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2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!

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Old 06-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!

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
PIAA 525s
Power moonroof
Custom BajaRack
Shovel and axe mounts
ARB Awning
Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH with Alpine PDX-M12 amp, Pioneer speakers and custom subwoofer
Mudflaps removed

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!
Attached Thumbnails
2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!-tacoma-utah-build-001.jpg   2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!-tacoma-utah-build-002.jpg   2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!-tacoma-utah-build-003.jpg   2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!-tacoma-utah-build-004.jpg   2012 Utah red rock build - no VSC issues!-tacoma-utah-build-005.jpg  

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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I'm glad to hear it all worked out for you.

Great pictures.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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Looks good man! You've got a sweet looking truck!
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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Thank you!

I cannot believe the difference in ride quality the OME lift made...so much better! Can hardly wait to wheel the thing on dirt again this weekend.

Avoiding the VSC headaches was a *huge* deal for me...could not be happier with the final outcome but dayam, selecting the right components was harder than remodeling our house! Sticking with the factory wheels was really key imho.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
Thank you!

I cannot believe the difference in ride quality the OME lift made...so much better! Can hardly wait to wheel the thing on dirt again this weekend.

Avoiding the VSC headaches was a *huge* deal for me...could not be happier with the final outcome but dayam, selecting the right components was harder than remodeling our house! Sticking with the factory wheels was really key imho.
I agree with the wheels. I put an ome lift, stock wheels with spider trax wheel spacers and I have zero issues. I love my Tacoma!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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Yes, what i learned from the master tech and service managers that I spoke with is that they suspect wheels and tires contribute the most to setting off the nanny systems. The added weight as well as offset different from factory spec are the culprits, and mud tires will almost certainly activate the VSC for whatever reason. 265/75R16 tires are the maximum size that will fit on the stock TRD Off Road wheels, and I've been a huge fan of the BFG A/Ts for many years (ran them on my 4Runner).

Interestingly, they are seeing a lot less problems with 6" lifts compared to 3"...and Tundras don't seem to have the problem at all.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
Yes, what i learned from the master tech and service managers that I spoke with is that they suspect wheels and tires contribute the most to setting off the nanny systems. The added weight as well as offset different from factory spec are the culprits, and mud tires will almost certainly activate the VSC for whatever reason. 265/75R16 tires are the maximum size that will fit on the stock TRD Off Road wheels, and I've been a huge fan of the BFG A/Ts for many years (ran them on my 4Runner).

Interestingly, they are seeing a lot less problems with 6" lifts compared to 3"...and Tundras don't seem to have the problem at all.
I won't put any larger tire size than what you have.... My needs are for function over looks just like you.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
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You were a huge help OZ-T...thanks for putting up with all my newbie questions in the other thread! After deciding on the OME lift I realized that's what you have...too funny.

And yes DRDANTC, function over looks was the entire point of the suspension mod (although it looks *great* now). When off-roading in remote wilderness areas, the very few trucks I see out there (I'll go several days without seeing *anyone*) don't look anything like the modded trucks I see here on the street back home. Relatively narrow non-mud tires, moderate lifts, snorkels for river crossings, lots of recovery gear...just an entirely different environment from weekend wheeling and street crawling (not that trucks built for those purposes aren't cool too).

I'm just freakin' giddy about the Tacoma now and *dying* to go offroad again! The ride is soooo much better just on the street; I've been driving through potholes and rough spots that previously made the Tacoma go all bouncy-bouncy (and would just about ruin our other vehicles) and now it just sails right over them! The lack of bounciness (while still smooth over small stuff) is AMAZING. And wheeling it over small obstacles in first gear (curbs) is a completely different experience now. It's going to kick ass in the San Rafael Swell, Canyonlands, the Circle Cliffs, the Henry Mountains and beyond.

Could not be happier!
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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Embedding pic of final build for easier viewing...need to get dirt back on that vehicle!

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:18 PM   #11
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Looks really good.

It definitely looks like 3" in the rear.

Maybe 1.5-2" in the front?

Did you weld or bolt on the sliders?
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Yeah, I was *really* surprised how much the rear came up, and the height overall (especially considering the shell/sliders/lightbar/awning). I haven't reloaded it with all my expedition gear, but the Dakar leafs should come down very little with my additional cargo. In a year they'll be a little lower, but the new coils in front might settle a little too (it did seem to come up a couple inches...I didn't take measurements beforehand).

This is *exactly* the lift I wanted/needed. Truck is higher, level and rides *FANTASTIC*.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Getting into and stepping out of the vehicle is WAY different now lol...
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
You were a huge help OZ-T...thanks for putting up with all my newbie questions in the other thread! After deciding on the OME lift I realized that's what you have...too funny.

And yes DRDANTC, function over looks was the entire point of the suspension mod (although it looks *great* now). When off-roading in remote wilderness areas, the very few trucks I see out there (I'll go several days without seeing *anyone*) don't look anything like the modded trucks I see here on the street back home. Relatively narrow non-mud tires, moderate lifts, snorkels for river crossings, lots of recovery gear...just an entirely different environment from weekend wheeling and street crawling (not that trucks built for those purposes aren't cool too).

I'm just freakin' giddy about the Tacoma now and *dying* to go offroad again! The ride is soooo much better just on the street; I've been driving through potholes and rough spots that previously made the Tacoma go all bouncy-bouncy (and would just about ruin our other vehicles) and now it just sails right over them! The lack of bounciness (while still smooth over small stuff) is AMAZING. And wheeling it over small obstacles in first gear (curbs) is a completely different experience now. It's going to kick ass in the San Rafael Swell, Canyonlands, the Circle Cliffs, the Henry Mountains and beyond.

Could not be happier!
Oh don't get me wrong, I love the new look!! My wife and I are planning to drive out from the Seattle area to explore Utah. We are taking my Tacoma with the RTT. Do you know of any good books on exploring Utah's back roads and Parks?

Sorry for the hijack, Dan
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #15
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Man, I've got a library full and have spent twenty years exploring out there (often for weeks at a time). It's some big country for sure...the San Rafael Swell is my favorite area but there are endless dirt roads everywhere. If you stop in Zion first go wheeling up on Gooseberry Mesa...that's a good, easy intro (be sure to visit the Grafton ghost town).
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #16
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you got any more pics of the roof rack? i want to get a baja rack too and i like the way yours is mounted and how low profile it is. i dont have the rails but ill just bolt mine to the topper.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:14 PM   #17
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I'm hitting dirt this weekend...will take some more pics. John at Baja Rack was awesome getting the thing customized in time for me...superb service!
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #18
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Another view of the vehicle after the OME lift...on dirt where it belongs. First time offroad with the new suspension...it was beyond FANTASTIC.

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Old 07-02-2012, 12:25 AM   #20
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I'd love to but I'm not sure when I'll be in Utah next...maybe this fall...and if so, probably in the Henry Mountains area.
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