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Need solid advice on AAL and leveling for 2d Gen Tacoma

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Old 06-04-2009, 08:11 AM   #1
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Need solid advice on AAL and leveling for 2d Gen Tacoma

After reading numerous different articles and threads about "the best" lift kits / AALs / leveling kits, I thought I would ask the question myself and see what responses I get. I need a bit more payload capacity on my 2006 Quad Cab 4x4 Taco, since I haul between 500-800# of feed at least once a week. I don't like the sag even with a couple of hundred pounds and notice it immediately w/ my LEER top on. If I put in my toolbox, I'm worried I'll bottom out on a speedbump.

No matter which 4x4 shop I visit to "research" this project, I get very different opinions--mostly in favor of whatever brand they carry (which I can understand, but impossible to get an unbiased opinion). Since I'm looking only for additional cargo capacity and enough lift in the front to maintain the same rake, what advice can I get for the best route to go.

**I heard FabTech was going under and not great things about ProComp, but I have not verified that. I definitely don't want to do business with a company that is / will be non-existent should I have warranty issues.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Did you get the leaf spring TSB done, to start with? I thought it affected 06 4x4's, but I don't remember - you can search for it on these forums.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
bfwilsoniv [OP] bfwilsoniv is offline
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I just read about the TSB and had to search a bit to find out what "TSB" even stood for. Do you have any info about that, or can you steer me in the right direction? Is this similar to a recall and something that Toyota will do for free? Just when I thought I knew alot about my Taco, I find out something new...
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #4
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Tons of info about the TSB (technical service bulleton) on here...I'm not getting into it here. Just try a search.
Regardless, you are likely out of warranty and they will not do the TSB if you are. Essentially, it replaces your 3 leaf pack with a 4 leaf pack. If you are non-TRD, it also replaces your shocks. It's not a recall. It's a solution for dealers to satisfy customers who complain about a "harsh ride when loaded down" - ie hitting bump stops often.

I am in the market for an AAL and will be going with Toytec. I'm no suspension expert but they are a reputable company and I have heard good things about them around here. The AAL I'm looking at is around $80.
Call them up and talk to them about your situation. They may have a better solution or one that fits your budget.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:33 AM   #5
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A TSB is a Tacoma Service Bulletin. It's essentially a notice about a known problem saying that Toyota will pay for a dealer to fix whatever the problem is at Toyota's expense if the customer complains. It's different from a recall because the problem doesn't _have_ to be fixed unless the customer complains and essentially provides Toyota a way of doing recalls without the bad PR, it seems to me. Toyota doesn't like saying recall, it seems.

This one is because something is faulty with the leaves on the stock 4x4 and prerunners. I believe any dealer should swap them out with a new pack for you if you come in with the TSB. If they refuse, you can load your truck up, bottom out, and come back to show them that you have the problem. It sure sounds like you do.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for that info! I have been spending the past hour looking at some TSBs I never knew existed and actually found some to other small issues I've had with my Taco for the past few years. I think for the money we spend on these little gems, the Service Departments that we patronize should have some sort of obligation to mention them--especially after the 3rd time I complain about it.

Oh well, caveat emptor, right?
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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Yeah - so you've complained to the dealer before? If this is the case, if I were you I would definitely go to the same dealer with the TSB and ask them why they didn't fix it under the TSB the first time and raise a bit of a fuss.

That's just me, but if I had had the dealer see this before and then found out it should have been fixed properly under warranty... I think maybe they could be convinced to fix it for you, and if not, I'd call the Toyota hotline and raise a stink about it there.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspadaro View Post
A TSB is a Tacoma Service Bulletin. It's essentially a notice about a known problem saying that Toyota will pay for a dealer to fix whatever the problem is at Toyota's expense if the customer complains. It's different from a recall because the problem doesn't _have_ to be fixed unless the customer complains and essentially provides Toyota a way of doing recalls without the bad PR, it seems to me. Toyota doesn't like saying recall, it seems.

This one is because something is faulty with the leaves on the stock 4x4 and prerunners. I believe any dealer should swap them out with a new pack for you if you come in with the TSB. If they refuse, you can load your truck up, bottom out, and come back to show them that you have the problem. It sure sounds like you do.

Technically TSBs are NOT for the consumer. It's for techs to find/fix hard to diagnose issues.
The way the TSB system works ideally is: Customer comes in and says I have problem X. Dealership Tech looks at the things he knows how to fix easy and they are all ok. He then looks to see if there is a TSB that applies. If there is- He can use the technical guidance in the TSB to fix the problem.

As far as not liking to say "recall"- no business wants to give them selves bad rep like that. There are specific requirements for recalls...The TSBs do not rise to that level.

It's a good improvement in my opinion, but it's not for everyone. Good luck getting your truck hooked up.

To the OP: ToytecLifts.com or WheelersOffroad.com are good places to look for leveling/lifting components. Bilstien 5100 shocks and a rear AAL will probably get the look you want with a ride you'll like. Other options do exist tho.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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I am in the same boat...weak springs in back so I installed hellwig 1500# helper springs today to correct. My truck is a 2009 access cab 4wd. The helper springs seem to stiffen it up nicely by taking the sag out of the rear leafs. Raised the back about 1.5" though. Now the truck is not level so looking for a solution to level out the front with possibly stiffer springs. I may just end up with the 600# Eibach springs put on over the stock TRD Bilsteins for now. Not sure though.
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