TACOMA TEARDOWN – Lifting my new truck!!

TACOMA TEARDOWN – Lifting my new truck!!


Today’s the day we’re going to lift my truck. I’m super excited about this. Normally I don’t teardown things this size
or, you know, expensive, but this should be really fun. I have an Icon Stage 9 lift kit, and we’re
going to remove a huge chunk of the factory suspension and replace it with these aftermarket
components. Let’s get started. [Intro] So the reason people add lifts to their truck,
or I guess my reason why I’m lifting my truck is just to get a little bit more performance
than the stock vehicle. So most vehicles are designed so they can
be used on the freeway because that’s where it’s going to spend, you know, 99% of it’s
life. I like things that are practical and useful
in a more broad spectrum. So having a lift on my truck allows me to
go off-road and have more performance if I ever do need to go off of, you know, a paved
road. So we have the truck lifted up off the ground
a little bit so we can get those tires off and start working on the suspension. If you’re…when I first started my YouTube
channel I was doing more automotive and car repairs. And the reason my whole channel exists is
because of this guy: BriansMobile1. We’re in his shop today and he’s going to
be helping me out a little bit. [Brian] Alright, step one: get rid of the
wheel. [Zack] So it’s interesting that I’ve had this
truck for about 6,000 miles and there’s already some rust on some of the bolts inside. And rust is not a good thing when it comes
to cars, it makes things seize up inside. So we’re going to wire brush that off really
quick and that will give us easier access to remove some of the components. So we’re replacing some of the suspension
on the truck and we’re going to show the majority of the passenger side right now. The passenger and the driver’s side are pretty
similar. I’ll kind of explain a little bit what each
component does as we’re going through the lift. So that sway bar that we just disconnected,
it wraps up and goes all the way through the front of the truck and attaches to the other
tire. [Brian] Basically what that does is it connects
the wheels and the frame and everything in such a way that you don’t get body roll. This is what body roll looks like: if you
go around the corner it would lay to the side. And that’s fine for an off-road vehicle, but
on the highway you don’t want to be doing this on the freeway on-ramp. [Zack] So the sway bar keeps the body of the
truck from swaying side to side. It keeps everything stable. [Brian] So this is a tapered bolt and it goes
through this in such a way that it really gets stuck. To get them undone what I like to do it put
some shock through it. So now they’re not tight – we won’t be pulling
on them hard. [Zack] So obviously with a project like this
there are a lot of dangers. So the truck is supported in multiple locations. And we’re taking special precautions not to
damage the brake lines because if the brake lines break during this process, it adds another
level of complexity that we don’t want to deal with right now. So to keep stress off of this brake line right
here…this brake hose, we have a jack stand supported up underneath here on this knuckle,
and that’s keeping the weight from breaking that hose up there. My truck is brand new, I’ve only had it for
3 months, and there’s already rust on some of the bolts inside. The last time I did this was on like a ’95
Jeep Wrangler, and that was a nightmare. Some of bolts had seized up so much that I
had to just sawzall through them and remove the part, you know, with the bolt still intact
with the metal joined together. [Brian] Hooray, now I can turn it however
I want. [Zack] If we were to just hit this with a
hammer it might damage the threads, so we put a castle nut over the top like this, and
then it gave us a flat surface to hit the hammer on without damaging the actual threads
themselves. A little trick of the trade. And like always, it’s a really good idea to
keep your screws organized during the whole process. So up at the top of the shock there are three
bolts with a 14 millimeter….with a 14 millimeter nut attached to it. So we’re going to pop those out and that allows
the whole shock assembly to drop out from the housing that it’s in. [Brian] So with the tie rod off, we can manipulate
it to turn right or left with ease. So if you turn it like this, I can lift it
up and out. Turn it back the other way, slide it out. [Zack] Alright, so this is the shock we just
took out. You can kind of see this housing inside that
has like, you know, a bunch of gas and oil inside of it. And that’s kind of what makes a smooth ride
when you’re driving your car or your truck…whatever vehicle you have. It also has this huge spring on it. Now Icon was nice enough to send me out one
of their lift kits. This is a Stage 9 from my truck, and you can
see that the inside reservoir first of all is super beefy. And it has an external reservoir as well. So when you’re going off-road and there are,
you know bumps and stuff in the road, and your shock is fully extended, it still has
enough dampening oil and fluid inside of this to give you a smooth ride. Now the vast majority of people will never
ever need that because most cars spend 99% of their lives on paved roads. But since my truck is useful and has features,
I want it to be able to go off-road, and that extra fluid and stuff and the shocks gives
a smoother ride off-road when you’re crawling or just, you know, going on roads that aren’t
paved. [Brian] So that reserve reservoir is going
to mount to this bracket. So with this out of the way we can get this
into place just like that. [Zack] Alright, so this is the upper control
arm. It’s kind of like this u-shaped thing right
here. And we’re replacing that to give, you know,
more travel to the shock. So that bolt we were working on inside with
the upper control arm…that needs to come out through like underneath the hood. [Brian] So we’ve got an air conditioning line
that’s in the way, a little wire harness, so we got to unmount this so that it can flex
out of the way. With the bolt out of the way, now we can get
a little bit of movement on it. You don’t want to grease it, but you can certainly
move it to clear the path for the bolt. [Zack] Now this bolt right here we’re making
progress. Look at that thing. Perfect! Got it! To make enough room for that bolt to come
out, we had to bend on that little side wall right there. [Brian] Just flex it on the body mounts. [Zack] A little bit of aggressive persuasion. [Brian] In order to get the reservoir bracket
in there, you have to take out this plastic tab. If you push on it, you can see that it’s not
steel at all. Looks like it’s part of the stamping of the
frame, but it’s not. There we go. The irony is that there’s already tape right
there, so we just complete it. So with those plastic clips gone, the reserve
reservoir brackets are going to fit nice and flush against the frame. [Zack] Alright, so this one is for the passenger
side, which is the side of the vehicle we are working on. [Brian] Get it up in the top as far as you
can and then just use a pry bar to get it the rest of the way. I would recommend leaving this undone and
bolting the top first. It makes it a lot easier to get those 3 bolts
in the top. Blue holds things in place through vibration
without being too aggressive. And it also coats this. This is steel and it has some kind of anodized
coating on it. But anytime you put steel into aluminum, it’s
good to have something on it. So once you get the first one in, you can
let it hang by that and it will help to line the other ones up. So I don’t tighten it all the way until I’ve
got all 3 bolts in place. If you get a bunch on one side as you twist
it in, it’ll get around the other sides too. And the beauty of doing it this way is you
can fit a pry bar underneath it here and get yours up and down and forward and back pretty
easy. But these are tough otherwise. Then go back through by hand and snug them
up good. Alright, so the bolt goes from the back side
towards the front, to support the shock it goes in really easy. I like to have this side straight and then
have this one angled up just a little bit. And you put the straight side on first where
the bolt’s going to go. [Zack] Stick this massive bolt over here. So the best way to get this in from underneath
the hood was we had to put the washer and then this metal bit right here on top of the
bolt first, and then that allowed the angle to get through this other hole and then feed
through the entire control arm out the other side. We had to get a little creative with tapping
the end of the bolt from underneath the hood after that washer and metal bit were on, and
then it sank all the way through the rest of the control arm. Alright, so the upper control arm is here,
and we’re going to attach this bottom part with this massive nut. Do you remember the sway bar? Right below that is something called the tie
rod, and this is what is attached to your steering wheel, and it moves the steering
knuckle. It’s what makes your wheels go back and forth
as you’re driving your car. So we’re going to take that, pop it up back
into this hole where it came from, put the castle nut over top. So the reason they call it a castle nut is
because it has these little pillars, you know, like a castle looks like. So we’re going to stick this pin all the way
through this whole. Once that pin is in, and make sure that the
nut is not ever going to spin, because when you’re moving your steering wheel back and
forth, everything is constantly moving, and that will keep things secure. So this bracket right there, the sway arm
needs to be offset a little bit from where it was before, so included with the Icon Stage
9 kit is one of these offset brackets, so we’re going to go ahead and plop this into
place. Basically this uses the original bolt holes
inside of the frame and then gives us new bolt holes to mount the sway bar to. And that reservoir bracket is between the
spacer and the frame. [Brian] You’ll notice we’ve got the rubber
splash guard between the bracket and this. That helps to reduce any potential for noise. [Zack] So in order to mount the reserve reservoir
we had to cut a few slits inside a splash guard for the clamps and then we can slide
the reserve reservoir through the clamps and then tighten them down. This part right here is attached to the sway
bar, it’s called a sway bar link. We’re going to toss it through here and then
we’re pretty much done once I can get this tightened in. We have the reservoir, we have the top control
arm, we have the shock in place. Not too bad. Take a look at the hardware. I think that looks sick. One thing about these lift kits is that they’re
adjustable. So I can go all the way down and have it basically
to like the stock height, or I can raise it up along all of these threads and getting
more clearance as the spring gets more and more compressed down the shaft. The higher we go lift-wise, like the more
you compress that spring, the stiffer the ride is going to be, but the more clearance
you’ll have from the ground. Which depending on what you’re doing, if you’re
doing a lot of freeway riding you don’t need a lot of clearance, but if you’re off-road
most of the time, I need to clear like boulders and hills or whatever, give yourself a higher
point of gravity, a higher center of gravity, then it’s nice to have a higher truck. Alright, everything is mounted and in place. All of the bolts are snug and tight. We have the skid plate stuck back on along
with the sway bar underneath that. So we’ll get the tire put back in and we’ll
be good to go. Alright so the front tires are done, but believe
it or not there are 4 tires on a truck and so now we’re doing the rear which are actually
leaf springs instead of like the coil shocks we saw earlier. So they should go a little quicker. There are less parts to replace. The leaf springs are actually super heavy. I’ll show them to you over here. These things probably weight over a hundred
pounds and there are quite a few more springs than the ones we have underneath. So this is called an impact gun, and it’s
probably been my favorite tool of the entire day. Alright, so these are drum brakes, the emergency
brake line comes up through here so we’re going to remove these lines. This is the emergency brake cable, and we’re
going to remove that which will give us more room to mess around with like the axle and
the shocks and the leaf springs and stuff like that. So this is the shock itself which we’re going
to be replacing. Should come out. Perfect. Now let’s get the better ones in. Alright so we’re dropping the rear tire down. Got it. Just want to point out that we have the truck
supported on a lift and a secondary support underneath the axle so I’m safe in more than
one regard, along with eye protection. And right now we are taking off the bolts,
these u-bolts right here that hold the axle to the leaf springs. Front bolt’s out of the leaf springs. These aren’t the hardest part, but they’re
the heaviest. We have the 2 old leaf springs here. Working with leaf springs is kind of tricky
cuz they’re under pressure when they’re all pinched together with this center bolt. And keeping them all lined up at the same
time while they’re pinched together under pressure is kind of tricky. Alright so I have a c-clamp on this and we’ve
released all of the bolts holding this sandwich together, this big metal sandwich. And as I slowly loosen up this c-clamp, it’s
going to expand all the way out and allow us to switch out some of the leaves inside
the leaf spring. So with this big metal sandwich of a leaf
spring, there’s this one center guiding pin and so that’s what we are c-clamping together
as we lined up all the layers. And there are little metal plates in between
which minimize the sound and the squeak-age between the layers as they flex together. [Brian] So you got these little barrels that
space out the middle part. Just trying to keep the key up. You gotta be careful of your threads but if
you’re lined up you can just knock it through like that. In this case, according to the instructions,
this goes to the rear with the one and then two go to the front. [Zack] Alright, we’ll tighten everything down
and then get it back on the truck. So as Brian is setting this back into the
axle, there’s this little pin at the bottom which sits inside of the axle and what does
that do? [Brian] It keys it up so that your axles stay
a fixed distance. Now that we have a slack in the brake hoses
we can put the brackets back on and get those tightened down. [Zack] So this little guy here is called a
bump stop which is a little bit different than another video I made recently. It sits right on top of this and that’s so
when the truck bottoms out it doesn’t hit the leaf springs, it hits this rubber on top
of the bump stop. [Brian] Okay so the u-bolts are what hold
the axle to the leaf spring and essentially the rest of the truck. So there’s a great big cup that goes on the
bottom side. It’s like a giant washer that helps to center
it on the axle [Zack] So the thing with these is that they
all have to be even, like they all have to be evenly spaced and have an even number of
threads sticking out through the bottom. So right now I’m not going to go up all the
way, I’m just going to snuggle up till they’re about even. Alright, so this shock right here we’re going
to put it up through this hole in the top section, and then the bottom section goes
into that little slot right there. We are almost done and my truck is almost
put back together. Pretty heavy-duty stuff. So even though this truck is the off-road
TRD Tacoma, so it’s built for off-roading, this shock right here, you know, it’s still
you know, mainly going to be driven on the freeway so these shocks are quite a bit smaller
than the Icon Stage 9 shocks we’re putting on. So you can see the off-road freeway shocks
verses the off-road off-road shocks. Pretty big difference. [Brian] So this next step we have the bottom
of the shocks secured, and then for the top it’s hard because you got to squish these
bushings. So to accomplish this part, you can either
jack the axle up with it or you can let the lift down. Once you crush it down a little bit on the
bushing then you can get your nut started. You just stack it with a bushing like this,
washer on top, and then you should have just enough thread now to where you can get this
started. These nuts hold the top of the shock on. To do it right you want to tighten it down
to where when you put the second one on it’s flush. So put the first one on till you wind it up
like this and spin on the second one and lock it down. If you look at it it’s got some texture on
one side. This is a mechanic trick: put the texture
down, it bites better. Put this in the middle and ding it. And that will help locate the drill bit so
it doesn’t creep. One of the things that I really like to use
when I’m drilling stuff like this is a Boelube. Boeing company came up with this for drilling. It comes out like margarine, when it gets
hot it gets more runny. When you get your bit hot, you just dip it
again. [Zack] Alright, so this is the bracket that
holds the reservoir, so we’re going to stick that in place. [Brian] That’ll work. [Zack] So the rear shocks and reservoir are
in. Everything is tightened down. Remember we have the bottom of the u-bolts,
we have these bolts right here on top of the leaf springs and these leaf springs have to
be loaded, meaning that the weight has to be down on the axle and all the way to the
truck is on the leaf springs before you can tighten these bolts down in at the end because
of the bushings. [Truck squeaking/lowering sounds] That’s sweet. I’m super excited about this! The truck is back on the ground and look at
all that extra space for extra tires. I am super excited about that! [Brian] Looks like real suspension. [Zack] That’s awesome! You’ve done the suspensions on trucks and
stuff before, so what would you change? What did you like about this one and what
would you change if you had to change anything. [Brian] I really like the reservoirs on this
one. As far as changing things…I would do something
with the mounting of the reservoirs on the rear. I’d weld bolts on. It’s way easier and it keeps it up off the
frame. I like it where the lift comes from the steering
knuckle having a little bit of change, but they are a lot harder and more expensive to
make. [Zack] So with this with the Icon Stage 9
we started about ten o’clock in the morning and it’s nine o’clock now, so it took us I
would say about 10 hours or so. If we had to do it again, we could probably
do it a little bit quicker, but you know, it’s not too bad. [Brian] There’s some learning curve, we cheated
and looked at the instructions a few times. [Zack] So right now with the truck, it does
have the stock tires on it still, which are pretty, like, you know, hidden inside of the
truck and leave plenty of space around the outside, so inside of the wheel well. So I will be getting new tires and rims but
I will save that for a new video. This is just how to install the lift on the
truck. And huge thanks to Brian for helping me out
with this process. I don’t have all the tools to do it myself. You can do it with hand tools, but with the
right tools it’s a lot easier. If you have not seen Brian’s channel, definitely
go check it out. I’ll leave a link right here somewhere on
Brian for his channel. [Brian] Check me out, I’ve got all kinds of
stuff that show how cars work, how to diagnose things. I got some hard hitting heavy duty stuff and
I’ve got some easy stuff too. [Zack] Huge thanks to Icon for hooking us
up with this Stage 9 lift. If you have any questions leave them down
in the comments and Brian will be here to answer them all. Ha ha! [Brian] You bet. [Zack] Thanks a ton for watching and I will
see you around.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. we had a bolt rusted stuck on my volvo v70 awd 1999 took like 2h to get it out because we didnt have any spare parts to replace incase we broke the bolt

  2. Where do you live? I have almost 50k miles on my 2017 SR Tacoma and there isn't any rust on the frame. And I live in MN so i know salt and rust pretty well.

  3. If and one of your front suspension bushes prematurely wears out it will most likely be because they were pinched due to over tightening to three ugga duggas. Rather than a torque wrench. Do it once do it right. Plus easy to remove when rusted up after higher mileage. Also use chainsaw chain oil to prevent rust on the ends of bolts and other important component connections, It won’t just wash off like regular oil, can also be used on the chassis as well.

  4. Where I’m from, when we see a big ass truck lifted that much, we say β€œlook at the big dick over there”. And pretty much 1 out of every 10 cars you see is a lifted truck.

  5. man youre the typical bold super buffed american male – congrats! 'mercia fuck yeah!!!! please present your buffed body with an amercian flag – it would be fantastic!

  6. 13:52 he was putting the mounting plate on 90 degrees off of where it should have been. He then edited it out

  7. I had a TRD Tundra and that came with much bigger shocks and tires. For what you doing, it seems that it would have made more sense to get a Tacoma without the TRD package.

  8. 'A little bit more performance' installs a 5k$ lift kit lol. You may want to look into the ovtune to help the gutless 3.5 move the vehicle once you up tire size. Unless you like the gear hunting.

  9. Hey jerry. I got same truck. What things you have done to the Tacoma that made a big difference and better ride on local roads ? And highway

  10. I wonder what happened to his truck. These Tacomas were known to have crazy rust issues and he’s saying he only had the truck for 3 months at the time and there was a bunch of rust.

  11. Man this was great informative and intuitive. The comment on anodized on bolt was inaccurate. That was zinc plated. Anodized can only be done to a 100% aluminum. This bolt in aluminum would not have the hardness or strength to support the strut. Just helping add to your already informative awesome video. Plus I own the oldest anodized shop in the us. 65 years. You guys are skilled beyond the average Bear and a great team. Keep up the great content you tubes.

  12. Now let’s do a scratch test on the windshield. As you can see, the mohs pick does a lot of damage. With scratches at a level 6, with deeper grooves at a level 7.

  13. 15:09 these nuts or dezs nuts haha πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  14. Americans love to believe that lifting there trucks will increase the performance off-road. You not changing the clearance to your rear diff on that Tacoma and adding stress to the front CVs, bugger tires makes more sense.

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