I want to express my appreciation for all the folks here at Tacoma World; it has been an invaluable resource in configuring my new truck and, in particular, has helped me avoid VSC problems with my suspension lift. Thank you everyone!
First of all a little background: I had a customized (mild lift, etc) '93 4Runner (original owner) that ran flawlessly for 151k miles (now in the hands of a good friend). My area of expertise lies completely outside of things automotive...at least in terms of working on vehicles and knowing how the various systems actually function. I do extensive off-roading in Utah and the southwest in general and was becoming concerned about the possibility of a major failure (clutch, head gasket, etc) while 40 miles from asphalt. The redesign of the Tacoma this year, along with my need for the utmost reliability, led to the purchase. It took nearly four months to take delivery of the vehicle (apparently no one buys a manual transmission any more LOL), and it was early in that waiting period that I first heard about the VSC issues...which is how I found Tacoma World after a little Googling. After joining I participated in a few threads, particularly this one here: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sus...sc-answer.html
The endless research on the issue (with no "right" solutions) pretty much made my eyes glaze over. I initially settled on an Icon Stage 3 lift...until I found out about the need for frequent shock rebuilds. The new vehicle needed to be absolutely bullet-proof, highly capable off-road and cosmetically appealing like my old 4Runner. I looked at spacers, OME, airbags, 5100s, AALs, you name it. Finally, partly out of frustration, I hoped that the factory suspension would be up to the task...WRONG!
When I finally took delivery, it was shortly before I had to make a scheduled trip to Utah (both business and a wilderness expedition) and I *scrambled* to finalize my mods and get components customized and shipped. Without the help of several great people at multiple companies I would have had to take the old 4Runner...fortunately, the custom parts were delivered and installed in time. However, once everything was installed and the truck fully "loaded for brontosaurus" it was apparent from the significant rear rake that the vehicle probably really did need lifting. And sure enough, on the first serious jeep trail up to an abandoned uranium mine I destroyed the electrical connection on the tow hitch...and later tore off a rear mud flap. It was pretty amusing "breaking it in" by chewing up minor components...except it wasn't funny fretting about how to lift the thing without the nanny systems freaking. Plus, the suspension was so soft it rode like a cadillac: very smooth over minor bumps, but take it over a curb or rock and it was BOUNCY.
After returning home from three weeks in the wilderness it was imperative to improve departure angle and level the vehicle. After a final round of research and talks with two Toyota service managers, I settled on this OME lift: http://www.sierraexpeditions.com/ind..._detail&p=2133
Very happy to report that, at least with the constellation of components on my truck, I have no issues whatsoever! No VSC lights, no vibrations, no rubbing...*and* the ride is INCREDIBLY GOOD now. *Much* stiffer without feeling like a covered wagon, no more bouncing around, very smooth over minor bumps, FANTASTIC over big dips, curbs, rocks, etc. It's the suspension that SHOULD come with the "Off Road" designation Toyota slaps on the side of the vehicle...SO MUCH BETtER THAN STOCK. I attribute this success primarily to keeping the factory wheels and not running mud tires (although I maxed out tire size), along with adding the shell and other goodies (which lowered the truck some).
Before listing the details of my build, I'd like to publicly thank several people and companies:
Brandon at http://www.avidoffroad.com/ for a super-fast rush job and testing the PIAAs inside the hoop (drop shipped to him for proper placement in the light bar) before shipment.
John at http://www.bajarack.com/ for coming up with a custom rack to fit directly on my rails (no need for Yakima bars) and somehow getting it welded and powder coated so that it could be installed for my trip (next day shipping hurt but that's not his fault).
Rob at http://www.leisurewestcampershells.com/ for getting the SnugTop delivered and installed in time, along with coordinating the rail measurements for the custom basket.
Tim at http://www.kartunes.com/ for installing a kick-ass sound system and particularly for manufacturing a custom subwoofer that fits behind the driver side passenger seat.
Mike, service manager at http://www.rosevilletoyota.com/ for the invaluable VSC advice and fantastic customer service when I stopped there out of the blue on the way to Utah.
Mike, master mechanic at http://www.victorytoyota.com/ for helping so much in understanding the VSC issues and zeroing in on wheel offset as one of the primary culprits.
Toby at http://www.xxxtraction.com/ for installing the lift and making it work as intended.
Okay, here are the details on the build:
2012 TRD Offroad, double cab, six speed, silver (maximum heat reflectance in the desert)
265/75R16 BFG A/T KO tires on factory wheels
OME lift with 885 coils, nitrocharger shocks and Dakar leafpacks
SnugTop shell with windoors, pro locks, bedliner, etc and PopnLock tailgate
Avid sliders and lightbar
Shovel and axe mounts
Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH with Alpine PDX-M12 amp, Pioneer speakers and custom subwoofer
In the attached pictures, only the image by the ocean is with the lift; all others are stock suspension. The lift not only leveled the rear but brought the whole body up about 3"...I think I'm about two inches above stock.
Open to any further mod suggestions. A Satoshi grill and the black headlight mod would be cool. I'm keeping the alloy wheels as-is (was originally going to powder coat black). Comments and suggestions appreciated. Thank you everyone...I love my new Tacoma!