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Why does everyone hate top load spacers?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by wolfgang123, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Jun 27, 2010 at 1:38 PM
    #1
    wolfgang123

    wolfgang123 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Skyler
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    i was thinking about this the other day and i just dont get it. A coil spacer raises your truck 3 inches but you also lose 3 inches of downtravel since the shock is "spread" apart more with the added spacer right? It makes for a stiffer ride since the coils are compressed from the get go. They can also cause the front springs to sag and wear out over time faster. They are also pretty expensive considering what they are. (i could be wrong on some of this so please correct me if i am)

    With top load spacers it seems like your basically just "lowering" the shock to gain 3 inches of lift, and everything stays the same...the only downside i see to these spacers are that the shock can bottom out before the lower arms hit the bumpstops thus snapping the shock, but if you got larger bump stops that could be prevented. These spacers are also cheap as F###!!!

    i am probably wrong in a lot of ways but i am just looking for some reasoning behind spending 160 dollars for coil spacers vs. spending 60 dollars for topload spacers?
     
  2. Jun 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM
    #2
    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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    I think that if you primarily drive on the street and don't wheel all that often than a spacer lift is totally fine! I have a 3" spacer lift with a AAL and I have no complaints :)
     
  3. Jun 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM
    #3
    wolfgang123

    wolfgang123 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yes but there are 2 different kinds of spacer lifts...top load...preload spacers(i think thats what they are called). It seems like everyone is running peload spacers and i am just trying to figure out why??
     
  4. Jun 27, 2010 at 2:23 PM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    FlimFlubberJAM
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    Top plate spacers still take away down travel. They dont affect the spring rate, as the spring is not preloaded. What they do cause, if you hit a hole, is breakage.

    [​IMG]

    By lengthening the shock assembly, which is what you are doing by adding a top plate spacer, you are making a longer shock assembly work in an environment that was only designed for an assembly 1.5" shorter. It can cause the suspension to over extend, thus breaking the shock, ball joints, or whatever else the weak link is.
     
  5. Jun 27, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    #5
    BajaTaco96

    BajaTaco96 Well-Known Member

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    Topload spacers seem to tear apart your cv's more so than preload spacers, that would be my assumption on the popularity. I run ToyTec's 3" front spacer kit on my truck right now, but I enjoy wheeling fairly hard on some weekends and the lack of flex and comfort is killing me. So I'll have them until I can afford a set of OME coils and struts. :D One day..... When someone pays all my bills for me for a few months. haha

    Shocks aren't particularly a fan of any kind of spacer like that it seems though. I've hit quite a bit though, and I'm straight with my setup. Besides being a stiffer ride over stock, it's not bad for the price of a complete ToyTec kit.
     
  6. Jun 27, 2010 at 2:56 PM
    #6
    Amo-cat3

    Amo-cat3 Wizard Sleeve Master

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    This by far is the All time best, clearest, sensible answer i've heard on this forum yet. Chris - this would of stopped those insane coilover vs. spacer threads in a heartbeat.

    I've been running EZ lift 1.5" top plate spacers (3" lift) for over a year now and they ride a little stiffer than stock, but it really complements the trucks cornering. when hitting holes or bumps it does feel like it maxes out at times. A couple of my buddies that have the revtek lift are surprised at how much softer my ride is.

    Now, i've got my coilovers sitting here so once their on i'll get to see for my self.
     
  7. Jun 27, 2010 at 2:58 PM
    #7
    wolfgang123

    wolfgang123 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ok top plate spacers take away downtravel how does that work? they dont affect the travel of the shock since they sit ontop of it?

    and that broken shock i am assuming is from the shock bottom out and having no bumpstops to take the force? that was something i mention in my original post.

    and you say top plate spacer extend the shock length and cause wear on parts, i understand this but doesnt a coil spacer do the same thing? how do a coil spacer "lift" if its not making the shock longer? i am not challenging any one here i am just trying to understand.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2010 at 5:14 PM
    #8
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    A pre load spacer pre loads the spring, but the assembly stays the same length. The front end only has a certain amount of travel regardless of the length of the assembly. If you make it longer, the control arms, and ball joints still can only move the ammount they were designed to. If lifting 3" by useing a top plate spacer, you still only have 1" of down travel. BUT....Now the shock assembly is 1.5" longer. That means that when you hit a bump, and the suspension tries to rebound, it will go 1", then bind. Being as the assembly still has 1.5" of travel left, you get breakage of things.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #9
    wolfgang123

    wolfgang123 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ok i kinda get it now still a little confused i might have to go out and look at my front end to get a better understanding thanks!
     
  10. Jun 28, 2010 at 12:25 AM
    #10
    kumaWRX

    kumaWRX Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I didn't even consider this when I had my Daystar 1.25 inch top load spacers and went wheeling. Glad I have SAWs now :)
     
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