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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I watched my baby drive away with it's new owner....


I now have the green light to go ahead and get started with my Tundra build :D

So.... Talk me out of this:
RCD set at 6" in the front
3" block + Wheelers aal in the back (for now, until I get a spring pack)
295 70 17 Nitto Trail Grappers on 17X10 Weld Racing Dune 6 rims

...and talk me into this instead...
Bilstein 5100's
Camburg UCAs
Wheelers 1.5" aal
275-65-18 (or 275-70-18 if they fit) Toyo Open Country AT on 18" TRD (BBS) rims

I'm looking for civil road manners but enough clearance to get me hunting and fishing. Trails range from "light" to above "moderate" (lava rock makes for some puckery situations off road).

RCD route will give me plenty of clearance (my primary reason for thinking about this route), ride pretty much like stock, and look ubber cool. It will also give me lower gas mileage, a harder time loading and dropping stuff into and out of the bed, and the inability to park in my car port.

The Bilstein route will give me 3.5" more ground clearance than what I have now (2.5 from the suspension, 1" from the taller tires), a truck that's more "mature" looking (read: a truck my dad probably would drive), and something that at the end of the day, is proably a bit more practical (not to mention the 1500 clams I get to keep in my pocket). I think the tundra will be able to make it to 90% of the places I like to go dressed like this, I just don't want to drop the coin going this route and then wish I had a few more inches of clearance later on down the road.

Respectfully asking for your thoughts and help in examining all the angles on both options.

The truck won't be a daily driver... I got the rims for either option, so it's a matter of purchasing the suspension goodies and the rubber.
 

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Why do you want 18's? I would stick with the stock wheel size and look at some bigger tires. If you are really gonna be offroading in this truck, I would think you would some bigger tires, not bigger wheels.
 

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Sweet Taco!! I'd be sad too if I sold that...

If you think the RCD with 6" of lift will be too much, instead put it at 4" of lift and get some 305/70/16. You don't want 18" wheels if you offroad unless you putting 40" tires on it. You could always raise it to 6" lift later if you want (its really not that tall anyway).

Here's Herb's Tundra RCD 6" with 35's and mine with 2" 5100's and 265's...
 

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The 295's are roughly 1.5" bigger than the 275's. That means that it's less than an inch taller at the axles if you go with the 6" lift, even though the frame will be 4.25" higher (3.5" more lift than 2.5" bilsteins + 0.75" for tires). Since our trucks have pretty good ground clearance at the center of the truck anyway, I would be more focused on traction.
If you don't already have a locker or LSD, you could buy a locker with the money you would save by going with the 5100's.
Also, depending on how much stuff you load in the back of your truck, the 5100's would make life easier, especially if you take a 4-wheeler huntin'... I do like both options though and I definitely want to see pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies guys...
About the 18" rims - I found a very clean low mileage Waltrip Tundra at a decent price; The 18" rims are already on the truck as part of that package. At first I didn't much care for them but, they've been growing on me.... It's also a major plus that unlike the Welds I had on my Tacoma, These are truly wash and wear (no polishing! :D)

I stuck my floor jack under the front of the truck and jacked it up 2.5"... It does not look like much, but I'm guessing it'll look a whole lot better with the back lifted and new rubber on it. Derek's image really shows the difference in height between the 2 - a strong arguement for the RCD.

The biggest concern about the RCD lift is the fact that the cross member needs to be cut - From what I've read, these kits are very well made, and I wouldn't expect any problems from it... Cost difference aside, I'm not sure it's truly worth cutting up a perfectly good truck for a few inches more of clearance. (Now I'm sounding like an old man :eek:)

Keep the thoughts and opinions coming, I'd rather be stuck with a bunch of questions now than a bunch of regret later!
 

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Next time you see a Range Rover, take a close look.
Most of the time we don't need ground clearance and the resulting instability.

I vote for the function of shocks, proper rubber and locking differentials.

Ten years in Ethiopia and not one woman ever had sex with me because I drove a Land Rover.
But if lift kits get you sex, let me know and I'll raise Clyde the Ride.;)
 

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The kids would run 1/4 mile in low 14's probably :D dunno ir thats bad though - kid could bring his old man beer from the store in under a minute :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next time you see a Range Rover, take a close look.
Most of the time we don't need ground clearance and the resulting instability.

I vote for the function of shocks, proper rubber and locking differentials.

Ten years in Ethiopia and not one woman ever had sex with me because I drove a Land Rover.
But if lift kits get you sex, let me know and I'll raise Clyde the Ride.;)
Freaky Ethiopian sex aside, This is a very good point. A DC Tundra however, is much longer than a Range Rover. I guess I have to come to the reality that this truck will probably never be able to get to ALL the places my Tacoma could.
 

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You bring up very valid points on both set-ups. I went through the same thing when I first got my Tundra. I thought I would be fine with just the Donahoe's up front and a 1" block in the rear. I quickly found that my rear end would bottom out in some of the more gnarly places that I took it. So I removed the coilovers and block and sold it. I definitely needed something bigger and with more lift. Which is why I got the Tuff Country lift. Looking back I wish I had gone with the RCD kit.

I'm happy and finally satisfied at the height I have it at now (9"). I know I will have no problems clearing what I gotta clear. I just hope I don't scratch the 20's. lol.:p

Bascially what I'm saying is to go for the gusto and get the 6" lift. You already have the siiiick rims to match.
 

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This issue of ground clearance is kind of a matter of what exactly must clear the ground. My truck is only lifted up front(yeah, I live in socal) because when I'd go out to play in the dirt I feared smashing my trans on rocks. I pushed it up about 4" with coil overs, its since settled to be maybe 3.75" but really doesn't look tall. I get over pretty big mounds of dirt(used to block entrance to my favorite playground) and don't bottom out. I got added clearance on both the frame and the under belly up front(skid plate to trans area).

Now you have to take a close look at the RCD lift which is well made, but it offers no added clearance to the front end, since there are dropped brackets. It gets the middle of the truck higher but thats it really. The brackets themselves are still maybe 12" off the ground. That's why I went with coil overs and upper control arms. It's more functional from mypoint of view. Not talking down on anybody with the RCD lift, its a well made product, just isn't my taste since I like getting sideways. That was a nice Tacoma btw, good luck.
 

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Freaky Ethiopian sex aside, This is a very good point. A DC Tundra however, is much longer than a Range Rover. I guess I have to come to the reality that this truck will probably never be able to get to ALL the places my Tacoma could.
For those unfamiliar, the Range Rover has a knob.......turn it to: 'get over the big rocks' and sun-of-a-gun if it doesn't raise up and do it!
Being able to add clearance at-will allows the vehicle to have a low center of gravity and more stability the rest of the time.

Off road, everything is a trade-off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This issue of ground clearance is kind of a matter of what exactly must clear the ground. My truck is only lifted up front(yeah, I live in socal) because when I'd go out to play in the dirt I feared smashing my trans on rocks. I pushed it up about 4" with coil overs, its since settled to be maybe 3.75" but really doesn't look tall. I get over pretty big mounds of dirt(used to block entrance to my favorite playground) and don't bottom out. I got added clearance on both the frame and the under belly up front(skid plate to trans area).

Now you have to take a close look at the RCD lift which is well made, but it offers no added clearance to the front end, since there are dropped brackets. It gets the middle of the truck higher but thats it really. The brackets themselves are still maybe 12" off the ground. That's why I went with coil overs and upper control arms. It's more functional from mypoint of view. Not talking down on anybody with the RCD lift, its a well made product, just isn't my taste since I like getting sideways. That was a nice Tacoma btw, good luck.
When I think about it, the trails that I drive on require more clearance at the frame (mid-truck).... When lava cools, it kinda cools as "fingers" that can be navigated on/over/across - meaning most of the time, both front tires will be climbing up or descending down at the same time:


I'm 99% positive the above shots were taken somewhere out in Ka'u on the Big Island... See the water aaaaallll the way down there? It's a pretty good long distance down to the beach.

pic taken from here: Hawaii Wheeling Trip 2005! (midway down the page)... Looks like they got a little crazy and were off the trails for some of those shots, but it gives you an idea of what the Tundra needs to traverse to get me camping. Like I said earlier... I think, 2.5" plus proper rubber can get me down and back up the trails I run....
 

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I think, 2.5" plus proper rubber can get me down and back up the trails I run....

But you know that a 6" lift will get the job done.:cool: remember that the Tundra is a longer animal compared to your reg cab tacoma. It's going to take more lift to clear the same obstacles your tacoma did.
 

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Awesome photos...I didn't know HI had wheeling like that.

In general, the second (?) photo...in the wash...is not a good place for a drop bracket.

However, a drop bracket isn't necessarily going to cause a roll...your Tundra is wider than the Taco.

I wheeled plenty of stuff with a new leaf pack at about 2.5" higher in back, and extended coilovers and uniball upper arms set at about 3" higher in front, and trimmed for 35" tires. No need to mount a drop bracket unless you really, absolutely want to, but it's not necessarily going to prevent you from doing things you're able to do now.

New pack, arms and coilovers will probably run about 2K$. Trimming for 35" tires will take a couple weekends and a buddy with a welder, sawzall and angle grinder, and some sheetmetal, since you'll be trimming the body just a bit. Run a wheel adapter, or get some 3" or 3.5" backspaced wheels, and get some ARP studs for more thread engagement...100-200 for adapters, about 60-70 for three packs of studs.

Compare to price of RCD kit and requirement to cut the frame as opposed to some sheetmetal.

-Sean
 
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