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Discussion Starter #1
Probably a stupid question. Hopefully someone who has done the swap before can chime in and help me.

I'm doing the 4x4 leaf spring swap in my 04 2wd Taco. I have the correct leaf springs. I'm going to keep all the leaves, and install the 2wd overload in the 4x4 leaf pack. I haul a stunt bike (sometimes two) so I don't think removing leaves would be a good idea.

My problem is, when I went to disassemble the leaves, I had to cut the nuts off and hammer out the stud in the center that holds everything together. Can I simply replace it with an Allen head bolt, or do I need to get a replacement from Toyota?

My lowering question: after the 4x4 leafs with 2wd overload should net me 1.5" - 2" drop correct? And if I install 3" springs in the front, am I only going to get 2" drop being a regular cab?

Overall plan: install 4x4 leaf springs, then recheck ride height, and order blocks and springs for the front. Would basically like to make it as easy as possible to load up bikes but still be supportive enough to not bottom out everywhere.

Sorry for the long winded post. Thanks everyone!
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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Discussion Starter #3
If you don't pull out a leaf, you may not get as much drop as expected and it may ride rough.

What year Tacoma rear 6-lug leaf pack are you using? It makes a difference in the shackle arrangement and what must be done to hold the leafs together.
EG - thanks for the reply. I got a set from an '02 4x4 so they should bolt right up. I know which side is which too. I didn't wanna pull a leaf because I was worried about bottoming out when loaded. With two streetbikes, I'm close to 1k lbs in the bed.

I will reread the thread again. Never too much information with this stuff. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you don't pull out a leaf, you may not get as much drop as expected and it may ride rough.

What year Tacoma rear 6-lug leaf pack are you using? It makes a difference in the shackle arrangement and what must be done to hold the leafs together.
I found my answer. The center stud that holds the leaf springs together is actually the same for 2wd and 4x4. One problem solved!

Still hesitant to remove a leaf, I don't want to bottom out when fully loaded. That's my main concern. I'm not trying to drop this thing on the ground, I just want it to be easier to load and unload bikes.

Next up: if I install a set of 3" lowering springs up front, am I only going to get 2" or so because I have a regular cab 2wd?

Thanks again for your input!
 

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I feel like I'm in the same camp as you.. only mine is a 1999 Extended Cab. Are you doing BJ flip in front? I'm leaning toward keeping it stock and possibly Belltech 2" drop in front, as 3" drop seemed too aggressive for me. As for the rear, I'm wondering if I could go block-free with just 4x4 leaf swap and be happy, and if the ride would be better for it, vs. keeping stock leafs and doing a 2" or 3" block.
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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I feel like I'm in the same camp as you.. only mine is a 1999 Extended Cab. Are you doing BJ flip in front? I'm leaning toward keeping it stock and possibly Belltech 2" drop in front, as 3" drop seemed too aggressive for me. As for the rear, I'm wondering if I could go block-free with just 4x4 leaf swap and be happy, and if the ride would be better for it, vs. keeping stock leafs and doing a 2" or 3" block.
The short answer is 'Yes' - in terms of ride, load handling, and long-term reliability the 'S-Dad Mod' (6-lugger leaf swap) is a better alternative to using blocks.

Blocks can crack, and blocks can slip.
 

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The short answer is 'Yes' - in terms of ride, load handling, and long-term reliability the 'S-Dad Mod' (6-lugger leaf swap) is a better alternative to using blocks.

Blocks can crack, and blocks can slip.
Do you know how much drop the S-Dad should yield on my 1999 Extended Cab? (with keeping all the leaves intact, no removal).

Has anybody done it for reference that you can remember offhand? I swear I feel like I'm showing up to a party about 10 years late over here :nerd
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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I don't know how much drop you'd get if you kept all the 6-lug leafs. I'm guessing 2", but that's only a guess.

I'm also unsure what effect it would have if you don't swap in the overload leaf from your 5-lug leaf pack.

Is your Taco a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder? Engine weight and body weight affect how much drop you get. An XtraCab will sink lower than a Regular Cab.

Since yours is a pre-2001 model, you may need to deal with the shackle issue described in the detailed writeup linked earlier in this thread.
 

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Do you guys know if the placement of where the axle sits on the 6lug pack is different from the 5lug pack? I keep getting foggy answers. I have heard that when doing the s-dad mod it moves the pin placement forward about 0.5" but I have also heard that it's not an issue.
 

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I don't know how much drop you'd get if you kept all the 6-lug leafs. I'm guessing 2", but that's only a guess.

I'm also unsure what effect it would have if you don't swap in the overload leaf from your 5-lug leaf pack.

Is your Taco a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder? Engine weight and body weight affect how much drop you get. An XtraCab will sink lower than a Regular Cab.

Since yours is a pre-2001 model, you may need to deal with the shackle issue described in the detailed writeup linked earlier in this thread.
Mine's a 2.4L. In S-Dad's case, he was swapping '98 leafs onto an S-runner (older to newer), so I know its not apples to apples, but didn't he keep the 4x4 overload and install it as is?
 

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Nevermind, I can see its most likely for clearance reasons... as the 5-lug overload wont curve down toward the ground as much.

This is becoming less plug-and-play than I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Kind of an update, as this project has been sitting on the back burner for awhile.

Finally went ahead and ordered the rest of the parts for the Tacoma. Got the two rear leaf spring bushings I needed, a set of 3" springs for the front, and a pair of 2" lowering blocks just in case.

First stage: 4x4 leafs with 2wd overload. Coat everything in grease or antisieze. Check height both loaded, and unloaded.
2nd: install 3" front springs. Repeat loaded/unloaded height check.
3rd: (if necessary) either remove one leaf or install the 2" blocks to match the rear height properly.

I know this is a lot of work for a simple lowering job, but I'm trying to achieve the most functional setup for what I use my truck for. In the future, I'll most likely be doing air shocks in the back, as well as an upgraded set in front.

Hopefully by next week I won't have 3.5" front and 6" rear wheel gap, and will be able to haul bikes without scraping all over the place.
 

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Unfortunately I broke my other phone, I don't have any pictures of the process but I have one of the end result.

I'm into my drop for about $250. 4x4 leafs with one pulled, chassis tech 3" springs, KYB gas adjust front shocks, monroe rear air shocks (MA727), and 2" blocks.

I'm very happy with it. It drove fine with all the leaves intact. The back barely fell when I put the quad in back. That's what I was going for. Easily accessible for bikes, and still is daily drivable.

I'm only running 30 psi in the shocks in this picture. They are capable of handling more than that too.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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Looks good! :waytogo:

As you noted, the 4X4 leaf swap lowers the rear while keeping the suspension capable of handling heavy loads. It's more trouble than some other lowering tactics, but it's worth it (IMHO).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks good! :waytogo:

As you noted, the 4X4 leaf swap lowers the rear while keeping the suspension capable of handling heavy loads. It's more trouble than some other lowering tactics, but it's worth it (IMHO).
It didn't look too horrible with all the leaves intact. I may put it back in for longer trips fully loaded. I'm probably going to have to run close to 100 psi to keep the back end up with the sportbike in there. Haven't tried yet though.

This pic is with all leaves intact and 20 psi in shocks. My quad is about 450 lbs for a load reference. I had driven on it already, and it had settled out.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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Phillybuilt says the photo is of the "end result", and he lists 2" blocks as one of the things included in his drop.
 

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I searched high and low for an example pic of a 98-00 Ext Cab like mine that has 4x4 swap without the use of any blocks.

I'd be happy with a pic of either fully intact or middle leaf pulled, as either would be enough reference to help me make a decision.
 

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If I'm not mistaken the '98 - '00 leafs are a different length than the '01 - '04 leafs. This affects whether you can readily mix 'n match leafs and Tacos from these two eras (as I recall, you can't ... ). I don't know whether this has any bearing on the effectiveness or outcomes of doing an S-Dad Mod on a '98 - '00 Taco.
 

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Right - i'm working with part #'s 90201 and 90203 (the stock ones are 90183), so rates and such could be different than the later gen. Either way, the logic was that since i had 21-year-old leafs in there with one side sagging, AND the 4x4 leafs were way cheaper than the 2wd's.. it seemed like a no-brainer to "experiment" with these 4x4's and hope for the best.

Ideally i'm looking for just 2-3" rear drop. I'm torn on pulling the middle leaf or not out of these 4x4's. I'm leaning toward leaving all 3 in with overload swap, even though I have a feeling its not going to yield as much drop as i'd like. I think its going to roughly match the current height of the sagging driver side and bring the passenger side down even with that level. On the other hand, i don't want the rear lower than the front, and i fear that might happen if i do remove a middle leaf. Despite the extra leaf, these 4x4 packs are only 1/16th inch thicker than the 2wd (1-9/16 vs 1-1/2), and interestingly there is a 90183HD (heavy duty) specifically for 2wd that adds the 3rd leaf and stacks up at 1-7/8. Knowing this is partially why i'm leaning on keeping all 3 of my thinner leaves intact.
 
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