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Help Me Decide The Absolute Best Setup

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by R3b3lSon82, May 9, 2020.

  1. May 9, 2020 at 2:13 PM
    #1
    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    Hello everyone!,

    Frequent thread reader all across the site here, just not one for posting.
    I have spent a very long time researching more set-ups than I can count. Each and every single part and variant of it. I understand the engineering aspect of each component and how it will affect my vehicle. I just do not have experience with truck modification. All work will be done myself as well.

    To start: I have a MT Cement Grey 2019 TRD Off-Road. I have not modified anything yet because I want to ensure I make the right choices. I will intend to continue to drive almost exclusively on-road. A couple of times a month I may take a trip around 2 hours away on the interstate. Due to where I currently live the ability to off-road is extremely limited unless I drive 4 hours away. I want to build a truck that handles great on-road (better than stock) but still capable enough to go off-road in mild conditions (mild mud, dirt, terrain). I will never rock crawl with the truck. I want to keep the current stock wheels on for now, upgrading to 31in most likely a little down the road. Highly unlikely I will ever go 33in.

    I am looking for some suggestions you all may have in regards to my conditions. I will be doing everything from Front/Rear Coilover/Shock, New Leaf Packs, brake lines, bump stops if necessary, etc. I don't see myself adding aftermarket bumpers anytime soon, maybe a light front bumper way down the road, no winch though. Underneath I may eventually get full armor, for now just a steel front skid plate. I do not carry anything permanently in the bed. I am going to make sure I do not overlook even the small stuff.

    I know if I find all of the parts and pieces individually it will cost me less, which I am willing to go through the headache of finding the best pricing.

    Now, what I am considering so far is Bilstein 5100's, Dakar Leaf Packs, UCA's, and all of the smaller items to ensure safety and reliability. I consider Dobinson's, OME, all of the typical quality brands. NO ROUGH COUNTRY and alike brands. I'm very open-minded, I just see as many people liking one product as they hate it, making it hard to really know what to do. Testimonials from your set-ups, as well as your experience helping me would be great.
    My price range isn't huge, but from what I have mentioned you may be able to tell. I absolutely will buy quality and pay for it, but do not need a 3-6k set-up.

    TIA!
     
  2. May 9, 2020 at 2:33 PM
    #2
    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    sounds like you're on the right track. Anything more than 5100s/dobinsons/ome sounds would be overkill for your planned use. 5100s with their digressive valving would give you solid on road performance and be able to take some bumps offroad as well. If you're not planning on running any weight in the rear then I say just leave it stock or maybe an AAL since there's no weight, no towing, no back bumper, etc. Dakars and 5100s are not compatible due to the lift dakars provide. You can run 5125s if you want to run dakars but I think you may just end up with too stiff of a ride either way. This would also negate the need for new brake lines since your stock ones will suffice. With the money saved from not going with a dedicated leaf pack you could run wheeler's or durobump bumpstops which are really nice offroad. Also full skids underneath would be overkill, just a IFS skid should be bueno enough.

    If you keep the rear stock leaves then you can keep the front at stock height as well. Just swap the top hats and coils over to the 5100s. No need for UCAs either or the ECGS bushing.

    So from the sound of what you want, your planned use, and budget I would suggest the following:

    5100s front/rear with stock coils and top hats: $350
    wheeler/durobumps front/rear: $250
    IFS skid: ~$300

    Total: ~$900

     
    MattCowsmasher likes this.
  3. May 9, 2020 at 3:21 PM
    #3
    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    @whatstcp Thank you for the help! I guess I wasn't not aware of the criteria regarding the OME Dakar packs. Reminds myself to ensure things are compatible. Do you know if the Bilstein Extended Travel Rear Shock would allow for fitment of the MED Dakar? Or am I mixing in a long travel component?
     
  4. May 9, 2020 at 3:23 PM
    #4
    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    Yes, the 5125 Bilstein extended travel (part #: 33-230337) will work with medium or heavy duty dakars. Their extended travel means you'll probably have to consider brake lines as well.
     
  5. May 10, 2020 at 1:58 PM
    #5
    65skyturbo

    65skyturbo Well-Known Member

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    My two cents... If I were to redo my suspension and wanted to stay at a moderate price point, I would try the new Dobinsons IMS struts in the front with their coils and a set of their softer leaf springs. I had the popular 5100 / OME885 combo with 5125 (33-230337) & EL095 Dakars in the back and I hated the on-road ride quaility. Not to mentions the notorious Dakar squeaking. I ended up selling everything 5K miles later.
     
    Crikeymike and whatstcp like this.
  6. May 10, 2020 at 2:07 PM
    #6
    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    Thank you for sharing your experience! I have read a lot of people saying the same thing you have in regards to the Bilstein/Dakar squeaking. I will look into your suggestions.
     
  7. May 10, 2020 at 2:09 PM
    #7
    ZekeR7

    ZekeR7 Well-Known Member

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    So, I am on my third set of suspension. Here is my honest opinion and as a disclaimer, I am used to riding cushy vehicles (Range Rover, Cadillacs, and Silverado).
    The Bilstein 5100 rode the same as my stock suspension (had a buddy that had it so test drove it). The only plus side to them was the height adjustment.
    So I decided to swap stock one out for a 2nd gen TRD Pro Baja suspension which is identical to the 6112/5160 Bilstein (a higher tier than 5100). The drive quality on-road and off-road was a lot better than stock, but it was still too stiff for me. I was thinking it is due to the fact that Bilstein is digressive valving.

    I currently swapped out to a $3.5K setup with radflo extended travel w/ resi + compression adjustable customed tuned specifically to my vehicle and driving preference. I also got leaf pack, but I first changed out the shocks to see the difference and it was night and day. I hated taking my Tacoma on long trips because I felt uncomfortable in it due to being used to a more plushy feel. After swapping the stock leaf pack to Icon RXT leaf pack, it was like icing on a cake.
     
  8. May 10, 2020 at 2:13 PM
    #8
    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    I appreciate the feedback. I really can't figure out the route to go with all of this but I think I will get there soon.
     
  9. May 10, 2020 at 2:17 PM
    #9
    boston23

    boston23 Well-Known Member

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    Someone correct me if im wrong but if your are mostly looking for tighter handling on-road then you want digressive valving like bilstein or icon. I am not sure what type of valving is on the OME nitro shocks or Dobbo's.

    What would your ideal suspension do for you in terms of performance?
     
  10. May 10, 2020 at 2:18 PM
    #10
    ZekeR7

    ZekeR7 Well-Known Member

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    The best way is try to find a Tacoma owner willing to give you a ride with the setup you may want.
    Icons and Bilstein have digressive valving so they are stiff, but some people like their suspension stiff so there are no body rolls. I like mine to be plush to where it feels like I am floating (think ranger rover/Cadillac SUVs).
    The problem with a plush suspension is that their performance are not that good in some on/offroading scenario. However, you can get suspensions w/ compression adjusters to stiffen them when you do go offroad. That, of course, will cost more money.

    5100 are good if you are looking to only lift your vehicle, but from my experience, they ride the same as stock suspensions on the OR which I didn't like in the first place, but I knew I was going to replace them when I bought my truck. If you like how your suspension feels right now, stay with Bilsteins 5100 or go up a tier w/ 6112/5160. If you want it even better than that, but still want that stiff feel to the vehicle (think sports car handling/suspension) then go with Icons.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  11. May 10, 2020 at 2:22 PM
    #11
    ZekeR7

    ZekeR7 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are right, digressive valving is that of what a sports car would feel like (minimize body roll for better cornering). OME I believe is linear like most kings unless customed valved, meaning its the same throughout the motion of the shocks.
    In terms of performance for what I do (camping and doing mountain runs at like 30+ mph and as a daily) my current setup is what I would choose.
    Radflo custom valved for my vehicle and my specific driving preference. 2.5 w/ reservoir all around to minimize shock fade, extended travel, and compression adjuster (knob that lets you firm up the suspension).
     
    boston23 likes this.
  12. May 10, 2020 at 2:22 PM
    #12
    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    that's what I assumed. Digressive valving keeps the vehicle nice and tight around turns and braking/accelerating. Gives you that planted feeling but can be regarded as harsh. When someone says on road performance I automatically assume digressive which is why I recommended 5100s above.

    But yeah, good point on clarifying what OP considers "on road" performance, as it can be subjective.
     
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  13. May 10, 2020 at 8:01 PM
    #13
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 Resisting G.A.S.

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    It’s interesting reading about different takes on shock valving. While some people seem to prefer digressive valve shocks for their control, isn’t vehicle control also up to components like the coils and sway bar?

    When I think of on-road performance, I think of how well the suspension performs when nailing a pothole or lump in the road at 70 mph. With my usage and driving style, that’s a far more likely occurrence than taking a corner too quickly. Would progressive valve shocks be a better choice in that situation?
     
  14. May 10, 2020 at 8:04 PM
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    boston23

    boston23 Well-Known Member

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    https://accutuneoffroad.com/articles/digressive-vs-linear-vs-progressive-pistons-shock-valving/


    Im not as well versed as some of the other guys here but yeah i believe digressive shocks blow out on big hits and progress and linear sock them up effectively
     
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  15. May 10, 2020 at 8:07 PM
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    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 Resisting G.A.S.

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    I’m totally new at this valving topic, having discovered it only 2 days ago. I have tried to put the linked article into some sort of usable context for myself, but have failed thus far.
     
  16. May 12, 2020 at 11:25 AM
    #16
    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    I am looking to reduce the amount of "float"? "bounce"? "loftiness"? Sometimes the truck is just a little loose on road. I want to improve the on-road performance with at least stock or better off-road performance. 3in lift is fine.
     
  17. May 12, 2020 at 12:52 PM
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    bhayes423

    bhayes423 Well-Known Member

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  18. May 26, 2020 at 12:42 PM
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    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    One thing I've really been trying to figure out as well is if I should just do an AAL or pick a new rear pack. I feel like 5125's would be the best rear shock, over a 5100 so I can go ahead and gain a little bit of lift. For the front, should I keep stock springs? If not, what springs should I pair with the 5100's? I read all about OME but there has to be some more decent ones.
     
  19. May 26, 2020 at 2:06 PM
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    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    5100s can do 1.5" of lift comfortably. 5125s would be 2-3 inches of lift. So are you looking for lift and if so how much
     
  20. May 26, 2020 at 2:21 PM
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    R3b3lSon82

    R3b3lSon82 [OP] Active Member

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    I would like to sit at 2.5 inch of lift approximately, but i know for the rear the lift really comes from the leafs.
     

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