TIP # 109, A New Toyota Modification to the IFS (Independent Front Suspension)

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 06, 2006 at 21:01
ThreadID: 122768 Views:4842 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Latest on Landcruiser IFS... Just the facts:

1) While Toyota have not acknowledged any problems with the retention of the Independent Front Suspension arms, there have been various articles and pictures in reports out there; and magazine articles showing that they can be damaged in extreme 4x4 activities. Hence the rumor mill runs, and a few people have been concerned about it. But this should be taken with salt, as anything can be damaged in the extremes if you run it too hard...
2) ARB have offered a suspension upgrade on the IFS for some time now, that involved some mechanical reinforcement of the lower control arms.
3) No Bushtracker Customers have had the problem, at least as is reported to date. This is more of an issue for people that might be doing 4x4 Gymkanas, Rock Climbing sorts, extreme of off-road exploration or rally types that might hit cattle grates or jump ups a bit fast, or the extreme of Fossickers like gold hunters going up old fossilized creek beds in search of the motherload in the Pilbara, that sort of extremes. If this is not you, dispel the myths, it does not seem to be a problem.. So don’t worry about it…
4) The latest development on the “Lower Control Arm” as reported to me: The new IFS Turbo Cruisers have substantially more weld on the connection points in question. When there was a failure, rock climbing or going airborne or something that made the suspension over extend to the downside, this was the point of failure, then the only thing that held it in place was the Upper Shock Mount, which can fail as well. Now I have not personally seen this, but I have been told about it from a number of sources and seen the pictures. Not only does ARB have a fix for the early 100 Series IFS, but the latest ones are substantially reinforced now by Toyota: Problem solved… If you have the latest IFS Cruiser and hear the story about the “Lower Control Arm”, don’t worry about it. If you fit the descriptions above in extreme use of your 4x4, then the fix from ARB is not very exxy. I have been told with a suspension upgrade it is only a few hundred dollars.

In summary, if you own one I would forget about it. It does not relate to most Bushtracker tow vehicles, and not happened to any of our Owners to date. Sweep it under the rug, that is unless you have the first four years or so of the IFS and are going to do the extremes. If you do then do the synopsis of Carnegies book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” and prepare for the worst and then forget about it and carry on. The fix is not that expensive, but possibly also not necessary as it has not happened to date to any of our big extended Bushtracker family… And Toyota, have substantially reinforced it on the latest Production.

The Landcruiser continues to be our most common, and most popular tow vehicle, even up to luxury sizes of 20-21’. They continue to be one of the toughest, and most reliable, and nicest to drive 4x4 vehicles in the world. Despite my personal needs for a larger tow vehicle, because of my larger van; I have an older 370,000 km Sahara in mint condition given to my Son, and my wife is driving a 100 Series. Within their capability, they continue to be my own first choice as well..

Happy Trails from the Lone Ranger..
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: TroopyTracker - Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 03:13

Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 03:13
Some more info-

Toyota did eventually, partially admit a problem exists in early models and issued this letter. Took their time but at least they came around, not like Mr Nissan and their "explosive" 3lt Patrols ;-) What problem???

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Follow Up By: Turist - Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 04:43

Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 04:43
Hi Matt.
The "Add Gallery Picture" feature only operates on the Owners Forum.
Just one of the benifits of being a finincial member.

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Reply By: Pixellator - Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 11:16

Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 11:16
I have a 2002 Cruiser, and have added Old Man Emu Suspension upgrade. Following the inspection after the Toyota 'Recall', my RHS control arm was found to have a crack. I don't partake in rock jumping/extreme 4x4 etc.
Thankfully Toyota came to the party, despite specifically stating that the free replacement may not apply to vehicles with aftermarket suspensions. However, now 'as Toyota so succinctly put it.
I have since had the ARB FK-27 reinforcing braces fitted as extra insurance. Done at the same time as the suspension upgrade, the cost is quite low. ARB now state that these backets are mandatory with suspension upgrades. Obviously if done separately, the labour cost is higher. A wheel alignment is also required afterwards.
On inspection of the old control arm, the weld was obviously short, and that's where the fracture started. I'm sure that you'll agree that I am certainly not blessed with good luck as far as suspension goes!!!
Bob Hall
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 17:23

Friday, Jul 07, 2006 at 17:23
Hello Bob,
Well, now we do have a Bogger with the problem.... I have a lot of feelers out there, in touch with the thousand as well as many per day that are Bushtracker Owners in planning or in future or if / or when they can do it. When I run across this kind of a potential problem my fear is that "how would I feel if someone came undone" when I could have been a help and knew about it...

I would just like to return something to the Bushtracker Owners in the way of help, hence my TIPs... This is just one more in a long line to come and I will persist as long as it is well received. The POINT OF THIS particular one is to get the Bogger who may have not noticed get under their Toyota and have a close inspection. It is a "feel good" if someone read the TIP and found and corrected a problem, before they ran mountain pass and had a breakage somehow that could be a potentially more serious situation.

I do something that all should do... I have my own creeper ( $50 mechanics lay down padded floor trolley). I routinely get down and have a little creep around inspection on all of my vehicles and trailers. Mind you, not as often as I should, but maybe twice a year or so, just to have a look. You would be amazed at the things that can work loose. A stitch in time sort of a situation. A tighted center bolt on a spring pack on a Bushtracker. Most people don't discover something like this until the spring pack shifts, shearing of carrier clamps and goes wonky crooked or breaks a leaf.

Oh, its too early for this at 7 AM, I better just shut up or I will be writing another bloody TIP... Good Luck Bob, and take care...

Regards, Lone Ranger

And Newbies, by the way, it is not the Tonto, KeeMoSabee sort. There is a statue in Austin with the inscription, "One Riot, one Ranger"... Ha! but I am about 150 years too late... So I am here, on the "Last Frontier" the Lone Ranger in Oz... Ha!
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