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Rear Suspension: 5100s and Wheeler's 3-Leaf AAL

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by eltaco, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. eltaco

    eltaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally finished the install last night, and I couldn't possibly be more stoked with the results.

    Prior to this install, I had a 1" block in the rear, still with factory Offroad Bilsteins. The rear end has always been STIFF going over bumps, and especially STIFFER when taking fast hits (pot holes at speed, washboard, etc.) I just dealt with it for quite a while, because a truck is supposed to be stiff... right? That was all fine and good until I started getting axle wrap. Not sure what caused it to begin, as I had no issue for about 30k miles-ish, but all of the sudden I was feeling it at every stop, and every start... not cool.

    So, I wanted to stick with 1-1.5" of rear lift to accomodate my 3" front lift, but I certainly didn't want to make the ride stiffer than stock by adding an AAL. I did a bit of research and came across the Wheeler's Progressive 3-Leaf AAL package, which essentially replaces your factory overload leaf spring. Now, you supposeably lose 3-400lbs of capacity, but I don't tow or overload my bed often (ever?) so I wasn't awefully concerned with this. I decided to couple the new leafs with the Bilstein 5100s, due to a lot of the recommendations that I've read around here.

    Just finished the install last night and took the truck for a ride. What I found was jaw-dropping... I really don't know if I've felt a better riding truck, ever. I'm absolutely astounded by the bump-eating capability of the truck's rear end now. I haven't had a chance to find any extremely rough washboard, but the washboard that I did find were easily soaked up by the setup. I've purposely driven the truck over some hits that used to send my rear end sideways, and the truck just soaks them up now... absolutely amazing.

    In short, if anyone's looking for a reasonablely priced solution to a rough riding rear end, I think I would highly recommend this setup. I'll try to get some pics up whenever I find my camera cord, but feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to help. Gotta love Wheelers, those guys are simply amazing!
     
  2. S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

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    SAW 2.0s, Wheeler's 3-leaf AAL, On Board Air, 255/85/16 Cooper Discover S/T, CBI Sliders, Built right UCAs, 6" Harbor Freight Lights (converted to HIDs), KC Slim Lights.
    I wonder, since I have the 3-leaf already, if the 5100s in the back would make alot of difference?
     
  3. RelentlessTaco

    RelentlessTaco Custom Tacoma bumpers & more for your offroad toy Vendor

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    Had tons on the Taco's.... new truck is stock for now
    The guys at Wheeler's are definitely top notch!! I've got their single AAL in the back but ive been considering this mini pack AAL setup also. After your impressions, I'm thinking about it even harder!
     
  4. tacobox

    tacobox Evasive Maneuvers PMKMS

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    Day and night differance over the stock billys.
     
  5. SCLOSKEY

    SCLOSKEY Well-Known Member

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    How was the install, I just ordered front and rear 5100's along with the 3 leaf progressiva AAL from Wheelers on Thursday, I'm so pumped for it. Also, what size wheel n tire setup are you running??
     
  6. eltaco

    eltaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I wish that I could compre this to an AAL for you, but I simply don't have the experience with it to say. I will say that this 3-Leaf is super plush... I'm WAY impressed with the ride quality!
     
  7. eltaco

    eltaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Install was not too bad at all. The hardest thing about it is that you will need a grinder to grind a rivet off of the back of each of your stock leaf spring packs. If you don't grind the rivet off, and remove the spring keeper (for lack of a better term) the new 3-leaf spring keeper will contact it.

    And for a special tip... Don't cross-thread your U-bolt. Not that I would do that... just sayin'
     
  8. Sublime

    Sublime Well-Known Member

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    Ya man, I've got the same setup in the back and LOVE it! Speed bumps especially feel much better. Going to take it off-road this week to see how it does. I picked up 2 massive leather sofa's last weekend and it handled the weight well. Obviously picked this AAL for off road comfort and not towing capacity but still did the job!

    Mike
     
  9. CaptMorgan

    CaptMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Know this is a little old, but I appreciate the post

    Think this confirms I will be getting the Wheelers 3-leaf pack but I am torn on the shocks. Part of me wants the Icon Resi's for bling and sincere upgrade, and the penny pincher side wants to do the 5100's...
     
  10. eltaco

    eltaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wish I could compare those two options for you, but I've only had the 3-leaf with the Bilstein 5100s. I can tell you this, if I were given the option to do it all over again, I'd go this route any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

    If you're planning on jumping or hard trail riding for extended durations, by all means, go with the resis. If you want to do some high-speed trail riding on rough or washboardy roads, the 5100s will be all you need. My truck just soaks it all up now! Washboard at 50mph, here I come!

    Honestly, don't confuse $$ spent for value earned. This is an innexpensive alternative to the deavers + Icon or Fox w/ Resis. While those setups might be better, I'm not confident that I'd get that extra 10% out of them. The 5100s and Wheeler's AAL are outstanding in all respects. I can drive this truck offroad like my last grand cherokee, and that's saying a lot because that SUV was a washboard-killing machine!

    Side Note: Keep your overload springs handy. Doesn't hurt the ride any to leave them in, although Wheelers says to remove 'em. I put mine back on to retain load capacity. :)
     
  11. 06TXED

    06TXED Well-Known Member

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    did you get and extra lift with the factory overload leaf left in?
     
  12. eltaco

    eltaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ~5/8" more lift. Whatever the thickness of the overload leaf is. The overload is at the bottom of the spring pack, so it esentially lifts like a block would lift. The only time that it becomes a factor in the suspension is when you load the bed enough to make it contact the leaf pack. You shouldn't feel any difference on trail riding... I'd highly recommend it!
     
  13. CaptMorgan

    CaptMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies

    I ended up finding a route that made me very happy. The Icons were listed at $472 but I didnt really like the reservoir being detached. I found some "OE" replacement FOX Shocks that look better than the Icons IMO and were a good bit cheaper. The 5100's are the same length as the Fox OE replacements while the Icons were 24". I ended up ordering the FJ version of the Fox shock that is the same length as the Icons. Also the Icons are not rebuild able (have life time warranty) while the FOX's are.

    Just got them in the mail today in fact :) I did order the Alcan 3 leaf pack and expect to get that in a day or so. Once my UCA's and C/O get here, they are going in :)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sublime

    Sublime Well-Known Member

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    Sick bro, those are soooo nice! So you've got the leepers going up front? You'll love the 3 leaf pack, its sweet. When r u putting it all in? We should go wheel!
     
  15. CaptMorgan

    CaptMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Still waiting on the Leepers and want to do all of it at once, shocks are the only thing I have got in so far. I'm not sure when I am going to get a chance to do it, see if I can use my friends garage. Hopefully I can get it done the first few days after Xmas or else its probably going to be the the second week of Jan :-(

    I am itching to get this offroad, totally down to put a trip together
     
  16. Ahshiet

    Ahshiet Well-Known Member

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    Damn fox resi Nice!
     
  17. Cr250jumper

    Cr250jumper Señor member

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    Any idea what your travel numbers are at the wheels with these shocks?
     
  18. CaptMorgan

    CaptMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Not really, i would imagine at most 10" as that's the difference between collapsed and extended but that would require the leafs to travel that amount which I am unsure of
     
  19. Cr250jumper

    Cr250jumper Señor member

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    They are slightly angled too so i wondered if you ended up over ten at the wheels. Hmmm just trying to figure out what I want to do for my rear end. Thanks though
     
  20. CaptMorgan

    CaptMorgan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah thought about that as I hit submit. Theoretically should be same/similar to the icons as they are similar in ext and collapsed length. More people are running them so you might find more information about their travel
     
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