What shocks and load helper spring to get for Taco?

slooowr6

Explorer
Pick up a 06 Tacoma 4wd, long bed yesterday. It drives better than I expected.:D
The plan is to get a fourwheel eagle camper later. I'll need to get the truck ready to hadle the 900+lbs from the camper. It would be nice to get a set of DO or SAW but the damping on them are no adjustable from what I understand. I read in kcowyo's post on his camper he is using Air Lift with Rancho with positive result. Is there other options I should consider before making final decision? The camper will not be on the truck 100% of the time and when it's not on there I hope to keep the truck drives like a stock truck.
Thanks much for any info you can spare!

Alex :sombrero:
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Yamaha XT660
 
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Dave Bennett

Adventurist
slooowr6 said:
Pick up a 06 Tacoma 4wd, long bed yesterday. It drives better than I expected.:D
The plan is to get a fourwheel eagle camper later. I'll need to get the truck ready to hadle the 900+lbs from the camper. It would be nice to get a set of DO or SAW but the damping on them are no adjustable from what I understand. I read in kcowyo's post on his camper he is using Air Lift with Rancho with positive result. Is there other options I should consider before making final decision? The camper will not be on the truck 100% of the time and when it's not on there I hope to keep the truck drives like a stock truck.
Thanks much for any info you can spare!

Alex :sombrero:
IMO, the stock rear springs are junk. For what you want to do, and carry, I recommend a custom set of Deavers. Let them know what your're going to carry and they can make a purpose built spring pack that will ride good and work great. Stay away from hokey add a leaf setups and other junk.
 

slooowr6

Explorer
Dave,
If I'm going to keep the camper on the truck full time I'll go with custom but I want to have the option to not carry the camper to do some light camping or offroading. If I get a set of to fit the camper then without the camper it'll be too stiff. To have proper damping and spring rate for both activity is why I'm looking into getting a set of air bag and adjustable shocks.
Any suggestion on these items? I hope to do it right the first time so don't have the spend $ again later. I'm a cheapie...

Alex:smiley_drive:
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Honda RC160
 
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kcowyo

ExPo Original
Congrats on the new truck. I haven't seen too many of the new longbeds so I'll be looking forward to seeing yours. You were a little vague on the color though.....:lurk:

I'm very happy with the adjustable set up I have with the camper and how it has performed on various 4WD trails and long road trips. Keeping things as adjustable as possible (removable camper, adjustable airbags, air shocks, air locker, etc.) is important to me because at different times, I need the truck to be a comfortable daily driver, a backcountry adventure vehicle and a toy hauler.

Two similar products are offered from Air Lift and Firestone. Their prices were similar as well, just match up your application to their product #. I went with Airlift because I liked their monitoring system. You'll need a good air compressor too. An ARB Air Compressor would be a good thing to consider. You can air up your shocks and airbags with it and inflate your tires too.
 

oly884

Adventurer
I too have a FWC. I have the airlift air bags.

Due to issues with it before, and continuing issues with the lower mounting bracket on the air bags, I am going to be deeply considering either purchasing the firestone air bags, or go for a set of deaver springs. Air lift makes a good product, but I feel that the design of their mounting system could be better. The only issue with the firestone air bags is this

firestone installation manual said:
NOTE:
Once the air helper springs are installed, it is recommended that the vehicle not be lifted by the frame, as over-extension
may occur, resulting in damage to the air helper springs. However, should it become necessary to raise the vehicle by
the frame, deflate both air helper springs completely.
What concerns me is that this might mean that articulating the axle is a bad thing and will result in the destruction of the air bags. I have to do some more reading, but if/when it comes down to it, I'll probably just get the deavers, and when I don't have the camper on, just put sand bags in back to make it ride better (the weight of the camper ~500-600 lbs doesn't affect gas mileage to a large extent)
 

slooowr6

Explorer
kcowyo said:
Congrats on the new truck. I haven't seen too many of the new longbeds so I'll be looking forward to seeing yours. You were a little vague on the color though.....:lurk:

I'm very happy with the adjustable set up I have with the camper and how it has performed on various 4WD trails and long road trips. Keeping things as adjustable as possible (removable camper, adjustable airbags, air shocks, air locker, etc.) is important to me because at different times, I need the truck to be a comfortable daily driver, a backcountry adventure vehicle and a toy hauler.

Two similar products are offered from Air Lift and Firestone. Their prices were similar as well, just match up your application to their product #. I went with Airlift because I liked their monitoring system. You'll need a good air compressor too. An ARB Air Compressor would be a good thing to consider. You can air up your shocks and airbags with it and inflate your tires too.
I got a white one to with the future fourwheel camper. :elkgrin: j/k the truth is there is very limited 06 left and wanting a long bed make it even harder to get one now. So my choice is either red or white.

I recall reading you have Rancho shocks which model do you have? ARB compressor is $$ I plan to get the controler kit from Air Lift and use CO2 for tire inflation.
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buy vaporgenie
 
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slooowr6

Explorer
oly884 said:
I too have a FWC. I have the airlift air bags.

Due to issues with it before, and continuing issues with the lower mounting bracket on the air bags, I am going to be deeply considering either purchasing the firestone air bags, or go for a set of deaver springs. Air lift makes a good product, but I feel that the design of their mounting system could be better. The only issue with the firestone air bags is this



What concerns me is that this might mean that articulating the axle is a bad thing and will result in the destruction of the air bags. I have to do some more reading, but if/when it comes down to it, I'll probably just get the deavers, and when I don't have the camper on, just put sand bags in back to make it ride better (the weight of the camper ~500-600 lbs doesn't affect gas mileage to a large extent)

Good point on the firestone air bag. Getting custom deavers is not an option for me, my wife won't be happy to see sand bags in the back yard and I'm too old to load that much sand on to the truck. :peepwall:
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SV650
 
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oly884

Adventurer
haha, fair enough.

The airlift bags are good, it's just that you have to check the lower mount roughly every week to make sure that it's not "walking off" it's location. It's more than I want/like/have time to do, esp. the time it takes to "adjust" it and get it sitting properly again. This is just my .02, KC seems to have had great luck with the exact same kit, so I don't know why mine are being a PITA.
 

kcowyo

ExPo Original
slooowr6 said:
I got a white one to with the future fourwheel camper.....

I recall reading you have Rancho shocks which model do you have? ARB compressor is $$ I plan to get the controler kit from Air Lift and use CO2 for tire inflation.
Well the white ExPo afficianados will be happy to hear about your choice!

I have the Rancho 9000's with the in-cab adjustable controller. It's their older model with the 5 position setting, but their newer ones are a 9 position I believe. I like the in-cab control because who wants to crawl under the truck to manually adjust the shocks everytime the terrain changes? Someone less lazy than me maybe....:rolleyes:

Had I not already had the ARB compressor and a small backup compressor, I would have gone with the Airlift unit too. If you go with the Ranchos you'll need to stub in the airlines to some compressor. I have no idea if you can make that work with the Airlift product, mine run through the ARB . I use the backup compressor for the tires and airing up the airbags.

The ARB compressor is around $250-$300, not too bad. It's their lockers that are big dineros. If you have CO2 already that will take care of the tires and bags but not the shocks unless you get creative somehow....?
 

slooowr6

Explorer
:mad: :violent-smiley-031:
Just check Rancho's site, looks like they still don't have a shock for 06/05 Taco......... doh......

What happens if I use OE shocks with air bags? I know shocks are VERY important on truck stability. Or is their any other shocks?
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Ducati 999
 
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erin

Explorer
:coffee:
I think the concerns with the Firestones could be eliminated by installing a set of limit straps. This way you could lift/flex, what have you, to your hearts content with no worries.
 

kcowyo

ExPo Original
Considering how many times you'll actually have to raise the vehicle by the frame, I would say the minor inconvenience of having to let the air out of the bags isn't a really big deal. We're talking seconds here. And actually I forgot to do that when it was on the rack recently (raised by the frame) getting new balljoints before my trip to CA, but I had no problems even after that.

Regarding rear axle articulation, I can only offer that after thousands of off-road miles this year in UT, WY, CO, MT, CA, etc. I have yet to experience overextending the airbags. I have noticed after a day or two of hard off-road use, that they lose 10-15 pounds of pressure.

Regarding shocks, Bilsteins would also be an excellent choice and they're sure to have some for the new Tacomas. Your OE shocks, because they're new should be fine for awhile. There's no reason to scrap them just yet. As they fade and you're ready to replace them, especially with a camper, you'll definitely want to upgrade. I wouldn't be surprised to find though, that after a phone call to Rancho with your measurements in hand, they would have an adjustable shock to fit your taco.

You can't believe everything you read on the web, ya' know? ;)
 

slooowr6

Explorer
kcowyo said:
You can't believe everything you read on the web, ya' know? ;)
:smileeek: Really?? :sombrero:
I've spent too much $ for now, new truck and future camper, I'm only going to put in what is 100% needed like a set of air bags.
Here is a pic of the truck, it fills my parking space nicely.
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easy vape vaporizer
 
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kcowyo

ExPo Original
slooowr6 said:
Really?? :sombrero:
So I hear, but I read that on the internet....

That's a sharp truck! I think a FWC will look right at home on the back of it. So does it have the TuRD package? With Bilstein shocks? I'm not exactly up on what options are available on the long vs short beds.

I think you're on the right track with the airbags. They really helped control bounce, jounce, sway and understeer. There's nothing like riding on air. Don't count on that line about being able to deflate a bag to level you on an uneven campspot though. I tried it twice, doesn't really help.
 

slooowr6

Explorer
Longbed does not have offroad package so no locker on it. I did get the limit slip diff that has to do for now. It has tow package so it got a bigger battery, 130 amp alternator and a trasmission cooler. I choice the truck specificly for the eagle. :wings:
This is what I use the level my vanagon, http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Product/tf-Browse/s-10101/Pr-p_Product.CATENTRY_ID:2008286/p-2008286/Ns-p_MIN_PRICE|1/N-111+600005683/c-10107
It's like giant LEGO, I can't believe how $$ they are but even at walmart they cost the same so I gave in and bought a set.

Now it's time to figure which Air Lift controller I want to get. I'm leaning towards to SureSet so don't have to run air tubes into the cab.
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TTR250
 
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