: Looking to join the offroad ranks...have a question.


LoFiChed
07-06-2005, 09:29 AM
Right now I own an '04 Nissan 350Z, but my needs have changed and I'm looking to buy a truck. I like the Tacoma and I always thought that having IFS, plus a 3" lift, would be better when offroad because you're diff wouldn't always be getting in the way. However, after talking to a friend (he has a mid 90's jeep wrangler with 3" susp lift, 1" body lift and 35's, plus a lot of good hardware) he said that that actually is wrong. For better offroad capabilities, a straight axle and standard suspension is preferred. He was saying something about having to use spacers and how that wouldn't give me more ground clearance. Can someone explain why this is true...if it is true?

zosimov21
07-06-2005, 09:37 AM
Here is a quick run down on most of your options for lifting your tacoma.

http://www.customtacos.com/tech/index.php?page=index_v2&id=137&c=10

Skip the spacers and go with OME or Coilovers. A spacer will give you more ground clearance but your ride will suffer.

atwinda
07-06-2005, 10:24 AM
http://www.mor4wd.com/refer.asp?Page=articles.asp&ID=1
http://www.mor4wd.com/refer.asp?Page=articles.asp&ID=2

Those two links will provide a little further in depth about lifting a Tacoma.

To directly answer your question, clearance under the diff would increase with any type of suspension lift (spacer, new coilover). Some drop bracket lifts, the fabtech 6", only lower the diff 4", so you are getting 6" of lift, with almost stock angles.

LoFiChed
07-06-2005, 11:21 AM
So, if the solid axle is a lot stronger, does that mean the ISF is weak. I mean, if I put a 3" lift on it and fully extend/compress the suspension, is it going to break? Or is it something that a set of chromoly a-arms could solve? Or is it weak in the way it's connected to the frame? Or would I be better off going with a Frontier, for offroad purposes? The frontier doesn't look like it has the approach/decline angle, ground clearance, or wheel travel that the Tacoma has, but I'm looking for what will give me the best offroad performance for the money, and dropping $4000 or $5000 on a solid axle conversion doesnt' sound very desireable to me.

Yes, I know I just asked a bunch of Tacoma enthusiasts if I should go with a Nissan, but I'm hoping you all can give me an unbiased opinion.

zosimov21
07-06-2005, 12:08 PM
IFS isnt weak per se, it has weak points. You can do a solid axle if you want to pay out through the nose to get one. I don't know about Nissians, but I would imagine if you cycle the suspension fully as long as your not doing it with great force it wont break.
You might register on some nissian boards for more vendor specific questions about Nissians

Dick Foster
07-06-2005, 12:12 PM
It depends on what kind of wheeling you intend to do. For Baja style desert racing a long travel IFS if better and a lot of folks in SoCal go that route because that is what they do mostly but for rock crawling and the like, solid front axles are better because there is much more axle articulation. Fog genreal purpose wheeling until you decide if you want to wheel just put one of the coilover type suspension lifts on it for clerance for more agressive tires. Try to keep a lid on it to keep the roll center low if you are really gonna wheel. I ran about 2" or so of lift just to run 31X12.50s or just a wider tire than stock and had fun for years. I also added armor in the form of sliders and off road bumper. After the urges built up I finally decided to take a torch to the truck and did the solid axle conversion. You really want to be sure before you do something like that so it's best to wheel for a while first. If you get into it, the decision to destroy the resale value of the truck is a lot easier to make. I am warning you right now. Wheeling will cost you some money and is as addictive as crack cocaine. If you are not prepared for that, get off of this board now, run like hell and never look back.

hytenor
07-06-2005, 12:28 PM
So, if the solid axle is a lot stronger, does that mean the ISF is weak. I mean, if I put a 3" lift on it and fully extend/compress the suspension, is it going to break? Or is it something that a set of chromoly a-arms could solve? Or is it weak in the way it's connected to the frame? Or would I be better off going with a Frontier, for offroad purposes? The frontier doesn't look like it has the approach/decline angle, ground clearance, or wheel travel that the Tacoma has, but I'm looking for what will give me the best offroad performance for the money, and dropping $4000 or $5000 on a solid axle conversion doesnt' sound very desireable to me.

Yes, I know I just asked a bunch of Tacoma enthusiasts if I should go with a Nissan, but I'm hoping you all can give me an unbiased opinion.

In stock form the TRD Tacoma with elocker is the most off-road capable (stock) on the market, period. We have several members who bought Frontiers only to soon sell them after experiencing the Taco off road ;)

IFS is primarily designed for ride quality, NOT off-road prowess and the fact that Toyota (and everyone else for that matter) went this route rather than maintaining the solid front axle (pre-'85 trucks) is unfortunate. But, with a mild lift, some 32" tires and sliders these trucks will amaze you ;)

There are very few aftermarket parts that will strengthen the IFS components. About the only thing out there are heat treated outer CV joints like CV Unlimited and AOR sell. Replacing the upper control arms with Uniball UCAs eliminates the upper ball joint weekness but you can replace a bunch of OE ball joints for the price of UCAs. And, this is really only an issue with higher suspension lifts. Adding tires taller than the stock 31s will increase the likelyhood of IFS component breakage since this puts much more stress on the parts than they were designed for. Adding a front locker really puts stress on the front drive components and you have to learn how drive all over again to keep from breaking things right and left.
If you want to go larger than 33s it's best to do a solid axle swap. IFS is just not capable of the articulation of a solid axle and on the really hardcore trails this really starts to show.

The more mods you do the more trouble you get into and the more $$ ya spend. welcome to the money pit :eek:

miguelitro
07-06-2005, 02:25 PM
As a total newbie i have learned that my stock 4x4 with e locker is way more capable than my off road driving skills. I have seen guys in gnarly modded sas truck who dont know how to drive em not fully be able to take advantage of them, and i have seen ifs tacos with minor mods do amazing things with a good driver. If you get a taco 4x4 trd throw some good tires on there you will be shocked at the stuff you can climb without any trouble at all.

Oh yeah get sliders right away, trust me on this one!
then its pretty cheap(well compared to sas!) to do a donahoe coil over setup and a leaf pack and get a couple inches of lift and make your truck very capable.

one more important thing i think is an aftermarket rear bumper with recovery points.

It'll make you smile guarenteed. Thats my newbie 2 cents(worth slightly less around here)
Mike

atwinda
07-06-2005, 06:38 PM
So, if the solid axle is a lot stronger, does that mean the ISF is weak. I mean, if I put a 3" lift on it and fully extend/compress the suspension, is it going to break? Or is it something that a set of chromoly a-arms could solve? Or is it weak in the way it's connected to the frame? Or would I be better off going with a Frontier, for offroad purposes? The frontier doesn't look like it has the approach/decline angle, ground clearance, or wheel travel that the Tacoma has, but I'm looking for what will give me the best offroad performance for the money, and dropping $4000 or $5000 on a solid axle conversion doesnt' sound very desireable to me.

Yes, I know I just asked a bunch of Tacoma enthusiasts if I should go with a Nissan, but I'm hoping you all can give me an unbiased opinion.

The stock IFS can totally handle 3" of lift. I'm running 3.5" which is more than I'd recomend to anyone else- and I hit the trails often. The stock Tacoma with an e-locker will spank any frontier any day.

For an SAS you pretty much need to learn the limits of your truck before you jump into that. SAS requires constant upkeep, and the knowledge to fix most anything you will break on the trail- cause once you get into the insane stuff you will start breaking parts.

Bryanccfshr
07-06-2005, 08:12 PM
As a total newbie i have learned that my stock 4x4 with e locker is way more capable than my off road driving skills. I have seen guys in gnarly modded sas truck who dont know how to drive em not fully be able to take advantage of them, and i have seen ifs tacos with minor mods do amazing things with a good driver. If you get a taco 4x4 trd throw some good tires on there you will be shocked at the stuff you can climb without any trouble at all.

Oh yeah get sliders right away, trust me on this one!
then its pretty cheap(well compared to sas!) to do a donahoe coil over setup and a leaf pack and get a couple inches of lift and make your truck very capable.

one more important thing i think is an aftermarket rear bumper with recovery points.

It'll make you smile guarenteed. Thats my newbie 2 cents(worth slightly less around here)
Mike

Very good advice and observations for a noobie.
A rear locker, 4wd, aggressive tires and body armor is all someone needs to get on some terrific trails.

LoFiChed
07-07-2005, 07:18 AM
So, exactly what is the difference between a regular 4WD Taco and the TRD? I mean, if I'm just going to put new springs and shocks on there anyway, do I need the TRD? Or is there differences in gearing and differentials and things?

jtaco1
07-07-2005, 08:15 AM
The TRD package gets you the rear locker which is well worth it. It is amazing when you turn that thing on what you can get into, both fun and trouble, but that is another story. Yes the springs are differnet, but I would go with the TRD, and make sure it is actually a TRD since som edealers just slap a sticker on it. You want to look for the drain plug for the rear diff on the drivers side and a motor on the front side of the diff. THere should also be a switch on teh dash on the left of the steering wheel.

You will like what you can do with IFS and be able to keep up with your Jeep friend, I whell with a number of Jeepers and they are amazed what these little trucks can do.

miguelitro
07-07-2005, 11:03 AM
Dont skimp on the trd pack the locker is essential for newbs like us!!!
oh and do the grey wire mod right away if you dont get an 05, i dont think they have figured it out yet but could be wrong!) it makes 4 hi a serious tank mode, and is very good for deep sand!
It is super easy to do.
Mike

and Brian, thanks for the compliment see us newbies arnt ALL bad!!!

LoFiChed
07-07-2005, 01:02 PM
Prob a dumb question, but what is the gray wire mod?

Dick Foster
07-07-2005, 01:06 PM
It allows the locker to work in 2WD and I think Hi range too instead of just 4WD Low range. The 5MPH speed issue is still there with the gray wire mod. To get rid of all that stuff the entire control can be done with a simple switch. There is a write up for either way in the Tech/FAQ section.

LoFiChed
07-07-2005, 01:33 PM
A little help if, you don't mind. I can't seem to find the article.

hytenor
07-07-2005, 01:36 PM
Prob a dumb question, but what is the gray wire mod?

http://www.hboss.net/4runner/locker_safety.htm
http://customtacos.com/tech/index.php?page=index_v2&id=10&c=3
http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/reading/Toyota_Tacoma_locker.htm

google is your friend :D

LoFiChed
07-07-2005, 01:53 PM
One more question...hopefully.

Does anyone have a resource for approach/decline angles and ground clearances for '98 to 2002 Tacos? I would like to know what's the best year to get, in offroad terms, between those years.

I'll def. be getting the V6, and want the automatic, but I'll take what I can get. Mainly want the auto for commuting, plus I'd rather not have to deal with a clutch while I'm wheelin'.

hytenor
07-07-2005, 02:25 PM
One more question...hopefully.

Does anyone have a resource for approach/decline angles and ground clearances for '98 to 2002 Tacos? I would like to know what's the best year to get, in offroad terms, between those years.

I'll def. be getting the V6, and want the automatic, but I'll take what I can get. Mainly want the auto for commuting, plus I'd rather not have to deal with a clutch while I'm wheelin'.

hm, don't know of any comparison charts but the front end of the gen3 trucks is a little farther forward than the previous year and even more pronounced then the gen1 front end.

but, for the most part, assuming 31" tires, the approach angle should be about the same. Egress angles will be the same from '95.5-04.

LoFiChed
07-08-2005, 06:08 AM
Hey, here's a good question (at least I think so)...

Where is the sensor for the airbag located? Is it in the bumper or attached to the frame that the bumper attaches too, or something else? Reason I ask is, if I wanted to remove the bumper and replace it with a nice tube bumper or something, how will that affect my airbag.

And since I'm on airbags, is there a cutoff switch for when I'm offroad?

YoTRacer158
07-08-2005, 06:56 AM
The 5MPH speed issue is still there with the gray wire mod.

as in the locker only works up to 5mph with the grey wire mod? mine will go as fast as i take it...

YoTRacer158
07-08-2005, 06:58 AM
i think you can you can just pull the fuse to disable the airbag...could be wrong

hytenor
07-08-2005, 11:42 AM
It allows the locker to work in 2WD and I think Hi range too instead of just 4WD Low range. The 5MPH speed issue is still there with the gray wire mod. To get rid of all that stuff the entire control can be done with a simple switch. There is a write up for either way in the Tech/FAQ section.

are you sure about the speed issue? many have done this mod and are able to engage the locker at any speed.

hytenor
07-08-2005, 11:47 AM
Hey, here's a good question (at least I think so)...

Where is the sensor for the airbag located? Is it in the bumper or attached to the frame that the bumper attaches too, or something else? Reason I ask is, if I wanted to remove the bumper and replace it with a nice tube bumper or something, how will that affect my airbag.

And since I'm on airbags, is there a cutoff switch for when I'm offroad?

there are two. http://www.parksoffroad.com/tacomamods/allpro1inuni/allpro1inuni.htm
scroll down about half way to see pics of them. The are bolted to each fender in the engine comp. one is just below the air box on the pass side and the other is under the battery. Airbags are initerita generated and won't pop off w/o a certain amount, ie, hitting a brick wall at over 35mph. The pass airbag can be turned off via key, there is no reason to disable the dr side.

miguelitro
07-08-2005, 12:38 PM
as in the locker only works up to 5mph with the grey wire mod? mine will go as fast as i take it...

yeah the prerunner guys use em going real fast. The 5 mph is a safty/liability thing for toyota not a limit on the mechanism. It is a little scary driving in 2wd with the locker in the dirt if you're not ready for it the back will come around real quik!!! but in 4 hi it is great w/grey wire-yes this enables locker in 4 hi whereas stock you only get 4 lo locked-

My 99 has a switch for the passenger bag and you can just pull the fuse for the driver but i dont think(because i read it here and agree) that your airbag will go off offroading unless you hit something fast and hard in which case you will want it!!! If all you are doing iss crawling then yeah might as well pull the fuse(but put it back in or your insurance might screw you on medical coverage!)

Mike

miguelitro
07-08-2005, 12:40 PM
you beat me by seconds hytenor!

do you hit your locker switch while driving i figures that would be no good if the gears werent lined up but i'm a newwb what do i know...

Dick Foster
07-08-2005, 12:41 PM
http://www.norcalttora.com/~dick/Writeup%20Stuff/toyota_elock_control.pdf

Dick Foster
07-08-2005, 12:42 PM
Then I guess the gray wire mod defeats it some way. The locker ECU does take in a speed signal and the limit is supposed to be 5MPH or less.

hytenor
07-08-2005, 12:51 PM
you beat me by seconds hytenor!

You have much to learn, grasshopper. :cool:


do you hit your locker switch while driving i figures that would be no good if the gears werent lined up but i'm a newwb what do i know...

I can engage my ARBs anytime ;)

hytenor
07-08-2005, 12:54 PM
If all you are doing iss crawling then yeah might as well pull the fuse(but put it back in or your insurance might screw you on medical coverage!)

Mike

Why? what's the point in disconnecting the dr airbag for crawling?? There is no way it will go off.

and yes, you pull that fuse, get in a wreck that would normally have popped the airbags and your Ins. company will drop you fast and pay you ZIP.

miguelitro
07-08-2005, 01:32 PM
I agree sensei!
there is no point but he asked yeah???

I didnt know bout the speed sensor, news to me, but hey.