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Toyota MinuteMod: More IFS Travel


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Author: Joe Micciche July, 2001

5/8" Energy Suspension bumpstop vs. the stock bumpstop.

The independent front suspension (IFS) Toyota introduced on it's 1986 U.S. model year 4WD trucks and 4Runners - and used until 1995 - is notorious for limited travel. The following MinuteMod provides some help in gaining additional IFS travel with no deterioration in ride quality.


The upper and lower control arms are both limited in movement by frame-mounted bumpstops, the factory swaybar, and shock length. A cheap and easy way to increase travel is to either cut down the six factory bumpstops or replace them with 5/8" low-profile polyurethane snubbers available from a variety of sources. Two inches of additional bumpstop travel (1" each way) is available with this mod.




But with the swaybar connected and factory-length shocks in place, the additional travel is not useable. The swaybar can either be tossed or fitted with quick-disconnects to free up one more limitation.


The final step is to ensure shock length is adequate. This can be done by lifting the front end and securing the front crossmember on jackstands, and observing the downtravel. If the upper control arm (UCA) rests on it's bumpstops, shock length is fine. If the upper control arm does not come to rest, unbolt the lower shock mount to determine if this allows full extension, then consider spacing the shock down.



The first shot shows added washers; the second shows the shock mounted with the extra "space" under the UCA. No-one will mistake the results for a solid axle, but every little bit helps! (Photo courtesy of Greg Motz.)

To "space" the shock down, simply remove the shock. Remove the upper bushings and washers, and add washers or a bushing to the pin. This will push the shock down from the upper control arm, effectively making it longer on extension.


I've found that uptravel isn't ordinarily a concern due to the spring rate of both stock and aftermarket torsion bars. Even with the added weight of the V6 and the truck front-loaded, I can barely get full compression. Thus, there's no real concern about harshly topping out the shock, but check on your specific application to be sure.



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