Link-Style Solid Axle Swapping
If you're a Toyota owner who's into hardcore trails, you know one thing's certain: solid front axles rule the rocks. No question that IFS systems are popping up here and there in the world of competition rockcrawling, but those IFS systems are usually one-off and involve plenty of cubic dollars. Budget guys and those who want something tried-and-proven have long lusted after solid front axles.
Toyota last produced a solid front axle mini truck in 1985, over 20 years ago. And those '85 trucks are becoming fewer and further between, so solid axle swapping (SAS) has become de rigueur in the Toyota trailriding world.
Using a pair of leaf packs to suspend a swapped-in solid front axle is almost as tried-and-proven as the solid front axle itself.
To shed some more light on the subject, we turned to Trail-Gear, which offers its SAS kits in two flavors: leaf springs and links. We've seen several examples of swapped-in solid front axles using leaf springs, and we bet you have, too. This time we'll take a look at Trail-Gear's Trail-Link Three front three-link suspension kit.
The Trail-Gear Trail-Link Three kit comes with links, brackets, Creeper Joints, and fasteners. The links are made from 2-inch, 0.250-inch-wall round DOM steel tubing which means they'll be right at home being dragged across the rocks. The brackets are similar, made from 1/4-inch (0.250) steel plate. Yes, you can assemble and build your own linked suspension system, but this ready-made kit takes the guesswork and homework out of the process. The axle itself is not supplied in the kit but if you can't find one Trail-Gear offers everything from a high-clearance Rock Assault housing to Six Shooter steering knuckles. You can actually build your own solid front Toyota axle using Trail-Gear parts for almost everything.
Shocks are another "not included" item, but Trail-Gear recommends 14-inch stroke coilovers for maximum articulation. Flex numbers are impressive. Trail-Gear's testing revealed that the Trail-Link Three front system is capable of up to 50 (yes, fifty) inches of front articulation when paired with an equally-flexy rear suspension. Rocks? What rocks?
Take a look at the photos and captions for the rest of the details. The Trail-Link Three SAS system is ready. Are you?
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