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Old 07-19-2014, 08:53 AM   #1
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Stiffer Rear Suspension

So I recently went on a 500+ mile trip towing a 2300lb pop up and all the trimmings. We also had two adults and two kids. Did not get to weigh the truck with trailer, but can assume that we were loaded in excess of 3000-3500lbs all in. The truck towed great! Decent mileage 17.4mpg. At no point did it struggle or seem overloaded. What I did find lacking was the rear suspension. It was way too soft. We are now upgrading to a 3900lb airstream travel trailer. With a tongue weight of 520lbs. I am looking to stiffen the rear to help make up for that high tongue weight. I have been looking into air bags, (specifically ride rites) and Dakar leafs. In a perfect world I would like to go with a stiffer leaf. The problem I have with the Dakars is the lift. I want to keep my truck at stock height.

What have you guys done to make up for these soft stock leaf springs? Is their a stiffer spring that will not result in a higher than stock suspension? Or are ride rites the only solution?

Thank you in advance for all suggestions and comments.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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Firestone Airbags will get rid of that completely. I have them and it rides night and day when towing or just loaded in the bed.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmooze View Post
You could try approaching a spring shop and have the existing leaves re-arched so that an additional leaf in each pack (which they could install) would provide stiffer suspension without an increase in ride height.
hmm… not a bad idea. I happen to have a decent suspension shop in my area.. Thanks
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:26 AM   #5
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I had a set of heavy duty springs on an older Tacoma and loved them for towing and heavy loads. But now I have airbags on a 12' and I prefer the airbags simply because you can fine tune it to your specific application. Sometimes I put 700 pounds in the bed and other times I have towed a 3000 pd trailer so I like the versitility of the bags. And not to mention I found to bags much easier to install then my leaf springs...
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:49 PM   #6
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A weight distribution hitch will help.

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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+1 for airbags.

Tacoma doesnt have enough rear spring for full loads....it will bottom on bump stops frequently.

But if you put in enough spring, it will ride harsh when empty.

Airbags are awesome.


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Old 08-04-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys! Decided to wait and see how the trailer tows with the factory weight distribution hitch that it is coming with. If it is still overloading the rear suspension I will go with airbags.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:07 AM   #9
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towed the "new" trailer home with a reese weight distribution hitch with sway control. The trailer has a dry tongue weight of 520lbs. Plus it was loaded down with full camping gear. And the truck was loaded down with tools and four people. Trailer is 4000lbs dry. It towed great! The suspension I am relieved to report was not a problem. That weight distribution hitch works wonders! The truck also never lacked for power. I did not have the trailer brakes working on the airstream and we still had plenty of brakes available at all times. Their was no sway at all, even when getting passed by semi's.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:38 PM   #10
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X 2 on the airbags especially with the weight you are carrying.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:25 PM   #11
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This weekend i went and looked at both the dakar and the toytec boss rear spring kit. The dakar is a high sprung pack that is probably great with a load but i can see why it would be harsh unloaded. The boss suspension on the other hand is a deaver kit but is not the j66 pack. It is a built leaf pack but less lift that dakars unloaded. I cant comment on either from experience but I did go ahead and buy the boss kit after seeing them in person and seeing the differences between the two. I will comment in the future when installed
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odomandr View Post
This weekend i went and looked at both the dakar and the toytec boss rear spring kit. The dakar is a high sprung pack that is probably great with a load but i can see why it would be harsh unloaded. The boss suspension on the other hand is a deaver kit but is not the j66 pack. It is a built leaf pack but less lift that dakars unloaded. I cant comment on either from experience but I did go ahead and buy the boss kit after seeing them in person and seeing the differences between the two. I will comment in the future when installed
sounds good… I would like to here how it works out for you. I have not looked at the boss kit yet.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:31 PM   #13
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A good weight distribution hitch will go a long way. I believe mine is called "husky" and it helps a lot!
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #14
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got the boss kit installed monday, ride is really great unloaded(camper shell). hope to load it up next week and do some traveling and I will report back once I have experienced it with the bed loaded.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odomandr View Post
got the boss kit installed monday, ride is really great unloaded(camper shell). hope to load it up next week and do some traveling and I will report back once I have experienced it with the bed loaded.

How is the ride height compared to stock when unloaded? How stiff does the ride feel unloaded compared to stock?
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:47 AM   #16
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Hellwig

I pull a camper with a 200# plus tongue weight and I installed Hellwig Spring
assists. $54.00 with free shipping. Took about 30 minutes to install. Made a difference when hitting a bump or going over RR tracks.
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Stiffer Rear Suspension-toyota-tacoma-hellwig-001.jpg   Stiffer Rear Suspension-toyota-tacoma-hellwig-002.jpg   Stiffer Rear Suspension-toyota-tacoma-hellwig-003.jpg   Stiffer Rear Suspension-toyota-tacoma-hellwig-004.jpg  
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:56 AM   #17
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I pull cars around on a steel open trailer about once a week. The load is somewhere in the 4-4500lb range each time. I had Deavers on the rear and obviously they were not going to cut it for towing. I added the air bags and it makes towing great. I do highly recommend the trailer brake controller be installed on your truck. If you think you have decent braking now just wait until you have full brakes with the trailer. Thumbs up for bags if you need more capacity.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:45 AM   #18
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+1 on the weight distribution hitch when talking about 500 lb tongue weights on a Tacoma. A WDH will actually transfer some of the weight off the rear axle and back onto the trailer's axle.

I only recently began using one on a used camper we got that is around 3500 lbs but with tongue weight probably pushing 500. It works like a charm and the whole package feels like driving one solid straight unit. No bounce or sway of the trailer whatsoever.

Air bags might help with the squat effect but you still have the same amount of extra load riding on the on the rear axle.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #19
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Air bags. Have Firestones on now, they work great.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TugBoatTrash View Post
sounds good… I would like to here how it works out for you. I have not looked at the boss kit yet.
X2. Interested in how they work out
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