Our All Four x 4 Spares Blog provides great information on the 4wd Industry in general. Please check back on a regular basis as we explore a range of issues that are important to our industry.
In this article where we are going to cover a few important points about upper control arms (UCA)
We are going to try and answer some of the most common questions you may have
Please bear in mind this is a general overview as suspension systems vary greatly between different model vehicles
Upper and lower control arms are critical components on IFS vehicles that dictate the alignment of the road wheel as it moves up and down with suspension travel
They firmly hold the steering knuckles, axle spindles and road wheel to the vehicle while allowing the suspension to flex and maintain accurate steering geometry
It’s all thanks to the ball joints and rubber control arm bushings that allow this movement
Many controls arms (either upper or lower) have a limited range of adjustment, mainly to allow for setting camber and/or caster during wheel alignment
Camber is the angle of the tire with respect to the vertical axis of the car
Positive camber is when the top of the tire is leaning outward and the bottom of the tire is inward
Caster is the angle of the tire with respect to its steering axis (where it pivots when turning the steering wheel) against vertical
It is considered positive if pointing toward the front of the vehicle and negative if pointing toward the rear
If you have a suspension lift kit, please understand that you have just changed your 4WD suspension and steering geometry.
Your good-looking lift kit, other than allowing you larger tyres and more ground clearance, it has also lifted your chassis and body up and away from the mounting point of your wheels and tyres
Solid axle vehicles have a similar problem with the front diff rolling, but is easily corrected with some off-set bushes in the trailing arms
With IFS vehicles you need to be careful fitting a suspension lift as the original caster and camber specifications are pushed outside the acceptable limit
A lack of enough adjustment combined with typically short control arms causes your vehicle to lose camber/caster
This can cause your steering to become vague (tracking) with an out of control feeling
These issues can also greatly accelerate tyre wear costing you more money in the short term
To make things worse, fitting larger tyres can hit suspension components and even make contact with the chassis which is a problem that nobody needs
From the factory, most IFS 4WD's only come with a small amount of adjustment however, this is reduced when you add a suspension lift to your vehicle
This means when you do a wheel alignment, there will not be any adjustment available to set your vehicle’s camber or caster correctly
And please know that your vehicle’s instruction manual wheel alignment specs page does not take into consideration raised suspension or tyre size
Another serious issue found when lifting a vehicle with IFS is running out of movement in the ball joints
This is called ball joint binding and is caused by changing the suspension geometry to a point where the ball joint simply cannot move to a larger angle
The ball joint itself comes into contact with its own housing effectively reaching its maximum angle
While the ball joints may look okay parked on flat ground, when under conditions involving significant articulation (lots of suspension travel/extreme offroad) this can cause the ball joint to separate (pop out of socket) with the road wheel and steering knuckle coming loose from the control arm
Far from ideal!
So, what to do?
Luckily here in Australia, we have a choice of quality aftermarket upper control arms from well-known brands that can resolve all these issues
They have been redesigned to provide a better geometry for lifted vehicles, allowing the use of the standard adjustment for setting wheel alignment
They will effectively help to get the maximum performance and lifespan from your suspension, steering components and tyres
The positioning of the ball joint allows it to sit in a more neutral position providing full range of travel as per OE specs, effectively eliminating the binding issue
Here is a brief introduction of both:
Tough Dog upper controls arms features are:
Roadsafe upper control arms:
A lot goes into the design and manufacturing of an upper control arm kit
Thousands of dollars are spent in computer modelling, prototypes and testing before going to the market
Here in Australia they need to meet or exceed OEM specifications with the appropriate paperwork and engineering reports to receive ADR compliance (Australian Design Rule)
Although designed and manufactured to be ADR compliant this can be somewhat confusing as there is no Australian Design Rule for specific products like upper control arms
Roadsafe have ensured their control arms mount to standard fitment positions, have not moved or changed any of the mounting points and used OE specifications for bushings at the chassis
More detailed information is available upon request
Not all upper control arms are created equal
Different users (and uses) - different needs
Some aftermarket control arms are fully adjustable in both camber and caster, others have spherical joints at both ends
Tough Dog and Blackhawk UCA’s use a fixed position ball joint with heavy duty, OE specifications for the ball joint itself
Both brands specifically chose a fixed ball joint for off-road applications as the ball joint receives a large amount of bump / shock loads
Over time this could knock an adjustable ball joint out of position
These brands provide standard features such:
Toyota Landcruiser Prado 120 - 150 Series & FJ Cruiser
Any questions about adjustable upper control arms? Write it in the comments below or call us to talk to our suspension specialists.
And don't forget, sharing is caring. Share this article on social media to spread knowledge!
credits: Brown Davis
FJ40 FJ45 BJ40 BJ42 HJ45 HJ47 may sound like digits of a Medicare Card or Tax File Number but not for the passionate four-wheel driver enthusiast. He/she knows that those are the models of one of the most iconic 4wd of all time: the Toyota Land Cruiser 40 Series.
In this article, we’re going to cover off a few simple 40 series Landcruiser maintenance tips you can complete at home with a basic set of skills and tools.
But before jumping in, it's fair saying that 4wd owners' friendly rivalry between the different brands of 4wds is one of the joys of being a passionate owner of an off-road machine.
There are a few 4wds that unite owners together: the Willys Jeep, a G60 Patrol or a Land Rover Series 1 short wheelbase. Such vehicles that we tend to agree are “just cool”.
There’s another 4wd that this article is going to cover off that arguably has no haters and that is the Mighty 40 series Landcruiser Troopy.
The 40 series Landcruiser Shorty has explored every corner of Australia numerous times and made itself famous for its exploits crossing remote deserts, floating across the Jardine River, to competing in the Tuff Truck Challenge.
Like all things man-made it has a couple of areas that need to be kept an eye on so let's explore how you can do them at home.
Let's dive in:
If you end-up needing new 40 series parts and start typing on Google things like "40 series Landcruiser Parts Australia" etc, you may not always find what you really need.
40 series Landcruiser body parts, Landcruiser 40 series chassis parts, or 40 series Landcruiser roof console, for example, are not always easy to come by, however, can be found in specialist 4wd shops such as the one you are reading right now.
All Four x 4 Spares stocks a wide range of 40 series Landcruiser parts for sale in this website and they provide a massive help whether you are doing a 40 series restoration or just a service.
If unsure give them a call on (02) 4041 4041 for any of the service items you may require such as 40 series power steering kit, 40 series air conditioning parts or if you need quality second hand 40 series doors, you may find them in their 40 series Landcruiser wreckers department.
Of course, if you find something during these checks and you would like their professional team of Landcruiser service mechanics to do the work for you on your 40 series ute, call their fully equipped Landcruiser repairs workshop in Kotara on (02) 4041 4003.
(from some of the most iconic 40 series in Australia - Roothy 4WD Milo)
Buy the Terrain Tamer Filter kit here
Today we are going to talk about 4WD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS and how you can keep them in perfect shape without breaking the bank.
Automatic transmissions are a weird and wonderful design, as some would say foot goes down, magic happens, and power comes out. (If you like geeky stuff and want to learn more of how an Automatic Transmission works in engineering terms then watch this video)
Auto transmissions are super easy to operate so that you can hold the wheel with one hand and eat a burger with the other, but, unfortunately, the driving force of our vehicles is not quite so simple and just the same as our engines, they require regular maintenance and pre-emptive modifications to aid the overall performance and longevity of our transmissions.
This, of course, starts with regular servicing of the oil and filtration system to give your transmission the best bet to keep performing at its best potential.
Good question, the simple answer is heating,
an overheating transmission is one of the leading causes of costly failures to our automatic transmissions.
So, what causes this excessive heat?
Again, brilliant question! You’re good at this!
Number one measure of maintaining your transmission, and ensuring your internal oil temperatures are kept cool and manageable is a heavy-duty auxiliary transmission cooler
yes, most vehicle manufacturers do have automatic transmission coolers fitted, however, these systems are tested under moderate conditions and not pushed to the true tough conditions our four-wheel drives are used for, be it fully loaded tough touring, towing the boat or caravan every weekend or hardcore four-wheel driving!
These are the areas where your standard transmission cooler will begin to build up excessive heat, causing hard-shifting and even worse, possible failure due to burnt/prematurely worn oil.
I thought you’d never ask! Time for a home run.
As previously mentioned a heavy-duty front mount auxiliary transmission cooler is going to make an immediate difference to the performance and longevity of your transmission.
All Four x 4 Spares have a wide range of automatic transmission coolers specific to suit many makes and models, our coolers come with an especially Australian designed and manufactured mount which allows optimal airflow directly from the grille of your vehicle, ensuring the most efficient cooling possible!
Each kit has a top-quality, tried, tested and proven PWR cooler and 4mm thick E-coated mounting bracket, as well as high-quality hoses and fittings to suit, meaning you get the maximum confidence in your transmission cooling system. Give us a call on 02 4041 4041 to order one for your vehicle.
Although we touched on some key points above that will cause heat to rise to a damaging level in your transmission it is important to remember that on a hot day in even a lightly-loaded vehicle something as minor as a slight uphill rise can cause a major peak in transmission temperature leaving you stuck roadside, with a possibly failed transmission.
Much like having a winch fitted to your vehicle, an automatic transmission cooler is cheap insurance, not only making for a more comfortable drive from your transmission but potentially saving you thousands in costly repairs due to a failed transmission!
If you are in a situation where your automatic transmission has completely failed, well then you won’t have any other options other than visiting an automatic transmission repairs workshop.
Not wanting to blow our horns but our team of automatic transmission mechanics are specialists in transmission repairs, overhauls and auto transmission rebuilds.
They’ll repair your automatic transmission with the highest level of speed and efficiency possible. If you are after some of the best automatic transmission mechanics in Newcastle and Hunter region only two hours drive from Sydney, then look no further and give them a call on 02 4041 4003
Does your 4WD have a manual transmission? All these automatic transmission talks may make you wonder what would be like off-road driving with an automatic transmission.
Do you know that you can change your manual transmission to automatic? And let’s say you own a 70 Series Landcruiser and you want to make her quieter at highway speeds by dropping the rpm’s off your tacho and provide an overall improvement in comfort, performance and fuel economy.
Here at All Four x 4 Spares, we can convert the Toyota Landcruiser 76,78,79 Series from Manual to 6 Speed Automatic Transmissions. We only use quality automatic conversions kits from Wholesale Automatics Transmissions. Check this video by MadMatt 4wd for a comprehensive overview.
To learn more check our automatic conversion blog page where we go through the details of the 79 Series manual to auto conversion.
Do you have any questions? Comment below or call 02 4041 4003 to get in touch with our transmission specialists
If you’re one of those fortunate people who own a Toyota Landcruiser 80 series (any models such FJ80 FZJ80 HZJ80 HDJ80 etc), there is a slight possibility it needs a little bit of COVID-19 love from you. (If you’ll land here from the future: this post was written in May 2020 during the Coronavirus lockdown)
In this article, we’re going to cover off a few simple tasks you can complete at home with a basic set of skills and tools.
Your 80 Series Land Cruiser service and maintenance will vary depending on how you have set it up and how you use it. The service requirements will vary slightly so with this in mind lets touch on some of the items you can look at for your vehicle.
Starting at the front end:
Check all bolts on the steering linkages and associated components. Check the steering system for play and adjust as required.
The lower kingpin studs are known to come loose and should be checked with a torque wrench. (71Ft-Lbs/96NM) If they look as though they have been loose for some time it would be advisable to strip the knuckle down and investigate for any damage. Look for burrs and wear around the holes, studs and where the steering arm joins the knuckle. Check our Swivel Stud Kits in stock
for fatigue cracks. These can be repaired with one of the many welds in repair kits available.
The power steering reservoirs are renowned for weeping around the top crimp.
and look for feathering, scalloping, cuts and uneven wear patterns and tread wear indicators.
Jack up each wheel and by holding the top and bottom of the tyre feel for any play in the wheel bearings. Rotate the wheels feeling and listening for abnormalities like rumbling or scraping sounds. Be aware that the brake pads may make a slight rubbing noise which is ok. The rear bearings are a little harder to feel because the axle is connected to the wheel hub. In an ideal world, you should remove the axle to check the rear bearings. Our range of: Wheel Bearing Hub Kits
While you are at each wheel look for oil leaks around the knuckles and hubs. I also inspect the shock absorber and sway bar bushes at this time.
Task #8: Check the rear control arm bushes
Using a pry bar check all the front and rear control arm bushes for cracks and failures.
for signs of flogging, fretting and oil leaks. Check our 80 Series Rear Axle Hub Studs
If you decide to repack the wheel bearings it’s worth considering the use of the Terrain Tamer Heavy Duty bearing kit. This comes with a cassette seal which resolves issues with worn seal surfaces.
and condition making sure the differential, gearbox and transfer case oils are not water contaminated. If the oil looks grey there’s water present and the component needs to be drained and flushed.
for dust and blow it out from the inside with compressed air. Clean out the dust trap under the air filter box.
There should be no signs of cracks or fraying. The correct tension is about 15mm of play in the longest run of the belt.
Check our 80 Series Fan Belt Kits
for leaks or damage and coolant hoses shouldn’t feel crunchy when you squeeze them.
(no, we don't mean to put grease on your partner’s nipples)
You’ll find 3 grease nipples on both front and rear driveshaft, grease these with a quality general purpose grease.
There should be 7 clicks when you pull on the hand brake lever and the car should hold on a slight slope.
All Four x 4 Spares has all the parts you require available in the Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series Parts section of our website.
If unsure give us a call on (02) 4041 4041 for any of the service items you may require such as Terrain Tamer Engine Filter Kits, Drive Belt kits, Swivel Kits, suspension bushes etc
Of course, if you find something during these checks and you would like our professional team of Landcruiser service mechanics to do the work for you, call our fully equipped Landcruiser repairs workshop in Kotara on (02) 4041 4003.
Some of the 16 tasks can be seen here in this video:
(skip to 1:20)
To John C. for providing all the photos of the parts to inspect from his 80 Series Landcruiser below
So, which task are you going to try first?
(Updated to 25/03/2020)
It is all systems go here at All Four x 4 Spares.
Our showroom is still open, as is our workshop and dismantling facility. If you are unable to come to our store we have lots of options to freight parts to you.
You can be assured we have plenty of stock on our shelves and our freight partners are business as usual.
Considering the current health situation, we have put in place the following measures for the safety and protection of our customers, our staff and our families:
Refer below for steps and tips to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Hand Sanitiser: We have placed multiple Hand Sanitiser dispensers throughout our shop and on our counters. We ask that you use the sanitiser when entering our showroom.
Hand Shaking: We all like a good handshake as a gesture of appreciation for good service/advice, however, during this time we instructed our staff to abstain in the best interests of good mutual health.
Personal space (Social distancing): To ensure we are doing all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 we have increased the area of the distance between our customers and our counter staff.
If you are feeling sick, feverish, coughing, sneezing or other flu like symptoms we would kindly appreciate you informing us prior to coming in-store.
Some preventative measure we have put in place include:
When visiting us at Kotara, you will be greeted a stop sign asking you to ensure you are well before entering our showroom
We have placed tables with hand sanitiser between our customers and our counter to assist with social distancing. For customers picking up orders in our showroom, our preference is Eftpos
We have added hand sanitiser and hand cleaning advice to all toilet doors
We have added hand sanitiser to each hoist and each work station
So we can ensure we are here when you need us we have a large number of our sales team working from home, answering calls via a VoIP system
Non-urgent meetings and supplier visits have been postponed
All of our key suppliers, in Australia and overseas, have confirmed they have plenty of stock for the long term
We look forward to continuing to be of assistance and get through the current situation together.
All Four x 4 Spares
Terrain Tamer has recently introduced new parabolic leaf springs for the popular Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series and Toyota Hilux and we thought to put together different resources from Terrain Tamer itself as well as independent reviewers in order to describe what they are and how they work.
Allan Gray from Terrain Tamer wrote a great article about Parabolic Springs on the Automotive Technician Magazine.
Allan Gray's definition of parabolics is: a suspension system used many years ago when vehicles were produced using one, two or three tapered leaves instead of multipacks.
The idea was successful but appeared to go out of fashion when coil springs started being fitted to the form of family cars and light trucks. However, while parabolic tended to disappear from the light truck scene, they continued to be chosen for heavy-duty track applications.
Now Terrain Tamer has released a new design in parabolic leaf springs, bringing the technology back to the Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series.
The new springs are thicker in the centre and taper towards the ends in a true parabolic form, and each leaf is designed to act as a spring in itself. The standard spring is supplied with three leaves - two main leaves that operate when unloaded and a lower leaf that contacts the upper leaves through a pressure pad when a full load is being carried. It's proof of what happens when modern technology is applied to a well-proven idea.
Parabolics are now fitted standard to many vehicles, both light and heavy-duty, for a smoother quieter ride, lower unsprung weight and greater flexibility. During Terrain Tamer testing, they placed cameras on the undercarriage area to check articulation, chassis clearance and brake and acceleration characteristics.
It soon became evident that owing to the increased flexibility of the parabolics, any excessive load on the driveline resulted in the differential housing deflecting with the springs, reducing the shock loading on the crown wheel and pinion.
This situation is particularly advantageous in four-wheel driving situations, where rapid forward and reverse gear selection is often used to extricate a vehicle from an embarrassing mud-hole incident. As with all Terrain Tamer products, these springs have been tested in the rugged situation of the Australian outback.
Greater flexibility, quieter operation, up to 500Kg capacity and improved driver comfort, it's a win-win situation and once you fit them, you will wonder how you ever did without them.
|HILUX||GGN25||3/2005-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|HILUX||KUN25||8/2004-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|HILUX||KUN26||3/2005-||REAR RAISED 40MM-300KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||FZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||FZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||FZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||FZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||GRJ78||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||GRJ78||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||GRJ79||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||GRJ79||7/2009-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||HDJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||HDJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||HDJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||HDJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||HZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||HZJ78||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||HZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||HZJ79||8/1999-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||VDJ78||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 78 SERIES||VDJ78||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||VDJ79||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM-500KG PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
|LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES||VDJ79||1/2007-||REAR RAISED 50MM 500KG+ PARABOLIC SPRINGS|
Parabolic Springs independent review? check this great review down here
ATTENTION! We have a great offer valid for JULY & AUGUST:
Unsealed4x4 has recently released an excellent Oil Catch Can comparison guide by testing in a University Laboratory a variety of catch cans commonly used on 4X4s. The volumetric flow rate of the air, the % Efficiency in catching the oil particles and the pressure drop were some of the parameters studied to measure their effectiveness.
We are pleased to share this guide since we proudly stock the WINNER OIL CATCH CAN, but we don't want to break your suspense and discover the winner before reading this guide so click below to open this great PDF guide that you can also save on your device and keep for future references. You will also learn: WHAT IS AN OIL CATCH CAN, WHY WOULD YOU WANT ONE?, HOW THEY WORK, HOW TO CHOOSE (SIZING), WHAT MAKES A GREAT CATCH CAN. OPEN THE GUIDE HERE AND ENJOY THE READ!
What's in this blog post has been experienced first hand quite a few times from our guys in the workshop so we thought to do our bit to inform people to act promptly and save their vehicles.
This is about the infamous injector copper washers (or seals). Unfortunately and eventually they will likely all leak.
During compression, the heat eventually melts out the rubber o-ring which is up a little above the copper washer. And above the o-ring, there is an oil channel. The oil that comes down from the injector port gets carbonised into tiny pieces that will end up floating in the oil system and then in the oil sump.
Then when the engine is looking for oil, it will find and suck these tiny particles. Result? Your oil pickup will eventually get blocked.
When that happens, you will get lubrication problems and oil starvation and the very first victim will be the bottom end bearings. Your vehicle will start running crap, the oil light will come on and voila, if you are in the middle of the road, you'll need to be towed away. Plus say goodbye to those Bali holidays savings because you'll be up for a new engine and turbo $$$$
This scenario will affect all those 2006 & 2007 vehicles that are still running around with the older generation of copper washers. From 2008, Toyota introduced and fitted revised coated washers.
If your vehicle is in that year bracket, we can only recommend finding an experienced diesel workshop with experience on 1kd-ftv engines. Some may try DYI but up to your knowledge and confidence to get it right.
Have the injectors and washers checked and replace them only with genuine Toyota or at least with a high-quality aftermarket brand such as this. There are a number of aftermarket brands offering brass washers but that caused controversy among experts due to the nature of brass, a hard material that can't flex and stay sealed.
The same goes with o-rings, any other seals, gaskets, fuel pipes, don't use cheap parts. If your injectors and washers are still the original from 2006, replace them asap. Newly revised copper washers should last every 120.000Km. And don't even think of reusing older washers.
Many common rail diesel owners are aware of this and are on top of it, but many more don't realise the amount of trouble they can get into...so do your vehicle a favour and get those injectors checked!
Drivetech 4x4 Supashocks
|VEHICLE||SUPASHOCK SUSPENSION KIT|
|Ford Ranger PXI & PXII||SSK-001|
|Toyota Hilux GUN/N80/Revo||SSK-002|
|Toyota Prado 150||SSK-004|
|Toyota Landcruiser 200||SSK-005|