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Dakars vs AP expos vs AP standard leafs vs WD hitch

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Old 03-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
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Dakars vs AP expos vs AP standard leafs vs WD hitch

I've read a couple of different threads discussing this, but I wanted to get an opinion for my set up.

I've had the OME N182 Nitros and the non-TSB AAL in the rear for about 5 years now. Off roading, I'm doing fine with them, but I want a better leaf pack for when I tow my TT. I limit what I put in the bed only because I don't want to overload the rear springs. I only really tow in the summer months when I go camping, but I'll go on 4-5 trips per summer. The rest of the year, I don't really have any weight back there, except for my AP rear bumper (~140 lbs, but attached to the frame, so idk how much weight it really adds), my Hi-Lift (~30 lbs), and my bestop (~65 lbs). btw, I got the rear bumper and bestop after this past summer, so I don't know what my truck looks like towing the TT AND having the extra weight of the bumper and bestop.

If I go with the AP standard leafs, will that be any upgrade to my rear suspension for my towing during summer months? If I go with the Dakars or AP expos, will my rear suspension suck the rest of the year without the weight of a shell or toolbox?

When I have just our bikes in the bed + the TT hitched (~2800 lbs wet, so ~280 lbs tongue weight) it sags a bit





OR...

Should I just invest in a weight distribution hitch set up?

TIA
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:25 AM   #2
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What does your wheeling look like the rest of the year? If you like the slower speed with flex and dont mind the rear being stiff the expos like last much longer! Maybe find some more weight for the rear....300-500 is ideal and you already have half that! The standards with timbrens would work too! The dakars have 2 overload leafs so I'd say they're primarily for weight and wouldn't flex as well as AP's!
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:26 AM   #3
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Nice truck BTW!
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:30 AM   #4
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Dakars with a truck cap, AP rear bumper, full size spare, and close to about 50 lbs of tools. No problems here. Rides like a dream.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sublime View Post
What does your wheeling look like the rest of the year? If you like the slower speed with flex and dont mind the rear being stiff the expos like last much longer! Maybe find some more weight for the rear....300-500 is ideal and you already have half that! The standards with timbrens would work too! The dakars have 2 overload leafs so I'd say they're primarily for weight and wouldn't flex as well as AP's!
Yeah I'm slowly leaning toward the expos. AP has sales on them pretty often and they are more local to me than wheelers (dakars)

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Nice truck BTW!
Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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I have Expos with nearly no extra weight carried the majority of the time, and I doubt you'd notice any difference in "stiffness" compared to an AAL during normal driving. I think they ride perfectly fine, and since you tow often enough, I think you'll benefit from their lack-of-sag.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrw3685 View Post
I have Expos with nearly no extra weight carried the majority of the time, and I doubt you'd notice any difference in "stiffness" compared to an AAL during normal driving. I think they ride perfectly fine, and since you tow often enough, I think you'll benefit from their lack-of-sag.
Great feedback! Thanks
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:15 PM   #8
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Great feedback! Thanks
I just got my Expo's, want to help install? lol then you can drive my truck and see the ride diff.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sytfu510 View Post
I just got my Expo's, want to help install? lol then you can drive my truck and see the ride diff.
nice! our trucks have yet another thing in common lol. I ordered the expos earlier today. When do you plan on installing? If it's on a day that I'm free I can help you out because you live pretty close. I did the AAL on my truck like 5 years ago, so hopefully I still remember a thing or two about the install.

(actually, I think bjmoose has a pretty good write up on the DAKAR leaf pack install, so it should be pretty similar)
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MJonAgs32 View Post
nice! our trucks have yet another thing in common lol. I ordered the expos earlier today. When do you plan on installing? If it's on a day that I'm free I can help you out because you live pretty close. I did the AAL on my truck like 5 years ago, so hopefully I still remember a thing or two about the install.

(actually, I think bjmoose has a pretty good write up on the DAKAR leaf pack install, so it should be pretty similar)

haha yeah, I looked at his write up, looks fairly simple. Might try to do it soon at a friends shop hopefully, as I'm already slated to do the AP gussets. And besides I hate having new toys for the truck laying around! I also got the U-bolt flip kit, but am planning to go with the wheelers bump stops ( they're back ordered ) as soon as funds free up.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sytfu510 View Post
haha yeah, I looked at his write up, looks fairly simple. Might try to do it soon at a friends shop hopefully, as I'm already slated to do the AP gussets. And besides I hate having new toys for the truck laying around! I also got the U-bolt flip kit, but am planning to go with the wheelers bump stops ( they're back ordered ) as soon as funds free up.
Nice! Yea I got the U-bolt flip kit too. The guy at AP said the stock bumpstops wont work with them unless I fab something up. I gotta see what I can do. But yea, come mod day, I may need your expertise with the install.

edit: found out how to use the stock bump stops

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sus...-flip-kit.html
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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nice!
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJonAgs32 View Post
Nice! Yea I got the U-bolt flip kit too. The guy at AP said the stock bumpstops wont work with them unless I fab something up. I gotta see what I can do. But yea, come mod day, I may need your expertise with the install.

edit: found out how to use the stock bump stops

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sus...-flip-kit.html
That's what I'm doing with my superbumps!
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJonAgs32 View Post
nice! our trucks have yet another thing in common lol. I ordered the expos earlier today. When do you plan on installing? If it's on a day that I'm free I can help you out because you live pretty close. I did the AAL on my truck like 5 years ago, so hopefully I still remember a thing or two about the install.

(actually, I think bjmoose has a pretty good write up on the DAKAR leaf pack install, so it should be pretty similar)
I had never done anything with a rear suspension before and I did it by myself, but I had access to a lift and impact gun, and it was very straight-forward. I ended up just dremeling the metal emergency brake retaining clip off since the Expos don't support it's re-attachment. In retrospect, they probably couldn't due to the flex the Expos have would probably stress the cable if it was re-attached. Easy. Be sure and buy some grease to lube the bushings and bolts, and then I bought some different size "lock nuts" for the bolts on recommendation from another member. Paid like $6 or something at a local supply store. I'd say the hardest part was getting the leaf spring "eyes" realigned to get the bolts back in. A strategically placed screwdriver to flex/guide/move the leaf into exact position does the trick. Once you figure out one side, the other side will be a non-event. The "place another jack in between the springs to compress the spring" while "using another jack to flatten the pack out," as described in the Dakar Spring Install is not needed.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
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^ thanks for the tips
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #16
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Ya, I muscled mine in and feel sorry for any neighbors watching...it wasn't pretty! Lots of profanity and grunting!
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:34 AM   #17
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love my expos, and install helps with a few extra hands
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:41 AM   #18
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^ yea these puppies are going on at the NorCal B.A.M.F mod day
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #20
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I figured I update this post.

I installed the expos yesterday and they feel great. People say these are stiff, but they actually ride 100x better than the AAL I had. The truck is pretty raked up high in the rear, but I'll be pulling the trailer soon now that summer's approaching, then the expos will settle in a bit.

Before

After


Before

After
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