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I have to admit, this is scaring me a little...

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by zerocool120, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Apr 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM
    #1
    zerocool120

    zerocool120 [OP] Active Member

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    Mike
    Aspen, CO USA
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    All,
    I am trying to buy and build an overlanding/expedition Tacoma (see previous threads). My initial idea for the base vehicle was a DCSB TRD with a 3" Icon Stage 4 lift. I chose the Tacoma due to some brief research and my assumption that it was a very dependable truck, even after modifying it mildly. Now, after doing a lot more research on this site and others...there appears to be quite a few problems with front diffs, etc. Quite a few. And, the dealers are not covering the warranty 'because of modifications'. All of this has led me to becoming a bit scared of committing quite a lot of money into this project vehicle. Do I have the wrong vehicle picked out? I know no mechanical thing is perfect. Two questions:

    1. What is the most dependable 3" lift (brand) and what associated parts do you suggest to help avoid front diff issues (including tires/wheels) or any other obvious and common problems with suspension modifications?

    2. Should I avoid a lift altogether? (please note that I had not planned any serious wheeling, just self-rescue ability, increased ability to cover rough trailed terrain, and ability to handle the weight of the cargo associated with overlanding-RTT, bumpers/winch, water/fuel, fridge, storage, etc)

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Apr 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM
    #2
    YotaDan

    YotaDan Dan Vendor

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    An Icon setup would be a great way to go. For your situation you may want to stay at about 2" of lift on the front suspension. Kinda depends on what tire size you are planning on running though.
     
  3. Apr 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM
    #3
    TRICOMA

    TRICOMA Tacoma with the TRI package

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    I don't have any issues with my Tacoma and I am building it overlanding/expedition.
     
  4. Apr 7, 2011 at 5:19 PM
    #4
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    ^this.
     
  5. Apr 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM
    #5
    snorola

    snorola Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it matters what brand lift you use, if the bearing in your front diff is poked it will start making the grinding noise no matter what.

    I put in SAW coil overs set at about 2.5" of lift, immediately my front diff was making a grinding noise when in 2wd
     
  6. Apr 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM
    #6
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    there are plenty of cool and reliable overland Tacomas & Toyotas. Check out Expedition Portal for some good info. Maybe you can stick to the 2" like Dan suggested and run some 265's or 285s with a cab mount chop? Look towards getting new gears too, because these crappy stock Indonesian gears wont last you long with all that heavy gear


    http://www.expeditionportal.com/
     
  7. Apr 7, 2011 at 9:32 PM
    #7
    dysfunctnlretard

    dysfunctnlretard Hi

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    are you still on stock gears? what size tires?
     
  8. Apr 7, 2011 at 9:37 PM
    #8
    singlefin

    singlefin Well-Known Member

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    Don't lose your cool yet. You find lots of "issues" on forums as any forum dedicated to one thing. 2nd gens have been being built and beaten since 2005 so in turn you can see it as the can's and can'ts have been outlined for you.

    1. King, Fox, Icon, or OME for shocks...gonna need leafs to handle your weight so for get the AAL. Numbers wise your good in the 1-3" of lift.

    Read thru build threads here, TTORA and expoportal...quite a few built with your goals in mind.
     
  9. Apr 7, 2011 at 9:45 PM
    #9
    woody6047

    woody6047 McGrubber

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    My truck is in the works to be an Expedition vehicle (someday) and with the Icons and rear leafs i have had zero problems suspension wise. It will be a little while before i get to start building on her again though
     
  10. Apr 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM
    #10
    JDEMELLO

    JDEMELLO Well-Known Member Vendor

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    IMO the Tacoma is a great platform for expedition type use. If you have any questions please give me call, we have built a couple in the past and people have been very pleased with the trucks.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2011 at 7:29 AM
    #11
    zerocool120

    zerocool120 [OP] Active Member

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    Mike
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    Thanks to all for the comments. I see that a single specific resource, such as Tacoma forums, will naturally bring up owners problems with the vehicles. But Consumer Reports still has the Tacoma rated very high (one of the highest in fact). I guess the concern was 'what if?'. What if I put on the Icon lift...will I then ruin another component of the vehicle? From what you have told me, and from other sites, if you do it right the first time...you will not have to worry too much. A 2" or 3" Icon stage 4 lift with proper offset 285/75/16's should work for a while. I am trying to figure out if I will need a leaf pack for the rear due to cargo weight...I assume so. Also, lockers...with the TRD Off-Road, do I really need ARB airlockers?

    Growing less fearful by the moment!
     
  12. Apr 17, 2011 at 12:44 PM
    #12
    BenWA

    BenWA Well-Known Member

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    Concerning the front diff issue, while you may have read a lot of posts about growling/vibes coming from the front diff bearing, keep in mind that it seems to be a problem that only affects a small minority of lifted Tacoma owners. It's not a common enough problem for Toyota to warrant a TSB or recall for it (apparently).

    Plus, we have recently put a lot of heads together here on TW and on other forums to try to come up with some kind of affordable resolution/fix for the problem, and recently a few members have successfully replaced the shot front diff bearing themselves inside of an 8 hour day. I think it will only be a matter of time before somebody posts a straightforward step-by-step procedure for replacing the bearing either as a DIY project or for a pro mechanic. It's like $80 in parts and less than 8 hours of work for an experienced wrench.
     
  13. Apr 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM
    #13
    Crom

    Crom Outside...

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    The front diff issue on lifted 4x4 models has been a great concern of mine. The consensus has been that the only way to tell is to lift it and see if your truck has the bad diff or not. Sometimes it takes a while for the growling issue to appear after lifting. It's a roll of the dice...
     
  14. Apr 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM
    #14
    achirdo

    achirdo I Weld!

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    Suspension wise icon is a very good way to go. Although there are just as good UCAs out there for alot less money like built right, Light Racing, total chaos, and camburg.

    For the rear all pro expedition leafs or the OME dakars might be good choices for you
     
  15. Apr 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM
    #15
    sierrahsky

    sierrahsky Expedition Style

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    OME + Bllies , lifted I am at 3.5 but will add bumper soon. No issues but I expect to drop down by a solid 1/2 inch with bumper addition. If it breaks it breaks, that is life, but I am setting up more for expeditions that are far from town.
     
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