|WCOR IFS KIT INSTALL
|All images can be clicked on for a larger view.
|Now that the steering linkage, torsion bars, brake lines and axles are removed, the final
dissassembly process involving removing the spindle and then the upper and lower A-arms can
commence. Unfortunately, I lack the pictures of removing the actual spindles. I attacked this
process a little differently. I elected to retain a combination of my stock original ball joints and
the ball joints that came on the used A-arms. My reasoning for doing this is that all of the ball
joints in question appeared to be in perfectly good condition. They could easily be replaced at
a later date, but by not remplacing them, installation of the arms was made far easier. The
upper ball joints were left attached to upper part of the spindle. This allowed it be very easily
bolted to the new WCOR upper A-arms using the 4 bolts. The lower ball joints were left
attached to the lower WCOR A-arms by the original owner. This allowed to be easily bolt the
lower A-arms to the spindle using 4 bolts. None of this required me seperating any of the ball
joints, which is what I was trying to avoid to save time and trouble.
Once the spindle was unbolted, the upper and lower A-arms simply unbolted from the frame.
The upper A-arms are bolted to the top of the frame using 3 giant bolts. The lower A-arms are
bolted to lower frame mounts using two long bolts.
|The spindle unbolted from the A-arm. Note the
upper ball joint still attached. I also elected not to
dissassemble the rotor and wheel bearings. This
was the save time and cost in parts. The wheel
bearings can easily be attended too at a later date.
|The stock upper and lower A-arms sans spindle.
Note, how the lower ball joint is still attached to the
stock lower A-arm. This is the ball joint that I will
NOT be reusing. The new WCOR A-arm also has a
ball joint attached in the same manner as on the
stock arm and it is that ball joint that I will bolt to
the spindle during reassembly.
|The stock lower A-arms removed from the lower
mounts. Also showing the lower mount bolts. Note
the upper bumpstop at the top of the picture. It is
this bumpstop which limits the droop of the
|A four stock A-arms, finally removed. More parts
to be stored, probably never to be used again.
|All of the stock IFS suspension removed. It was at
this point, that I began to lament how close I was to
a solid axle swap. Removing the front diff and then
just breaking out the torch and cutting off the IFS
mounts on the frame and simply welding on the
leaf spring mounts. Ah yes, it was a very mixed
feeling moment. But alas, I've chosen this option
instead. Perhaps, in future years, an SAS may still
|The stock lower arms (left) compared to the WCOR
lower arms (right). Note that the WCOR arms are
2 inches longer. Don't let the apparent size fool
you. The WCOR arms are every bit as heavy, if not
heavier than the stock A-arms.
|One final prep work must be done before the new arms can be installed. The stock shock
mounts are not long enough for the new travel of the WCOR arms and must be cut off to
allow for the installation of the Downey long travel shock hoop. This is the only cutting of
the entire project and no welding is required. I used a grinder to removed the shock
mount as as such the cuts are not as clean as I would have liked, but it did the job. Care
must be taken to not cut into or compromise the upper A-arm mount.
|Showing the upper shock mount after it was cut off.
The circled areas are what needed to be removed.
Not how the shock mount is an intregal part of the
upper A-arm mount. Care must be taken not to
destroy this mount. The notch to the right was
needed to clear the new upper A-arms.
|Now we're ready to bolt the new arms on. The upper arms were extremely easy to bolt on in my
case. With a new kit the upper A-arm shaft would have to be dissassembled from the stock
A-arm and then installed with new bushings onto the new arm. This can be a difficult and messy
process. In my case, the original owner left his A-arm shaft attached to the A-arm since he had
no need for it with his solid axle swap. This meant that I only had to bolt the upper arms down
with three bolts. At the same time that the upper arms were being installed, I installed the
supplied Downey shock hoop. This allowed for the use of a much longer shock. While many
shock hoops are weld on, this one is entirely bolt on, using two of the three upper A-arm bolts as
the main support. It is further bolted down using one of the lower bump stop holes and an already
existing hole in the frame.
Next, the lower arms were installed as were the steering linkage. The lower A-arms were a little
more difficult. This is the area where this particular kit has one it's greatest faults. The arms
were not designed to use the stock bushing and as such, creats a huge problem trying find new
replacement bushings. In addition, the arms were not properly designed to fit perfectly within the
lower A-arm mounts. My understanding is this is not a problem on the newer kits out there,
especially Rockstomper's kit. When I installed the lower A-arms, the mounts were small enough
that when tightening the bolt, the mounts were pulled into together. The destroyed bushings and
poor design of the lower A-arm mounts caused me many hours of later work to try to rectify the
resulting loud squeaking and creaking of the lower A-arms. So far, I've only succeeded in part.
|The new WCOR upper A-arms and Downey bolt on shock
|The lower A-arms installed, awaiting installation of the
|Steering linkage installed. Note the much longer adjusting
spacer between the two tie rod ends. This is to compensate for
the 2" longer arms.
|Both suspension arms installed. All that's needed now is to
reinstall the torsion bars, install the new shocks and plug back
in and bleed the brake lines, and make sure everything is
torqued down to spec. The axles were installed at a later date.
|This picture shows the available travel of the suspension. The
torsion bars were not yet hooked up with allowed for the easy
cycling of the suspension.
|All Installed. First time on the ground. Of course, it was no
where near finished. I had the major hassle ahead of me of
making new lower A-arm bushings and then rebuilding the
axles before install.
|The final two installments involved making new bushings from scratch and rebuilding and
installing the axle. I don't have any decent pictures of making the bushings, which is just as
well. I don't wish to relive that hassle. It took me many hours to find the right size tubing
and then find bushings that I could work with. I then had to bore out the only bushings I
could find that would fit the A-arm mounts so that they would slip over the new tubes. After
many hours and good amount of grease later, the new bushings seemed to initially solve the
noise problem. However, the creaking and squeaking have since come back, although to a
much less degree than before. It appears it's something I going to have to live with short of
having new bushings made by a professional at great cost. I really wish WCOR would have
taken better care to design this part of the kit better. Since they are now gone, I can only
hope that the current makers of similiar kits have done this part of their kit properly.
The axles were a much better story. Although I did have to unexpectedly replace both
inner Lubro CV joints, I was able to order two new units thanks to the super help of Scott at
Rockstomper and the install of these parts and the axles went rather smoothly.
|The Sommers Brother's axle. It's made out of
chrome moly and much stronger than the factory axle
as well as being longer to fit the new A-arms. The
inner splines are cut to fit a standard Lubro CV joint,
such as from a Porsche or BMW car. The picture
shows the inner splines prepped for the new Lubro
joint. I had replaced the stock outer Toyota CV joint
boots, but elected to retain the joints which appeared
to be in decent shape.
|This is the Lubro joint as would have been installed
on a Porsche 930, or BMW 8 series. The joint is far
stronger than the stock Toyota inner joint. It can
withstand far greater torque and extreme axle angles.
The inner splines allow the shaft to slip in and out as
axle moves up and down. In this pictures, the joint is
bolted to the special adapter required to bolt the CV
joint to the IFS diff axle flange.
|To the left is shown an assembled Lubro joint and
axle flange adapter. To the right are the two parts
|Packing fresh grease into the new Lubro CV joint.
|This picture shows the backside of the Lubro CV joint
as it's installed on the axle shaft. Note how the axle
can slide in and out of the joint. This helps to allow
the extreme angle this axle is capable of.
|A completed axle. Now ready to bolt into the truck. The axle
shaft is unlikely to break as is the inner Lubro CV joint. The
weak point now becomes the outer Toyota CV joint. However,
the outer Toyota CV joint, unlike the stock inner Toyota CV
joint was designed to withstand extreme angles. Remember it
has to allow the wheels to turn at relatively great angles as well
as allow for the upper and down movement. It's interesting to
note that the outer IFS CV joints are not only the same birfield
type found on the Toyota solid axle, but are actually larger and
stronger. Contrary to popular belief, at least in theory, the
Toyota IFS may actually experience less birfield breakage on the
trail than the solid axle trucks.
This is the final product, with everything
installed. For more pictures of the truck and
suspension in action, visit WCOR pictures page 3
and page 4.
|U P D A T E
|This system failed me early in the summer 2002. The driver's side A-arm snapped in two
while I was off roading in a relatively remote area. I was just barely able to limp back to a
highway, where the truck was towed to the nearest location, my parent's house. The cause of
the failure was determined to be poor design at the high stress point near the torsion bar
mount. The arms did last 3 years of hard off road abuse, but this failure would not have
happened on well designed A-arms. Fortunately, better designs are available today.
Instead of attempting to repair the WCOR kit or installing the stock IFS, I chose to do a
completely solid axle swap. For more info, click HERE.
I haven't completely discounted the IFS system. This kit worked extremely well, the short
time I had it. For high speed 4 wheeling, desert racing or sand dune running, I still
recommend A-arm kits that are similiar to this one.
|To Return to Part One, Click HERE