Front Range Off Road Fabrication Full Floater Short Cuts

| Toyota Reviews | Toyota Section | |

By: Scott Landon- 4/2004


In the process of the buildup of my 1995 T-100, I decided that I wanted rear disc brakes. While the standard disc setup from other manufacturers is nice, I liked the idea of having a full floating rear axle setup in addition to the rear discs. I contacted Brian Ellinger at Front Range Offroad (FROR) Fabrication and ordered one of his kits. While I did this installation on a T-100, it would be no different for any Toyota 4x4, Tundra, or Prerunner Tacoma. All of these vehicles use the same setup at the end of the axle housing with drum brakes. The only thing that differs are the axle shaft lengths.

Additional Parts Needed

This project requires that you provide stock spindles, lockout hubs (optional), wheel bearings and an inner wheel bearing seal from a 1979-1985 solid axle Toyota. I purchased new Dorman wheel studs as well for this project. Lastly, you will need the 1979-1980 Toyota Celica Supra rear calipers. They need to be loaded calipers to get the pads and all the clips.

The holes used to bolt the hub to the rotor.

You must also provide stock hubs from a 1981-1985 solid axle Toyota. The 1981-1985 hubs have the two extra holes for bolting the hub to the rotor, and FROR has set the kit up for those hubs. In case you do not get the mounting bolt with your hubs, I have listed them in the parts section. You will need the same thrust washer, two 54mm nuts and the lock washer as any IFS or solid axle hub setup . You will also need the gaskets for mounting the drive flanges or lockout hubs to the hubs. These are all standard IFS or SA hub maintenance items and are listed in the front end maintenance article in 4x4Wire's Toyota Section.

You will need to decide whether you need to keep your stock rear emergency brake setup. Trucks with gear driven transfer cases and a parking brake cable coming down the passenger side can purchase one of the transfer case brakes on the market. FROR offers an alternate kit that is less expensive if you do not need a rear emergency brake, but you have to provide the rotors. This kit is designed for people who already have Toyota solid axle rotors, calipers, and caliper backing plates at their disposal. I chose the kit that required the supra rear calipers since my parking brake cable comes down the driver's side of the truck. In addition to the basic FROR kit, you can opt to use drive flanges instead of lockout hubs and a proportioning valve instead of the LSP-BV. I opted for both. I will use the drive flanges unless I need to flat tow the truck, or if I have a trail failure of an axle shaft or ring & pinion. I will carry a pair of the solid axle Aisin manual lockout hubs with me.

Full Floater Installation
Vacuum caps used to plug the brake lines.
Axle housing with the stock brakes and axles removed.

To begin the install, put the rear of the truck up on jack stands, drain the gear oil and remove both wheels. Disconnect the parking brake from the back of the drum, and disconnect the brake line. You will want to cap or plug the end of the brake line, so you do not drain all the brake fluid. If you let the master cylinder go empty, you will need to bench bleed it. I used these cheap vacuum caps from the auto store to cap the end of the lines. Next undo the four nuts on the backside of the axle housing flange and pull the axle shaft all the way out. You will need to save the four nuts, but nothing else is reused. You can now remove the seal in the end of the axle housing, remove the o-ring, and clean up the surface.

The adapters require that you press in new studs that will go through the axle housing flange and secure with the four nuts that you saved from before. You can now bolt these adapters to the axle housing. I chose to use a new o-ring and grey RTV and tightened the nuts to 51 ft-lb.

The adapter that is the foundation of the FROR Full Floater kit.

The axle shafts are very nice 4340 chromoloy pieces that are manufactured by a top axle maker, so there are no worries about axle shaft quality. Clean off the stickers that are attached to the new axle shaft and make sure there are no burrs left on the splines. Apply grease to the differential side splines (the end with the groove for the snap ring will stay out at the hub) on the axle shaft and slide it through the adapter and into the differential. Make sure the splines matched up and that it went fully into the differential.

You will now need to drive out the brass bushing on the inboard side of the spindles. I used a long steel punch to drive them out. FROR provides new seals that get pressed in where the bushings were. These seals are in an aluminum casing, so be careful not to gall or damage them. I used a block of wood on them and hammered them into place using copious amounts of grease. With all the grease in the way, it was hard to see if the seal was fully seated, so I used a razor blade to poke at the gap where it seated to make sure it was all the way down. Make sure to put plenty of grease on this seal before you bolt the spindle to the adapter.

Seal installed in the spindles.

Before you go through this next step to install the spindle, make sure to grease the axle splines at the hub and all along the axle shaft where the new seal will ride. You can damage the new seal if you do not. You will want to install the spindle very slowly and carefully over the splines to not damage the seal on the sharp edges.

Stock backing plate.
Cut backing plate.

While FROR suggests using RTV and mounting the spindle to the adapter, I wanted to use an extra OEM seal to keep grime and water away from my inner bearing seal. To use this seal, you need a set of solid axle brake caliper backing plates to space the seal out to the proper location on the hub. The backing plates have to be trimmed in order to make them fit this application. I thought I could leave a little bit of the backing plate around the center circle, but the new supra calipers ended up contacting the backing plate. Although the picture is a little fuzzy, you can still see what is needed. All you really need is that center bolt pattern section to be used as a spacer to get the sealing surface out where it belongs. Cut it right at the spot where it bends. I was able to bend the backing plate in away from the caliper and not take the whole thing apart to cut it. Again, you can use RTV with this setup, but I chose to use the correct gaskets. The white gasket goes on the adapter first, then the spindle and the caliper backing plate center section, next the gray gasket, and finally the extra seal. You can now use the bolts and washers provided by FROR to tighten it all into place. The proper torque spec is 29-39 ft-lbs. which is the SA spindle to knuckle spec. If you want to do this install without the extra seal, you only need to mount the spindle to the adapter with RTV and bolt it up.

Necessary gaskets from Toyota.
Spindle installed with all necessary gaskets.

I mounted my new rotors to the hubs with the two bolts and pressed (in my case hammer) in the new wheel studs. If you already have access to a pair of solid axle rotors, they need to be turned down to 0.395-0.400 to fit in the supra calipers. FROR provided the rotors ready to go with the kit. I installed new races, a new inner bearing and a new inner bearing seal on the hub and proceeded to slide it onto the spindle. Make sure use plenty of grease on the extra seal and the outer surface of the hub to keep that seal lubricated. Once the hub is on, you can follow the standard front end maintenance articles to put the rest all together.

You can now install either drive flanges or manual lockout bodies and then install the snap ring provided by FROR. Flanges or Aisin lockout hubs will both mount with the standard cone washer setup. Lastly, add the grease cap for the drive flange or the cover for the manual hub. If you choose to use manual hubs and rebuild them per the front end articles, the gasket that separates the body from the cover and the o-ring for the dial selector are listed in the parts section.

Installed hub and rotor on the spindle.

There is nothing to prevent the axle shaft from walking out into the grease cap or locking hub. I considered mar-tacking the shaft to keep it from walking through the drive flange or locking hub body, but decided against it, as FROR insists that this is not a problem.

Brake Installation
Install the caliper, but do not bolt it down yet.
Rubber lines connect the stock hardline to the new calipers.

The calipers will slide right over the rotors and bolt up with a pair of bolts, lock washers and flat washers provided by FROR. There is no need to tighten the bolts at this time, because they both need to be removed to bleed the brakes. FROR supplies short rubber brake lines to go from the existing lines to the supra calipers. My preference would be braided stainless steel lines, which I will likely add in the future. I removed the hard brake line from the brackets on the axle housing, and bent the lines to make a circle under the leaf spring. If you are competent at cutting and flaring brake lines, that would be a nice way to get rid of the slack. I then attached the soft rubber lines to the hard lines and calipers.

The system now needs the proportioning valve installed. This is an option with the Front Range Off Road Full Floater kit, but one I would urge customers to purchase. I am not sure how well the rear disks would work with the stock LSP-BV. FROR provides two short adapter pieces to transition from the OEM lines to the proportioning valve. While FROR gives directions to mount this under the hood near the master cylinder, there is no room on a T-100 . For 22RE applications this would not be an issue, since this is the vehicle that the full floater kit was designed around. I mounted the valve where the old LSP-BV used to be. In harsher climates, it may see a lot more corrosion than if it were mounted under the hood, but that is not an issue for me in Houston.

Brake fittings on T-100 (left) and 4Runner (right).

I began by doing the modifications to the lines behind the driver's side front wheel. The instructions state the passenger's side front wheel, but the brake lines run down the driver's side frame rail on a T-100, unlike the earlier Toyota pickups and 4Runners. There is a T fitting and a 90 fitting for the brake lines behind the wheel. There will be a T fitting toward the front of the vehicle and an elbow fitting to the rear of the vehicle. With the IFS lift kit drop down bracket as shown on the T-100, the line from the master cylinder will have to be extended the extra couple of inches for the bracket. I skipped this step since I am in the process of retrofitting a solid axle under the front of my T-100. Disconnect the short line from the T to the soft brake line and discard it. Disconnect the hard line from the top of the T and connect it to the soft brake line. The line at the T that points to the rear of the vehicle is not used and can be completely removed from the vehicle when it is disconnected from the LSP-BV.

Brake Bleeding
The new proportioning valve is manually adjustable.

I removed the LSP-BV by disconnecting all of the lines. There are two lines along the frame from the front that come into the LSP-BV. The upper one is the fluid in, and the lower one is the return fluid back to the front. There is a line exiting the LSP-BV that goes to the rear brakes. The proportioning valve is installed between the upper in line to the LSP-BV and the line going to the rear brakes. You will need the two small adapter lines provided by FROR to plumb in the valve. With this installed, you are ready to bleed the brakes. Bleed the brakes as you normally would starting with the wheel furthest away from the master cylinder and working in toward the closest one.

The supra calipers have the bleed screw pointed down. This makes it difficult to bleed these brakes. The first time I did it, I did not get it fully bled and as a result had a lot of pedal travel and spongy brakes. I thought about a residual valve or a bigger master cylinder, but FROR told me that the system should work fine as it is. To properly bleed these calipers, you will need to remove both mounting bolts and carefully slide the calipers around the rotor as far you can to get the bleeder on top. Do not remove the calipers from the rotor to bleed them. The second time I bled the calipers, I was able to really rotate them all the way around until the bleeder was straight up. I then let them sit for about 5 minutes to make sure any trapped air could work its way to the top. I had no torque specification for bolting the calipers to the adapters, so I just went by feel.


Once it was properly bled, I took it out with a friend to adjust the proportioning valve. We found a dirt road and started with the proportioning valve at the setting recommended by FROR. I adjusted it open or closed until the front brakes locked up just before the rear brakes. We ended up at 1.0 turns of the knob versus the FROR recommended starting point of 1.5 turns.

The brake cable rubs my thick spring back.

The emergency brake cable is a problem for me because my Alcan spring pack is 2.75 thick. The kit is not designed for a pack that thick. The idea is to use a spacer block to raise the mounting point on the caliper higher than the stock spring pack. The brake cable would then attach to the new mounting point. The picture shows the proper setup even though the cable is dragging across my spring pack. This was only installed for the article and picture as I am still trying to figure out how to make this work. For most normal spring packs, this will not be a problem.

Now that it is finished except for the brake cable, what do I think? The braking is phenomenal. When I jump on the brake pedal now, the truck really stops fast. I also really like being able to set heavy off-road tires on the hub to get the studs lined up on the wheels. Lifting heavy tires onto the studs with stock drum brakes gets old quickly.

Front Range Off Road Full Floater Parts List

Part Manufacturer Part Number Manufacturer Part Number
Inner Race (w/ Bearing) Timken JLM104910    
Inner Bearing Timken JLM104948 Toyota 90368-49084-77
Outer Race (w/ Bearing) Timken LM102910    
Outer Bearing Timken LM102949 Toyota 90368-45087-77
Outer Bearing & Race Set Timken SET47    
Inner Wheel Bearing Seal     Toyota 90311-62001
Hub to Rotor Bolt     Toyota 91112-71025
Thrust Washer     Toyota 90214-42030
54mm Nut     Toyota 43521-60011
Lock Washer     Toyota 90215-42025
Lockout to Hub Gasket     Toyota 43422-60010
Wheel Studs Dorman 610-264    
Loaded Caliper Cardone 17-502    
Loaded Caliper Cardone 17-503    
Axle Housing O-Ring     Toyota 90301-88077
Seal Around Hub     Toyota 90313-93011
White Gasket for Above Seal     Toyota 43435-60011
Gray Gasket for Above Seal     Toyota 43436-60011
Lockout Hub Dial Gasket     Toyota 43531-60010
Hub Dial Selector O-Ring     Toyota 43532-60010

Contacts Related Links
  • Front Range Off Road Fabrication
    Department 4x4Wire
    24192 Red Feather Rd.
    Red Feather, CO 80545
    (970) 881-2418

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