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lets talk ifs setups


swynx

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not necessarily ifs as in ttb, but true ifs. the entire industry is going to ifs. alot of the winning rigs at koh are ifs vehicles.

ive been toying around with a few different oddball front suspension setups (ttb 44/50 ring gear/ 35 spline rcv/ 60 hubs) to name one, so i thought this might be a good discussion.

what mainly brings this up, is wheeling with toyota guys. we have quite a few locals that are pretty hard into there ifs setups. not long travel, but arb lockers, 37's, thrash them pretty good. occasionally break something. but they still snow wheel all season. drive to moab in the thing, wheel stuff like pritchet, and drive the thing back. when pictures get posted all the ifs hater solid axle guys come out of the wood works, and say stuff like " you have no flex" or if the picture is from the right angle, theyll say "an ifs rig couldnt do that" when in fact it was an ifs rig.

so i started browsing around, i find that rcv offers a setup for the tacoma that will hold 40's, obviously that tiny 7.5 diff or whatever they have would blow up first. but then you look at an f150 raptor rcv setup, and its good for 47" tires, obviously the 8.8 diff would blow up first.

the trend is pretty interesting to me, seeing as how not to long ago flex was everything. now its just lockers with as big a tire as you can chop to fit.
 


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85_Ranger4x4

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Is there an advantage to keeping IFS? Does it still ride/handle on big tires noticeably better than a solid front axle when not on a trail?

I assume it is easier to just bolt stuff on than axle swap?

I don't know if it has ever been easier to source HD solid front axles, I have been amazed how many 4wd Superduties in JY's still have front axles in them.
 

swynx

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from my experience they 100% handle better. atleast in stockish form (aftermarket upper a arms, uniballs) stuff like that. every solid axle rig i have rode in, even ones ive helped build. where ride quality was an important factor. doesnt even compare to a ifs setup. in fact the bigger tires take up more of the bumps in the road so they ride more plush than with baby tires. the ifs rigs are always tailored more to offroading and flex. not necessarily reliability as a main factor, which makes them follow road ruts more, and track wierd. or atleast i think. its like if you drive a jk with a 4 inch lift then a ifs rig with a 4 inch lift. the ifs rig is way more stable in corners.

if your asking why these guys havent gone sas, its because of the plush ride quality, and with front locker, and some driving skills they dont need front wheel travel.

it is amazing how many super duties are in the junkyards, you can grab a front for 600$.
 

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Everything I have is independent and pretty much stock so I can’t really say much.

It is interesting to hear more out about it. I didn’t think tacos liked much lift.
 

swynx

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they dont seem to mind, especially once you change the upper a arms. i think things get seriously more complicated with a custom long travel setup. but you gotta figure that if your stock independant had big tires on it, it would still have the same ride quality. only a bit more top heavy, and the tires would fill in holes in the road.

im really interested to know what can be done with the 98+ rbv ifs.. one because if the 7.5 diff in a yota with a new carrier holds up to a 37, i would think a dana 35 diff would fair much better. say if you put a new carrier into it and got rcv shafts for that i wonder how dependable it would be. i know the one thing that REALLY helps the yota ifs, is new turning limiter stops, so you dont bind up the cv joint so much, and the kaboom.

one thing thus far that confuses me is how like say the gm 1 ton ifs setups, its a 9.25" ring gear. 32? spline shafts. should 40's. but all of pirate and other places say they dont even recomend 37's.
 

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In my very unexpert opinion I wonder if being torsion bar sprung hinders the Ranger for big lift. Sure you can convert to coil overs but that isn't really cheap or as simple as slapping on a lift kit.
 

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I don't know anyone who actually rock crawls that has an IFS rig that's not a tube buggy. Literally, nobody. We have people from all over the US and Canada come to our club event and the only IFS trucks that show up stay on easy forest service roads. Even all the Toyota guys have solid axles of some sort.

There have definitely been a few buggies that ran IFS setups. Not many, but a few, and they were all built from scratch. Lots of them at the offroad races.

I think the reason you're seeing more IFS trucks out there is because there are just not many choices if you want a solid axle rig. It's either a Jeep or a Power Wagon or a Super Duty if you are looking at a late model vehicle to build... or a Roxor. Once you get outside that pool, it's ALL IFS/IRS vehicles.

FWIW I don't think Super Duty axles are terribly desirable. A lot of the early ones were Dana 50s and none of them have much tube to weld tabs to on the driver's side, so unless you're retubing and running custom length shafts, they're not a real great option. And if you're into it that far, why would you not just start with a custom housing from Spidertrax or Ruffstuff or the dozen other vendors from the get go?
 

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Usually the axles are gone, I just noticed they are not quite flying out of yards as fast as they used to. It used to be if there was a solid axle truck the front axle was gone before I got there.

With a SLA RBV once you do a t-bar crank you kind of hit a wall.
 

Will

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Big tires and lockers have always been the most important thing. Ground clearance is #1, and then being able to drive the tires that are on the ground is #2. You are always going to have at least 3. With IFS you have only 3 a lot. With a flexy suspension, there is a 4th on the ground, but it doesn't always have a lot of weight on it. And the IFS doesn't have a pig hanging down to drag on things.

My main concern with the IFS is that it is difficult to fix on the trail. And most Toyota people who put lockers on the front don't use them because they are afraid the CVs will explode. With the TTB--who cares? It's incredibly strong if you have clearanced the center yokes and use Spicer hi-life joints. If it breaks, you can fix it right there, no problem. Solid axle is potentially the best because it doesn't have center yokes.

My stock FJ will hang with the advanced Rangers we have had over 2 decades of TRS events. It's not through flex. It's through ground clearance and factory traction aids. But to go through an elite rock garden--no. I would build a truck with solid axles.

My FJ is not as good as my previous TTB B2 was. Part of it is that I am not willing to pound my FJ to make it. The other part is that it isn't as easy to mechanically massage it into greatness. The Toyotas are awesome--much more than any domestic IFS truck could be made to be--but they are what they are. They are brilliantly engineered, and that makes them difficult to push to the next level. They are not erector sets like old Rangers are. You can't get there from here with a Toyota without a lot of money.
 

rusty ol ranger

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The Toyotas are awesome--much more than any domestic IFS truck could be made to be.
Untill the frame snaps.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Luckily fords are immune to rust...
The older ones seemed to do ok. I dont recall ever seeing an early ranger or anything pre 96 Fseries based that had a frame on the verge of total rot.

Of course, im pretty lax with that stuff.
 

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About a year from now I'm hoping my 5.0L explorer will be getting the TTB D54 treatment... I have a TTB D44 and a TTB D50 along with two Sterling 10.25" axles that says something should work out and be cool :). The plan is coil overs and extended radius arms (since I don't have any, they will be custom) with a simple spring over in the back, keep things low, add 5.13 gears and 38" tires and wala...

Everyone does solid axles, and says I should go to super duty solid axles but what the heck, sounds like it should be a cooler version of what my Ranger does and it does good for what I like to do :). Worst case I take out the TTB and add a super duty front axle in...
 

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About a year from now I'm hoping my 5.0L explorer will be getting the TTB D54 treatment... I have a TTB D44 and a TTB D50 along with two Sterling 10.25" axles that says something should work out and be cool :). The plan is coil overs and extended radius arms (since I don't have any, they will be custom) with a simple spring over in the back, keep things low, add 5.13 gears and 38" tires and wala...

Everyone does solid axles, and says I should go to super duty solid axles but what the heck, sounds like it should be a cooler version of what my Ranger does and it does good for what I like to do :). Worst case I take out the TTB and add a super duty front axle in...
this is along the lines of what i had wanted to do, i had asked rcv about going full 35 spline all the way out. but they said the slip yoke would be custom, and custom balls require an order of 20 at 500 each. i think that a ttb d54 with 30 spline rcv would probably hold 40's if you wheeled it correctly. but thats an expensive setup, if didnt work out. this is something that i really wanted to do, but i also really want 40's.

Big tires and lockers have always been the most important thing. Ground clearance is #1, and then being able to drive the tires that are on the ground is #2. You are always going to have at least 3. With IFS you have only 3 a lot. With a flexy suspension, there is a 4th on the ground, but it doesn't always have a lot of weight on it. And the IFS doesn't have a pig hanging down to drag on things.

My main concern with the IFS is that it is difficult to fix on the trail. And most Toyota people who put lockers on the front don't use them because they are afraid the CVs will explode. With the TTB--who cares? It's incredibly strong if you have clearanced the center yokes and use Spicer hi-life joints. If it breaks, you can fix it right there, no problem. Solid axle is potentially the best because it doesn't have center yokes.

My stock FJ will hang with the advanced Rangers we have had over 2 decades of TRS events. It's not through flex. It's through ground clearance and factory traction aids. But to go through an elite rock garden--no. I would build a truck with solid axles.

My FJ is not as good as my previous TTB B2 was. Part of it is that I am not willing to pound my FJ to make it. The other part is that it isn't as easy to mechanically massage it into greatness. The Toyotas are awesome--much more than any domestic IFS truck could be made to be--but they are what they are. They are brilliantly engineered, and that makes them difficult to push to the next level. They are not erector sets like old Rangers are. You can't get there from here with a Toyota without a lot of money.
as far as the ifs toyota guys go, its not because they cant go solid axle, its because they dont want to. almost every toyota solid axle is leaf sprung, they ride like crap. coil overs are expensive, most toyota guys are all about bolt ons any ways. the local group also mostly daily drives there ifs rigs as well. they seem to hold up decently, in fact ive seen more blown up rear axles than fronts. but this is all in 90's toyotas.
 

Will

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You are right, Rusty. Toyotas have that rep. I've worked on a few from the 90s that were gone. Mine doesn't have any rust in the frame or body, but lots of the fasteners I've had to remove under the truck have broken off and had to be drilled out. It's like the bolts under there are made of chalk.

I'm a Ford Ranger guy, not a Toyota guy. I just call it how I see it.
 


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