Taco Tuesday: 6 Front & Rear Suspension Lift Kit Setups for the 3rd Gen Tacoma

Custom Vinyl Wrapped 3rd Gen Tacoma with AL Offroad Roof Rack, Dark Defense LED Lights & BAMF Front Bumper

6 Unique Suspension Setups in 2022 for the Toyota Tacoma: Clear Bigger Tires & Improve On-Road & Off-Road Driving

This Week’s Topic: Suspension

Welcome back to another Taco Tuesday! This week we are covering probably one of the most commonly upgraded Tacoma parts – the suspension. There are many reasons why you would swap your stock suspension out for an aftermarket setup (and it’s not just for looks).

One of the biggest reasons to add aftermarket suspension is to gain additional ride height and/or wheel travel. Now yeah, this does allow your truck to look great for Instagram, but it can also assist with clearing larger tires (to a point). When you raise your ride height, you are also helping increase your approach and departure angles. I feel this is highly overlooked as a benefit to aftermarket suspension. Nevertheless, it is a much-welcomed perk. Speaking of perks, the third benefit I wanted to touch on is increased ride quality both on and off-road. The degree of improvement will be subject to how much coin you’ll be spending on your new setup.

Now you don’t need to spend $5,000 to increase your ride quality, a Bilstein 5100 kit will be a much-welcomed gain of ride quality over your factory suspension. Below, you will find a compilation of six owners who are benefiting from their new suspension setups and why they think it was worth the upgrade. If you’re new to lift kits, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Tacoma-focused guide to lift kits here – you’ll also be able to educate yourself on the various components.

Let’s get into it!

6 Suspension Options For Toyota Tacoma

1. Jacob Ingolia (@wandertaco) – King Shocks/OME/SPC

Jacob Ingolia (wandertaco) - King Shocks, OME Leaf Pack, SPC UCA on 3rd Gen Tacoma

SUSPENSION INFO

Front:

  • King Shocks 2.5 Ext Travel w/ Remote Reservoirs
  • 700lb Springs
  • SPC UCAs
  • Stock LCAs
  • DuroBumps Front Bump Stops

Rear:

  • King Shocks 2.5 Rear Shocks w/ Reservoirs
  • OME Dakar Heavy Duty Leaf Springs
  • Stock Rear Bump Stops

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

The King Shocks have been well worth the investment! I’ve run the Bilstein 6112 shocks and Rough Country lift kits in the past and these blew both setups out of the water!

Having the adjustable suspension for smoother or harder rides is a must-have. The previous setups didn’t have the adjustability that the King Shocks do. Plus, I now have a blue Tacoma with blue shocks… it doesn’t get better than that! The SPC UCAs help a ton with getting the alignment dialed in too.

2. Connor Chow (@lost.hapa) – Ironman 4×4 Foam Cell Pro Stage 2 Suspension

Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma with Ironman 4X4 Stage 2 FCP Suspension & Ironman 4X4 Hybrid Front Bumper

SUSPENSION INFO

Front:

  • Front 2.5” Lift Heavy Duty Load (110-220lbs Additional Payload)
  • Ironman Pro Forged Front Upper Control Arms

Rear:

  • Rear Heavy Load (440lbs – GVM Additional Payload)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

My favorite feature that this setup brings to the table is the ride quality over the stock suspension. I expected the Ironman 4X4 suspension to make the truck ride sort of floaty, but it’s much stiffer when it needs to be versus being completely smooth.

It absorbs forces well on impacts but remains stiff when cornering to limit body roll. So far, nothing has made as big of an improvement on my truck’s performance both on and off-road as this Ironman Stage 2 Lift Kit.

3. Nick Quez (@the_adventure_squad__) – Rough Country/King Shocks/Total Chaos

Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma with Rough Country 6” Lift Kit, Custom 2.5 King Shocks with Adjusters, SSO Front Bumper

SUSPENSION INFO

  • Retrofitted Rough Country 6” Lift Kit (No Spacers)
  • Full Length Custom King Shocks 2.5 w/ Adjusters
  • Total Chaos UCAs

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

What I love most about my suspension, is that I have the height of a 6” lift without sacrifice.

This retrofitted kit allows me to retain wheel travel and ride quality as opposed to the standard spacer lift. The truck handles extremely well off-road and on-road with this setup as well. The TC UCAs not only perform, but they look great too. Lastly, who doesn’t love those sexy blue King Shocks?

4. Joshua Doolin (@ahsoka_taco) – ADS Suspension/Eibach/Send It

Lifted Cement 3rd Gen Tacoma with Lil Bs Front Bumper, BFG Mud Terrains & Snorkel

SUSPENSION INFO

Front:

  • 2.5 ADS Suspension w/ Adjustable Reservoirs
  • 700lb Eibach Springs
  • Send It Suspension Billet Heim Joint UCAs
  • DuroBumps Bump Stops

Rear:

  • 2.5 ADS Suspension Piggy Back Setup
  • Dobinsons L59-111-R w/ Greaseable Bushings

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

Hands down the best part about my suspension is the adjustability of the coil overs upfront. I’m generally about three to four clicks off of soft for daily driving and the opposite for road trips (three to four clicks off of firm). I typically drop the suspension down to full soft for whoops and rocky terrain.

The Heim joints on the UCAs are a plus too, allowing me to achieve better wheel alignment. I am currently running 700lb springs up front, but I will most likely change them out for 650lb springs once I relocate the which to the rear of the truck.

5. Josh Oats (@the_dark_yota) – Locked Off-Road/Eibach/Dirt King

Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma with Locked Off-Road Shocks, TRD Pro Grille & Yokohama Geolandar MTs

SUSPENSION INFO

Front:

  • Locked Off-Road 2.5″ Coilover Kit
  • 14” 650lb Eibach springs.
  • Dirt King Ball Joint LCAs

Rear:

  • Deaver Stage 3 Leaf Packs
  • BAMF Leaf Spring Hangers

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

I love the fact that not many people run the Locked Off-Road 2.5″ coilovers, or even know about it. What you’re getting from Locked Off-Road versus what you’re paying, is unbeatable, in my opinion. The Dirt King LCAs make a fine addition to the rest of the suspension too.

I have had the Locked kit installed for over a year and have had zero issues with valves leaking or any manufacturer defects. The shocks are solid and can take a beating. They’re fully adjustable and have adjusters in the reservoirs as well for preload.

6. James Panah (@panahrama) – Dobinsons/JBA

Lifted Barcelona Red Tacoma with Dobinsons MRR Suspension, C4 Fab Front Bumper & ARB Awning

SUSPENSION INFO

Front:

  • Dobinsons 3.0” MRR 3-Way Adjustable
  • 700lb Coil Overs
  • JBA HD High Caster Upper Control Arms
  • SumoSprings Bump Stops
  • Total Chaos Spindle Gussets & Total Chaos Cam Tab Gussets

Rear:

  • Dobinsons 3.0” MRR 3-Way Adjustable Long Travel
  • 800lb Constant Load Rear Leaf springs
  • JBA HD High Caster Upper Control Arms
  • SumoSprings Bump Stops with U-Bolt Flip Kit
  • Total Chaos Spindle Gussets & Total Chaos Cam Tab Gussets

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

Hands down my favorite thing about my current suspension setup is the adjustability of the Dobinsons shocks. There are few companies on the market that is putting out the same amount of adjustability as the Dobinsons MRRs.

Between the rebound, low & high-speed compression, you have over 35+ settings. The large range of adjustments has really allowed me to dial in my ride quality. I can make my ride firmer or softer depending on the terrain I’m on, or if I’m loading down my rig with extra weight. It’s freaking awesome!

Final Thoughts

Lifted Cavalry Blue Tacoma with King Shocks, Softopper & Prinsu Roof Rack

As you can tell now, aftermarket suspension is so much more than just an appearance change for your Tacoma. As I said in the beginning, you don’t need to spend $5,000 to increase your ride quality, a Bilstein 5100 kit will be a much-welcomed gain of ride quality over your stock suspension that Toyota put on from the factory. There are plenty of other budget friendly options too – check out our post on the Top Affordable Lift Kits.

The trucks you’ve seen this week are running all sorts of lift kits, varying in price and performance. At the end of the day, you really have to do your research, and the best experience comes from testing various setups. What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!

If you want to be featured for Taco Tuesday, submit your build through TrailTacoma.com/Feature. Next week’s Taco Tuesday will cover Camper Setups. So whether you’re running a GFC, or an Alu-Cab – we’re looking for awesome rigs to showcase. If this is you and you love your setup, send in your rig and details because we want to see it.

Thanks for reading guys. I’ll see you next week!

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