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Intro to fitting 35s (< 3" Lifts)

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by JoeCOVA, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Feb 18, 2019 at 11:04 PM
    #1
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    35" Trepadors w/ OMF Beadlocks, Kings, OBA, 5.29s etc
    Hello and Welcome, to this week’s edition of “What’s the biggest tire I can fit.”

    Just kidding, this thread is about what you may need to do to help fit 35’s. Now this is just an introduction and covers some of the minimum tasks needed to minimally fit 35s. Notice how I mentioned minimally twice! There is a reason as this is just an intro; this thread is just a guide based on my experience and what I needed to do. Not all trucks are the same and you may need to do more or less in order to get your desired result, whether that’s just barely fitting them so you can drive to the mall or hitting up the Golden Spike in Moab. Ultimately, I am not responsible for you and/or your vehicle; enter at your own risk! I will cover advanced trimming in a later post.

    This intro is primarily for those who are running 3” lifts and this doesn’t necessarily apply to those running Long Travel Suspensions or the 4-6” crossmember lifts like BDS. However, some of this can apply to those even running 33” tires.

    Why 35’s? I ask this because you probably need to look deep inside and determine if you really want to put in the work to fit 35s. There is nothing wrong with 33s and serve most purposes but 35s are a bit of a commitment and for those who really need/want them.
    I chose 35s for several reasons (you can skip this if you don’t care). Firstly, was tire choices; I did not like the choice of 33” MTs and the MT’s I am accustomed to running were unfortunately limited to 35” and larger. Secondly, was off-road performance. We can debate this in another thread but a larger tire outperforms a smaller one in most situations, additionally an MT outperforms an AT in most off-road situations. There are plenty of other threads to debate this so please go there to discuss. Overall, I was not satisfied by the 33” tire range and new I needed a larger tire to fit the performance that I needed. Anyways, let’s get started.

    IMG_2488.jpg


    Gears
    The Tacoma is a gutless wonder thanks to it’s transmission and when you add 35” tires it becomes a gutless bloody wonder. I admit I never had an issue with stock gears but a lot of other people have. I won’t go into too much detail about gears but you can read my other thread posted below.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-5-29-mega-thread.557305/

    I ran 5.29s on stock tires for several months to include road trips and the truck drove flawlessly with them. Now you are welcome to explore 4.88s but let’s be honest, you need 5.29s especially if you are loading up with armor and other items.

    Wheels
    One of the biggest obstacles with fitting a 33” and 35” tire is not necessarily the height; the width is one of the biggest issues thanks to the cab mounts. You need to find the sweet spot that allows the tire to move without rubbing the UCA but also doesn’t poke out so much that you end up rubbing the cab mount. The more you rub the cab mount the more work is needed to fit. For me the sweet spot seems to be a 4” backspace. I run a 16x8 with a -12mm offset. Remember that you can always move wheels out with spacers but you can’t move the wheel in.

    Alignment
    The alignment is a critical factor to ensure you are maximizing wheel space. Notice I said wheel space and not caster. It’s not necessarily about the maximum caster and it’s also not about chasing numbers on a piece of paper. You will need a respectable alignment tech who actually knows alignments, knows Tacomas and how cam bolts work. In my case, I use SPC upper control arms, so I had the CVs pulled all the way forward as much as possible with the lower cam bolts then and the uppers set for the fine tuning. I have no experience with uniball style UCAs so consider that when getting your truck aligned.

    Check out post #139 for a great explanation on how alignments work and why it’s not all about caster. Thanks @tetten

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/intro-to-fitting-35s-3-lifts.594309/page-7

    Trimming
    This was the anomaly that no one ever really mentioned. Everyone just said trimming, trimming, trimming. Well, what does that mean and what am I trimming? Here is what I did.

    The cab mount needs chopped. You can go as far as to remove it and relocate it or take it to a shop to trim as much of it off as they can. I chose the later and had as much of it removed as possible. This is an easy modification that you can do yourself or pay a shop to do for around $200.

    CMC.jpg

    The Pinch weld The pinch weld runs vertically down the backside of the wheel well. You don’t need to smash the whole thing but most of it toward the bottom of the wheel well. There are two ways to do this, one is cutting slices into the pinch weld and using a BFH to smash it down and the other is not cutting and just smashing it. I chose to just smash it. I highly recommend you paint or epoxy the pinch weld to protect against future rusting. There are several youtube videos you can watch.

    Fender liner If you removed your fender liners then there isn’t anything to trim here or if you replaced you front bumper which required you to trim the fender liners then the trimming needed is likely already done.
    The fender liners don’t do a whole lot but they do serve a purpose. The passenger side fender liner has gill slits in the front that allows air to pass into the intake. Removing the fender liner exposes the elements to the intake. If you have a snorkel this is not something you need to worry about. They also protect the front bumper and fog lights from mud, dirt water and debris from caking up on the inside.

    Trimming the fender liner will depend entirely on where your tires are rubbing. I have provided a picture of what I trimmed in order to prevent rubbing. I tried to trim is minimally as possible until my new bumper arrives which will require much more trimming or complete removal of the fender liner.

    Below you can see where I trimmed the front and rear of the liner.


    Fender Trimming.jpg

    Front Fender Trimming.jpg


    Heat molding . You will also want to heat mold the fender liner, you can use a heat gun or torch to heat the liner to remold it to provide more space. I recommend a heat gun because a torch can easily begin to burn or melt the plastic and retaining nuts. In the pick below you can see I used two hex screws to hold the liner back. I heated the plastic and push the liner up against the wheel well as much as I could.

    Hex.jpg


    Bumper Trimming I trimmed mine minimally as I didn’t want to go crazy before the new bumper arrived. I trimmed mostly the fender liner attachment tabs and did some angled cuts to open up the bumper. If the tires are spaced correctly you will need to trim the outer corner of the bumper. I’ll try to get a better pic of this.

    Bumper Trimming.jpg


    Testing
    If you don’t have any close trails or a forklift near buy you can test your fitment with a quick drive. Driving around your block won’t tell you a lot, you need to put the truck in reverse with the wheel cranked and drive backwards in both directions. Next find some speed bumps or a curb and drive over it with the wheel cranked. If you have no rubbing then you passed the intro to fitting 35s.

    I will do another write up with more advanced trimming for those who will be wheeling.

    For those who went through this, feel free to add your thoughts.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  2. Feb 18, 2019 at 11:04 PM
    #2
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    Reserved for Advanced Fender Trimming:

    In this post we will discuss some of the advanced trimming needed to allow for proper wheel space in a trail setup for your Tacoma. This trimming is designed to allow for maximum movement of the wheel without any interference from outside artifacts such as fender liners, bumpers, flares etc.

    Fender Trimming

    After playing in Moab for 4 days and running some pretty tough trails I discovered that no additional fender trimming was really needed so I do not have a personal write-up for how to trim your fenders. I took some photos of @mesojdm had shared on the trimming he had done to avoid rubbing on the 35's. The fender trimming is most likely attributed to those running wheel spacers up front and/or long travel suspensions that push the wheels rather wide. Others running spacers may be able to confirm this @yota90.

    Cutting the fender is something you will need to determine before making the plunge.

    Below are some photos that @mesojdm shared.

    NP5iV9Cl.jpg

    wAdWTfrl.jpg

    waR4nDel.jpg

    x2EupMMl.jpg

    Here are some additional photos from @Trident904

    8F96E8A7-5E4E-463C-822D-0FEF230EF789.jpg

    F29B2E63-6CB0-4A30-9E38-6C554B638F4D.jpg

    Bump Stops

    Bump stops can be debated but the stock bump stops will suffice but I recommend swapping them out. While the stock bump stops will work the 35s will rub the upper fender liner and pinch weld while fully stuffed. This may not bother you but they will rub under full stuff. I replaced the rear bump stops with Timbrens progressive bump stops paired with a U-bolt flip kit. There are several options for the front offered by Timbrens, Wheelers and Toyotabumpstops.

    Spindle Gussets

    If you intend to wheel your truck with 35s, then spindle gussets in my opinion are a requirement. You can probably get away with it for a while but over time the Spindles will begin to bend and the knuckle will become weak. There are several options available for guesseting the spindle. I went with Bajakits and it seemed to provide the reinforcement needed. However, the Bajakits spindle gussets do not fit perfectly and will require a lot of work to make them fit in order to weld them. It's a solid idea that they came up with but its not perfect, prepare for additional work to fit these. Other options include Total Chaos.

    TIG welding is your best bet for spindle gussets as the spindle can handle the heat and a TIG weld will be much stronger than if it was MIGd and the last thing you need to be worrying about on the trail is breaking a MIG weld.

    I followed this thread to remove the spindle and it was super easy!

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/how-to-swap-your-spindles.204242/

    Test fitting the gusset.
    IMG_2588.jpg

    It helps having a clean workspace, though I'm a bit OCD.
    IMG_2590.jpg

    Weld completed and finished painting. The prep work to paint the spindle wasn't bad but it takes time, you do not want to paint any of the threads or the machined metal. The machined metal is super shiney so you need to make sure no paint touches it.
    IMG_2596.jpg

    Finally Reinstalled
    IMG_2599.jpg

    I hope this advanced section helps you in your progress with fitting 35s and prepping your truck to handle them without issue.

    Feel free to post your experiences and any other tips and tricks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  3. Feb 19, 2019 at 6:15 AM
    #3
    SearArtist

    SearArtist It's wet, slick, and ready to go.

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    A little of this and a little of that.
    :popcorn:

    What bump stops are you running up front? A lot of guys are running Wheeler's SuperBumps (myself included at a later date) to try and limit uptravel and hitting the fender while stuffed.
     
  4. Feb 19, 2019 at 6:30 AM
    #4
    JCOOR

    JCOOR Well-Known Member

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    But can I fit 265/75/16 stock?
     
  5. Feb 19, 2019 at 6:39 AM
    #5
    VangaSTL

    VangaSTL Well-Known Member

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    nice write up. Unfortunately I have 4.75" of bs and I don' think I'll ever be able to stuff 35s. I'm afraid I'm going to rub on my UCA.
     
  6. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:19 AM
    #6
    jeremy5000

    jeremy5000 Well-Known Member

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    Spacers could work!
     
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  7. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:20 AM
    #7
    Coot83

    Coot83 STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    TC 3.5 LT, RCV axles, Demello sliders, BD light bar/fogs, LP6, DMZ rear, SOS skids, custom bumper, King 16" triples, Locked-on hydro rear bumps...
    Just an idea for any of the long travel guys...with wider arms comes more articulation which will make the tire go a little higher into the wheel well. For the guys like me who are 3.5, glass is a given unless you want to trim 2-3 inches off the fenders/bedsides. But regardless, might as well remove the plastic lining cause your tires will eat them up when you take some big hits. Also, since the tire goes higher in long travel applications, be ready to hear the tires smack the bottom of your fenderwells as it takes about 1.5 inches of clearance for the tire to not hit at full compression. Some will self clear their truck which you have to be careful cause there is the possibility of puncturing a tire doing this, or they remove and start to tub that area.

    A reason why many LT guys go 35-37 inch tires is simply because we lack alot of lift for good reason to stay low and wide for high speed stuff. My set up personally I only have about 2.5 inches of height over stock and with being SUA with 35's I am close to the same height of a SOA guy with 33's so for us there is a little more motivation to get bigger tires so we arnt limited in crawling situations.

    My MPG also took a 1-2 MPG hit when going to 35s from 33s with having 4:56 gearing which is the conservative side from the 4:88s that yield more power, but have higher rpms which is not ideal for alot of highway driving. My ride also has full armor though which Im sure attributes to alot of the gas burn as well.
     
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  8. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:23 AM
    #8
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    Oh good call on the bump stops. I'll add that to the advanced fitting post to accommodate wheel stuff. Timbrens and Wheeler's. I know they also sell spacers for both!

    Hydro bump stops are too gucci for me :)
     
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  9. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:54 AM
    #9
    modifiedtaco

    modifiedtaco Well-Known Member

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    If you don't feel Like cutting off the front portion of the fender liner you can remove the bolt/screw holding the liner to the bumper then just push the whole liner forward as much as possible then reinsert the screw. The screw/bolt will hold the liner in place and it allows the liner to move a few inches forward without having to trim so much off. in my opinion giving a cleaner look. I have not tested off road yet but don't see the front liner being an issue due to the amount of clearance I have
     
  10. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:57 AM
    #10
    Jibbs

    Jibbs "When in doubt, throttle out!"

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    Good info in here.

    I will add that I'd strongly recommend hammering your entire pinch weld if you wheel. If you just hammer in the bottom, the top can cut into your treads when you stuff, I experienced that during my test fitting phase.

    The SCS F5s with 3.5" backspacing are excellent wheels for 35s as well- I was able to lose my wheel spacers entirely with those and still clear everything.
     
  11. Feb 19, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    #11
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    I know this works for 33's but I was unsuccessful with 35s. For some reason I just couldn't get it pushed forward enough and didn't feel like an aggressive heat molding.
     
  12. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:31 AM
    #12
    SearArtist

    SearArtist It's wet, slick, and ready to go.

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    A little of this and a little of that.
    Those are the wheels I plan to run eventually. I know a couple people that run them and they don't have much clearance issues.

    However, the wheels that OP has with the custom beadlock ring looks fucking sick.
     
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  13. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:34 AM
    #13
    Jibbs

    Jibbs "When in doubt, throttle out!"

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    Yeah I'd like to get beadlocks eventually for that #8psilife but I'm still on stock gears (4.30s in my case because manual), so didn't want to go crazy on the weight.
     
  14. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:37 AM
    #14
    SearArtist

    SearArtist It's wet, slick, and ready to go.

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    A little of this and a little of that.
    I have 4.30's with an AT. It's decent enough with 33's and since I drive 80mi/day, mostly highway, they work great for me. I imagine I'll need to move to 4.88's eventually if I make the switch to 315/75/16's.
     
  15. Feb 19, 2019 at 10:06 AM
    #15
    Jibbs

    Jibbs "When in doubt, throttle out!"

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    Thats what I'm on and its honestly pretty drivable still. I'm not really in a huge rush to move up, but eventually I'll do 5.29s and a front locker all in one go. Probably just drive the truck to ecgs and drop it off and go camp while they fix me up.
     
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  16. Feb 19, 2019 at 11:45 AM
    #16
    modifiedtaco

    modifiedtaco Well-Known Member

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    Ill have to take some pics of mine.. I'm running 17x9.5 -18 offset wheels with 35/1250/17's I only trimmed the part of the liner that sticks out other than that I clear easy
     
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  17. Feb 19, 2019 at 12:34 PM
    #17
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    Get those pics in here!
     
  18. Feb 19, 2019 at 12:41 PM
    #18
    Freegolf

    Freegolf Well-Known Member

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    Great info here. :headbang:
     
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  19. Feb 19, 2019 at 1:06 PM
    #19
    Bertw192

    Bertw192 An obnoxious member that won't go away

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    Katzkins, sport hood, T4R TRD Pro Graphite wheels with BFG KO2 265/70/17 tires, heavily modified Mobtown bed bars, tinted windows, Mesojdm OR taillights, TRD Pro skid plate, ADS Ext Suspension, TRD Pro shift knob, TRD Pro Rigid fog lights, TRD Pro grille, passenger smart handle, SSO Slimline bumper with Warn M8000 synthetic winch, TC bed stiffeners, RCI hidden hitch rear bumper
    I have no intention of ever installing 35's, but great write up and that is a sexy wheel tire combo.
     
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  20. Feb 19, 2019 at 1:50 PM
    #20
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

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    don't forget Toyotabumpstops.com
     
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