Going back to simple


We used to have a stock 97, black/tan with factory lockers. I gave it an OME 2.5" heavy lift and some 285/75R16 MT/R's as that was the budget at the time and we rolled with it for many years that way and it met our needs and took us places we wanted to go exploring.

Some more cash later, I bought some of the first sliders Hanna made and was smitten with the look of the rig. But now I only had sliders and no front or rear aftermarket bumpers, so I went some time without them and always pined for them, meanwhile still able to go many places off-road without them, but I wanted "the look".

We sold our house in the Bay Area and moved up this way and I had some extra cash to play with so the ARB front bumper and Kaymar rear bumper were ordered and promptly installed after delivery. Now my rig had the setup and I was happy, it was perfect for our use.

Until I decided it would look a lot better with 315's! I never got them, and eventually sold the rig to try out a 100 series. Did the 100 series thing for a while, it remained stock and was later sold.

NOW...we are in another 97 that the PO built up. This one has 315's, 4.88's factory lockers, 4" J springs, ARB front bumper, winch, stock rear bumper with swing-out tire carrier and me and the Mrs are not super excited about the way it handles, and all the associated NVH that comes with that size lift and tires.

The thought has been going through my mind, I don't need 315's and that much lift for the places we like to go. I'd really like to downsize to a OME 2.5" Heavy with 285's like the previous rig, only thing is it still has 4.88's. A local driveline/differential shop advised against me running 285's with the 4.88's but I think it will be fine. My daily commute is about 2 miles each way, but we are weekend warriors and go on long drives to get away!

I decided to post this tonight after I ran across a pic of our first rig in it's stock form and I thought, "You know, it doesn't really look that bad with just the stock bumper!" Strange how I went from I can't wait to mod this stock rig to now I have a very modded rig and now I'm over it!

Here's some pics of our first rig, stock to "dialed-in".

OffRoadKid_BW.jpgWhat a pose!.jpgIMG_1205.jpgIMG_1224.jpg
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I know the feeling, I keep looking at "upgrading" my 110 landie, and I keep coming back to the fact I haven't needed it yet.
The interior has been modified to fit my needs, more comfortable seats , fold out bed, lighting and insulation and i fitted a 200TDi engine as the N/A military diesel wouldn't keep up with traffic.

Lift kit, bigger tyres etc etc have too many compromises to work "better" for me.
I even removed the silly spot lights that were fitted by the PO.

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..This one has 315's, 4.88's factory lockers, 4" J springs, ARB front bumper, winch, stock rear bumper with swing-out tire carrier and me and the Mrs are not super excited about the way it handles, and all the associated NVH that comes with that size lift and tires...
Sell it to a well to do off roader, or an expedition poser, and buy something else. 80 series is a nice truck, but with your new awareness it can be seen as overkill. :)


New member
I have 35s and 488s right now and I hear what you're saying. My thing is there is just so much rolling resistance with those massive Toyo MTs. Incredibly strong tire, the balance, wear, blah, blah, but honestly, I really wish I had stayed with an AT like the Toyo AT2 or Nitto TG. I've had these now 4 years and I'll roll them another two and drop back to 295s and an AT tire. It won't look as mean but I live in Colorado and use the rig here and in Utah and there is ZERO mud. I like having the mechanical advantage in the older truck driving at altitude. I think 285s might be a little "buzzy" and so might the 295s but honestly, if I'm not rolling 80 down the highway that's fine. I still have the 100 for that. BTW, the 100 has Michellin LTX MS2s and the thing hold speed FOREVER compared to these Toyos. And I'm really going to be cautious about building out that 100. I like that I can bomb over to Utah at 80 and do lots of trails, snow, sand and I don't need everything under the sun slapped on it.

And I think you're thinking right on the lift too. This was my 4th LC (I've since bought a 100 too) and I had overdone the lifts before. With this one I went with an OME heavy in the front (need it for the bumper) and OME medium in the back (still have the bumper and ghastly heavy 35 hanging back the mediums more than handle it). 2.5" is absolutely perfect.

So I am in firm agreement. We tend to go overboard. The 80 is such a fabulous offroader that I see why people do it but man these rigs stock were beasts and with the 488s, mild lift, slightly bigger tires you are already so capable you'll probably never need more.



New member
I have 285's and 4.88's and in my opinion it is perfect gearing. (I don't know what size the lift is, but it's not much) I have the old school 3FE, and the gearing really wakes the old girl up. It actually has enough power to pass trucks on the highway, and does well in low range in the snow.



Yeah I'm fairly certain I've made up my mind to choose a set of 285's and maybe take pccumber's advice to go with mediums in the rear and keep the heavies in front. My current rig already exhibits a slight "stink bug" with J's in front and heavies rear.


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I just put new 285's, bfg a/t, new 2.5 OME, and new rock rails and I am happy as can be. Heavies up front, med rear, level stance rides perfect. I'll never go bigger, because I'm not trying to tackle the rubicon, and this set up makes for happy daily driving and plenty capable here in Utah. I say keep it simple. Sell that rig and get a fresh one.


It amazes me that people are obsessed with fitting the biggest wheels possible on a vehicle cut then you look at people doing expos around the world and they are almost stock height, stock tires just really high quality stuff

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I went for light on my rig. Aluminium ATV ramp roof rack on Thule xbars. Tube front bumper and sliders.

I think you should keep the 4.88's. I re-geared my 94 with 255/85/16 toyo mt to 4.56 and to be honest I kinda wished I went the 4.88's. I put alot of thought into it too and figuired I wasn't going to run 35's and is whats recomended. Na if I had to do over I would have went with the 4.88's.

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New member
The only mod I regret is the 315 MTs. The 4.88s are great actually. In Colorado, even with 295s (which I think will be idea), the mechanical advantage helps. Plus, I do wheel it and the gearing is nice both up and down. I'm just going to grab a nice set of something like Toyo AT2s next time. Strong side walls and much less rolling resistance.

I really like tube bumpers too (like The Dude's :) )

OME heavies front and medium back gets you nice and level.