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So...Solid or lift? Hmmm...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by thenrie, May 10, 2008.

  1. May 10, 2008 at 7:08 PM
    #1
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Stafford, VA
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    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    I've been off the forum for a while. I've been doing a lot of highway miles lately and the cheapo 31X10.50s with the aggressive mud tread are rattling my brains. I've had them balanced twice and it just doesn't help. Time for new tires. Since I have 4:30:1 gears, and running close to 3K rpm at 65mph, I thought I might try larger tires to bring my rpms down on the highway. I started looking at the kits and see that 3"lifts clear 32s and I'll have to go to a 4-5" lift for 33s. I'm looking at about $1500-1700 for a good brand-name 5" lift kit. So, then says I, "Shoot, I could almost do a solid front axle conversion for that much."

    I'm looking for some commentaries from people who are running 33s with a 4-5 " lift with the front diff drop or who have done a SF axle swap up front.

    :D
     
  2. May 10, 2008 at 11:36 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    If the M/T tires bugged you and you're worried about drivability on the highway - then you're far better off staying small with 32" tires.

    Keep it cheap & simple.

    IMO - a solid axle swap is only worth it if you're gonna actually USE it (and use it HARD) on the trails. Or else, why bother? A solid axle swap isn't something you slap on and call it good. There's a lot of fine tuning involved to get the drivability and controllability figured out for optimal highway experience.

    The taller the lifts - the more 'issues' you will have with drivability and controllability and the more time & money you have to spend to remedy things.
     
  3. May 11, 2008 at 4:24 AM
    #3
    RoadKill

    RoadKill Northern Alliance: padawan

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    North of the border
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    285x70x17 offset rims+ 1.5 spacers, rear Timbrens + 3 inch lift add a leaf, Sway-a-way coilovers + camburg control arms, Fender flares (2.5 inch), clear lights, headers, sliders, roll bar
    Totally agree here with Janster.
    If you go for a suspension lift instead you should be able to snug 33" under with no problem?
     
  4. May 14, 2008 at 7:28 AM
    #4
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2000 Tacoma, SR5, TRD, 2.7L (LEV), 4wd, 5sp m
    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    Yeah, I'm aware of the highway and driveability issues. I am an Arizona/New Mexico boy (although currently living in Pittsburgh), so I intend to eventually build my pickup up to a pretty hard core camping/hunting truck (no interest in competition rock climbing), so that's why I'm looking at going to the lift now, since I want to go to larger tires for the highway. I'm going to be buying tires with a less aggressive tread, but I'm still going to need the extra clearance for the tire size, and eventually (when I get back out west) I'll go back to the off-road tread and maybe move up to 35s and a Marlin Crawler. I got some input on another thread that indicates 33s may work alright with a less expensive 3" lift and the right backspacing on the rims, but then I'd have to do it all over again in a couple more years for that extra couple inches of lift.

    In short, this has more to do with good fun than good sense.
     
  5. May 14, 2008 at 4:27 PM
    #5
    JimBeam

    JimBeam BECAUSE INTERNETS!! Moderator

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    ive always been under the impression is that the larger the tire...the more your engine will work...thus driving the rpms up even higher...

    throw some cheap small tires on there and save yourself the time/hassle/money
     
  6. May 15, 2008 at 3:47 AM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    You are correct in thinking the engine will work harder....but that doesn't result in higher rpm's. It results in lower rpm's.

    Higher Rpm's is where the power is.....

    It's all about the gearing and rolling distance of the tires. It's hard to explain.... With bigger tires, you lose power and why people regear their differentials to gain the RPM's back for more power.
     
  7. May 15, 2008 at 4:01 AM
    #7
    JimBeam

    JimBeam BECAUSE INTERNETS!! Moderator

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    that doesnt make any sense to me whatsoever???

    working the engine harder is not going to result in lower rpms...

    my brother drives a 4runner with a 4.30 gr...and small street tires...and he cant keep his rpms down below 2500...while i run 32" m/t with 4.56 gr...and when im cruising at 70 mph im still below 2k rpms...we're both on the 3.4l V6...

    and if he's using the truck for highway use...wouldnt it make sense to try and keep the rpms down to run more efficiently? why make the truck work harder than it needs to?
     
  8. May 15, 2008 at 6:18 PM
    #8
    offroadTRD

    offroadTRD Well-Known Member

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    Fabtech 3" adjustable coil-over system, Alcan 8-leaf spring pack, Fabtech 3" body lift.
    Janster is correct. The larger the tire that you put on your truck WITHOUT changing any gearing...... IS going to make your truck work harder. You put more of a lug and strain on the motor to try and turn the larger tires over. Yes, you are going to run a lower rpm on the highway with larger tires, but, your engine is working harder still with the lower rpm's especially on hilly terrain. That might not make sense to you but its true. Your truck will get slower at acceleration, not spin tires as easily, and suck more gas. If I put my 31-10.50's back on my truck, my rpms will be higher but my engine isn't going to work harder than with the 33-12.50's that I have on there now. I went from 18-19 mpg with the 31's to 15-16 mpg with the 33's. With smaller tires there is LESS resistance. With larger tires, there is MORE resistance. Case closed.
     
  9. May 16, 2008 at 12:19 PM
    #9
    thenrie

    thenrie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Magnaflow cat and cat-back exhaust, AFE Stage 2 cold-air intake system, 2.5" lift via Skyjacker leaf packs, Bilstein 5100s.
    C'mon guys! This thread has nothing to do with tire size! I'm asking for opinions from guys who have done a 5" or greater suspension lift as opposed to those who have done a solid axle swap. I know what size tires I want, I just want to know whether I can do a decent solid axle swap for around $2000.

    I want to run 33s right now, because with my diff ratio at 4.3:1 and a 5-speed, my rpms are too high on the highway. I'm changing from the cheapo 31X10.50s I have right now because they cannot be balanced (cheap sometimes = not round), not because I don't like the tread or anything else. I'm going to go with a less aggressive tread simply because for the next couple of years I will be using the pickup almost exclusively on the road.

    For Tigerfan, you are right that the engine will work harder with larger tires. Shorter gears in your diff or transmission give your engine mechanical advantage. Tire height allows you to sort of adjust your vehicle's gear ratio a little. It affects the accuracy of your speedo as well as the pulling power to the axle. Put a 12" tire on your Tacoma and you can pull tree stumps all day, but your engine will redline at about 40mph or so. A taller tire works the same as putting taller gears in your differential. I want to travel at 70mph and keep my rpms down to about 2250, like my minivan does. 33s should do that for me. Right now I'm at 2800rpm at 70 and my speedo is reading 3 mph fast, since I have 4.30 gears in my diffs. I'm constantly finding myself trying to shift into 6th gear, which I don't have. 33s should bring my speedo back to true because the large tire will travel farther per revolution, making the vehicle travel faster at the same engine rpm and speedo indication as compared to my current tire size (31X10.50). And, since I have a shorter diff gear than most Tacos (most Taco diffs are in the 3s) my 2.7L should handle 33s just fine on and off road.

    Now, back to the SAS/lift issue.
     
  10. May 16, 2008 at 4:12 PM
    #10
    superlinerms

    superlinerms Member

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    1996 4x4, 3'' spacer lift and Baha Claws. Cold Air Intake and dual exhust. Power programmer. Billet Grille. also 98 4x2 lowerd 5'' TRD 4x4 front cap, custom interior,
    I have a 96 tacoma with the 3" spacer lift and 3" blocks in the rear. I can run 33's just fine. They only rub a little in rough situations. The width of the tire also matters of how much rub you will occurr. Mine are 33x12.50 MT claws. I had the same problem your having with stock tires and driving back and forth to work everyday ( about a 100mil.) I put the 33'' on the truck with the lift and loved the look but it still did not help much with the miles per gallon. I avg. around 15mpg. My sollution was buying a 4cly 2wd tacoma. 28mpg. :) I just use my 96 for the fancy occasions.
     
  11. May 16, 2008 at 7:44 PM
    #11
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Just wanted to add that the major power killer of larger tires is rotational mass.:), as well as an increase in frontal area of the vehicle ( vehicle is now higher off the ground ) creating more tourbulance under the truck increaseing drag, and as mentioned, friction as most taller tires are wider as well.
     
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