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ToyTec Progressive 3-Leaf Add-a-Leaf Pack for Third-Gen Tacoma

Picking up the rear a touch for a little more tire clearance.

Is it too late in the year to blame COVID-19 for an issue we've had? We hope not, 'cause that's out firm plan at this point. The reason we won't show you what we've done on the front our third-gen (it's a 2020 Double Cab V-6 4x4) Tacoma's suspension is because of parts that are held up due to COVID-19 and the ensuing supply and health disaster around the country (and the world). For now we will gloss over what we did—and trust us, we will get back to you on those details as things settle out—but for now, know we lifted the front of the truck with some new shocks from Bilstein that we plan to test extensively in the deserts of Arizona and California. We didn't lift the truck much, only making room for a set of 285/70R17 MileStar Patagonia X/T tires. The hope was to improve the rig's stance, ride, traction, and overall off-road prowess. The results are good, but while we hoped to level the truck, at the end of the day the rear end looks a bit droopy with the larger tires and the (although minimal) front suspension lift.

Toytec Lifts

A solution comes from ToyTec Lifts out of Denver, Colorado. The company has a few rear suspension lift components including our editorial muse of the day, the Toytec Progressive 3 Leaf Add-A-Leaf Pack. This progressive add-a-leaf pack adds lift to your Taco's stock rear leaf pack, providing 1.5 to 2 inches of lift, a progressive rate, retaining clamps to keep the additional leaves centered on the leaf pack, and anti-friction pads at the end of each additional spring. It's reportedly the best-riding add-a-leaf on the market. Time and our testing will prove or debunk this claim as we continue to put miles on the truck. This AAL, with the addition of Durobump's U-bolt Flip Kit, increases the rear height of the truck (just a little) while improving the performance of the Taco rear suspension and increasing ground clearance under the leaves. Check out our install, and know we will keep you up to date on how the parts work for our overlandy, daily-driven family 4x4.

Toytec Lifts claims 1.5 to 2 inches of lift from the company's Toytec Progressive 3 Leaf Add-A-Leaf Pack, assuming you install the factory overload leaf under the AAL. We measured the distance from the fender opening to the top of the tire to check.
Here is what the Toytec Progressive 3 Leaf Add-A-Leaf Pack comes with. The three leaves have non-friction pads at the end of the leaves and spring clamps to keep the pack from fanning out. Also included are degree shims to help keep your pinion angle correct, and the two small aluminum blocks are spacers that drop your Tacoma's rear driveshaft carrier bearing about inch to keep everything in line.
To start the install, you have to support the Tacoma on jack stands and remove the wheel and tire. We also disconnected the lower shock mount at the axle so the axle can drop enough to wiggle the AAL and degree shim in place.

 

Using a 12mm socket, remove the two retaining bolts that hold the parking brake cable to the frame and leaf spring, respectively. This also helps allow the axle to drop far enough for disassembly and installation of the new parts.

 

Support the axle with your floor jack and remove the factory U-bolts and U-bolt plate, and then remove the leaf spring's center pin so you can separate the bottom thick overload leaf from the factory pack. Lower the axle carefully while watching the brake lines near the center of the axle. You don't want to pull on them by lowering the axle farther than necessary. Toytec Lifts also sells extended-length stainless steel brake hoses for the Tacoma and several other models.

 

Using the supplied grade-8 leaf spring center pin, locate the degree shim under the factory overload leaf (if you are keeping it), and then through the three leaves of the Toytec Lifts AAL. You can then finagle this assembly under the rest of the factory spring and get the spring center pin through the remaining leaves and anti-friction shims. The thicker side of the degree shim should be toward the rear of the vehicle to correct the rear axle pinion angle.

 

A helpful trick when assembling leaf springs is to use a large C-clamp to clamp the leaves, forcing them together so you can get the leaf spring center pin in place. Grab the round end of the leaf spring center pin with a pair of locking pliers and tighten the nut on the center pin.

 

This is what things should look like once your leaf pack is back together, assuming the rear of the truck is to the left.

 

With the leaf spring center pin torqued to spec, we then used a reciprocating saw to trim down the top of the center pin. This will allow for clearance of the Durobump bumpstops from Toytec Lifts that we are also installing on the Tacoma.
We dry-fitted the factory U-bolts and U-bolt plate in place to verify that if you are doing this install without the U-bolt Flip Kit (that we will show you in a second) you will need longer U-bolts.

 

Here is the U-bolt Flip Kit from Toytec Lifts. It's technically a Durobump part that Toytec sells. It eliminates the stamped U-bolt plate that hangs down under the axle under the leaf springs. This swap not only yields better bumpstops but also gains us some ground clearance in a critical spot.

 

From here everything falls back into place just like it came apart. Torque the U-bolts to the specifications for graded 5/8-inch U-bolts (it's somewhere north of 150 ft-lb. Don't forget to reinstall the spring clamp bolts on the AAL springs, reattach your parking brake cable mounts to the leaf spring and frame, and reinstall the rear lower shock bolt, torqueing to factory specifications.

 

The last thing you will need to do is add the two small aluminum spacers between the frame mount and the carrier bearing housing on the rear driveshaft. Re-torque the bolts after about 100 miles and get out in the dirt.

Source:
Toytec Lifts, 866.254.0076, https://www.toyteclifts.comDurobumps, https://toyotabumpstops.com