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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe worth a sticky....

I'm thinking it would be good to have one place to lookup information about the different lift kits for our Tacomas. I just finished installing the Tuff Country 5in on my '99 and had some feedback, both good and bad.

Good first:
Very solid components
Single piece sub frame is very stout
New Spindles with bearings already in
Very stout diff drop brackets
The ride is great

Negatives:
Holes don't line up between diff drop and sub frame.
Rack and pinion mounting holes don't line up, center one is
off by half a hole.
Rear is lifted only 4in.
No extension or surface for the bump stops in front. I sent an email about this because I feel this is a very bad design flaw and here is the response I got:


"You are not missing anything. Tuff Country feels that with the new strut spacer attached to the stock strut, that there is no reason to incorporate any lower bump stops. The spring rate on the coil spring will not allow for the shock to compress it self completely and the strut acts as a limiting strap. If the shock was to be compressed completely, then Tuff Country feels that the vehicle is abused. "

UM, Abused? Not hardly. I've hit the bump stops on potholes in the road let alone offroad. Toyota put them in for a reason.

Had I known that before buying the kit, I may have gone with something else. I will definately be getting something in place for the bumpstops because bottoming out the shocks will (IMO) destroy them before too long.

Hope this helps somebody decide on which kit to get.

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'm trying not to get fired up about it but everytime I draft an email back, I start getting pissed. I really do think the rest of the lift is great, it's just missing a major feature IMO. I'll make it work though.

Erik
 

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thanhnp said:
So what is recommended? I am getting ready to get a lift. Get Fabtech?

I installed a fabtech 6" on my truck this summer. Like with the TC kit there are positives and negatives.

Positive:
Very strong drop brackets
Huge spindles
No strut spacer
Everything bolted up perfectly- this is significant as my truck had over 100k on it at the time, has been wheeled a lot and in a minor front end accident. To me, this means that the kit was desinged very well and that the production quality is great. I have heard of fittment issues with both the TC and PC lifts.

Cons:
The diff is only lowered about 4" so the CV angles are not back to stock. This limits me from adding much additional lift.
Steering rack is vulnerable
bearings and balljoints must be pressed into new spindle (TC does it for you, saves $$)

Regarding Bumpstops:
Like TC, fabtech has issues here, only the oposite. When the truck is resting, the rear bumpstop is almost touching the drop bracket. This was easily remedied by trimming them though.

Overall, the ride is stiffer, but still good. I am very happy with the lift. The actual install was east. The hardest part was removing the old stuff!! I have never seen a TC kit up close, but have seen the TM and PC. If I didnt do a fabntech, I still would have gone TC.
 

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joeylead said:
I installed a fabtech 6" on my truck this summer. Like with the TC kit there are positives and negatives.

Positive:
Very strong drop brackets
Huge spindles
No strut spacer
Everything bolted up perfectly- this is significant as my truck had over 100k on it at the time, has been wheeled a lot and in a minor front end accident. To me, this means that the kit was desinged very well and that the production quality is great. I have heard of fittment issues with both the TC and PC lifts.

Cons:
The diff is only lowered about 4" so the CV angles are not back to stock. This limits me from adding much additional lift.
Steering rack is vulnerable
bearings and balljoints must be pressed into new spindle (TC does it for you, saves $$)

Regarding Bumpstops:
Like TC, fabtech has issues here, only the oposite. When the truck is resting, the rear bumpstop is almost touching the drop bracket. This was easily remedied by trimming them though.

Overall, the ride is stiffer, but still good. I am very happy with the lift. The actual install was east. The hardest part was removing the old stuff!! I have never seen a TC kit up close, but have seen the TM and PC. If I didnt do a fabntech, I still would have gone TC.
Is there a posibility of dropping the diff a bit more using different parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanhnp said:
So what is recommended? I am getting ready to get a lift. Get Fabtech?


Maybe somebody with a Pro Comp lift will chime in, but the only thing that I saw as a negative on the PC was the spindle spacers. I had heard they go out of alignment ocassionally.

If Fabtech had a 4inch drop bracket lift kit, I would have gone with that.

Maybe there isn't a "perfect" lift, but if TC would add bumpstops, I'd say it would be pretty close.

Erik
 

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Can you run stock rims with the Tuff Country 5 inch? Also does the TC kit drop the diff 5 inches?

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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ELKTACO2 said:
Maybe somebody with a Pro Comp lift will chime in, but the only thing that I saw as a negative on the PC was the spindle spacers. I had heard they go out of alignment ocassionally.

If Fabtech had a 4inch drop bracket lift kit, I would have gone with that.

Maybe there isn't a "perfect" lift, but if TC would add bumpstops, I'd say it would be pretty close.

Erik
Fabtech calls for 16x8 w 4" BS wheels. Can I use Stock wheels for a while with Fab or TC until I can affiord a set of wheels? I am planning on getting a lift soon.
 

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Joey,
The Fabtech kit does only drop the diff 4", but I don't look at that as a negative. It keeps it up and out of the way. True it puts the cv's at an angle equal to a stock Toyota with a 2" lift, but they are not severe. I added a set of OME 880's to mine and the angles are still good. Giving me a total of 7+ " in the front. Some guys are running 881's with no problem.
I, like you, do not like the rack being unprotected. I'm going to come up with some kind of skid plate for that though.
I have looked at all 3 kits (TC, PC, and Fabtech), and there is no doubt in my mind that the Fabtech has the beefiest/strongest parts. Just look at the knuckles!
Although TC presses in the ball joints and bearings, you still have to press out your old hubs and press them into the TC knucles. Less work and money for sure, but press work is still needed.
As far as adding more lift, don't you have a 3" body lift too? I have a 2" body lift and I can hardly get in the truck! LOL
Bill
 

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with only the 4 inches in the rear on the tuff country can you tell its lower than the front?
 

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Well since no one has chimed in about the Trailmaster lift I figure I will. I like the 6" t/m lift on my truck it does have a decent ride. No sure on how tuff the install is I didn't install it. One thing I have problems with is keeping it in alignment. This is a major problem to me b/c I run expensize tires that I want to wear flat on the road. But its a easy kit to had lift to. I have the 6" t/m kit with 1.5" north west offroad coils and then removed the 6" t/m spacer and added a 7" one in its place. I also run a 3" body lift. I lower the 2nd strut mount on mine down 2.5" to allow for more lift plus I was over exteneding the 2nd struts. The trailmaster 2nd struts that come with this lift are crap. You will need to replace them with the gabriel struts. I have done this and it has a even better ride with them. One more problem on the 2nd strut were the two pieces bolt together its real thick and you have to run a rim that has around 3 5/8 b/c to clear I'd say anything wider than a 13.50 on a 36" size. I had to run 1/4" spacers behind 15x10's with 3 5/8" to clear 35x14.50 baja belteds. B/c they actually measure 15" wide. If anyone has any questions on this lift feel free to pm me. Later
 

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thanhnp said:
Is there a posibility of dropping the diff a bit more using different parts?

Not really as the rear mount is at the rear drop bracket. It isnt a problem, but you cand add a 3" spacer like some have to a TM or PC lift.
 

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nhlbill said:
Joey,
The Fabtech kit does only drop the diff 4", but I don't look at that as a negative. It keeps it up and out of the way. True it puts the cv's at an angle equal to a stock Toyota with a 2" lift, but they are not severe. I added a set of OME 880's to mine and the angles are still good. Giving me a total of 7+ " in the front. Some guys are running 881's with no problem.
I, like you, do not like the rack being unprotected. I'm going to come up with some kind of skid plate for that though.
I have looked at all 3 kits (TC, PC, and Fabtech), and there is no doubt in my mind that the Fabtech has the beefiest/strongest parts. Just look at the knuckles!
Although TC presses in the ball joints and bearings, you still have to press out your old hubs and press them into the TC knucles. Less work and money for sure, but press work is still needed.
As far as adding more lift, don't you have a 3" body lift too? I have a 2" body lift and I can hardly get in the truck! LOL
Bill

I dont rally think that it is much of a negative, but if I HAD to find a flaw, that is really it, not bad if you ask me!! Getting in with my BL would be impossible except that my sliders are weled on as if there was no BL. Even at that, my wife can hardly get in. I am going to bolt on steps so she can get it (I will then just remove them for wheeling) If you come up with something good for a skidplate design, let us (me) know. I need something.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
CajunTaco said:
Can you run stock rims with the Tuff Country 5 inch? Also does the TC kit drop the diff 5 inches?

Thanks,
Ryan

I ran the stock rims w/ the 31x10.50's just down to the tire shop. They were very close to the spindles and I saw some rub marks on the sidewall. I went with Wheelers 16 inch steel rims w/ 4in BS (type B, I think)....lots of room between the spindle and the tire now. That's what I wanted because I chain up all four sometimes and didn't want chains hitting anything.

The TC front drop bracket is only 4inches, they get the other inch by making the strut spacer 4 1/2 inches tall. So the front diff is supposed to be dropped the full 4 but I really couldn't tell. I have a bunch of other stuff going on as well so mine wasn't a "standard" install.

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #16
01blkext said:
with only the 4 inches in the rear on the tuff country can you tell its lower than the front?
I installed Alcans+Daystar 1.25 shackles in the rear instead of the blocks so I cant really say, but I would have to guess you could see the difference. Some people call that the Baja look, but it's not what I like.

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #17
TACORICAN said:
Fabtech calls for 16x8 w 4" BS wheels. Can I use Stock wheels for a while with Fab or TC until I can affiord a set of wheels? I am planning on getting a lift soon.

Cant really say about the Fabtech, but with the new TC spindles, they were real close to the tires and by the time I got to the tire shop, they had rubbed.
Erik
 

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Thanks. One more ? - Does anyone have a picutre of a 16x8 w/ 4" BS and would that be the same as a 15X8 w/ 4" BS
 

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TACORICAN said:
Thanks. One more ? - Does anyone have a picutre of a 16x8 w/ 4" BS and would that be the same as a 15X8 w/ 4" BS

I have 4" backspacing on mine, not sure what kind of Pic you want....there is a shot of the front to show you how far they will stick out ('bout 1/2 way down on the first page)

http://www.cardomain.com/id/wills03taco
 
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