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Selecting a mild lift (TRD Baja TX Pro + Icon AAL)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by crashnburn80, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Sep 5, 2018 at 11:34 AM
    #261
    Goliath

    Goliath Well-Known Member

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    Dumb question, would this work on the early 05-11 2nd gen tacomas? And what about an access cab? I would think yes but it seems everyone's ride in the thread is a DC.
     
  2. Sep 5, 2018 at 12:05 PM
    #262
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Yes on both accounts. :)
     
  3. Sep 5, 2018 at 1:44 PM
    #263
    Goliath

    Goliath Well-Known Member

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    That's great, was just looking for confirmation. I've been looking to go with a mild lift on my truck and stumbled across this thread. Thanks to all your efforts I've decided to take this route. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Sep 5, 2018 at 6:57 PM
    #264
    BeerMan909

    BeerMan909 Well-Known Member

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    TRD Pro suspension with 1/4" spacers on each side Icon progressive AAL with the overload left in Method NV305 265/70/17 Falken Wildpeaks AT3W
    Here goes my TRD Sport. I added the TRD Pro suspension with 1/4" spacers to BOTH sides. In the rear I have the Icon AAL WITH the over load left in. I first installed the AAL with the OL left out and I had a bro lean due to the added spacers. Now with the OL put back in it sits with a 3/4" rake. I hope this helps. Oh and before I forget I have 265/70/17 method 305 wrapped in falken wildpeaks. Love the stance and love the ride.

    20180804_122541.jpg
    20180821_155425.jpg
     
    BizzyB726 and crashnburn80 [OP] like this.
  5. Sep 5, 2018 at 7:31 PM
    #265
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Nice, looks good! I currently have a similar setup.

    Baja suspension with Icon 3-leaf progressive AAL
    Reinstalled the overloads
    Added 1/4" top plate spacers to both sides
    Still leans.

    The lean isn't due to the spacers, it is due to the imbalance of weight in the driver side. Fuel tank, plus battery plus driver all on the same side.

    I'm not happy with the lean. Your truck definitely has less lean judging by fender gap on the driver front tire. I'm removing 1/4" top plate spacer on the driver side and adding 1/2" spacer to combat the lean. I then have 255/75/R17 KO2s in C-load to get the diameter of 275s (1/2" larger) while also avoiding any weight gain or rubbing issues.
     
  6. Sep 11, 2018 at 6:08 PM
    #266
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Cross post from the tire thread, I'll clean this up and incorporate it into the original thread.

    On my last outing I needed a bit more ground clearance, and now new skids... While I wanted to add more ground clearance, I still wanted the truck to be a balanced build without adding performance robbing heavier tires.

    I reinstalled the overloads, added 1/4" top plate spacer to the passenger side for ~1/2" more lift and despite Toyotas efforts to counter the Taco lean in the Baja kit, it is still there. So I added a 1/2" top plate spacer to the driver side to resolve the Taco lean once and for all.

    1/2"+ rear lift gain
    ~1/2" passenger side lift
    ~1" driver side lift - now level!!!

    Then I bumped the tire side from 265/70R17 C-load to 255/75/R17 C-load. Diameter increases from 31.5 to 32, or about the same as running 275s (32.2) while inflicting only a ~1lb weight gain over 265s compared to over 8lbs gain for 275s. And they will hopefully avoiding rubbing issues by running the slightly skinnier tire with my increased offset TRD wheels and low profile Rokblokz flaps. The 10mm width difference is only 5mm per side, meaning a virtually unnoticeable change of 3/16" in reduction in how far the tire sticks out.

    To keep alignment precisely dialed in, I added SPC light racing UCAs. These have the most adjustability of all the UCAs, retain a nearly maintenance free moog ball joints with extended operating range, unlike maintenance heavy exposed uniballs that end up needing rebuilds. The SPC UCAs also have a unique rubber-in-polly bushings that allow stock like rubber maintenance free quietness of operation with improved polly performance over stock.









    To remount the overloads with the AAL I did have to remove the rear overload U-brackets. Drill out the center pin, flip the overload over on the concrete so it is resting on the U-bracket and give it the overload BFH treatment till the bracket pops off.



    Net ground clearance gain is a little over 3/4" or more (due to leveling).

    Baja Pro + 1" larger tire over stock = 2.25" more ground clearance than stock.
    Current setup = 3"+ more ground clearance than stock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  7. Nov 15, 2018 at 8:46 PM
    #267
    TacoCruiser

    TacoCruiser Starting over

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    I have a quick question for you as you've clearly done your homework and I'm trying to do mine before I lift my truck.

    I have suspension to accommodate a 3inch lift up front. Do you think Wheers AAL with the overload in and the trd Baja shocks in back would work?

    I have a 2014 Baja and would like to put some skinnies on. (255s on 16 inch Baja rims).

    After reading your posts and doing some measurements, it seems it should work. Just need some input.
     
  8. Nov 24, 2018 at 2:15 PM
    #268
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Hey @crashnburn80 - question for you. You've pretty much stated the reasons for using the SPCs over other UCAs (TC, Camburg, Icon, JBA, etc.). My question is... Several months later, how have the SPC LR UCAs performed? Have they met your expectations under DD and off road use?

    I've heard some mixed reviews about noise, the upper BJ's not holding (I know they revised the torque specs), etc. with the SPCs. The JBA arms were my go-to choice for similar reasons to the SPCs, but I can't get past the red color of the JBAs. Vain, I know. My powder coat shop wants ~$100 to strip and re-coat, but that raised the normally awesome priced JBA arms to ICON Delta-Joint price range. Back on topic... the SPCs are intriguing but that upper ball joint design has me a tad weary. I haven't held these in-hand so perhaps my concerns are unwarranted. You seem to have no reservations re: the engineering merits of the design so I was hoping to leverage your knowledge and experience.

    Regards - Ted

    EDIT: Just realized I had the JBA's priced way too high in my spreadsheet, so ignore the Icon price comparison. They are currently $449...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    crashnburn80 [OP] likes this.
  9. Nov 24, 2018 at 5:11 PM
    #269
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    The SPC UCAs have been an unnoticeable upgrade over stock on the street, which while that may sound bad, it is actually what I want. I want them to perform the stock function with the elevated lift, be able to dial in the alignment like stock and have them look subtle and be silent. I tried to squeeze in 255/75/R17s hopping the narrower profile and only .25" larger radius would clear, but they did not, they rub when the suspension is compressed while turning. Doesn't happen often on the street but not something I would want on the trail. Fortunately the SPC UCAs have a unique cammed joint that allows you to move the wheel in any direction inside the wheel well. So I can move the wheel just slightly forward to eliminate the rubbing and not have to remove my low profile flaps or do any cutting. I still need to do this.

    I did read about the ball joint failures, and them updating the design with new ball joints and also doing an excellent job at warranty coverage. I certainly had concerns. Nearly every UCA had something I didn't like about it though, and these seemed like the best overall fit, so I decided to purchase hoping that they did their homework in the updated design. As with any part, proper maintenance is key to part longevity, so I'll top of the grease on the joint as needed. I did compare the degree of freedom on the new joint to the OEM joint and the SPC joint was significantly greater.

    I looked at the JBAs as well, and like you was really turned off by the red. I like things on my truck to be subtle, and red UCAs are certainly anything but. So I would also powder coat them black, which as you point out would add cost. But I was less sold on the fixed design, with every truck being lifted a different amount I thought the adjustable design made more sense. I also really didn't want poly bushings which are noisier and usually recommended to apply a graphite based lubricant to keep them quiet, which becomes another maintenance item.

    What I am not a fan of on the SPC UCA is the adjustable mount of the cammed joint to the UCA, shown below. This is torqued to 150 ft/lbs, but seems like it could be knocked out of alignment on the trail. I think the cammed joint is a great idea, this part being adjustable not so much, I'd much rather this was fixed as the part below it is already adjustable.
    fullsizeoutput_dcf.jpg

    I was able to get mine on an 15-20% off ebay sale which already had the best price for them before the sale, with free shipping and no tax, so they were a pretty killer steal. I haven't yet tried them out on the trail yet, they should provide extra droop. My only concern is will the above bolt hold things in place on the trail, I'll report back after the next trail run, but that might not be till spring.
     
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  10. Nov 25, 2018 at 4:56 AM
    #270
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    @crashnburn80 Thank you. This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. To be honest, I wasn't even thinking about these arms until I just recently saw you had them.

    I feel the same way you do about control arms - no one silver bullet out there. I know each manufacturer has their own design parameters and objectives, mine don't seem to squarely align with 1 single manufacturer. However, I'm pretty particular and know it.

    That single cammed nut is exactly what I'm questioning. They raised the torque spec for large-tire rock crawling applications from 120ftlb all the way up to 175ftlb (Question 4 - https://www.spcalignment.com/partFAQ/25470_FAQ.pdf). That's a pretty large swing and potentially nothing to be concerned with. But I sort of have this irrational fear of aftermarket control arms after watching one catastrophically fail in front of me at 100+mph on a FoMoCo-engineer's track car during a race. Different environment, sure, but... poor design was the culprit for the failure, IMHO (and his opinion too, for that matter).

    Hey, I gotta say. You're pretty awesome for helping out this community. You are always willing to share the good, bad and ugly and help steer people with fact, not speculation or opinion. Greatly appreciate your insight.
     
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  11. Nov 25, 2018 at 10:14 AM
    #271
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I try to take a balanced build approach with everything on my truck. Larger heavier tires will give a greater lever arm against that nut. Side impacts against the tire from rock crawling on 35s is certainly going to apply much more force to move that nut out of alignment than overlanding on 32s. So you really need to build the truck for the intended use case. I try to build my truck to perform very well on the street as well as the trail, because ultimately it is a daily driver, family vehicle first and an adventure vehicle second. If you are building a large lift truck on 35s for rock crawling, the adventure expo vehicle is definitely the higher priority over daily driver, in which case I would chose a different UCA that was more inline with those objectives.

    I added a bit more detail to the UCA section of the original post, along with links to the SPC product page, and the FAQ page you referenced, plus a link to the discussion here to help be a bit more resourceful for others in the future.

    Critical component failure on a racetrack can certainly have devastating results. Hopefully the driver was ok. In racing everything is only built as strong as it is needed, not much more as that adds weight, and weight is the enemy. Poor designs or mistakes in engineering do not have much safety factor to the component design in racing. In my Vehicle Design program, one of the teams built an ultra light weight small carbon fiber racecar for SAE Formula 1. Every part was just strong enough for its intended purpose and not much more to save weight. When the driver entered the ultra light formula 1 style car they put their full weight on the side of the car to climb in. The side of the car was designed for tension, not compression, as a result the car body crumpled. The student engineers did not consider driver entry and exit when designing the vehicle.

    Thanks for the kind words. TacomaWorld is a pretty awesome place with lots of smart people sharing good information, I'm happy to contribute my small part. :)
     
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  12. Nov 25, 2018 at 11:38 AM
    #272
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Likewise on the build approach. I try to be realistic about intended use, but I'm a car guy so ultimately I get bit by the mod bug. I'm running 31.6s (LT265/75R16) so not necessarily worried about the leverage of 35s. I thought the revised torque spec was interesting though.

    I might end up down this path (SPC UCAs) rather than others. There are some good sale going on thru tomorrow.

    Re: the SAE car, I know that event well. Sucks about the their body crumpling...

    The control arms on the car I'm referring to was for a 3,000+ lbs Mustang. A far cry from a pure racecar. But these arms were sold as street/race control arms, not ultralight pieces, hence my raised eyebrow when looking at these Tacoma UCAs.

    Again, thanks for the input. Super helpful.
     
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  13. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:08 PM
    #273
    TacoCruiser

    TacoCruiser Starting over

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    I chose the SPCs due to the increased adjustability and the ability to move the front wheels forward to avoid a cmc. I am still wondering if the addition of the overload spring with Wheelers AAL will allow enough travel in the rear while doing some moderate wheeling. I have the Baja suspension @crashnburn80 put on his vehicle, but I'm adding Dobinsons front shocks for a 3" lift. I plan on going with larger tires than the 265/70/16s that I have currently and hope this setup will be enough.
     
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  14. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:26 PM
    #274
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate that input. Leaning SPC even harder now...

    My truck has the Baja suspension as well (it's a 2014 Baja too) but I'm planning on doing Icon RXTs in the rear (1.875" lift) and Fox 2.5 CO's up front. My truck has almost 100k on its ticker and starting to show it's age. The stock leaf pack is packing it in and calling it a day. I have some leaking shocks. I need bushings. And so forth...

    I could leave well enough alone and just replace the shocks with the same Bilsteins, live with the stock leafs, and call it a day. But I want a progressive valving rather than digressive. I know the digressive valving was one of the factors leading to @crashnburn80 choosing the Baja kit, but in an truck I like a progressive shock. I'm planning to take the front up an additional 0.5" with the Fox 2.5s (will maintain the factory pre-set of 2" on the Fox shocks). Also, I don't have a ton of caster at the moment and have slightly positive camber. Truck is pretty darty as it sits right now, so if I go up at all it will get worse.

    Thus, I'm right back to choosing the SPCs! LOL
     
  15. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:32 PM
    #275
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    The rear shock has about 1.5" more extended travel over stock, adding the overload back in provides about 2" lift over stock, so total droop ability is reduced by about .5" as it is now being utilized for higher ride height. Is that your concern? You could get extra droop with different shocks for more travel. But if it isn't a real problem, I'm not sure that I would swap it out unless the shocks are in need of replacement.

    Nothing at all wrong with progressive, just a different handling style. Progressives are certainly be a bit smoother riding off road.
     
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  16. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:40 PM
    #276
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I live on a ranch. Dirt roads, fields, pastures, etc. Progressive is what I'm after just for that reason.
     
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  17. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:45 PM
    #277
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I would choose progressive in that situation as well. My truck lives in the urban jungle, does regular long cross state highway drives over the mountains, and is a weekend warrior off road in the mountains, which is why I went with a stiffer digressive. Highlights of reasons why there is no one 'best suspension' it all needs to tailor on how you use your truck.
     
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  18. Nov 25, 2018 at 12:53 PM
    #278
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    One other thing. Slightly off topic but also why I'm asking so many questions.

    I'm planning on building an alignment jig similar to the pic below. I built this for my M3 so I could mess around with the car setup (ride height, corner weighting, and so forth). I want to try a few different alignments to see how it affects steering feel, cornering ability (this truck is my DD and weekend trail warrior), tire wear, etc. I have a tire pyrometer and alignment tools, so I plan to try a couple settings and get near-instant feedback after a short test drive. Tire pyrometers are insanely useful setup tools. I'm preaching to the converted, I know...

    I hope to attempt a good, balanced street and trail alignment. Time will tell, but I will report back on findings. I need this lift not to eat tires on the street.String_Alignment_jig_1.jpg String_Alignment_jig_3.jpg String_Alignment_jig_2.jpg
     
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  19. Nov 25, 2018 at 1:37 PM
    #279
    TacoCruiser

    TacoCruiser Starting over

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    You certainly articulate my point better than, I. Yes. That was essentially my question. That and I dont want the California bro lean when adding this suspension up front. I believe it will be ok, as I am using this truck primarily as a daily driver and offloading on occasion. Now I just need to find some C rated tires in the size I want. No easy task. 285s (for looks) or 255s (for function).
     
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  20. Nov 25, 2018 at 6:19 PM
    #280
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Keep in mind on the Pro and Baja trucks, Toyota lifted the front 1.75" and did nothing with the rear to level it. So you have a 1.75" rake, if you lift the front to 3" and the back to 2" you will still have a small 0.75" rake, which is more than the Pro or Baja trucks had from the factory. So you won't have a Cali-bro lean.

    As for the tires, I'd recommend 17" wheels to open up the C-load options more, which is why I switched to 17s. The K02 is available in C-load in 285/70R17 (32.8") at 51.4lbs, and 255/75R17 (32.1") at 45.5lbs.
     
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