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Fixing the Stance - New Alcan Leaf Pack for the Rear

July 15, 2017.

The truck has always had a bit of rake, with the rear being ~2-3” higher than the front. And I like it that way - it looks good.

Until the constant weight of the bed rack and CVT, the combination of stock leafs, Deaver AALs, and air shocks that I installed as part of the suspension overhaul were working reasonably OK. “OK” because I’ve never been able to get the air shocks to hold pressure - they lose about 10lbs a day, so I’m constantly filling them (which is easier with the ARB compressor installed). But with all the weight, the truck generally took on a more level stance.

With more and more trips, I decided it was time to fix the problem once and for all. I wanted that leaned-forward stance, and I want it all the time - not just when I got off my lazy butt and filled up the shocks.

So I started looking at new leaf packs. I initially thought I’d end up with OME Dakars with an extra leaf (which I could have gotten as part of my Toytec kit, so I was going to kick myself if I could have saved money) or the All-Pro Expedition Pack, since both had additional load capacity. But then I did a bit of reading around on TW and it seemed like a lot of the guys who have a bunch of gear and do a bunch of off-road driving tended to go for Alcan’s.

And, I liked the fact that Alcan is sort-of-local and custom built to my specs. So, I gave them a call and ordered up a set of springs with 600lbs extra carrying capacity and 3” of lift. Oh, and new, larger U-bolts.

Communication wasn’t their strong suit, but a few weeks later (a totally reasonable timeframe IMO), the springs arrived. And they were heavy. At 68lbs each, they weigh about twice as much as the stock leafs, but have a similar unsprung profile, which is good - I don’t want the stance to be too crazy.

When the weekend rolled around, I got started with the install. Given my work-time-prediction history, I hoped that I’d be done in a couple hours, but I allocated a full day.

It took 6 hours. Including some unforeseen problem solving. I’m getting better. 🙂

The overall process was mostly straight forward.

  1. Jack up the truck and gain access to the leaf springs.
  2. Remove the old leaf spring on one side.
  3. Install the new leaf spring on the same side.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 on the other side.

When removing the bolts on the front of the leaf springs, and the pins on the back, I was worried that they'd be seized. Not even close - while tight and requiring a breaker bar, they were in great shape and totally reusable. They torqued right back on at 116 ft-lbs in the front, and 67 ft-lbs on the shackle.

And then, with a little convincing, the Alcan's were installed. New, larger U-bolts were part of the deal as well - these are 9/16" diameter, torqued to 90 ft-lbs.

After installing the passenger side, I knew there was going to be a problem with the exhaust, but I hoped that it would "fix itself" when I installed the other side. It didn't (of course) and so further action was necessary.

I was about as comfortable with this "further action" as I was when the good folks at Relentless chopped my frame and front wheel well liners when installing the bumper (which is to say I cringed the whole time). Because, as much as I like to make my truck more capable…I do really like it being as stock as possible.

And with that, I'd successfully stumbled through another bit of maintenance. The stance, even loaded with gear, is now perfect.


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  1. RichV
    RichV February 26, 2019

    Curious if you had to shim the spring pack or drop the Center bearing any to keep driveline angles happy (No vibes in other words...)

    • turbodb
      turbodb February 26, 2019

      I didn't, but from what I've heard, it seems to vary on a case-by-case basis without much difference between the two cases/trucks. This is a place where I just happened to luck out and not have to change anything.

  2. Ian
    Ian December 16, 2021

    How much does the height of the rear vary between when you're loaded and unloaded?
    The rake looks pretty extreme in that last picture. I assume it settled some after the initial install?
    I'm looking at getting a set of springs set to the exact same spec as yours.

    • turbodb
      turbodb December 16, 2021

      Hey Ian, the height of the rear certainly varies between unloaded and loaded, and it did settle a little bit (but not a ton) from the initial install. I think part of the extreme rake in that photo is just the relatively wide angle I used and the position I took the photo from. If you look through the site, you can see many (too many? hahaha) photos of the truck from trips after I did this install. The most recent ( is one to Death Valley that has a nice photo of the Tacoma in front of Mesquite Dunes, sitting pretty level. You can also browse through all the trips by year (, to see how the truck has looked since the install in 2017. One of the great things about the Alcan's is that even after more than four years and 100K miles - I installed them in 2017 - they are showing no signs of wearing out. These things are awesome, and when they do wear out, I'll be replacing them with another set from this great company. The extra expense over some off-the-shelf option is totally worth it, IMO. Hope that helps! ?

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