shackles, drop steering arm, steering drop link, went to aftermarket spring packs. And, finally I lifted truck about 4”, and went to 33” tires.  The modifications caused issues like driveshaft alignment, so I ended up doing trial and error on angle wedges under the axle housings.  All of my suspension modifications still allowed my daily driver safe to drive on the highway.

Oh yeah…. What is “serious rock crawling” you ask?... back in the day it was a trail with BFRs (Big Flipp’n Rocks) that visually looked nearly impossible to drive over and get from beginning to end of the trail.

There’s probably more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

Gnarls.


1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~26,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

blackdiamond

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #4 on: Apr 05, 2020, 03:03:14 PM »
The biggest downside to Pro Comp springs is that they are designed with the same load capacity as OEM. If you have a true spring lift in the back like I had on my ‘85 truck (Superlift) it is very stiff. The benefit was that it climbed like a goat in Moab. I had both Pro Comp 3.5 (blocks in rear) and Superlift 4.5 and the front springs on both really flexed just fine. Obviously, my current Alcans are far superior.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

Moab Tested & Rubicon Approved

Snowtoy

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #5 on: Apr 05, 2020, 03:34:22 PM »
The shocks are not so much the issue, most shocks are all built by monroe, regardless of the label, it is the springs.  Off the shelf lift kits springs were designed to just lift, and usually used the same number of leaves as OEM packs.  If you want both lift and ride quality, you have to buy leaves designed to do both, which usually means getting them through Alcan or another custom spring company.

6" of lift is pretty extreme to clear 35's, you can usually squeeze 33's on a 1st gen without a lift, so you should be able to get away with a 3" lift and some minor trimming of the wheel well openings for 35's.  General rule for trail rigs is lift as little as needed, and cut as much as possible to clear the tires you want, to keep your center of gravity low.
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

CliffordYota [OP]

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #6 on: Apr 05, 2020, 06:16:54 PM »
:welcome:
I started with pro comp springs on my 1980 and I would say yes, pro comp is that bad. I would recommend looking at AllPro springs or RUF (rears up front) and 63"chevys. Bilsein 5125's will work well with either setup.

If you go with AllPro I would recommend there 4" springs or maybe 5" with low profile front hanger and shorter shackles. A 6" spring combined with front hanger and shackles will be way tall. Generally you want to keep these trucks as low as possible to fit the size tire you're going to run.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyota-truck-4runner/20665-63-chevy-1-2-ton-spring-swap-faq.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyota-truck-4runner/265669-rear-up-front-faq.html



Thanks for the info! Yeah i never chose these leaf springs or shocks but hey, they are easy enough to change. I was also looking at trail gears super flex leaf springs. I was thinking to go with a 5 inch lift and wider axles the truck could hold stable and simulate a lower cg. Im not too sure though because i want to take low cg seriously in this rig.

CliffordYota [OP]

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #7 on: Apr 05, 2020, 06:24:40 PM »
Welcome aboard CliffordYota,

Flashing back to the beginning of my serious rock crawling days, discussions about flex and articulation were very frequent. As a member of the Mesa 4-Wheelers, I was among the most serious and experienced rock crawling gurus I knew.

There are two basic considerations for attacking and modifying a vehicle for serious rock crawling. Is it your daily driver and week-end rockcrawler?  Or is it a trailer queen, not driven on highways.

A trailer queen can be radically modified.  A daily driver must be safe on the highway.


My vehicles were daily drivers and serious crawling machines.

Here’s what I did to look at suspension and articulation on my 1985 shortbed…. First - I drove it up on one those ramps and looked at and studied what is binding or limiting suspension movement in both rear and front ends.  With the eye and help from friends, after about an hour we could see it, all opinions and suggestions were carefully noted.

Next, I experimented with the more common modifications – I removed leafs from the spring packs, that made a very noticeable difference. I bought shocks that had enough droop and compression lengths.  Next, I replaced the shackles, drop steering arm, steering drop link, went to aftermarket spring packs. And, finally I lifted truck about 4”, and went to 33” tires.  The modifications caused issues like driveshaft alignment, so I ended up doing trial and error on angle wedges under the axle housings.  All of my suspension modifications still allowed my daily driver safe to drive on the highway.

Oh yeah…. What is “serious rock crawling” you ask?... back in the day it was a trail with BFRs (Big Flipp’n Rocks) that visually looked nearly impossible to drive over and get from beginning to end of the trail.

There’s probably more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

Gnarls.

I do want to make this thing into a fairly serious off road rig but still on the road here and there. not a daily driver that's for sure. I want to make 35s work I guess is my point. I also definitely want to get decent flex and light damping so it rides smooth. It will be on the highway rarely but nothing over 60. the truck if anything will be at an average 30 mph around where i live. And hell yeah back in the day 33s and 4in was kickin. My family had two of these trucks they never died, thats why i love them. The guy that sold me the truck thought it had 260k. miles.....I was wondering why it was rust free and mint and inexpensive....come to find out it has 26,200 original miles lol.

CliffordYota [OP]

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #8 on: Apr 05, 2020, 06:26:36 PM »
The shocks are not so much the issue, most shocks are all built by monroe, regardless of the label, it is the springs.  Off the shelf lift kits springs were designed to just lift, and usually used the same number of leaves as OEM packs.  If you want both lift and ride quality, you have to buy leaves designed to do both, which usually means getting them through Alcan or another custom spring company.

6" of lift is pretty extreme to clear 35's, you can usually squeeze 33's on a 1st gen without a lift, so you should be able to get away with a 3" lift and some minor trimming of the wheel well openings for 35's.  General rule for trail rigs is lift as little as needed, and cut as much as possible to clear the tires you want, to keep your center of gravity low.

Thats a big help. I want to fit 35s and keep a fairly low cg.

Gnarly4X

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #9 on: Apr 06, 2020, 04:29:32 AM »
I do want to make this thing into a fairly serious off road rig... ....come to find out it has 26,200 original miles lol.

I am very very sad to read that you want to take a rare Toyota truck with extremely low mileage and destroy it on rock crawling trails. :yikes:

To each his own.  :sad2:

Gnarls. :disturbed:
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~26,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

CliffordYota [OP]

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #10 on: Apr 06, 2020, 07:24:48 AM »
I am very very sad to read that you want to take a rare Toyota truck with extremely low mileage and destroy it on rock crawling trails. :yikes:

To each his own.  :sad2:

Gnarls. :disturbed:

I bought it knowing it had 260k....  Don't worry, i'm not that stupid: I took all of the cosmetics off so they wont be damaged and hydrated them and they are stored already. The paintop job was done by a f****** paint brush and it's the only absolutely horrible thing on the rig.  so i dont mind the body to get a little tweaked. Other than that I am trying to keep this thing very clean why still purpose built. I have started to coat and oil the frame to preserve it but well see. and no I dont want to beat the s*** out of it, just want to let her live a little hasn't seen much dirt. Thanks for the info on the suspension it helped a ton. I look into some rock sliders for the future and some other body armor it wont see any trails anytime soon.

Snowtoy

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #11 on: Apr 06, 2020, 01:51:40 PM »
Thats a big help. I want to fit 35s and keep a fairly low cg.
For an idea of how low you can keep a rig, here is pic of a buddy'd rig he had about 12yrs ago, it had 37's.  Suspension lift was rears up front, which moved the front axle forward 3 inches, with Chevy 1/2 tons in the rear with 2" blocks as I recall.   
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

Snowtoy

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Re: tryin to fix stiff pro comp suspension...
« Reply #12 on: Apr 06, 2020, 02:19:15 PM »
I bought it knowing it had 260k....  Don't worry, i'm not that stupid: I took all of the cosmetics off so they wont be damaged and hydrated them and they are stored already. The paintop job was done by a f****** paint brush and it's the only absolutely horrible thing on the rig.  so i dont mind the body to get a little tweaked. Other than that I am trying to keep this thing very clean why still purpose built. I have started to coat and oil the frame to preserve it but well see. and no I dont want to beat the s*** out of it, just want to let her live a little hasn't seen much dirt. Thanks for the info on the suspension it helped a ton. I look into some rock sliders for the future and some other body armor it wont see any trails anytime soon.
You can keep a trail rig pretty clean if/when wheeling smart, sure, you can get a scratch here or there, but if you wheel it like it was your parents house and you had a party while they are away back in HS, you should be able to keep it clean.  My '90, that I have had/wheeled since new, had fewer dents, then my '91 did when I got it in '05, it looked like Mr. Magoo drove it through the Rubicon, and it was used as a winery truck,

As far as building a 1st gen goes, if it is a 7/10 or better, if it were me, I would really be tempted to restore it to stock, with what their values are today, then buy a beater and be money ahead, but it all depends on what your plans for its use is, i.e., DD/expedition wheeling rig, or a "watch me do this/lets see if I can climb that" rig.
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

 
 
 
 
 

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