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There is plenty of discussion on this forum regarding different amounts of lift and ways of accomplishing it. Supporter DJ has made compelling arguments for modifying the suspension of our trucks as little as possible (primarily for safety and performance reasons). (The following was written in the context of discussing the pros and cons of wheel spacers (and changing wheel offset in general), but could just as well apply to other modifications such as lift.) See post #9 in: http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tires-and-wheels/5555-wheel-spacers-are-they-safe/#post75619

I understand that lots of people lift their trucks for appearance sake. If you are one of those you need not read further. My question is addressed only to those who consider lifting their trucks to purposes related to off-pavement use. So here is my primary question: How much front lift do you have and what factors did you consider to reach that choice? What are the pros and cons to consider when choosing the amount of your lift?

I will first offer my opinion and you can add your thoughts. (1) At least so far, I haven't modified my truck for appearance sake. The only change I can think of that I made purely for appearance sake was to rebadge it look like stock, LOL. (2) I added lift to gain ground clearance. The front has 1.75" lift, and, of course there is 0.5 inch additional ground clearance when you factor in 33" tire diameter. I saw no need for higher lift that requires a differential drop. A 2" lift without differential drop gains 2" ground clearance. A 3" lift with 1" differential drop gains 2" ground clearance, plus the downside of higher center of gravity, more stress on ball joints, etc. If there is a compelling reason to go higher than 2", I haven't seen it yet. Your thoughts?
 

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Great question MtnClimber. As you've probably picked up, I'm in the process of designing a lift on my 08 SR5 for fairly serious off-road use. While I'm eager to get other's perspective through this thread, I'm leaning toward 3" (not committed yet). My thought is that while the diff may become the low point, my fuel tank, spare and rocker panels are a tad higher, so I speculate that the trade-off is worthwhile.

Couple that with some strategically located skid plates, and I think it'll be a winner.

Looking forward to other responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)

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Hopefully this will add to the discussion . . .

The only reason I lifted my '08 SR5 4x4 was for off-road adventures, even though most of the time it hauls kids and gear to hockey and karate. I did a typical lift: Bilstein 5100 adjustable shocks at the highest setting in the front, and the Revtek coil spacers in the rear (with regular bilstein 5100 shocks). This was work I did myself on the driveway. I changed recently out my 20" black wheels (loved how they looked) that had 275/55R20 Michelin LTX/MS2. The 20s were just getting too beat up off road--but man did they handle great on pavement, wet or dry. I just put on 18s with larger than factory 275/70R18 Cooper At3s (again with matching spare-it fits fine). I had a little tire-rub on the front-of-wheel mud flaps, so I removed those.

Before the lift, during various off-road adventures, I destroyed the step boards, replaced them, then went with the cheap N-Fab bars you see in the picture--I would love to put on real sliders because the N-Fab bars bend easily and the paint has flaked at all 6 body contact points, rusting. I also smashed the factory "skid plate" so bad that I've had to pound it out numerous times to get it to fit back on right. I've also gouged the gas tank, but thankfully not too deeply. This was not helter-skelter off-roading, just working my way along trails with a load of kids and gear. But even being sloooooow and careful, stuff happens. :)

After the lift, the same trails went much easier, other than getting stuck in a muddy washout which scratched up the wheels with wheel spin. I got the orange Maxsa (like maxtrax) after that.

Then I recently swapped out the 20s for 18s with an approx 33" tire. I also added the Revtek dif drop. Now I'm sitting with the lowest point of the N-Fab bars right at 12" clearance. The truck does not handle on pavement as well with the 18s and Coopers as it did with the 20s and Michelins, but with the Bilstein/Revtek combo it still handles and rides better than a bone stock SR5.

Bottom line is that I wanted a capable family hauler in any weather that would also be capable in our off-road adventures. I love my current setup -- except the N-fab bars and skid plate, both of which I hope to upgrade soon. I have not decided whether to get the 2014-2017 Tundra TRD skid plate or the ICI, and I have no ideas yet on sliders. The only other thing suspension-wise that I'm considering upgrading is the Upper Control Arms (Procomp? Total Chaos? Camburg?), but I'm not convinced I need it. I AM convinced I want an ARB front bumper and WILCO hitch-mount for spare tire/jerry cans . . . but its a want vs. need issue.

Good luck with your upgrades!
 

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There is plenty of discussion on this forum regarding different amounts of lift and ways of accomplishing it. Supporter DJ has made compelling arguments for modifying the suspension of our trucks as little as possible (primarily for safety and performance reasons). (The following was written in the context of discussing the pros and cons of wheel spacers (and changing wheel offset in general), but could just as well apply to other modifications such as lift.) See post #9 in: http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tires-and-wheels/5555-wheel-spacers-are-they-safe/#post75619

I understand that lots of people lift their trucks for appearance sake. If you are one of those you need not read further. My question is addressed only to those who consider lifting their trucks to purposes related to off-pavement use. So here is my primary question: How much front lift do you have and what factors did you consider to reach that choice? What are the pros and cons to consider when choosing the amount of your lift?

I will first offer my opinion and you can add your thoughts. (1) At least so far, I haven't modified my truck for appearance sake. The only change I can think of that I made purely for appearance sake was to rebadge it look like stock, LOL. (2) I added lift to gain ground clearance. The front has 1.75" lift, and, of course there is 0.5 inch additional ground clearance when you factor in 33" tire diameter. I saw no need for higher lift that requires a differential drop. A 2" lift without differential drop gains 2" ground clearance. A 3" lift with 1" differential drop gains 2" ground clearance, plus the downside of higher center of gravity, more stress on ball joints, etc. If there is a compelling reason to go higher than 2", I haven't seen it yet. Your thoughts?
Great question. I'm currently running 3 1/2" lift front and 2 1/2" lift rear with 33.2" tires. I have to say that I'm overall happy with the amount but wouldn't mind having another inch of lift for additional clearance. Based on the trails that I've done, break-over is usually the limiting factor. I wish I would have tried the 24" step on soldiers pass I just didn't have the time left in the day. That said, I don't think my break-over would have been enough. But looking at the limiting factors of independent front suspension, CV joint angles, up travel, down travel, I like where my current setup sits. I'm planning on going to 295/70/18 Nitto Ridge Grapplers (34.3") which should give me another 0.5" of clearance and better angles of attack.

Insufficient break over... :(


Rock stacking in the close future :)
 

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The reason I lifted my rig was with the intent of off road performance. I have 33" tires, 5100's set to the highest setting in the front, in the back I have the revtech spacer and King adjustable shocks with reservoirs. I plan on installing rear springs for more lift and also upgrading my front suspension. I would love more lift mainly for water crossings and also for increased ground clearance.

Now I take various trips though the year solo, with this in mind I carry a hi-lift jack, ropes (mainly to recover others), traction boards, spare gas, a shovel, tools, and an air compressor. I would love lockers front and rear, will likely have the back done this year. While I've been able to get out of every form of terrain, sometimes I have to give her a lot of power and I would prefer giving her light gas to come right out.

Performance: I don't recall how the ride was on road before the mods were made, going from stock rear shocks to the Kings was a dream. The vehicle handles very well and it's extremely smooth, I love it. Off road, going from rear OEM shocks to the Kings was also great, I can travel the same roads at higher rates of speed comfortably. Only issue I've had since going to after market wheels/tires, and I assume because of off road use are issues with my wheel studs. Someone mentioned that the HD Ram studs fit without needing mods, so I'm doing that in the coming months.

Lighting: I have various lights installed, all with purpose. Some of the roads I travel are extremely dark and I need all the light I can get. In the front I have a 54" light bar, and small off road lights in the bumper. I have wide spread lights on each side that light the camp ground or see the terrain when off road, in the rear I have a 20" light bar with a flood pattern, and rock lights in the event that I need lighting on my wheels. Holding a flashlight in the middle of nowhere is no fun.
 

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The reason I lifted my rig was with the intent of off road performance. I have 33" tires, 5100's set to the highest setting in the front, in the back I have the revtech spacer and King adjustable shocks with reservoirs. I plan on installing rear springs for more lift and also upgrading my front suspension. I would love more lift mainly for water crossings and also for increased ground clearance.

Now I take various trips though the year solo, with this in mind I carry a hi-lift jack, ropes (mainly to recover others), traction boards, spare gas, a shovel, tools, and an air compressor. I would love lockers front and rear, will likely have the back done this year. While I've been able to get out of every form of terrain, sometimes I have to give her a lot of power and I would prefer giving her light gas to come right out.

Performance: I don't recall how the ride was on road before the mods were made, going from stock rear shocks to the Kings was a dream. The vehicle handles very well and it's extremely smooth, I love it. Off road, going from rear OEM shocks to the Kings was also great, I can travel the same roads at higher rates of speed comfortably. Only issue I've had since going to after market wheels/tires, and I assume because of off road use are issues with my wheel studs. Someone mentioned that the HD Ram studs fit without needing mods, so I'm doing that in the coming months.

Lighting: I have various lights installed, all with purpose. Some of the roads I travel are extremely dark and I need all the light I can get. In the front I have a 54" light bar, and small off road lights in the bumper. I have wide spread lights on each side that light the camp ground or see the terrain when off road, in the rear I have a 20" light bar with a flood pattern, and rock lights in the event that I need lighting on my wheels. Holding a flashlight in the middle of nowhere is no fun.
Hi,

Are you able to tell me the part number(s) for your rear King Shocks w/ reservoirs? And how much lift can you get with those rear spacer and shock on a stock spring?

Thanks!
Alex.
 
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