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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I am considering biting the bullet and upgrading the 2005 Tundra Double Cab 4x4. I would like to raise/level the truck 2.5-3 inches and run larger tires. I am ok spending a little bit more to do it right, but don't want to break the bank. I want it to look good, but to also be very reliable. I time to time do mild off-roading well into the back country...

I have used the search and read, but I now have even more questions. So I thought I would ask a few to the group.

1. If you could do it all over, would you raise your Tundra or leave it stock? Do the problems outweigh the benefits?
2. How reliable is running at 2.5/3 inch lift/leveling kit? Will I have CV or other issues down the road?
3. So here is what I am considering for my Tundra (on a stock truck). Can you please critique my setup? What is better/more reliable?
a. Bilstein 5100s on last notch up front (should give 2.5 inch lift)
b. 1 inch or 1.5 inch AAI in back or blocks (which one is better? AAI or blocks, and 1 or 1.5 inches in back)
c. 1 inch diff drop (what brand to get?)
d. I am looking at 17 by 9 inch wheels (with 4 inch offset?) and 285 /33 inch tires (likely BFG All Terrain KOs). What is the exact size I will need?
e. Am I missing anything else? I was going to have Wheelworks or someone like that do the install all at the same time.

Thanks for your opinions.

Jon
 

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There could be potential of problems down the road whenever anything is altered. I haven't had any so far. I would like to try the bilstien adjustable shocks someday. Dont forget the hose clamp mod before your cv boot starts leaking. AAL would probably be the best choice for carrying a load, I did 3" up front with 1" in back and it sat just a hair lower in the back after. so 1.5 would probably be about perfect. as for tires, im guessing 285 70 17's but im just throwing that one out there. good luck and post pics when you git er dun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Erki!

Ok, here is my latest thinking....thoughts???

a. Bilstein 5100s on last notch up front (should give 2.5 inch lift)
b. 1 inch or 1.5 inch AAI in back (1 or 1.5 inches in back? I don't mind a slight rake)
c. 1 inch diff drop (what brand to get?)
d. STOCK 17 inch wheels with 1.25 inch Spidertrax spacers and 285-70-17 BFG All Terrain KOs.
e. Hose clamp mod on CV boots.
f. Am I missing anything else? I was going to have Wheelworks or someone like that do the install all at the same time. I assume there will be no/minimal rubbing with this setup?

Thanks for your opinions.
 

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ok
I did a 2" lift with 33" Mud T. on 17x9 Artilery wheels and the tires were rubbing a little (TRD Mud guards) if you don't have those, you'll b ok. But I ended up doing the 3" with diff. drop from FatBob's.

Rear I did something different. Got a pair of super springs. So awesome. No need for Mech. for that one. And they are adjustable. Great for cargo and towing. when I go 4x4 I set them to light.

Shocks, I did a set of KYB's gas charge :) But don't know if they are better or same than yours.

Question. what do you mean CV clamp Mod? Remove the trashy clamps and some heavy duty ones? my front R. arm (boot) its starting to leak. I see no rips. What do you know about this thing?
 

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Jon I think u got everything coverd. Toytec.com got many things you can buy just don't get the front spacer lift cause u going with 5100's. Also, the clamp mod is a must don't even think about test driving it without those clamps. I went to home depo and got 4 2inch hose clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input! Now to change it a bit, would 5100's in the rear be better than an AAL? If I go that route I don't need anything else in the back, right? All 4 5100's can go to the top setting....?
Thanks,
Jon
 

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Go for the bilsteains, if i could do it again i would have gone that road instead of the leveling kit, mine truck rides roughhhhhh and i have 285 bfg ats
 

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If you want performance and height without breaking the bank, the 5100s you're looking at are the definitive way to go. Do get four, along with whatever additions or changes you make to the leaf springs.

Don't overtighten the CV boot clamps. Only use the hose clamps (worm gear style) on the inner boot (both ends) and the large end of the outer boot.

If you want a long-term, worry free solution to the inner CV boot, get the 930 CV boots. It's not hard to swap them, just time consuming and messy.

Try a 255/85/16 (or equivalent with 17" rim, if available...or pick up a set of used OEM 16" wheels) tire, it is a tall 33" and will be easier to fit than the 285mm section width, also it will fit without spacers or adapters between the wheel and the hub. Personally I would buy new wheels before running adapters, but that's your choice. Something else to keep in mind, when you run a tire on a narrower rim than normal, a radial tire will show two lines of wear (cracking, actually) at the edges of the belt, because the narrower wheel forces the tire to crown. I am seeing this after five years running a 35x12.5 tire on an 8" wide wheel. I would do it again for a wheeling tire, but would lean toward a more appropriate wheel width for a tire I expected to last years on the road.

The diff drop really doesn't do much, and all the brands are the same.

The best way to ensure long-term reliability is change as little as possible. A 2" or 3" lift in the rear doesn't appreciably change anything. The more you lift the front, the more you wear on the ball joints, tie rod ends, steering rack guide bushings and mount bushings, it becomes harder to align, suspension response becomes stiffer since the tires must move out to move up, and eventually you'll run out of droop travel, meaning the suspension is likely to hang on the coilover over large bumps.

2" in the front works fine. 4" in the front is pushing it. 3" is pretty good...I ran somewhere between 3" & 4" for a long time, it was a good balance between compression and droop travel, and the alignment was pretty good. I was also using aftermarket upper control arms and longer coilovers, with manual hubs and 930 CV boots. I successfully wheeled this setup for several years, in addition to DD duty.

Keep some rake, or it'll look funny and handle poorly when the bed is loaded or you're towing.

If I were to do it all again, I'd begin by borrowing a 35x12.5 tire on a 16x8 wheel with 3.5" backspacing from somewhere and trimming until it fit without rubbing the cab or bumper...and ignore any rub on the frame for the moment.

Then I'd add skid plates and rock sliders.

I'd establish the average load carried in the bed on a backcountry trip, and get the axle weights fully loaded...including stuff in the cab, other people, dog, cooler, and so on.

Then I'd get a longer set of coilovers, aftermarket upper arms, limit straps, an appropriate spring rate, new leaf springs for the weight carried and with additional arch to match the front lift (ie maintain the rake), and longer rear shocks.

Finally...wheels and tires, and I'd be looking to regear as soon as it was financially possible to do so with selectable lockers.

I have done all that at this point, just not in that order. I got coilovers first, and proceeded to worry about the doors and door sills, the engine, transmission, transfer case, the bro-stance when the bed was loaded, and so on. Then I got skids and rear springs, and it worked great for a long time...I think the next mod was trimming, sliders, and more skid plates, and finally gears and then I just started feeding benjamins in to the dash :lol:.

...Get the 5100 kit and some AALs, and the 930 boots, and some 255/85/16 tires on OEM 16s, and a set of skid plates from Skid Row, and you should be set for a good long time.

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sean,

I'll be pinging you in the future for assistance as this project solidifies. Thanks for the detailed write-up.

If I am stuck w/the 17 inch wheels, what BFG AT tire should I run. I don't have to have the biggest tire I can. My philosophy is to do it right, moderation is good and make it reliable. I won't be doing gnarly off-roading, but will put it in 4wd in the dirt a few times each year. What are the problems with spacers? I like the factory wheels....

Also, any issue with someone like wheelworks doing the installation?

Thanks for the input.
Keep it coming. I am off to read about the CV boot mod next.
Jon
 

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Wow Sean that is an amazing writeup... And Jon, I would basically follow Sean's advice, the only thing I have to add is that I have basically seen two sets of opinions on tires. I'm in the Off-Road Club here at Texas A&M, and these guys wheel all over. They err on the smaller tire to fit on their trucks so that there is no rubbing and they retain as much wheel articulation as possible. The other side of it is that the bigger tires look sweet on the road. If you are running off-road trails that require full wheel articulation, I would suggest getting about a 32" tire (I'm running 265/75R16s right now and have previously run 275/70s).
 

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I'm in the Off-Road Club here at Texas A&M, and these guys wheel all over. They err on the smaller tire to fit on their trucks so that there is no rubbing and they retain as much wheel articulation as possible.
That is excellent advice right there.

As for adapters, spacers, and wider wheels...

If you push the tires out, you change the scrub radius...how far the center of the contact patch sits from the axis around which the tire steers. It also changes the degree of feedback from the road...hitting a curb results in a stronger kick through the wheel, the farther out you go. It's certainly not undrivable, but at some point it becomes uncomfortable and unpredictable...37x12.5 on a 10" wide wheel with a 1.5" adapter to the stock hubs is an awful lot of kickback to the steering wheel, and I wouldn't recommend anything like that at all.

Keeping the tires closer to where the OEM intended also means the steering angles remain correct...the tires will scrub less in turns.

Never run a larger tire than your vehicle can handle in the environment or situations where you'll be using that tire...as relates to handling, fitment, and strength of the drivetrain.

I agree with the suggestion to run a 265/75/16, or the 17" wheel equivalent, and if you want a slightly larger tire, keep to the high profile (tall & narrow) end of the tire spectrum, vs the low profile (wide as compared to height) tires.

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Group and Sean,

Thanks for the feedback. I am getting great information. Along the lines of your comments I am fine tuning my thinking a bit. I want to keep the stock wheels, which are 17 inch. So give that have a few more questions (sorry for so many):

1. What is the most comparable tire size in 17 inch to the 265/75/16 (31.6 inches)? Is it a 265/70/17?
2. If I run this size tire on my stock wheels, will I need the 5100's maxed out or can I run them on 1 notch below max height? (slightly lower lift, easier on cv joints, etc.)
3. If I go for a larger/taller tire, what is the largest/tallest tire I should run (with the 5100s at the top) to avoid tire/rubbing/crowning issues? I drive ~8-10K miles/year.
4. How large a tire (what size) can I run with the lift on my stock wheels without the spidertrax spacers?

Given this I am seeing two options fleshing out:

Option A: Go Big
1. Bilstein 5100s on top notch up front for 2.5 inch of leveling lift
2. 1.5 inch AAI in back with 5100s
3. 1 inch diff drop
4. STOCK 17 inch wheels with 1.25 inch Spidertrax spacers and 285-70-17 or 275-70-17 BFG All Terrain KOs.
e. Hose clamp mod on CV boots.

Option B: Go Moderate
1. Bilstein 5100s on one from the top notch up front for about 2 inches of leveling lift
2. 1.0 inch AAI in back with 5100s
3. 1 inch diff drop
4. STOCK 17 inch wheels with 1.25 inch Spidertrax spacers? and 275-70-17 or 265-70-17 BFG All Terrain KOs. Do I even need the spacers with this tire?
e. Hose clamp mod on CV boots.

Thanks for the insight. I appreciate the feedback.
Jon
 

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I recently did the exact mod you are prepairing for. 5100's top notch in the front, diff drop, hose clamp mod, 5100 rears, and Wheeler's 1.5" block in the back. It made my 05 DC a different truck and the ride is excellent. I don't go extreme off roading but do get in the rough and mud quite often on the farm. The allignmnet was almost perfect and only small changes had to be made there. I am running 265/70 16 and after much thought and shopping I decided to stay with a 16. I purchased the TRD IS wheels and I plan to run 265/75's or 285's. The decision to stay with the 16's was purely cost and money savings on gas although I like the look of the 17 and 18 inch wheels, I just can't justify dropping that much coin on a set of wheels just to run around with cow poo on my chrome. I did all the work myself at home with tools I had. The total job took about six hours with a little help from a buddy on the fronts and knowing where to find a local shop that let me use their (really nice and safe) spring compressor for the cost of a 12 pack. If you decide to DIY I highly recommend buying a ratcheting wrench (short one) that fits the rear shocks as this, especially on the right rear, is can be a time consuming and frustrating part of the project. Hope you enjoy your upgrades.
 

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I have been looking at those BFG TKOs in 275/70 R 17 as well but I am pretty sure they are only available in E load rating. I am not sure I want to add that extra sprung weight to the suspension since I don't haul all that much.

Gas Can
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Chromehorse56 - did you use the spidertrax spacers? Any rubbing?
GasCan - the higher load rating will give you a harder tire and harsher ride. I have heard C or D is a better compromise for an LT tire.

I am oscillating between the full 2.5 inch in front with the aal in back or just 1.5 -2.0 inches in front and not changes to the back.

I'll keep you posted.
Thanks,
Jon
 

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You won't need spacers for the 265/70/17, and, If I were you, this would be my tire choice for either option. The 285 will accomplish more width than height, and as stated before, that won't help anything but increasing tire resistance. The 265/70/R17 is the closest comparable to the 265/75/16 in overall height. The 16" rim will give more sidewall height though which is better for offroading.

If you do the 4th notch, I would still do the 1.5" AAL in back. It will give you slight rake and likely sit perfect as soon as you get a couple hundred pounds in there. The 17" tire size you mentioned will fit fine under all options of the 5100's.

Good luck, give us some before and after measurements and pics! You've done some homework, and waiting will just make it better.

Also, for all your tire comparison questions, this is a great site.....Tire Size Calculator - tire & wheel plus sizing
 

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Discussion Starter #20
NegroTundra,

Thanks for answering my direct questions. I take painstaking effort to research things thoroughly. Kind of the measure twice, cut once philosophy.

Thoughts on your comments:

1. I think I will go with the 265/70/17 tires, BFG ATs
2. No spidertraxx spacers - don't want to run them, not needed
3. I have a shell on my truck and want a bit of rake. Given this "preload" do you think I should go for the highest or next-to-highest notch on the front 5100s to maintain the rake? I usually have about 50-100 pounds of crap in the back too.

Thanks for everyone's help. Now I just need to get everything and find a good installer in the bay area on the peninsula.
Jon
 
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