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First Suspension Upgrade -What should I do?

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
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First Suspension Upgrade -What should I do?

First timer here for this forum! I was hoping for some reccomendations for my stock Taco to improve its off road capabilities. I have a budget of $2,500 and I will have a local shop do the work.

My stock 2000 Tacoma 4x4 regular cab, 2.7L ,4cyl has been well taken care of over the past 130,000 miles. I plan to ride it forever. I need some new tires and because of the mileage, the stock suspension system needs or could use an upgrade.

I want a truck that will perform as well as the money will allow off road.

What would you guys do to this truck for the money?
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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hell for 2500 your should just do a saw and lift the rear put 33 or 35 inch tires make it a little beast
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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Well, def. go with coilover's up front(Toytec, Saw, Icon's) with maybe some new UCA's for better Allignment and more travel.
Diff drop if 4x4

New leaf pack and Bilstein 5100's In the rear from Wheeler's (2" lift)
And some new wheels and tires, make sure wheels have a 4" back spacing...
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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he has a 2000 tacoma if i were him i would just solid axle swap it with coils and shocks do a eazy kit
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thanks!

I think I will go with the new coilovers and UCA's up front and the leaf pack and bilsteins in the rear. Pending how much that costs, I will see about replacing the wheels. Do these upgrades alone result in a lift on the truck or is that an additional mod?


EverTaco,
What is the concern over the back spacing requirement? Why 4"?
A diff drop needed because of the 2" lift right?

Should I use the same size wheels/tires or use something bigger without causing problems?
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock_Tacoma View Post
Thanks!

I think I will go with the new coilovers and UCA's up front and the leaf pack and bilsteins in the rear. Pending how much that costs, I will see about replacing the wheels. Do these upgrades alone result in a lift on the truck or is that an additional mod?
yes coilovers lift the thruck. they are adjustable so you crank down the collar above the coil to get the desired lift you want. you will be limited to about 2 in lift cause your 4WD w/ CV angles to worry about. check out www.wheelersoffroad.com for you parts they have good deals on all the parts your looking at and an Icon CO and Camburg UCA combo for less than $1500 shipped.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock_Tacoma View Post
Thanks!

I think I will go with the new coilovers and UCA's up front and the leaf pack and bilsteins in the rear. Pending how much that costs, I will see about replacing the wheels. Do these upgrades alone result in a lift on the truck or is that an additional mod?


EverTaco,
What is the concern over the back spacing requirement? Why 4"?
A diff drop needed because of the 2" lift right?

Should I use the same size wheels/tires or use something bigger without causing problems?
The concern with the back spacing of the wheels, is that you will rub alot on your fenders and bumper and the stock wheels have more of a backspacing which will make your tires real close to your UCA's. A 4" BS is perfect, it brings your tires out just enough to clear your UCA and have less rubbing.
You can go 3" just do the diff drop and your CV's will be fine. I would def. get bigger tires like a 285/75/16 and new wheels. It just looks funny with stock size tires. Another cheaper way of dealing with rubing and clearing your UCA's is just to get wheel spacers. But I know many that frown upon them, But they do work.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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the icon kit
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
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I think it is hysterical that everyone has posted up an opinion about a suspension that they think you need but no one has bothered to as what type of "off road" you plan on doing. What a bunch of self righteous kooks. There is some good advice here, but no one here can say what you need without the basics from you.

Your intentions are what should dictate what product/mod you go with- period. Start us off with some idea of how and where you plan on using your truck. Desert, Rocks, Sand, Whoops, Mud, Snow, Fire roads, Curbs. Mild, Wild? you get the picture. How often you "off road" and how much street miles, is it your only rig?
$2500 can go along way toward a great suspension but then what? You gonna run around with your bitchen boingers and new big rubber with stock gears, jump your truck or crawl big rocks with stock axles and tranny. Rollcage???
You get the pic, what are you gonna do with your truck? Then people can help better with their experiences/opinions.
If your just looking to replace your tires and improve the "feel" of your truck on and offroad then a basic lift around 2" with new shocks/springs in front and an AAL/shocks in rear (or new leafs altogether) will be inexpensive and keep you out of trouble but give much better ride than youve got now. Quality AT tires less than 32" will fit fine, good on and offroad. $2500 will get you plenty far enough.
Check out wheelersoffroad.com polyperformance.com allprooffroad.com for some tacoma options
Have fun, you gotta start somewhere!!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zidaro View Post

Your intentions are what should dictate what product/mod you go with- period. Start us off with some idea of how and where you plan on using your truck. Desert, Rocks, Sand, Whoops, Mud, Snow, Fire roads, Curbs. Mild, Wild? you get the picture. How often you "off road" and how much street miles, is it your only rig?
$2500 can go along way toward a great suspension but then what? You gonna run around with your bitchen boingers and new big rubber with stock gears, jump your truck or crawl big rocks with stock axles and tranny. Rollcage???

Good Point! I only have one truck and have only done very minor off roading with it in sand at the beach and forest roads. I have climbed a few mountain passes using "high" clearance 2wd rentals like stock jeep commanders and trailblazers. I have two additional rides for all non offroad transportation I may need.


Anyways, I want something that can handle moderate 4x4 roads in the mountains with relative ease. About twice a year I like to go to the Colorado and take the truck to do mountain climbing. I need something for minor rock crawling, stream crossings, and relatively steep climbs.
I live in Kansas so the truck has to ride reasonably well at highway speeds for hundreds of miles to get to my off road destination.

Since it's only a 4 cyl, I don't see the point in sinking a whole lotta dough into it, but it's a great truck and so if I am going to replace the suspension on it anyways, I just need an idea what to do that is a logical upgrade. I may add more as I learn more about what is needed.

I like the idea of going with coil overs and UCA's up front and a pair of new leaf springs and shocks in the back. Or maybe that is overkill for my needs?

I am still hazy on increasing the wheel/tire size. currently, I have the 30x9.5 R15's (stock of course). If I go up to the larger tires say 32's with R16 wheels will that mean I have to re-gear the front and back diff?

Let's see, I am looking at currently from the reccomendations above:

ICON coil overs w/ camburg UCA's $1500
Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks $149
5 leaf rear Spring Set $459
diff drop ????

New wheels and tires???

I really Appreciate the comments!
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock_Tacoma View Post

I am still hazy on increasing the wheel/tire size. currently, I have the 30x9.5 R15's (stock of course). If I go up to the larger tires say 32's with R16 wheels will that mean I have to re-gear the front and back diff?

Let's see, I am looking at currently from the reccomendations above:

ICON coil overs w/ camburg UCA's $1500
Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks $149
5 leaf rear Spring Set $459
diff drop ????
solid set-up you got there. the improvemnt over stock both on and off road is gonna blow your mind. NO, with a 32in tire you will not have to re gear but you should plan on getting new tires because a 30in is gonna look ridiculous once the truck has that suspension on it and your gonna want a good off road tire to give you the traction your gonna need climing things BFG, nitto, cooper, toyo are all good choices

prob gonna want a set of these too http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/tacorackbushkit.htm

these little things make a huge difference once you have the lift and new tires
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakleyTRD View Post
nitto does not make a good off roading tire, peroid end of story. BFG or Toyo MT (no they are not the same thing as nitto so dont give me that crap)
down boy, chill out! i didnt say they were king of all tires. they (terra grappler) are average and usually people can get them at a decent price. they are popular and he might like them. i dont run them becuase you are right, they are not the best tire. dude, lay off the red bull and dont give me any of that SHIT
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:45 PM   #13
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wow!!! can we not make this a TTORA thread?
Really though.....
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock_Tacoma View Post
ICON coil overs w/ camburg UCA's $1500
Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks $149
5 leaf rear Spring Set $459
diff drop ????

New wheels and tires???

I really Appreciate the comments!
Seems like you are on the right track. Personally, the ICON setup may be "top of the line" but you can find coilovers that some say will do just as good for half the price (allprooffroad or SAW comes to mind) and UCA's are also something that can be done at a later date "if" you need them, especially if you are not set on bigger lift/tires. Stock UCA's will serve you well for now unless there is a problem with yours.
You seem to be at the stage of still deciding how much to commit to wheeling and what you describe as the typical trails you wheel are mild. I would invest in a mild modified suspension- new springs and shocks in rear and a good adjustable coilover replacement in front, 2-3" lift is sane and quite enough to get you clearance and a better ride/stance. Some argue that a diff. drop has some serious negative affects, study up before you go that route(search). I opted against it but I only lifted my taco 3" in front.
A great place to throw money at a truck is regearing lower and adding traction(limited slip or a locker) in the diffs. An arb in the rear is perfect for a truck that sees lots of hwy and some hard trails, and will take you places you never thought possible. $700 best spent.
31 or 32" tires will be great on a mild lift 4cyl., any bigger and gearing becomes a factor.
My '96 taco is similar to what you have. Its my DD. I just inherited it from my buddy- totally pristine and stock with a blown head. I rebuilt the 3rz with mild upgrades and gave it a fresh suspension and set of rollers. I just got some goodyear duratracs and love them. I live in the mountains with lots of snow and get on 'decent" trails more than most people could ever imagine. I use the truck but nothing crazy yet, I have an '85 built crawler for that. This Tacoma will be getting an SAS/3link in the near future so for now....I put on a set of Fabtech "Performance" Adjustable coilovers in the front that I found used on craigslist for CHEAP. Everyone will agree the FOX fabtechs are not ideal but let me tell you what an improvement over the crap stock coils they are. I installed some stock '87 rear springs i had laying around and it gives a stable ride and ~ 3" lift to the taco- simple/cheap bolt on.
You dont need to blow a ton of $$ on suspension to get a great handling rig that will be VERY capable on mild/moderate trails and the road. Bling is another thing. Think i wrote enough for now. OUT
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