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Guide Section: Suspension

Leaf springs, coilovers, bump stops, relocation of rear shocks, and the largest tire you can fit on a lifted Tacoma.

Choosing Lower Ball Joint (LBJ) Bolts

The content in this guide was originally created by Leon @SpikerEng on TacomaWorld as a series of posts over several months. I've captured it here for two reasons: I want to make sure that, should anything happen to Leon's post, that we all still have access to this amazingly useful information. As happens in forums, the information Leon posted (over time) is interspersed with a bunch of commentary from others. By consolidating it here, it becomes easier to read. Note: I've slightly edited certain bits of content in order to make the "flow" easier to consume as a single post…

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How-To: Toyota Tacoma Rear Shock Relocation - Determining Leaf Spring Cycle and Mount Positioning

I recently relocated the rear shock mounts on my 2000 Toyota Tacoma, and it didn't go so well...at least the first time. I didn't get the mounts in quite the right position (you can read the whole story here) and that meant cutting them off and doing everything a second time, the right way. Learn from my mistake. Here, I'll outline the proper steps (in a printable format - check out the story above for photos of the process) to relocating rear shock mounts on a 1st gen Toyota Tacoma - though, the steps are the same for any truck…

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Rebuilding/Revalving Smooth Body Shocks (ADS version)

I've discussed the trade-offs between disposable and rebuildable shocks in the past as I've replaced spherical bearings in my ADS coilovers, but I've never walked through the process of actually rebuilding the internals of a smooth body shock before. But, now that my shocks have absorbed some ~80K miles, it's time to rebuild and revalve them - so they can provide the same great service in the years to come, as they carry me and my stuff over thousands of miles of dirt roads. Related Guides Every shock manufacturer makes their shocks a little differently. I originally learned how to…

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Rebuilding/Revalving Smooth Body Shocks (King version)

I've discussed the trade-offs between disposable and rebuildable shocks in the past as I've replaced spherical bearings in my ADS coilovers, but I've never walked through the process of actually rebuilding the internals of a smooth body shock before. But, now that my shocks have absorbed some ~50K miles, it's time to rebuild and revalve them - so they can provide the same great service in the years to come, as they carry me and my stuff over thousands of miles of dirt roads. Related Guides Every shock manufacturer makes their shocks a little differently. I originally learned how to…

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Replacing Leaf Springs on a Tacoma

Sooner or later, every Tacoma will need to have its leaf springs replaced. Most commonly, replacement is considered only when one of the installed leafs breaks, or when the rear end of the truck seems to sag under light - or even non-existent - loads. With a few tricks to make replacement easier, the job isn't a hard one, but the same can't be said for deciding on which leaf springs to use as replacement. This guide will walk through several of the best options for the driver who wants new springs, but doesn't want to change the overall length…

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Step-by-Step Install of SPC Upper Control Arms on a Toyota Tacoma

I recently installed SPC Performance upper control arms (25460) on my 2000 Tacoma, and it went great. In addition to the story of the install, I figured a detailed set of instructions for anyone wanting to tackle this themselves would be nice to put together, since it's hard to find that written down in one concise place with a list of everything you need to do the job. So let's get started. Gathering the parts and tools Replacing the upper control arms (UCAs) is a relatively straight forward process, and nearly all the parts you'll need are included from SPC when…

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Step-by-Step Lower Control Arm Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner)

Over time, rubber bushings wear out and need to be replaced. This happened for me recently when I Replaced All the Bushings on my Tacoma, and I figured that others could benefit from a quick little guide that shows the entire process and lists all the necessary parts. Before getting started, I should note that when replacing the Lower Control Arm (LCA) bushings, one must remove the steering rack from its mounts. As such, this is also a good time to refresh the bushings that secure it as well, which is not a difficult process: Step-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a…

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Step-by-Step Replacing Lower Ball Joints (LBJ) on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner)

Over the last couple years, I've learned - mostly from others experience - that it's a good idea to keep an eye on 1st gen Tacoma lower ball joints (LBJs). If you do lots of bumpy, off-road style driving, every 30-50,000 miles is a reasonable interval to change this part of your truck, in order to prevent a catastrophic failure. So, today I headed out to the shop to check my LBJs, and here's what I found. This time, it's been 15 months, and it's definitely time for replacement. Before you do this test, you want to jack up the…

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Step-by-Step: Chevy 63 Leaf Spring Swap on a Tacoma

When it comes to rear suspension on a 1st gen Toyota Tacoma, there are many different leaf spring options - each with tradeoffs in terms of cost, ride, additional lift, and durability. In general, it's usually the right call to choose an aftermarket leaf spring option that's been developed for a 1st gen Tacoma, depending on how the truck is used. Check out Replacing Leaf Springs on a Tacoma for proven options that work in the following situations: Option 1: Stock Replacement Option 2: 0-3" Lift with Small-to-Moderate Intermittent Load Option 3: Custom Lift with Heavy Constant Load However, while…

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What size tires fit my lifted Tacoma?

This question is asked often enough that I figured it was finally time to put together an answer that gives lots of information, but that doesn't have to be re-typed again and again. Because that will save everyone a bunch of time, hopefully! So, let's start with the basic question that gets asked: What's the biggest tire I can run on my 1st gen Toyota Tacoma? There are of course variations to this question - some people wonder "with no lift," or "with a 1-3 inch lift," or "without cutting" or "with wheel XYZ" - but in the end, the…

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