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New truck, questions on winch controller and suspension

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Sogoku19, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Mar 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM
    #1
    Sogoku19

    Sogoku19 [OP] Member

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    Hi guys, I just bought my dream truck but she needs a few touches here and there and I don’t have any mechanical experience so I’m looking for advice.

    My first question is about the suspension. As you can see there is a bit of metal missing and a small crack going around the cylindrical thing above the tire. I don’t know if it’s a spacer or what. I’m already working on getting it replaced but I don’t know what it is or what can be used to replace it, input is appreciated.

    Second question: I don’t have a controller for this winch and I want to buy one but it’s been painted over so no model name or number has made itself apparent to me. It’s a 5 pin connector and I’m wondering if I can just get one that’s got 5 pins and call it good or if they are model-specific.

    I can provide more photos upon request for clarification on any of it. Thank you guys in advance.

    P.s. this is my first post and I’m on mobile while on lunch so I apologize for any format shortcomings.710D6959-D398-42E8-9588-70CD32F97AF1.jpgECDA192E-C07B-484B-A59C-B8196A421D33.jpg
     
  2. Mar 14, 2019 at 10:55 AM
    #2
    frizzman

    frizzman Well-Known Member

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    the box on top of the "winch" looks like there is a red W which is related to the Warn brand (https://www.warn.com/)

    as for the suspension that's a ball-joint spacer usually associated with a lift kit. generally disliked for the bad design and extra point of failure.

    you could grab more pics of the rest of the suspension and post them later, after work of course, and then get advice on swapping it out for a better designed "lift kit"
     
  3. Mar 14, 2019 at 10:57 AM
    #3
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Extra-Large Member

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    Nothing to get excited about
    That big "W" on the solenoid cover would suggest Warn. Probably an M8000, but don't hold me to that.
     
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  4. Mar 14, 2019 at 11:10 AM
    #4
    frizzman

    frizzman Well-Known Member

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    I wondered what that thing was and why they cut the grill out to accommodate. it almost looks like the controller box but :notsure:

    I'd be interested what bumper that is too
     
    2BeersPlease likes this.
  5. Mar 14, 2019 at 11:27 AM
    #5
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Balljoint spacers: kill it with fire:eek:

    That potato looking thing above the wheel is a balljoint spacer which basically increases the loads on the balljoint and the spindle. Probably a 6" lift, right? With that balljoint spacer, I'm betting your rear is lifted using blocks, which is also not a great design.

    If I were you, and you intend to go off-roading with this truck, I would remove that 6" lift, repair the crossmember (the metal bar between the lower front suspension pivots) that was cut up to install the lift in order to "revert to stock", then install a ~3" lift using proper coilovers and leaf springs/add-a-leaf.
     
  6. Mar 14, 2019 at 11:28 AM
    #6
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    That's definitely the control box, but it looks like it has been "customized", but it's a shame the grill was cut out to fit it. You can move them so avoid cutting like that. I'm in the process of figuring out how to mount the control box for my VR10 so I don't have to cut the grill.
     
    cruiserguy and NunyaBizness like this.
  7. Mar 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM
    #7
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Extra-Large Member

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    Nothing to get excited about
    I didn't notice that at first. What a dumb thing to do.
     
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  8. Mar 14, 2019 at 2:53 PM
    #8
    Sogoku19

    Sogoku19 [OP] Member

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    Ok when I get home I’ll get more pics for a better idea of what’s going on. The thing is I just dropped a lot of money on the truck for purchase so I do have some to work with but I’m need to be as sensible as I can. Priority one is to get the suspension safe to drive to work everyday. How bad is a ball joint spacer and what am I looking at , money wise, to legitimize my lift? I’m not rock crawling or doing any serious off roaring very soon. The plan was to go camping with my boy and cross a stream or two. If I can get by with a spacer and redo the lift down the road I may, if that’s a viable approach. Thanks for the input so far and I’ll add more pics later. Until then here’s an overall from the side.

    3DD4F487-69AB-4418-9BA3-5E7DA9C711CE.jpg
     
  9. Mar 14, 2019 at 3:58 PM
    #9
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    That's a good looking truck.

    It's not like it will fall apart tomorrow, and that would be fine for a so called mall crawler (street driving). Sorry to scare you, lol...

    But if you intend to do any legitimate off roading with it (apart from an occasional trip down a gravel road), you'll be better served in the long running a smaller lift. The kinds of lifts that you have don't really offer much, if any performance gains over stock, they just make it higher. With those tires/wheels, you should actually be able to fit them in with a 3" lift without much trouble. Maybe a little fender well hammering... Look up "pinch weld mod".

    For off roading, tall lifts are the opposite of what you really want - they just make your center of gravity higher. Better to stay lower, and get better shocks.

    I'm not sure about cost, but here's kind of what I'm thinking:

    If you were to replace the entire lift/suspension, I'd go with something like the OME 3" lift, iirc, they run like $1200 for almost everything a typical (from stock) lift needs. All new leaf/coil springs and shocks. You can piece a bunch of stuff together, but this is a very good kit.

    The elephant in the room is the crossmember I mentioned. That is cut off to make room for the lift bracket. That's the kind of thing that you'd just need to find a local steel shop/4x4 fabricator to fabricate for you. If you're handy with a welder and a torch, you might be able to hack one off a junk yard truck, and do it yourself... maybe... That should maybe cost a few hundred for a fabricator to do, but I don't really know for sure.

    Then, you'll need a diff drop kit, which, similar to the lift you have, drops the front diff to maintain your CV angles. But with a 3" lift or less, all you really need is to drop the diff ~1" (most kids are like $30).

    A few other odds and ends like an extended rear brake line, but I'd assume with the 6" you have, you *should* have one already.

    Then, while you got everything torn apart, you might as well throw on some new balljoints, control arm bushings, and if you're feeling saucy, new upper control arms. These are sometimes needed for alignment issues with 3" lifts, but not always. Best to do the lift, and get it aligned, if they can't get it in spec, then new UCAs are next on the list.
     
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  10. Mar 14, 2019 at 4:21 PM
    #10
    Sogoku19

    Sogoku19 [OP] Member

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    Thanks so much for the input. Here are a few more pictures for better clarity plus one for the guy asking about the bumper. B0E89606-83C3-44A5-8162-5A54B19067C7.jpgC777ED9C-50C3-4097-B776-A9206020510A.jpgCFA3F62C-CD6B-4AEF-A6EA-062EE11E7815.jpg6D2067D6-3E92-4EF7-9EA2-5211759ED06F.jpg
     
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  11. Mar 14, 2019 at 4:34 PM
    #11
    Reh5108

    Reh5108 Well-Known Member

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    I think there are companies that make a taller spindle for 6" lifts, that would eliminate the need for that spacer. I'd find a pair of these and not worry about the whole crossmember deal. For what you intend to use the truck for I think you'll be fine with a 6" kit. If you start getting into more technical offroading then you may want to reconsider.
     
  12. Mar 14, 2019 at 4:48 PM
    #12
    Sogoku19

    Sogoku19 [OP] Member

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    Nice, thanks man. ill get with my buddy and see what he thinks after looking all over the thing. hes a c ar guy though so i appreciate yalls special interest input. as for now, suspension-wise, id like to go cheapest and least complicated so i can build my savings back up. if anyone has a link to the spindles thatd be great so i can compare to the others options i can come up with as i research and check in with you guys in here.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2019 at 5:48 PM
    #13
    TacoTaco24

    TacoTaco24 Wet behind the ears.

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    Welcome to TW! :spending:;)
     
  14. Mar 14, 2019 at 8:31 PM
    #14
    Reh5108

    Reh5108 Well-Known Member

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    I think Fabtech makes taller spindles. You can try calling them and buying just the spindle. Idk if they come with the wheel bearing and hub assembled or not. Something to inquire about.

    If you wanted to keep the spacer I think Rough Country madness a 6" kit that uses those.
     
  15. Mar 15, 2019 at 5:34 AM
    #15
    Sogoku19

    Sogoku19 [OP] Member

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    After some internet searching it seems the spindle suggestion is only for 2wd unless I missed something, which is possible. I’d like to go ahead and come down to a 3-4 inch lift though so can I just lose the spacers and come down or do I need a completely different kit? Will I need new wheels and tires as well? These are 265 75 r 16
     
  16. Mar 15, 2019 at 6:48 AM
    #16
    Wulf

    Wulf null

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  17. Mar 15, 2019 at 9:02 AM
    #17
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Buying the fabtech spindles is an option, but honestly, they're probably fairly expensive and isn't a straight up bolt on procedure. You need to have bearings pressed (the tacoma spindles are apparently pretty tight fit and need a high capacity press from what I've heard, but never done it myself). All I see online are the 5 lug 3" spindles, so I'd try calling fabtech to see if you can get them separately.

    If you're on a budget, just run what you brung for now. Get the winch controller and test it out as Jake said above, and start saving for a new suspension system if that's the route you choose to take.

    As others said, 6" lift can be "good enough" for mild/moderate wheeling, just maybe without the balljoint spacers. Even then, lift blocks are a pretty terrible way to liftIn the end, the choice is yours if you feel it's worth it to convert back to a 3" lift. I'm guessing the spindles will be somewhere around 500-1000 bucks. Your other issue are the lift blocks in the back, again, they won't fall off tomorrow, but they do tend to increase axle wrap (your axle twisting under torque) and are just a cheap-o way to get hight. Just like the spacers in the front, they do give any performance gain, and if anything detract from performance.

    The irony is that for about the for the cost of a fabtech 6" lift kit (~3 grand), you can easily get a set of extended travel King coilovers, Deaver leaf springs (no lift blocks!!), and total chaos upper control arms; all around a better system for offroad, and you can still fit 33's. Ideally, you want the minimum lift that will fit your desired tires. Of course that's assuming you're starting from stock...
     
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  18. Mar 15, 2019 at 9:19 AM
    #18
    Wsidr1

    Wsidr1 Well-Known Member

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    Nice truck.

    Based on your intended usage, just my opinion, I'd remove and sell the winch and use the money to return the front end to stock. Or, replace that winch with a smaller one and a new grille. Sounds like you have already got a lot of good advice on suspension/lift removal.
     
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  19. Mar 15, 2019 at 9:23 AM
    #19
    Wulf

    Wulf null

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    OP can relocate that solenoid box into the engine bay and replace the grille with one that hasn't been cut. That is a nice winch and worth keeping
     
    Sogoku19 [OP] likes this.
  20. Mar 15, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    #20
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    That's very likely a Warn M8000, which is a great winch, but is near the minimum weight class for a Tacoma. The only way to get a "smaller" winch is to get one for an ATV or something, which is not appropriate.

    The main issue is the high clearance design of the bumper. Any other winch that's appropriately sized for that weight will likely require the same cutting of the grill. You can move the control box so you don't have to cut as much, but if OP wants a new fully intact grill, he's need a new bumper, too.

    I'm building (still, lol) a CBI Moab bumper, and it's low enough that the winch body will fit under the grill, but the control box will need to be moved or the grill cut.
     
    Sogoku19 [OP] likes this.

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