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Everything to do at once/one alignment - front end maintenance.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by WildLand, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Dec 13, 2016 at 8:44 AM
    #1
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Hey all.

    So I will be hitting 180K miles by next summer and want to start gathering and doing 90K mile maintenance. I am wanting to replace my suspension so this thread is only for things that affect my alignment! Not engine work or anything else. I am in need of help in what I should replace, not need to replace, and for the best price. I want to do it right the first time but not break the bank and not buy things I really do not need (but if it only cost a few bucks more then I will)

    Suspension:

    (notes)
    Headstrong Offroad

    881/3 coils - $174.99
    Nitrocharger front - $289.99
    Nitrocharger back - $208.99
    5100s front and rear no coils no assembly - $334.99
    5100s front and rear 881/3 coils no assembly - $509.98
    5100s front and rear 881/3 coils with assembly - $630.99

    OME leaf pack - $379.90
    Deaver AAl - $640.99 (w/ 5100s front rear, 881/3 coils, no assembly)
    $730.99 (w/ 5100s front rear, 881/3 coils, assembly)
    $765.99 (w/ nitrgochargers front rear, 881/3 coils, no assembly)
    $855.99 (w/ nitrochargers front rear, 881/3 coils, assembly)
    OME leaf pack + 5100s front rear, 881/3 coils no assembly - 889.88
    OME Leaf pack + OME nitrocharger, 881/3 coils, no assembly - $1175.99
    OME Leaf pack + 5100s front rear - 714.98
    OME Leaf pack + OME nitrocharger front rear - $878.97
    OME Leaf pack + 5100s, 881/3 coils, front rear, assembly - $1010.98
    OME Leaf pack + OME nitrocharger, 881/3 coils, assembly - $1265.99

    Lowrange
    881/3 coils - 167.88
    OME Leaf pack - 363.72
    Nitrocharger front - $302
    Nitrocharger rear - $214


    Lowrange leafs + headstrong 5100s = 698.71
    Lowrange 881/3 coils + headstrong 5100s = $502.87
    Lowrange 881/3 coils + lowrange leafs + headstrong 5100s = 866.59
    All headstrong = $889.88

    Purchased

    OEM ubj from tw member - $65
    Moog 4 tie rods from tw member - $55
    Nitrocharger front shocks - $287
    OME 883 - $159.01
    OME leafs - $345.54
    Rear Nitrocharger - $203.96
    Exhaust bracket - $11.47
    Leaf bushings - $30.98
    Brake bracket - $8.55
    ome lbj from Camelback - 201.45


    UCA, LCA, LBJ:


    Lower ball joint assemble
    OEM
    -Camelback - $97.78 each =195.56

    Moog
    - Amazon - 45.97 and 42.99 = 88.96

    555
    -lowrange - 65.29 each = 130.58

    Upper ball joints
    OEM
    -Camelback - $34.99 each = 69.98

    Moog
    - Amazon - $29.73 each = 59.46

    555
    - lowrange - 29.00 each = 58.00

    Tie rods
    Moog
    - Amazon - Driver outer 36.78
    ------ Driver and passenger inner 36.78
    ------ passenger outer 35.59 = 145.93
    555
    - lowrange - driver and passenger outer 30.00
    -------- inner 30.00 each = $120 total


    Everything Lowrange offroad (555) = 308.58 + 27.15 shipping = 335.73

    Everything Amazon (moog) = 294.35

    Lowrange tie rod, ubj, Amazon lbj = 266.96

    ___________________________________________
    Bushings
    front control arm
    Energy Suspension Part# 8.3115G $44.53
    steer rack
    Energy Suspension Part# 8.10101G $ 22.23
    leaf spring
    8.2108 $ 42.41
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  2. Dec 13, 2016 at 10:14 AM
    #2
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    The ball joints are "relatively" easy to replace. I did mine a few years ago with Moog brand which have been great, but no real added performance. Go to Rockauto.com for the parts (that's where I typically go, anyway). I think I had all my ball joints replaced for $150ish(?). I replaced them all because I was chasing a ghost "clunk" (turned out to be my stupid "ambient air temp intake" clunking on its heat shield - doh!).

    To add performance (i.e. suspension travel), you'd need a $600+ upper control arm with a uniball. You want more travel? Now you're talking $3000+ for a set of long travel arms/shocks/fabrication/fiberglass fenders, etc...

    If you're doing your front coils, I would certainly consider replacing the leaf packs, too. Mine, at 130k, look like "w's", lol. I'm considering All-Pro Offroad's "pro" kit for ~$1500 (2-3" lift, front and rear shocks, springs, etc...). Or, for a grand, you get All-Pro's standard kit with a rear AAL, but, IMO, AAL's are just a band-aid fix for warn out leafs.

    But if you go for coils and 5100's, save yourself the $100 and go to your local auto parts and rent a coil spring compressor. I went to an O'Reilly's, the rental is actually free. You just pay a refundable deposit (and can keep the tool if you want to! but don't...).

    The other thing to consider is your bushings. If you're going through all the trouble of "upgrading" your suspension, you might as well consider urethane bushings too. But again, there are trade-offs. They actually make the ride a bit more "harsh" (truck-like, lol) but the steering and suspension are more precise. Urethane bushings require additional maintenance (periodically greasing them), and it's not all that easy to get the oem rubber ones out (I *burned* mine out with a torch!).

    If your steering feels loose, go ahead and replace the tie rod ends, too. But loose steering could be a warn out rack (or any number of connections from the steering wheel to the tires, too). If you want to replace ALL that stuff, you're likely looking at well over a grand.

    Alternatively, get a set of 5100's for $300 and use your oem springs (there's a supplier on this site that gives a tacomaworld discount), shackles in the back (to lift up those sagging leafs) for $50, and budget another $400-500ish for all your ball joints, tie rod ends, bushings, etc...
     
    Wulf, NightProwler and WildLand [OP] like this.
  3. Dec 13, 2016 at 10:31 AM
    #3
    NightProwler

    NightProwler Well-Known Member

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    Front coil assembly? I did because it comes with all new top plate hardware and bushings which I needed/wanted to replace anyways so it was only ~$34 to have them assemble them. And will save you a lot of time. You could just assemble them yourself and use the suspension to install the strut instead of compressor.. If your hardware is still good.

    Leafs or aal? Dakars will Probly net you more lift than you want. You may need to remove the overloads. But depending on if you offroad, I personally think dakars aren't worth it unless you're actually gonna use them. They can provide lots of flex, and load with the overloads. Think of it as future proofing yourself if you ever plan to carry a big load, or want even more flex down the road with a shock relocate. Which is what I'm planning on. Gonna be a while so when I have time I'll be removing the overloads for a better ride until I get load bearing gear then reinstall. Otherwise just get an aal to save money if you don't plan on either of those things. Right now the dakars aren't really doing anything for me except providing lift. Again got future plans for those..

    Lca does not need replaced. I recommend and suggest you just replace the bushings. I just used moogs. Pretty easy to get out with the bottle jack method. Granted you have the right tools like a perfect sized socket or something similar to press them out/in. Plus they're rubber. But to each their own with those. I like rubber for most "dry" parts that can't be lubed. I put in poly bushings for the rack too. They were really worn.

    Upper control arms may not be needed. You could wait on those and see how it performs. Then go from there and get racing's if you have rubbing. But either way they're gonna be worth it in the end.
    Ball joints and tie rods could be replaced. I use the AutoZone ones and just replace for free when the boots start to tear. Since they're liftime warrantied. But they don't necessarily need to be replaced unless there's play. Check em. But for the cost of dakars, you could get most of that replaced and have it all done. And get dakars later. Just make sure your leafs are still in fairly good shape and none are cracked or anything. Aals will get you by, but somewhat temporarily. They're only gonna get worse.

    I say, with your budget, do 5100s and assemble your coils yourself (If your stock top plate hardware is still good). With aal. And replace all other moving parts up front, like lower ball joints, lca bushings, rack bushings, tie rods. Them later do the leafs and upper control arms. Front has way more components to worry about than the rear and is more important I think. The rear can wait. Idk why some people say to start with the rear..
     
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  4. Dec 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM
    #4
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Thanks for the info! Let me take some more time to read each of your responses and I'll reply. Multitasking here at work :thumbsup:
     
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  5. Dec 13, 2016 at 10:55 AM
    #5
    NightProwler

    NightProwler Well-Known Member

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    Ha. We basically said the same thing. I was typing while he posted. Lol. You really can't go too wrong. Just depends on how good your other components are. If all your suspensions parts are in great shape, do the major stuff. If you need to replace all kinds of bushings and ball joints and tie rods, any moving parts, then focus on those and get what you can with the left over like coils and aal. Then later on when you save more, get the leafs and uca. Thats why I said not to do the upper control arm ball joints and bushings tho, because if you get rubbing with the stock arms and need to replace, no point in replacing those bushings and ball joint until you know you're good;) And if you wanna go with just light racing or uniballs too. I think light racing's come with new bushings too tho.
     
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  6. Dec 13, 2016 at 11:30 AM
    #6
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    The last question is what are you going to do with your truck? Is it a mall-runner, or do you actually get the thing dirty?

    Reason being, if this is your daily driver, and you just want to update some tired parts, ignore the UCA/uniball, and focus on the moving parts like bushings and ball joints. IMO, a $600 uniball UCA is typically a pretty pointless upgrade if you're not wanting more travel (i.e. off-roading with it). But it's also something that can wait when you have the budget for it if you are getting dirty.

    For the total "off-road" package, you're probably looking at $3k easy. F/R springs, shocks, uniball UCA, urethane bushings, plus the other balljoints/ends.

    So get under there and make a list of all the parts you want to replace and put it in order of decreasing state of ware (most warn out at the top). Are your lower balljoints trashed? That's an easy fix, but if they're still good, maybe that $80 would be better served on the steering bushings or something.
     
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  7. Dec 13, 2016 at 11:52 AM
    #7
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Thanks again for the info!

    Sorry for my noobness. I guess both of you can either answer my questions so I'll just reply to both and go down the line of what I am understanding. Most of this project is getting rid of the spacer lift. Since most my time is onroad DD but with the occasional hunting trips down forest roads and dried river beds, I dont need to go all out but just replace some things that will be more reliable.

    For shocks and struts: 5100s front and back. I can salvage my stock plate and coils and assemble them myself (I've done it before with a friend on his T4R, remember it was a pain in the ass :rofl:). ORW has them for $334.99. That saves me from buying new coils and the cost of assembly (~$300). But then again, if I get a front bumper will I need new coils? I'd probably get a tube one with a winch so probably not I'm guessing.

    Leafs: AAL is a bandaid but OME springs will jack my back end way up. Don't plan on having really heavy loads only up to a few hundred pounds, Would be good to have some travel while hunting or rougher terrain. My springs are looking sorry with the lift block. But then price $362.90 for OME springs compared to Deaver 2" AAL for $104.99.

    Total so far: $698 with leafs, $440 with AAL

    UCA LCA: Yeah do not need a uniball for what I am doing. My wheels did rub on the UCA but got some spidertraxx spacers instead. Do not replace LCA either. Just the bushings and ball joints on each (attached are pictures of the ball joints) I feel like I should replace them for being so old, I'm going to be doing all of this, and the pressure caused by the spacer lift cannot be good. To replace the ball joints there is a special tool I need. For the bottom ball joint I can just buy the ball joint and do not need to buy that bracket too? Did I get that right?

    Tie rods: My steering does not feel loose but may be good to replace anyways since I'll be down there?

    unnamed (1).jpg unnamed (2).jpg unnamed.jpg unnamed (3).jpg unnamed (4).jpg
     
  8. Dec 13, 2016 at 12:05 PM
    #8
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    All the gunk around the ball joints is kind of worrisome
     
  9. Dec 13, 2016 at 12:14 PM
    #9
    NightProwler

    NightProwler Well-Known Member

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    actually it doesn't look all that bad! Yeah there's a lil buildup, but they don't look to be in horrible shape. Mine looked worse. Probly do atm. Need to replace mine before too long. Your shock bushing is bad tho! But yeah, I'd just replace those just because. Theyre probly on their way out. idk. I came from spacers and blocks too. And what you're getting with 5100's and dakars/aal isn't gonna be a HUGE upgrade, btw. It'll be better tho for sure. Just letting you know ahead of time.
    And I would just get the aal. And youre not gonna gain much offroad with just dakars. You would need to do shock relocate for that. You'll gain some extra with dakars, but probly not enough to worry over with what youre doing. Get em later. And then you can decide if you want greasable shackles and whatnot! But aals will provide additional weight capability as well.

    And yeah I wasn't sure if you would actually NEED ucas or not. Some do. The first thing I got was camburg ucas because with my spacer lift, when i got the truck, uca was clunking on coils. And it future proofed me. Eventually I'll be going mid travel tho. But yeah skip those if you can. Then I would focus on whether or not you need to replace the stock uca bushings. Not sure on the process of those.
     
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  10. Dec 13, 2016 at 12:37 PM
    #10
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    :rofl: is that bolt for the shock supposed to be in the middle, not at the top?

    yeah I figured it won't feel a lot better but yeah it will be better for the truck.

    With the ball joints again, I need that bottleneck tool and it pops them out and then you can use it to press the news ones back in? Was it not too bad of an install?

    And tie rods, I believe they are fine. But now looking at the symptoms I will look out to see if I notice them. Because this would be the time to change them as well. Would I have to replace both inner and outer?

    Sweet so total so far for shocks struts and aal is about $440. Now time to source out bushings and ball joints.

    edit: looks like for the bottom ones I can just buy the whole assembly for under $10. For the top I just buy the ball. Right?
    http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2000,tacoma,3.4l+v6,1364723,suspension,ball+joint,10070
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  11. Dec 13, 2016 at 1:38 PM
    #11
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Nahhhh, you got another 50k miles on those shock bushings. They're fine! :)

    As for the ball joint tool, I rented that from the auto parts store too. iirc, I had to go back a couple times to get the right one, it's been so long that I honestly don't remember which one worked best.

    I do remember that I ended up cutting off the post on the upper BJ's so the tool would fit to remove it from the control arm - but that that point I was committed!

    I remember this being really useful:
    http://www.bajataco.com/tech/control_arms_01.html

    their method for reinstalling the upper BJ was a PITA, for me at least, and it took a while to get it aligned properly and in straight.

    For the tie rods, you might as well replace both if you're under there. But do them 1 at a time, though, and take a bunch of measurements before and after so you don't screw up your alignment too badly. Then, when you're all done (with the whole front/rear end), take it in to be properly aligned.

    If you have slop in your steering, the way to tell where the slop is, is to have a friend rock the steering wheel back and forth (but don't fully turn the wheel, just jiggle enough to feel the slop at teh wheel), then hold each of the rod ends and see if you feel any play.
     
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  12. Dec 13, 2016 at 1:48 PM
    #12
    NightProwler

    NightProwler Well-Known Member

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  13. Dec 13, 2016 at 2:55 PM
    #13
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    :woot: feeling more confident about this now!

    I'll get some moog lca and uca bushings. Seem like around $20-30 a pair. I'll get new shock bushings with my new shocks. Inner and outer tie rods seem $60. lbj and ubj $5-$15 a side.
     
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  14. Dec 13, 2016 at 3:10 PM
    #14
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    (I'll probably post links to make sure I am getting the right ones)
     
  15. Dec 13, 2016 at 3:22 PM
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    Digiratus

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    Don't cheap out on the lower ball joints. Aftermarket LBJs are notworth the risk of failure. Go with OEM LBJs.
     
  16. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:12 PM
    #16
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    True true didn't notice I wasn't looking at OEM. Well damn, those are pricey compared to what I was looking at :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  17. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:25 PM
    #17
    cruiserguy

    cruiserguy Well-Known Member

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    What's the part number for just the lower ball joint, not the assembly?
     
  18. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:56 PM
    #18
    maulcruiser

    maulcruiser Well-Known Member

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    You can't get just the ball joint. It has to come with the lower housing.
     
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  19. Dec 14, 2016 at 6:48 AM
    #19
    WildLand

    WildLand [OP] Does Ursus arctos defecate in deciduous forest?

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    Post just for my reference and others if wanting to see price difference

    Lower ball joint assemble
    OEM
    -Camelback - $97.78 each =195.56

    Moog
    - Amazon - 45.97 and 42.99 = 88.96

    555
    -lowrange - 65.29 each = 130.58

    Upper ball joints
    OEM
    -Camelback - $34.99 each = 69.98

    Moog
    - Amazon - $29.73 each = 59.46

    555
    - lowrange - 29.00 each = 58.00

    Tie rods
    Moog
    - Amazon - Driver outer 36.78
    ------ Driver and passenger inner 36.78
    ------ passenger outer 35.59
    555
    - lowrange - driver and passenger outer 30.00
    -------- inner 30.00 each
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  20. Dec 14, 2016 at 7:10 AM
    #20
    boostedka

    boostedka Well-Known Member

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    2004 4Runner
    Don't forget to install a set of Energy Suspension Steering rack bushings. At that mileage, they probably have a lot of play in them and the shop won't be able to get your alignment exactly right. The set is only about $20-25 and much easier to install while you have the tie rod ends off of the steering rack.

    I did something similar with my truck 2 summers back. I did LBJ's, Rack bushings, inner and outer tie rods, and TC UCA's (that I got used from a local friend). I already had ICON's on it at the time that I had kept from my previous truck. It made a huge difference in the way the truck steers and handles. I would like to have done lower control arms (or at least the bushings in them) but I honestly just didn't think about it at the time.

    Edit: Also, those upper BJ's were a bitch to get out!
     

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