View Full Version : FJ40 AAL Lift

03-14-2011, 10:47 AM
Last month the FJ40 got some new tires; 33.5" BFG ATs which were larger than the 31" tires that had been on the truck since I got it. The new tires are great, but they were rubbing on the tail pipe just about every time you would turn a corner. I felt it was important to get additional lift and was not quite ready to pull the trigger on a full OME kit. I installed Rancho AAL and new U-bolts and am pleased with the results (Corner, Original Height, After AAL Height and Net Gain).

DF 35.75" 37.50" 1.75"
PF 35.25" 37.00" 1.75"
DR 33.75" 35.50" 1.75"
PR 33.00" 35.25" 2.25"

The rub is all gone. Many have posted up that AAL results in a harsh and bumpy ride. This is not the case for me. My ride is every bit as smooth as it was before the AAL install. I was able to source the AAL (Rancho part # RS60612) from High Country 4X4 locally and ordered the U-bolts (Rancho part # RS77011) online. I need to measure my flex and determine if my shocks need to be changed. The actual lift is not quite two inches, but it is a definate improvement over the stock configuration. It looks good. :D


I don't know that we have this information on our board yet; so copied from MUD which copied from the LCML - here are the details for this lift as chronicled by Mr. Zepp.

From: Jeff Zepp <jeffzepp@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [LCML] stock springs and 33-9.50-15 fits

>I was going to purchase 33 950 15 for my 40 with stock springs and stock
>wheels. I was wondering if I could get away with usind extended shackles to
>avoid scrubbing the sheet metal? I have the opportunity to purchase pro comp
>2.5 springs at a good price, but they are 5 leaves front and rear and was
>told they ride kind of stiff, so i would rather use my stocker if possible
>with the use of shackles. My use of the vehicle would be rock crawling and
>attempting the rubicon after body armor improvements.
>Anyone done this or have information for me?

You will likely rub anyway with stock springs. Shackles will only get you so far before handling becomes a nightmare, and in the front they are rock finders anyway. I got ~2.5" for $120 on a suggestion when fellow lister Wayne Smith was visiting last April. I was worried that add-a-leafs would make for a harsh ride but Wayne assured me that it would be as soft as stock...he was right! He helped (a lot) with the install...thanks Wayne!

Here's the deal: Rancho add-a-leafs P/N RS60612 contain two add-a-leaves, 3/8 center pins and 5/16 center pins, they are $60 each and you need two sets. Use the smaller pins. Jack up the frame and unbolt the u-bolts. Remove the existing center pins and then remove the bottom two stock leaves, the two shortest ones. Put the add-a-leaves on and clamp with c-clamps, then put in the center pins, replace the u-bolts and away you go. Notice YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO REMOVE THE SHACKLES OR SPRING PINS!!!! Yes, I'm shouting because these are what makes suspension work so much work. You will want shocks a little longer for full droop, but the bottom line is that this inexpensive lift will retain good steering geometery, ride is as soft as stock, run 33s with no rubbing and great articulation of road. Here's a photo of mine twisted up:


On to the technical details. While the installation could be very straight forward, it can also become more complex depending upon the condition of your u-bolts, shackles and hangers. For the most part, my install was smooth. I also had the help of theboomboom and he did most of the "heavy lifting" work on the project.

I have some heavy timbers that were placed under the frame to support the vehicle weight. These also provided a pivot for the axle. The axle has to droop down a good distance to reach the unweighted spring. I did one corner of the vehicle at a time. Jack stands and a jack were used to relieve the spring tension and secure the vechicle. A small bottle jack came in handy for the u-bolt plate. A ratchet strap was used to line up the center pin with the hole on the axle.


My u-bolt nuts zipped right off with an air impact. All four shackles also came out pretty easily. All my nuts and bolts came off my hangers easily, but one of the hanger pins would not slide out of its holder. Three of my center pins were rusted and pretty much gone - the bottom leaf just fell off as the u-bolt plate was removed. All my bushings were in great shape. The holes in my u-bolt plates were a bit snug for the new u-bolts, I ran a 5/8 bit through the holes and they were just right for the new bolts. I had one shackle that had groove worn in the threads and would not tighten back up to spec. I replaced this shackle with a new one. Here is the stack of old parts that did not go back on the rig.


I decided to remove the springs from the truck and put them on the Work Mate. This made it much easier to drive out the old center pin, install the new pin and AAL, cut the pin and put some paint on the springs and u-bolt plate.


03-14-2011, 11:29 AM
Looking good. :thumb:

03-14-2011, 01:27 PM
Looking nice Ricardo! :thumb:

03-14-2011, 02:36 PM
Nice job - your lift results are about what I saw on the rear of my two trucks.

03-14-2011, 03:32 PM
Very nice my friend!!


03-14-2011, 05:27 PM
The lift looks good Ricardo. But I don't know about those hilux wheels and hubcaps. Maybe you should give those to me to put back on their original rig. ;)

03-18-2011, 06:36 PM
Nice write up as always Ricardo!