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ANOTHER taco lean thread

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by brian1649, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Jul 8, 2020 at 9:08 PM
    #1
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hi all - I know this has been documented many times already and I've been working my way through the forum with the search bar, but I wanted to share some of my specifics which I haven't really seen documented yet.

    I picked up an 01 Xtra cab 4cyl 4x4 last year, and have noticed a taco lean going on. I measured ground to fender center and found some pretty significant differences:

    FL: 34.5"
    FR: 35.5
    RL: 36.25"
    RR: 37"

    The truck has 220k on it, and only a single owner before me. He was a big dude (but not fat) and apparently did a lot of commuting in it - so my guess is the front left is just super worn out and also has some intrinsic taco lean.

    I've also noticed that at higher speeds, (~above 60) the truck pulls right - I'm assuming this could be due to worn suspension? If I have others in the cab with me the pulling isn't as bad. Wondering if others have experienced that.

    I'm starting to look into front suspension options (I think the leaves are in pretty good shape) to return the truck to stock hight or lift a little. It sounds like I'll also need a trim packer on the driver's side. There are plenty of threads on different coil and shock combos so we don't necessarily need to discuss that again, just wanted to get feedback on my symptoms.

    Also, how is this as a diy job? Note, I'm in the northeast. There is rust.
     
  2. Jul 8, 2020 at 9:10 PM
    #2
    Tacoma1997White4x4

    Tacoma1997White4x4 America First

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    If its rusting I wouldnt even bother with the suspension cus its got cancer
     
  3. Jul 8, 2020 at 9:54 PM
    #3
    SkunkMan17

    SkunkMan17 Jerry-rigging everything

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    Start out with the front struts and shock absorbers. Rear shock absorbers usually aren’t a thing that you need to replace very often. See how she does with the new struts and shocks up front then go from there.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2020 at 9:57 PM
    #4
    CrustyTaco

    CrustyTaco Well-Known Member

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    I'd be more inclined to blame alignment for that.

    That all depends on your skill level and the tools and time you have available. It's not exactly easy, but it's manageable if you take your time. I wouldn't want to do it without having a backup vehicle, it took me several partial working days. With rusty hardware you'll want a dremel and some cutting wheels and some penetrating oil at a minimum. Angle grinder and recip saw are also nice to have, but more important for the rear.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2020 at 10:11 AM
    #5
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I did bring it to a shop to get the alignment checked as that was my first thought, but it checked out pretty good (some metrics were slightly out of spec but the tech didn't think it should cause a pull)

    How hard are those coil top hat bolts to get to? They look pretty darn close to the wheel well
     
  6. Jul 9, 2020 at 10:40 AM
    #6
    SkunkMan17

    SkunkMan17 Jerry-rigging everything

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    Tasteful modifications :)
    Once the truck is jacked up on the frame or front crossmember, that part of the UCA will go down along with the tire/wheel to allow for easier access.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2020 at 11:07 AM
    #7
    CrustyTaco

    CrustyTaco Well-Known Member

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    If you can remove them with a socket or wrench, they aren't too bad. If your top hats were as rusted as mine, you'll just want to cut them with a dremel or small rotary tool.

     
  8. Jul 9, 2020 at 11:32 AM
    #8
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    The alignment was out of spec and the mechanic didn't want to bother making the necessary adjustments. :facepalm:

    You need to actually get the thing aligned. I can guarantee that the engineers at toyota know more than some wrench monkey at an alignment shop as to what matters, and what doesn't.

    Find a new alignment shop. Preferably one that has experience with 4x4s.

    You mean the 3 bolts (per side) that hold the coilover into the frame bucket?

    You just need a box wrench (a ratcheting box wrench would be faster). Normal sockets usually don't fit, especially the one bolt in the back closest to the fender well, especially once you start getting the bolts half way out.

    You absolutely have to have the weight off the suspension to do anything with it, though. Jack it up by the frame/crossmember, and let the front wheels droop. Removing the wheels makes things easier, too.


    As for the taco lean, my suggestion is to put the tape measure away. I've not once ever noticed the lean on my truck. but I'm sure I can measure the difference per side. The minute you get it "perfectly" balanced, you're going to drive around with a nearly empty tank and a fat friend in the passenger seat, now your leaning in the other direction. If you feel the need, if you end up getting things like a hi-lift farm jack, or extra fuel containers, put those on the passenger side to help balance out the weight of the gas tank. But I wouldn't worry about about a little bit of lean.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  9. Jul 9, 2020 at 1:17 PM
    #9
    petecarlson

    petecarlson Well-Known Member

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    Slightly OT, but what is that paint on the right spring from? The DC I recently bought has the same thing on it.

    [/QUOTE]
     
  10. Jul 9, 2020 at 1:32 PM
    #10
    treyus30

    treyus30 Well-Known Member

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    Normally I would lean towards just living with it, but if you're at 220k on stock suspension, $500 to replace all 4 corners isn't gonna kill ya. Hardest part will be compressing the spring to get the new one in. I would recommend foregoing the spring compressor in place of a nice long pry bar.
    Go full droop when taking out, keep your fingers out of the way and whack it a few times. It should only drop a couple cm more. Use the pry bar when sticking it back in to get it far enough for the bolt to slide through.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2020 at 1:57 PM
    #11
    Rachelsdaddy

    Rachelsdaddy Well-Known Member

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    Buy complete coilovers, even Napa brand if you ain’t lifted. You can change the whole assembly on both sides in two hrs yourself. Learn how on YouTube. Easy, easy, easy. 19 mm wrench and socket with a breaker bar, 14 mm wrench for the top hat bolts. The springs are worn anyway, don’t mess around with them
     
  12. Jul 9, 2020 at 5:50 PM
    #12
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I got the print out of the alignment measurements - it was one of those free checks so honestly they have incentive to tell me it's out of alignment so I pay...

    I'm pretty convinced it's not alignment given the truck tracks straighter with weight on the right side

    Lete ask a different question - what are the typical stock ground to fender heights? I'm assuming spring lift estimates (i.e. 0" lift, 1", etc.) are based off stock ride height?

    This lean is very noticable. I'm sure it's mostly just due to the front springs being worn, they could be the orginals
     
  13. Jul 9, 2020 at 6:25 PM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    I'll bet you it is the alignment. Definitely find a different shop, those folks don't seem to have their heads screwed on right. Go in for more than just a "free check".

    I've never heard anyone talk about their truck not tracking straight due to taco lean. You'd be the first...

    As for the measurements, you're going to get figures all over the board. Depending on tire size, and even tire pressure. Don't go by those numbers. Again, put the tape measure down... Something like fender to center of wheel hub might be better, but again, it's going to be pretty variable. The lift "estimate" is an accurate term, since you can get a 2.5" lift spring and end up with 4" or 2" all depending on the state of your old springs and what you're carrying and other variables. Buy yeah, it's "supposed" to be based off stock height.

    The taco lean is purely cosmetic. If it bothers you, there are small spacers you can get that prop up the driver side to account for the additional weight on that side. It's a safe bet your springs are original, and thus more than likely worn out. Not a bad idea to replace them. I would replace the springs first, and then see if the taco lean is still noticeable (IMO, without the tape measure, lol). if it is, then get one of those 5mm spacers that goes above the coilover, and call it a day. Then get it aligned.
     
  14. Jul 10, 2020 at 12:33 PM
    #14
    treyus30

    treyus30 Well-Known Member

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    100% agree. Lean is not causing your drift... unless you have 500lbs on one side causing the lean.
     
    jbrandt likes this.
  15. Jul 14, 2020 at 5:16 AM
    #15
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright let me change the topic a little here - I'm looking at 880s and Bilstein 5100s assembled at wheelers - 450 out the door with all hardware. Pretty good deal imo

    Then I stumbled on rock auto just to sanity check "standard" replacement parts and boy that shit is cheap. I need some convincing that the 880+5100 combo is worth the money
     
  16. Jul 14, 2020 at 9:11 AM
    #16
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Woke up and chose violence

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    Bilstein 5100s and OME parts are always worth the money; they're the most recommended pieces for our 1st gen sans 50s and 2 tons; don't let someone convince you to go 40s and tons
     
  17. Jul 14, 2020 at 3:41 PM
    #17
    treyus30

    treyus30 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking from personal experience, I would at least go Bilstein but I'm not the happiest with the whole "recommended package".
    (My rears top and bottom out, and my fronts click) I would have swapped my OMEs for Toytech if I were to do it again. But I digress. Just make sure the OMEs are the right spring rate for your front end. Wheeler's should be able to help you out with that.
     
  18. Jul 14, 2020 at 4:12 PM
    #18
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You would have used toytech coils with the bilsteins instead? On the front did you run into issues?
     
  19. Jul 14, 2020 at 4:13 PM
    #19
    brian1649

    brian1649 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, what do you mean by 50s and 2 ton vs 40s and ton?
     
  20. Jul 14, 2020 at 11:26 PM
    #20
    Old green toyota

    Old green toyota Well-Known Member

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    Dana 60 axles and 40" tires, he's referring to a solid axle swap.

    You can buy the cheap stuff, but its cheap for a reason. They wear out and dont ride as good.
     

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