Taco SpecialStuffing Big Meats Under a Toyota Tacoma with
Pro Comp's New Six-Inch Lift
Toyota's recent redesign of the Tacoma was a risky move. After all, this plucky little pickup has developed such a following that it has the highest resale value of any small truck on the market. So would going bigger make it better?
Well, for the engineers at Explorer Pro Comp, it surely provided an opportunity to take things to a whole new level, literally. Previously the highest lift available was four inches, which only allowed for 32-inch tires, or maybe 33 inchers in a pinch.
With the new 2005/06 model, though, "Everything is different," points out Pro Comp's John Carrao, VP of Engineering. "It's a totally new design — stouter, more Tundra-like in the size and design of components, and similar to a full-size truck."
That meant starting from scratch on the design of a lift kit, but there was one good piece of news: "We found that our experience from working on the F-150 and Nissan lift kits carried over to the Toyota, especially in the area of shock rates."
Carrao explains that one of the most challenging aspects of developing a new lift kit is getting the ride and shocks optimized, which requires a lot of time hitting off-road trails. That may sound like fun, but for him it's hard work. "We spent more than 100 miles in the dirt, testing both big and little trucks together."
The resulting package is available in two versions. For the entry-level off-roader, the Stage 1 uses the stock shocks with a coil spacer. On the Runner, outfitted with 2.75-inch diameter coil-overs, Pro Comp monotube MX-6 shocks replace the stock units.
The lift will fit on either the 2WD or 4WD '05/06 Tacoma with any body style (except the lowered X-Runner). The 2WD requires installing one less bracket. The steering knuckles are 4.5 inches longer than stock, and the steering arm was slightly elevated to maintain the proper geometry.
For extra strength, the crossmembers are formed from 3/16-inch steel channel beam, reinforced with gussets. Bump-stop extensions, swaybar drop brackets, 2.5-inch cast-iron lift blocks, and an add-a-leaf set in the rear complete the package.