FYI: For 2nd Generation Tacoma owners considering a Long-Travel Build/Conversion
I spent close to a year researching every build and equipment permutation for a front and rear Long-Travel (LT) Conversion of my 2006 Tacoma Double-Cab 4x4. Yes, I spent many hours on the internet, and investigated, contacted or visited virtually every manufacturer and fabricator in Southern California that offered and/or installed LT suspension systems for my Tacoma. Why all the effort? Because I imposed several key constraints/requirements on the build, and was also concerned that I might be underwhelmed or even disappointed by the performance of the LT conversion after spending so much time and money. I have considerable experience driving and riding off-road. One could say, I appreciate a balanced and effective suspension system, not only for speed, but for safety and control. The choices are more complicated than they first appear.
I finally pulled the trigger in early summer and have tested the truck on a variety of off-road trips since then. The details of the build can be referenced on my TacomaWorld profile - Username: Single6
The considerable fabrication work for the front and rear LT build was performed by Tim Duncan at DMZ in Norco, CA. using primarily a Total Chaos front suspension package, King shocks, and a DMZ custom perimeter bedcage with a spring-under conversion. Tim (owner) spent hours patiently answering my questions, which covered much more than just suspension, and offered invaluable recommendations and advice on trade-offs, as did the people at Total Chaos, King, Deaver, OMF and VisionX. But Tim really pulled-it together. During the build, Tim creatively solved several problems we confronted, and executed the work as if it was his own vehicle.
The results far exceeded my expectations in terms of design, build quality, and both on and off-road performance. I attended a King shock tunng session in Barstow to properly adjust the valving on the bypass shocks soon after the build's completion. A few adjustments from Iribe, the shock tuning specialist, produced marked improvement in ride, speed and control. The bottom line is my Tacoma, after the suspension work and reinforcements, is a vehicle capable of off-road speeds not prudent without a full racing cage. Off-road, the ride improves as the speed increases. Notwithstanding, the ride is equally improved on very rocky, slow patches, for example narrow, old, very rutted mining roads where one has no choice but to go slow in low range. On-highway performance and around town ride is also substantially better - my wife even noticed an improvement.
The reason I drafted this thread was primarily to reward good, knowledgable, and helpful people in the industry who are designing, fabricating, and installing quality equipment. Among those people are primarily Tim at DMZ Fabrication & Race Prep, Pat at Total Chaos Suspension, Brian & Iribe at King Shock Technology, Jeff at Deaver Spring, Tim & Bones at OMF Beadlock Wheel Conversions, Joe & Rick at VisionX Off Road Lighting, and the folks at GlassWorks and Allied Wheel. In addition, this may help some Tacoma owners that may be considering Long Travel suspension conversions.