Wow, a lot of questions! I'll see if I can address them all. If I miss anything, hopefully Dave from AAPA or Fred from Canyon State can pipe up.
Overall, with any tall vehicle on soft springs and no anti-sway bars, weight transfer (corner lean, brake dive, and acceleration squat) is pronounced. A stock Samurai has stiff springs and a sway bar, so it corners very flatly. This suspension is quite different. It is for this reason that Canyon State (and I, from my experience) recommends using Rancho RS-9000 adjustable shocks. That way, you can have an ultra-smooth ride over high-speed rough dirt roads AND have good body motion control on-road and while rockcrawling. Although body motion is pronounced with the shocks set to their softest setting, there aren't any surprises with the handling. It corners smoothly and predictably, and stomping the brakes doesn't scare me like other Shackle-Reversed Samurais do.
The turning radius is actually improved
, not only because there's no need for a panhard bar, but also because the pinion is lowered, causing the tires to "lean" as they turn and really crank the front of the truck around tightly. If I had any less than 2-inch backspaced wheels, the tires would rub on the springs when fully turned. That 2-inch backspacing has also reduced steering effort when stopped, because the tires "roll" more when they turn, instead of "scrubbing" the pavement and fighting the steering. Parallel parking will be even easier.
Obviously, the soft and flexy springs are a boon. The body stays very flat when climbing one tire over a rock or ramping the truck to measure RTI. Also, while driving up against a tall vertical face the tire will move rearward as it climbs the rock, reducing drivetrain stress. The approach angle is simply awesome. Don't confuse this kit with others on the market. No "Fangs" to hang up on rocks.
On rough, washed-out dirt roads, you don't have to worry about slowing down; drive like it's paved! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] The soft spring rate and trailing shackles front and rear really
make for a smooth ride over bumps. It's a night-and-day improvement.
Toyota axles under a Tracker:
With enough money, anything's possible. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] This kit is designed to bolt onto a Samurai's frame, so I don't think it's right for this application. I would recommend a YJ spring conversion though; it's a lot cheaper and easier than a coil spring setup.
Although a rear driveshaft will work fine, a stock front driveshaft doesn't have a chance at working, even with extended slip yokes. I'm using a 1-inch extended slip yoke (from Trail Tough) in back, and I might switch to my 2-inch slip yoke, but for the front you have to get a new driveshaft to address three problems. First of all, the stock U-joints will bind up from the amount of axle travel these springs provide. Secondly is the long spline travel that is necessary. The stock 3 inches is nowhere near enough. Lastly, with this much droop, a stock-thickness driveshaft will hit the frame crossmember. To address these problems, I bought a custom driveshaft (which AAPA and Canyon State can supply) that has 10 inches of travel, Spicer 1310 U-joints, clearanced yokes, and a narrow splined section to allow more than enough room at the crossmember for full axle droop.
Nope. This is a bolt-on kit. It was designed to work with most aftermarket bumpers, too. Fred (from Canyon State) has an ARB bumper on his, and I have a Wheeler's Off-Road bumper on mine. You can either move the bumper forward a few inches like Fred (which also allows room for a larger winch) or you can keep your bumper in the stock location like I did. It mostly depends on how the bumper is designed to bolt to the frame.
Whew! I hope this answered everyone's questions! I'm sure the vendors can help with any other questions, or you can wait for my product review of the kit in an upcoming issue of Off-Road.com.
Suzuki Tech Editor: http://www.Off-Road.com