For a while I had been thinking about the future of EvilFJ.
It’s been a great vehicle, and she’s been dead nuts reliable, and has taken me everywhere I’ve wanted her to take me, but I was starting to ask “What’s next?”
Two options came to mind, either front Total Chaos long travel, or a solid axle swap. But then, she’s about paid off, and worth a pretty penny, being a 2014 with only 70K+ miles on her. Instead of spending approximately $10K on either SAS or LT, I could also sell it, and do something else. An 80 to tool around in, and an Aussie HJ75 to be built into a crawler toy.
And then Mark from Metaltech 4×4 called. He had removed the TotalChaos long travel from the orange shop truck, and offered it to me, to include the shocks rebuilt by Icon, and the TC hardware overhauled by TC. An offer I couldn’t refuse, and shortly thereafter parts started showing up at EvilFJ Headquarters.
First order of business was the complete disassembly of the old suspension. The old Radflo stuff served me very well, and I quickly found a new owner for just about the entire setup.
I chose to order and install a set of Total Chaos Cam Tab Gussets, as it’s a nice upgrade over the stock ones. I’ve never damaged a stock one, but I can see where a good hit of a rock will cause alignment grief.
Installation is quite straight forward, weld the new ones together, drill the spot welds off of the old ones, and chisel them off. You clean the area, and burn them in after carefully aligning them with the bolt holes.
After that is was assembly time. All the Total Chaos bushings were lubricate with the recommended, and included Superlube. I ordered a few tubes and loaded up a grease gun with it as well.
Because the system was removed from Mark’s truck, the secondary shock hoops were cut short, where they were removed from the frame. I sleeved them with some steel tubing, and welded some mounting feet on the frame, notching the tube to sit on the feet. Came out great, if I say so myself!
When assembling, I removed the coilover spring, so I would be able to do a few things – check for shock travel and CV binding, and see clearances.
Part of the assembly is the fitting and installing of the limit straps, the extended break lines, and the tie rod extensions, all supplied in the Total Chaos kit. Due to the secondary shock location, I had a hard time getting the break line on without kinking, so I ended up making some new tabs, piggybacking them off the limit strap mounts.
To be continued…