Eibach Stage 1 Full Review for 3rd Gen Tacoma – Offroad Tested and Overland Approved

Lifted Cement 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma on 35-Inch Tires

Eibach Stage 1 Pro Truck Lift Kit System 2000 Mile Review for the 3rd Gen Tacoma with 35″ Tires – Multiple Wheeling & Off-Roading Trips

2000 miles may not seem like a long review period, but since I only have 2600 miles on my truck, here it is.

I can assure you that all of those miles are serious overlanding and off-roading miles, including 750 miles of the most extreme terrain that is the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route, which stretches from the Mexico border all the way to the Utah border. And I can promise you that the suspension has been thoroughly tested.

I installed this kit myself, in my garage, using mainly hand tools that pretty much anyone has in their garage. It was a very straightforward installation process that anyone with a bit of mechanical know-how and a can-do attitude can tackle. Check out the DIY step-by-step install guide I wrote.

The Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift System includes front and rear aluminum-bodied, nitro gas shocks and front coils that you can adjust from 1-2.5” of lift on the front end. I opted to get 1” leveling blocks for the rear because I was planning on using the max lift height of 2.5” due to my desired tire size of 35”. The lift blocks are not included in the kit but I suggest adding them if you’re going to want to lift your truck’s rear end over 2″.

Before I get into the specifics, you should know that I like this kit as a budget-friendly option from Eibach, a company known for quality that stands behind their product, that’s made in the USA and has a million-mile warranty.

Find it online: 

My Setup

  • 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road
  • Stock Setup – Goodyear Wrangler 265/70R16 on TRD Off-Road Stock Wheels
  • Aftermarket Setup – Toyo Tires Mud Terrains 35×12.5R17 on Method Wheels Trail Series 701 with 0 offset
  • Eibach Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift Kit for 3rd Gen Tacoma
  • Lots of Additional off-road gear

    Lifting My Tacoma

    Eibach Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift Kit Full Review for 3rd Gen Tacoma

    I am in a unique position because I purchased my 2020 Tacoma to be a purpose-built rig to overland the globe. I went from a completely stock suspension with less than 400 miles on it to then installing the Eibach Pro-Truck kit while keeping the stock wheels and tires.

    This is by far the best way to get a true feeling of what a difference the Eibach kit makes over OEM suspension. Then, to build on that, I installed 35” Toyo Mud Terrains on Method Wheels, which again, completely changes the driving characteristics.

    Let’s dive a little deeper into each scenario.

    Stock Ride Quality VS Eibach Stage 1 Ride Quality

    Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma with 35x12.5R17 Toyo Mud Terrains on Method Wheels Trail 701 Series

    The following will be an outline of the driving characteristics of the Eibach Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift System with 1-inch Eibach Lift Blocks directly after removing the stock suspension on stock tires and stock wheels. I have to report that the ride quality of the Eibach Kit on the road is almost identical to a stock setup. Obviously, you sit a couple of inches higher off the road but I felt like I was driving my truck in its stock form.

    Off-road driving was again very similar to stock with a bit more wheel travel in the front end. The rear felt almost exactly like stock. I don’t know if this is a testament to the high performance of the stock Bilstein coils and shocks that come with the off-road package or Eibach’s understanding of suspension engineering and keeping it feel right. Probably a bit of both.

    Either way, the kit works very well. I was fully expecting a much stiffer ride due to the upgraded coil and the setup that I was running, but I was very surprised at the cushy ride.

    Ride Quality with 35” Toyo Mud Terrains

    This is where things get interesting. The day that I put the Toyo 35” Mud Terrains the ride changed drastically.

    I immediately felt a harshness in the steering and the ride quality. This is obviously due to the thick sidewall of the massively heavy 35” MTs. I have done a few suspension installs and driven a lot of different vehicles, with a variety of lift kits. I have never installed a lift kit and kept the stock tires. I now know that tires have way more to do with ride quality than I previously understood.

    Now that I know, and knowing is half the battle… sing it with me… G.I. JOE!!

    This harsher than stock ride quality is a road characteristic I noticed the most with highway tire pressures. Let’s move to where the Eibach kit begins to shine. Take a hard right turn from the pavement to the dirt, air those tires down, and watch the Eibach kit go to work. I drove a section of a sandy washboard access road that would have previously rattled my fillings out, and the Eibach kit smoothed the ride out drastically compared to the stock suspension.

    I tested the Eibach Kit over every terrain traveling south to north across the Arizona desert all the way to the forest, and the Eibach kit performed great. I did not have a single issue with the kit.

    Definitely not Perfect

    Long Term Eibach Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for 3rd Gen Tacoma

    There is a single drawback to the Eibach kit, but it’s not a deal-breaker, and of course, at this price point, it is easily explained.

    The first and most insignificant thing that bothered me, and mainly only during the initial setup, was the inability to adjust the ride height on the vehicle. Eibach uses a system of snap rings which requires you to remove the entire shock/coil/strut assembly and then disassemble it to adjust the ride height.

    This was annoying because when I installed the kit I was expecting to get a steel front bumper and winch shortly thereafter. I did not want to have to disassemble the entire kit to adjust the coils so I set them up at the highest setting which is reserved for when you have extra weight over 200 pounds. In hindsight, I should have adjusted the coilover for what I had at the time and not what was coming in the future.

    Now back to the price point explanation. If Eibach made this same kit with an adjustable coilover system, then I would have to guess that this kit would be at least $500 more expensive. That being said, I think this is a perfect compromise considering the price and performance.

    Final Thoughts

    Complete Review for Eibach Stage 1 Pro-Truck Lift Kit on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

    I have truly put the Eibach Stage 1 Pro Truck Lift System through its paces and it has exceeded what I thought possible for a kit at this price. I drove the Eibach kit through some of the hardest overland style off-roading that Arizona has to offer and did not have a single issue with the kit.

    The Eibach Stage 1 kit is an absolute dream on the road with almost no difference in driving characteristics from stock, which is amazing. Air the tires down and go find trouble in the backcountry because the Eibach Lift System will get you home every time. If you go with the Eibach Pro-Truck Lift System you will not regret it for a second.

    Also, I have to say, I had the honor of meeting some of the Eibach staff at Adventure Expo in California and those guys were great. They wanted feedback from the guys taking the lift systems out on the trails and getting real-world use. It is great to see a company care about how their product performs, not just how many they sell.

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    David Hays
    David Hays
    8 months ago

    Hey Kelly, Based on your review, my understanding is that you put 35s on your Tacoma using just the Eibach Stage 1 kit set on the highest notch and 1″ blocks in the rear. From what I’ve heard, just 33s would require a substantial amount of trimming to avoid scrubbing. Can you comment on that? I want to do 33s with the same lift setup as yours, and I really want to avoid rub if I can without trimming, but I’ve been told that’s not possible. Also, how did you avoid “the squat”? My truck sits level now with the… Read more »

    Kelly
    Kelly
    8 months ago
    Reply to  David Hays

    David thank you for the question. I ended having to do a lot more work to my truck to make the 35” Toyo MT fit. I have a YouTube channel and often forget where information is being put out. I ended up have to do a cab mount relocate to the front body mount on both sides of the Tacoma. I also had to segment the body seam and beat that down along with a substantial amount of inner fender and outer fender trimming. I only cut where I had to but it was a lot. I would assume if… Read more »

    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    1 year ago

    Hey Kelly, in regards to the snap ring, did you regret installing it at the highest notch? You sound apprehensive in your article regarding your decision. I will be installing a steel bumper in the future. Is there a drawback at the top notch without the added weight at the moment? I’m just trying to get some advice as there is not a clear answer regarding the settings.

    Kelly
    Kelly
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Josh Williams

    Hey Josh, I was in the same boat as you. I decided to go with the top notch for the expected steel bumper. However the bumper never came with that suspension. I would ask you, if you are getting your bumper very soon, use the top snap ring. If you are going to have an extended time (more than a couple months) I would set the middle ring and reset to the top ring when you get your bumper. The drawback to setting the top snap ring without the added weight of a steel bumper is more hop in the… Read more »

    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Kelly

    Thanks for the response Kelly. I’m hoping to get it installed this weekend so I do appreciate your advice.

    Scott Van Zee
    Scott Van Zee
    1 year ago

    As I have followed your you tube channel and the Eibach install, how has the Ironman lift accommodated the 35’s. Did you have to do any additional trimming other than what was done previously with the Eibach install?

    Kelly
    Kelly
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Scott Van Zee

    Hey Scott,
    Thanks for following the channel. When I swapped over to the Ironman Stage 2 the front was the exact same ride height and I gained about 1/2” in the rear. Luckily I haven’t had to do any more trimming. I still get a lot of rubbing in the rear end when the 35” tires are stuffed up into the wheel well. I need to install larger bump stops to limit the up travel.
    I hope this answers your questions and thanks again.
    Kelly

    Scott
    Scott
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Kelly

    It does thank u. Been going back and forth about which lift and either 33 or 35.

    Mike
    Mike
    1 year ago

    Hi Kelly
    I have a stock ’20 Trd offroad and just purchased a set of SCS Ray10s 17in -10 and was thinking about get the Eibach Pro Stage 1 kit. Do you think I should get 265/70/17 or 285/70/17 Ridge grapplers? I will not be hitting the trails mainly pavement driven. Any thoughts I would greatly appreciate it thx.

    Kelly
    Kelly
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Mike

    Hey Mike

    You will most likely not have any issues with the Eibach Stage 1 but you may want to keep in mind that the front may be a bit higher than the rear. I would consider the 1” blocks for the rear and you should be golden.
    Best of luck.

    Bobby Elder
    Bobby Elder
    1 year ago

    do you recommend the tacoma with offroad tires.

    Kelly
    Kelly
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Bobby Elder

    I highly recommend the Tacoma with offroad tires!!!

    Konrad Chojnowski
    Rambler
    Konrad Chojnowski(@konrad-chojnowski)
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Bobby Elder

    Are you asking if we recommend upgrading to better tires? If so, absolutely! Tires are a huge part of the capabilities of your vehicle.

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