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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
SPECIMEN
2004 Taco dropped 5/6 with leaf pulled from 5-lug packs. (leaf drop and 3-1/4" custom Streetacos blocks that have pin & hole located correctly to pull the axle back where it should be when using leaf drop) Pics of truck in this first post are before pics. It sits the same with the 6 lug leafs with leaf pulled and is using the same 3-1/4" Streetacos steel blocks.

6 LUG LEAF INFO:
6 lug leafs are side specific. It's nice to get a set that still has the factory part #'s painted on them.

RIGHT SIDE / Part # ending in 210 and numbers are painted white.
LEFT SIDE / Part # ending in 220 and numbers are painted yellow.

IMPORTANT SHACKLE INFORMATION


1995.5 - 2000 5 LUG TRUCKS
The shackles on these trucks have a fat 18mm lower stud that runs through 2 leaf spring bushings that are easily removed by hand from the leaf spring. All 6 lug leaf springs, no matter the year, have pressed in bushings that use smaller 14mm (9/16") diameter stud. This means if you're swapping 6 lug leafs onto a 1995.5-2000 5 lug truck, you'll need to pop out the lower 18mm stud from the outer shackle piece (the wall) and replace this 18mm stud with a smaller 9/16" x 4" grade 8 bolt. The outer shackle piece of each shackle, (the wall) will have a 18mm hole on bottom with a new 9/16" bolt running through it. Sloppy. I weld a 9/16" washer to the bottom of the shackle piece (the wall) so the bolt running through the leaf spring fits the outer shackle wall nice and tight with no slop.

2001-2004 5 LUG TRUCKS
Have smaller 14mm (9/16") bolts on bottom of the shackle, unlike the fatter 18mm ones on 1995.5-2000 5 lug trucks. The bushing in the leaf spring is pressed in, and uses a 14mm shackle stud. No shackle mods are necessary to swap 6 lug leafs onto 2001-2004 5 lug trucks, as in the case with this 2004 in this thread.

I encourage folks to leave any comments regarding your project or any tips and info you may have. :waytogo:

Old drop thread...
http://www.customtacos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=150998
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
PICS

1)
With truck on jack stands, undo bottom of shocks (not the top) and let them hang with axle fully dropped out. Remove u-bolts and shock plates.

2)
Use 2 more jack stands to raise axle up onto so you can remove the leaf springs.

3)
The difference of a stock 5 lug pack (top) vs a 6 lug pack (bottom)

4)
Here I'm getting ready to remove the leaf below the top leaf in the 6 lug packs. Use pliers to pop out the plastic pad so the leaf slides out easier.

5)
I chose to clamp the leaf I'm removing in a vise and pound the main leaf downward and eventually the one you're removing comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
PICS

1 (6)
Swap the 5 lug over load leaf onto the 6 lug packs that will be installed. They aren't as curved and pointy on the ends and will clear speed bumps easier. NOTE: Don't forget to smear some grease between the leafs so they slide easily on one another and don't squeak. I like to use antisieze on the shackles and the front leaf bolt to keep corrosion away and allow easy dis assembly later on.

2 (7)
Make sure when you install the little bolt that holds the leaf pack together that it tightens down all the way. If you run out of threads and the nut doesn't tighten fully, use a small diameter washer behind the nut. These 6 lug bolts tightened down nice even with the leaf I chose to remove missing.

3 (8)
Install leaf spring. NOTE: Don't tighten the shackle nuts and the front leaf bolt all the way yet. Pictured is the leaf spring that you remove from 6 lug packs when looking for a 3" leaf drop. (S-Dad mod)

4 (9)
This is why you want to use anti seize or grease on the shackles and leaf bolts...the right shackle was a nice shiny gold but this left shackle had corrosion forming. And this is on a very clean truck from California.

5 (10)
Both sides are completely finished here and the truck has been raised off the jack stands with a floor jack under the axle. With the truck raised up, simulating ride height, you can now tighten the front leaf bolts and the shackles fully. The reason for waiting to do this is because this is where the leaf bushings will ride when the truck is on the ground, so by tightening the hardware up in this position will ensure the bushings are how they should be when tightened and will eliminate stress placed on them as if you had tightened the hardware up with the suspension dropped out. :waytogo:
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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Great write-up, Brian! Thanks for taking the time to document how the leaf swap is done! :waytogo: :applause:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Great write-up, Brian! Thanks for taking the time to document how the leaf swap is done! :waytogo: :applause:
Thanks Randy. I decided a good writeup was in order. I've seen a lot of newbs over the years asking questions like, "which leaf comes out?" or simply not realizing that the 5 lug over loads get re used on the 6 lug packs, etc. Plus about 99.999% of people install all these parts dry (no grease between the leafs or on the shackles and bolts) so I felt it necessary to show how a proper squeak free install is accomplished.

I had this truck in the shop and decided to document it all and cover the important stuff involved in hopes of this thread possibly becoming a sticky, or at least being around long enough to help people. :waytogo:
 

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StepSIde
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Nice right up. Thanks for taking the time to document this well. :waytogo:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Nice right up. Thanks for taking the time to document this well. :waytogo:
Thanks Nick, I appreciate you taking a look.

Here are a couple after pics. 2002 6 lug leafs with 3-1/4" blocks. Something I should mention is... In the before and after pics in this thread, there are a set of leaf springs in the bed. In the after pics, his old 5 lug leafs are in the bed, which probably doesn't make it squat very much, but it's worth mentioning.

When I originally lowered this truck, I talked him out of using 4" blocks but decided to do 3-1/4" rather than normal 3" ones since I knew he wanted to be low, but still retain a nice daily ride without the extra cross member mods, and having to chop his new Belltech coils to match the rear. I kept the drop simple and more affordable, since he was already buying new BT coils, 4 KYB shocks, and paying for a c-notch and also the drop labor.

I'm very impressed with this truck. He keeps it sooo clean, being garaged helps. The simple combination of drop parts, KYB shocks, c-notch, and tire size make this truck one heck of a nice truck to drive everyday. It's been 2 years since I lowered it and it hasn't changed one bit since then. With the exception that he can now use the truck to tow his little dirt bike trailer that he has thanks to the Streetacos Stealth hitch.

I installed a hitch, the wiring kit that plugs into the tail lights, and made him a bracket that he can slap onto his cargo hook when he tows. Jesse and his wife just picked up a brand new 2nd gen 6 lug Taco, so this truck may be up for sale again...we'll see...personally I think he'll miss this truck too much to sell.



.
 

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just wanted to say thanks for this write up. I just finished this swap on my truck. Rides really well. I know it has been said somewhere before (maybe in here and I missed it), but I got shackles with my 4x4 pack and it made the swap very nice and neat. No washers and no slop.
 

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very informative! so let me get this straight, you get the same drop with the 5-lug packs (with leaf pulled) and the 6-lug packs (with leaf pulled), using the same size lowering block. i'm assuming you did the swap to 6-lug packs for more stiffness and load capacity?
 

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Mambeau / Admin
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The 6-lug (leaf-over) leaf packs aren't arched as much as the equivalent 5-lug (leaf under) packs, You'll get a modest drop by swapping the 6-lug pack into a 5-lug, regardless of whether or not you remove any leaf(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
just wanted to say thanks for this write up. I just finished this swap on my truck. Rides really well. I know it has been said somewhere before (maybe in here and I missed it), but I got shackles with my 4x4 pack and it made the swap very nice and neat. No washers and no slop.
Yeah 01-04 trucks can swap to 6 lug leafs with no shackle issues, but 95.5-00 trucks need to either use 6 lug shackles or have a 9/16" washer welded to the outside of the lower hole on the shackles, after you pop out the fat lower shackle stud (18mm) and replace it with a 9/16" x 4" grade 8 bolt and nut or a 01-04 lower 14mm stock stud & nut.

very informative! so let me get this straight, you get the same drop with the 5-lug packs (with leaf pulled) and the 6-lug packs (with leaf pulled), using the same size lowering block. i'm assuming you did the swap to 6-lug packs for more stiffness and load capacity?
Correct. But I didn't do the swap to get more stiffness and a higher load cap, I did the swap so the setup would be safer with 2 leafs and overload compared to one leaf and overload. It won't ride stiffer and it won't carry more weight with 6 lug packs, since pulling the leaf from a 6 lug pack decreases the payload but the ride is nice and smooth. For weight, air shocks are the best way to go since being low and carrying weight don't mix without some sort of helper system or a firm riding set of leafs that will break your back when unloaded.
 

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thanks for the clarification! there hasn't been any catastrophic failures with 5-lug packs with leaf pulled has there? i understand pulling a leaf would make it weaker, so it's only a matter of time of when they will fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for the clarification! there hasn't been any catastrophic failures with 5-lug packs with leaf pulled has there? i understand pulling a leaf would make it weaker, so it's only a matter of time of when they will fail.
This mod shouldn't be used for long term. It's just a free easy way to get 3" of leaf drop until you can get setup with at least a 2 leaf pack.
 

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1995.5 - 2000 5 LUG TRUCKS
The shackles on these trucks have a fat 18mm lower stud that runs through 2 leaf spring bushings that are easily removed by hand from the leaf spring. All 6 lug leaf springs, no matter the year, have pressed in bushings that use smaller 14mm (9/16") diameter stud. This means if you're swapping 6 lug leafs onto a 1995.5-2000 5 lug truck, you'll need to pop out the lower 18mm stud from the outer shackle piece (the wall) and replace this 18mm stud with a smaller 9/16" x 4" grade 8 bolt. The outer shackle piece of each shackle, (the wall) will have a 18mm hole on bottom with a new 9/16" bolt running through it. Sloppy. I weld a 9/16" washer to the bottom of the shackle piece (the wall) so the bolt running through the leaf spring fits the outer shackle wall nice and tight with no slop.

Sorry, but i am very new to leaf springs and have no idea what you are talking about here. I just picked up a pair of 1999 6 lug leafs for my 1999 mini. They came with the shackles still attached. Do you have any pictures of where exactly i need to weld a washer. Sorry i know this is an old thread, but seems to be the most detailed one i have found. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
1995.5 - 2000 5 LUG TRUCKS
The shackles on these trucks have a fat 18mm lower stud that runs through 2 leaf spring bushings that are easily removed by hand from the leaf spring. All 6 lug leaf springs, no matter the year, have pressed in bushings that use smaller 14mm (9/16") diameter stud. This means if you're swapping 6 lug leafs onto a 1995.5-2000 5 lug truck, you'll need to pop out the lower 18mm stud from the outer shackle piece (the wall) and replace this 18mm stud with a smaller 9/16" x 4" grade 8 bolt. The outer shackle piece of each shackle, (the wall) will have a 18mm hole on bottom with a new 9/16" bolt running through it. Sloppy. I weld a 9/16" washer to the bottom of the shackle piece (the wall) so the bolt running through the leaf spring fits the outer shackle wall nice and tight with no slop.

Sorry, but i am very new to leaf springs and have no idea what you are talking about here. I just picked up a pair of 1999 6 lug leafs for my 1999 mini. They came with the shackles still attached. Do you have any pictures of where exactly i need to weld a washer. Sorry i know this is an old thread, but seems to be the most detailed one i have found. Thank you.
If you have the shackles that came with the 6 lug leafs, you can just use them. Your 99 shackles should have a fatter stud on bottom than the 6 lug shackles (see pic) below. This means you can just use the 6 lug shackles and not have to worry about using your 5 lug shackles, and going through the procedure of popping out the lower stud and replacing it with a smaller 9/16" bolt that would fit the 14mm sleeve in the 6 lug leaf bushing.

PICTU

On the left is a 95.5-00 shackle with fat studs. 18mm up top and 18mm on bottom
On the right is a 01-04 five lug (also 95.5-04 six lug) shackle with a 18mm stud up top and a 14mm (9/16") stud on bottom.

This is because 6 lug trucks, and 01-04 five lug trucks have leaf springs that use pressed in bushings on the rear of the leaf and the metal sleeve that the shackle bolt runs through is smaller than 95.5-00 five lug trucks that have different bushings in the rear of the leafs. These bushings use no metal sleeve, have a larger inside diameter (to fit the fatter 18mm shackle stud) and are easily removed by hand from the leaf pack. (not pressed in like 6 lug & 01-04 five lug leaf bushings)
 

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Thanks so much, I was searching like crazy for some more detail on welding a washer to the wall.

On another note, I know I shouldn't reuse ubolts, but will I be able to reuse them even for a short while with 1 leaf pulled from the 6 lug leafs? I just want to have them on there long enough to see the springs settle so I can see how big of a spacer/new unbolt to order.
 

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What size ARE those tires on the stock rims of the 2002?
 
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