A leveling kit is one of the easiest and simplest modifications that can help you lift your Toyota Tacoma.
By installing a leveling kit, you can conquer the off-roads without worrying about damaging the components on the undercarriage.
Additionally, leveling kits can give your vehicle a mean-looking stance whenever you leave it in the parking lot or driveway.
If you are considering getting a leveling kit for your Tacoma, you must research thoroughly. After all, that’s the only way to know whether it’s a good or bad modification.
You will find many negative opinions about leveling kits on Tacoma forums. Tacoma leveling kits are unpopular because they have their fair share of problems which we will look into.
By the end of this article, you should be able to determine whether installing a leveling kit in your Tacoma is a worthy modification.
Table of Contents
What is a Tacoma Leveling Kit?
A leveling kit entails a set of coil-over spacers, lift blocks, and extended U-bolts, which will increase and level the height of your Tacoma after installation.
A good example of a Tacoma leveling kit is the 3/2 kit. This kit is named after the height it will increase on your Tacoma; three inches at the front and two inches at the back.
You may wonder why more inches are being increased at the front. The reason behind that is to level the car.
A Toyota Tacoma straight from the manufacturer, features a front and rear suspension spacer measuring 1.5 inches and 2 inches thick, respectively.
As a result, the rear is often more raised than the front. The 3/2 leveling kit ensures the front and back receive an equal lift.
Is a Leveling Kit the Same as a Full Suspension Kit?
Before we get to the problems, we must differentiate between a leveling kit and a full suspension kit. The thing about leveling kits is that they do not entail any suspension upgrades.
They lift the vehicle and allow you to switch to bigger tires. A leveling kit that requires the installation of spacers aims to reduce down travel.
Assuming your truck has five inches of up and down travel, you deduct that from the car’s stock down travel when you introduce a three-inch or two-inch leveling kit. It results in better ground clearance.
A full-suspension kit entails swapping out various suspension components to give you better ground clearance. A full-suspension kit lifts the truck much higher, requiring the installation of new components on the suspension.
It is far more expensive, time-consuming, and laborious than a leveling kit. More reasons why many Tacoma owners prefer to install a leveling kit.
Common Issues Associated with Tacoma Leveling Kit
Now that you know all about a leveling kit and how it is cheaper and less time-consuming than a full suspension kit, is it all perfect?
Unfortunately, leveling kits have some drawbacks. We will go through some of the most common issues so that you can make an informed choice.
1. It Will Affect Ride Quality
Ride quality is a crucial factor to consider when adding modifications to the suspension. One of the drawbacks of a leveling kit is that it will affect ride quality.
If your Tacoma spends most of the time off-road, you can forego ride quality. But if your Tacoma spends most of the time on the tarmac, a meaner-looking stance isn’t worth getting a rough ride.
This is one of the biggest concerns about getting a Tacoma leveling kit. The problem with installing these kits without research is that you may notice a change in ride quality after. And that can be quite frustrating.
However, you can avoid affecting the quality of your ride by sticking to the stock suspension. Or, if you have the money, you can install a full suspension kit.
2. It Can Lead to Faster Wear of the Truck’s Suspension
Another problem with a leveling kit is that it can exert extra pressure on Tacoma’s suspension. Spacers aren’t meant to be added to installation kits. They are a modification that was normalized along the way.
Due to the extra pressure caused by the leveling kits, your Tacoma suspension may experience excess wear and tear. Suspension repairs and replacements are very expensive.
You may think that you have saved some money by installing a leveling kit, but it could cost you more later.
Some of the components that may fall victim to the introduction of spacers are the front CV joints and ball joints. It’s crucial to take note of this.
3. Your Car Readings Will Be Very Inaccurate
If the main reason why you are installing a leveling kit on your Tacoma is to install bigger tires, then prepare to get inaccurate readings.
Various functions of the car are designed to be read through the speedometer, odometer, and several other devices. Most of these are calculated according to the distance traveled by the tires.
If you install a leveling kit and get bigger tires, the first reading that will be off is the speed on the speedometer. Your Tacoma speed will always appear lower than what it is. And that is quite risky.
The good thing about this problem is that it can be prevented when you seek the help of an expert mechanic. They can ensure the readings you get are true.
4. You Won’t Enjoy Better Fuel Economy
As it is, the prices of fuel have skyrocketed. As you contemplate adding a leveling kit, you must confirm if you are up to this task. By adding a leveling kit, you will be changing the profile of your vehicle.
This means that the Tacoma will receive more wind resistance and require more power to push through.
As a result, you can forget about better fuel economy. A leveling kit will force your engine to perform more than expected, putting a dent in your pocket when it comes to fuel prices.
5. You Will Void the Warranty
The reason why mods are added to used cars is that they have no warranty. If you have bought a new Tacoma and want to add spacers, you need to think twice before moving on with this project.
Spacers are not authorized modifications that should be added to a car. When you consult your dealer, they will advise you to steer clear of leveling kits.
However, since car owners love to do what they want, leveling kits are being installed all the time. But at the expense of voiding the warranty.
Should anything happen to your car’s suspension, the manufacturer will not be liable to make any repairs. Everything will be at your own cost.
When you also consider the fact that leveling kits accelerate wear and tear in the suspension system, you should be more mindful of adding this modification to your car.
6. You May Not Notice a Significant Change in Ride Height
The main reason why people add leveling kits to their Tacomas is to get a meaner stance. There is something about cars with higher ground clearance. They look aggressive and will leave heads turning wherever you go.
Unfortunately, a leveling kit isn’t the best solution if you want a significant boost in ground clearance. That can only be achieved by installing a full suspension lift kit.
If you want to see how much ground clearance you can get from a leveling kit, picture three inches long objects. Good examples include a credit card, half of a one-dollar bill, or a nail.
A three inches lift isn’t much. And you may be disappointed when you realize that your leveling kit hasn’t made much change to the ride height.
Is a Tacoma Leveling Kit Pure Trouble?
The above are the six most common problems with using a leveling kit on a Tacoma. However, it’s not all bad. You can get certain benefits from installing a leveling kit in your Tacoma. They include;
• You can upgrade to bigger wheels. If you have always fancied going a wheel size higher, a leveling kit provides you with the opportunity to do so.
• With a leveling kit, you will increase the height of the front of the truck. That will allow you to operate equipment such as running a plow at the front of the car.
• You can remedy a truck that is sagging at the back. This is more common in older models.
• By leveling your Tacoma, you will enjoy better braking around corners or when making a stop.
• While lifting the Tacoma, you will also be increasing the ground clearance of the running boards.
Should I Level My Toyota Tacoma?
There is much to consider when leveling the Toyota Tacoma other than lifting the vehicle and getting a meaner stance.
You have to be considerate of the suspension and how different vehicle components will behave when exposed to such a change.
If you are willing to overlook these risks, you can go ahead with using a leveling kit on your car. However, make sure you invest in a quality leveling kit.