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Old 03-13-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Future father with suspension problem needs help

Hi gang,

First off, forgive me for starting a new thread on a common topic that may have already been discussed (I couldn't really find an answer). So my problem is this: my wife and I recently purchased a 2012 Off-Road 4x4 Tacoma and she hates the ride quality. She has even made a comment to me comparing the ride of a 2009 Ford F150 to our new Tacoma, saying the F150 was much more comfortable (and I have to agree). She went on to say that for a new truck she expected a softer ride.

Granted, she is about 10 weeks pregnant and at the peak of her morning sickness issues, but even I feel it's a little rough and there must be something out there that can make the ride less stiff. I certainly can deal with it as is, but I would rather make my wife feel good about our new purchase and provide more comfort while riding in the new truck. We agreed on the 4x4 Off-Road because we both value the utility the truck can bring if we ever have to bug-out in the event of a natural disaster. I felt the diff locker would be useful to have for this purpose so that's why we chose the Off-Road over the Sport package.

I am turning to you all, the Tacoma World community to help me come up with a setup that will offer us a smoother ride.

I did some research on these forums and I think long travel suspension might be the way to go. Judging from some vids i've watched and some of my own theories, this setup seems to be the best, however I cannot afford this so lets not go there folks..........thanks. (long travel gurus please comment for my future reference)

I am hoping to get away with doing shock and spring replacement. I've been reading a lot of people doing Bilstein 5100 shock replacement with OME 885 springs for lifting purposes. I don't mind doing a lift if it will yield me a better ride.

Lastly, can anyone tell me why the Off-Road suspension is more rough than the Sport model. Is it the struts or the springs? Sorry for the long thread and thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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buy someone's stock (non-TRD) coils. I'm a 1st gen guy so I could be wrong about some of this but my understanding is that the TRD coils are stiffer. shocks are prob stiffer than non-TRD too. Bilstein 5100s are even stiffer so you don't want those. I think best and def cheapest bet is sr5 coils. you could get them dirt cheap on here from someone who is upgrading to OMEs or 5100s. Come to think of it, you might want to look into OME also. They have a bunch of different options stiffness-wise
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tb99trd View Post
buy someone's stock (non-TRD) coils. I'm a 1st gen guy so I could be wrong about some of this but my understanding is that the TRD coils are stiffer. shocks are prob stiffer than non-TRD too. Bilstein 5100s are even stiffer so you don't want those. I think best and def cheapest bet is sr5 coils. you could get them dirt cheap on here from someone who is upgrading to OMEs or 5100s. Come to think of it, you might want to look into OME also. They have a bunch of different options stiffness-wise

Who told you the 5100s are stiffer?

Set at stock height, 5100s give a much better ride than the HD Bilsteins that come stock on TRD ORs. Even comparing my lifted '00, it rides better than my stock 2010


OP, I'd say go for 5100s. Lifting the truck generally makes it stiffer- the only way around that would be to drop some $$$ and get yourself coilovers with matching rear shocks/ a nice leaf pack, but that's in the $1000s

set the front 5100's to stock, get the normal 5100s from downsouth motorsports, and off you go. Give em a call, they've helped tons of members on here with their shock needs; they can talk you through what you need versus what your budget will allow.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konaborne View Post
Who told you the 5100s are stiffer?

Set at stock height, 5100s give a much better ride than the HD Bilsteins that come stock on TRD ORs. Even comparing my lifted '00, it rides better than my stock 2010

OP, I'd say go for 5100s. Lifting the truck generally makes it stiffer- the only way around that would be to drop some $$$ and get yourself coilovers with matching rear shocks/ a nice leaf pack
yeah i figured i'd get called out on that. total guess. i'm right about the coils tho. stock non-TRD coils = less stiff than TRD coils
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:58 AM   #5
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Odd I thought my truck rode way too much like a car. Anyways LT is a little overkill for you, I agree with Kona's post.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfox1 View Post
Odd I thought my truck rode way too much like a car. Anyways LT is a little overkill for you, I agree with Kona's post.


Actually, I missed the LT part of the OP...

OP, I wouldnt recommend LT either. LT's a full suspension swap thats gonna put you $10,000 in the hole/ Designed for high-speed desert style racing, theyre not necessarily the safest suspension upgrades.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:03 AM   #7
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Off road designed suspension will be stiffer in general, no way around that! I'd say the Sr5 or base models would have the softest suspension but I'm only speculating! You may just need to buy an all wheel drive car if you don't like the ride of a stock truck.....id say their softer stock than with aftermarket suspension. Long travel will prob be stiffer on road at low speed too! It's made for high speed and designed to soften up in that environment!

Have only been in lifted tacos but my buddys stock Titan is soft as hell on the street/speed bumps etc. Once taken offroad though, that soft suspension bottoms out and is miserable...its a trade off!
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
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i wonder if it’s just because it’s so new. my ’07 DC short bed TRD OR 4wd rides much better than a F-150! i wonder if after the springs get used so to speak a bit it will soften up?
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:57 AM   #9
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Load the bed with a few hundred pounds and go pound it offroad! And flex the shit out of it to "stretch the legs" a little. May have to swap with a sport model!
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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DDZPyrite,

I would suggest approaching this in steps, cheapest first, as there is no difference in the rear springs of TRD and Non-TRD trucks. The TRD shocks are not true Bilsteins, rather they are built to Toyota specs by Bilstein. Most folks complain about Tacoma being too soft of ride, myself included.

First, get 2- 50# bags of childrens play sand and put them in the bed of the truck. Probably right over the axle. They can be pushed forward if needed for hauling. This should make a fair amount of difference. Cost:$5-10.

Second step if needed, install Bistein 4600 shocks. These are true Bilsteins. I would start with rears only and change the fronts if needed. Rear shocks, $100-$150 plus install.

Try these first, before spending lots of money.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:53 AM   #11
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Easiest fix is tire pressure. Many times the dealer pumps them above the recommended amount.

Drop all the tires down to the door recommended specs and enjoy your new soft ride.

So many complicated answers for a simple solution.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:55 AM   #12
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chalk line test
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:16 AM   #13
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OP, where are you located?

I've got a set of SR5 coils sitting around, if you're close, shoot me a PM. I'm not convinced they're the solution you're looking for but I'm selling them cheap . The reason I have doubts whether they're the solution you're looking for is the progressive coils are supposed to absorb bumps better, they're softer at first and the more you compress them, they become much much firmer. Mine will be more worn and broken in so they might ride smoother for you.

As far as aftermarket coils, I'd avoid them if you think the ride is hard already. The OME and Eibach coils are both stiffer than the factory coils. They give a more controlled ride and, I think, a better ride but that's because it rides more like a truck and most members like that.

I would actually agree with tb99trd, the 5100's are firmer than the stock Billies. If you want softer, I'd look into the Nitrochargers rather than the 5100's.

Lastly, I think if you wanted a smooth, car-like ride, you should have looked into a Chevy. The Tacoma is shorter, narrower and lighter than the full size truck you're comparing it to. Most full sized trucks do ride better than a mid-sized truck in my opinion. This is why you test drive before you buy!
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:08 AM   #14
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Thank you all for the response. You all have great information.

It seems I should get the Bilstein 5100's first and go from there. I certainly understand the trade-off Sublime was talking about and I don't want to sacrifice the off-road suspension. I was just hoping there were aftermarket products that could "improve" ride comfort while keeping the off-road tuned suspension.

So are the struts/shocks the primary component that dictate the quality of the ride? I don't know the details of independent suspension and the function of each individual component within it - can someone give info about this topic?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:58 AM   #15
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The 5100s will ride firmer than what you have as people think stock is too soft??

Is there a loacl chapter where you could cruise in other trucks and get a feel? Im not sure upgrading the suspension will net you the softer feel you want! Maybe a set of "2.0" foxs from AllPro with the compression adjusters? Then take all the pre-load out and they "should" be as smooth as can be!

https://www.allprooffroad.com/05taco...suspension/294

Also, great idea to lower tire pressure and throw a little weight in the bed! I've noticed a difference with both of those at various times!
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:23 AM   #16
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Air pressure? Did the op even read my comment?
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:16 AM   #17
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Right!?!

Dude, your truck looks mean with those fenders! How do you like them? Bet they stuff good!
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolftree View Post
DDZPyrite,

I would suggest approaching this in steps, cheapest first, as there is no difference in the rear springs of TRD and Non-TRD trucks. The TRD shocks are not true Bilsteins, rather they are built to Toyota specs by Bilstein. Most folks complain about Tacoma being too soft of ride, myself included.

First, get 2- 50# bags of childrens play sand and put them in the bed of the truck. Probably right over the axle. They can be pushed forward if needed for hauling. This should make a fair amount of difference. Cost:$5-10.

Second step if needed, install Bistein 4600 shocks. These are true Bilsteins. I would start with rears only and change the fronts if needed. Rear shocks, $100-$150 plus install.

Try these first, before spending lots of money.
X2
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #19
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ditch the overload leaf in the rear and get the wheelers offroad 3 aal pack
http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/05uptacoaal.htm

I did this on my previous tacoma and it smoothed out the rear really nice!
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Runner View Post
ditch the overload leaf in the rear and get the wheelers offroad 3 aal pack
http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/05uptacoaal.htm

I did this on my previous tacoma and it smoothed out the rear really nice!
But how do you lift the front without making it stiffer? Any of the aftermarket coils have a higher spring rate than the stock coils.
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