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Discussion Starter #1
I know this question must have been asked a million times, so I'll appreciate some help for the millionth and one time.

I'm looking to put 285/75/r16 on my 2006 Tundra TRD. Currently everything is stock. I drive on the beach and dunes 7 months out of the year. The sand is extremely soft and the roads are extremely bumpy. Currently my stock BF Goodrich tires and stock bilstein shocks are hittin' the wheel wells.

I do still drive this truck on the highway, but need a better ride on the beach and bigger tires.

I've read a lot about the bilstein 5100's. Sounds like this might be the way to go for me, but want to make sure. I do have some money to spend, but can't break the bank and I'm not rock climbing here. My friend is a mechanic and he's going to help me with the install.

I really would appreciate some help. This truck is also my working truck, meaning, I use this truck on the beach because I'm a surf casting fishing guide, so my clients and me would love a nicer ride. Thanks everyone,

Matt
 

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I use my 04 tundra the same way. . I put the same size tire (toyo AT) and all I have is a front leveling kit with stock shocks (200-300). . it works great. . looks level and aggressive. Don't replace your shocks until they go. The TRD tundras are already set up great with bilstein HD shocks. . so just go and get the tires and a leveling kit.
 

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Its really up to you:
1. Spacers can be done but will only level it b/c the strut is moved a bit. They dont change the ride to be softer/a better ride for off/on road, about all they will do is allow you to fit a larger tire.

2. The replacement struts will ride much better (honestly factory stuff isnt designed for much offroad use at all and you will notice a huge difference with bilsteins of similar) and fit a larger tire.

If I were in your shoes do the bilsteins and the tire size you want. Replace the rear shocks with new ones while your at it too cause by now they are probably worn out.
 

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toytec isnt that bad.. I got the 3in kit.. with the 1 in AAL.. in the rear..

install.. you could do it yourself... the only thing you'll encounter thats a B and a half would be compressing those damn springs..
I did one side by hand... SUPER elbow grease.. and got tired and got an impact gun for the other side...

Just make sure to align the top hats with the bottom shock hole.. other than that... should be smooth as shiizz..

Ride quality.. love it... not that stiff... cant really tell a difference... besides sitting up higher.. :)
 

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ICON coil overs,and call it a day.
 

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do i need to purchase a diff. drop kit too if I go with the bilstein 5100's?
I would, yes.
I just had my 5100's put on yesterday and they make a big difference. I had them put it too the 3rd notch (1.3" lift) and it leveled the truck to just about perfect. When they lowered the truck and I saw the gap, I had to question whether or not they did the notch in the right place. It "looked" like a 2"+ lift in the front. We measured it was right on and was in fact on the 3rd notch. I am only planning on putting on 265/75/16's to fill the wells a little better, You will likely have to put in on the top notch and am AAL in the rear for the 285's.
I also had them install the diff drop....
 

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The install is easy...I forgot a few things when Pete and I did his ToyTecs, like separating the swaybar end links from the lower control arms while there's no pressure on the links, and separating the four bolts on the steering knuckle being easier than messing with the floor jack to get the lower shock bolt past the axle on a 4WD...anyway...

Soft sand is easy to deal with, and doesn't require a lift at all. Go invest in a 20lb CO2 tank, and a fixed 40psi regulator. Check around town for a place that will refill your tank and give it back, vs tank swap places. Usually DIY brew suppliers and firefighting suppliers will do this, and CO2 should be around a buck a pound, usually under.

Just before you hit the soft sand, air down to about 14# in front and 12# in the rear, and you'll find everything is easier. Don't drive fast like this, you will destroy the tires...keep it under 25mph. When you need to air up again, use the CO2 tank. Weigh it after the first use, to see how much CO2 you're using during a trip so you don't accidentally run out.

A big compressor is also a good option...BIG...not one of those 100$ cheapies.

Back to the lift kit...the 5100 setup is unique in that the shaft is longer than stock, but not too long. You do get more suspension travel, which is more important than ride height, offroad (not that ride height isn't an important consideration). Frankly I'm surprised anybody makes spacers for 1st-gens anymore, with the 5100 kit on the market at a similar price point.

IMHO, the rebound is a little soft on the 5100s on a doublecab running 650# Eibach springs (that is the ToyTec kit, BTW). I don't know how they compare with the stock 575# rate (that number was provided by IVD, not sure if it's for an Access Cab, DCab, TRD or non-TRD, tho), or if it's even important to you...I don't know how hard you drive. They are definitely very comfortable, I just personally felt like the truck came back a little fast from large bumps...that feeling of "whoa, suspension height just rose past where I wanted it to be!", or perhaps a better description is the shocks felt underdamped, compared to other shocks I've ran with rebound valving that felt critically damped (the TW SAWs), overdamped (stack of 0.015 shims on a +3.5" long travel kit), and slightly underdamped (0.015 stack with two bleed screws removed instead of one).

Otherwise, the 5100s are very high quality shocks, ~300psi nitrogen charge, provide more suspension travel, and they'll work with your current springs to the tune of a little over 200$. When they wear out (which should take a long time), you get new ones.

IVD and SAW both make an excellent coilover kit, if you're willing to spend the money. If you can, either of their 2.5" diameter offerings will compliment the Tundra very well. SAW also offers a 2.0" shock, which is a little less expensive, but still in the "many hundreds of dollars" range...the advantage there is you can install, see how you like the ride, and send them in for valving changes until you get what you want. If you have the tools (vise, impact wrench, spring compressor), they're easy to revalve yourself until you're satisfied, and valve shims are inexpensive.

IIWY, tho, and looking for a comfortable ride right out of the box for a low price, I'd pick up the 5100 kit with the snap rings, using your original springs.

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went with the 5100's and Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ (285/75/R16) and diff. drop kit. I can't wait to get it all installed, hopefully this week. Where would I post pics?

DevinSixtySeven: I've been wondering about an easier way to refill my tires and I know Hummers have an automatic refill, but I didn't know it was possible to do on a Toyota. Where would I have the tank installed and how safe is it to have a filled CO2 tank on my truck? I am constantly on the sand and having to deflate and reinflate my tires. I bought the automatic tire deflators which helps save some time, but of course I always have to stop and find an air station to air up (pain in the ***).

Thanks all for the tips and advice. Next project is how to get more horsepower and throatier exhaust sound.
 

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Should have a gallery here where you can post pics.

I got a tank bracket and bolted it to the bed. The tank can be stored in any direction, but protect the valve, and it must be upright to use. I wouldn't store it in the cab IIWY. It's plenty safe, it's very common for guys to carry a CO2 tank for exactly this purpose. It's not an inflation system like HMMWVs and Unimogs use, tho, just a CO2 tank like you'd use in a drink dispenser, with a fixed 40lb regulator and an air hose. Check out Welcome to Ultimate Air ...the owner is a good guy, I got a 15# setup from him a while back. IIRC, it was cheaper to get the kit from him than piece it all together with a nice handle and a tank from a beverage supplier...but you don't necessarily need a tank boot & mesh, tube handle, and so forth...all you need is a bracket to hold it down, a fixed regulator, hose, and chuck. I usually keep mine at a front corner of the bed, and I can reach all four tires from there.

-Sean
 
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