Now that you’ve scored yourself a sweet Toyota, you may be interested in sprucing her up a little with some aftermarket additions.
A trendy option is lifts and shocks. But there are so many options to choose from.
Which lift is the best fit for both you and your Tacoma?
If you have a huge budget and do some pretty intense offroading, you’ll probably be most interested in the ARB OME BP-51 Lift Kit. If you only go offroading every once in a while, or your budget isn’t as big as you’d like, you would probably do better with the Old Man Emu 2-3″ Lift Kit.
Still not sure? Let’s go into some more detail on what a Tacoma is used for, and how a variety of lifts can make your driving experience better overall.
The Toyota Tacoma
The first generation of Tacomas was started in 1995.
After the first generation, the Tacoma was no longer considered a compact pickup, but a midsize pickup. It is great for offroading, “but its engine power and everyday ride quality leave something to be desired.”
Most modern Tacomas are sturdy vehicles with standard to advanced safety and infotainment features.
They come in a variety of trims and sizes.
Whatever your needs, you can find a Tacoma that fits the bill and makes road trips fun for the whole family.
What Are Lifts Used For?
Most trucks are used for some level of offroading.
The reason is that they already have high clearance.
Unlike smaller cars that are lower to the ground, they can get over bigger rocks and ridges on the ground without damaging the undercarriage.
Lifts increase that ground clearance so that if you are really into offroading, you can go to some pretty difficult or rugged terrain without risking the important machinery underneath the cab.
There are many kinds of lifts that give different ground clearance and shocks, so choosing which one depends on what type of driving you do.
Difference Between Suspension Lifts and Body Lifts
Don’t get confused. We’re not talking about body lifts here.
Body lifts are used to lift the body of the truck off the frame. The difference is, suspension lifts raise the frame itself off the ground.
That way nothing will get damaged in your offroading adventures, not even the frame.
Types of Lifts
The following are examples of lifts that can be applied to the Toyota Tacoma:
- PRO COMP NITRO 3″ LEVELING LIFT KIT: As the name implies, this lift kit allows you to lift your frame 3 inches all the way around.
- EIBACH STAGE 1 PRO TRUCK LIFT KIT: With adjustable height, this lift is great for those who only go offroading every once in a while.
- BILSTEIN LIFT KIT: These models are very customizable and allow you to add control arms or rear leaf springs. Blisteins are great for those who know exactly what changes they want to make.
- OLD MAN EMU LIFT KIT: Tested in the Australian Outback, the Old Man Emu is ready for anything. It also includes adjustable spring weights to accomodate heavier loads.
- DOBINSONS LIFT KIT: Spruce up your style with different color options offered with this lift. Because of it’s digressive pistons, the Dobinsons kit will make any bumps feel smoother and more controlled.
- ICON VEHICLE DYNAMICS LIFT KIT: With tons of suspension product options and adjustable lift, the Icon Vehicle Dynamics lift is always a great choice.
- RADFLO LIFT KIT: Though a little rough on pavement, this kit will have your Tacoma gliding smoothly across the rugged wilderness terrain.
- KING OFF-ROAD RACING SHOCKS LIFT KIT: Though more expensive, these lifts are designed to withstand anything your offroading can dish out.
- TOYTEC BOSS ALUMA SERIES LIFT KIT: Their hydraulic valves offer smooth, comfortable rides, perfect for pushing your Tacoma hard.
- FOX 2.5 FACTORY RES 0-3″ LIFT: This one has an adjustable coilover. Built for speed, with this kit, you can take your truck on some fast offroading excursions.
Best Lift for Your Driving
As you can see, there are plenty of options.
To choose the best lift for you, think about what kind of driving you’ll be doing.
Each lift is geared toward a certain frequency and intensity of offroading.
Once you know your driving style, you can have a better idea of what lift is best for you.
If you only go offroading once in a blue moon or have little experience with it, you should consider the Pro Comp Nitro 3″ Leveling Lift Kit.
It’s a cheaper option but gives you enough clearance to go offroading when you do.
The Old Man Emu 2-3″ Lift Kit is a great fit for Tacoma owners interested in getting off the pavement more often.
Because it has been tested in Australia, you can be confident that any inexperience you have will not damage your newly installed lift.
Medium to Advanced
When your truck is more of a toy used in your adventures than a vehicle to take you from place to place, the ARB OME BP-51 Lift Kit is the lift for you (source).
Advanced to Pro
If you are a highly experienced off-roader, you might already know what kind of lifts you want.
If you’re looking for recommendations, try out King Shocks Lift Kit or Bilstein B8 8112 Lift Kit.
Both are good for big bumps at high speeds.
Best Lift for the Best Price
We’d all like to be able to have fun without breaking the bank.
Some lifts can cost as much as a used car, so the price is an important consideration.
As a general rule, the price of lifts goes up with what it’s used for. Those of you just dipping your toes into offroading are in luck.
The lifts that are best for you are usually on the cheaper side.
If you’re more advanced, lifts are more expensive, but that price includes all the benefits you’re looking for in good, sturdy suspension.
Whatever lift you choose, they’re all sure to help you take care of your truck as you venture onto unpaved roads.