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Some suspension questions.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Indyteecee, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:23 PM
    #1
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Finally thinking about getting rid of my OME setup (not that I didn’t like it, I did) and getting a pair of coilovers. Right now I have the OME nitrochargers with the 883 springs as well as the nitrochargers in the rear with dakar leaf springs and shackles. The OME setup has been great for the trails, but less than ideal for everyday comfort. I understand the 883 is a stiffer spring, but I had the 881s previously and got a lot of sag due to my TG front bumper and winch. Just have decided that I like this truck enough that it’s time for some coilovers (also just blew my front drivers side shock so it’s time for a replacement anyway).

    My main question is the age old one. Fox or King? Yes, I know this has been discussed before, but I want to get updated 2020 opinions for the 1st gen. Don’t really want icon due to it being a digressive shock (correct me if I’m wrong).
    Also how much lift does each coilover provide? I’m getting some websites saying the king provides 0-2” and others saying 0-3”. Are the rear shocks on our trucks different lengths, if so, which one is longer? I will probably think of more questions, but that’s all for now.
    Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:39 PM
    #2
    SkunkMan17

    SkunkMan17 Jerry-rigging everything

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    I’ve heard king over fox a lot more than anything else. Why not just run bilstein 5100s instead of all these pricey ass options?
     
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  3. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:47 PM
    #3
    eon_blue

    eon_blue 8" third member

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    The standard King 2.5 coilovers used to be less expensive than the comparable Fox setup but I don't know if that's still the case. Either will make you happy I'm sure. King has better customer service that's for sure, Fox has a lot of big contracts with the auto industry and even the military I've heard, so they aren't always helpful with the average Joe. If that's something that's important to you
     
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  4. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:52 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    The springs aren't what is causing the "stiff" ride. The springs (more or less) simply support the weight of the vehicle. It's the shock dampening is what causes the ride stiffness. Obviously, if your springs are too stiff for the weight of the truck, then they will be stiff, but is sounds like with your bumper/winch, the 883's are probably about right for you.

    Here's a really good article I found on the differences in shock types:
    https://accutuneoffroad.com/articles/digressive-vs-linear-vs-progressive-pistons-shock-valving/

    tl;dr
    Digressive shocks (bilstien, ome, icon) are bad at small bumps and large bumps, but good at handling and g-outs. Progressive shocks are good at small bumps and big hits, but bad at handling and g-outs. Linear shocks (Fox, King) provide the best all around performance.
     
  5. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:53 PM
    #5
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Simple. You get what you pay for (most of the time). I’m ready for something with more adjustability and a better ride quality.
     
  6. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:53 PM
    #6
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Customer service is very important to me. Can’t stand buying expensive shit and not being supported for it.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:55 PM
    #7
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Very noob question so I apologize in advance, but what does the term g-out mean?
     
  8. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:56 PM
    #8
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Think of going down a steep hill with a smooth transition to a steep uphill, but your going fast enough to bottom out (or nearly bottom out) the suspension.

    It's a relatively slow movement of the shock, relative to say, hitting a pothole at 70mph.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2020 at 4:59 PM
    #9
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    So it technically only occurs when driving fast?
     
  10. Feb 26, 2020 at 5:02 PM
    #10
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily.

    It's like the difference between hitting a curb (sharp edge) vs. one of those the longer sloping speed hump things.

    The take away is that a progressive or linear shock will generally give a better "feel" on the road. There aren't many higher end progressive shocks (unless you get custom valving), so the Fox and King are the best for all around.

    Take whoops. If you go slow on them, and go in and out of them, they could be g-outs, but if you speed up and skip over the tops (like motocross), those would be the hard/fast hits that a progressive shock does better with.
     
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  11. Feb 26, 2020 at 5:18 PM
    #11
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Ok I think I’m starting to understand. I’m looking to be able to go at a decent speed off-road and be comfortable, but also be able to do some slow trails from time to time.
     
  12. Feb 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM
    #12
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Don't think you need to spend a ton of money on Fox or King, though. Especially for the "ocational" offroading trip.

    While the Bilstien 5100s are a digressive shock, many people, including myself felt they were an overall improvement over the stock shocks. They are a great shock, and especially for how much they cost, I wouldn't discount them, even though I essentially told you not to get a digressive shock, lol.

    If you're looking to do some offroading, the 5100s really are one of the best bang for your buck options. They may not be "ideal" for on road performance and feel, but honestly, when I replaced my old worn out stock shocks, the ride got better.
     
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  13. Feb 27, 2020 at 8:53 AM
    #13
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette LOLWUT

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    Let's look at things a little differently though.

    We get a lot of people coming in and asking about lifts, and we go on to ask about truck use etc.

    OME and Bilstein 5100's are favored among the forum, but the OP is already coming from an OME setup.

    If OP plans on keeping his truck for at least another year, I'd suggest some 2.5 coilovers, this way he can get them rebuilt when needed vs replacing them altogether again like the OME kit.

    Getting them rebuilt would also mean getting them custom valved (unless you order a set from ADS, they'll set you up right from the get go).

    @Indyteecee I've had Fox 2.5 Coilovers for 7-8 months now and I'm waiting for my King 2.5 Coilovers to arrive. I'll wait until the Kings arrive to post my thoughts of the two.

    Oh and both Fox and King 2.5 CO's come in both a standard travel and extended travel configuration which is why you'll see 0-2" lift and 0-3" lift advertised.

    Fox Regular Travel - 883-02-024
    Fox Extended Travel - 883-02-023

    King Regular Travel - 25001-151
    King Extended Travel - 25001-151-EXT

    Valving is the same between regular and extended versions, along with the spring rate (600lb). The only difference is a bushing/spacer that limits travel.
     
  14. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:15 AM
    #14
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    I have no doubt the bilsteins are good. My dad runs them on his GMC Sierra and loves them. I personally though, am ready for something that has most adjustability, is rebuildable and has a better ride. I don’t do the occasional off-roading trip I apologize if I made it sound that way. I try to hit the trails every weekend if possible. I’m also not really looking for the best “bang for my buck” that’s why I started off the thread with the question- “king or fox”. Like I said I have no doubt the bilsteins are great, just looking to get a coilover is all.
     
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  15. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:17 AM
    #15
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Great info, thank you! The extended travel thing makes sense now. I probably already have my answer to this question since you’ve ordered Kings now but, how have your fox been?
     
  16. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:23 AM
    #16
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    You're absolutely right. I brain farted and forgot about OP's current setup, lol...

    My thought is if you're spending the cash on nice coilovers like Fox or King, you might as well get that 1" extra travel as well.

    It does start an arms race with your other suspension components, though. I ended up with total chaos UCAs and a diff drop kit, even though I'm only sitting at about an inch or 2 of lift. That's not normally enough to necessitate a diff drop or UCAs, but I didn't want those components to be the limiting factor with the extended travel.

    The other thing to consider with the higher end coilovers/shocks is that they require more maintenance than your normal 5100/OME setup. Depending on how/where you drive, that could be every 10k miles they need a rebuild, tho many people go longer than that.

    So that's another cost to consider...

    Is it worth it?

    Yes.

     
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  17. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:27 AM
    #17
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette LOLWUT

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    So, my Fox 2.5's are regular travel.

    I bought them after having owned my Tacoma for only a few months and since I didn't know where I was going with my truck, I opted for regular travel so I can use my factory UCA's.

    I've found the Fox to be very forgiving on very unimproved roads, so much so that I'd look forward to potholes only to have that jarring feeling smoothed out. I live outside the city where the roads are really bad and I'm surprised that the shocks didn't make the ride feel worse seeing as how they're meant for off road.

    Off road is a whole different experience as I remember going off road with a TW member here just earlier this month. He was going through some trails pretty fast (he has Kings all around with reservoirs) and rather than take it slow, I decided to keep up at his pace. Again, the trail felt much smoother than I could've imagined and the truck felt really planted.

    The one thing I do notice as @jbrandt mentioned is during a g-out; my front suspension gives way only for me to hit my skid plate or something but overall I've been happy with my Fox CO's.

    I've had Icon UCA's in my storage for 2 almost 3 months now and I figured if I'm going to install them, I may as well go extended travel. I can send my Fox 2.5's to ADS, Fox, or any shock rebuilder to get the bushing swapped out but I may sell them instead and stick with the King's.

    We'll see...
     
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  18. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:29 AM
    #18
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely love my ext travel Kings. If @Kwikvette doesn't like his, he's just wrong. :D

    One of the first couple times I was out with my pretty new blue shocks, I took my buddy who's got a nearly identical 2003 TRD doublecab (to my 2004 DC). I gave him my old 5100s when I made the switch.

    We were just out tooling around on some forest roads. Nothing technical, but definitely a lot of jumps (I mean water bars), sweeping turns, ruts, etc... Anyhoo, I was leading and was going a fairly good clip, but definitely not putting the hammer down. We come to a Y in the trail so I stop and wait. and wait.

    A minute or 2 mater he drives up and starts telling me about how hard he was driving and how many times he found his bumpstops trying (and failing) to keep up with me.
     
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  19. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:31 AM
    #19
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    How many sets of coilovers do you need???

    Answer: n + 1, where n is the number you currently have.
     
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  20. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:31 AM
    #20
    Indyteecee

    Indyteecee [OP] bad at building Toyotas, good at breaking stuff

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    Total coilover noob question, but when they need to be rebuilt, how do I know and who do I send them off to?
     

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