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2000 Tacoma V6 4x4 extended cab
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I'm the original owner of a 2000 V6 4x4. It's got 170K mi and has lived a mostly easy life. I installed a 3" RevTek spacer lift kit in 2003 (mistake) and have had issues with tire wear and rough ride since. All these years alignment and tire shops were telling me it was all right but it wasn't. It looked good though and wasn't unsafe. It was my daily driver until 2016. Since then I've put 12K mi on it. For several years I researched the best way to upgrade the suspension and fix some minor mechanical issues. After talking with shady 4WD shops around my area, I decided to do it myself; well, my coworker who's an aircraft mechanic ended up doing the suspension but that's because I don't have the time and frankly he did a better job that I would've done. Here's what we did:

-ToyTec OME 3" Tacoma Suspension kit; came with front coilers, Front/Rear Nitrocharger shocks, Dakar leaf springs and all the bolts, bushings, brake extension kits, diff drop kit etc... required. I also got new, adjustable SPC upper control arms from ToyTec.

-We replaced just about everything on the suspension; The new UCAs came with upper ball joints, lower ball joints (greasable MOOG), Inner/outer tie rod ends (greasable MOOG), CV axles (Advance lifetime warranty but next time I'm going back to Toyota), alignment caster/camber cam bolts (genuine Toyota part), installed greasable shackles on the leaf springs, worn bushings on the stabilizer bar and bar link. Even though my brakes don't have a lot of miles on them, the front pads were worn unevenly and I already knew the rotors were warped so we changed the rotors and pads. I'm trying to find a solution for the calipers since they're probably the reason my pads are wearing unevenly. I got over 100K miles on the original factory brake pads/shoes and they still had some wear left when I changed them. Maybe I should go back to Toyota pads.

-I replaced the clutch master cylinder (genuine Toyota part). For about 10 years the pedal has been intermittently getting stuck 3/4 up and I'd have to put my foot behind it and pull it back. It didn't affect the operation of the clutch so I was waiting for it to crap out but it never did. Turned out to be an easy job. I also had to replace the starter (NAPA) a few months ago; also an easy job. I took it to a Toyota specialty mechanic outside Charlotte to replace the valve cover gaskets. It was expensive but I didn't have time to do it myself. I used to re-do the valve cover gaskets on my 93' Jeep Grand Cherokee with an in-line 6. I read over the job description for my V6 and it appeared to be an all day or multi-day job which I don't have time for.

-Wheels and Tires: I was talking to 4WDParts and a few other folks but ended up going with Discount Tire. I got 17" Icon Compressions with 4.5" backspace. I wasn't sure on tire size so I asked for 285/75R17s (Metric 33-34"s) and 285/70R17 (Metric 32-33"s). By the time the wheels finally came in they'd sold the 285/70 tires so we test fitted the 75s and they fit. Barely. They look massive compared to the 32 11.5s on the factory 15" wheels. The conversion is something like 33.6". I knew that even with the 70s I'd have to do some trimming but the 75's are shoe-horned in there (see photos) and would require a lot of trimming. I removed the front wheel well liners and the front flares so they don't rub except in a turns while simultaneously going over a bump. I would've gone with the 70s originally if they'd been in stock. I'm downsizing next week.

The current pressing issue is, do I need a steering gearbox? The alignment shop got all "greens" on a factory truck profile. I requested 0 toe, 0 camber and 2-2.4 caster but they were hesitant and only pushed the numbers in that direction while keeping the factory specs in the green. When I picked it up it was darting left/right, something it's never done before, including the drive from the tire shop to the alignment shop. Took it back and they said it's the rack/pinion, "we'll fix it for $1000". At first I thought they were just compensating because they couldn't get the alignment right but now I wonder if they might be right and I just didn't have problems before because of the smaller/lighter tires. I priced a new, not-remanufactured steering gearbox from Discount Toyota Parts (Olathe Toyota in KS); It's $650 with tax+ S/H and no core. Looking at the one on my truck, it seems pretty simple to replace so I might do it after I get a second opinion on the alignment. I don't want to replace it if it's not broken.

I imagine only someone interested in doing the same work would read this wordy post. I have a list of all the part numbers and prices. DM me if you need them. I'm happy with the OME kit and I'm happy I didn't go with Fox or Icon kits. My truck's not worth the cost of some of the quotes I got back for buying/installing those kits. Plus they're high performance products which equals high cost to maintain. I found out by chance, all those style suspensions require a rebuild at least every 30K mi and other stuff goes wrong in-between. IMHO, they're made for people with money to burn and time to waste. OME churched things up in their marketing but it's basically just good quality shocks and struts with leaf springs. They look good and ride good and cost a lot less to buy and maintain than Fox and Icon. With aftermarket upper control arms I was able to replace that crappy spacer lift kit. The ride height is the same as before. Articulation is much better and a lot of the old-car type squeaks and rattles are gone. It rides much better but not as good as I had hoped. I'd say it's probably as good and better than when it was new. As I said before, the wheels have 4.5" backspace which may be a little too much with larger tires. It keeps the tires away from the frame and UCAs but it pushes the them out and causing them to hit the wheel-well and quarter panel. I have high hopes the 285/70s will fit right.
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Yep. Looks good. I’d definitely get that second opinion on the rack&pinion. Could just need new bushings for it. Poly bushings are cheap enough to be worth the gamble to replace in troubleshooting.

Will 1/2” of tire in the wheel well make that much difference for you? I’d look for something in the 265/75-17(32.6/10.4-17) flavor for fitting well and looking good.

33.8/11.2-17 285/75-17
32.7/11/2-17 285/70-17
 

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2000 Tacoma V6 4x4 extended cab
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Discussion Starter #3
Yep. Looks good. I’d definitely get that second opinion on the rack&pinion. Could just need new bushings for it. Poly bushings are cheap enough to be worth the gamble to replace in troubleshooting.

Will 1/2” of tire in the wheel well make that much difference for you? I’d look for something in the 265/75-17(32.6/10.4-17) flavor for fitting well and looking good.

33.8/11.2-17 285/75-17
32.7/11/2-17 285/70-17

That's good advice. I'm new to the metric conversions.
 

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That's good advice. I'm new to the metric conversions.


285/75-17

285 is tread width in mm.
75 is aspect ration of a single side wall using the tread width.
17 is the wheel.

285/25.4=11.22” wide.
11.22•.75=8.41” of a single sidewall.
16.83+17=33.8”.

It took me a good while to wrap my head around it as to how it works. I still do not know why tires are listed this way above a 15” wheel.
 
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