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3" Bilstein 5100/Toytec AAL Suspension lift Guide

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by reidkm, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Jun 30, 2018 at 2:46 PM
    #1
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

    Joined:
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    Reid
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2015 Tacoma, 4.0V6, 4x4 SB
    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    Hello all,

    I'm back at you guys with a detailed tutorial on how to beef your stock tacos up with a 3" lift using Bilstein 5100 shocks, toytec coils, and an AAL. I know there are other tutorials about this exact setup, but I couldn't find a FULL comprehensive guide on the front and rear setups in one thread. I'm primarily making this thread for my dumb friend Ryan, who has my exact truck. That being said, this setup can only be guaranteed correct on my model and configuration. Do not lift your truck with spacers and blocks, it's cheap but it's not worth the shitty ride, poor performance, and potential damage to the rest of your suspension components. Spend just a tiny bit more and you wont regret it. So without further ado, let's dive in.


    DISCLAIMER:Be somewhat knowledgeable about vehicles and suspension in particular if you are going to attempt this job. Improper installation can result in vehicle damage or personal injury. If this job is above your mechanical level of expertise, leave it to a professional mechanic to install. I am not responsible for any damage or personal injury in the event of suspension failure due to improper installation, faulty equipment, or improper use. This tutorial is purely for informational purposes.

    My Vehicle:
    2015 Tacoma, V6 4.0L, 4x4, SB, Double Cab

    Parts List
    1. Bilstein 5100 Front Shocks (2)
    2. Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks (2)*
    3. Toytec 3" 600lb Front Lift Springs (2)
    4. Toytec 2" Rear Add-a-leaf
    5. Bilstein 5100 front shock bushing kit
    6. Longer U-Bolts (Optional)
    7. Strut Mounts (or reuse your old pair)
    8. Toytec Differential Drop Kit (Optional)
    9. Toytec 1/4" Top Plate Spacer (Optional)
    10. 2005 - 2015 Tacoma (Kinda required)
    11. Sway Bar Relocation Kit (Optional)

    20180627_224328.jpg

    Parts Notes: Tweak the parts as you see fit. The optional parts will depend really on you. I recommend new strut mounts because the old ones are too much trouble to remove, it's easier to just grab new ones. You may need longer U-Bolts if the leaf you choose is too thick, but they will fit the Toytec AAL. The top plate spacer is sometimes required to counteract the infamous "taco lean" on the drivers front side, but whether you will need it or not is hard to determine until everything is assembled. As for the differential drop kit, you decide. Personally I declined to install one because the kits I found only really spaced out the front 2 of the 3 mounting points on the front differential. This tells my that the drop kit is actually only really rotating the differential forward instead of relieving the higher angle, a minor and insignificant attempt at a correction. But to each their own, let me know how it goes if you grab one. As for the sway bar relocation kit, I personally didn't need one. You will only need it if your larger diameter coilovers come in contact with the sway bar. In my case I was fine. However, some people have stated that it improves steering post - lift, not sure how true these claims are though. In any case, for $30 bucks you can pick one up so you haven't really lost anything.

    *There is debate on whether the standard 5100 shock is long enough to accommodate rear lift options. Some argue that the extended length of the standard 5100 shock is not sufficient to dampen hard droop, causing the shock to top out with higher rear spring rates or more lift. If this is a cause for concern for you, I recommend looking at less lift for the rear or using a different shock entirely. Some options are the Bilstien 5125, the Bilstein 5100 B110, or the Boss TT-55289. The issue with using these shocks is that while they increase your effective extended dampening range, they limit your up-travel if you do not have enough lift. This will lead to serious problems like your shock bottoming out and blowing up because the piston was too long for the amount of lift provided. You could extend your bumpstops to prevent this, but you would end up limiting your up-travel to your bumpstop anyway. In either case, bottoming out or constantly hitting your bumpstop isn't a great idea. I decided to just stick with the standard Bilstein 5100 and the Toytec AAL. With the AAL giving 1.5" - 2" of lift, and the 5100 rated for 0" - 2" of lift I should be good to go.
    IMPORTANT: Although Toytec rates the Standard 5100 shock for 0" - 2" of lift, Bilstein only recommends a lift between 0" - 1" of lift.


    Tools List:

    1. Jack stands/Vehicle lift (2)
    2. Vehicle jack
    3. Large C-clamp (2)
    4. 1/2" Breaker Bar and assorted Attachments (12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19m)
    5. 3/4" Rachet and Assorted sockets and extensions (All the shit you can get)
    6. Beer (12)
    7. Hands (2)
    8. Elbow grease (1)


    STEP 1: Coilover Assembly

    If you don't have access to a real spring compressor, skip this step. Take it to a shop and have them do it for $50 or so.


    Start by taking your front shock and sliding the C-clip to the second setting from the bottom. DO NOT EXCEED THIS SETTING, DAMAGE WILL OCCUR AND NO ADDITIONAL LIFT WILL BE ACHIEVED. Be careful not to damage the C-clip, it's fragile when flexed in the wrong directions. Next, slide your bottom coil perch onto the shock until it rests on the C-clip. If you are unsure about which position to mount the coil perch in, it's the position that will give the coil the LEAST amount of compression. Your coil will sit on this perch, but not before an assortment of bushings which I'll demonstrate. Keep in mind that the coil itself must sit between these parts (duh).

    Check it

    20180627_180220.jpg

    Throw a washer on the top

    20180627_180131.jpg

    Then throw your strut mount in. Keep in mind that your strut mount must have a rubber bushing in it. If you are reusing your old mounts, grab new bushings.

    20180627_180256.jpg

    Next, throw another bushing and washer, then secure all of that with the retaining nut.

    20180627_180337.jpg

    Again, the coil must go into this contraption under the strut mount with a rubber coil bushing between the coil and the mount. Finished Product:

    20180627_181708.jpg


    STEP 2: Coilover Installation

    Bust your nuts (lug nuts that is), and raise and stand the vehicle by the frame. Have at least 2 jack stands and fail safes in case something goes wrong while you are under the vehicle. Make sure the car in in park and the rear wheels are blocked

    20180627_225759.jpg

    Remove the tires and let the hub hang without touching the ground

    20180627_225846.jpg

    Next, loosen the sway bar from the spindle and remove it. There is also a mount on the frame, loosen that a bit in order to rock the sway bar back and out of the way

    20180627_234930.jpg

    You may need to split the upper ball joint in order to shift the sway bar all the way back. Keep in mind that it's a castle nut so don't lose or snap the retaining pin. Also, brake lines connected to the spindle assembly will also have top be removed so they don't break. Take care to make sure they do not shift and stretch unnecessarily.

    20180627_234549.jpg

    Once they sway bar is out of the way, reattach the spindle to the UCA, but do not tighten the bolt

    20180627_234922.jpg

    Next, loosen the two bolts connecting the LCA to the hub assembly. There are 3 bolts. The center bolt with the castle nut is the lower ball joint - do no remove this. Only remove the two bolts on the side. With those bolts loose, the shock should come out with a bit of elbow grease.

    20180628_010803.jpg

    Next, go ahead and loosen the three nuts at the top of the shock mount. Do not remove the center nut! Only the three nuts securing the coilover assembly to the frame mount.

    20180627_235216.jpg

    Next, loosen the nut at the bottom of the coilover. It will be bolted in to the LCA. An impact gun on the nut takes care of it in a second. Don't bother trying to break the bolt, it won't budge that way. Remember, bust the NUT instead.

    20180627_235227.jpg

    Remove the bolt and slide the old coilover out.

    20180628_000258.jpg

    Snap your new coilover assembly in. Get the top three nuts in the upper frame mount started to it doesn't fall, and muscle the bottom mount in. You can loosen the LCA bolts to make it easier to get the new coilover in, but you'd have to mark your cams out so that you could get you alignment pretty close to what is was. I declined to remove them and just forced the coilevers in because I didn't want to mess with my alignment that night. If the bottom mount doesn't line up one your top three bolts are in, take a thick screwdriver and insert it into the bottom of your coilover mount. Simply turn until it's in the right position and drop it in.

    20180628_010749.jpg

    Same process on both sides. If you are opting for the 1/4" spacer on the drivers side to counteract lean, you just have to drop in on before you put the coilover into the frame mount.

    20180628_012943.jpg

    All set! Make sure everything is reattached, assembled, and tightened down. Don't forget brake lines, LCA mount bolts, sway bar/sway bar mounts, and upper ball joints with the castle nuts and pins. Throw your tires on and call it a day! Congrats

    20180628_022451.jpg


    Step 3: Rear AAL and Shock Installation

    Break your lug nuts and raise and stand the rear by the frame. Park the truck, block the front wheels and place fail safes under the car in case something goes wrong while you are under it.

    First you need to remove the rear shocks. It's super simple. Two bolts: one upper and one lower. Right after that you will need to remove the parking brake line so the axle can flex.

    20180628_071453.jpg

    20180628_071502.jpg

    Clamp the leaf springs together and remove the U-bolts. Pretty sure it's a 19mm. Get a gun under there and blast away.

    20180628_072455.jpg
    Once your U-bolts are off, clamp the springs together and remove the bumpstop

    20180628_072448.jpg

    Remove the center pin WHILE THE SPRINGS ARE CLAMPED. Loosen your clamps slowly so that you have room for you AAL. Install your AAL in a progressive pattern and not behind the overload spring. It should go from the shortest to the longest spring; again, not behind the overload spring.

    Take a look, my AAL is # 4 from the top

    20180628_083346.jpg

    Getting all the springs lined up for the centering pin is a pain in the ass. I found that a screwdriver in the holes from the topside is enough to center them to get the bolt in from the bottom. If you are having trouble getting the centering pin in, simply push the axle down on your side being careful not to disrupt brake lines. I used two floor jacks to support each side of the axle and raised and lowered them in opposing directions depending on what room I needed.

    20180628_101556.jpg

    Make sure you get you bump stop and U-bolts back in and tight. Reattach the paring brake mount and whatever brake lines you might have loosened.

    20180628_101602.jpg

    I didn't include pictures of the rear shock installation because it literally took me 30 seconds on each side and I totally forgot. It's super simple though. Throw your bushings in and bolt it up. Super easy. Just make sure you have steel washers in between you rubber bushings and bolts.

    Get your wheels back on and lugs tightened! Go get an alignment too.

    Before

    20180204_174449.jpg

    After

    20180628_172121.jpg

    20180628_110531.jpg

    20180628_110539.jpg

    20180628_110545.jpg

    20180628_181737.jpg

    20180628_181001.jpg

    I took the truck up to Mauna Kea the day I finished it and broke it in. It rides firm and confident. Not soft and foamy like the stock suspension. The handling and ride quality is so much better. No diving when turning or braking, and no more bottoming out on speed bumps. There was a tiny bit of rebound from the front, but it went away a day or 2 after the install and the springs had a chance to settle. I gained about 4" of lift on the first day. It's settled down to 3 1/2", right now, and it'll probably settle a tiny bit more. My next step is to get some new UCA's, probably the Light racing ones by SPC. I got my alignment in spec, but I don't like the angle of my UCA's right now. One of these days I am also going to do a tutorial for a 6" Drop bracket lift along with a 3" body lift so keep posted. 12" lift here I come!

    I live in Hilo Hawaii, so if anybody here needs help and I have time feel free to PM me or comment. Same goes for everyone else, I just ain't gonna be able to go to you and help you out lmao.

    Thanks!
    Reid
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  2. Jun 30, 2018 at 2:49 PM
    #2
    Skruf

    Skruf Well-Known Member

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    Awesome write up! :cheers:
     
    reidkm [OP] likes this.
  3. Jun 30, 2018 at 5:53 PM
    #3
    jboudreaux1965

    jboudreaux1965 Ragin Cajun Fan

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    2005 to 2012 Front End Mod 3" 810lb IronMan TOYO50C coils 4" MaxTrac Spingles 35.6"x 12.8" Amp Off-road A/T PPro Dodinson front struts and rear shocks Deaver AAL Custom 4" Aluminum single piece driveshaft 2012 Interior 2009 J-VIN Japanese made 1GR-FE Cali Off-road Anarchy PVD wheels 20"x10" etc.... Lol!
    Good write up! Super easy to follow! A few suggestions...

    Ive done several installs. With pre-assembled coils/struts, not pre-assembled coils/struts where I had to use a compressor to assemble the coils/struts then install, etc. The most recent install I did, was on my own truck. Used same springs, just different struts.

    I used this method (works the same if you have pre-assembled coils/struts)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkVLBOnAifc

    The main difference is you mark your alignment tabs, you remove the ball joint mount, you loosen the alignment bolts to let the LCA hang which prevents you from fighting to squeeze (crow bar in) the extended coil/strut assembly into place, and you can use your jack to relieve pressure on the lower bolt on the strut and loosen it with a wrench and easily pull it out with your hands :) Besides, you will have to get it aligned anyway.


    Took like 30 mins a side.

    As far as rear shocks, I ran Bilstein 5100's in the rear with 3" AAL and no issues. The front Bilstein 5100's I tossed in the trash shortly after installing. I don't think you need to worry about the rear shocks, but if your worried about the rear shocks Dobinsons makes some that work well.

    Bilstein 5100 Rear
    14.02" - 22.94"

    Dobinsons GS59-940 Rear
    14.25" - 24"

    On the rear install of AAL, Remove the U-Bolts, Remove the bump stops, Remove center pin nut, put the jack on your draw-tie, clamp your springs (all but the bottom "overload" leaf), lift the truck slightly with the jack, reason is, you can relieve the pressure on the bottom bolt of the shock to make it easy to remove by hand, remove your shocks. Jack up on your jack, use the weight of the tires to separate the pack from the "overload" leaf, install AAL and new pin. Eazy Peezy :) (of course thats the summary version, but look it up, save you a bunch of time and work) :)
     
    Johnny DemonT and reidkm [OP] like this.
  4. Jul 1, 2018 at 9:03 AM
    #4
    Spencer4x42006

    Spencer4x42006 Whoisthatguy

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    Of course I see this after I payed 300 bucks at the mech to have it done
     
    reidkm [OP] likes this.
  5. Jul 1, 2018 at 1:45 PM
    #5
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    Hilo, Hawaii
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    2015 Tacoma, 4.0V6, 4x4 SB
    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    Cost me 7 hours and a 12 pack of stella's haha
     
    Spencer4x42006 likes this.
  6. Jul 2, 2018 at 5:33 PM
    #6
    jboudreaux1965

    jboudreaux1965 Ragin Cajun Fan

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    2005 to 2012 Front End Mod 3" 810lb IronMan TOYO50C coils 4" MaxTrac Spingles 35.6"x 12.8" Amp Off-road A/T PPro Dodinson front struts and rear shocks Deaver AAL Custom 4" Aluminum single piece driveshaft 2012 Interior 2009 J-VIN Japanese made 1GR-FE Cali Off-road Anarchy PVD wheels 20"x10" etc.... Lol!
    Only 12? What you workin' buy yourself :) j/j
     
    reidkm [OP] likes this.
  7. Jul 9, 2018 at 12:14 AM
    #7
    Black taco.

    Black taco. Well-Known Member

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    Good write up.
     
    reidkm [OP] likes this.
  8. Jul 31, 2018 at 7:48 PM
    #8
    michael636

    michael636 Well-Known Member

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    $300 to a mechanic versus 7 hours isn’t bad
     
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  9. Aug 1, 2018 at 4:52 AM
    #9
    sccsammy

    sccsammy Member

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    Did you find the need to do brake line extensions?
     
  10. Aug 1, 2018 at 9:57 AM
    #10
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    $300 is an amazing price. Mechanics here in Hilo want around $600 - $700 to install. But since I have more time than I do money I might as well do it myself
     
  11. Aug 1, 2018 at 9:58 AM
    #11
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    Not at all, the lift is minimal. Even under tons of flex they are fine
     
  12. Aug 1, 2018 at 10:12 AM
    #12
    sccsammy

    sccsammy Member

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    Looking to do this as well. I've read on some other forums that you need brake lines no matter what. I had my doubts but figured I would ask. Thanks! Nice looking lift!
     
  13. Aug 1, 2018 at 10:39 AM
    #13
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    What you can do is take a jack and flex each axle up and down and see for yourself if anything looks tight. That's how I figured I didn't need them.

    Thanks! Lmk if you have any questions about the install!
     
    jboudreaux1965 likes this.
  14. Aug 4, 2018 at 11:23 PM
    #14
    2006offroad

    2006offroad Active Member

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    With the 3" Toytec coils. 5100s all the way around. AAL. How much of a load can I have in the bed . As in a bed rack loaded with gear .Roof top tent . Did I get to 'lite' of a setup for that .
     
  15. Aug 5, 2018 at 12:13 AM
    #15
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    The AAL probably isn't enough the support all that weight. You may need a full leaf pack. Maybe Darkars? Or custom packs by deaver/Atlas? My AAL sags with 500lbs of tongue weight
     
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  16. Aug 5, 2018 at 12:53 AM
    #16
    jboudreaux1965

    jboudreaux1965 Ragin Cajun Fan

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    Shocks have nothing to do with sagging or holding weight. Your shocks just manage how smoothly your up and down movement is while driving with weight. Hense, heavy load needs stiffer and stronger shocks to control motion.

    Your leafs handle the weight.

    Do you have the 2006 oem leaf pack or recall replacements? With oem 2006 and 3" Deaver AAL, at about 500lbs I was sagging pretty bad, with same AAL and new pack, I would say 700lbs to put me at the same sag. (Fyi, observations were when i had 5100's in back, weight loaded in the bed, to put in perspective, with recall packs and Deaver AAL, with 5100's and now Dobinsons shocks, a 1GR-FE engine, about 400-500lbs, doesn't make it sag)
     
    2006offroad likes this.
  17. Aug 5, 2018 at 4:42 AM
    #17
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    6" RC Lift Kit, Bilstein 5100 Full length shocks front and rear, OME 883 Coils, SPC UCA's, 285/70/17 Cooper STT Pro's
    Interesting how 400-500lbs does not sag your AAL out. I will post a pic the next chance I get with my loaded trailer carrying about 500lbs of tongue weight. Really makes my rear end squat. I am looking to swap to a full leaf pack kit by atlas shortly, so hopefully that helps out. If not, maybe airbags?
     
  18. Aug 5, 2018 at 7:15 AM
    #18
    Slamuel

    Slamuel Christ is King

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    Who told you to do anything with your control arms? I remove/Install mine frequently with nothing more than dropping the sway bar...
     
  19. Aug 5, 2018 at 7:23 AM
    #19
    AaronNY

    AaronNY Well-Known Member

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    Looking good OP thanks for posting. I'm jealous of your rust free ride
     
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  20. Aug 5, 2018 at 8:41 AM
    #20
    reidkm

    reidkm [OP] Does lifting my truck increase my boto size?

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    I found it easier to do because I can rock the entire sway bar back and strap it out of sight. If you are talking about the LCA, I am interested in seeing how you fit taller coilovers in without loosening at least the bottom LCA... stock replacements wouldn't require it, but unless you're handy with a crowbar and have a partner I'm sceptical about how you fit taller coils by only dropping the sway bar
     
    jboudreaux1965 likes this.

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