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Advice Please - Installation Costs vs. Coil Over Purchase

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by SManZ, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:32 AM
    #1
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    I'm going to go forward with the Toytec group buy for the 3" lift. I will get either the Ultimate lift w/ the preassembled coilovers or the kit where I get springs and shocks separate.

    I wanted to do this myself at first but the spring compressor part has got me freaked a bit. I've never used one and this video came up in the Google search when I looked to see how much one of these tools was;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYFOI_UsVxI

    I know this guy is doing something he shouldn't. What has me freaked is the amount of tension that I would be trusting a hand tool to hold. Am I right to be concerned or is this really no big deal?

    Should I just go with the coilovers that I can bolt in? They're going to be several hundred more. Or do you think it would it be more cost effective to take the separate shocks/springs to a shop to have swapped?
     
  2. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:44 AM
    #2
    tim920

    tim920 Never seen Forest Gump

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  3. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:48 AM
    #3
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Call around to your local auto parts garages and ask if they have a *wall mounted coil compressor* and if they have one, how much would it cost to have them compress the coils and put the strut/coil assembly together.

    I've done a ton of lifts this way many years ago...unbolt the coilover assembly, take it to the local shop and pay them $40 to compress & install the strut.

    Just make sure you tell them the allignment of the top 3 bolts to the lower shock is CRITICAL.
     
  4. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:51 AM
    #4
    prae

    prae Well-Known Member

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    Could you elaborate on this?
     
  5. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:56 AM
    #5
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    Thanks Janster, I do have a local shop that I trust. Can you tell me more about the bolt alignment to the lower shock? How should it be oriented? Will I be able to tell easily if its not done right?

    I also wanted to know if this was a possibility...I'm getting UCAs through the group buy too. Can I install the new UCAs first on the stock struts? If I can do that I could just take the truck to the shop to have the springs and shocks swapped and the alignment done at the same time. They could also mount my stock BFGs on the TRD FJ rims I got. What do you think? I'm kind of leaning towards this route if its possible.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2009 at 7:59 AM
    #6
    prae

    prae Well-Known Member

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    UCAs dont get installed onto the strut. check out Chris4x4's writeup on how to install a lift for more details. Once you pull the strut assembly, installing the UCA's yourself should not be too difficult. Again, read around on the board for little tips and tricks.

    here's a link with pics illustrating how a UCA install is done: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=315831

    Seems to me like you are leaning towards doing it all in one go, and there's no shame in that. Find a shop you trust and get them to do it all!
     
  7. Nov 4, 2009 at 8:06 AM
    #7
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    This is the allignment I'm referring to - although, this is for a 1st gen truck front suspension. You might wanna double check to make sure this applies to 2nd gen trucks (I've never installed a lift on a 2nd gen).

    [​IMG]

    I would also refer to the Toytec installation instructions. THey should mention something about this in the instructions.

    I don't have any experience with installing UCA's.... The UCA's are separate from the coilover assembly. You can have the coilover/strut assembly completely removed and work on the UCA's while the truck is still up on jackstands....probably be much easier without the front suspension in place.
    But again, you'd have to wait for someone who has experience installing UCA's.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2009 at 8:28 AM
    #8
    KenpachiZaraki

    KenpachiZaraki Its Wicked Flow BITCHES!!

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    If you want to save money then just do it yourself. I installed 2.5" spacers in front with a spring compressor from autozone. It took a long time to compress the damn coil enough to fit spacers, but i got it done. No problems and i was using hand tools :notsure: If you're worried about your safety, then have someone else do it. As Janster said it, aligning the mounting bolts on top to the lower shock hole is cruicial. I had to redo my work because I failed to align these 3 together. All you have to do it mark it off. Its no biggie, but like i said i had to freaking redo my work and with only a ratchet and hand tools, it took like 30 mins each time. I have pics in my garage, and more important, I have the experience now. I love hands on!!:D
     
  9. Nov 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM
    #9
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    Thanks for that link! It was helpful and I understand whats going on with the UCAs now. Can I install just the aftermarket UCAs and then drive the truck to a shop to have the springs and shocks installed? I know the UCAs help with alignment after the truck is lifted - I want to know if the truck will be drivable if I install them on the truck before I lift it. Thanks!
     
  10. Nov 4, 2009 at 9:25 AM
    #10
    prae

    prae Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the truck will be driveable but improperly aligned. No big deal to drive it to the shop, just dont leave it that way for weeks.
     
  11. Nov 4, 2009 at 9:47 AM
    #11
    DriverSound

    DriverSound Señor Member

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    I did my own spring compressing. It's not an easy job but I've done it several times before. As you saw in the video, it is very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing and not take safety precautions. Videos like that are the reason I prefer to do the work myself. Also if you're getting UCA's, you should just wait until you have the kit and the uca's and install everything all at once.
     
  12. Nov 4, 2009 at 11:12 AM
    #12
    nharkey85

    nharkey85 2yr Old Co-Pilot

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    same here.... never again. everything went together okay and no accidents, but definitely will let a shop do anymore i come across

    as for 2nd gen bolt alignment. you want exactly how janster has pictured above for the 1st gens. my 2008 lines up that way.
     
  13. Nov 4, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    #13
    Hoyal

    Hoyal Whiskey bent and hell bound.

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    I can say that before I attemped my 5100's I was worried about the compressing the spring part but I have a $30 fro harbor freight and it worked just fine. I called around to shops to do the total instal and they want close to $300 and let me tell you there is no where near $300 worth of work going on to change out suspension it was very easy to do and I would think that the coil overs which will be my next step will be just as easy.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nov 4, 2009 at 12:04 PM
    #14
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    Now that looks like a beefier tool that I could trust. The ones I was looking at were two separate spring compressors with bent plate steel hooks on the end. I'm guessing you tightened down one side at a time until the spring was compressed. I couldn't see how they would keep the coil from slipping out of the fingers. The coil looks like its securely held by this one-piece tool.

    Edit; Is this the tool in your pic?
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=43753
     
  15. Nov 5, 2009 at 12:08 PM
    #15
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    That's a damn good heavy duty compressor. Never seen one like that before. All the ones I've ever tried using were wimpy auto store loaners. :)
    Needeless to say, I stopped using them when they start to bend. :eek:
     
  16. Nov 5, 2009 at 6:32 PM
    #16
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    Problem solved...I bought the Toytec Ultimate kit with preassembled coilovers. I live at an apartment with a wide open lot and I didn't want to leave my truck on stands while I was off getting the coilovers worked on. The prices I got from local shops to swap the springs and shocks if I brought the vehicle in were a bit high. $350 was the lowest I was quoted. At that rate the Ultimate lift wasn't that much more.

    I just decided to not mess with the spring compressors at all. It was either a shop or the Ultimate kit and I decided to spend on something tangible. Without the experience I didn't have the stomach to fool with something that could really ruin my day.

    Thanks though for all your replies! They did help guide my decision making and I bet the thread will help someone else later.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2009 at 7:06 PM
    #17
    Marc M

    Marc M Dirty White Boy

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    Am I the only one with one of these bad boys. Got it at Harbor Freight for $80 bucks. Pump the handle a few times and you're done.

    I should start renting it out...:D

    [​IMG]

    Marc M
     
  18. Nov 6, 2009 at 7:16 AM
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    ramjm_2000

    ramjm_2000 Well-Known Member

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    That pic showing the alignment is super helpful. I need to take a look at my install because the guys at the Big O where I had it done took MUCH longer to install mine then they had anticipated. Apparently skids plates we removed, etc...I also asked about alignment and they said because it was a direct swap, there should be no issues given I had one done last month (tsb). Any advice on how to inspect if it was done correctly for a not expert to do? The truck rides great but like I said the time it took for them to do it made me suspicious.
     
  19. Nov 6, 2009 at 8:49 AM
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    Burns

    Burns Well-Known Member

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    Can I borrow that next weekend. :rofl:
     
  20. Nov 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM
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    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    What kind of Safety retension for the spring does it have? I dont see any pins holding the spring secure? After having one blow on my left hand, Im a little more cautios about dealing with these. :eek:
     
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