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I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
nate71 [OP] nate71 is offline
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I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.

I understand very little about suspension mainly because I have never had a truck with any kind of lift until I bought this one 2 weeks ago. My towns population: 3,452 so needless to say there isn't anybody knowledgeable on this subject for miles around.
I believe what I have is 3" spacers with stock shocks and springs... and well they are looking kinda old. The leaf springs in the back are sagging pretty bad... Whoever had this truck before looks as if they were running this set up for awhile. I need some advice on what should be replaced on this set up and what can be re-used so that I can save money! (I don't do extreme off roading I just take it out in the field during hunting season). I need to know what a worthy/pocket friendly replacement would be or what parts should be replaced. I hear a lot about bilstein 5100 shocks...But I really don't know what all of it means in the long run... (I have pictures below for reference)
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I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.-suspension-front-1.jpg   I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.-suspension-front-2.jpg   I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.-suspension-rear-1.jpg   I need some suspension advice, I'm clueless.-suspension-rear-2.jpg  
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:20 AM   #2
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the front looks fine imo. if you want a better ride take off the top spacer and go with bilstein 5100 shocks. you can set them to what ever height you want!

as for the rear leafs its hard to see if they are sagging when you take a picture from underneath. try and take a side picture so we can see the frowing and what not
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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If your leafs are sagging or you're bottoming out, I'd see if you qualify for the suspension TSB (If you plan on towing or hauling). If not you could lose the rear block and replace it with an add-a-leaf to help support the leaf pack. The rear 5100 shock helps dampen the stiffer leaf pack once you add the extra leaf. The front 5100 shocks are adjustable so you can use them to lift your truck. They have 4 settings on them, 0, .85", 1.75" and 2.5" (0 being stock height and you can figure out the rest). They basically preload your existing coil to provide lift. Or you can get new shocks and coils and let the coils do the lifting. Depending on how high you want to go, letting the coils lift will probably ride better. It looks like you the Off Road which have progressive front coils so the more you preload them, the stiffer they'll ride.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
If your leafs are sagging or you're bottoming out, I'd see if you qualify for the suspension TSB (If you plan on towing or hauling). If not you could lose the rear block and replace it with an add-a-leaf to help support the leaf pack. The rear 5100 shock helps dampen the stiffer leaf pack once you add the extra leaf. The front 5100 shocks are adjustable so you can use them to lift your truck. They have 4 settings on them, 0, .85", 1.75" and 2.5" (0 being stock height and you can figure out the rest). They basically preload your existing coil to provide lift. Or you can get new shocks and coils and let the coils do the lifting. Depending on how high you want to go, letting the coils lift will probably ride better. It looks like you the Off Road which have progressive front coils so the more you preload them, the stiffer they'll ride.

yeah i suggest eibach coils, they are a higher spring rate so you wont bottom out as easy and they also give you 1.6 inches of lift (i think) when bilstein 5100s are set at 0.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
nate71 [OP] nate71 is offline
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alright, thanks guys! now if I only knew a place close to me that could install this :/ I might could do it myself but idk how to do any of this crap!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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we can help you!! installing front shocks is extremely easy!

jack up the truck
take off the tire/s
un bolt the top of the coil over 3 or 4 bolts i forgot.
unbolt the bottom, (1 bolt)
pull the shock out
put the top of the new shock in place
put the bolt through the bottom, dont tighten yet
put bolts on top, semi toghten, tighten bottom, tighten top. put tire on. and repeat for the other side


but you will probably need to take the shock to a shop and have them put the coil on for you
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:39 AM   #7
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the coil goes around the shock...correct?
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97yota4wd View Post
we can help you!! installing front shocks is extremely easy!

jack up the truck
take off the tire/s
un bolt the top of the coil over 3 or 4 bolts i forgot.
unbolt the bottom, (1 bolt)
pull the shock out
put the top of the new shock in place
put the bolt through the bottom, dont tighten yet
put bolts on top, semi toghten, tighten bottom, tighten top. put tire on. and repeat for the other side


but you will probably need to take the shock to a shop and have them put the coil on for you

There is a few more steps on a 2nd Gen

You have to remove the sway bar and disconnect the spindle from the UCA to remove the shock.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate71 View Post
the coil goes around the shock...correct?

I'm sorry but with that comment you might want someone to help you compressing a coils can be deadly if done wrong .I'm sure there is some members near you or at least a hour or two away that can help you.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLee View Post
There is a few more steps on a 2nd Gen

You have to remove the sway bar and disconnect the spindle from the UCA to remove the shock.

ohh i didnt know that.. my bad
is that the only other steps?

and yes the coil goes around the shock, and you would need a spring compressor to add it, which most people dont have. but i know a shop can do it for fairly cheap.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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I really really appreciate all the help from all the TW members! I better try to let a shop do this work for me or get somebody experienced to help me out, but I now have a much better idea of what I should do!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLee View Post
I'm sorry but with that comment you might want someone to help you compressing a coils can be deadly if done wrong .I'm sure there is some members near you or at least a hour or two away that can help you.

this is true, or have a shop do it, then im sure you could install the shock (once assembled) by your self. got to learn sometime!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLee View Post
There is a few more steps on a 2nd Gen

You have to remove the sway bar and disconnect the spindle from the UCA to remove the shock.
Depends on how tall the coil is. I put 5100's with Eibach coils on and only had to loosen the sway bar and disconnect the steering linkage. If you were going with a set-up closer to 3" I don't think we would have made it work, we would have had to remove or loosen some more like you mentioned. They were set at 0 and I ended up with right about the 1.6" of lift (just a hair over).

OP, there are some great DIY write-ups with pictures on this site. Have a read through them and see if you're comfortable with the proceedure. Air tools and a full set of good hand tools make the process much easier. An extra set of hands doesn't hurt either!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate71 View Post
I really really appreciate all the help from all the TW members! I better try to let a shop do this work for me or get somebody experienced to help me out, but I now have a much better idea of what I should do!
if you do have a shop do it maybe ask if you can watch them do it? would help you learn!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97yota4wd View Post
ohh i didnt know that.. my bad
is that the only other steps?

and yes the coil goes around the shock, and you would need a spring compressor to add it, which most people dont have. but i know a shop can do it for fairly cheap.

Just unbolt the brake lines from the spindle and UCA to get them out of the way.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Depends on how tall the coil is. I put 5100's with Eibach coils on and only had to loosen the sway bar and disconnect the steering linkage. If you were going with a set-up closer to 3" I don't think we would have made it work, we would have had to remove or loosen some more like you mentioned. They were set at 0 and I ended up with right about the 1.6" of lift (just a hair over).

OP, there are some great DIY write-ups with pictures on this site. Have a read through them and see if you're comfortable with the proceedure. Air tools and a full set of good hand tools make the process much easier. An extra set of hands doesn't hurt either!

That must of been a pain to remove the old shock. We just disconnect the top spindle nut to get the spindle out of the way it's takes about 2min to do it and it's so much easier to remove the shock and replace it.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate71 View Post
I understand very little about suspension mainly because I have never had a truck with any kind of lift until I bought this one 2 weeks ago. My towns population: 3,452 so needless to say there isn't anybody knowledgeable on this subject for miles around.
I believe what I have is 3" spacers with stock shocks and springs... and well they are looking kinda old. The leaf springs in the back are sagging pretty bad... Whoever had this truck before looks as if they were running this set up for awhile. I need some advice on what should be replaced on this set up and what can be re-used so that I can save money! (I don't do extreme off roading I just take it out in the field during hunting season). I need to know what a worthy/pocket friendly replacement would be or what parts should be replaced. I hear a lot about bilstein 5100 shocks...But I really don't know what all of it means in the long run... (I have pictures below for reference)
The set-up doesn't really look that old or worn out to me. . . i had a spacer on my old tacoma for about 3 years and it held up great, unless you are doing serious wheeling or the money is just burning a hole in your pocket i would just leave it like that for a while until you start getting on TW enough you won't be able to resist upgrading just because it happens to us all on here haha!
Definitely try to get a better pic of that leaf pack thats sagging its hard to tell from those angles as mentioned above.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:54 AM   #18
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This write up is the install of an OME kit and is not exactly what you are looking for but does illustrate most of the steps required in replacing the suspension components

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sho....php?p=2224677
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:00 PM   #19
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here is a better angle on the leaf springs.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:02 PM   #20
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they look almost as bad as mine haha. a add a leaf will work for a little bit but will eventually flatten out. you can take those to a shop and they can reheat them and put them like they are supposed to be
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