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Want 2" lift. Do I use shocks/AAL or spacers/blocks?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by TacomaMatt, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM
    #1
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've been reading a lot of your posts and learned a lot. However, I am torn between 2 types of lifts. Please let me know what you recommend.

    I have a 2009 TRD Offroad with 2+1 leaf spring. I have some sagging and want to lift it about 2 inches (give or take). I don't want a huge amount of lift, just something that gives my truck a "beefer stock look." I do want to put bigger tires on too, but not sure how big. I won't take it offroading. I did read how certain types of lifts can cause other problems down the road like, alignment problems, broken shocks, ball joint problems, etc. I do not want to lift it and then deal with problems in the future.

    The two options I'm interested in are:

    1. Spacer lift for the front and a block in the back.
    2. Height adjustable Bilstein 5100s up front (1.75" or 2.5) and a 2" AAL in the rear.

    What option do you recommend and why? Or is there a better way to lift it?

    If I have to pay more for a lift today to avoid more expensive repairs in the future I'll do it. Thank you for your time!
     
  2. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM
    #2
    VooDoo

    VooDoo More Cowbell!

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    2, no questions

    Spacers/blocks can be bad for your truck. They cause axle wrap and are more for the aesthetic side of lifts. 5100's/AAL provide more travel and none of the problems of spacers/blocks
     
  3. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM
    #3
    PLC721

    PLC721 Well-Known Member

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    From personal experience I can advise to stay away from blocks
     
  4. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM
    #4
    Day Cowboy

    Day Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    The Bilsteins will be your best bet. Even if you do zero offroading.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM
    #5
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Option 2 is a far better choice.
     
  6. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM
    #6
    penguins_cc

    penguins_cc Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend #2 by a long margin, just like everybody else. There are always better ways depending on your budget. For example the add-a-leaf can consist of 1 or 3 leaves, etc.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM
    #7
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've read that the AAL will make the ride lousy. Some suggest billies in the rear to compensate. I also read the 5100s with the stock coils cause the caster to be out of spec. Have you run into this? UCAs will be required if I can't get the alignment right. What are the drawbacks to the spacers/blocks?
     
  8. Jun 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    #8
    VooDoo

    VooDoo More Cowbell!

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    My AAL was a tad stiff (being the 2" one) but it has broken in nicely. 5100's should be fine when it comes to alignment. I'm running mine at .85" with eibachs and my alignment is in spec. UCA's aren't needed but they are a great idea. Drawbacks for spacers/blocks are harsh ride, even more so than the AAL. Spacers are also a cause for less travel offroad
     
  9. Jun 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM
    #9
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Icon and Wheeler's both make a 3-leaf AAL that rides very nice. If you lift the front up over 2.5", you could end up having alignment issues but you should be fine with stock UCA's. For what it's worth, you'd end up with the same potential alignment issues with spacers also.

    The drawback to spacers up front is they ride like crap and you run the risk of breaking your shocks. By using a top plate spacer, it spacers the shock down meaning you can bottom out the shock before you hit the bump stops, forcing the shock to absorb the shock of bottoming out. This can lead to breakage and put your truck out of commission.

    Blocks promote axle wrap which can wear out a leaf pack prematurely.
     
  10. Jun 3, 2012 at 12:34 AM
    #10
    IDtrucks

    IDtrucks Just out for a rip are ya bud?

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    bilsteins and a 2" aal, done
     
  11. Jun 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM
    #11
    DevL

    DevL Well-Known Member

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    Well... if you are under warranty get TSB rear leaves. If you get 33" tires you will need axle relocatiin plate do to forward axle motion under negative arch. This acts as a 3/8" lift on its own and is unavoidably necessary if you dont get longer rear bumps.
     
  12. Jun 9, 2012 at 12:29 PM
    #12
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I decided to go with billies and an AAL. I want a slight rake and stock UCAs.

    1. Do I set the billies at 1.5" or 2.5"?
    2. I don't have the TSB. Do I get the 1.5" or 2" AAL?

    What do you recommend?
     
  13. Jun 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    #13
    Raz4back

    Raz4back Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to do the same. I plan to set the Billies at 1.75 and do the 1.5 add a leaf. That should leave the rake at slightly less than stock.
     
  14. Jun 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM
    #14
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just got off the phone with the guys at Down South Motorsports and Toytec Lifts. They both recommended the same thing. Looks like it's time to spend some money...

    Are you going to get Billies for the rear?
     
  15. Jun 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM
    #15
    jamtoz

    jamtoz frog

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    what did they recommend?
     
  16. Jun 11, 2012 at 4:32 PM
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    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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    #2 is the one a only correct answer to this equation sir :cool:
     
  17. Jun 11, 2012 at 5:45 PM
    #17
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    To guarantee alignment in specs: 1.75" in the front and 1.5 AAL for a slight rake (no TSB).
     
  18. Jun 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM
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    Raz4back

    Raz4back Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm going front and rear. The Billies are supposed to be here on Wednesday so I'm going to do the install this weekend. I'm still trying to decide whether to go with The wheelers single AAl or the three leaf AAL.
     
  19. Jun 12, 2012 at 3:24 PM
    #19
    TacomaMatt

    TacomaMatt [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Let me know what you decide to go with. I'd like to see pictures too. I plan to make my purchase in a day or two. I was set on the Toytec AAL but now I'm checking out wheelers. So many options...:confused:
     
  20. Jul 30, 2012 at 9:17 PM
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    Rickshaw

    Rickshaw Well-Known Member

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    Brush Gaurd, side rails, front bilstein's at 1.75, wheelers 1.5 aal, udercover toneau cap
    Looks good Raz, im going with the same setup. Also getting the Mickey Thompson 265/70/17's. Should be put on Friday. Which did you get the single or 3 leaf aal?
     
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