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Discussion Starter #1
Lift options - whatcha think?

i've been researching for about 3 weeks straight now trying to figure out the best way to lift my truck and get it to look and perform the way i want. so far i've come up with three options and i keep hearing good and bad about each one.

would you guys please post your opinions/suggestions/advice about any and all of these options.

Option 1 - SAW coilovers, Camburg or TC UCA's, rear shocks, maybe AAL, 33's or equivalent

My take on it - i don't think it will give me the stance i'm looking for. however, it's relatively inexpensive.

Option 2 - tuff country 4.5" or 5" lift kit, SAW coilovers, Camburg or TC UCA's, 33's or equivalent

My take on it - i think it will most likely give me the stance i'm looking for. i think the ride will be pretty good. will cost me about $1500+ more cash and that's not chump change to me. if it's worth it then i could stomach it though. but i've heard the kit is no good because of the spacer/block piece that comes with the kit. and that there's a problem with the spindles breaking fairly easily

Option 3 - RCD 6in lift kit, 33's or equivalent.

My take on it - will give me plenty of lift, maybe even too much. i've only heard good things about the rcd lift. it's ALOT more expensive to do though. and i don't know if i'd need the coilovers and uca's to make it better ride-wise etc. but i'd really like to have them. however, it's not possible money wise to do the lift and coilovers/uca's. not in the budget.

I welcome all opinons/suggestions about all these options. please reply with what you like, why you like it, etc....or the opposite such as what u don't like and why.

thanks in advance for all you guys help. i'm depending on you to help me make the best, informed decision i can so i can do it right the first time.
 

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What stance are you looking for? What sort of performance do you want? It really makes a huge difference...

Replacing the stock coilover with a good (SAW, King, Donahoe, Bilstein, Fox) aftermarket coilover will only help handling performance.

Do you have 4x4? Do you want to go fast? Are you more interested in going slow over technical terrain? Do you just want the look and good road handling? Do you just want a tall truck with big tires that you'll drive on the street? All have different solutions, some cross over.

Have a look at the FAQ linked in my signature line, it may help a bit.

-Sean
 

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What stance are you looking for? What sort of performance do you want? It really makes a huge difference...

Replacing the stock coilover with a good (SAW, King, Donahoe, Bilstein, Fox) aftermarket coilover will only help handling performance.

Do you have 4x4? Do you want to go fast? Are you more interested in going slow over technical terrain? Do you just want the look and good road handling? Do you just want a tall truck with big tires that you'll drive on the street? All have different solutions, some cross over.

Have a look at the FAQ linked in my signature line, it may help a bit.

-Sean

DITTO!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What stance are you looking for? What sort of performance do you want? It really makes a huge difference...

Replacing the stock coilover with a good (SAW, King, Donahoe, Bilstein, Fox) aftermarket coilover will only help handling performance.

Do you have 4x4? Do you want to go fast? Are you more interested in going slow over technical terrain? Do you just want the look and good road handling? Do you just want a tall truck with big tires that you'll drive on the street? All have different solutions, some cross over.

Have a look at the FAQ linked in my signature line, it may help a bit.

-Sean
yes i have 4x4. no i'm not interested in going fast. no i'm not interested in rock crawling.

i want good on road handling/performance combined with good off road handling/performance. i want a great looking truck that will perform.

i want to run 33's because i think that's the biggest i should go without having to regear. i have an 05 and i don't think regear is even possible as of yet.

i'm leaning towards a 5in tuff country lift with coilovers and uca's right now. and running 33's.

do you think this will give me what i'm looking for?

this truck will be my daily driver and my fun truck when offroading. i'll be on road 70% of the time and off road about 30%, but i want it to perform well when i'm off road.

thanks for the info. i read about 85% of that thread word for word. it's great info, but still a bit confusing for a newbie to the lifting game.

the pictures are the approximate stance i'd like to have.

thanks
 

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You have asked this question before when you had a certain budget so if that comes into play are you doing the work yourself or do you have to include install charges besides an alignment?

Option 1 seems to the best bet if you are an average at home mechanic but if you are not a do it yourself person then a drop bracket lift is gonna eat alot of dough for the install but a coilover lift is not to bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have asked this question before when you had a certain budget so if that comes into play are you doing the work yourself or do you have to include install charges besides an alignment?

Option 1 seems to the best bet if you are an average at home mechanic but if you are not a do it yourself person then a drop bracket lift is gonna eat alot of dough for the install but a coilover lift is not to bad.
i won't be doing the install myself. i NEED to stay below 5000 absolute max or my wife will divorce me :td:

my biggest concerns are these -

1. good on road handling and ride
2. good off road handling, ride and performance
3. good looks or stance....however you wanna put it

thanks
 

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Check out some older posts from Mtcheral. He has a DC not an AC but he first lifted his 4x4 with spacers but now he has coilovers with 33s on his truck and if I remember correctly he does some mild offroading and he seems to be happy with the SAWs he has now. I have a DC Tacoma with SAWs that I am very happy with the ride after changing from spacers. I am planning on selling my Tacoma to get a DC Tundra and I have been looking at lift options and I may just go with coilovers again because I like the way it rides. The Tuff Country lift uses the stock front shocks but like you said the spindle spacer that comes with the kit looks like a piece of crap to me so I probably would wipe that off as an option plus it comes with rear blocks. I personally don't have any experience with the ride of the Tundra but I think the ride quality of my wifes Sequoia would benefit from a set of coilovers. You could always just get coilovers now and it would probably be enough lift for you and later you could always add a drop bracket lift later on but I think you will be happy with the coilovers, AAL and Upper control arms for now. The RCD kit is nice but the price is high plus nstall and honestly do you need that much lift? 33s would probably be too small. Hope this helps and sorry for the rambling. Too bad you are not a little closer cause I could do the work on your truck. Don't forget the diff drop!
 

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From the pics you posted that you like, those tires look at least 35's. I have 285's with a 3" lift and I feel like it's about right, any higher the tires might look too small. I have seen some with the 4.5" tuff country with 33x12.50's that looked good though- i guess cuz the tires were wider.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From the pics you posted that you like, those tires look at least 35's. I have 285's with a 3" lift and I feel like it's about right, any higher the tires might look too small. I have seen some with the 4.5" tuff country with 33x12.50's that looked good though- i guess cuz the tires were wider.

thanks Mtcheral and dcab.

how much wider is a 33x12.50 than 285's?

Mtcheral....i noticed u have 2.0 SAW at 3"......how is that? the saw's are adjustable? if so, what about the 2.5 SAW are they adjustable and to what height?

if the 2.5s can go up to 3.5 or 4in that might work out just right with 33s as far as what i'm looking for.

man if that's the case i'd be set. i could get 2.5 SAWs and set them to 3.5 or 4, get uca's and 33's.

do u suggest the AAL for the rear? i want my truck to sit level.

your truck looks sweet by the way.
 

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Check this site regarding different sizes and styles of coilovers:

Racerunner Shocks

A lot of us are running those, or Donahoes. There are a few guys running Kings, and Camburg uses Swayaway as their supplier. The 2.0/2.5 thing doesn't make a big difference unless you're really beating the hell out of it...I've found that I can blow a 2.0 when I'm running rough trails or moving fast with 6500# GVW (ie 500# over GVWR for my A/C--3500# front, 3000# rear)...they last about a week of severe punishment and then they need a rebuild. Going to a 2.5 would help me (maybe), but if you're not loading almost a literal ton of stuff on the truck and then punishing it, the 2.0 with the 7/8" shaft is a great shock, no need for an external reservoir. You can get any diameter body (2.0, 2.5, 3.0 etc) threaded for a coil spring as long as the body is designed for threads and has room for them.

Here's my two bucks...with your desires and divorce-threat-limited budget ;), I'd skip the spacer route entirely and get this package deal from Gary Wheeler at Wheeler's Offroad:

Camburg Coilover Shocks and Upper Control Arms - Wheeler's Off-Road, Inc

Add the 5100s in the rear for a total $1380.

Get the upper ball joint press tool and a set of diff drop spacers from Total Chaos...you can order direct or go through Offroad Warehouse, but you need those parts. They are inexpensive...might be 50-60 bucks total for both.

So conservatively let's say that's 1500 bucks for all the parts you're likely to need for a long time, since you can easily fit 33s with that setup.

Next skip the "somebody else's problem" money pit of the shop install and find a buddy with a garage if you don't have one yourself. The tools you'll need are inexpensive, just a breaker bar, torque wrench, ratchet wrench, metric socket assortment, 6" extension, all 1/2" drive stuff, plus a long 14mm wrench, a 14mm ratchet wrench, a 19mm regular and 19mm ratchet wrench (get the kind with the 180* swivel head!), floor jack and jack stands, 3' crowbar, and you're set...might cost you total 150$-200$ for tools, depending on the jack you buy and where you get the tools. The knowledge and experience you gain will be priceless! Don't hesitate to ask anyone here for tips, tricks, hints with the install. It's actually very, very easy. Don't forget shop towels, leather gloves, and vinyl or latex gloves to keep your hands clean...keeps your girl happy ;). The diff drop spacers take a larger socket and wrench, but I forget offhand...there was a recent thread, do a search.

You can find decent looking "basic" wheels around 100 bucks a pop. Buy FIVE...don't get four and then be "that guy" with the goofy undersized spare tire...get a set of five rims and tires. You can find very nice rims for about 130-150 a hit. 33" tires will cost you anywhere from 130-180 each...if you get everything at the same place, you may be able to get out the door for 1200 mounted and balanced, trade your old tires for a hundred bucks, sell your old rims here for 250 or so...or to save some cash keep your stock rims (or get takeoffs from an FJ or something, they look really good on a Tundra) and run a 255/85/16, that's a narrow 33, less rubbing, less expensive, taller by a hair than a 285/75/16, less rotating weight, no need to spend 500-700 on new rims, and they are trail proven by many, many people with Tacomas and Tundras. That's what Joe was running when he did Golden Crack and a bunch of other punishing trails out in Moab when his truck was still IFS. I would swear half the people on the Expedition Portal are running those tires.

Conservatively again, now you're at about 3K$ (or 2300$ if you used your stock rims), you have a complete setup ready for offroad that will handle excellent on-road, larger tires which you can air down for the trail, and a great looking rig that you'll be proud to drive, and you'll still have 2000$-2700$ left over (depending on the rims). Pick up a CO2 tank from Brian at Ultimate Air for a couple bills, a pressure gauge for a buck fifty at the corner store, a tow strap, a Hi-Lift jack, cover and 4xRac (they rock, but buy your own mounting bolts!) and the all-important Lift-Mate (don't leave home without this!) for about 100$-150$ total (Ebay!), and a set of recovery ladders (search in the Offroad subsection, I got mine from Amgrating.com but there's a guy who sells them precoated for a similar price) for around 200$, and a Bushranger X-Jack for about 200 bucks...all those trail pieces will run you up about 650$-700$ depending where you buy...and you'll still have something like 1500$ to spend on a skimpy cocktail dress, earrings and five star date to appease your wife (the dress and the earrings are for her, btw :p), to which you can drive your now-badass truck :D. Then take her out wheeling with you with a picnic lunch and I bet she likes it...then you're scot-free to mod as you please in the future :D...if you're really lucky she'll even help you mod the truck :cool:. Then you can say stuff like "Honey, we really need a snorkel, it's for our family's safety." :clown:

You can take the RCD kit offroad, it's very sturdy, but you'll get better performance overall (on and offroad) by staying away from drop brackets and instead trimming to get tire clearance. For 33s, particularly 255/85/16s, all you really need is a hammer to work the pinch weld back, and you'll never rub. You can take spacers offroad, and stock-length aftermarket coilovers, but there's a huge performance difference between stock joints and uniballs...about 4" of front wheel travel. That's a lot considering you only start with about 6".

If you get coilovers and run them up to 4", you'll need a uniball to retain droop and decent ride quality, but it can be done. You'll still need to trim to fit 35s, but you'll easily clear 33s, even 33x12.5 if you want that instead of 33x10 (255/85/16). Since you have 4x4, if you want to run 4" lift, you'll also need the diff drop spacers and the 930 CV boots from Kartek, and the installation of the CV boots is either $$$$ at a shop or time and filth for you. It's not a cakewalk and very, very messy. You only need 2" to fit 33s anyway, BTW that's level for an access cab. If you want 2.5" in the front, grab an add-a-leaf...usually 50-100 bucks.

If you get a drop bracket and run 33s, they'll look small. Also if you get a drop bracket, you're back in to $$$$ and trouble with the wife, and for all the clearance you'll have you'll be a lot less comfortable when the trail takes a wicked lean, and you won't be able to corner as hard on pavement, and unless you're getting serious quality like the RCD anyway, you're looking at weak spindles and potential trouble in the future. Better to take a couple bills of what's left over, get the spindle gussets from Total Chaos and have a very experienced welder stitch them up. Your front end will look a lot like mine...see my main photo gallery...and if you look in my separate albums you'll see what I've taken that setup over and through...it's capable and durable, and has been holding up to 35s and punishment for a couple years now.

Save your money if you want 35s...by the time you're finished with lifts, trimming, wheels, all the little bandaids you'll need to fit them, you'll be in over 5K between the kit, the install, wheels and tires, regearing, etc...stick with 33s for now and enjoy the truck. The only way you can cheaply fit 35s is by taking about twenty hours with a sawzall, air body saw, die grinder, cutoff wheel, spare sheetmetal, a lot of wet towels, and a very competent welder. Note I don't have a drop bracket...that's 35s on about 3" of lift, or whatever it's settled to now. I don't really care about the height since nothing rubs unless it's REALLY twisted up while I'm turning the wheels :D.

If you look through my main gallery you'll see a few older pictures when the truck was more stock...the filthy truck pic is a 2" front lift and nothing in the rear, with 33x11.5 (285/75/16) tires. The water crossing pic and the one with the green truck is with 2.5" in front, Alcan springs at 2.5" (probably more like 3", they hadn't settled yet and the bed was empty), and the green truck has a 3" body lift, 2" coilover lift and 35s. There are also pics of what I had to do for 35s and no drop bracket or body lift. It's not an easy process but IMHO more rewarding at finish than putting the truck on stilts to fit a big tire in front. With what I've done now, I should be able to sneak a 37 up there for road use and mild trails.

-Sean
 

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That pretty much sums it up!
 

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I saw no mention of the Bilstein 5100 pre-load adjustables, which I found in my research to be the "best bang for the buck" in terms of fitting a set of 285 tires. Check out this thread
 
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