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Hey all,

Several years ago, I installed the Bilstien 5100s in the front and some Deaver AALs in the back. Long story short, my experience with the Deaver AALs has not been favorable. They have lost quite a bit of their original lift.

For those of you not familar with Add-a-Leaf springs, they require the removal of the "overload" springs" that are normally part of the rear spring pack. I don't normally tow anything, but I'm getting ready to buy a boat and need to be able to tow it back and forth to the water (about 5 miles round trip). Ideally, I'dl ike to be able to tow it a couple of hundred miles a few times a year.

The boat is a 22' cuddy cabin and weighs (with trailer and fuel) about 5,800 lbs with the tandem trailer and 1/2 tank of fuel (carries 140 gal) plus gear. Add another 600 lbs or so for full tank and loaded for a multi-day trip (6,500 lbs)

I have the factory tow package, but because of the lift, the rear sags very badly when I tow anything (I dragged a 21' travel trailer up to the Sierras last year and it sat at a funny angle).

Does anyone have suggestions on restoring the towing performance? Unfortunately, removing the AALs and replacing the factory springs is not an option because the extra height is needed to clear my tires.

A couple of thoughts:

1. With longer U-bolts, could I just add the helper springs back to the spring pack? Would it be safe?

2. Replace the Deaver AALs with something that functions as a lift AND "helper" spring. (Is there such a thing?)

3. Air bags? I've never used them - would they help in this situation?

4. Replace the Deaver AALs with blocks like these: http://www.readylift.com/c-116-tundra-all-1-rear-block-kit-1999-2010-2wd-4wd.aspx

FWIW, I do not off-road this truck in anything but mild conditions (it has the Limited running boards, if that is an indication) :) So axle articulation is less important to me than safe towing capacity. I lifted it and put in bigger tires just so that it would be a bit more capable off road and so it wouldn't look so much like a skateboard.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
 

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Similar situation here with the Deaver 3leaf....I bought a used set several years ago, got about 3/4" of lift, which at the time was just fine. Over the course of a few years, and a lot of loading the truck to its limit (sand, stone, mulch, camping gear) I lost my lift and was always on the bumpstops with a load.

Air bags were my first thought, but I read a lot and didn't like the seemingly constant fiddling to keep a little air in them...and some had issues with leaks. I wanted a constant, always there overload.

I bought the AirLift AirCells; poly overload bumpstops. They're taller than the stock stop.



Unloaded the AirCell is about an inch away from touching the stop plate. Driving unloaded feels normal, unless you hit a large enough bump to bounce on the stop...it's not bad just noticeable that the stop hits.

Loaded the truck snuggles down on the aircell, sits level at rest and is very stable, on and off road. Flying down a rough road and the stops are really mellow feeling...no slam! like the oem stops had when you hit them hard.

I know someone will ask, so....I do not know how much they affected articulation. The truck still feels like it flexes nicely, and seems every bit as capable as it was before. I just never measured the before and after difference, and it's not enough to bother me.
 

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You can re-install the factory overload using longer u-bolts and a new center pin. (the bolt that holds all the springs together and locates them on the axle) This would be the cheapest but maybe not the best option. Another option would be the bumpstops listed above. A third option would be supersprings.
 
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