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All-Pro Off-Road's Toyota Tacoma Suspension - Max Travel, Minimal Mods

Posted in How To on February 1, 2009
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Bolt-ons are cool, and it's even cooler when a bolt-on product gives tangible results in just a few hours. All-Pro Off-Road's new Tacoma suspension is just such a product.

At 2 inches wider per side, installing this suspension does not require installing aftermarket fiberglass fenders at the same time. Don't get us wrong, we dig fiberglass fenders and bedsides with extra width and taller wheel openings. Just the same, the added expense of 'glass on top of a suspension, tire, and wheel purchase can add up to a daunting figure for many Tacoma owners.

"We see this suspension as a Dual-Sport kit," All-Pro's Jon Bundrant said. "It's designed to give a better, more stable ride on the street leading to the trail, and it's designed to increase travel over stock for a better ride on the trail. It does improve high-speed handling and bump control, but our goal was to produce an all-around suspension kit that would work well at all speeds."

All-Pro's new Tacoma suspension yields 12 inches of travel and uses tubular chromoly upper and lower control arms. In place of stock ball joints, the All-Pro kit comes with the added strength of high-angle uniballs on both ends of the knuckle. Custom axle shafts are included to retain 4WD function, and are installed into the stock inner and outer CV joints. The puny stock tie rods are completely replaced with 1-inch chromoly tie rods capped with high-strength heim joints at each end. "We found that the inner tie rod ends are the limiting factor to obtaining more droop travel," Jon said. "We designed a new clevis that connects to the factory steering rack. With that clevis, we were able to use a heim joint in place of the stock inner tie rod. In stock form, the CV's can handle more droop than the tie rods can, so changing the tie rods lets us unlock the potential for added droop." Because Toyota uses the '05-and-newer Tacoma's front suspension design on the '07-and-newer FJ Cruiser and the '03-and-newer 4Runner, the new All-Pro kit will also fit those models.

New upper and lower control arms are the heart of this kit. The uppers are crafted from TIG welded 1-1/4-inch, .120-wall 4130 chromoly tubing that clasps a 1-inch uniball. Lowers are made from a combination of 1-1/2-inch, .120-wall and 1-1/2-inch, .188-wall 4130 chromoly tubing that terminates into a CNC machined billet steel end piece. Custom tie rods, custom 8-inch stroke 2.5-inch diameter Fox coilovers, and custom 4340 axle shafts round out the package. F-911 hardware, stronger than Grade 8, is used with the uniballs and the tie rods. Extended brake lines and shock reservoir mounting brackets are not shown, but are included.

In addition to the custom control arms, custom axle shafts, and custom tie rods, custom 8-inch stroke, 2.5-inch diameter Fox coilover shocks are used.

"We went through two weeks of testing on the shocks to get the valving where we wanted it to be," Jon said. "The FJ Cruiser and the Tacoma are not the same vehicle, so we've developed different spring rates and different shock valving specific to those models." The Fox shocks don't stop with custom valving; at full droop there's a built-in top-out bumper to prevent harshness when the shocks reach full extension. This top-out bumper means that no external limit strap is required.

One of the best features of the latest-generation Toyota's is the ability to improve the front suspension performance using a simple, bolt-in replacement coilover. For Toyota owners who have already upgraded their coilovers, All-Pro offers its Dual-Sport Suspension without shocks. Using the All-Pro Dual-Sport kit with existing short-stroke coilovers will produce 10 inches of travel instead of 12, but the custom All-Pro-specific Fox coilover can always be added later on. For reference, stock suspension travel is 7.9 inches.

If you're building your Tacoma, FJ, or 4Runner as an all-around vehicle, take some time to check out All-Pro's Dual-Sport suspension kit. You and your 'Yota will be faster, smoother, and more stable in every situation.

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All-Pro Off-Road
Hemet, CA 92543

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