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

Roadmaster Active Suspension... For the Vertically Challenged

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Hot Taco, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Jul 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM
    #1
    Hot Taco

    Hot Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Member:
    #26526
    Messages:
    318
    Gender:
    Male
    Richfield, WI
    Vehicle:
    2013 Base Regular Cab
    Beefed Taco 3" Lowering Blocks DJM 3" Front Lowering Kit Custom C-Notch Intermittent Wipers LED tail lights
    When I lowered my 2013 regular cab Tacoma, I had purchased the Air Ride 59564 Ride Control Rear Air Spring Kit from Amazon.com for the main reason that I didn't want my truck bottoming-out so much in the winter when I have to drive with extra weight in the bed for traction. However, I soon found a problem with the Air Ride kit: It doesn't fit with the 3" StreeTaco.com lowering blocks I have on my truck. :(

    The photo below shows the bottom mounting plate for the air bag kit. The plate is supposed to wrap around one leg of the u-bolt to keep it in place. However, the StreeTaco blocks are pretty long and prevent the plate from hooking.

    [​IMG]

    I considered cutting the bottom plate, but then Tacoma World member jmarquez808 dared to buy the Roadmaster kit for his 2nd generation Tacoma to haul his crotch-rocket. That got me thinking... there's a lot about air bags I don't like, so maybe I should return the kit?


    Some of the down sides of air bags:
    • You have to maintain a minimum air pressure (~10 psi) in them at all times or else your risk damaging them.
      The manual suggests checking them weekly for correct pressure. I know me and within about one week, I'd forget to check them and would probably never check them in the winter.
    • You shouldn't let the air bags support the weight of the rear axle.
      This was going to be a problem. Some times I jack-up my truck by the axle, but some times by the frame, depending on what I need to do. Not to mention, if I take my truck to a shop, they might not know about the bags and might lift the truck and let the rear axle drop and be suspended by the bags.
    • Air bags often result in a bouncy ride.
      I've only heard this, I haven't actually had them to verify this is true.
    • Replacement bags are expensive.
      Given the extreme temperature ranges in Wisconsin and knowing that I wouldn't maintain proper air pressure, it probably would only be a matter of time before I'd be looking at new bags.
    • Mounting kit requires drilling holes in the frame.
      After just having spent $1k for a custom notch and the installer smoothed-out my frame really nicely, I didn't want to go drilling holes in the frame.
    • Everything gets stiffer in the winter.
      When I'm driving to work on a zero degree day, I'm almost sure the bags would be frozen solid and result in a horrible ride... not to mention that they might get damaged in such cold temps?
    • Air bags may rub on a rear stabilizer bar.
      I don't have a rear stabilizer bar yet, but I might someday. Guys on the X-Runner forums have had to modify their airbag kit to try and get the air bag to not rub the rear shock or the swaybar. Even with the modification, there isn't much room.
    Anyway, I really built-up a case in my mind for sending back the Air Ride kit and purchased the Roadmaster Active Suspension from Amazon.com.

    Upon arrival, the kit looked top-notch. The kit is pre-assembled, all the hardware looks beefy, and all the parts are either zinc plated or powder coated. Installation was pretty simple, but it wasn't until I got to the last step in the installation that I noticed that there was a problem. The mounting bracket on the driver's side was rubbing hard against my Bilstein shocks. :(

    The photo below shows my final attempt to get the kit to fit, but even after adjusting the front mounting bolts to shift the mounting bracket as far forward as possible, the bracket still touched my shock and chipped all the paint off. As neat as the kit is, I wasn't going to keep a kit that could potentially rub a hole in my shock!

    [​IMG]

    I contacted Roadmaster support via their web site. They suggested that I use their older generation mounting bracket which they'd send me for the cost of shipping. Below is a comparison of the new bracket design that doesn't work (top) versus the old (bottom):

    [​IMG]

    The older bracket design certainly involved more work to install. I had to remove the u-bolts, replace the centering pin with a longer pin, and then do all the remaining installation steps. Despite the extra work, I think this is how Roadmaster should sell the Tacoma kit. The install looks much cleaner now w/o the extra bracketing and there is a ton of room next to the shock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some X-Runner owners wondered if this kit would work for their trucks or if it would interfere with the rear swaybar end-links. jmarquez808 has the X-Runner swaybar and the Roadmaster kit on his truck, so I can only assume that the two will work together.

    I haven't had a chance to drive the truck or load it up yet, but I'll be sure to update this post when I do. In the mean time, feel free to post your impressions of the Roadmaster Active Suspension kit if you have it on your truck.
     
  2. Jul 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM
    #2
    Kavik

    Kavik Kavik

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Member:
    #71810
    Messages:
    3,363
    Gender:
    Male
    Texas, DFW
    Vehicle:
    Not your everday 5 lug
    Lowered: 3 inch drop blocks (Beefed Taco),Satoshi Grill, Morimoto bi-xenon H1 Retrofitted headlights, Flowmaster exhaust, Blue LED interior and exterior, blue LED dome light, Anzo black LED taillights, Hifonics Brutus 1100w Mono Block, Bazooka 300w Amp, LED license plate lights. Lifited: Fat Bob's rear shocks, Fat Bob's 3" spacer and rear AAL, Nitto Terragrapplers, weldertaco wrap around rear tube bumper, TrailWorx Fab tube front bumper
    Badass! So, would you recommend it now?? That bracket even gives you another 1/4 inch drop by the looks of it.
     
  3. Jul 13, 2013 at 9:29 PM
    #3
    Hot Taco

    Hot Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Member:
    #26526
    Messages:
    318
    Gender:
    Male
    Richfield, WI
    Vehicle:
    2013 Base Regular Cab
    Beefed Taco 3" Lowering Blocks DJM 3" Front Lowering Kit Custom C-Notch Intermittent Wipers LED tail lights
    In terms of fit and finish, I can certainly recommend the kit if you're willing to go through the hassle of having to contact Roadmaster and have them send you the new brackets. This will add ~$30 to the cost of the kit due to the shipping costs of the new brackets and shipping the original brackets back to Roadmaster. I just got the kit installed this evening and haven't driven my truck yet, so the verdict is still out on whether or not it's a good replacement for bags.

    The new bracket is pretty thick and in theory, probably does lower the truck another 1/4". However, the kit itself is known to raise-up the vehicle almost an inch, especially if you tension the spring for 40% more load capacity. I only adjusted mine for 25% more load capacity. However, I totally forgot to measure my fender height before I started installing the kit, so I have no idea how much it increased my ride height :eek: My truck does have a little bit of a rake to it and it certainly doesn't look lower than it was before.
     
  4. Jul 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM
    #4
    Kavik

    Kavik Kavik

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Member:
    #71810
    Messages:
    3,363
    Gender:
    Male
    Texas, DFW
    Vehicle:
    Not your everday 5 lug
    Lowered: 3 inch drop blocks (Beefed Taco),Satoshi Grill, Morimoto bi-xenon H1 Retrofitted headlights, Flowmaster exhaust, Blue LED interior and exterior, blue LED dome light, Anzo black LED taillights, Hifonics Brutus 1100w Mono Block, Bazooka 300w Amp, LED license plate lights. Lifited: Fat Bob's rear shocks, Fat Bob's 3" spacer and rear AAL, Nitto Terragrapplers, weldertaco wrap around rear tube bumper, TrailWorx Fab tube front bumper
    Yeah but if it really helps out as much as it says it does, it will be worth it.
     
  5. Jul 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM
    #5
    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Member:
    #5877
    Messages:
    7,535
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Keizer, Oregon
    Vehicle:
    08 TRD Offroad DC 4x4 with stuff
    All the normal TW BS
    Came across your thread randomly and had an idea for you.



    To solve this issue, you may want to take a page from the complete opposite side of the spectrum. In long travel setups (and sometimes even mid-travel), guys will weld on or bolt on limit straps, as you can see in this front IFS setup. This helps prevent too much front end droop.
    You are basically doing the same thing, just in the rear. At about $30 for the pair, a bit of metal stock and cost of welding, it should be pretty inexpensive to come up with something that protects the rear axle from tearing the boot.

    Maybe it's a crap idea, but I'm hoping it helps your side of the fence :)

    Reference pic below:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jul 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM
    #6
    jmarquez808

    jmarquez808 Large Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Member:
    #79323
    Messages:
    1,499
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jess
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    07 4x2 reg cab / 12 4x4 double cab
    **Afe cold air intake w/pro dry filter, Yellow tint fogs, Daytime running lights, led dome light, led license plate lights, Led tail lights, 3 inch carbon antenna, spec d projector headlights, carbon fiber look interior trim pieces, Djm control arms, Djm notch, 4x4 leaf springs, beefed taco 2 inch blocks with offset pin, Rear Qa1 Shocks, Sittin sic stock height coils, x runner bilstein front shocks, weathertech digital fit floor mats, debadged.
    The sway bar is fine with this kit. Doesn't even come close. It does not protrude past the leaf springs so its good. As for hauling my street bike it's almost Impossible without it. It still sags a little and rubs the e brake lines for me. Before installing this when I'd haul my yz250f I'd rub the ebrake lines a lot, really bad but now It handles well and doesn't rub at all with that. The other bike is around 400lbs so yah it rubs the lines a little but nothing serious. Without this I couldn't haul it at all. I need to do some more testing of it also I'd like to get the older style kit like hot taco cuz my shit is rubbing the qa1 and if it damages it there will be many tears for me. Lol
     
  7. Jul 14, 2013 at 12:14 AM
    #7
    jmarquez808

    jmarquez808 Large Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Member:
    #79323
    Messages:
    1,499
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jess
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    07 4x2 reg cab / 12 4x4 double cab
    **Afe cold air intake w/pro dry filter, Yellow tint fogs, Daytime running lights, led dome light, led license plate lights, Led tail lights, 3 inch carbon antenna, spec d projector headlights, carbon fiber look interior trim pieces, Djm control arms, Djm notch, 4x4 leaf springs, beefed taco 2 inch blocks with offset pin, Rear Qa1 Shocks, Sittin sic stock height coils, x runner bilstein front shocks, weathertech digital fit floor mats, debadged.
    20130625_184749_62c5172147f7f9567f6317d66ec80a7bd94912d1.jpg
    20130625_184632_3bd1803c309163105b24a68fa706978eaeedb002.jpg
    20130625_184745_436e7f92c0cf4092c8e1f2b23767512b2c4d458f.jpg
    Without kit
    20130625_164709_440f4c1c30534063ae9fba324e7529a9cce7480f.jpg
    20130625_163440_e4b5fda20af119c3aac806b3c81f0334ed945a98.jpg
    With kit
    20130626_211034_f81e868a22e990ef07d3cc1d7e66f0e24ea04804.jpg
    20130626_183704_47150ce4098fb7fbcf411d0109d6831a983f0d46.jpg
    Hauling my friends bike impossible with 3 inch blocks before the kit was in. It raises me an inch but drops back down about 3/4 inch instead of like 2-1/2 inches without the kit.
    20130701_161222_20205efccc88df1aea6d9ee1bb782e2cd39f9724.jpg
    20130701_161210_3b6a823f4c042658eb3bac5dc59b2702235ee7c6.jpg
    20130701_161215_bbfb1fb6d6b6b5c44d02b90c23f5057389d2ea42.jpg
    20130701_161145_a722d05223815a0de18886c998cec7a0cd0950bb.jpg
     
    SlidinYoda likes this.
  8. Jul 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM
    #8
    Phil Dammit

    Phil Dammit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Member:
    #74688
    Messages:
    8,325
    First Name:
    Your Mom
    Tempe, Arizona
    Vehicle:
    05 5 lug minitrucker
    4.5/5.5 drop, DJM arms, QA1 coilovers, 6lug leafs, QA1 18-way, rear swaybar, Batwing Big brakes, high flow cat, indy/hurst shifter, memphis amps, focal 3-ways, Eclipse AV unit, SunDown 10" custom box, TRD bucket swap.
    Another black single 2nd mini, I like. I loaded welder, welder generator, and tools in the back of mine on Qs without issue... I'm 4.5/5.5 drop. Just had to hump them up to support the weight. What's the ride with the helper spring like?
     
  9. Jul 14, 2013 at 8:55 AM
    #9
    Hot Taco

    Hot Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Member:
    #26526
    Messages:
    318
    Gender:
    Male
    Richfield, WI
    Vehicle:
    2013 Base Regular Cab
    Beefed Taco 3" Lowering Blocks DJM 3" Front Lowering Kit Custom C-Notch Intermittent Wipers LED tail lights
    That's one of the nice benefits of the Roadmaster kit, it isn't supposed to change your ride quality, which seems to be the case.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2013 at 10:36 AM
    #10
    jmarquez808

    jmarquez808 Large Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Member:
    #79323
    Messages:
    1,499
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jess
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    07 4x2 reg cab / 12 4x4 double cab
    **Afe cold air intake w/pro dry filter, Yellow tint fogs, Daytime running lights, led dome light, led license plate lights, Led tail lights, 3 inch carbon antenna, spec d projector headlights, carbon fiber look interior trim pieces, Djm control arms, Djm notch, 4x4 leaf springs, beefed taco 2 inch blocks with offset pin, Rear Qa1 Shocks, Sittin sic stock height coils, x runner bilstein front shocks, weathertech digital fit floor mats, debadged.
    Yah that is true with my dirtbike I feel like I can just rip through turns. My street bike feels good except for those rubbing ebrakes. I really need to do somthing about that. So annoying. I don't like having squeeks and creeks coming from my truck. If I wanted that I'd get a ghetto Nissan that's trashed and slammed lol
     
  11. Jul 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    #11
    jmarquez808

    jmarquez808 Large Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Member:
    #79323
    Messages:
    1,499
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jess
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    07 4x2 reg cab / 12 4x4 double cab
    **Afe cold air intake w/pro dry filter, Yellow tint fogs, Daytime running lights, led dome light, led license plate lights, Led tail lights, 3 inch carbon antenna, spec d projector headlights, carbon fiber look interior trim pieces, Djm control arms, Djm notch, 4x4 leaf springs, beefed taco 2 inch blocks with offset pin, Rear Qa1 Shocks, Sittin sic stock height coils, x runner bilstein front shocks, weathertech digital fit floor mats, debadged.
    Thanks bro. I think yours is cleaner tho! I need a welder oh and I need to learn how to weld lmao!! I totally modify this thing if I had the skills, bag it!
     

Products Discussed in

To Top