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Shocks and Why I Hate the Cereal Aisle

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Old 03-11-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
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Shocks and Why I Hate the Cereal Aisle

Recently I have come back to the Toyota brand - specifically a 2013 DCSB. I have had Tacomas in the past and felt it was the best platform for my type of off roading adventures.

I did some image searches through a variety of platforms trying to find some similar builds that matched what I had in my beady little brain. Mostly it helped with finding manufacturers of bumpers, tops, etc, that I could research further if the look was what I wanted. Some local word of mouth also helped in my quest and a vision started to appear. The next was a budget - always a touchy subject when trying to convince the "wif" that our adventures will be exponentially better with better equipment (i.e. - most of time = more money).

What I had not quite expected was the multitude of options/companies now in the "ride better" shock business. I have done some suspension work on a Jeep JK I had before the Tacoma (but with help), and was fortunate to have some good people helping me out on a 4x4 van I owned in the past. Unfortunately - now I'm on my own.

As I have ventured down this road of shock options has been almost overwhelming - never more prevalent than during a recent trip to the store. There I was stranded in the cereal aisle for about 10 minutes pondering the best "bran" to buy. The oats turned into a box of Fox shocks, the wheat became Kings, and it went on, and on, and on... I pride myself as being a somewhat simple person - what happened to the days of a couple shredded wheat, a bran, a chocolate, and one with a incredibly creepy cartoon character on the front.

I moved to Alaska at age 2 (too many years ago to mention) and left when I was a teenager. We traveled the Alcan every year (when it was still dirt in most sections). In a variety of platforms to include '68 VW Westy (new windshield required each time), a Ford Maverick, a couple different trucks, and a 60's station wagon, so I'm well aware what can be done with some of the most modest of equipped vehicles.

What I'm looking for constructive thoughts on whats worked and why. I have no plans to do the Dakar, or Baja 1000, in my Taco, but I would like to be able to run 50-60 over the back roads and not be in need of a good dentist at the conclusion. I have an ARB shell, I will have aftermarket front and rear (w jerry can/rotopax and tire mounts) bumpers w/winch on front, and sliders. I race and do off road adventure rides on mt bikes so I am always looking for "out there". I camp in my truck, but also w/ an off road teardrop so that comes into play.

I like OME stuff for their apparent reliability and relative low cost. I really like the King adjustable shocks but the cost would prohibit a few other purchases. I had the 9000XL adj Ranchos on one vehicle and liked them, but I did not like their coilover setup (looked a little cheesy). Toyotec has a nice 3" Ultimate lift with the option of the 2.5" radflo (650 spring and aftermarket UCA), a OME leaf, and a 5160 Bilstein in the back, that I really liked for cost and quality. I would like to run a 2.5" in the front for a variety of reasons, and I think a ext res in the back would be good as well. My goal is 2-3" of lift with an additional few inches of gain in tires as well (285x70x17 possibly).

Thanks for reading
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
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Very Succinct....and I'm looking forward to the replies.

OR

What he said....
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
VA6DCO
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Great fall back plan is always cap n crunch. Doesn't quite beat out sugar crisp but still good.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
I am the one who knocks!
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Welcome to the site. As you stated there's lots of options for different setups of lifts. Tons of people on here with good info on more involved suspensions.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:23 PM   #7
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For front coil overs you could go with sway-a-way 2.5's
They're cheaper than the kings and icons by a little, and they're still good quality.

For armor i recommend pelfreybilt, they are a good quality local shop, and the owner (Tyler) stands behind his work.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgnorantlyAlberta View Post
Great fall back plan is always cap n crunch. Doesn't quite beat out sugar crisp but still good.
fruity pebbles gets a vote up there too
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:25 PM   #9
.....
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Peanut butter captain crunch FTMFW!!!!
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #10
Sounds Gooooood
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I too camp out for long periods of time in the cereal aisle. But that's a discussion for another time...

What many people do is go with Eibach springs in the front and Bilstein 5100's all the way around with an AAL (add a leaf) for the rear. It's cost effective and a great lift for most stuff.

That's pretty much what I have on my Tacoma. I have 5100's and the Eibach springs in the front set for a 3" lift (they are adjustable). For the rear I have an AAL but I went with the 5150's instead. They have remote reservoirs for higher speed stuff. I think the 5160's are pretty much the same thing.

I hear really good things about OME setups too. Check out ToyTec lifts. That's where I got mine from. Good dudes over there. Helped me out a lot.
http://toyteclifts.3dcartstores.com/...5-Up_c_11.html
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:07 PM   #11
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Check this out, helps to figure out what shock and leafs will work together, and DSM is great if you do decide
http://downsouthmotorsports.com/i-95...package-1.html

My suggestion would be OME Dakar pack and Bilsteins on all 4s and uniballs UCAs
BTW Dakar pack is ~$395 free shipping on amazon
http://www.amazon.com/ARB-CS047R-Dak.../dp/B004P9ZP1Q
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:58 PM   #13
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I think Fox runs a bit cheaper than King or Icon, but the rears aren't as easy to source if you're going for 2-3" for rear lift (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). I didn't go with resi's because I don't plan on driving fast enough anywhere long enough to need them. If I were you, I'd probably go with a full OME lift. Otherwise, if you do want the next level up, I have Icons all around (non resi) and a Dakar pack. With your added weight, it should be pretty smooth. Hitting bumps and going fast over washboards is pretty dope. They seem to start to smooth out around 30-40. All-pro also makes a pack people seem to dig. Got my setup through DSM. They offer a package builder and will build the rear Icons made to work with the Dakar pack and the 2-3" lift they provide. I got uniball UCAs to take advantage of the extended travel too. Most people go with the Total Chaos or Camburg ones, but I went with the Desert Products ones offered by DSM. No complaints.

Not as many people run Sway-A-Way/Walker Evans/Radflo, etc on here, so I steered away. Not saying they're bad; just didn't really catch my interest. Icon and DSM are also pretty active on here as well.

If you do want to stay away from King/Icon/Fox/etc, Bilstein does make rear resi shocks.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95 taco View Post
For front coil overs you could go with sway-a-way 2.5's
They're cheaper than the kings and icons by a little, and they're still good quality.

For armor i recommend pelfreybilt, they are a good quality local shop, and the owner (Tyler) stands behind his work.
I saw those at a local 4wheelparts. I really liked what I saw (they were lying next to a set of kings) but I was talking to a friend who works on shocks at an off/on road (to include racing) company and they have had some issues with getting parts. he liked the quality of them but they are more inclined toward the Fox.

I was reading the newest edition of "Overland Journal" with their shock test. The Fox ended up last in their testers listing - although they were not running the 2.5 or ext res versions of those shocks.

As far as protection. I found a local company - Relentless Fabrication - that do really nice work. Their building up my front bumper right now and there will be more purchases from them in the near future.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Danks View Post
Check this out, helps to figure out what shock and leafs will work together, and DSM is great if you do decide
http://downsouthmotorsports.com/i-95...package-1.html

My suggestion would be OME Dakar pack and Bilsteins on all 4s and uniballs UCAs
BTW Dakar pack is ~$395 free shipping on amazon
http://www.amazon.com/ARB-CS047R-Dak.../dp/B004P9ZP1Q
Funny you should mention DSM. I found them during a search a few weeks ago and I went to the build your own section. If I was going full tilt I had Kings w/adjusters front and back, OME rear leaf and Total Chaos UCA - for $3890.00. Not bad in the top of line realm.

I have family in the San Diego area that I was going to have go over and check them out so its nice to hear from someone who has had direct contact with them.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPC08 View Post
I think Fox runs a bit cheaper than King or Icon, but the rears aren't as easy to source if you're going for 2-3" for rear lift (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).....All-pro also makes a pack people seem to dig. Got my setup through DSM. They offer a package builder and will build the rear Icons made to work with the Dakar pack and the 2-3" lift they provide. I got uniball UCAs to take advantage of the extended travel too. Most people go with the Total Chaos or Camburg ones, but I went with the Desert Products ones offered by DSM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cobblecrazy View Post
Funny you should mention DSM. I found them during a search a few weeks ago and I went to the build your own section. If I was going full tilt I had Kings w/adjusters front and back, OME rear leaf and Total Chaos UCA - for $3890.00. Not bad in the top of line realm.

In response to both of these:

I had DSM build me FOX 10" rear resi shocks to work with the OME pack since the fox OEM replacment wouldnt be long enough. it actually came out cheaper, and they put the right bushings on and revalved them for my truck.

BTW I ended up returning the OME and getting the all-pro pack since its 11 thin leaf progressive w/ no overloads, and the OME pack was a 5 thick leaf w. two overloads. I called OME/Dakar and they told me for desert running id be better off with the all-pro pack, as theirs was designed to be like stock but add lift.

As far as uniball UCA, i found some fagtech arms for 550, no complaints
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #17
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Wheelers has free shipping on Icons if you go that route, saves you a good $50-100 or so.

I just put Icons on my truck with just a 3 leaf HD AAL, and so far I really like the ride, handles bumps and ruts really well.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #18
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There appear to be many build threads out there that have used the OME stuff to begin with but end up upgrading to some other shock system at some point. This is something I, and my wallet, hope to avoid.

There seems to be a common "oh the OME were great but I wanted to go a step up", but the threads lack any real description of what they didn't like. There's always the obligatory hat off to OME for making a great product (which I agree), but they don't explain what the shocks did not do - i.e. did they not run through washboards well enough, did they stop doing their job after a year of service, etc, etc???

The leaf springs from OME seem to be a portion that are not replaced, or complained about. From what I can decipher they seem to be the right lift, cost, and weight "controller" for most applications. Deaver, Alcan, Ironman, and several other companies appear to be other choices I have seen, but I think the overwhelming ones I see are the OMEs.

Its nice to get a second kudos to DSM. I went back and did up an ICON/OME Dakar/Total Chaos UCA setup, and it came to $2931. Again, not bad for a complete lift package.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobblecrazy View Post
There appear to be many build threads out there that have used the OME stuff to begin with but end up upgrading to some other shock system at some point. This is something I, and my wallet, hope to avoid.

There seems to be a common "oh the OME were great but I wanted to go a step up", but the threads lack any real description of what they didn't like. There's always the obligatory hat off to OME for making a great product (which I agree), but they don't explain what the shocks did not do - i.e. did they not run through washboards well enough, did they stop doing their job after a year of service, etc, etc???

The leaf springs from OME seem to be a portion that are not replaced, or complained about. From what I can decipher they seem to be the right lift, cost, and weight "controller" for most applications. Deaver, Alcan, Ironman, and several other companies appear to be other choices I have seen, but I think the overwhelming ones I see are the OMEs.

Its nice to get a second kudos to DSM. I went back and did up an ICON/OME Dakar/Total Chaos UCA setup, and it came to $2931. Again, not bad for a complete lift package.
I read similar posts and what I got from it is that Icon/King/Fox is just a better product, and that the OME is a little stiffer/bumpier and does not "eat up" the whoops, ruts, bumps etc as well.

If you want to save some money you can go with Light Racing UCAs instead of TC. Also I recommend calling Dan at Wheelers and get his opinion on what to go with, he is very helpful.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:40 PM   #20
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Icon/King/Fox are rebuildable and revalvable to what you want out of them. And they have that "bling" factor. The valving on Icons is also different than that on Kings and Fox. As far as Icons go, and I'm sure the other brands offer it as well, you can have them rebuild with resis down the road if you feel like you need/want them.

If you get extended travel coilovers, you'll need uniball UCAs to get the most out of them. Otherwise, the LR UCAs are a good choice.
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