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Gen 1 Tundra - Suspension 101?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Kessel McG, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Jan 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM
    #1
    Kessel McG

    Kessel McG [OP] New Member

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    Greetings and Salutations,

    I'm a new 1st gen Tundra owner proudly sporting a 2005 DC 4x4 in Phantom Grey Pearl with 94k miles and no frame rust. In the last 20 years, I've only owned a 1989 regular cab Toyota pickup (22RE) and a 1997 Tacoma extended cab (2.7l). I did inherit a 1978 Ford F250 Camper Special but dang she is a lot of maintenance and a rough ride! So, Toyota guy through and through. They've been great and reliable trucks but it was time to move into this century.

    Going from 4 cyl to 8 cyl has been pretty fun. I now have fancy new things (for me) like cruise control, power door locks/windows, intermittent wipers, cab space, bed space, tilt wheel, and a nice smooth ride. What a time to be alive!

    I plan on using this truck as a daily driver and and weekend camper for my lady and 2 medium sized dogs. I live in Moab but am not planning on rock crawling (lol)...this thing is way too long. Rather, I want to take advantage of the BLM and USFS roads in the region. So some mild to moderate off-roading to get to the little known sweet camp sites.

    I've always used OEM factory parts when repairing my trucks. Always kept stock suspension but have added oversized tires. I've subscribed to the idea that Toyota made reliable trucks and changing too much or using crappy aftermarket parts makes them less so.

    I'm struggling with how to achieve the off-road use I'm looking for while maintaining the reliability. I've read through a lot of the threads on this forum and still unsure about what option will be best for me.

    A 2-2.5" lift would be sweet but not at the expense of reliability. Seems like 1-1.5" leveling would be relatively safe and reliable. I'm willing to split with my OEM paradigm for a reliable option. I'm curious about your thoughts without throwing budget into the equation.

    I know this is basically the number 1 question folks ask... so I feel as though I should be able to answer this with the information already on the forum. Maybe I'm just a slow learner.

    Is there a consolidated thread that discusses the reliability of different options? Is there kind of a threshold where stuff wears out a lot quicker and below which your relatively safe? Feel free to chime in with your opinion if you don't think it's too redundant. Or just point me in the right direction if there is a good thread I missed.

    Thanks!

    Some pictures of my "Gen 1s", my new deck, and dog hammock.

     
    jpink, MS22, TX-TRD1stGEN and 4 others like this.
  2. Jan 7, 2021 at 8:19 PM
    #2
    peanut

    peanut making uneconomical choices about my truck

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    Kessel McG [OP] likes this.
  3. Jan 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM
    #3
    Wes_heppy

    Wes_heppy Trucks...Dirtbikes... Guns...

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    On my 1st gen tundra I went out on a limb and got some ext length Radflos but on my Tacoma i went with bilstein 5100s and eibach springs. It performed well and rode good.
     
    Kessel McG [OP] likes this.
  4. Jan 8, 2021 at 7:31 AM
    #4
    KNABORES

    KNABORES New-ish Member

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    Bilstein 5100's 16x8 589's with 265/75/16 and 1.25" spacers Flowmaster 50 series over the axle dump Westin bull bar with 20" LED Pioneer touchscreen with backup camera Full interior and dash LED conversion Trailer brake controller with 7 pin Bedliner coat bumpers trim and tool box
    Welcome to Gen 1 Tundra ownership. Great truck, mine has treated me well and is just right sized. For reliability, you're right on the money. Level the front and keep the tire size close to stock and you should be good. More lift in the front accelerates wear on ball joints and CV axle boots. That being said, there are remedies for both of those problem should you want to go with more lift and a taller tire, just be prepared to start spending that money. Cheap and reliable, Bilsteins and factory coils or Eibach springs set to lowest or up a notch or two. Then choose a tire for you're capability needs in close to stock or slightly larger is the most popular choice. It's all coilovers and regears if you wanna start getting bigger. If you're going all campy in the back, the extra gear adds weight and you may need some additional spring support out back. Add a leaf, new spring pack, air bags, lots of choices there. Jealous you live that close to Moab. WARNING: this site will cost you lots of money. Repeated exposure will infect you with mod-sickness. Proceed at your own risk.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2021 at 7:34 AM
    #5
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol Allergic to Darkness....

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    Too many
    Honestly, not really. It's really a matter of how much money you want to spend. The most popular option for raising the front is Bilstein 5100's which are adjustable. We have dozens of members running those. They are easily as reliable as what comes on the truck from the factory. Some of us are running coilovers from Icon, King, and others. You wouldn't be sacrificing reliability with any of those options and they are adjustable too. Your post mentions off-roading. If that's the case I would research ICON, King, ADS or even OME.

    The big thing you'll want to know is that the weak point on our trucks are the lower ball joints. If yours have never been replaced I would definitely do that. The catch there is that you don't want to go aftermarket. OEM ball joints are strongly recommended.

    Let us know if you have more questions. Everyone here is helpful.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2021 at 7:48 AM
    #6
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    My use case is similar to yours and I am at stock height with bilstein 6112 up front and 5160 out back. Tires make a big difference imho.
    I have gone to some pretty gnarly places no problem.

    Also, you might check out Gaia maps for offroading/car camping.
     
    Sunnier, Kessel McG [OP] and Darkness like this.
  7. Jan 8, 2021 at 10:03 PM
    #7
    Kessel McG

    Kessel McG [OP] New Member

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    Thanks to all for your insight! Very much appreciated. Seems like lift and reliability can be purchased at a price. But 5100s provide a sweet, reliable, and cheap option.

    I’ve got some research to do.

    @robabeatle - How do you you like your 6112s?

    @KNABORES - Is there a vaccine for mod-sickness? I think I might have it already after looking at some of the rigs on here! I’m really like this truck so it will be hard not to spend money on it.

    @FirstGenVol - I’ll definitely get those ball joints taken care of. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2021 at 6:20 AM
    #8
    KNABORES

    KNABORES New-ish Member

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    @Kessel McG Unfortunately for you, it's already too late. Enjoy the ride.
     
    TX-TRD1stGEN and Darkness like this.
  9. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:01 AM
    #9
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    The 6112s were a big upgrade for me but I bought a truck that was on coilovers that were Monroe level. I also really like the rear Addco sway bar as it really mitigates body roll, along with a front sway bar. We use the truck for long highway miles to get to trails and then mild to moderate off-roading to get to backpacking trails. I have never felt the need to lift the truck at this point.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:08 AM
    #10
    FrenchToasty

    FrenchToasty Desert rat

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    I was super impressed how well your Tries did on rice peak, they were gripping better than my ATs in some spots!
     
  11. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:10 AM
    #11
    Kessel McG

    Kessel McG [OP] New Member

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  12. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:13 AM
    #12
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    I have the Michelin Defender LTX as suggested by many here.
    No regrets.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:14 AM
    #13
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:37 AM
    #14
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    It's really dark

    PicsArt_01-09-08.34.43.jpg
     
  15. Jan 9, 2021 at 8:49 AM
    #15
    Lil Steve

    Lil Steve Living the dream

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  16. Jan 9, 2021 at 12:50 PM
    #16
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    ... but should I do a sway bar?:rofl:YES!
     
    Kessel McG [OP] and Darkness like this.
  17. Jan 9, 2021 at 12:52 PM
    #17
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Nicely. They are super nice tires. Glad you like.
     
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  18. Jan 11, 2021 at 3:13 PM
    #18
    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

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    If you keep the lift under 2 inches you shouldn't have any abnormal wear issues. If you do go for a lift, do the cv axle restrap. The inboard cv axle straps get a little loose and they can start spiting grease. Cut off the old straps and put new ones on.
     
  19. Jan 11, 2021 at 8:18 PM
    #19
    Kessel McG

    Kessel McG [OP] New Member

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    @rock climber What are axle straps? The clamp that holds the boot?

    Are stock CVs okay in lifted application?
     
  20. Jan 11, 2021 at 11:56 PM
    #20
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    Yes, the inner joint boot clamps is what he meant.

    They are, although if you go more than 1.5-2" you may want to put the high angle boots on iirc.
     

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