This thread is intended as a primer for those interested in long travel suspension. There is a stickied thread that lays out a lot of information on what is available; the focus of this thread is helping others determine if LT is for them or not.
Long travel is the ultimate when it comes to high speed suspension for your Tacoma, but it comes at a price. Long travel is expensive, maintenance intensive, and will not ride well if it is not tuned well. The intention of this thread is to help folks decide if LT is for them and to have a better idea of what they're getting into.
To start off, a lay out of what a basic long travel consists of, as I know this is a subject of confusion.
1. Extended upper and lower control arms (trackwidth pushed out 2-6'' per side, depending on the kit). Long travel control arms generally use large heim joints, which allow more articulation and are stronger than ball joints.
2. Larger coil overs. Most LT kits utilize 8'' travel coil overs. Remember, travel is measured at the wheel, not at the coil over. That's why an 8'' travel coil over can yield 13-16'' of travel on a Tacoma. Most long travel trucks run remote reservoir coil overs to reduce shock fading.
3. Extended CV axles (Four Wheel Drive Only)
4. Extended tie rods. Some companies offer extensions (Total Chaos, Camburg) while others offer complete heavy duty replacements (All Pro).
5. Extended brake lines.
6. Limit straps. Whether or not you will need limit straps depends on what kit and what shock you are running. Some shocks are internally bumped/limited.
7. Fiberglass fenders. Every LT kit is going to need fiberglass fenders to be used for it's intended purposes. Even the All Pro kit will require fiberglass if you plan on stuffing those tires. You can skimp on glass for a while, but it will require dropping your bumpstops lower (by stacking washers) in order to limit up travel. You'll look a bit goofy with your tires way out from your fenders too.
This is a BASIC front kit. From here you can start gusseting your spindle, UCA bolt, your LCA mounts, and your coil bucket. In addition, with certain kits you can start adding air bumps, secondary shocks, etc. The sky (and your wallet) are the limits.
Popular kits off the top of my head:
1. All Pro
4. Total Chaos
You can expect to spend $2,500-$4,000 for the long travel kit, $1,100-$1,500 on shocks, and $400-$500 on fiberglass fenders. Installation varies; just remember that four wheel drive trucks will require the extended CV axles which are a PITA to install.
1. Spring under axle leaf springs. SUA allows a significant increase in up travel and the larger springs allow more droops as well. Most kits require welding or bolting on new mounting locations, but there are kits that re-use the stock mounting positions (Defined). There are pros and cons to each method.
2. 14-16'' travel shocks. Most guys will purchase bypass shocks because they are easier to tune.
3. A bed cage, or shocks hoops, to mount those longer shocks to. In order for the axle to rear full up travel, the shocks will need to be mounted at a higher than stock location, thus the need for a bed cage/shock hoops.
4. Bumpstops and strike plates. Rubber, air, or hydraulic; you just need something to buffer that axle from slamming into the frame. Obviously air/hydro bumps will handle better.
5. Limit straps
6. Driveline work. Certain models will require a slip-yoke on the driveshaft, others will not. The doublecab shortbed does not require driveshaft work for most applications.
7. Extended brake lines.
8. Fiberglass fenders.
Again, this is a BASIC kit. LT'ing the rear of the truck will involve welding and some fabrication no matter what kit you go with.
Popular rear set ups/shops for rear LT:
1. Giant Engineering
2. Defined Engineering
6. Total Chaos
Pricing on rear LT kits varies a lot, but expect $2,500+ in leaf springs, hardware, and shocks. The fabrication work and bed cage will vary drastically depending on who is doing the work.