Suspension Buying an old hilux - looking for advice





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  1. #1
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    Default Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Hi, first post, I'm new to this forum but have already learned a bunch from it so thanks
    I'm buying a '94 Hilux 2.4 diesel double cab that has solid axles with leaf suspension front and back.
    I'm looking for general advice as in what to look out for when I go check it out, and of course I've already started to modify it in my mind.
    It is already lifted for 38" tires but comes with 33" which is fine for my day to day uses (farm work + driving on very rugged trails + very heavy snow).

    My greatest worry is that the leaf suspension will be too harsh so I'm wondering if there are any go-to kits available to either change them to nicer leafs, adding coils or switching to coil suspension?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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    Last edited by hurrumanni; 2020/01/27 at 06:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Should I be posting in a different place? I didn't expect this forum to be this non responsive.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by hurrumanni View Post
    Should I be posting in a different place? I didn't expect this forum to be this non responsive.

    Be patient... the toyota guys are usually busy in the Land Rover and Ford forums.. they will be back soon.
    Last edited by TwinDisco; 2020/01/28 at 05:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Is that the 2,4 Diesel Turbo??
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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Petri Oosthuizen View Post
    Is that the 2,4 Diesel Turbo??
    Yes it's the intercooler turbo, but I think it was retrofitted when the engine was swapped. The engine has only had ~170.000km.
    I assume that's good?

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by hurrumanni View Post
    Yes it's the intercooler turbo, but I think it was retrofitted when the engine was swapped. The engine has only had ~170.000km.
    I assume that's good?
    We only had the Normally Aspirated (2L??) 2,4 Diesel here in SA. One of the VERY best ever made. Don't really know the 2,4 TDi, some Guys here have put on aftermarket turbo's which was not the best idea at the time.
    Of COURSE I have a Bad Habit. I take Tea at Three (Mick Jagger)

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Petri Oosthuizen View Post
    We only had the Normally Aspirated (2L??) 2,4 Diesel here in SA. One of the VERY best ever made. Don't really know the 2,4 TDi, some Guys here have put on aftermarket turbo's which was not the best idea at the time.
    I see. I've only ever driven diesel engines that have turbo. Don't the Normally Aspirated engines loose power in cold and heights?
    My biggest fear is of course head gasket failure, but I think this engine has a pretty good reputation in that regard. My previous 4x4 have been Pajeros and they are pretty much guaranteed to have a head gasket failure at between 200.000 - 250.000km.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Have a good look where the front shock perches are welded on to the chassis. In very hard working conditions the chassis sometimes crack in that area. That is about all that goes wrong they tend to last forever.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Have a good look where the front shock perches are welded on to the chassis. In very hard working conditions the chassis sometimes crack in that area. That is about all that goes wrong they tend to last forever.
    Ok will do, thanks.
    Do you know if there's a typical modification for the leaf springs to make for a better ride, like a kit of leafs that is known to be nicer than the stock?

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    That is a VERY nice vehicle, I'm jealous!!

    OME has a suspension set up for that van, makes for a very comfortable ride.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    That is a VERY nice vehicle, I'm jealous!!

    OME has a suspension set up for that van, makes for a very comfortable ride.
    ooh, got a link?
    My wife is still on the fence, I'm trying to explain to her the economy of having an indestructible car..

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Look up Old Man Emu and see who your local dealer is.

    I fitted OME to a '88 Hilux before, they do have a set up for that van.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    I have owned three SFA Hiluxes. The one you are buying is definitely not on a OEM suspension. It will be impossible to fit 33`s on a stock suspension.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Look up Old Man Emu and see who your local dealer is.

    I fitted OME to a '88 Hilux before, they do have a set up for that van.
    It looks like they have no less than 3 resellers here so I'll check with them if I'm not happy with it. I see in this promotional video they're changing leafs and shocks in the same car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSv...b&index=8&t=0s

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I have owned three SFA Hiluxes. The one you are buying is definitely not on a OEM suspension. It will be impossible to fit 33`s on a stock suspension.
    I'm under the impression that they'd have just put blocks to lower the leafs and also lifted the body a bit, but still on original springs.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Small correction: 1994 is not a OLD Hilux!
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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    I had a jap import 89 dc hilux with the 2.4td. Fitted OME suspension and made a big difference. Was only running [email protected] tyres though, I would say for them to fit 33's or 38's there must be quite a few mods made.

    Good motors with few issues, but dont be in a hurry to get anywhere fast.
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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Beautiful truck. The SFA shape is probably the best IMO. A little off topic, just couldn't resist. Post more pics!

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    I had a jap import 89 dc hilux with the 2.4td. Fitted OME suspension and made a big difference. Was only running [email protected] tyres though, I would say for them to fit 33's or 38's there must be quite a few mods made.

    Good motors with few issues, but dont be in a hurry to get anywhere fast.
    OT. We have a 85 dc sfa with the original suspension (and 2l 3y engine) running 33" on the old whitepower rims. Minimal rubbing at max turn and articulation.

    I do agree with the above, OME is probably the best bet, despite this though it won't be a comfort cruiser
    Always take the slow road.

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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    That specific shape Hilux was never sold in South Africa but I believe it shares a lot of spares with our(the previous model) Hilux.

    It seems to have already have some sort of non standard suspension, thus you will have to figure out which brand and work from there.
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    Default Re: Buying an old hilux - looking for advice

    That was a facelift model we never got in SA but the chassis is identical to the ones we did get.

    Basically they are bullet proof except for 3 issues:
    1) Rust - check the door sills, the A pillars, the roof gutters, and the vent panel under the windscreen (remove and check, leaves build up under there and clog the drain holes, causing leaks into the cab)
    2) The turbo engines - most of the turbos were aftermarket (though there were a few Alpine turbos that were OEM), and they were not kind to the engine, lots of blown head gaskets. Toyota only really figured it out with the later KZTE models.
    3) The front axle shaft seals - Toyota stock seals between the diff and the steering knuckle are not great, and tend to leak oil into the knuckles. You can get much better aftermarket seals from Terrain Tamer or others.

    You couldn't fit 33s onto the vehicle without moving the front axle forward, generally by drilling a new spring locating hole in the leaf spring pedestal on the axle. A lift is not enough. You also generally have to modify the steering setup from the OEM draglink to crossover steering to reduce the bump steer with larger tyres.

    There are several aftermarket springs that can be fitted to give a better ride, but increased comfort will reduce durability to some extent. Old Man Emu is not a bad option, just pricey.

    If you want to do a coil conversion, people have fitted 80 series Cruiser axles front and rear (the Cruiser axle is wider, so you need both to keep the track width consistent). You will need custom radius arm mounts to fit to the chassis and will have to strengthen the chassis where the coils mount as it was not originally designed with that in mind.

    If you go larger than 33 tyres, you will also need to change the diff ratios, as the engine will really struggle to turn larger tyres with the stock ratios.

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