'12 Tacoma: 1" to 1.5" lift, increase payload, off-road ability

I just got a new Tacoma a few months ago and so far I have added sliders and a tool box full of recovery gear. This alone probably weighs around 350lbs. The payload capacity of the truck is only slightly more than 1000lbs. I would like to modify the suspension to increase the load carrying capacity of the truck, increase the height by 1 inch in the rear and 1.5 inches in the front, and maintain the trucks off road ability. I don't want to use air bags and I am not looking to change control arms. I would also like it to be able to accommodate the addition of a plate front bumper and winch, and compensate for whatever weight forward that will add. I am leaning towards front coil-overs, but am unsure about who manufactures the best for my application. I do not believe remote reservoirs are necessary. For the back I have not found any leaf springs that add the ride height I am looking for and the increase in load capacity.

I am planning on 235/85-16 BFG A/T's on the stock Toyota TRD wheel.

Has any member here had a similar problem and what was your solution?
 

Vantage

Adventurer
Best weight hauling spring with the lowest lift is the IronMan4x4 leaf springs.

I would pair them with an Ironman set of coilovers.

They lift a little more than you would like at 2", but look like a great solution.

OME daraks(leafs) and front springs/shocks lift more:
884x lift 2"
885x lift 2.5"
886x lift 2.5" and are for heavy bumper.
Dakar rear leafs lift 2.75".
 

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upcountry

Explorer
This is the CLASSIC problem cited with these trucks on this forum. There are many products out there to upgrade your suspension, so many it is mind boggling at times.

The tried and true "basic" but well performing is the OME (Old Man Emu) system cited above.

If you only want a modest lift, and better performance, you cant go wrong with OME.

For a truly "basic" upgrade, go with:

Front:

The 885 coil spring, the 9000 nitrocharger strut

Rear:

Add-a leaf and Billstein 5100 shocks.

This will give you some basic lift and added capacity in the rear.

Or, if you want to spend more money add some OME Dakar leaf spring packs in the rear.

BTW, these are really easy to install. Just make sure you buy the front strut (gas strut and spring) assembled becuause you need a press to assemble them and you out of luck if you get them shipped un-assembled.

I went to Toytect for these parts - and have been through various versions of these suspensions to settle with what I have now.

There are many better "high performance" setups out there, but they vary greatly in terms of cost, difficulty of install, and longevitiy (many require a rebuild after a few short years).

OME is a low-maintenance product with few known problems.

You may already know some or all of this, either way, enjoy! If you have more questions, this forum is great to get answers, members are much more helpful on this forum than others where there are many smart arse people getting in your face.

Cheers.
 

Plannerman

Wandering Explorer
You may want to look into Icon's rear leaves. My recollection is they add capacity with only increasing lift by ~1.5"


Sent via fat thumb
 

keezer37

Explorer
To my knowledge, you're not going to get that small a lift in the rear and add load capacity. The front's no problem if you go with adjustable type coilovers.

What I have: Icon (Donahoe) coilovers with about 90k miles/6 years on them. Pricey but they performed well, very well. One broken spring ($80), one rebuild and the seal on one just blew again. At $250 plus round trip shipping for these heavies, I don't think I'm going to do it again. I need reliability and I'll suffer some ride quality for it.

I'll probably go with OME and borrow a spring compressor from Autozone. I assembled the Icon. It's not that bad to do it yourself but you will need a vice or something to hold it steady. My understanding is the 886 springs are very harsh without the heavy bumper/winch so be advised if you go that route. You might want to opt for the 885s for now. I never found a use for a winch so I'll probably go with 885s with my ARB bumper.

I think an AAL will be fine for you. This is what I have and it served me well. Wheeler's single AAL will add 1.75" but you'll keep your overload leaf you currently have. I've carried 800lbs with no complaints.

Here again, with over 130k on the OE rear springs, it's time for a change. I really don't want the lift of the Dakars but beyond that... perhaps Alcan.

I'd avoid remote reservoirs. I don't see the necessity and it's just something else to leak.
 

ebg18t

Adventurer
Ironman or OME if budget is key otherwise I suggest Fox coils. Based on what I have read on the Australia boards; Ironman offers a great product at an extremely reasonable price. I sold my OME setup and moved to the Fox Coilovers since I wanted more adjustably. This is my 2nd truck with Fox's and I am extremly impressed. Again just my 2cents.
 
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So right now I'm looking at:

OME Nitrocharger front and rear shocks
OME 886 coils (1.75" of lift)
Wheelers heavy duty 3 leaf progressive AAL (1.5" of lift)

This should roughly level the truck, carry the weight of the winch and bumper, increase payload, and provide approximately the lift I'm looking for. Best of all I can get it all from Wheelers for significantly less than the cost of front coil-overs. Any critique of this set up?
 

upcountry

Explorer
So right now I'm looking at:

OME Nitrocharger front and rear shocks
OME 886 coils (1.75" of lift)
Wheelers heavy duty 3 leaf progressive AAL (1.5" of lift)

This should roughly level the truck, carry the weight of the winch and bumper, increase payload, and provide approximately the lift I'm looking for. Best of all I can get it all from Wheelers for significantly less than the cost of front coil-overs. Any critique of this set up?

I ran that exact setup for about two years except my coils were 885s and not 886s and and I was also running a spacer for a full 3 inch lift. The 885s were perfect with no heavy bumper up front.

I went to 886s when I added the ARB bullbar and winch. I also went to All Pro expo springs. So, I still have about 3" lift all around.

I also really liked the AAL. It was great for the price.

My only criticism is unless OME has extended the length of the rear shock, I would go with a Billstein 5100 as the OME shocks were too short at full droop and limited downtravel of the rear suspension. But, I think I read they have longer ones now? that would be a great question for wheelers. Make sure to ask if their AAL setup will work and match the travel of the OME rear shocks, or if there is a better shock they recommend.

Also, keep in mind that at first the lift will seem like it is much more than you wanted or planned for, but it will settle quite a bit over the first three months.

Be sure to take some measurements before lifting it to have as a reference. Measure from the center of the wheel hub to the bottom of the fender directly up at 90degrees to the horizontal plane.
 
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upcountry

Explorer
Also, one thing to be aware of, if you are lifting the vehicle.

There have been many, many complaints of a driveline vibration that develops.

You may want to read through this thread to be aware of the possible complications:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/153050-just-fixed-driveline-vibration-free.html

And, if you go over about 2" in the front there have been complaints about front differential carrier bearing noise. Suggest also reading this thread:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/152173-official-2nd-gen-4x4-front-differential-bearing-vibration-thread.html

Both of these have been valuable in chasing the vibration demons!!!!!
 

Vantage

Adventurer
886 will provide more lift than 1.75".

I bought the OME 884 which are claimed for 2" of lift and they lifted me about 2.5". I would venture 2.5-3" with the 886.
 
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