Toyota Tacoma Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I am replacing the leaf springs on my wife's 97 Taco. They were reversed arched.

I would like something heftier since the old ones were insufficient. It only has 160K mi on it. Just purchased it.

It seems that the 4WD leaf springs are much more ubiquitous than the 2WD ones. Finding the 2WD springs has felt like hunting for jackalope.

I just noticed that the dimensions/specs on the 2WD are almost the exact same as those for the 4WD. The only difference is the 4WD has an extra leaf (which I was going to add anyway).

Can I use the 4WD leaf spings??? If anyone has good info on this I would greatly appreciate it.
 

·
Mambeau / Admin
Joined
·
47,865 Posts
The 1995.5 - 2004 6-lug (4WD) leaf springs aren't arched as much as the 5-lug (mini; 2WD) leafs. This is because the 6-lug leafs sit above the axle, whereas the 5-lug leafs sit under the axle.

The 6-lug leafs will fit up on your 5-lug Taco, by flipping(?) the bracket that holds the leaf pack together.

However ....

It will result in a 1.5 - 2" drop in the rear. When done deliberately, this is the mild lowering mod that originated on CT as the 'S-Dad Mod'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that's really good info. Do you think I could accomplish similar to OEM height by using a set of the lifted 4WD leaf springs? Like the ones from old man emu or one of the other 4WD aftermarket spring companies?
 

·
Mambeau / Admin
Joined
·
47,865 Posts
I don't see the point in investing in lifted / new 4WD leafs for this purpose. By the time you get that to work (if and when you finally get it to work ... ) you'd probably spend more time and money than if you bit the bullet and paid 'retail' for replacement 5-lug leafs (aftermarket; nationwide recycler networks).

Also ... There's no way to guarantee lifted 6-lug leaf packs will set the rear at OEM height, and the non-standard 4WD leafs might present some fit-up issues that OEM leafs don't.

There's another approach you might consider ... There is such a thing as re-arching springs (i.e., a specialty shop will bend 'em to your spec's). I don't know if the OEM leaf packs are recommended for arching mod's, though.

Finally, you might be able to neutralize the drop by adding an extra leaf or spacers or something to the 'new' 6-lug leaf pack.

I'd recommend rummaging through the CT archives on the subject of lifting 5-lug Tacos (1995.5 - 2004). There may well be some tips or tricks used to lift 5-luggers that could be adapted to your proposed scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok, done lots of digging and still evaluating my options. very stressed and very appreciative of the info and insights!!
Could you or someone please reconcile the following:

Beefed Taco;1879937 Quote: Originally Posted by timmy0tool very informative! so let me get this straight said:

and the specs for
PN 90-161 (right spring 2WD) :
SRI Number:90-161
OEM Number:48210-04032
Width:2-3/8 Inches
Length (A): 22-1/2 Inches
Length (B):28-5/8 Inches
Arc (C):5 Inches
Number of Leaves:2/1
Pack Thickness (D):1-3/16 Inches
Front Bushing:Included
Rear Bushing:Not Included
Note:Right spring, Regular cab

and the specs for
PN 90-171 (right spring 4WD) :
SRI Number:90-171
OEM Number:48210-04081
Width:2-3/8 Inches
Length (A): 22-1/2 Inches
Length (B):28-5/8 Inches
Arc (C):5 Inches
Number of Leaves:3/1 and Wedge
Pack Thickness (D):1-7/16 Inches
Front Bushing:Included
Rear Bushing:Included
Note:Right spring, Extra cab

these data are from truckspring.com


so that seems to indicate that both springs will be the same? based on what beefed taco said and the spec for the arc of the springs...

but

The 1995.5 - 2004 6-lug (4WD) leaf springs aren't arched as much as the 5-lug (mini; 2WD) leafs. This is because the 6-lug leafs sit above the axle, whereas the 5-lug leafs sit under the axle....It will result in a 1.5 - 2" drop in the rear. When done deliberately, this is the mild lowering mod that originated on CT as the 'S-Dad Mod'.
this info seems to conflict?
am I missing something?
Thanks in advance.


p.s./side note: in the SDAD mod quoted above they seem to have removed a leaf both in the 6-lug and the 5-lug...not sure if that is pertinent info, but just thought I would throw it in, in case it was.
sorry I'm so confused haha

p.p.s.
-my original leaf springs are in an un-salvageable state ( I cut one during removal due to poor advice that they would not be able to be salvaged/reworked)
-ditto on my original shackles (bent one during removal...guess I dont know my own strength...)
so
I purchased 4WD shackles because that was all I could find ANYWHERE
so
it appears at this juncture I will have to make 4WD leaves work
or
make 2WD leaves work with the 4WD shackles by removing the 14mm lower stud (that comes on the 4WD shackle designed to fit the 4WD leaves) and replacing it with an 18mm bolt (for the 2WD leaves) from the hardware store. and I would still want to add some beef to the 2WD leaves (add another leave from the old leaves??) so I don't end up in the same boat again (with reverse arched leaves...from the less than beefy 2wd OEM leaves)

p.p.p.s Wanting to use the truck on a road trip this weekend...go ahead and laugh...
I sure am learning a lot...
 

·
Mambeau / Admin
Joined
·
47,865 Posts
Sorry - you're really confusing me here ... :shrug:

The OEM leaf spring part numbers you quoted (from truckspring.com ? ... ) do not appear in my factory parts listings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry - you're really confusing me here ... :shrug:

The OEM leaf spring part numbers you quoted (from truckspring.com ? ... ) do not appear in my factory parts listings.

Hmm, I called my local Toyota parts and they gave me the same part numbers as I quoted from truck spring.com: 48210-04032 and 48220-04011, RH and LH respectively, for the 97 2WD leaf springs.

Did everything else I said make sense?

Thanks for the help.
 

·
Mambeau / Admin
Joined
·
47,865 Posts
I'm still kinda lost as to whether you're trying to simply re-install 2WD leafs or swap over to 4WD leafs. You originally asked if you could use 4WD leafs. I told you yes, but it would result in lowering the rear. Now it seems you've located a source for the 2WD leafs and want to install them using 4WD shackles.

The part number for the 2WD LH leaf pack (which you didn't quote earlier ... ) matches the factory parts listings in my archives. I still can't vouch for the RH part number. However, it's not unusual for Toyota to consolidate or modify parts for earlier (out of production) models (which results in new part numbers).

The bits you quoted from one of Beefed Taco's reports come from this thread:

http://www.customtacos.com/forum/54-1995-5-2004/157278-leaf-swap-5-6-lug-pics-s-dad-mod.html

... which is describing a 4WD leaf swap onto a Taco that was already significantly lowered (5/6).

Because that write-up concerns an already lowered suspension, I don't think the removing-leafs bits apply to your situation.

However, I believe Brian's info about the mounting bits (shackles, bolts, etc.) should still apply.

That's about all I can tell about it ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,300 Posts
I was hoping I could help you, I have a set of 5 lug leafs sitting here but they are from my 99 and you need 95.5-97 because 98-04 are about 3-4" longer (54").

Something that may help you have better luck in finding stock 5 lug leafs for your 97 is you can use 5 lug leafs from 89-95 Toyota 5 lug trucks, (and possibly even earlier I'm not 100% sure though) the length and design is the same, about 51".

Something else I just thought of...if 6 lug leafs are in abundance where you are, there should be an abundance of older 5 lug leafs too, the 89-95 ones. Look into those and take some measurements. But...if it becomes difficult and time consuming and you decide on a set of 6 lug leafs, what you can do is make sure to get the shackles too, (or I have a set of shackles here that work with 6 lug leafs that I can sell you) and since the 6 lug leafs are going to give you a 1" or so drop, you can buy a Add A Leaf kit and use it on the bottom of the 6 lug leafs and it will lift you back to stock or slightly higher than stock. Payload will be increased too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ah! ok, thanks guys.

Just to be clear on my situation:

Problem: reversed arched 2WD (5-lug) springs
Note: considering the OEM 5-lug leaf springs to be insufficient for my intents and purposes (wife driving with a decent load in the back and don't ever want the leaves to go bad again)

Restrictions:
Would like to have normal/OE truck height

Only have 1 original 5-lug leaf spring and 1 original 5-lug shackle because the others were destroyed in disassembly.

Only easily available springs are 4WD 6-lug (can get from local parts stores)

Seems to be the only available shackles are also 4WD 6-lug

Solutions:

1 obtain via online dealer OEM 5-lug leaf springs and add a leaf to make them stronger. Then modify the 6-lug shackles from a 14mm stud to an 18mm stud with an M18 bolt.

2 Obtain 6-lug leaf springs and install them as is with the 6-lug shackles I purchased. Assess change in height. ?If truck height is too low, perhaps weld a metal tube to function as a new shackle mount under the original shackle mount? which would raise the frame with respect to the leaf springs/axle by a height of the tube (approx 1.6")

At this juncture:

I have the 6-lug shackles and 1 of the 6-lug leaves installed. But I am unable to assess the height. Tomorrow, the other 6-lug leaf will arrive at which point I can assess height.

Also arriving tomorrow is a pair of 5-lug leaf springs which I purchased online. I am hoping that the 6-lug leaves will work and I won't have to mod the 6-lug shackles to fit the 5-lug springs

fingers crossed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,300 Posts
Sounds to me like you're more than half way to getting the truck done, by using 6 lug leafs and shackles. If the rear height is lower than you like, just buy some lift shackles. They can be found online, I also make them, in 1", 1-1/2", 2", 2-1/2", and can also do a 3" set. Normally they are 1-1/2" or 2".
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
very nice! I hadn't even thought of that!

lift shackles may be my best option!

I sure am learning a lot!

at what point (change in ride height?) should I start being concerned about my shocks being or not being ok?

Also where would one get the correct frame to shackle bushings? it appears as though most lift shackles don't come with bushings...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,300 Posts
very nice! I hadn't even thought of that!

lift shackles may be my best option!

I sure am learning a lot!

at what point (change in ride height?) should I start being concerned about my shocks being or not being ok?

Also where would one get the correct frame to shackle bushings? it appears as though most lift shackles don't come with bushings...
It's normal for Toyota trucks to come with shocks that are about 1" too short in the rear. I'm experiencing this on my truck right now too. I just lifted it back up from being lowered and I can tell when I go over speed bumps crooked that my stock length rear shocks are too short. I can feel them extend all the way and tug on the axle.

SHOCKS

You need to do exactly what I need to do...when your truck is together, just before you install the rear shocks, jack it up in the rear by the frame so the axle drops out all the way and take a measurement from the center of each shock mount. Chances are you are going to find that it will be a bit more than than the extended length of the shocks. Next step is to go to a reputable store, give them your total mount to mount measurement and add one inch to it. This will be the extended length of the new shocks you will need.

BUSHINGS
I know there are poly urethane bushings offered in the after market, most likely from Energy, but don't have a product # for you. You might be able to call a reputable shop in your area or find them online. The Toyota dealer can probably help too with a set of OEM rubber ones. Or try your salvage yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's normal for Toyota trucks to come with shocks that are about 1" too short in the rear. I'm experiencing this on my truck right now too. I just lifted it back up from being lowered and I can tell when I go over speed bumps crooked that my stock length rear shocks are too short. I can feel them extend all the way and tug on the axle.

SHOCKS

You need to do exactly what I need to do...when your truck is together, just before you install the rear shocks, jack it up in the rear by the frame so the axle drops out all the way and take a measurement from the center of each shock mount. Chances are you are going to find that it will be a bit more than than the extended length of the shocks. Next step is to go to a reputable store, give them your total mount to mount measurement and add one inch to it. This will be the extended length of the new shocks you will need.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT ADVICE AND STRAIGHT ANSWERS!!

jacking and checking the shock length: is that with tires off so the axle is just hanging by the leaf springs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
update:

Just got it all back together. The rear fender sits 1" lower than the front.

I noticed the shackles are pointing rearward (picture attached), and I remembered an old timer telling me the other day that it is bad when the shackles are pointing rearward...

Should I be concerned? Is this normal? will adding lift shackles cause them sit normally if this is not normal?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The shackle looks normal, that's how it's supposed to be. That's how a shackle should be. You want it to slant back, it allows it to swivel correctly. When a shackle is too vertical you get a rough ride because it's hard for it to move easily. Old Jeeps are like that. Too vertical and on the front of the leaf which also is a poor design because it's fighting the normal way it wants to move as the leaf pushes on it. This is why Jeeps now have their shackle at the rear of the leaf.

When checking shock length with the axle dropped out, it's easier to do it with the tires off so you don't have to have the truck so high for the tires to be off the ground. If you have a rear bumper, use a floor jack with a wooden block or something on it and jack it up until the tires come slightly off the ground (if the tires are on) or if they aren't on, until you know the axle is dropped out all the way. Then take your mount too mount measurement and add one inch, this will be the extended length of the new shocks.

Honestly, stock length will most likely be fine, it may be easier for a guy behind a counter to get you what you need, but personally, I know mine are a hair too short and the tug I get when I feel them extend all the way bugs me. Ideally it's not good for the mounts, but like I said earliierr, for some reason every stock Taco I've worked on has rear shocks that are about one too short at full drop out. I always have to jack the axle up one inch so I can pull it off easily.
Roger Dodger! Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Huston, we have a problem...

Oh my freaking gosh! What is wrong?? I just drove around the block with the brand new 6-lug leaves (which have one more leaf than the OE 5-lug leaves) AND THEY ARE SAGGING AND REVERSE-ARCHED!!! (images attached) WHAT THE HECK???

I must be missing something?????

there is only a couple hundred lbs of my wife's work equipment in there...

Thoughts???

please help!!!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,300 Posts
Here's my post from earlier for others to read I see you quoted it but I deleted it so the edit history wouldn't be a mile long when the edit nazis looked at the history. I will post it here and make a new post after this one.

SHACKLES
The shackle looks normal, that's how it's supposed to be. That's how a shackle should be. You want it to slant back, it allows it to swivel correctly, with ease. You want some angle in a shackle, just like in your picture.

When a shackle is too vertical you get a rough ride because it's hard for it to move easily. Old Jeeps are like that. Too vertical and on the front of the leaf which also is a poor design because as the shackle on the front of the leaf moves, the axle is moving forward instead of moving backward like it would do if the shackle was on the rear of the leaf. It creates a rough ride because the axle is moving forward pushing against bumps instead of moving back going more with the flow. This is why Jeeps now have their shackle at the rear of the front leafs instead of at the front like on older models.

SHOCKS
When checking shock length with the axle dropped out, it's easier to do it with the tires off so you don't have to have the truck so high for the tires to be off the ground. If you have a rear bumper, use a floor jack with a wooden block or something on it and jack it up until the tires come slightly off the ground (if the tires are on) or if they aren't on, until you know the axle is dropped out all the way. (which it will be if there's nothing under the axle and you're jacking from the bumper or frame) Then take your mount too mount measurement and add one inch, this will be the extended length of the new shocks.

Honestly, stock length will most likely be fine, it may be easier for a guy behind a counter to get you what you need, but personally, I know mine are a hair too short and the tug I get when I feel them extend all the way bugs me. Ideally it's not good for the mounts, but like I said earlier, for some reason every stock Taco I've worked on has rear shocks that are about one inch too short at full drop out. I always have to jack the axle up one inch to get the shock off easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,300 Posts
Huston, we have a problem...

Oh my freaking gosh! What is wrong?? I just drove around the block with the brand new 6-lug leaves (which have one more leaf than the OE 5-lug leaves) AND THEY ARE SAGGING AND REVERSE-ARCHED!!! (images attached) WHAT THE HECK???

I must be missing something?????

there is only a couple hundred lbs of my wife's work equipment in there...

Thoughts???

please help!!!
SOME 6 LUG LEAFS
Here's what's going on with your 6 lug leafs... A lot of 6 lug leafs are known to wear out quickly and start arching the wrong way. I think they even had a recall on them. It's great if you're lowering your truck, guys love it, but if you aren't and you're hoping for a higher sitting truck that handles weight better it's not good.

TRY THIS
Something I would do right now if I were you, is to flip those over load leafs over so they curve like a smile instead of how they are now (from the factory) like a frown. This will raise the rear and help with payload. Do this and see what you get.

I know it sucks having to do things multiple times to get an outcome, been there done that. One good thing in your favor at this point right this moment is your 97 has really curved overloads, unlike 01-04 trucks that are much flatter, so by flipping them you will see a difference.

LEAF LENGTH
Regarding your leafs and your shackle being pushed back....it's hard to tell from your picture if it's back more than normal. Here's what I need to know...are the leafs you're using the correct length? Your 97 has leafs that are about 51" eye to eye stock. 98 -04 trucks use rear leafs that are about 3-4" longer, 54" eye to eye. Did you measure the eye to eye length on the new leafs you are using?

I just sent you a PM with my # so you can text me if you need info quicker than forum posting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Huston Problem Update:
unloaded wife's equipment from the truck.
Springs are back to "normal" (photos attached)

Truck height adjusted such that the rear is now 1.6" HIGHER so a change in rear height from loaded to unloaded = +2.6"

I guess that means that the OE 6-lug springs are weak in the pants too..

maybe the equipment was more than a couple hundred lbs total.
I just did a quick estimation of the weight of all the items in the back of the truck and added them and came out at 430lbs, so if I'm 25% wrong the load is 322-537 lbs if I'm 50% wrong that's 215-645 lbs

According to the manual, with 1-2 occupants (it's a regular cab so there won't be more than 1-2 occupants) the cargo weight rating of both the 2WD 5-lug and the 4WD 6-lug is 1100 lbs. And it appears as though we very probably aren't exceeding more than 58% of that (645/1100 = 58%)

What the heck?

do I just need stronger springs?
if the springs are that weak with that much load, should I worry about the tires being OK?
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top