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

Lift vs leveling kit... Help me decide?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by bethes, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Mar 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM
    #1
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    Honestly, I've been trying to read up about lifts and leveling kits and now I'm more confused than I was when I started.

    I have a 2011 DC OR that's straight stock. I do a little light off roading, and there are some roads I drive to get to work that aren't substantially less rough than an off road situation. A couple days ago I was on one such road at a low water crossing. There was ice on both sides of a little stream, creating a pretty decent ledge of ice. The guy in front of me, in a Titan, made it alright and assured me I should be just fine. So I went for it, and I made it across but scraped a bit on the ice and actually broke the connector (bent the little metal harness thing and snapped the plastic part off completely) where you plug in lights for a trailer.

    So a friend suggested either a small 2" lift or a leveling kit. Clearly it's time to get something to give a bit more clearance. But... What's the best option? How will each affect my truck's performance as far as fuel economy, cornering, etc? Will I need different rims (I have the stock 16" rims and noticed I'll probably need new tires this spring sometime)? How much should I expect to pay? Are they easy to put on and I could handle it myself (or with a mechanically-inclined friend) or should I just have a shop do it? Anything else I should consider before deciding?

    Thanks, guys. (Right. I can hear it now. "Who let that girl drive a truck?" :D)
     
  2. Mar 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM
    #2
    rdd11

    rdd11 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Member:
    #72995
    Messages:
    235
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ross
    Red Deer, AB
    Vehicle:
    08 TRD Double Cab long box black
    K&N cold air, Exhaust
    Leveling kit is cheap and fast and you ca
    Throw on some 33's. You will gain 4 inches with tires in the front and 1" in the rear.
    Leveling kits can be hard on the front end and are much rougher to ride with.

    I was making this decision and I decided to go with a front and back suspension lift a out 4" of height gain and then 33" tires. Way better on the truck. Rides better both offroad and on pavement. Looks better. Doesnt affect driving as much either

    Biggest difference is price leveling kit 300-600 with labour. Suspension 1500 and up.
    If you have the money lift it right if not level it put

    Look up costs in the supplier section check out websites
     
  3. Mar 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM
    #3
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Member:
    #39131
    Messages:
    30,823
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    '13 Ford F-150 SCREW
    F-150 Mod
    Typically a leveling kit only raises the front end. The case you spoke of, you scraped the rear so a leveling kit wouldn't do you any good as far as that's concerned.

    I opted for a mild lift and here was my thought process. I wanted to keep a factory rake since I use my truck to tow and haul, I didn't want to swap out UCA's for alignment purposes and didn't want to deal with post-lift vibrations. I ended up going with 5100's all around (set at 0 up front), Eibach coils (gained 1.6" of lift) and a 1.5" AAL. I also went with larger tires which is where you really increase your ground clearance (since a suspension lift still leaves your rear differential as your lowest point). I went with 265/70R17 tires (1" taller).

    A lift will mildly reduce your gas mileage in theory although a short lift, you'll be hard pressed to notice. The lift coils are stiffer so cornering feels much better, also no more nose dive under hard braking. Personally, I think with the small lift, my truck handles much much much better than it did stock.

    A lift can be put on with simple hand tools. An extra pair of hands and air tools make it a lot easier. I used the "BJMOOSE installs an OME kit" thread as a guide. Take a look through that thread and decide if installing your own lift is something you want to take on.
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/su...talls-full-ome-kit-rear-brake-lines-pics.html

    Check out Toytec, Wheelers or Downsouth Motorsports for pricing. The Eibach/5100 kit I mentioned or the OME kits are both good, budget friendly lifts.

    Oh yeah, take a read through this also, lots of good info here:
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/suspension/11282-tacoma-lift-faq-guide-read.html
     
  4. Mar 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM
    #4
    TMW

    TMW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Member:
    #55300
    Messages:
    317
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    Bakersfield, CA
    Vehicle:
    04 Tacoma 4x4 SR5
    Light bar and bumper guard, 3/16 steel skid plates for engine, tranny and transfer box, OME 881 springs with 5100 shocks at mid clip. AAL in rear. Positraction rear diff.
    If you want to keep basically the same ride you now have for the least cost put Bilstein 5100 up from set for their highest setting using your stock springs. That will get you 2.5 inches. Put a 1 inch block in the rear. Your rear shocks should be OK. The 5100 shocks are under $80 each and you can do a google search for a lift block if your local store can't get em. At your next tire replacement go for a 265/75R16 which is an inch taller tire than the 265/70R16 which I assume you have now. That will get you an extra 1/2 inch ground clearance.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM
    #5
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    Cool. I definitely do not want 33" tires; not my thing. I'm happy to keep the 16s. I just want a little extra clearance. I'm not sure what the numbers on the tires mean, so I don't know how one set of 16" tires will be 1" taller than another set of 16" tires?

    I could afford the lift, but it looks like I can get a few extra inches of clearance for a lot less $.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Member:
    #39131
    Messages:
    30,823
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    '13 Ford F-150 SCREW
    F-150 Mod
    No, he means the outter diameter of the tires. You have 16" diameter rims but your tires are 30.5" tall. With a lift, he's saying you can clear 33" tires with the correct lift but you might have to do some trimming to do so. You can keep your stock rims even if you go with bigger tires (to an extent).

    Check this out:
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tirecalc.php

    You have a TRD Off Road so I believe your tires are 265/70R16. You can go with 265/75R16 and the tires will be an inch taller. Very generally, 265 is the tire width, the 70 or 75 is the aspect ratio and the 16 is the rim size. Use the tire calculator and mess with the numbers and you'll see generally what happens when you change the different numbers (Leave the 16 alone since you won't be changing your rims).
     
  7. Mar 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM
    #7
    dually

    dually Low and slow

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Member:
    #8205
    Messages:
    3,113
    Gender:
    Male
    Interstate underpass
    Vehicle:
    05 Indigo 4wd Longbed
    Not as many as the 98..
    Where in ND are you? I bought an 05 with a rough country lift already installed. I want to get rid of it if you're interested.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM
    #8
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    I live in Bismarck, work near Grassy Butte/Belfield/New Town, depending what's going on at work at the moment. Let me check it out a bit online.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2012 at 7:08 PM
    #9
    dually

    dually Low and slow

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Member:
    #8205
    Messages:
    3,113
    Gender:
    Male
    Interstate underpass
    Vehicle:
    05 Indigo 4wd Longbed
    Not as many as the 98..
    Im also in Bis. The rear would probably need new extended shocks but I would let it go cheap.. $80ish..
     
  10. Mar 5, 2012 at 7:55 PM
    #10
    jdk52

    jdk52 Bro do you even 'Merica?

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Member:
    #74223
    Messages:
    833
    Gender:
    Male
    Utah
    Vehicle:
    11 SR5
    3 inch OME lift kit, rear diff breather mod, cb install, sliders, brute force fab front end.
    Just joined up and this thread is exactly what I was looking for. I just found out how enjoyable driving through light mud/water (8in ect..) and some pretty deep washboards can be. I would like to keep the ride about the same...
     
  11. Mar 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM
    #11
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    Kinda thinking no on this one, but thanks anyway. However, since you're in Bis- where do you buy tires? I just moved there from out of state. No idea where the good mechanics/tire shops/body shops/etc. are.

    Umm... yeah. Now I feel like an airhead. I know my rims are 16". LOL Thanks for clarifying though. And thanks for the tire calculator link. That helped!

    I kinda like this idea. Simple. Friend suggested a leveling kit and said it was possible to lift the back an 1-2" using a lift or leveling block (I think? I'm learning a lot of new truck terms lately, never really had to worry about this stuff with my old Corolla. Sorry if I'm getting it wrong!). I like this idea better if it doesn't change the ride of the truck much. With an additional 2.5" on the front and an additional 1" on the rear, does that pretty much level it out? How much lower is the front on the stock version?
     
  12. Mar 5, 2012 at 8:24 PM
    #12
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    Welcome to TW. And feel free to jump in with any questions, I don't even hardly know what to ask so if you need some info chances are I need it too!
     
  13. Mar 5, 2012 at 8:36 PM
    #13
    dually

    dually Low and slow

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Member:
    #8205
    Messages:
    3,113
    Gender:
    Male
    Interstate underpass
    Vehicle:
    05 Indigo 4wd Longbed
    Not as many as the 98..
    I found my tires used from friends. For tire shops I usually get tires mounted and balanced at Tires Plus on expressway or northwest tire. I've had issues with local shops so I do everything myself. For body shops, Metro Collision on Thayer. A good friend of mine paints for them and probably does the best work in town. If you havent heard of it www.bismanonline.com is an excellent local classified..
     
  14. Mar 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM
    #14
    jdk52

    jdk52 Bro do you even 'Merica?

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Member:
    #74223
    Messages:
    833
    Gender:
    Male
    Utah
    Vehicle:
    11 SR5
    3 inch OME lift kit, rear diff breather mod, cb install, sliders, brute force fab front end.

    Thanks Bethes. I do know I don't want blocks on the rear, but for light off roading I am guessing I don't need to put whole new leaf springs on there right? Again, I'm new to this so if that was retarded let me know.


    Thanks.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2012 at 4:52 AM
    #15
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Member:
    #39131
    Messages:
    30,823
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    '13 Ford F-150 SCREW
    F-150 Mod
    I wouldn't set the 5100's at 2.5 if you want a stock-like ride. The TRD Off Road has progressive coils (it's the only Tacoma with progressive coils, the others are linear) meaning the coils gain strength quicker as you preload them. Preloading a progressive coil can make for a very stiff ride. If you want to go up to 2.5" up front, I'd look at OME 885 coils and at that height you'll be boarderline for needing new UCA's for alignment purposes (plenty of people are at this height with stock UCA's, it just might have a wandering feeling at highway speed).

    As far as the rear, leveling blocks will do the trick but the taller blocks can promote axle wrap and wear out your leaf pack quicker. A 1" block is small enough where it probably wouldn't make that much of a difference. The benefit of an add-a-leaf over a block is more flex (depending on the shocks).
     
  16. Mar 6, 2012 at 5:31 AM
    #16
    IndianTaco

    IndianTaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Member:
    #41057
    Messages:
    1,110
    Gender:
    Male
    i would get a 3" lift
     
  17. Mar 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM
    #17
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road
    Leaning toward a 2" lift now. LOL I'm a little indecisive. I was a little worried about the price but I just found out I'm getting a promotion at work and a raise along with it, so I'm a little more comfortable going with the lift now. Won't take long to get the lift once my raise kicks in.

    I'd like to keep the rims I have, unless they'll just look funny. A 2" lift isn't huge so I think they'll be ok. I think I'll get 265/75R16 tires (just a little taller than the stock 265/70R16's it has). Opinions?

    Also I'm going to have to buy new tires before I'll be able to afford the lift. Had the tires rotated the other day. I knew the tread was getting low but the tire shop guy said I only had maybe 2500 miles left. Whoops! Didn't realize they were that low. Can I go with a 265/75R16 without the lift? It looks like there's plenty of space in there. I'd hate to buy new tires and then buy more tires when I get the lift done.

    OK. Sorry for my latest round of silly questions. :)
     
  18. Mar 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM
    #18
    dually

    dually Low and slow

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Member:
    #8205
    Messages:
    3,113
    Gender:
    Male
    Interstate underpass
    Vehicle:
    05 Indigo 4wd Longbed
    Not as many as the 98..

    LMK when you decide on a lift. I have a fully equipped shop and I'm more than happy to assist on the install..
     
  19. Mar 12, 2012 at 7:15 PM
    #19
    WilsonTheDog

    WilsonTheDog Kylie's dad

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Member:
    #3496
    Messages:
    4,837
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Vehicle:
    07 Prerunner SR5 DC/SB V6
    Magnaflow 12576 muffler & chrome tip, Westin step bars, 27% tint, Pop N Lock, AFE ProdryS, bed mat, Husky liners, D-rings added, Access Literider tonneau, Pioneer 4-ways all around, GY Wrangler Duratracs 265/75/16, 5100's @ 1.75", 1.5" AAL
    ^ Take him up on that. One thing I wish I had more than anything was a second pair of hands. And a lift.
     
  20. Mar 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM
    #20
    bethes

    bethes [OP] Señorita Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Member:
    #68547
    Messages:
    1,334
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Beth
    Tulsa/Sand Springs, OK
    Vehicle:
    2011 V6 TRD Off Road

    Thanks! But you don't know what you're in for. I was proud of myself for changing my own spark plugs; I'm clueless about installing a lift :D
     
To Top