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All-Pro Off-Road Springs Our Tacoma’s Rear

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on December 15, 2016
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Our ’01 Tacoma had been running All-Pro Off-Road rear leaf packs and had taken us a lot of places. We've logged many miles on the highway and thousands of dirt miles. We’d done everything from rockcrawling (where we regularly stretch one spring pack while we push the other to its bumpstop) to multi-day exploration trips fairly heavily packed for camping while running moderate-rated trails.

Nevertheless, time and use can take their toll on even the finest suspension, and our seven-year-old leaf packs were showing their wear. We were noticing increased rear axlewrap while accelerating off the line and more rear axle chatter when climbing loose hills. We had used them a long time, and they had served us well.

The All-Pro Expedition packs use a stack of seven leaves and are designed to provide a progressive spring rate. The thinner leaves allow the packs to flex well and provide a comfortable ride. You can also see an added “torque” half-length leaf added to the top of each pack to help control axlewrap without significantly stiffening the pack.

We contacted Jon Bundrant at All-Pro Off-Road to see what the company’s latest offerings were for ’98-’04 Tacomas. It now has both standard leaf springs and Expedition leaf springs in a 3-inch-lift height. Of interest to us were the Expedition packs, which are designed for those that want to carry substantial bed loads while using their trucks on the trail. These springs are meant to support more weight through a 20 percent higher spring rate than All-Pro’s regular packs and offer about 4 inches of lift on unloaded trucks. The All-Pro springs are shot-peened for stress relief and are cycled through travel before delivery to check their quality and reduce the likelihood of initial spring sag.

As expected, the springs installed with ease and were a simple swap in a few hours’ time. On day trips, we generally carry a spare tire that weighs about 100 pounds, plus a cooler and other items that push the bed load to about 200 pounds. We were anxious to see how these springs would perform with a mild load that we usually carry, knowing they could handle greater loads once we packed up for a long trip. We soon found out and were pleased with the performance. The old axlewrap was gone, the ride was smooth, and the springs flexed well on the trail.

The forward end of each pack uses a double military wrap for strength and safety, giving you two leaves wrapped around the bushing. Polyurethane bushings and sleeves are included.
The Expedition packs are built for a 3-inch lift with bed loads of about 400-500 pounds and will provide about 4 inches of lift for unloaded trucks. The packs use quality clamps and Teflon pads between the leaves to reduce friction as the leaves slide across one another.
The swap to the new packs on our ’01 Toyota was an easy one. The ’95-’97 Tacomas used a bit shorter leaf pack from the factory, so to use these springs requires a spring hanger placed 2 inches forward of the stock location, plus the rear shackle moved rearward 1-inch.
We are continuing to use a set of All-Pro greasable shackles in the rear. These are available in lengths over stock to provide some extra lift. We have damaged the lower zerk fittings on boulders, but just replace them cheaply the next time we need to shoot a little lube into the shackles.
On the trail, the packs rode well, as they had on the highway. The packs droop well and the lack of axlewrap was welcome.
Even with the 20 percent higher spring rate of the Expedition springs, we were able to compress the packs to our Daystar bumpstops under hard articulation. We can see these springs performing well for lightly loaded beds or with a fully loaded bed packed with lots of weekend gear.
We flexed out our new packs on some rock trails and then spent a week exploring the Grand Canyon area with the cargo bed loaded with gear. The performance of the springs did not disappoint.

Sources

All-Pro Off-Road
Hemet, CA 92543
406-961-0126
www.allprooffroad.com

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