Friday, November 20, 2015

After one year of ownership & my current set up.

As of 11-4-2015 I have had my Lexi one year.

This was my build year & I am looking forward to a lot more seat time as far as camping & wheeling. I have put to much thought & energy into this suspension flex business & need to move on with my build other than getting more inches of articulation.

So what I did was just gave up trying to get huge gains in suspension travel, I threw in the towel & put some shorter L shocks on. I'll quote some veterans by saying these 80s are not rock donkeys & use them for expo rigs rather than rocks crawlers.

By putting the front L shocks on it limits the travel to prevent the tie rod hitting the control arms & also allows disconnecting the sway bar. By just putting them on lifted my front almost 1" & also gives me the firm stability that I have been looking for.

I will also play with putting back in the OEM bushings along with narrowing the front control arms to reduce axle bracket bind with the control arms. The new goal is freedom of movement rather than more flex.

This is my current set up as of now:

I currently have the OME Old Man Emu 851/860 medium spring combo with a 25mm/ 1" spring spacer in front for a more level stance.

For shocks Lexi now has the longer OME L shocks front & rear. 

To keep the drive line from contacting the sway bar at full drop, there is 1.25" front sway bar spacers. 

To keep the rear L shock & 315 tires at bay there is a 1.25" block spacer at the frame bump stop to keep the rear L shock from over compression with 1" of up travel left for full compression & to keep the 35"/315 tire from rubbing in the fender well.

In front is the stock bump stops, the L shock up there is fine with 1.5" left of shock travel to compress for full bump compression. Also to note I added washers to front Ls to make them .5" longer. They now measure 15.75" to 27" from the 15.25" to 26.5"... 

To add length to the brake lines I lowered the stock mounts.

To correct caster & add 2" more drop travel Lexi has 2" MAF front control arm brackets with the yellow 2° CC bushings. (Soon coming back out for more flexible OEM bushings).

The wheels have 1" spacers with 3.5" of back spacing to prevent rubbing inside rear fender & to give a wider stance for stability.

To allow unrestricted travel a 1" body lift was added, also to help with airflow over engine compartment & passenger side floorboard cooling.

Lexi does have light armor front & rear with some slider nerf type protection. The spare tire is inside with a modest unfinished storage system.

The transfer case did receive lower gearing from a set of Marlin Crawler reduction gears.
That's about it... Below are some pics.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disconnected front sway bar with OME L shocks works for me

I was on my way to the grocery store but I had the urge to test out the new L shocks at my local playground with a dico'd front sway bar. The new Ls make it firm & stable enough to wheel it this way. I don't know why people complain about these being harsh or jarring... maybe compaired to a stock shock...

I just wanted to add that a 26.5" L shock won't drop out my 850 or 851+25mm like in my video. Mine did fit snug that way.

I wanted more drop so I added the 2" MAF drop brackets that add 2" more drop, also diconnected sway plus added a .5" of washers to the shock to make it longer to ext. 27" this drops the coil out by 1".

Monday, November 9, 2015

We had a blast at Turf N Surf 2015

The family went to Turf N Surf 2015. It would be safe to say my family caught the wheelin fever this weekend. This will be a annual event for us from now on. The people where great to be around & the event was well organized. The 2 days wasn't enough time to visit & meet up with  everyone. I was having such a great time I forgot to take pictures, but here are some I did get.

This guy did a great video.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New shocks for Lexi

I put these shocks on today & my 1st impression was it lifted up Lexi about 1" crazy... It feels like a sports car now, firm & stable. Some say that OME shocks are harsh & some even say jarring. I can see how that could be if comparing them to a stock shock, but I welcome these L shocks compaired to the sloshy unsafe shocks I had. These shocks are valved for the 80 & the OME springs. I havent seen a $100 price range shock that works this good so far. Some have been happy with the Fox 2.0 non reservoir at approx. $130 each.
Here are the specs & my actual measurements
Rear 60071L
Comp. 387mm/15.23"
Ext. 673mm/26.49"
My measurement was 15.25" to 26.5"
OME L shocks specs
Front 60070L
Comp. 381mm/15"
Ext. 667mm/26.26"
My measurement .25" more than spec 15.25" to 26.5" I didn't take pictures, sorry.
I did add some extra washers to make them long 26.9" just shy of 27"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I lowered my Lexi...

If I was going to start all over...
I would just get 1" spring spacers & 1" body lift. (Approx. $200) No shocks, nothing else, the stock shocks extend within .5" of the OME 2.5" lifted shocks. (If you absolutely need shocks, then you really can't beat the proven OME "L" shock. They are made for an 80 series. Yes they will fit with a stock 19" free height spring plus a 1" spacer, it's all about the free height of the spring.) Stop there untill you got educated here on mud & then pulled the trigger on a full lift later, if you decide to do so.. Go to Slee offroads website newbie section & the 80 series FAQJ springs are a approximately a 3.5" lift that will need possibly many other things... I have OME 851/860 w/25mm spacer which is same as a 850/860 2.5" of lift & yellow caster bushings. (I should of stayed with OEM control bushings & did the washer mod or plates.) When they say 2.5" is max they mean it. 1" with these 80s creates a big difference.

I threw my old tired stock springs & 1" spring spacers in the other day to prove a point that you don't need a full blown lift to do 35s or 315s. (This is something I learned after I had purchased my lift.) Yes it works with the longer 26.5" L shocks & stock OEM bumpstops.
After DDing & wheelin around awhile I found it to be great on road, but not so great offroad. The springs are not strong enough to absorb bigger bumps before hitting the bumpstops. I was also dragging the rear bumper & belly more often than my medium lift. The stock springs only give 2" of uptravel compared to the 4" my OME mediums offer.
So, soon I will be going back to my OME lift to get back to a better bump stop gap & firmer ride. This experiment was a good education for me to get a better feel of the rig.
Below is my rig with the 25mm spacers & 1" body lift. It actually needs a 30mm in the rear though.
Here is my Lexi with 1.5" more lift. 3.5" total lift again. The body & belly is up 1.5" more which does make a big difference. Also the shocks now have 4.5" of uptravel which gives a good 40/60 ration on a 11" travel shock.
GW Nugget's Family Haulin Lexi450 build....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hardcore wheelin 80 series fj80 fzj80 Lx450

Not to often do you see hardcore vids like these in a 80 series.
As I come across worthy videos to post, they will go here.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

More front flex for the Lexi450

Need help, I can't help it, It's really bad, I'm completely submerged in this... I'm loosing sleep & constantly carry my phone around reading 80 series subjects & build threads on the mud forum. Is this what they call "The Addiction"?

Thanks to @baldilocks I have aquired a set of the MAF drop brackets that I have been writing talking about. They where very simple to put on with a we bit of filing they slid right in. The 1st thing I noticed is they measured out to a 2.5" drop rather than the assumed 2" by the name of them. Once on the road I noticed a big difference in road manners. It's a more relaxing feel & Lexi turns much better. The rear seems to follow the turn rather than want to lift up & come overy the top. A stiffer sway bar in the rear I think would help this also.
That was the bonus. Now for the main reason I got these was to hopefully increase down travel, well it did by two more inches. The shocks were only ext. to 26.5" now they are going 28.5"
They definitely don't hang down as bad as the 3" MAF brackets. I'm still using my yellow caster bushings.
Now I need some of those 50mm Slinky coils. They have a free height of 24" that's 4" tallerthan what I have. 851s are 19" with the 1" spacer, that's 20" of free height.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Value of Balanced Flex

I'm beginning to understand the value of balanced flex. I put longer shocks on the back thinking this would make things better but it didn't it actually increased more body lean or roll. It was said maybe here, I've read so many threads... that limiting the back will force the front to flex or work sooner. Here is a pic showing more body roll after increasing more rear flex than front. Since 1st pic I removed my front bump pucks after the 1" body lift. End results was 3" more up travel & less body lean or roll. I am now a big believer in a body lift for the 80 series & not bump stopping front travel.
My next move to increase front down travel is to lower the aft rear of the control arm via MAF drop brackets. Think about it... it's just basic geometry. Look @Apounder... he is a perfect example of a bunch of flex by lowering the rear aft of the control arm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

8 day Sierra National Forest family adventure

We just got back from an 8 day Sierra National Forest family adventure. Lexi didn’t miss a beat pulling a loaded 6 X12 box trailer & family up the 6% to 8% at times grade on Hwy 168 to Shaver Lake. We went on to Huntington Lake & camped 3 days there. From there we visited Mono Hot Springs, Edison Lake, that's as far East as you can go up unless you walk. On the way back we found the North end of the Dusy Ershim Trail.

We also hiked up to Rancheria Falls. The falls where barely running due to the drought. It's sad. Here is a pic of Huntington Lake & how bad the drought is here in Cali. The smoke is from the Rough Fire South of us at Hume Lake area.

No really, we had a great time. The plan was to attend the High Sierra Poker Run that was canceled due to smoke etc. A bunch of friends did the Swamp Lake trail anyways on Saturday. On Sunday we did the Bald Mtn trails. I didn't get many pics of Lexi wheelin, but I'll share what I have, most of my pics are kids ruining around having fun being kids... That's the important stuff, the kids.

The 315 Cooper ST Maxx tires really gripped good. They guys made a lot of commets about them doing so well. Wish Lexi had a set of 37s though. Lots of deep holes out there compared to 18 years ago. These trails are getting tore up from bigger rigs.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sliders installed & painted.

Lexi received her last major purchase of the season... the rock sliders are on & ready to go sliding.
I got a really good deal with them welded on with no paint. So, today I taped her up & painted them with the Dupli-Color Bed Armor. I'm hoping the bumpy texture will help with the family getting in & out without slipping.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bumpstop Removal After Body Lift Install

With the OME medium lift on my Lexi, I had to install bumpstops in the front to stop the 315s from rubbing in the fenders. I installed the 1" body lift so I could remove the bumpstops to allow more uptravel. I am happy with the results, it does flex a lot better than before. Today we improved uptravel, next is improving down travel. It doesn't want to go past 27" extension. I believe installing a set of MAF drop brackets will do the trick.
I have a video coming stay tuned...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Heater Block Valve Quick Fix.

My wife has been sitting in the "Hot Seat".
The 2nd row rear heater under the passenger seat has been very hot lately. I removed the hose at the heater block valve to check the position & noticed it wasn't closing all the way shut, probly since the head gasket replacement. I fixed that & since I allready purchased a brass ball vavle I went ahead & installed it for just for in case. Summers are hot out here... don't need anymore of that. Here is some pics.