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Long Travel IFS for Rock Crawling

Marlin Crawler KOH tested IFS suspension you can own.

Marlin Crawler is a longstanding name in Toyota-based off-road and specifically rockcrawling, historically gearing Toyotas to the moon and back. The company has dipped its toe into the specialized independent front suspension (IFS) with a focused long-travel IFS system for rockcrawlers called RCLT or Rock Crawling Long Travel IFS (more info here).

As long as independent front suspension (IFS) has existed in 4WD vehicles, the question has been begged, "Is IFS or solid-axle front suspension better off-road?" The answer isn't as easy as some make it seem. When going fast in whoops, there is no doubt: Well-designed IFS can soak up the rapid elevation change with ease. With production 4x4s IFS is nearly everywhere, allowing lower-weight components as manufacturers chase emissions and fuel economy standards. Still, heavy-duty and specialized new production rigs still rely on solid front axles. Only in heavy rockcrawling has the pointer leaned back to the good old solid axle. Sure, an IFS rig can be built to work in the big rocks, but cost and simplicity tend to keep the solid axle alive when it comes to rockcrawling. But the benefits of IFS and its widespread use can't be ignored.

Toyota IFS Long Travel for Rockcrawling

By adding track width (5.5 inches, 2.75 per side), high-clearance heavy-duty lower control arms, and by pushing the knuckle forward 2 inches, the RCLT suspension from Marlin Crawler adds ground clearance, width, tire-to-body mount clearance, and an improved approach angle. This system has the benefit of a solid axle swap (width and forward moved axle) and the benefits of long-travel IFS (width and increased wheel travel at the hub). Also, since the system uses RCV shafts (allowing up to a 40-inch tire) and keeps the differential mounted high and out of the way, ground clearance is maximized under the front of the truck. The system uses heavy-duty upper and lower boxed and internally gusseted control arms, and a heavy-duty knuckle made of a machined billet lower knuckle with a boxed and gusseted upper knuckle for huge strength upgrades. The system also uses double sheer horizontally mounted ball joints, which allows for more wheel travel and strength than a standard ball joint setup.

Finally, RCLT HD addresses the IFS setback of steering strength by using a complete replacement heavy-duty MarRack steering rack that is larger and stronger than a Tundra rack and powers the knuckles via billet steel double shear tie rod connection. And if that wasn't enough, because RCLT HD is a complete system replacement, it gave Marlin Crawler free rein to develop all-new steering geometry tailored for off-road use with increased steering leverage and power that reduces driver effort and fatigue. Combined with a larger cooling capacity, these are welcoming additions for maneuvering larger than stock and aired-down tires through a long day on the trail. The new geometry also maintains tire alignment through a longer range of suspension travel than other lifted setups reusing factory IFS steering components, resulting in better on-road drivability with reduced tire wear.

 

Toyota Rockcrawler Suspension From Marlin Crawler

Pricing for the system is still being established and is dependent on demand, and the kit should be available late this summer (2020) or early fall. The kit requires these not included parts: 2.75-inch longer inner replacement shafts (RCV second-gen Ultimate Chromoly axle shafts highly recommended), 8-inch or similar long-travel style coilover shocks, 17-inch wheels, and some fabrication (like for bumpstops). Some of the benefits of this system are that it may be removed and factory components reinstalled, it may be easily transferred from one vehicle to another, the system retains all factory ABS, cruise control, and traction control systems, and it uses OEM bearings, seals, and hardware for maximum dependability and ease of service. Also, the RCLT system can be aligned by any shop without special tools, instructions, or procedures, and it retains superior IFS handling, ride quality, and stability both on- and off-road

 

King of the Hammers Tested and Survived

Did we mention that the RCLT has been tested in the infamously abusive King of the Hammers Race? The Steel City Racing team finished top 10 in the KOH 4600 class in a RCLT-prepped V-8 powered Toyota 4Runner. That's a real-world test of a cutting-edge design that could revolutionize rockcrawling for any IFS 4x4.

Source:

Marlin Crawler
559.252.7295
www.marlincrawler.com