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

Wheelers 5 leaf thumbs up or down?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by mike92y, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Oct 27, 2010 at 7:21 PM
    #1
    mike92y

    mike92y [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Member:
    #42331
    Messages:
    272
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Michael
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2011 TRD OFF ROAD
    OME all around. TRD Supercharger. MIsc stuff.
    I want to replace the leaf springs in my truck. I was considering the Wheelers 5 leaf with the 1.5 lift. I was hoping to get thumbs up or down from people that have them on their truck. Oh and I did search this but sorting through all the differant threads is time consuming and I am just interedted in the wheelers leafs.
    I baught this truck in August and have put a JBA exhaust and timing kit (water pump, thermostat, all the belts and such) so far I have sank around $1300 in parts and labor. This truck is not my daily driver. Every home owner needs a truck and I was on my 2nd POS (peace of shit) S10 and decided to buy somthing fairly nice which turned out to be a 1997 Tacoma. I really do not want to sink alot of money in this thing but plan to drive it till it dies or I kill it.
    So help me out and give me some input please. I have the money to spend because I am smart with my money (I finally baught a tacoma right) and I want to spend my hard earned dallors intelligently. Thanks.:)
     
  2. Oct 27, 2010 at 7:37 PM
    #2
    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Member:
    #23531
    Messages:
    58,306
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Weesa
    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: I've had mine on since May and I love 'em. Took a little getting used to but I'm glad I went the route I did with the suspension swap. My goals there were #1 get rid of axle wrap (hence the 5 pack instead of a 4 pack), and #2 improve the ride. Both were accomplished.

    You might find these helpful if you haven't stumbled there already... http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/gr...heelers-offroad-1st-gen-leaf-replacement.html and http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/suspension/83863-1st-gen-needs-suspension-upgrades-asap.html I expect a few others from the group buy to be chiming in any moment now.
    I would say that offroad and highway ride comfort and stability have improved 100%, around town is still a bit jarring but comfortable. And I didn't do all of this to be cruising around town anyway! I was annoyed by the squeaking that developed in my leaf packs, me being the only one of the group with the problem, but I think I have finally found a solution to that (Teflon spray!) so all is well with my Taco.

    Will you be replacing anything else? Or just the leafs?

    Wheelers and YotaDan were great to deal with too, had all the answers and everything was delivered as promised.
     
  3. Oct 27, 2010 at 7:51 PM
    #3
    mike92y

    mike92y [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Member:
    #42331
    Messages:
    272
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Michael
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2011 TRD OFF ROAD
    OME all around. TRD Supercharger. MIsc stuff.
    I think I am going to go with Bilstein shocks as well. Seems like a waste not through some new shocks in if I am paying for labor on having the leafs replaced. I was looking at rough country nitro 9000 but I have read some bad reviews on this forum. The rough country's are 1/2 the price of the Bilsteins and I would love to go with them but I rather spend a few xtra dallors to buy quality. Do you have any thoughts?
     
  4. Oct 27, 2010 at 8:16 PM
    #4
    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Member:
    #23531
    Messages:
    58,306
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Weesa
    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    Got those too! Total suspension package was:
    -Wheelers 5 pack
    -Ubolts (a must!)
    -Bilstein 5100's x4
    -OME 881's
    -Brake line (not 100% necessary)
    -Diff Drop (also not necessary)
    -New eye bolts (you got any rust? you're going to want these)
    -bumpstops
    -sway bar bushings
    -steering rack bushings

    I drew the line at new rear shackles, that's an optional replacement part as well. Reusing the old ones is fine in most cases. I got the new eye bolts only because a few people had horror stories about getting their's off. Mine came off without a problem, guess it depends on the amount of rust you have on your truck. And speaking of rust...do yourself (or mechanic) a favor and saturate everything in PB Blaster a few times before install day, makes getting things apart so much easier!

    Between parts and labor I ended up at a grand total of roughly $1300 but it was well worth it. This is my every day vehicle and I put a fair amount of miles on, might as well make those as comfortable as possible right?

    Like I said before, I love the ride. Huge improvement over the saggy, crappy stock suspension. yea, the Bilsteins are more pricy but I guess you get what you pay for. If money is a concern you could always do just the rears for now (they have to come off for the leaf install anyways) and save up for the front end.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2010 at 9:57 PM
    #5
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,424
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    :headbang:
    Lisa and me and steve-0 77 all went with the same set up, and we're all really happy with it (see my sig for spec). The truck behaves MUUUUUUUCH better. Having never done this sort of thing before, I was worried about dumping that much into it. Not any more. Get new U-bolts and the front hanger pins, too.
     
  6. Oct 28, 2010 at 5:37 AM
    #6
    mike92y

    mike92y [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Member:
    #42331
    Messages:
    272
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Michael
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2011 TRD OFF ROAD
    OME all around. TRD Supercharger. MIsc stuff.
    I was planning on replacing all nuts and U bolts. I never reuse that stuff. Good tip on the shackles, I was figuring that into may cost as well. I planned on the new brake line.
    I had not planned or thought about the steering rack and sway bar bushings. What does that do for you? Do the bump stops come with the 5 leafs I am guessing not.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2010 at 7:53 AM
    #7
    smbundy13

    smbundy13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Member:
    #21177
    Messages:
    140
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Birmingham
    so. if yall get the 5 pack leaves, how did yall have the front shocks set up?

    basically, it says on wheelers website that the 5 pack gives you about an inch or so of lift. did you have the bilsteins set to an inch up also? i dont really want to lift my truck at all but for a better ride i will go up a bit.

    mt girl, why did you get a diff. drop kit? is it needed that much for a 1" lift?

    also, i plan on getting wheelers to assmeble my front shocks and springs to keep me from having to hassle with it myself, worth it?

    thanks for your help.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2010 at 8:20 AM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Member:
    #26726
    Messages:
    19,968
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steven
    In a corn field, OH
    Vehicle:
    1990 Chevy Siveraydo
    245k+ miles, rust, working AC, bald eagles
    Loving my 5 leaf pack springs! The truck has almost no axle wrap anymore and I can actually carry a decent load without riding on the bumpstops.

    You can check out my build for pics but I have the OME 881's up front with the billstein 5100's set at zero. My truck sits almost perfectly level, just a tiny bit of rake.
     
  9. Oct 28, 2010 at 9:11 AM
    #9
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,424
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    My shackles were fine, too, as were my eye bolts/front hanger pins. But I bought and installed the new front eyebolts anyway because I didn't want to get screwed with my dailer driver torn apart on a Sunday...

    I got the steering rack bushings too because the steering was so hideously sloppy, and when I did the bushing test, they looked pretty squishy with 101K miles on them. However, the new shocks and springs improved the handling so much that I still have not bothered with the bushings.

    Bumpstops are for the front A-arms and came with the bushing kit. I don't think the are really necessary, and I wish they were separate from the bushing kit I got because I think it just jacks up the price. The leafs do not come with rear bump stops.

    SMBUNDY:
    Like Steve-o, I am darn near level with the 881s and Billies at zero, and this is with cap on the back. You can use the Billies with your stock coils (which is what they were really designed for), but you'd have to crank them way up to the highest setting to get the truck level, if that is what you want. You are dealing with about an inch of factory rake plus 1.5 in the back with the 5-pack, which is 2.5. They would ride harsh this way. That's why I went for the 881s and use the Billies as normal shocks on zero (and to match the ride of the back Billies).

    If you are not comfortable with (or do not have access to) a good spring compressor and know how to use it (it can be deadly if you don't know what you are doing), you may as well have them assemble the fronts. You'll have to read up and judge for yourself.

    You will need an alignment anyway, so you could just check with your local shop and see if they would R&R the fronts and how their price compares with Wheeler's. I did this because 1. I was out of time and how to travel and 2. couldn't get spring compressors I was comfortable using. My buddy loaned me some he uses on his Audi, but they weren't up to the task on the 500-lb OMEs. I can't recall exactly what the shop charged me (don't have receipt handy right now). I want to say about $200 inlcuding the alignment.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2010 at 9:19 AM
    #10
    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Member:
    #23531
    Messages:
    58,306
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Weesa
    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    all of the components work together but i noticed a huge improvement in steering response and control. part of that is of course due to having good shocks but the bushings help out too. before if i was on the interstate and hit a bump - say at a bridge - the steering wheel would practically jump out of my hands. doesn't happen anymore.

    I actually ended up with about a 2" gain all around, I didn't want to lift the truck either but I actually don't even notice the difference. The front shocks are at 0 but with the coils the truck gained some height there. I had a local shop put my front end on and I friend and I did the rear. I wish I would have done the whole thing myself, would have been a lot less hassle.
     
  11. Oct 28, 2010 at 9:31 AM
    #11
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Member:
    #1475
    Messages:
    26,258
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Will
    York,South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    '16 Tundra TRD Pro
    getting there....
    Wheeler 5 pack and ome 881 coils...awesome setup....5100s or ome shocks..even better.
     
  12. Oct 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM
    #12
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Member:
    #40631
    Messages:
    500
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    02 Taco Xtracab TRD Step Side
    i know this is posted above but:

    wheelers 5 pack (or a 4 pack? don't really need to "lift" the truck)
    OME 881 coils
    bilstien 5100's or OME (is there options?) any other shocks?
    steering rack bushings
    sway bar bushings
    misc new hardware (what is a must?) eye bolts etc
    new rear bumpstops?
    new front bumpstops?

    anything else to really freshen everything up?

    what's the over all lift on this, i'm not looking to lift, just frenshen up and make "better"? 2" with the 5100's set to zero? slight rate as mentioned above?

    best place to order from? (i guess wheelers to get the leaf pack)
     
  13. Oct 28, 2010 at 9:55 AM
    #13
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Member:
    #26726
    Messages:
    19,968
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steven
    In a corn field, OH
    Vehicle:
    1990 Chevy Siveraydo
    245k+ miles, rust, working AC, bald eagles
    .
     
  14. Oct 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM
    #14
    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Member:
    #23531
    Messages:
    58,306
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Weesa
    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    4 pack vs 5 pack - 5 pack = lift + added insurance that axle wrap will be a thing of the past. also a better choice if you have a shell or tool box

    bilstein hd's are another option - less expensive and non adjustable
    bushings are all optional
    must have hardware for the leaf packs is new ubolts and new front hanger pins. new bumpstops too.

    if you get the same set up as me you can expect about a 2" lift - i know i had before and after measurements listed in my thread somewhere if you want specifics. be sure to take your own before and afters!

    I got everything from Wheeler's, figured that would be easiest to order from one place than to piece everything together from mulitple shops. and i have no local 4x4 shops so getting something last minute (or when the truck is torn apart) was not an option. I wanted to have everything imaginable on hand before diving into the project. i probably went a little overboard but oh well! If you have specific questions PM YotaDan or call up Wheeler's - they were most helpful!
     
  15. Oct 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM
    #15
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Member:
    #40631
    Messages:
    500
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    02 Taco Xtracab TRD Step Side
    with the 5 pack....was that a 2" lift from factory height for 2" lift from saggy rear leafs?

    i don't need adjustable shocks...what's the real purpose of them? my truck will only be for daily use and hauling stuff for my house (along with heading up the mountains for skiing and MAYBE some moderate off roading)....i just want good shocks......will the HD's fit that requirement?
     
  16. Oct 28, 2010 at 10:43 AM
    #16
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,424
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    Lisa will need to chime in on that, but I have to assume from saggy height. Hers were awful. Check her photo gallery. Mine were actually marginal lookswise, but the ride and body roll was awful (see my gallery, too).

    Anything a shop advertises will be based on stock height. There is no way they can account for all the randomness in the universe.

    The point of the adjustable shocks (in the case of front 5100s) is to level the truck ride height front and rear, which reduces rake (and adds front clearance). If you put 5-packs on the back and do no lifting at the front, you will have a lot of rake, like a hot rod. But the 5100 is a good shock, and you don't need to adjust it. This is just an option depending on what you are trygin to acheive with your truck fro your needs.

    With regard to shock height, the most important issue to avoid damage is the travel length of the shock. It must be able to extend and compress the full length of the springs' travel, and not bottom out at the top (compression) of bottom (extension). This is true front and back. There are a lot of options out there, and I am not sure how the HDs match up. Pick the springs you want, then match the shocks accordingly. Talk with one of the shops to find out what they have and what will work if you don't want the 5100s.
     
  17. Oct 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM
    #17
    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Member:
    #23531
    Messages:
    58,306
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Weesa
    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    You know, anywhere else in the universe a girl would get offended if a guy referred to her rear end as 'saggy'...here, not such a big deal. :eek:

    My truck was very sad in the beginning. I figured I was riding about 1/2" to 3/4" below stock height before the suspension was changed out. I saw a total difference of 2" in the front and 2.25" in the rear. So factor in the sag and you still come up with a height gain of roughly 1.5"
     
  18. Oct 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM
    #18
    Loudpedal

    Loudpedal Mind = Blown

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Member:
    #23661
    Messages:
    1,597
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Blair
    Not really New, not really Mexico
    Vehicle:
    02 SR5-Hole 4x4
    Andres Devil Horns, Goodyear Duratracs, Accidental Tailgate Delete (x2), Billy 5100s, OME 881 coils, Wheeler's 5-leafs, BAMF Sliders with kickouts, Box Rocket Fab Bedrack.
    Steve, Lisa, Buck Turgidson, and myself all went with the same setup. I too have the 5-leafs in the back and OME 881s in the front. I also put 5100s all around. The ride improvement is phenomenal. Also, If you're going to take the truck apart anyway, might as well increase its capabilities to better than stock. Since it appears that you'll be hauling stuff, you will want the extra load capacity.

    Since you are financially frugal, have you considered doing it yourself? It's not a difficult job, saves you a ton in labor cost, and it's great fun to spin wrenches. Check out mine and Steve_o_77's build threads for tips and pictures.
     
  19. Oct 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM
    #19
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Member:
    #25814
    Messages:
    31,424
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dick
    In close proximity to an undisclosed location
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    Back to square one after the 2001. So...
    You realize that isn't my real name...:spy:

    Why am I so secretive? I don't know. It is such a big secret, I can't even tell myself...:anonymous:
     
  20. Oct 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    #20
    Loudpedal

    Loudpedal Mind = Blown

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Member:
    #23661
    Messages:
    1,597
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Blair
    Not really New, not really Mexico
    Vehicle:
    02 SR5-Hole 4x4
    Andres Devil Horns, Goodyear Duratracs, Accidental Tailgate Delete (x2), Billy 5100s, OME 881 coils, Wheeler's 5-leafs, BAMF Sliders with kickouts, Box Rocket Fab Bedrack.
    Really? I wish it was my real name. I figured OP would look at the profile names and i wanted him to know who i was talking about. Guess I could have used screen names but I wanted to say Buck Turgidson.

    Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson
     
To Top