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Discussion Starter #1
So funny story. Using the car-part website I've been watching for elocker 80 axles. Hard to find here. One popped up a few weeks ago. Thur a few weeks ago I called on it, 450 bucks, hub to hub, 280 driving miles away. So Fri about 8 days ago I decided I'd go down Saturday, the next day. Call after work, they guy says they sold it about a half hour ago and the recipient just pulled in his truck. It was a let down as thats a pretty sweet deal. Over the next few days the listing in the website disappears. Yesterday I do my 345,987'th time per day check as I was bored off my ass, well it was back up at the same place for 450. I called, the same guy answered, started laughing and said the guy that was buying it cancelled literally minutes after I called on Friday because he thought it was 250, not 450. So I used my entire day off to make the miserable drive to that shit hole, that-is Newark NJ. But he said if I paid cash I can get it tax free, lol. Shady. I saved about 36 bucks, though.

Anyhow my plan was do build my own radius arms. I was thinking I was getting literally just the axle, hubs, brakes etc, but I got pretty much the entire suspension minus the steering box.

Anyone have any opinion on if I should just use the FJ80 arms or shave the axle and build? FJ coils? I know they'd certainly lift a Tacoma. Use a 2.0-2.5" c/o from Fox/King/SAW? <---Which was my plan with building the arms. I figure when I move back somewhere where there is actually wheeling (AKA the NW) I can shave the axle and build new arms that are a bit more suitable.

I'm not building a hardcore wheeler. I want it to be road-worthy (hence radius arms, I've read 3-4 links can be a little scary at 60-70 mph.), as I have no plans to stay in NY beyond 2 years out from about now. Oregon is way better in almost every way.

Input appreciated.

wooooooooo
 

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As the proud owner of a radius arm build, Ford not Toyota, welcome.
How long are the arms? The length of the arms is a key factor in how much flex you'll get.
I wound up hacking some stock Ford radius arms off just to get the C's to fit the axle wedges then made the arms about a foot longer than stock Ford arms. While I was at it, I built in some caster adjustment which was also missing from the Ford setup.
The crossmember was moved back to accomidate the arm length which also worked out well for the crawl box too.

The radius arm setup has worked out very well for me. It resulted in a great balance between a street and trail rig. I get 36" of flex which I think is ample for 35" tires and it handles very well, if anything better than it did with the stock IFS setup.

It really gets tight for space under the Tacoma so when you go to find places to put things like a sway bar and the Panhard the radius arm setup really helps. There's no pesky upper link to futz around with.
The radius arm geomery helps with pinion angles and such and you need not worry about needing long slip drive shafts or any of that sort of foolishness either.
The axle describes an arc though it's travel which is why you'll see my coilovers set at a slight angle if you see pics of my setup.
I didn't use any fru fru fancy heim joints either because I simply didn't need them. I did use some rod ends, nothing fancy or expensive but only where it was more convient and cost effective, the Panhard and the upper links for the radius arms but just to make adjustment easy to accomplish with left and right hand threaded rod ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Scuba, no doubt they can. Just seems the flexiness of them needs a bit more effort to control on the highway. But regardless, I just dont think it's what I want to build.

Dick, I've seen photo's of your radius arm setup in NorCal TTORA. And yeah, I know the longer the radius arm, the lower the angle for a given wheel lift, which is key in radius arms. Your castor adjustment link seems to help that as well by making the link less rigid, torsional deflection I suppose, but compared to a stock 80 arm. I think the 80 arms are about 2.5 ft in length, much shorter than yours, which I recall mount to the trans crossmember.

The big thing I am fighting with is if I built arms, what joints would be best? Heim joints are not what you want to use in a radius arm setup (maybe for the chassis mount). It doesn't seem suitable bushings are very popular so I was thinking a posibility would be hack the FJ arm and weld in the bushing receiver.

Maybe I need to harass Vegas Kurt. I he did basically what I am considering minus using a Diamond housing for a stock lefty case.
 

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Actually my arm with caster setup is very rigid. It just moves when I adjust the caster. This is not what they call a wristed radius arm. There are jam nuts that lock it all down tight and it makes like a solid triangle. If anything it's stiffer than a stock Ford arm. The only movement is in the rear joint which attaches to the crossmember. I used the standard Ford type setup with lateraly mounted two piece rubber bushings. They're cheap as dirt. They allow the arm to rotate and tilt up and down. Yes I do have to replace the bushings every two or three years but it's cheap and easy to do. It takes a couple hours maybe. Put the frame up on jack stands. Unbolt the rear joint and maybe drop the drag link, roll the axle forward then replace the front bushings, slide the thing back together and replace the rear bushings, install nut and jam nut and it's job done. The thing is not to limit rotation which is what heims do so you don't want to go there.
I've got some fine tuning for setting the length of the arms exactly equal back there too.

2.5 ft sounds to be a little on the short side. You might want to give some serious thought to making them longer. I forgot what mine are but it's longer than 2.5 ft. I think even the stock Ford arms were longer than that. Arm length is key to flex. I can't say that enough.

You might spend some time looking over the Early Bronco boards. They've done radius arm setups to death but remember that you probably have a longer wheel base than an Early Bronco. That's where wristed arms came about. It was or is a big market for after market arms which all seem to have boiled down to longer arms. It's where I got all my basic info from. I had an early Bronco for awhile but sold it and applied the info I'd picked up to my swap. None of the after market arms did the caster thing so I did that bit on my own since I was making my own arms anyway. It's not exaclty rocket science or anything, it's all pretty much common sense. The length or flex you need will be determined mainly by your tire size and your wheel base. Simple geometry is all you need, well maybe a little trig too.

Scuba, no doubt they can. Just seems the flexiness of them needs a bit more effort to control on the highway. But regardless, I just dont think it's what I want to build.

Dick, I've seen photo's of your radius arm setup in NorCal TTORA. And yeah, I know the longer the radius arm, the lower the angle for a given wheel lift, which is key in radius arms. Your castor adjustment link seems to help that as well by making the link less rigid, torsional deflection I suppose, but compared to a stock 80 arm. I think the 80 arms are about 2.5 ft in length, much shorter than yours, which I recall mount to the trans crossmember.

The big thing I am fighting with is if I built arms, what joints would be best? Heim joints are not what you want to use in a radius arm setup (maybe for the chassis mount). It doesn't seem suitable bushings are very popular so I was thinking a posibility would be hack the FJ arm and weld in the bushing receiver.

Maybe I need to harass Vegas Kurt. I he did basically what I am considering minus using a Diamond housing for a stock lefty case.
 

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check out battlement fab's radius arms, it might give you some more ideas they have a pretty cool set-up and cater alot to broncos but ive seen a taco that used em before. http://www.battlementfab.com/Radius-Arm-Kit_p_8.html

the tacoma im talking about with teh radius is guapotaco he made a thread in COTTORA awhile ago!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DHwreckage, yeah that that same basic type that Dick uses, though he uses different joints. Oh---yeah found the thread. I'm a bit impressed. I thought the front joints would have to be more flexible but apparently not. Thats for the information.

Dick, I'll look more into that Bronco stuff, thanks. The rear joint they use looks like it'd work pretty well and provide more vibration dampening to the chassis (appealing). The axial loading on the joint kind of creeps me out at first glance, but apparently it works in those things, cant deny that.
 

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Dick's radius arms.









 

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Dick's radius arms.









Damn that looks like a pretty slick sway bar set up dick, can i get some more pics of it or what you used? whether i 3-link or use some better radius arms on my land cruiser im going to have to figure out a method to put a sway bar on and it looks like something like your could work!
 

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Yeah I know it looks dicey but it works. Well so far as I can tell from about 80K miles or so, maybe more. LOL

DHwreckage, yeah that that same basic type that Dick uses, though he uses different joints. Oh---yeah found the thread. I'm a bit impressed. I thought the front joints would have to be more flexible but apparently not. Thats for the information.

Dick, I'll look more into that Bronco stuff, thanks. The rear joint they use looks like it'd work pretty well and provide more vibration dampening to the chassis (appealing). The axial loading on the joint kind of creeps me out at first glance, but apparently it works in those things, cant deny that.
 

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I forgot who I got the kit from, Rock Auto I think was.

The arms came way longer so you could cut them down to fit whatever you were doing. They have different length torsion bars.

The down links are just rod ends and some all thread. The lower pins I made from grade 8 bolts by cutting the heads off. Washers and some hitch pins and you're done. I tie it up out of the way for the trail with velcro straps.

I was a bit worried about those splines going into the aluminum arms at first but they seems to be holding up very well indeed.

The way my setup worked the location of the stock sway bar worked out so I put the torsion bar mounts there and cut the arms to length.

It's gonna depend a lot on what you do and whether or not you're three linking it. That upper link can make finding space for things like sway bars difficult.

Damn that looks like a pretty slick sway bar set up dick, can i get some more pics of it or what you used? whether i 3-link or use some better radius arms on my land cruiser im going to have to figure out a method to put a sway bar on and it looks like something like your could work!
 

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They look to be a little on the short side to me.
They ain't exactly cheap either and they used those stinkin heims that don't really work out so well for flex.
I suggest making them to fit what you're doing. It ain't rocket science.
BTW Mine have a little bit of a dog leg in them to get the rear of the link straighend up so they could twist freely in the joint and clear stuff a little better. It just seemed to be the thing to do. The Ford axle sets them at a slight inboard angle.
 

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Feel free to harass me. I still like my setup 2.5 years later. I can daily drive it and it got me through the rubicon with no issues.


Fox/King 2.0 10" coilovers is what I would use if I could do it again. My 12" FOAs are a touch to long and leak if you look at them wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Kurt. I read you used 12's so I figured they'd do right if you got them to work with the stock arms, though I wasn't sure I saw the need for them.

Dick what length travel coilovers did you use? Also I know your radius arms are partly 2-layered. You have the half-pipe on the bottom to soak up the carnage. What size you use for the center-section, though? I figured 2" OD at .25" wall would be more than enough. Can do some math and find the stress in the middle with 1/2 the truck weight, though, to see if it's bend.

Appreciate the feed back fellas.
 

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I used twelves because I didn't want to get into moving crap around under the hood. With all the crap I have under the hood there isn't room to move stuff around must less try to put anything else in there.

As I recall I used inch and a half quarter wall but it could have been 120 wall, I forgot. Age is a bitch sometimes. The bottom half tube skid material was bigger of course so it would fit around the inch and half. I double tubed the rear bit of the radius arms where it straightens up to connect to the crossarm so it's inch and half inside 2" or something like that. So far it's proven to be durable and nothing has bent and I don't think it ever will but you should never say never.

Thanks Kurt. I read you used 12's so I figured they'd do right if you got them to work with the stock arms, though I wasn't sure I saw the need for them.

Dick what length travel coilovers did you use? Also I know your radius arms are partly 2-layered. You have the half-pipe on the bottom to soak up the carnage. What size you use for the center-section, though? I figured 2" OD at .25" wall would be more than enough. Can do some math and find the stress in the middle with 1/2 the truck weight, though, to see if it's bend.

Appreciate the feed back fellas.
 
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