SUSPENSION Leaf Spring Comparison: All-Pro, Allcan, Icon, Dobinsons, Deavers, Archive, Dakars

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3cent.Taco

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I just wanted to contribute some data for my leaf spring selection. I went with the Deavers U402 Stage I, coupled with Fox 2.5 w/ Resi in the rear and achieved just under 3" of lift. The only thing I had in the rear at time of installation was the RCI bed rack and a shovel.
 

TRDOFHOLLAND

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well, goodbye dakar HD's and hello Deaver U402 Stage 3's! Cant wait to install them and see the ride quality difference in the next week or so. Just need some hammar hangars soon to finish them off ;)
 

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well, goodbye dakar HD's and hello Deaver U402 Stage 3's! Cant wait to install them and see the ride quality difference in the next week or so. Just need some hammar hangars soon to finish them off ;)
Goodbye squeakers. You’ll love not having them.
 

Tyler

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This is great Tyler. Appreciate you taking the time to make this in depth write up. As a newbie I'm starting to think I can build a suspension using the best from different manufactures rather than just buying an all-in-one complete suspension kit like an ICON Stage 9 kit for instance. Am I correct in thinking I can do this? Are there any advantages or disadvantages? What components should I be considering for a 3" suspension lift if I were spring no cost?

Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Alright, let’s talk.

Answering this type of question is one of the things I’ve written about the most on here. So I have the info but we need to make some decisions first.

Yes, you should typically use different manufacturers to get a “better” setup in most cases. However, that doesn’t imply a full kit from Icon is a bad thing at all (will elaborate later). This usually means shocks are one brand, leaf springs are a different brand because they do it better than your shock brand, and if you do any other related upgrades (upper/lower control arms, leaf spring hangers, etc), they’ll probably be a third brand.

To send you in the right direction, what is your budget? What kind of gear and weight do you expect to have on the truck? What kind of off road use to you expect the truck to see?

About the 3” — show an example photo or two of stances that you like on other trucks.

And then we can go from there.
 

3cent.Taco

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Goodbye squeakers. You’ll love not having them.
Mine squeak when I hop out of the truck..... :( I think I should've given them a thorough cleaning before I sent them to the shop, because every time I power wash underneath the truck after a trip, they don't squeak for a couple days.
 

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Mine squeak when I hop out of the truck..... :( I think I should've given them a thorough cleaning before I sent them to the shop, because every time I power wash underneath the truck after a trip, they don't squeak for a couple days.
"For a couple of days"

not bad team GIF
 

Jetspeed

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Alright, let’s talk.

Answering this type of question is one of the things I’ve written about the most on here. So I have the info but we need to make some decisions first.

Yes, you should typically use different manufacturers to get a “better” setup in most cases. However, that doesn’t imply a full kit from Icon is a bad thing at all (will elaborate later). This usually means shocks are one brand, leaf springs are a different brand because they do it better than your shock brand, and if you do any other related upgrades (upper/lower control arms, leaf spring hangers, etc), they’ll probably be a third brand.

To send you in the right direction, what is your budget? What kind of gear and weight do you expect to have on the truck? What kind of off road use to you expect the truck to see?

About the 3” — show an example photo or two of stances that you like on other trucks.

And then we can go from there.
Excellent, thanks for the elaborate reply.

Here are examples of the stance I'm looking for. I think 2 of these might be 6" not sure. I'm not sure I want to go 6" because I'm not sure I can go that height without significantly affecting the ride quality for road driving. Also, it seems to me from my research that going over 3" you start to tax the driveline geometry and are asking for problems down the road. None of this is coming from me as though I'm an expert on the subject, I am NOT. Just trying to learn and regurgitating some of what I've read for people here to help me understand.

As far as application I'm looking for a happy compromise between mostly road driving and light to medium off road weekend warrior stuff. 2-3 day trips out in the boonies of Idaho where I will probably encounter some medium duty off road type situations, wherever that means 😂
 

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3cent.Taco

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Excellent, thanks for the elaborate reply.

Here are examples of the stance I'm looking for. I think 2 of these might be 6" not sure. I'm not sure I want to go 6" because I'm not sure I can go that height without significantly affecting the ride quality for road driving. Also, it seems to me from my research that going over 3" you start to tax the driveline geometry and are asking for problems down the road. None of this is coming from me as though I'm an expert on the subject, I am NOT. Just trying to learn and regurgitating some of what I've read for people here to help me understand.

As far as application I'm looking for a happy compromise between mostly road driving and light to medium off road weekend warrior stuff. 2-3 day trips out in the boonies of Idaho where I will probably encounter some medium duty off road type situations, wherever that means 😂
I think you'll get strong recommendations for the budget, but capable, lift with Bilstein, although I think it'll only get you up to 2". Some of the other guys may be able to chime in directly on that setup. In my case, I didn't really hold on to a budget and went wayyyy above what I needed for being on pavement 90% of the year.
 

Jetspeed

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I think you'll get strong recommendations for the budget, but capable, lift with Bilstein, although I think it'll only get you up to 2". Some of the other guys may be able to chime in directly on that setup. In my case, I didn't really hold on to a budget and went wayyyy above what I needed for being on pavement 90% of the year.
I'm not tied to a budget. I'll go all out to do it correctly and with the best parts and labor.
 

3cent.Taco

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I'm not tied to a budget. I'll go all out to do it correctly and with the best parts and labor.
Welp. If it helps, I went with Fox 2.5 w/ Resi in the front and rear and Deaver Stage 1 for the leaf springs. It is enough for me, so far, as my daily driver and only a full loadout when I go on camping trips.
 

CBrob

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Going over 2.5 inch on the lift really complicates things.
6 inches is s bracket lift.
You cut out a cross member, lower the front diff and weld in a new cross member.
 

Jetspeed

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Welp. If it helps, I went with Fox 2.5 w/ Resi in the front and rear and Deaver Stage 1 for the leaf springs. It is enough for me, so far, as my daily driver and only a full loadout when I go on camping trips.
Thanks, yes this helps. Good to get feedback from people with suspension and tire mods.
 

Jetspeed

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Going over 2.5 inch on the lift really complicates things.
6 inches is s bracket lift.
You cut out a cross member, lower the front diff and weld in a new cross member.
Gotcha. Way above my pay grade. No 6" for me.
 

CBrob

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I just installed my lift a few days ago. 2.5 Inch
Did eibachs in the front and icon leaves in the back.
about 1800 in parts.
took about 10 hours total for me and the wife to install.
i had to buy some new tools too, but those are a business investment.
new floor jack, some new sockets, jack stands and a sweet dewalt cordless impact
 

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Jetspeed

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I just installed my lift a few days ago. 2.5 Inch
Did eibachs in the front and icon leaves in the back.
about 1800 in parts.
took about 10 hours total for me and the wife to install.
i had to buy some new tools too, but those are a business investment.
new floor jack, some new sockets, jack stands and a sweet dewalt cordless impact
Truck looks great!
 

CBrob

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Props to ARCHIVE
This post really helped me choose springs, and Tyler's gas tank issue saved me the problem of putting the bolts in the clips the wrong way
Thanks guys
 

Jetspeed

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Props to ARCHIVE
This post really helped me choose springs, and Tyler's gas tank issue saved me the problem of putting the bolts in the clips the wrong way
Thanks guys
I second that prop on ARCHIVES! This has been an awesome forum with some serious Taco owners all willing to share their experience and knowledge. Thanks to Tyler and the gang. It's a lot of work running a forum like this so thanks to all of you.
 

Bessi3-taco

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Anyone know if ARCHIVE GARAGE will make a full leaf spring? I only see the AAL on their website.
 
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