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

How to: Install an Add A Leaf (W/ Pics)

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by RelentlessFab, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Mar 21, 2009 at 10:26 PM
    #1
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab [OP] Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Member:
    #4772
    Messages:
    13,419
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    Eastern side of the Sierras, NV
    Vehicle:
    07 SR5 4x4> 03 SR5 4x4 total> 14 Crewmax TRD
    Had tons on the Taco's.... new truck is pretty stock
    Alright guys, I got the rear suspension TSB in november and since then the back of my truck has been too low(IMO) because my old leaf pack had an AAL in it along with my 1" block. Thursday I went down to Wheeler's Off Road in Grants Pass, OR and picked up a new AAL from them to get the back of my truck back where I wanted it. They didnt have one that would fit my TSB pack perfectly, but that wasnt a big deal to me. They gave me a 1.5" AAL for a Tundra, and all I had to do was trim about an inch off one end and reinstall the antifriction pad for it to fit in my leaf pack.
    Here is one method of how to install an AAL under your Tacoma(there are some other methods, but this is what worked well for me):cool::

    **Please note that I am not liable for any damage you cause to yourself or your truck while following my installation guide or after installation. If you aren't mechanically inclined, don't have all of the necessary tools, or just don't feel comfortable working on your suspension HAVE A PROFESSIONAL DO THE JOB INSTEAD.**

    ***I have recently made a few enhancements/clarifications to the writeup due to a few people having some little catches during the install: Guys, just to further elaborate: If you don't have good tools, the mechanical experience, or the time/patience to do the work, Let a professional do it! When working on a truck or anything else, there will often be some unexpected hangups; Be prepared to have some. Things almost never go together flawlessly. This job might take someone experienced an hour and a half to complete, yet others may take 4-5hrs if they are less experienced or end up with a hangup(like breaking a rusted U-bolt as I did) and this is common. Just go with it and things will work out well in the end! Good luck and peace!***

    Necessary tools:
    [​IMG]
    -A quality floor jack(not just a little one from autozone or Wal Mart)
    -(2)jack stands or sufficient capacity
    -A 1/2" ratchet drive
    -A Torque wrench
    -1/2" drive sockets in: 21mm (lug nuts), 17mm (lower shock mounts), 14mm deep (leaf pack centering pin), 19mm deep (this was the size of my U-bolt nuts, yours may be different)
    -17mm wrench
    -1/2" drive breaker bar and 'cheater bar' for extra leverage
    -A large 'C-clamp', or a heavy duty 'Quick grip' if you dont have a big C-clamp.
    -Pry bar
    -4" angle grinder or die grinder w/ a cutoff wheel
    Optional but helpful:
    -A creeper
    -Pneumatic, or electric impact wrench

    Disassembly:
    1. Park the truck on a hard and level surface, set the parking brake and block in front of and behind the front tires so the truck cant roll.
    2. Jack up underneath each each side of the axle and remove the tire, once tire is off set a low jack stand under axle right behind the brake drum.
    [​IMG]
    3. Remove the lower shock bolt and swing shock free of it's lower mount so the axle can droop.

    4. Unbolt the U-bolts on each side of the axle and set the U-bolt plate and bump stop under the axle, or elsewhere out of the way. It may take some work to get the U-bolts off depending on their condition. Mine were dirty and rusty and required multiple coats of penetrating lube and working them back and forth a bit with more lube before they would come off. One of them even snapped, thus I had to go get new ones and will install the new U-bolts at the end.

    5. Remove the bolt holding the bracket that holds brake lines to the axle on the driver's side to ensure you don't put too much strain on the lines if you happen to jack up a tad too high. Jack up under the receiver hitch until there is about 3" of clearance between the leaf pack and the spring perch. This will give clearance to install the AAL into the pack.
    [​IMG]
    6. Clamp the leaf pack securely, and then loosen and remove the factory centering pin. Slowly release the clamp to loosen the tension in the leaf pack.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Installation and assembly:
    7. Make sure the main leaves and plates are alligned, then clamp them back together with the clamp(dont clamp the AAL, or overload leaf with them) to give room for the AAL install. Next, put some marine grease, or other thick grease on the antifriction pads before installing the AAL into the pack. Place the new centering pin through the factory overload spring, then through the centering pin hole in the AAL. If the AAL has one end that is longer, that end should face the rear of the truck. Next, slip the centering pin up through the rest of the leaves and spin on the nut a few turns by hand. Remove the clamp, align all the leaves and tighten down the centering bolt's nut.
    [​IMG]
    8. Cut off the excess threads of the centering pin with the cutoff wheel so that the bump stop will fit back over it over it. If you are also installing a small block, place it centered in the pin hole on the axle pad.
    [​IMG]
    9. Ease the jack so the axle lightly contacts the leaf springs. Manipulate the axle/leaf springs so that the centering pin drops into the centering hole on the leaf perch on the axle. *Make sure it goes into the centing hole, not one of the other open spaces in the block if its one of the cast style ones.*
    [​IMG]
    10. Lower the jack the rest of the way. Reinstall and torque the factory U-bolts to factory spec(I guesstimated to 75ft-lbs or so), or longer U-bolts if also installing a small block as I was.
    [​IMG]
    11. Reinstall and torque the lower shock bolts. Be careful not to force the bolt back through and mess up any of the threads.

    12. Jack up under each end of the axle to reinstall the tires and remove the jack stands. Torque the lug nuts to approx. 80 ft-lbs
    [​IMG]
    13. Set the truck back on the ground an enjoy your new AAL! :D
    [​IMG]

    **NOTE**
    You should re-check the torque of the of the U-bolts and lug nuts after driving the truck a bit, maybe 25-50 miles. It will allow things to settle into place and possibly loosen a little thus re-torquing them is necessary.
     
  2. Mar 22, 2009 at 12:24 AM
    #2
    canuck_tacoma

    canuck_tacoma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Member:
    #13980
    Messages:
    86
    Gender:
    Male
    BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    SR5 4X4 Tacoma Access Cab
    1.5" Eibach Front Coil Lift, Rear TSB, 265/75/16 BFG A/T's
    Very nice! Back end looks good up higher. I am going to toss a 1" block on my TSB spring pack to bring my back up to get the "rake" back. Did you have to install longer brake lines?

    I see you went back to the shiny wheels.
     
  3. Mar 22, 2009 at 6:38 AM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Member:
    #6497
    Messages:
    104,111
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    FlimFlubberJAM
    Tenoe, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2013 Rubicon Unlimited,
    4.10 gears, sliders, and lots of buttons.
    FWIW, the FSM states U bolt torque is 35 lb-ft. Many people have been torqueing them to 85 ft-lbs. (myself included)
     
  4. Mar 22, 2009 at 7:29 AM
    #4
    Hydrabyte

    Hydrabyte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Member:
    #12007
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    SR5 4x4 & 1996 4Runner
    Just did the same thing on my 09 yesterday, very simple and straight forward. Nice write up Chris!
    .02
     
  5. Mar 22, 2009 at 7:46 AM
    #5
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Member:
    #6497
    Messages:
    104,111
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    FlimFlubberJAM
    Tenoe, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2013 Rubicon Unlimited,
    4.10 gears, sliders, and lots of buttons.
    Eric did this write up. :)
     
  6. Mar 22, 2009 at 7:53 AM
    #6
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Member:
    #10148
    Messages:
    35,607
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Tucson, AZ
    Vehicle:
    09 TRD OR S/C 4x4
    TRD S/C, Full OME Suspension, LR UCAs, Relentless Front Bumper, Derpwerx Fab HC Rear Bumper, 285/75/16 Revos, XD Hoss Wheels, Safari Snorkel, Infiniti FX-R HID Retrofit, Airbags in rear, Optima Yellow top, Besttop, All-Pro Skid, All-Pro HD Sliders
    Nice write-up :thumbsup:
     
  7. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:23 AM
    #7
    Hydrabyte

    Hydrabyte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Member:
    #12007
    Messages:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    SR5 4x4 & 1996 4Runner
    Pulled the trigger to quickly, normally see Chris4x4 everywhere but not the case here. Still a NICE write up Eric!
     
  8. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:25 AM
    #8
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Member:
    #6497
    Messages:
    104,111
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    FlimFlubberJAM
    Tenoe, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2013 Rubicon Unlimited,
    4.10 gears, sliders, and lots of buttons.
    TO ADD:
    On the driver side, where the brake lines meet the axel, remove the bolt on the brake line braket. This will prevent the brake lines from breaking is you drop the axel to far. In the pics, it looks like the OP had them pretty taught.
     
  9. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:32 AM
    #9
    Y0TA

    Y0TA TW Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Member:
    #13145
    Messages:
    613
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Zac
    Missoula
    Vehicle:
    05 BLK TRD Sport 4X4
    15% tint, debadged, painted black interior, 50s Flowmasters, K&N, Tailgait theft mod, Leer Topper, Sirius Sat Radio, BHLM, 4300k HIDs, DTRL mod, Metra Ipod adapter, Hella 500 behind black billet grille, OME 885s w/ AAL, Light Racing UCAs, Weathertech liners, Konig countersteers w/285s M/Ts, Scangauge II, 886 bulbs, Aux. reverse lights, Custom Bumper with Westin 8500 winch, Marathon camo seat covers
    Nice! Needs to be a sticky.
     
  10. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM
    #10
    TEX357

    TEX357 TX

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Member:
    #12438
    Messages:
    2,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    05 TACOMA
    285\70-17 BFGoodrich KM2's 17x8 Pro Comp 7089
    Good Help for future add ons!
     
  11. Mar 22, 2009 at 10:32 AM
    #11
    LonghornTaco

    LonghornTaco Can you pass the bailout please?

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Member:
    #9763
    Messages:
    3,358
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jason
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Black 09 4x4 TRD Off Road Doublecab
    3" ToyTec coilover lift on Bilstein 5100s, Total Chaos UCAs, ToyTec diff drop, Scangauge II, 4D MagLite mounted on the drivers seat, Painted engine cover, Painted calipers (red), Painted skid plate (red) Valentine 1 radar detector hard wired, Damplifier Pro on the floor, back wall and doors, Luxury Liner Pro on the floor and doors, Kenwood DNX8120, 2 Pioneer TS-SW1041D 10" shallow mount subs, 2 Pioneer PRS-D4200F 1200W amps, Mr Marv sub enclosure, Hybrid Audio Clarus 6.5" components in the front doors, Alpine 5.25" coaxials in the rear doors, A.R.E. LSII fiberglass tonneau cover, All Pro bumper, All Pro sliders, Wet Okole seat covers, Sockmonkey Mountain badges, PIAA 510 SMR Driving Lights, Warn M8000 Winch, Bud Built skids
    Nice writeup!!
     
  12. Mar 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM
    #12
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab [OP] Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Member:
    #4772
    Messages:
    13,419
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    Eastern side of the Sierras, NV
    Vehicle:
    07 SR5 4x4> 03 SR5 4x4 total> 14 Crewmax TRD
    Had tons on the Taco's.... new truck is pretty stock
    Thanks for the compliments everyone.
    Yeah, that wouldn't be a bad idea too. I bent my brackets slightly to allow more slack and made sure not to drop the axle too far. In the pic they actually aren't that tight as they're pretty flexible and just look like they were taught, I just went as much as I was comfortable with while keeping some slack.
     
  13. Mar 22, 2009 at 11:47 AM
    #13
    Liam1234

    Liam1234 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Member:
    #1747
    Messages:
    155
    Gender:
    Male
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    09 DC, LB, TRD Sport, 4x4, Tow, Magnetic Grey
    Access Literider Tonneau Cover Auto Remote Start Nfab side steps
    Not being a wiseguy but being serious with this question.

    What was the reason you got the TSB done in the first place? It seems getting the TSB done for you, then required you do do everything again that you had already done and had to buy new parts to do it.

    Thanks...

    I ask this because had I not read anything about the leafspring TSB, then I would not have known about this issue and since you already had a a AAL to yours, then why get it done?
     
  14. Mar 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM
    #14
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab [OP] Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Member:
    #4772
    Messages:
    13,419
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    Eastern side of the Sierras, NV
    Vehicle:
    07 SR5 4x4> 03 SR5 4x4 total> 14 Crewmax TRD
    Had tons on the Taco's.... new truck is pretty stock
    Well, to best answer your question, I haul large loads quite regularly. These vary from a dump trailer with a yard of 2" drain rock or a yard and a half of topsoil, to a backhoe or Bobcat loader, to a cord-cord and a half of firewood, to fun stuff like a trailer with 3 quads and another one in the bed. I regularly bottomed out my leaf springs, even with the aal in it, so when I heard about the TSB I knew it was for me. The requirement of having to add another AAL was not an issue for me. I am quite mechanically inclined and the AAL was only $70. So all it cost me was the time of getting the TSB done(one day without my truck), $70 for the AAL, and an evening of time to do the install. Well worth it when the truck is loaded down so constantly.:cool:
     
  15. Mar 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM
    #15
    Liam1234

    Liam1234 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Member:
    #1747
    Messages:
    155
    Gender:
    Male
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    09 DC, LB, TRD Sport, 4x4, Tow, Magnetic Grey
    Access Literider Tonneau Cover Auto Remote Start Nfab side steps
    Thanks and makes sense to me now. By the way, great pics and great write up.
     
  16. Mar 23, 2009 at 9:40 AM
    #16
    neslerrah

    neslerrah Who needs 4WD?

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Member:
    #4803
    Messages:
    6,722
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Harrelsen
    Tucson
    Vehicle:
    5 lug BEAST!
    Secondary air filter removed, elbow mod, BFG KM2 (33x10.5R15), American Racing Mojaves, Debadged, BHLM, Dome Light MOD (Blue), Hella 500 behind recessed Satoshi Grille, Kenwood headunit, Sockmonkey 'TACOMA' Decals, Readylift 5-lug SST, Rear Shocks - Bilstein TRD, Dynomax Super Turbo #17748, DDM Slim Ballast HID Kit H4 Hi/Lo -35W 6000K in headlights, Apexcone Raptor HID Kit H3 - 35W 6000K in Hella 500s, aFe CAI #51-10762, WeatherTech Floorliner, 200W Smart AC Inverter
    Great writeup. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Mar 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM
    #17
    cbcs1987

    cbcs1987 Redneck from the hills

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Member:
    #5670
    Messages:
    1,339
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Cody
    East Tennessee
    Vehicle:
    2007 Tacoma 4wd access cab
    6" Fabtech coilover lift. 35/12.50/17 Mickey Thompson MTZ, 17x9 ProComp 1089 wheels painted black, UWS black lowprofile toolbox, husky liners, tacoma bed mat, bed lights, Premier stereo, Cobra 19 cb, firestik 3' antenna.
    wow that seems incredibly easy! That just convinced me to go ahead and install my entire lift myself. Thanks for the write up. Like the way your truck looks!
     
  18. Mar 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM
    #18
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Member:
    #2352
    Messages:
    8,375
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Robert
    Escondido, CA
    Vehicle:
    07 4x4 DC SR5 TRD Off-road
    Weathertech front & rear mats, rear suspension TSB, Toytec AAL for TSB, Hi-Lift Jack, Bilstein 5100 & Toytec Adjustable coilovers, Built Right UCAs, KMC XD 795 Hoss Wheels, Definity Dakota MTs 285/75R16, Leer XR, Thule Tracker II & Thule MOAB basket
    +1. I've got an AAL that I need to put on.
     
  19. Mar 23, 2009 at 2:17 PM
    #19
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco clowns to the left-jokers to the right

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Member:
    #9084
    Messages:
    4,940
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ben
    SouthCentral Indiana
    Vehicle:
    08 Doublecab TRD OR Whitetail 4x4 SR5 V6 Auto
    Seat belt chime mod, Rear spring TSB, Xzilon paint and fabric protector, front tint 15% too dark, redo to 30%, Weathertech Liners frt&bck,foglights on anytime mod,use defrost w/o A/C mod. Powdercoat black TRD skid plate. Sockmonkey custom 'Whitetail' decals. OEM bedmat. A.R.E. V series shell with some goodies. WeatherTech vent visors.
    great job Eric. One of my favorite rides around!!:drool:
     
  20. Mar 24, 2009 at 2:36 PM
    #20
    Bellis

    Bellis friggin rad

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Member:
    #11528
    Messages:
    746
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ben
    mass southshore
    Vehicle:
    pyrite 6-speed 2012 offroad
    driver mod
    ok so im in no way trying to be rude, because in asking out of ignorance, i was told that add a leaf is unreliable, meaning i was told the aals break easy, only asking cuz i wanna lift my truck that way i think its cool
     
To Top