1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

AAL, New Leafs, or Both???

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by x2468, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Jun 28, 2010 at 11:41 AM
    #1
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    So im trying to understand the whole axle wrap, rear leaf arch, and rear sag thing. At the moment my truck sits completely level front rear. it's flat. and I beleive the rear leafs have a slight frown. they look flat but when i really looked at it they are slightly frowning. SO is this normal? Or is stock with the rear slightly higher and the stock springs flat or smiling? Also i have what I am pretty certain is a good deal of axle wrap.

    Now assuming the rear is sagging to much and the rear leafs need replacement which should i do?

    1) can the stock ones i have be rebuilt?

    2) if not should I buy new ones and replace them? with stock or aftermarket?

    3) what about an AAL? that's just adding a 3rd leaf to your existing ones right? From the sound of it the Wheeler AAL or something is the best. (?)

    4) If i add an AAl can I just replace the stock leafs latter and put the AAL on those?

    I'm on a budget because I just bought the truck and am low on funds. Plus i need the rear suspension to be able to handle an 850lb load by mid july when i plan on doing a road trip. Thus I'm looking for the most cost effective and timely remedy.

    Lastly, should i put any focus on the stock bilestein shocks? are they a factor in any of this?

    Thanks in advance guys.
     
  2. Jun 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM
    #2
    BajaTaco96

    BajaTaco96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Member:
    #39138
    Messages:
    74
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    Silver Springs, FL
    Vehicle:
    1996 Toyota Tacoma 4wd, 3" suspension lift
    K&N, ToyTec 3" front spacers, 3" Fabtech AAL's, Flowmaster exhuast, no cat, Exedy Stage 2 clutch
    Adding an AAL will just ruin that if your rear springs are sagging as bad as you say. Replace the whole thing man, it'll be worth it if you're frowning.

    I've always been about aftermarket type deals, but it comes down to you. A little lift never hurts, but you can buy OEM replacements from an aftermarket company for cheap. I usually see rear leafs for around $110 a side, so it's not too bad for a budget, and better than ruining an AAL.
     
  3. Jun 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM
    #3
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    happen to have any links?
     
  4. Jun 28, 2010 at 12:57 PM
    #4
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Member:
    #30054
    Messages:
    1,028
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Greg
    Riverton, Utah
    Vehicle:
    2002 XtraCab SR5 V6 4x4 Black
    See Signature
    With your leafs as sagging as much as they are, AAL wont be a perm solution, but a very temporary one. The AAL are meant to help reinforce the existing leafs, not take all their weight, so they'll go flat fairly quick.

    Anyway, the only real option you have to fix it is a new leaf pack, as suggested. You might want to try checking junk yards to see if there's something there that isn't as bad off as yours. Other than that, its pretty much aftermarket.

    I've also heard of getting leafs re-arched, but no clue if people will do it for Tacoma's or not. Re-arching wont be as good as new, but should last ya quite a while.

    As far as sitting level, you do have a few options. You can get your leaf pack built to your specs. No clue what that will do to bed capacity though. The other option is, of course, to lift your front end to match.

    Personally, I prefer a rake (rear higher than front) on a truck, but not everyone does.
     
  5. Jun 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM
    #5
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    you kow what it will probably sharpen the handling with the rear higher. I thought 4x4s were supposed to be level though???

    What companies make the best performing and cost effective leaf packs?

    should i do anything to my rear shocks?
     
  6. Jun 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM
    #6
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Member:
    #30054
    Messages:
    1,028
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Greg
    Riverton, Utah
    Vehicle:
    2002 XtraCab SR5 V6 4x4 Black
    See Signature
    From factory, there's about an inch rake I believe. Maybe its a little more. It's really not enough to change handling. We aren't talking about a 30 degree angle or anything.

    When my leafs flatten out, I plan on replacing them with Wheelers 5 leaf pack (http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/tacoleafs.htm), but I'm not sure how much you're planning to spend. Their 4 leaf pack seems on par with everyone else as far as a cost goes. Wheeler's uses Alcan springs in theirs I believe. The only other brand I know of that would be cheaper is Dakar, which is built by Old Man Emu (or at least used by them). You could probably contact Wheelers or Toytec since both of those places sell OME stuff. Based on Toytec's upgrade option on lift kits, you'd be looking at about $400ish for the set though.

    Besides that, I'm not sure. Guess you could go check out sites like AutoAnything.com, but they all look to be over $400 as well.

    Are your rear shocks good and not leaking? You aren't planning on doing a lift (dont need additional movement) so leave em be unless you want to change them out (as they are probably original and no where near as efficient as they are new). They dont change your load capacity, only your ride quality, slowing down how quickly your springs compress and return after hitting a bump.

    If you're really that tight on miney, I'd call around and see if you can find someone to re-arch your current springs. Shouldn't be more than $100 if you pull the springs yourself.
     
  7. Jun 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM
    #7
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5

    thanks for all the info. whats the benefit of the 5 leaf vs. 4?
     
  8. Jun 28, 2010 at 3:31 PM
    #8
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Member:
    #30054
    Messages:
    1,028
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Greg
    Riverton, Utah
    Vehicle:
    2002 XtraCab SR5 V6 4x4 Black
    See Signature
    An extra 1.5" of lift so theres less need for spacers or shackles for a lift in the rear.
     
  9. Jun 28, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #9
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    alright. Now i'm assuming that since the rear should be higher than the front, and it's level, that the front is fine. But is there a way to determine if my front is all good? I dont want to raise the rear, put more weight on the front and the find it's compromised. Hopefully not, don't really have the money at the moment.


    Would it be easy for someone with basic mechanical skills to install rear leafs themselves? any special tools needed?
     
  10. Jun 28, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #10
    ScottyB

    ScottyB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Member:
    #27064
    Messages:
    80
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Kailua, Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    01 PreRunner TRD V6
    Bilstein 5100's
    I just installed some Hellwig helper springs and so far I love them. Keeps the bed from sagging with a load in it and the truck drives better all around. I had a little axle wrap coming up on me if I did any real braking and the back just felt "squishy". These problems are all solved now.
     
  11. Jun 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM
    #11
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    Does OME dakar offer rear leafs with just stock height? I found them for sale at wheelers and trd parts 4 u but both say 2.5" lift. I just want to return my rear to the stock height for now. I might get a 1.5" lift all around sometime this year but im not 100% sure and i dont have the money to lift the front end to equal the rear at the moment.
     
  12. Jun 29, 2010 at 12:28 AM
    #12
    99tacosupreme

    99tacosupreme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Member:
    #33079
    Messages:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    1999 Black V6 PreRunner TRD
    Pioneer Headunit, Infinity Kappa 6.5" speakers, Alpine Type R sub with Alpine M500 amp, 15% Tint up front 5% in the back, Deckplate mod, Debadged, Bilstien 5100s, Wheelers 1.5"AAL, DDM 55w 6k Lights
    Hey ScottyB, Ive been looking at the Hellwig helper springs and your the first person that has said they are using them. Before you put on the helpersprings where your leafs sagginng at all or did you just put them on to prevent future sagging? Also which helper springs did you get?
     
  13. Jun 29, 2010 at 10:41 AM
    #13
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    So i contacted ARB/OME and they told me they don't make rear leaf replacements at stock height. So does that mean my only options for stock height are the toyota OEM or the Wheeler 4 leaf pack?

    Or if I did go with the OME dakar leafs (or even the wheeler 5 leaf pack), how expensive would it be to lift the front slightly so I don't have too much rake?
     
  14. Jun 29, 2010 at 5:37 PM
    #14
    chvymechanic

    chvymechanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Member:
    #34222
    Messages:
    398
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Thomas
    New Hampshire
    Vehicle:
    04 Limited TRD Off Road 4x4 Xtra Cab
    Stuff and Thangs
  15. Jun 29, 2010 at 11:18 PM
    #15
    ScottyB

    ScottyB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Member:
    #27064
    Messages:
    80
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Kailua, Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    01 PreRunner TRD V6
    Bilstein 5100's
    Mine were sagging yes. The truck I bought used and had 175k miles on it already. I work doing minor construction work and used it to move around quite a few supplies a couple times and it was quite saggy. I had replaced the shocks with 5100's previously because the old ones were original and really bad. I set the 5100's in the front to level out the truck and the front was just a titch higher than the back but after using the truck for a few months and actually putting weight in the bed along with a toolbox, the rear was level with the front or just lower with any weight in it. The helper springs brought the rear up just a little so its maybe half an inch to an inch higher than the front and doesn't sag with weight in the bed hardly at all, though I haven't really loaded it down with several hundred pounds yet.

    The set I used was the EZ-1000 (1000lbs of level load capacity), part number is 1250. The reason I went with this set is because it was the most light duty set they had with a helper spring both in front of and behind the axle and I could tell by looking at it loaded that the front of the leaf pack was sagging. Their smaller set, the 550's, only has a rear helper spring. I couldn't find anyone really talking about them on the taco forums either but I found a lot of positive feedback for the springs on different SUV's and trucks and figured it would not be much different from a different vehicle also using a rear leaf pack.
     
  16. Jun 30, 2010 at 1:28 AM
    #16
    99tacosupreme

    99tacosupreme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Member:
    #33079
    Messages:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    1999 Black V6 PreRunner TRD
    Pioneer Headunit, Infinity Kappa 6.5" speakers, Alpine Type R sub with Alpine M500 amp, 15% Tint up front 5% in the back, Deckplate mod, Debadged, Bilstien 5100s, Wheelers 1.5"AAL, DDM 55w 6k Lights
    This is EXACTLY what I was planning to do with my truck, my stock bilstiens are leaking so I am going to get the 5100s when they are available. Also the rear end of my truck seems way too soft like if i where to jump on the bumper it goes down really far for only 170lbs. and ive looked at my leafs and they are sagging a bit but I really dont have the cash to drop $400 on a new set right now. Ive been looking at the EZ 1000s as well for the exact same reason that they have supports on both the front and behind the axle, but i have only seen the EZ 500 on peoples tacomas before, so i was just wondering if the ride was too hard? And what position did you set your front bilstiens at?
     
  17. Jul 1, 2010 at 6:49 AM
    #17
    ScottyB

    ScottyB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Member:
    #27064
    Messages:
    80
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Kailua, Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    01 PreRunner TRD V6
    Bilstein 5100's
    I'd say it rides like a truck. My other auto is an Rx-7 so I'm used to a ride that's much worse. The back is noticeably stiffer that it was previously, especially on crap roads or going over speed bumps that I don't feel like crawling over but it's not anything I find unacceptable. Squatting on accel or nose diving on deccel has been lessened. The rear also doesn't feel like it leans on turns as much. My front Bilstein's are in the middle height position (they have 3) which is what I was told would level out the truck.
     
  18. Jul 1, 2010 at 2:09 PM
    #18
    99tacosupreme

    99tacosupreme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Member:
    #33079
    Messages:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kyle
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    1999 Black V6 PreRunner TRD
    Pioneer Headunit, Infinity Kappa 6.5" speakers, Alpine Type R sub with Alpine M500 amp, 15% Tint up front 5% in the back, Deckplate mod, Debadged, Bilstien 5100s, Wheelers 1.5"AAL, DDM 55w 6k Lights
    Ok Thanks Scotty, lastly if you have any pics of your set up that would be awsome.
     
  19. Jul 1, 2010 at 6:12 PM
    #19
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Member:
    #19879
    Messages:
    1,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Tallahassee
    Vehicle:
    '02 TRD 4wd V6 Xcab Sr5
    How much is the helper spring. Think it would be okay to add that and load 850lbs in the rear for an extended period? Id like to get new rear leafs too but im a bit short on cash.
     
  20. Jul 1, 2010 at 8:05 PM
    #20
    ScottyB

    ScottyB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Member:
    #27064
    Messages:
    80
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Kailua, Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    01 PreRunner TRD V6
    Bilstein 5100's
    They ran me $120 bucks. I don't know about loading 850lbs in the rear for an extended period since I'm not sure what the truck is rated for. I've probably had that much in it for a couple days but that was before I added the helpers. Probably contributed to my saggy problem. I bought some flooring for a place I was working on and ended up having to wait over a weekend to drop it off. I didn't feel like unloading the truck just to have to load it again. I'll try and snap some pics for y'all.
     
To Top