How To: 50mm Bodylift
This writeup is intended to be a guide on how to do a bodylift on a 60 Series Landcruiser. Please check with your state/authority on the legality of bodylifts.
50mm is the largest recommended bodylift and this guide is based around that.
Information for this writeup was sourced from personal experience, posts from Outerlimits, 4wdaction and IH8Mud Forums. In particular IH8Mud forum member ‘Peepers’ and 4wdaction forum member ‘Toy Yoda’ provided valuable information, although they may not realise it! Some of this writeup was cut and pasted directly from these forums and as such the words as they appear above are not necessarily original.
Things You Need to Know - Before You Start
Why? – Installing a bodylift is a useful way to get more clearance for larger tyres. The body is relatively low weight compared to the chassis, so the centre of gravity is kept low.
Bodylift Blocks – You need to do some research here. The most popular types of bodylift blocks are Polyurethane with crush tubes and aluminium. Bodylift blocks are available from Snake Racing and Superior Engineering and both of these suppliers make a kit to suit the 60 Series and this will save you some time.
Bull Bar and Rear Bars – You will need to raise the front and rear bars by 50mm. This is usually done by modifying or making new mounting brackets. More notes on this later on.
Radiator - You will either need to drop the fan shroud 2 inches or drop the radiator 2 inches. More notes on this later on.
Radiator Hoses - Check these after the bodylift has been done. You may need to shorten the hoses to eliminate any kinking that may have resulted from the bodylift. Again, more notes on this later.
Steering Shaft – The steering shaft needs to be adjusted. Loosen the bolt on the steering slip joint. You may need to spray the slip joint with WD40, CRC, RP7 etc. a couple of times in the days leading up to the bodylift. Theoretically the shaft will adjust itself as the body is lifted, but it may need a gentle love tap to get moving. Make sure you do the bolt back up when you finish & be careful not to strip it. If you want to be 100% thorough Snake Racing make a steering shaft extension designed for when doing a bodylift.
Transfer Case Selector - Vacuum Operated – Some vacuum hoses will not be long enough. You need to swap a few of the vacuum hoses around because they don't have quite enough length in them. Otherwise buy new hoses. The shifter won't foul the body as it shifts only forwards and back.
Transfer Case Shifter - Non-Vacuum - The shifter will hit the bottom and probably both sides of the hole in the transmission tunnel. The shifter can be removed, heated with an oxy and bent to suit. You may need to also trim the body around it existing hole.
Brake and Clutch Lines - Brake lines do not need extending. There is enough bundy tube coiled between the master and the chassis to open up for the lift, other than that the brake line is captive to the chassis and is irrelevant to the body lift. Obviously check these after you are done.
Bolts - standard lengths as follows;
6 Bolts each side, 12 in total
10mm bolts, two nuts on each bolt, 3mm thick washers
Front = 100mm
Front foot well = 100mm
Front seats = 135mm
Rear seats = 150mm
Cargo area = 100mm
Rear = 100mm
This is where buying a kit will make it easier!
You basically need bolts that are 50mm longer than the above lengths. You can get away with re-using the two sets of longer bolts as new shorter bolts, but really you may as well buy all new bolts. The bolts will need to be high tensile - see your local nut and bolt shop for their advice. It is advisable to get new nyloc nuts while you are at it. Don't be surprised to see that some of the existing bolts are slightly bent. If your 60 has ever had a dingle, the body may have moved on the chassis.
Another option here is to upgrade to 12mm bolts. These will be much stronger than 10mm bolts and with the raising of the body, there will be extra forces on them. Make sure you decide on this before buying blocks as this may be an issue, especially if you buy Polyurethane blocks with crush tubes in them.
The nuts may be difficult to remove. You may need to spray the nuts with WD40, CRC, RP7 etc. a couple of times in the days leading up to the bodylift.
How Long Will It Take?
It's common a common question and a some will say it's a half day job. For the actual bodylift itself, with the help of a mate 1/2 to a full day. For the other work required – bending the shifter/cutting transmission tunnel hole, relocating bars etc. it’s hard to say. Easy 1 day, but probably more.
Where Are the Bolts?
1. The battery and tray must be removed. Once the battery is removed you can get to the front body mount on the drivers side. If you have a second battery on the passenger side the this will need to be removed as well, otherwise it’s easy to access.
2. The next one is behind the brake pedal on the driver’s side and the same location on the on the passenger side:
3. The next set back is just inside of the rear mounting point for the front seats. You will need to remove the seats, and peel the carpet back to get good access to these:
4. The 4th set is under the rear seat. You will need to fold the base of the seat forward to get good access:
5. The 5th set is just to the rear of the rear wheel well:
6. The 6th set is located just in front of the rear bumper. There is a shield covering the fuel filler neck, this may need to be removed. Scrape away the mud and dirt on the back panels towards the tailgate and you will find two screws per side. Remove them and the small panels and you can get to the 6th set of bolts.
Installing the Bodylift
1. Unbolt the fan shroud from the Radiator.
2. Loosen the bolts down one side of the vehicle remove the bolts down the other.
3. Now you jack up one side. There are a few ways to jack up the body. Ideally a high lift pallet jack or a forklift and a couple of pieces of timber would be the go. Otherwise a couple of decent size trolley jacks and a few pieces of 4x2 would work nicely as well. In a pinch, you could get away with one trolley jack if you had to.
4. From the side with the removed bolts add the lift block. The block goes between the body and the rubber insulator. Make sure you keep the original rubbers in place. Don’t mix them up as they are different thicknesses. Drop the bolts in, tighten the nuts just a bit and let the body down slowly. Jack the other side and repeat.
5. When you have everything lined up and on, tighten them all down. Tighten just enough to see the body mounts ever so slightly compress.
Bodylift Installed – What Next?
Bull Bar and Rear Bars – You will need to raise the front and rear bars by 50mm. This is usually done by modifying or making new mounting brackets. There aren’t any specific instructions for this. It depends on what front and rear bars you have and you will have to work it out yourself. Here’s some pictures of what it will look like;
Radiator - You can either 1) Drop the fan shroud or 2) Drop the radiator. Technically dropping the radiator is the best way as the shroud will still line up fully with the radiator, but it also a little harder to do. The downside of dropping the shroud is that it will no longer fully line up with the radiator meaning that cooling efficiency may be compromised, but it may be splitting hairs.
Dropping the shroud. The easiest and quickest way. This is a good opportunity to cut your shroud in half (so you have a bottom and a top). This makes future maintenance much easier. You will need to remove the shroud and drill holes 50mm higher than existing. You will also need to cut around the existing cut out where the bottom radiator hose clears. This make take some trial and error. You may need to shorten the hoses to eliminate any kinking that may have re have resulted from the bodylift.
Dropping the radiator. From a performance point of view this is the best way. You basically drop the radiator 50mm from where it mounts now. It is the perfect time to make up some captive studs for the top bolts as Toyota had a dumb idea of putting them behind the a/c condenser. This is fairly self-explanatory, and I have no pictures to show. There is a curve at the bottom of the body that will be in the way of the radiator brackets, so you will need to make spacers for the top. Be careful as although you can get the condenser to move enough to access the bolts that little bit of strain can be enough to crack the condenser flare and let refrigerant leak. Radiator hoses don’t need to be modified using this method.
Steering Shaft – Check that the slip joint moved. If not give it a gentle love tap to get moving. Make sure you do the bolt back up when you finish & be careful not to strip it. As per the start of the write up, if you want to be 100% thorough Snake Racing make a steering shaft extension designed for when doing a bodylift.
Transfer Case Selector - Vacuum Operated - You need to swap a few of the vacuum lines around because they don't have quite enough length in them. If you look around the bonnet, you will find little rubber hoses running from various vacuum solenoids. Swap one hose off the transfer case for one over near the air conditioning compressor as it is about 50mm longer. Otherwise buy new hoses. The shifter won't foul the body as it shifts only forwards and back.
Transfer Case Shifter - Non-Vacuum - The shifter will hit the bottom and probably both sides of the hole in the transmission tunnel. The shifter can be removed, heated with an oxy and bent to suit. The best way is to straighten it and then re-bend on the same angle 50mm higher. There is some trial and error required here. You may need to also trim the body around it existing hole. It is preferable not to cut out the captive nuts as this will allow dust, water and noise to enter the cabin from around the rubber boot. It may be necessary to both bend the shifter and cut the body. When you think you have it right, drive the steepest hill you can find to see if the shifter hits the bottom of the hole in the transmission tunnel. If it does there is the chance that the transfer will pop out of gear, so you will need to either bend the shifter again, or cut out more of the hole.
Finished – What Now?
Fit bigger tyres and drive it!