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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2000 Tacoma 4X4 TRD, V6, Automatic, with auto locking hubs. I have been looking at the Fabtech 3" coilover kit. I called Fabtech to ask how hard the install was and the guy told me that I would HAVE TO pull the ball joint to install the new front struts and that I could not lift the adjustable struts more than 2" because it would cause damage to the joints. I asked if a diff drop would fix it and he said NO. Just wondering if any of you experienced guys know if these things are true or is Fabtech just being careful?
 

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you do not have to pull the ball joint and you can go to 2.5"
 

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Not to many people on this site are a big fan of Fabtech. Most people go with, OME, Donahoe, Saws, or Camburg.
 

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Fabtech coilovers should be the same kind of installation as any other coilover. You don't have to remove the ball joints. It helps to disconnect the anti-sway bar links and use a pry bar to lower the control arm assembly down as much as possible. There should be a write-up with pics of a coilover install over on the FAQ if I'm not mistaken.

As for going over 2", Fabtech is being careful with its advice, but it's good advice anyway. With coilovers, the more you crank the lift, the higher the angles are placed on the stock parts, increasing the risk of premature wear. 2" is considered safe, even though you should expect CV boots to wear more prematurely than if they were at stock height. 2.5" is considered the max, with 3" considered the absolute max. Anything above 3" and it's almost guaranteed that you're going to break the upper ball joint, not to mention that you will no longer have any useable downtravel. 2" is usually considered a good, safe compromise. Hope this helps!
 

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Not to many people on this site are a big fan of Fabtech. Most people go with, OME, Donahoe, Saws, or Camburg.


x2
No one seems to like fabtech.. maybe its becuase they say stupid shit like "you have to remove the ball joints." Or maybe its because the fore meantioned companys make a better product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thats a relief

I certainly do appreciate the advise and information. As I said, I'm new to the lift scene and don't really know alot about it unless its info that I have picked up on this forum. OK, I'll look at the SAW and HOE's. Money is an issue for this lift, however, I've never been one to skimp on quality. Is the coilover the best option or would the spacers be better? I noticed that "equin" said that "With coilovers, the more you crank the lift,....." Does it make a difference if it is coilovers vs. spacers?
Also, I called Fabtech and the guy told me that if I put on a 1" diff drop that I could go to 3" high because the lift angle would be back at 2".;)
 

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Diff drops are gay........think about it.......if you crank them up 3" but them lower the diff 1" you will have the same amount of ground clearance you would have if you only went 2" and left the the diff in it's stock location and you will have less problems
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, diffs are gay. what about the difference between the coilover and the spacers? How do I get the desired height without causing damage to the ball joint or the automatic locking hubs?:confused:
 

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spacers are the cheap way to lift and coilovers are the better way to lift. The advantage of lift height goes to the coilover because you can adjust it lower if you have problems. Coilovers also offer a better ride than stock and the springs allow you to put more things up front, i.e. a bumper and a winch, and they will be able to handle the weight much better
 

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A coilover and a spacer achieve lift the same exact way, by pushing down on the control arm assembly. A coilover, however, not only achieves lift, but arguably improves performance usually with a high quality shock. When you hear of a "2.0" or a "2.5" coilover, the measurement is actually referring to the diameter of the shock, and not the amount of lift it achieves. Most conventional shocks are smaller in diameter than 2", and therefore are not as good. A bigger diameter shock means more volume, and more volume means it takes longer to heat up. Since heat is one of the main causes of shock fade, a shock that takes longer to heat up also takes longer to fade. Another plus with adjustable coilover shocks is that most of them use high quality shocks with desert racing inspired technology within their internal makeup. The downside with these race-inspired shocks, though, is that in order to maintain their high performance, they also require periodic maintenance. Unlike conventional shocks that get tossed in favor of new ones when they go bad, these race-inspired shocks can actually be rebuilt, thereby ensuring they last a long time and continue providing superior performance. Lastly, most adjustable coilovers come with a heavier spring rate coil. This is both bad and good. Good in the sense that it prevents bottoming out, helps lessen body lean on the street, and can help support a heavy duty aftermarket bumper up front. Bad in the sense that it doesn't allow for as much flex as the lower rated stock coil. If you like to go fast in the desert or over rutted dirt roads, good quality coilovers like the SAW 2.0, Donahoes, etc., are the ticket.

A spacer lift is usually much cheaper than an adjustable coilover. A spacer lift is simply a spacer, much like a hockey puck, that fits in between the top of the coil and the top plate. Just like coilovers, it pushes down on the control arm assembly, thereby pushing the front of the truck upwards. I know alot of folks on here bag 'em, but they're really not that bad unless your stock springs are a progressive rate (TRD suspension), as opposed to a linear rate. Spacers tend to make coil springs sag more than normal and can create a slightly harsher ride (much more so with TRD progressive rate coils, too). Keith (Meithkiller) has the 3" Revtek spacer on his 96 Taco and has had it for well over 100K miles. He's actually competed with that setup at each Mega Run for the past two to three years, if not longer. It also provides good flex since it retains the stock coil springs (which might also explain how Keith's RTI score sometimes beats out those with the high dollar adjustable coilovers). If you just want lift, only do mild off-roading and are on a budget, spacers might be a good option for you.

One other option are non-adjustable coilovers, like those offered by Old Man Emu (OME, not to be confused with OEM). Their coil and shock combos also offer lifts ranging from 1" to 2.5", depending on what coil spring you go with. Their cost is usually in between that of a spacer and an adjustable coilover. Toyota of Dallas has good deals on the OME suspension kits if you're interested.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks a bunch guys...

I do have the TRD suspension so I guess the spacers are out. This is primarily a DD but will be doing some mild to moderate off roading mainly in mud bogged logging roads. The only reason I need the lift is to get through the ruts in the roads without bottoming out. My delima is to go with the cheaper coilover by Fabtech which has a cheaper shock but has a lifetime warranty; or to go with the SAW and spend a little more money but get a premium shock. From what you are telling me, I may have to rebuild the shock after some time and usage. Is that difficult to do?
I have also decided to go with the deaver 3 spring pack on the factory springs in the rear instead of blocks and bilsteen shocks in the rear. I will be a :) camper when I get this done.
 

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I may not know much but i had this same dellima(sp?_)
I also have lock hubs 2000 taco sr5 and i was dead set on fabtech..but people here convinced me otherwise...
If you want lift and want to save on money do what I just did...
Ordered the OME 3in lift 882 frim shocks and aal and firm rears to help with wieght...
Im soon going to get shackles and get a full dakar or somekind of leaf pack..
Unless you get the Ditrl-logic shocks from Fabtech no point in getting them..Me and you had the same delima..go to ebay and search for Sway a way or D-ho...
And buy em used and rebuild them..or buy new or go OME but from what i hear fabtech is awful and the ride suck compared to all..
thats my:2cents: keep us posted when you buy tho..goood luck!

EDIT:Forgot to say my lift cost 665.75 sooo realtivly cheap for a great product it should be at my house on monday:)
 

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get some extended hoes and camburg arms
 

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I call them Craptech....

I would stay away form them. They can't even design the lift correctly, being that the tacoma has almost 4" of downtravel stock. By adding 3.5" of lift, you are only going to have not even .5" of downtravel... Yea, that's gotta ride like shit!
 

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I do have the TRD suspension so I guess the spacers are out. This is primarily a DD but will be doing some mild to moderate off roading mainly in mud bogged logging roads. The only reason I need the lift is to get through the ruts in the roads without bottoming out. My delima is to go with the cheaper coilover by Fabtech which has a cheaper shock but has a lifetime warranty; or to go with the SAW and spend a little more money but get a premium shock. From what you are telling me, I may have to rebuild the shock after some time and usage. Is that difficult to do?
I have also decided to go with the deaver 3 spring pack on the factory springs in the rear instead of blocks and bilsteen shocks in the rear. I will be a :) camper when I get this done.
I think your choice for the rear is an awesome one. As for the front, I've heard that SAW 2.0's are a really good choice as well. I have no experience with them other than the time I rode in Tom's (TRDTOM) Taco with them on and thought the ride was really good, much better than the Downey/Bilstein coilovers I had on an old 99 I used to own.

As for rebuilding coilovers, unfortunately I have no experience with that, either, nor do I know how often it's recommended to rebuild them. However, there's a write up that Baja Taco did on his webpage that might help:

http://www.bajataco.com/sawrebuild1.html

I do have some limited experience with the more expensive Fabtech adjustable coilovers. I bought them used from George with a custom top plate and some SAW/Eibach 650 lb coil springs. They rode well at 1.75" of lift, but they creaked and groaned like crazy, most probably because the custom steel top plate did not have a rubber isolator pad to prevent the annoying creaking sound. I rode them for several months on and off-road with no problems til I replaced them with some 4x2 TRD Tundra struts/coilovers only because the creaking noise was driving me crazy.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When great minds think alike....

You get great information. Thanks alot guys. All of the information that you have supplied me with is going to be my determining factor in how I finish this project.
I could not have figured this out without you guys taking the time to fill my brain with good information.

Here is how it will play out, Camburg 2.5 or SAW 2.5 up front with Camburg UCA's, Deaver AAL in rear with Bilstein 5100 shocks. Is there a difference in the Camburg vs. SAW coilovers? They appear to be the same company...

Now, where is the cheapest place to buy this stuff at? Wheelers?
 

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No one seems to like fabtech.. maybe its becuase they say stupid shit like "you have to remove the ball joints." Or maybe its because the fore meantioned companys make a better product.
I bought the 6" fabtech before i knew any better. Would not do it again
 
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