New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck) - Toyota Tacoma Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

Hey everyone I'm new here. I recently traded my Sentra for an 04' taco and would like help with a few things. I've been reading a lot of posts about lowering and and performance upgrades and a whole lot about stiffening and tightening steering. My question is what's the best bang for my buck with lowering 3/4, a lsd diff and fixing this sh*t steering (it's crazy sloppy). Truck details below

2004 Tacoma
285xxx miles
2.4L 2wd
Manual trans
Regular cab

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 09:00 AM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

Let's start with the steering issue ...

The first problem is figuring out if your Taco's steering is "crazy sloppy" for a 2004 Taco, versus just seeming sloppy compared to your Sentra.

In general, pickups' steering behavior isn't as crisp as one experiences in a small passenger car.

If it's unusually sloppy for a 2004 Taco, I'd recommend getting the steering gear checked out to see if there's damage or some other problem with (e.g.) the steering rack. If it's bad for a Taco it may involve a problem that needs more immediate attention than the lowering.

"If i saw a old dude with what appeared to be a cat over his mouth driving faster than me I'd stop driving fast." - Firdaddy
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 09:03 AM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

As to the lowering / drop ...

What do you intend to do with this truck? Will you be doing any hauling with it, or will it be more or less a street ride only?

This is an important consideration, because the most economical lowering tactics can result in worse ride quality and hauling capabilities.

"If i saw a old dude with what appeared to be a cat over his mouth driving faster than me I'd stop driving fast." - Firdaddy
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gaia View Post
Let's start with the steering issue ...

The first problem is figuring out if your Taco's steering is "crazy sloppy" for a 2004 Taco, versus just seeming sloppy compared to your Sentra.

In general, pickups' steering behavior isn't as crisp as one experiences in a small passenger car.

If it's unusually sloppy for a 2004 Taco, I'd recommend getting the steering gear checked out to see if there's damage or some other problem with (e.g.) the steering rack. If it's bad for a Taco it may involve a problem that needs more immediate attention than the lowering.

First and foremost thanks for the quick response time (Enola)!, secondly it has quite a bit of play side to side before response at the wheels.

Regarding to the lowering question the most it will have in it would be 500 pounds from my motorcycle other than that it will be used as a street truck. I would like a stiffer ride and also a ton less body roll.. which I have fixed some replacing the blown shocks with new ones already.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:07 PM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

The most economical approach would probably be a ball joint flip and blocks in the rear. However ...

In the front the BJF isn't likely to help your issue with the sloppy steering.

In the rear blocks will affect both the ride quality and your cargo hauling capability. In any case, blocks are generally a bad idea on a vehicle that's going to be used as anything other than a street queen.

There are lots of variations on the BJF / rear whatever tactics, as you've probably seen from checking out the forum archives. Some of these involve monkeying with the leaf springs in the rear.

Different details in implementing the BJF (etc.) drop have been known to lead to both a softer ride and a harsher ride. It really depends on the particular truck and the specific modifications done to it.

If you're seriously interested in maintaining a firm ride and good hauling capabilities ... IMHO you would be better off considering using lowering coils in the front and an S-Dad Mod (swapping to 4X4 / PreRunner leafs) in the rear.

"If i saw a old dude with what appeared to be a cat over his mouth driving faster than me I'd stop driving fast." - Firdaddy
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen that beefedtaco sells (sold previously) a lowering kit? I may be incorrect but if so would that be a good approach for what I'm looking at doing? Also do you recommend a certain lsd for the rear and also have knowledge in what size differential I would have or know how to check?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 09:37 PM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

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Originally Posted by JARRELLL View Post
I have seen that beefedtaco sells (sold previously) a lowering kit? I may be incorrect but if so would that be a good approach for what I'm looking at doing? ...
Long story short - your question about Brian (Beefed Taco) puts me on an uncomfortable spot.

The following is a blunt summary of the situation, based on years of experience on this forum. If you dig into the forum's past threads you'll find plenty of evidence supporting the following 2 points:

(1) Beefed Taco does very good work.

Brian is extremely knowledgeable about 1995.5 - 2004 suspensions and how to modify them. His products have gotten consistently great reviews for their quality and achieving the customer's mod objectives.

However ...

(2) It can be very frustrating to order things from Beefed Taco.

Over the years there have been many folks who've complained about Brian's responsiveness to communications and timeliness in delivering ordered goods. Some of these complaints have escalated to nasty levels.

To the best of my knowledge and recollection Brian's never cheated any of his customers, but some of his customers have gotten frustrated enough to feel cheated about promises they thought had been made and their ability to make effective contact with him.

There are always two sides to such situations. It's fair to say Brian hasn't always been forthcoming or prompt in explaining (here on CT) what's going on when such complaints have been posted on CT.

The end result: His technical reputation is excellent; his customer service / interaction reputation - not so much.

As I said above - check the forum archives, and you'll find plenty of evidence supporting what I've written.

I'm not trying to influence you one way or the other. You're new here, and I just wanted to make sure you were advised of the relevant history.

My advice is to make direct contact with Brian before committing to anything.

For the record - CT accepts no responsibility for transactions among members, and this means you're on your own in pursuing a deal with Brian.

That's all I'm gonna say on the subject ... As I indicated, it's a sensitive topic.

"If i saw a old dude with what appeared to be a cat over his mouth driving faster than me I'd stop driving fast." - Firdaddy
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 09:53 PM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

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Originally Posted by JARRELLL View Post
... Also do you recommend a certain lsd for the rear and also have knowledge in what size differential I would have or know how to check?
Your 2RZ 5-lug mini has the so-called "7.5" differential.

The so-called '7.5' or '4-cylinder' differential units were standard equipment on both your 2RZ 5-lug Tacoma and pre-1995.5 4-cylinder Toyota pickups at least as far back as the mid-80's.

"If i saw a old dude with what appeared to be a cat over his mouth driving faster than me I'd stop driving fast." - Firdaddy
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 07:37 AM
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Re: New and need help! (3/4 Drop: Best Bang for the Buck)

For what it's worth, I just went through all of this. Ended up ordering 3" lowering springs off Ebay, a set of 2" blocks, and a used set of 4wd leaf springs with one leaf removed. I also used a set of air shocks for the rear that give me adjustment over the height, depending on how loaded the bed is. Very happy with the end result, can carry my quad or streetbike no problem without banging on the bump stops the entire time. Pretty affordable too, think I'm only into it for around $250 total.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for the information (enola)
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