I've gone through 4 iterations so far on the rear lift. I began with the stock leaf springs. I then bought a
pair of used Old Man Emu springs that would provide 3 inches of lift. These worked great to fit the larger
tires, but they could not handle any weight. When I put the ARE shell on the truck, the ride height suffered
greatly. I decided to get a custom 9-pack built by Deaver Springs. The Deaver Springs are progressive and
work really well, even under load. I had them custom built for 3 inches of lift.
Here are some pictures of the Deavers the day I installed them.The second picture has the OME
leafs above for comparison.
This setup worked for about a year. I realized early on though that I underestimated the weight of the truck. On long trips with all my gear,
the suspension was sagging.
This picture was taken in Baja with a heavy load and the truck is obviously squatty in the rear end.
My final solution was to send the springs back to Deaver and have them build me a 10-pack. This required me to be without
a truck for a few weeks. My Tacoma sat in my backyard on its axle, waiting for her new leaf pack!
The latest solution seems to be holding up well. The truck has a nice rake and when moderately loaded the suspension
is holding up. I might end up adding a pair of extended shackles on the rear to help even out heavy loads. I'm not 100% certain
that I will be keeping this setup either.
Here is a picture of the current setup.
The rear shocks have also gone through some transformation. The stock Bilstein shocks were not long enough to
accommodate the 3 inch lift in the rear. I wanted to get the Bilstein 5150s, but at the time they were out of stock at all
the retailers. I decided to try the Old Man Emu N-85s. I was shocked at how beefy they were when I got them.
N-85s next to stock Bilsteins for comparison.
One problem I noticed right away was that the shock body was hitting the leaf pack when fully compressed. I didn't want to
have any dents in the shock body that might compromise the shock. I read about a potential fix for this on Bajataco.com.
There, Chris detailed a modification that would move the shocks out far enough to avoid contact. Here is a link to Bajataco's
Here are some pictures of my final shock mounting. The second picture shows the new clearance when the suspension is fully compressed.
Other Suspension Issues
Since doing the lift, I had to address a couple other issues. First was the brake line had to be extended. I got a good deal
on a steel braided line from a friend of mine. It installed quickly and after a quick brake bleeding, I was on the road again.
I purchased a brake proportioning valve bracket from Sonoran Steel. This moves the valve up to where it should be
accomodating the lift height.
Another issue that this suspension setup created was that the tailpipe was hitting the leaf pack. There are several aftermarket
brackets you can buy to slightly move the tailpipe, but I decided to go the inexpensive route and simply trim the
tailpipe. This may not be legal in other states, but it is fine in NM.
As more changes happen, I'll update these pages.