Recently we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a pair of LandTanks HD lower control arms for the rear of our 80 series. We've been reading about them on the forums and seeing how everyone spoke highly of LT products we wanted to get them under our rig. With the help from Josh Vanderford over at AjikOverland (the premiere LandTank dealer) the ball was rolling.
First glance at these black zinc coated puppies is that they're not weak. These control arms are beefy! They're extremely overbuilt and they weigh almost twice as much as the stock Toyota control arm. All weight adds up and as most people know, our 80 weighs nearly 7400 lbs loaded. So seriously, what's another 20lbs? Besides, a little weight added, especially down below, keeps the center of gravity low and is never a bad thing in my eyes.
With the control arms being solid rod, one of the benefits is that you can use them as sliders if need be. Not that we will be using them that much in such form, but it's nice to know it will be hard to hurt them in case we run into a rock garden on one of our back country treks. A fine example of the craftsmanship on this product is the attention to detail on the arm ends. The increased size makes them almost like a caster for your axle and your frame-end. Your frame mount that usually crushes like a soda can for the rockcrawling crowd will now be protected as the arm's end will take all the force.
Axle side showing the arm end protection.
LandTank was smart by adding the option of having OEM Toyota bushings installed before shipping. This saves you time and frustration and also allows for factory-like reliability and serviceability. Note, you can have the LT arms shipped without bushings if you're looking for your own requirement, such as heims or johnny joints.
Another great idea that LandTank had for these arms was to make them slightly longer than factory, so that your pinion angle would effectively correct itself by pushing the axle back a quarter inch. In turn this rotates the pinion angle back down and creating a less severe drive line angle. This is just enough for those that don't want to buy upper arms for mild lifts, and also for the folks who have installed a larger tire, this puts it back in the correct position inside of the wheel well. Win, win for everyone.
After receiving the ultra heavy FedEx box and thanking the driving for not hurting himself, we teamed up with another great local sponsor of Adventure Duo to help us with the install, Yotamasters in Corona California. [link]
Eric, Jay and their crew did an excellent job putting the new arms in. Not a difficult job by any means, and they made quick work of it, but it's not a one banana shade tree mechanic job either. If you have a pair of large jack stands and can get the wheels off, you can replace your arms without any issue. Just remember, you may have to fight the drive line to get that extra length out of the arms when you reinstall them.
Old arms coming out after being on the road 16 years. Stock bushings still in surprisingly good shape.
LandTank arm and OEM arm comparison. The arm ends on the LT are 2.954" vs the oem which are 2.775". A noticeable difference.
You can visualize the 1/4" length comparison in this photo. Also, we measured outside diameter on the two arms and the LT arms measured 1.522" and the OEM measured in at 1.696". Although a hair smaller than OEM, the A36 steel rod will hold up just fine.
After install i went for a short test drive as sometimes i get small vibes while stinkbug unloaded before trips. All vibes, although small before were gone. It's nice to have ease of mind knowing that less stress will be on our drive line.
For now we are going to test these arms out on back country roads and mild trails. Could there be someone else out there that is better suited for the job? Surely, but we also know we won't have a problem with the quality of work fabricated by LandTank as we hit the trails more than most.
I'll update this thread [link] in a few months to see how they're holding up. I will also try and get the weight of the rig stuck on them a few times more than normal.