Brakes & Shackle Reversals

Braking is not something that is drastically changed with a SOA conversion.  You should basically use the same brakes you had before, if they work well, and if you can.  The only things you will really need are extended brake lines, just as you will need with any lift of a Cruiser.  There are several options out there.  Last time I did it, I pulled the flexible lines off a junk Cruiser and simply added them into my existing lines.  It worked excellently, but just make sure you really torque them together and that your used brakelines are in good shape.  All Toyotas generally use the same brake line, thread pitch, and depth.  Both hard and flexibly brake lines are commonly available from most parts stores.  An excellent source for a longer rubber brake line is to use one from an IFS mini truck, '86 to about '90 would be a good guess.  Buy two and add them to your existing lines and you will not have to worry about brake lines again. 

You can also use a good aftermarket brake line.  For example, if you are willing to spend a few dollars more you can get a stainless, braided line that will work great. I paid $16 each for the 26" lines on mine (part # 63070722ERL at

Shackle Reversal:
Shackle reversals have been around for ages and are widely discussed in terms of suspensions in general.  This article is not going to extensively cover it but some people live by them and other people sometimes question how important they are when doing a SOA.  If you would like more info about them, surf the tech section of where there is lots of info.

When the Land Cruiser Advanced Handling kit came out, shackle reversals became quite popular as they advertised "better handling."  There are many people out there who swear by shackle reversals and won’t even consider a SOA without one.  This is another “each and to his own.”  Personally, I’ve never done one, and think it’s work that is a somewhat unnecessary, but I’ve never spent time in a rig that had one either. 

The biggest advantage to a shackle reversal is the increased angle of departure.  Followed by the possibly better handling.  However, because my two SOA’s have been aimed at minimal lift, I’ve never done one because I always use small shackes that were never more than an inch longer than the OEM spring hangers.  In fact, I’ve returned back to stock shackles now twice with SOA’s. 

For some trucks I think they would be a good idea, though, but they also involve some fabrication that must be very carefully measured, and your axle still needs to track straight when you are done. 

Don't use the LC Advanced Handling kit for a SOA, that kit is designed for SUA vehicles and the front spring hanger is so large that it is counter productive when the best aspect of a shackle reversal is to increase your departure angle.  For a SOA, make your own or buy a hanger.  Proffitt’s Cruisers ( carries a good bolt on spring hanger that will make the proccess a whole lot easier. Here is an excellent example of Kurt Williams (Cruiser Outfitters) front spring hanger which he made himself:

**One thing to note though, is that if you do a shackle reversal, do it BEFORE you measure your front axle for a cut and turn, because a shackle reversal designed for a SOA rig will have different measurements than if it retains the stock shackle postion.

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8. Steering
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