First Of all let me go over some basic terminology for truck.
Coilover: A coilover refers to the front coil spring and shock assembly. They are built as one unit, unlike a spring and shock suspension which are 2 seperate parts.
Shock: A shock is an oil or gas filled piston unit that when installed are designed to resists quick or shocking movement.
UCA: Are the Upper Control Arms of your front IFS (Independent front suspension) Mainly responsible for the vertical alignment of the front spindles. (For the most part it is non- load bearing)
LCA: Are the Lower Control Arms of the front IFS. This is the part that will see most of the load in you front suspension. It works in unison with the UCA.
Add-A-Leaf Or commonly referred to as AAL's! these are additional springs that are excessively arched to provide additional lift or support to the rear of our trucks. (They maybe used in the front of some vehicles but NOT ours!)
Leaf Pack: Leaf packs are just that a replacement "set" of leaf springs designed to have a better spring rate, and in some cases add lift or additional load capacity.
Alignment I'm sure everyone has heard of alignment. Every car or turk need their alignment check periodically. Alignment is very important in determining the performance characteristics of a vehicle.
Caster: is the angle that your front tire are tilted in relation to the steering axis!
Camber: Camber is the angle that you tires are in relation to the vertical axis when viewed from the front of the vehicle.
Toe: Toe is the angle at which your front tire turn in or out in relationship to each other.
Here is a good link to help understand your alignment:
First off lifts!
There are several types of lifts offered for our trucks. We'll start with the least costly. I will touch on Spacer lift kits, Coil lift kits, and Coilover lift kits. Also I will try to provide links, as they are applicable.
Options for the front!
Bilstien 5100's http://www.bilsteinus.com/leveling/ARTICLE.pdf
This is a great affordable lift kit. These replacement shocks are great to add a few inches to the front of your Tacoma, it is adjustable and have a slightly better valving system than the stock shocks that come with the Tacoma's. (But please take note NO One recommends it to be used in conjunction with after market coils) This may result in damage of your suspension components.
1 - 0"
2 - 0.85"
3 - 1.75"
4 - 2.5"
Pro Basic kit from Toytec: $209.99
Spacer Lifts: These are spacers made primarily out of aluminum. They are installed on top of your coils and also on top of the strut plate.
There are spacers from Ready Lifts: http://www.readylift.com/
This is a link to how these lifts are installed in the front:
OME coils lift kits from Toytec: $299.98
This kit comes with replacement coils for the front, 884 or 885's. These are longer replacement coils, which also come with a 1/2" Aluminum spacer. The Install will be basically the same as the spacer kit. (Link posted above)
Coilover lift kit: $1050.00 Free s/h
(DR Coilovers) Most common. Others are available such as Sway-A-way, Fabtech, All Pro, and Camburg to name a few?
These are the high end of the 3" lifts. Extremely easy to install, due to the fact they come already assembled. It is simply a matter of remove and replace. They are also very versatile, in that they are adjustable. Therefore can be adjusted to fit your needs.
Exclusive for 2wd
Camburg spindles, these spindles will yield 4" lift for your 2wd Tacoma. They cannot be used on a 4x4.
Total Chaos Spindles:
Coil spring rates
The spring rates for the OME and OEM are:
-OEM (factory) 550 lbs/in
-OME884 590 lbs/in 385mm
-OME885 590 lbs/in 395mm
-OME886 660 lbs/in 402mm
For comparison the here are a few more:
-SAW2.0 675 lbs/in
-DR (Icon) 650 lbs/in
REAR Lifts options:
First off you have:
These are blocks of metal that are placed under you rear leaf packs, on top of your axles. The kit includes the lift blocks and longer U-bolts. This is the most basic of the rear lifts and adds NO additional benefits other than height.
This type of lift consists of an additional Leaf spring that has an increased arc. They added lift by increasing the curve of your rear stock spring pack. They also allow added load capacity for hauling.
This is the instructions for the AAL rear install:
This type of rear lift is the high end of rear lifts.
Consists of a new multiple spring pack. Provides lift, a smoother spring rate. May add or decrease carrying capacity depending on the spring characteristics.
This rear lift is also fairly simple to do since they come pre-assembled. Simply R&R.
These lifts can be found at:
Here is a link to Alcan:
Body Lift $325.95 http://www.suspensionconnection.com/...scon/5603.html
This is a lift that is Achieved by adding spacers to the body mounting points. This lift essentially increases the distance between the frame and the cab. This lift requires other parts such as fuel line extension, bumper brackets, and larger fender skirts to hide the increased gap, between the fender and the frame. You will also need to extend the steering unit.
CT link basically cover same info:
Upper Control "A" arms (UCA's)
UCA's are The A arms at the top of your Indipendant Front Suspension
I will cover 2 Brands Camburg, and Total Chaos. There are others like All Pro or DR, but since I have No first hand experience with these I'll let others chime in on them.
Camburg UCA's: from my experience, and from what Camburg has informed me about, were designed to give greater clearance to accommodate larger coil over coils. They are NOT designed to correct alignment issues, caused by the addition of a 3" lift.
Total Chaos: These are UCA's specifically designed to help correct the alignment issue caused by the addition of a 3" lift.
~~Total Chaos~~ also makes a Heim joint UCA's designed to be used with 6" DB lifts.
All Pro: Are also designed to correct Alignment issues.
Light Racing These UCA's are a new design, they allow more range of adjustment. Works well with 3" and 6" lifts.
Here are some links to read in reguards to UCA's.
Wheels and tire:
(Thanks to MrGrimm)
Wheel Spacers (If you would like to run your stock rims? I recommend these)
Can you use your stock shocks with a coil lift?
YES! But remember with a 3" lift the stock shocks will only have about 1" of down travel.
Bilstein 5100: This lift is also at it's full extent it will have only about 1" of down travel.
Both of these lifts are limited by the length of the shock. Both will have a jarring sensation when traveling over bumps at speed.
OME makes longer shocks which are designed for a 3" lift. This will allow better articulation of your suspension. BUT! Remember with the increased travel you will need longer brake lines.
Top Plate spacer:
Most decent 3" spacer lifts will come with a top plate. There should be (2) one thick one that goes into the coils, and a smaller one that goes on top. The reason being that the shock isn't long enough to do the entire lift.
Here's a thread with pictures:
That's why even coil lifts 885's, 884's, etc.... will all come with the top plates to acheive the 3" lift.
It's also why it isn't a good idea to stack lifts like coils and 5100's. If you do so you are taking away from the intended design.
-After you lift your truck, and find that at speed it wanders all over the road?
-You need a set of UCA's to correct you alignment.
-Remember that mostly everything you alter on your truck's suspension will have an affect on other components.
-Excessive wear on CV boots due to increased angle.
-You can install a differential drop.
-Rear drive line vibration or shudder.
-Carrier bearing drop. (IMHO not a good idea)
-Tom Woods one piece drive shaft. (So far this seems to be the only cure)
Although the height is increased with a lift? The size of the wheel/fender opening remains the same.
So in actuality the stock 265's are the biggest tire that can articulate and clear through 98% of the suspensions range of movement.
The 285's is more for aesthetics and looks rather than serious offraoding.
If you choose to run 285's, with a 3" lift, and you want to do some serious offroading? Then you may need to cut away a portion of you front body mount, to allow the tire free movement while doing full turns.
But don't be mistaken with this set up you can still do some great offroading! You just may encounter some rubbing of your tires.
Here is some info on Achieving proper alignment, and the importance of UCA's:
This Thread is meant as a starting point, or as a guideline. Things may vary in different situations, and individual results.
Please take everything I have stated with a "grain of salt" and decide for yourself!
FOR 6" Fabtech vs Procomp info check post #112 of this thread: