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1999 Tacoma 3.4l 4x4 M/T
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I am planning to replace my sagging, 22 year old, stock leaf springs on my 1999 Tacoma 3.4 4x4. I don't do any major off roading. I use my truck as a work truck for hauling and towing. I want to keep my truck as close to stock height as possible, but with a heavier duty leaf spring pack, so I'm looking at the Dayton HD leaf springs from Rockauto.com. Does anybody have any recommendations for a heavy duty, close to stock height, leaf spring pack? I don't need something as heavy duty or with such a lift as the OME Dakars. Anybody have any experience with the Dayton brand? I've been told that General Sprongs is the "Harbor Freight" of leaf springs. Thank you for any help!
 

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My ‘99 springs started sagging real bad about 2011. So I replaced them with a set from Wheelers Offroad and these eventually started sagging some time early Covid. I run a fiberglass topper and maybe another 100-150# of stuff so the load is moderate at all times. Instead of dropping big coin on the Dakar’s or another set that’d sag I combined the two sets I had. Broke them down to individual leafs and assembled a new set out of them without running the thick overload spring. Definitely stiffer and definitely a little taller. But you’ll need new rear shackles so you could simply get a shorter set that’d lower the ride height. I went from 4 working leafs and overload to 6 leafs and no overload.
 

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95.5 Tacoma
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The Dakar springs would be your best bet. I don't know anybody that have used the Dayton springs. They usually turn out to be the same as stock or far too stiff. Kind of a roll of the dice without any known feedback.
 

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I second ShowStop's Dakar recommendation. I installed the Dakars in April 2017 in a 2002 Tacoma 4x4. Like you, I didn't really want the rear end lifted as I use my truck much the same way as you use yours, so I removed the middle leaf which left me with a slightly higher than stock profile. I don't have an actual height delta measurement as I had previously installed an overload leaf to the stock spring pack some years earlier. After installing the Dakars, I was 1.5" lower than with the overloads, but still higher than stock. I'm guessing that my ride height is about 1.5" higher than stock now. Also note that I did NOT remove the recommended leaf which would have left the ride height slightly lower with less load capacity.

FYI, I had also installed a longer rear brake line (when I put in the overloads) to ensure I didn't have any problems with the increased height. You may or may not need to do that - inspect the line after the spring installation. I imagine you will replace the shocks while you're under there - assuming yes, I've included the part numbers below. Note that I used two different length U-bolts as I added a 3/8" shim to the drivers side leaf pack which leveled the common right to left lean that the Tacoma has. Whether you chose to do that is entirely up to you.

Unfortunately, I don't have the Dakar spring bushing part numbers, but I remember that they didn't come with the Dakars (don't forget them). You will need a set for each side. If you choose to go the Dakar route and remove a leaf, do so before installation day as you may need to find shorter leaf pack bolts. Put another way, you want the leaf packs fully assembled and ready for installation before starting the job.

Here are the part numbers for mine (should be the same but verify):
Dakar Springs:
CS046RA​
ARB OME​
Dakar 5+2​
Leaf spring, driver side rear.​
CS046RB​
ARB OME​
Dakar 5+2​
Leaf spring, passenger side rear.​
Shocks (OME):
60065​
ARB OME​
Shock, Nitrocharger Sport – Firm​
Two shocks.​
Shocks Optional (Bilstein):
F4-BE5-6252-H5​
Bilstein​
Shock​
Left rear. New P/N 33-185590​
F4-BE5-6253-H5​
Bilstein​
Shock​
Right rear. New P/N 33-185606​
Brake Line:
150.44371​
Centric​
Brake line​
Rear brake hose (~3.5" longer than stock - 95-98 T100 rear brake hose).​
U-Bolts:
OMEU53A​
ARB OME​
U – Bolt, 200mm​
Length suitable for extra leaf and shim.​
OMEU53B​
ARB OME​
U – Bolt, 185mm​
Length suitable for extra leaf.​

Some installation suggestions:
  • Double check your parts twice (yes, you read that right - fours times). You will not be happy if you need parts with your truck in the air (ask me how I know...).
  • Measure the distance from front rim to rear rim on both sides (front wheels pointed exactly forward). The expectation is the two measurements are the same meaning your axles are parallel. You will want to repeat after installing the new springs to verify your work. Take your time with the measurements and be exact. It goes without saying that you will be recording the values.
  • Find some reference point on the rear fenders to measure before and after installation so you know how much the height changed. Why? Because if the rear is 1.5" higher, you will lose caster up front and will probably need an alignment to put it back (less caster will make the truck squirrelly on the highway).

In retrospect, I liked the ride on the Bilstein shocks better than the OME's as the OME's are just a little too firm. That's all I can think of as it's been four years since I did mine. Good luck and be safe.
 

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I've had Dakars on my '02 for quite a few years, probably too many, but they are still holding up. In my case I had about 2.75" lift up front (AAL rear) so I did want lift in the rear. I would say the Dakars gave about 2" over stock, stock being higher than the front.

At first I ran them as is, but with my shell and even just a small amount of additional weight, the rear would sag lower than the front. So I added the extra leaf, that made things perfect. I never found the springs to be exceptionaly good at weight carrying, but I do find them to have a reasonable balance of flex and load carrying, and add a bunch of down travel compared to stock. Even with the extra leaf I can use every bit of the travel from 10" Bilsteins.

None of that is really is beneficial to you, and your use. My concern with you using Dakars and removing a leaf would be load carrying ability, or lack there of. Hopefully someone can chime in on that.

I have a friend that had a stock 4cyl Tacoma with lumber racks, used it for construction. His stock springs were beyond shot so he too looked into new leafs. He ended up with Wheelers leaf springs and new shocks. I wish I could remember exactly wich packs they were but they seemed to do the job. It did bring the rear up higher than the front some, but that's a given when going from crapped out stock springs to new packs. Besides, that's how a truck should sit that's used for that purpose.
 
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