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Thread: Race Car Dynamiics 2010 Tacoma Lift Install

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    Default Race Car Dynamiics 2010 Tacoma Lift Install



    I was contracted to do a 4" RCD lift, plus sliders on this nice 2010 Tacoma. The customer, David Morowitz, had only driven the truck from Ohio, so it had almost no miles on it. He had decided to use the RCD front drop down lift and instead of using the RCD 4" blocks for the rear, opted for the All Pro rear leaf springs.

    Pictures are in order of install.

    Sliders were located and tacked in place. Additional welds were placed on all the frame tubing to slider joints, then the frame was marked by simply painting over the mounting points. The sliders were then popped loose from the frame, final welded and then sent to be powder coated.

    Rear springs:

    These were All Pro rear springs with a U bolt flip kit. The shocks were Bilsteins.

    Issues:

    The Yota factory folks who assembled the rig had torqued the spring bolts in excess of 200 pounds. I managed to break the bolts loose using a bottle jack under the breaker bar. There was so much torque on them that the jack actually lifted the truck off the jack stand before the bolts broke loose. This was true on all the spring bolts. Inversely, the torque on the wheel lug nuts was only around 60 pounds....

    The design on the flip kit upper plate for the bump stop had been changed and no longer needed the nut as the bolts holding this down now threaded directly into the plate. Well, the hole may very well have been tapped, but they didn't change the bolt length, so the bolts bottomed out before they got tight. No big deal as a couple of washers sorted that out. One of the new U bolts had the threads boogered up and needed a little TLC before a nut would go on. One of the holes in the flip plate also had the threads a little messed up and that had to be doctored a bit. ( I ran into this with about 4 other holes on both the RCD and All Pro products, so this is something to keep in mind)

    The supplied RCD emergency brake relocator drop down brackets had to be tweaked a little to clear the springs, but no big deal here, either. In other words, a basic slider and spring install with only the standard issues. Here are the pictures:
              

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    Here is the rear All Pro rear spring and Bilstein shock install:
              

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    And the last of the rear spring pictures. It should also be mentioned here that due to the design of the bump stop plate and the washer bolts on the spring flip kit, that there is no wiggle room for the bump stop plate. It barely fits inside the square formed by the bolts. Just something to keep in mind so that you do not end up loosening all the plate nuts again to get the bump stop on. You could also grind a small radius on the corners of the plate, but it was 50/50 as far as time and effort. Also, no mention was made as to what to do with the "extra" stock E brake bracket which is now no longer used. It was simply cut off and tossed.
            

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    Front drop down RCD lift install:

    First of all, it should be noted that I have a pet peeve with manufacturer's of after market kits, specifically the directions included with the kits. All of the lift kits that I have ever installed are not geared toward the "first time" installer. Any first time lift installer is going to be on the phone to the Tech Support people people quite a few times trying to figure out directions that simply glossed over parts of the instructions. Do not expect any lift to go quite "as planned" and expect to find inconsistencies in the parts, whether it be holes that aren't aligned quite right, or in the the case of this particular lift, holes that were not threaded all the way or the threads were messed up. With that in mind, this kit went together with nothing more than the usual problems associated with any lift.

    The directions specified that you would need some special (SST) service tools, notably a ball joint puller or a tie rod end puller. Do not use a pickle fork to separate the tie rod ends as this will destroy the rubber boots on the ends. No big deal if you are replacing them, but these were all getting reused. With the judicious application of liberal doses of PB Blaster, I was able to use a simple two jaw puller and a home made SST, along with some creative use of a 3/8" socket and a hose clamp.

    The SST was made using a round piece of 3/16" steel with a 1/4" hole in the center and a 3/4" short socket welded together. The 3/4" (19mm) socket was then placed over the existing nut which had been loosened to the point where the top of the nut was even with the top of the bolt threads. The puller bolt was then placed on the hole and the puller tightened up until the ball joint popped loose. For the tie rod ends, a small socket held in place with a hose clamp worked just fine. The same tool and setup worked just fine to also remove the axle hubs from the axle.

    The only other SST that I had to make was for a 12mm Allen head that held the back of the differential in place. I couldn't find one of these anywhere close by, so ended up buying a cheap set of 1/2" Torqs, cutting one in half, and carefully grinding down a 1/2" socket head to fit the special part. This could, of course, be skipped if you have the right size metric Allen head. My biggest one was a 10mm.

    It should also be noted that using a 1/2' impact driver removed the axle nuts, where a breaker bar and socket only started to move them and was hard to use. The impact simply rattled them off with no issue. When these got re installed, they were torqued down to the required specs, but it took another person, in this case, Andrew, to hold the socket in place on the nut while I used the breaker extension.

    Note that the axles are tied up so that they do not separate from the differential and that the calipers are tied back to the frame and supported so that they do not hang on brake lines. In other pictures, you will see that the steering is also tied back out of the way simply for ease of access.

    I called Andrew Allamong (Medic) to see if he was willing to help on this install as he is friend, a great wrench turner and another good set of eyes. He came over and we started on the install:
                  

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    Here are the second set of pictures. Notice the difference in the size of the stock steering arm compared to the RCD. The way they designed this arm was very clever as they flipped the tie rod ends so that they mounted upside down from the stock positioning. A funny point here: David took the truck to an alignment shop after the install and they were telling him that the "Tie rods were mounted upside down". Well, at first glance, they are, but the guy that told him that should've realized that the rod ends only go ONE WAY into a tapered hole. Surprisingly enough, when he went to pick the truck up, nothing more was mentioned about the "upside down rod ends".....

    It should be noted here that these pictures are a little bit backward from the RCD instructions. Not a big deal either way as you can follow their instructions or do the more complicated front end work first and end up with the same results. Please note the use of the spring compressors. These are about the only style that allow you to get two compressors on each spring and even then, you have to unscrew them to feed them past the A arm. The A rm can also be pushed up and wedged out of the way. Either way works just fine.

    Note: The steering arm hub seal does get reused. No new seal comes with the kit and there was no mention in the directions of either reusing the old seal, replacing the seal,. or anything else that mentioned the seal. It would be very easy to discard the stock steering arm with the seal in it, and re assemble the whole front end sans seal. I am not a big fan of reusing any seal, especially as they are not designed to be reused. I managed to very carefully tap around the edges of both seals and get them out without any damage. I figured there was about a 50/50 chance of doing this, even being very careful.
                

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    The next set of photos. Here we get into the new drop down RCD cross member install. A portion of the rear cross member has to be cut out to allow for the drive shaft's new position with the lift. Everything else is pretty straight forward.

    The directions mentioned taking off the drive shaft, marking the position of the flanges, etc. It also mentioned dropping the differential down to the floor. Looking at the set up and what was involved, you could see that none of this was necessary, so we left the differential and drive shaft in place, supported by a floor jack and proceeded on with the rest of the work. It should be noted here that BEFORE you completely loosen the differential frame bracket bolts, that you loosen the bolts that mount these to the differential. These are on with quite a bit of torque and although we loosened them up with everything else loose, it would have been much easier if the differential was still firmly anchored.

    Pictures show the second SST and what I made it out of. The grinding action was removing the very thick "Gator Hide" coating that RCD used on their cross members. It was just thick enough to prevent the rear member from going in. We were aware of this before hand from some other internet threads, so it came as no surprise. The front cross member fit in with no modifications whatsoever.

    Note: Also note that almost all of the bolts that had to be removed for any reason are temporarily re installed into the holes they came out of. This prevents the bolts from vanishing and easily identifies where they go....like not on the floor or into a bucket of "parts". If there wasn't a way to do this, the parts, including the bolts and nuts were carefully kept on the side side of the rig that they were going on, in a container that wasn't going to get knocked over. In a case like the RCD drop down lift, almost all of the factory bolts get reused, so it was critical not to lose any of them...or alter where they went. The only bolt we had to get was a longer one for the skid plate mod to go into the new bracket that I made, but this doesn't count...
                  

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    The next set of photos:

    The only other problem we had was that the sway bar drop down brackets allowed the sway bar to hit the front skid plate braces....just enough to cause a little noise. We solved this problem by simply adding a couple of washers between the frame and the brackets, giving about 1/8" clearance under the sway bar.

    Not shown are pictures of the RCD front skid plate that I altered to fit the RCD front lift. This involved marking and cutting oif both the existing stock one and the RCD one, enlarging the holes for a little more wiggle room and the adding of a simple bracket on the driver's side. The RCD is designed to work with a non lifted truck, but the modifications were relatively simple, though time consuming.

    All in all, a very well designed kit, with just adequate instructions (they also glossed over what to do with the relocated ABS sensor line, but we solved that easily enough), with very strong well thought out parts. I mentioned a few of the problems we had, but there was a front bearing install hole on one of the new steering arms that was not tapped well and needed to be re tapped, another on the the cross plate for the nuts for the new rear cross member, and another on something else that I have forgotten. Nothing bad, just typical of lifts in general....and instruction sheets...The whole lift went well with only the typical lift problems. Like I said, not exactly a lift for a beginner, but if you are mechanically inclined and go into it with the mind set that "not everything is bolt together" a relatively easy, though time consuming lift you can install with the proper tools.

    The only other thing I did that wasn't in the instructions was to run a small tack weld on the new "control arm" brackets that were the farthest to the rear and support the new rear cross member. They were anchored with only one 1/2" bolt through the frame and the this allowed for some side to side flex. The tacks eliminated this little issue.
                 

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    Very nice Pete! Great write-up!
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    whats up with thoes rear spring ?
    ___________
    LETS GO !!!

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    Clarify, please, Adam...

    The multi pack springs are the new All Pros, the smaller are the stocks. If you are interested in the stock Taco leafs, which work damn near the same as the 63" Chevy ones for flex, David is interested in selling them. He was going to take everything down to Yoda Jims to see what he could get. If you are interested, let me know ASAP (303-507-3066) and I will work out a price for them. They should be cheap as you can pick them up at a yard for $15 per spring. He was going to do this today or tomorrow.

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    Like Chris said, that is a really informative write up.

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    Nice write-up and nice work! Do you happen to have a side before-shot?

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    Basic bone stock Toyota Tacoma 4x4 access cab. Here is a stock (pun) photo and David's finished rig:
          

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