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Unread 10-26-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
Wishbone
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Default Metal Tech 4x4 Rear Long Travel Suspension Package

Anyone have any experience with this kit? Looks to be well designed, and the use of dual rate coils for this application is a great idea.

http://www.metaltech4x4.com/p-481-me...e-stage-2.aspx

Metal Tech 4x4 FJ Cruiser stage 2 rear long travel suspension kit. Metal Tech 4x4 after a year of testing has finally released our custom rear long travel suspension for the FJ Cruiser. Metal Tech 4x4 designed a unique progressive rate spring that has a free height of 19 1/4" while still maintaining a 2" lift. The bottom half the coil is rated at 250lbs of spring rate and the upper portion is at 105lbs of spring rate. With this combination the spring can stay in it's compressed position at ride height and expand out to it's full free height on down travel.

In conjunction with the added suspension flex Metal Tech 4x4 worked directly with Icon Vehicle Dynamics to produce a 2.0 VS series shock to our specifications that fits in the stock shock mounting location. This shock will allow for a full 11.5" of shock travel which translates into 27.5" of wheel travel (compared to a OME 2" lift that has 20" of wheel travel) without using a sway bar. We also offer a 2.5" with remote reservoir version also produced by Icon Vehicle Dynamics that will give you added shock dampening and vehicle stability.


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Unread 10-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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Calling it "long travel" is a misnomer; to get long travel in the back you have to significantly modify the 4-link/panhard setup. This just looks like a regular ol' lift.
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Unread 10-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Right, not LT in the traditional sense that would be applied to the front suspension, but it offers a significant increase in droop.

"11.5" of shock travel which translates into 27.5" of wheel travel (compared to a OME 2" lift that has 20" of wheel travel)"
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Unread 11-01-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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Anyone . . .

Radflo 2.5 remote resi rear long travel shock run $375 ea and will fit this application.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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How much does it lift the rear of your vehicle?

The bumpstop spacers limit your up travel, so you gain a lot of downtravel, but may loose uptravel (pending on where you are now). Have used a similar setup, but with much less aggressive bumpstops spacers (so uptravel wasn't limited as severely).

Unless the springs and shock valving are setup for your weight it may cause more bottoming out.

It is also at the limit of what you can expect out of the stock links, and it may be worthwhile to look at more flexy links. In addition the swaybar will likely croak much sooner as the down travel is substantial according to the numbers listed (11.5" travel shocks with bumpstop of 3"?? means 6" or more extra droop over stock??).

So check all these elements and see how it fits your needs.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishbone View Post
Anyone have any experience with this kit? Looks to be well designed, and the use of dual rate coils for this application is a great idea.

http://www.metaltech4x4.com/p-481-me...e-stage-2.aspx

Metal Tech 4x4 FJ Cruiser stage 2 rear long travel suspension kit. Metal Tech 4x4 after a year of testing has finally released our custom rear long travel suspension for the FJ Cruiser. Metal Tech 4x4 designed a unique progressive rate spring that has a free height of 19 1/4" while still maintaining a 2" lift. The bottom half the coil is rated at 250lbs of spring rate and the upper portion is at 105lbs of spring rate. With this combination the spring can stay in it's compressed position at ride height and expand out to it's full free height on down travel.

In conjunction with the added suspension flex Metal Tech 4x4 worked directly with Icon Vehicle Dynamics to produce a 2.0 VS series shock to our specifications that fits in the stock shock mounting location. This shock will allow for a full 11.5" of shock travel which translates into 27.5" of wheel travel (compared to a OME 2" lift that has 20" of wheel travel) without using a sway bar. We also offer a 2.5" with remote reservoir version also produced by Icon Vehicle Dynamics that will give you added shock dampening and vehicle stability.


I have been running this setup for a year, I got it before it was released to the public.

ICON 2.5" rear shocks w/remote reservoir, P/N ICON-5-7712, I run 200psi of Nitrogen in each rear shock.

ICON coilspring is a dual rate. and lifted the rear between 3.5" - 4" Unloaded - (I have carried 850lbs of brick w/a little squat). Loaded or unloaded it still has road manners similar to my old stock XREAS.

I would recommend upgrading the 4 link to maximize use of this kit (I run Total Chaos 5 links) but to further maximize the spring length use, research may show longer custom links and front pivot point attached forward on the frame. Currently the rear far exceeds the front suspension in down travel.

I also don't run a front swaybar (the TC Kit +2" track is 4" wider than the factory mounting loacation) or rear swaybar any longer (the rear LT system is able to overcome the body roll normally experienced, unless you start loading top heavy gear on the roof rack and I don't have any experience w/that scenario). Metal Tech suggested the Currie Anti-swaybar for those who do.

I have not noticed any bottoming out, but a simple tool I used to determine that is to place a zip tie around the shock ram. Drive around a few miles, then check where the ziptie has moved. Add or delete pressure.

Attached thumbnail - right rear is stuffed into the wheel well hitting the bumpstop, left rear wheel/tire removed upper link is not touching the fuel tank. Spring is extended about 75%. ( I was installing a daystar spacer on the left spring to level the rear).

For more pics check my photo albums.
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File Type: jpg Z1.jpg (45.8 KB, 247 views)
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Last edited by loose_electron; 11-03-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
How much does it lift the rear of your vehicle?
They claim a 2" lift, which is similar to the Toytec Superflex I am currently running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
The bumpstop spacers limit your up travel, so you gain a lot of downtravel, but may loose uptravel (pending on where you are now). Have used a similar setup, but with much less aggressive bumpstops spacers (so uptravel wasn't limited as severely).

Unless the springs and shock valving are setup for your weight it may cause more bottoming out.
This kit reminded me of the OW 2.5 which uses extended bump stops as well, so I was hoping you would chime in for comparison purposes! They indicate that the bumps are for 35s to keep from rubbing, so I wonder if you could run 33s with their 2" stops without having the shock bottom out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
It is also at the limit of what you can expect out of the stock links, and it may be worthwhile to look at more flexy links. In addition the swaybar will likely croak much sooner as the down travel is substantial according to the numbers listed (11.5" travel shocks with bumpstop of 3"?? means 6" or more extra droop over stock??).
They offer offset links to address this concern, it looks like loose_electron went the same route, but with the TC links and no sway bar. Not sure how far they would sit into the travel, but it seems that the addition is mainly in the shocks extension (down travel/droop). LE, do you have any additional info on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by loose_electron View Post
I have been running this setup for a year, I got it before it was released to the public.

ICON rear shocks w/remote resvoir, P/N ICON-5-7712, I run 200psi of Nitrogen in each rear shock.

ICON coilspring is a dual rate. and lifted between 3.5" - 4" Unloaded - (I have carried 850lbs of brick w/a little squat). Loaded or unloaded it still has road manners similar to my old stock XREAS.

I would recommend upgrading the 4 link to maximize the spring length (I run Total Chaos links) but to further maximize the spring length custom links would need to be employed.

My full drop is limited on the drivers side because the upper link will hit the fuel tank on the top, but the spring is still longer and will not fall out.

I also don't run a front rollbar (the TC Kit +2" track is 4" wider than the factory mounting loacation) or rear swaybar any longer (the rear LT system is able to overcome the body roll normally experienced, unless you start loading top heavy gear on the roof rack and I don't have any experience w/that scenario). Metal Tech suggested the Currie Anti-Rollbar for those who do.

Attached thumbnail - right rear is stuffed into the wheel well hitting the bumpstop, left rear wheel/tire removed upper link is touching the fuel tank. Spring is extended about 75%. ( I was installing a daystar spacer on the left spring to level the rear).

For more pics check my photo albums.
Thanks for the feedback, this is just what I was hoping for, someone with the kit installed, you have a sick ride BTW!

The claims are with the sway bar removed, so that is good to hear that it behaves with the bar removed, and you don't have to worry about the bar getting worked and breaking. Do you have any ideas on how to address hitting the gas tank? I looked through your albums, you have a great build going and the TC 2+ is sweet! I would love to see some more flex pics, out on a trail preferably, if you can get them or have some.

Thanks for the reply
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Unread 11-01-2012, 07:01 PM   #8
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Let me first state that the upper drivers side link does not drop down far enough to touch the tank.

The shocks and springs are longer than the available down travel, in other words it out travels the factory engineered design.

Another thing some guys have done is to raise their fuel tank to gain ground clearance, but that might cause the upper left link to contact the fuel tank during max downtravel.

Using an offset lower link will only help lower obstacles from contacting the lower bar. I'm not aware of offset upper links, but custom ones can be built.

Thanks for the compliments, still adding mods!

I will get some current pictures this weekend.
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Last edited by loose_electron; 03-19-2014 at 02:51 AM.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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Awesome, looking forward to seeing action pics. If you can capture where it hits as well, that would be great so I can see the limitations of the system.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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Im considering getting their coils but doing my own custom shocks and mounts so that I can maintain the factory up travel but gaining more down travel (limited by the lower links binding on the axle). Metal tech has told me that their coils will compress enough to allow use of the factory bump locations but in order to run the icon shock they package with the kit, the spacers must be used.

Im not sure how they calculate 27.5" of wheel travel. With an 11.5" stroke shock and the factory motion ratio of about 1.17:1, you would be able to get about 13.5" of wheel travel theoretically (bump to droop). However, with the factory bump stop location and the factory links limiting droop, the most you can get out of the stock suspension is about 13.5", and if you have to relocate the bump stops down 2" that leaves you with 11.5" which is probably about what I get with my fox shocks and all pro 2" coils, I just have more up travel and less down travel with this setup.

So for those of you considering this setup, keep that in mind. If you are looking for actual longer travel, you are going to have to look further than a kit. Having said that, though, this kit has its place
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Unread 11-01-2012, 09:47 PM   #11
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Without the bumpstop spacers the longer shock will be your stopping point when it fully compresses and that is bad.

With the bumpstop spacers installed it is within aprox. 1/4" of complete up travel of the shock.

The wheels I use are Trail Ready HDs, w/a 4" backspacing, they stick out 1" further than stock wheels. Upon Full stuff the inside of the tire will slightly rub the remote reservoir (and I rarely do that) I have mounted as far back and up on the outside of the frame.

For those guys running a tire larger than a 265/70/17 the problem will be worse (w/o bumpstop spacers) and you may run into hitting the fender openings during up travel.

When up travel is limited it will force your axle down on the opposite side which is the idea, to have the tires in contact w/the ground.
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Last edited by loose_electron; 11-03-2012 at 03:15 AM.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loose_electron View Post
Without the bumpstop spacers the longer shock will be your stopping point when it fully compresses and that is bad.

With the bumpstop spacers installed it is within aprox. 1/4" of complete up travel of the shock.

The wheels I use are Trail Ready HDs, w/a 4" backspacing, they stick out 1" further than stock wheels. Upon Full stuff the inside of the tire will slightly rub the remote reservoir (and I rarely do that).

For those guys running a tire larger than a 265/70/17 the problem will be worse (w/o bumpstop spacers) and you may run into hitting the fender openings during up travel.

When up travel is limited it will force your axle down on the opposite side which is the idea, to have the tires in contact w/the ground.
Im not sure if this was directed at me but I know that you need bump stops to prevent your shock from bottoming and is pretty much what I said in my post and why I am going with custom shocks and shock mounts to retain the maximum up travel (bumpstops in factory location)

I am running a 285/70/17 on a 4.25" BS wheel and with the factory bumps the tire fits in the wheel well just fine, it will rub the wheel well a little, but that is no big deal.

Limiting up travel will not force the axle down on the opposite side, that is what the springs are for, limiting up travel will only make your body roll sooner on off camber obstacles, if there is nothing under your tire it will droop out until your shocks max out or the links bind, etc
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Unread 11-01-2012, 10:28 PM   #13
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I agree with that, better articulated. I was attempting to explain what I have run into w/this kit. And as you said, and I agree it does have its place in the market.

Unless you want to re-engineer the link front pivot points, and I don't.
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Last edited by loose_electron; 11-03-2012 at 03:16 AM.
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Unread 11-01-2012, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I agree with that, better articulated. Just trying to explain what I have run into w/this kit. And as you said, and I agree it does have its place in the market.

Unless you want to re-engineer the link front pivot points, and I don't.
Got it. Yes this kit is probably the best available for trails and rock crawling without having to reengineer things. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to design a suspension system that gives maximum up and down travel to work in both trail/crawling and high speed desert applications and it is not easy with these trucks
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Unread 11-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theelectrician View Post
Im considering getting their coils but doing my own custom shocks and mounts so that I can maintain the factory up travel but gaining more down travel (limited by the lower links binding on the axle). Metal tech has told me that their coils will compress enough to allow use of the factory bump locations but in order to run the icon shock they package with the kit, the spacers must be used.

Im not sure how they calculate 27.5" of wheel travel. With an 11.5" stroke shock and the factory motion ratio of about 1.17:1, you would be able to get about 13.5" of wheel travel theoretically (bump to droop). However, with the factory bump stop location and the factory links limiting droop, the most you can get out of the stock suspension is about 13.5", and if you have to relocate the bump stops down 2" that leaves you with 11.5" which is probably about what I get with my fox shocks and all pro 2" coils, I just have more up travel and less down travel with this setup.

So for those of you considering this setup, keep that in mind. If you are looking for actual longer travel, you are going to have to look further than a kit. Having said that, though, this kit has its place
What custom shocks are you considering, and what lengths (extended/compressed), and what/how would you the mounts? King looks to be the only option with using the stock mounts, I contacted DSM and they quoted me ~1000 for a set of customs, and they werent sure they could match the Icon specs exactly. Fox could not do anything at all, and as I mentioned above, Radflo has an option.
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Last edited by Wishbone; 11-02-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishbone View Post
What custom shocks are you considering, and what lengths (extended/compressed), and what/how would you the mounts? King looks to be the only option with using the stock mounts, I contacted DSM and they quoted me ~1000 for a set of customs, and they werent sure they could match the Icon specs exactly. Fox could not do anything at all, and as I mentioned above, Radflo has an option.
ICON is an option as well, besides the shock pictured in your original post they sell this upgraded shock w/remote reservoir for $425 ea. This shock was built to match the specs for the dual rate coils. The research to match shock and coil has been done to use on all 120 platforms.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 03:44 AM   #17
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In the original post I stated the upper left suspension link would contact the fuel tank, this is not the fact and I've edited previous post. Today I backed up a 20 degree RTI ramp to check flex and took some pictures out on the trail. I couldn't get the link to contact the tank in a real world test. I had this misconception during installing the kit w/o springs installed. I did notice my rear tire will rub the mudflap on full up travel, it would be worse w/o a bumbstop spacer or larger tires.


Upward momentum stopped after the exhaust pipe tip started peeling the expanded metal off the ramp. Doh!




Tires at 35psi, airing down would have helped on the high side.


Right rear shock compressed...the axle is touching the bumpstops.




ICON Dual Rate Spring


Tire is rubbing the mudflap slightly.


Left Tire is losing traction.
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Last edited by loose_electron; 11-03-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #18
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Awesome, just the pics I was looking for! I would say you are getting about 5-6" more droop compared to my OME and Toytec superflex coil seup, I am running same size tires, but ATs, and it looks like you have the full tire below the body, where as I have 4-5" still above the body.









So would you say you are getting the full potential out of this kit currently, or are there some changes you could make to get a bit more out of it?
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Unread 11-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #19
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At static compression you want a bit more breathing room for the shock. The bumpstops compress more when the truck is moving and the axle gets compressed more at speed, this will put a lot more stress on the shock and shock mounts. I would drop the bumpstop at least 1/4" to give the shock more room at full compression.

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Unread 11-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #20
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Thanks, your right Bulldog, and such an easy fix. I was considering doing that w/a piece of steel plate. It's hard to see but I have a zip tie around the rod to gauge full compression.

Wishbone, I think this would be the only additional mod to this kit...hmm, the thought did cross my mind to switch to bypass shocks in the future for further adjustability.

Thanks for posting your picture, I was interested what others were getting on down travel. Where I live we have tons of stock 4runners, but nobody has modified a 4th gen yet, seems I'm leading the way in the Western Pacific Islands.
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Last edited by loose_electron; 11-04-2012 at 04:59 AM.
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