We have an '01 Toyota Tacoma we are going to build for Ultimate Adventure this year, and we have some very extensive plans for the truck over the next few months. But rather than just jumping straight into the extreme high-dollar axle swaps, we decided to start with some mods that would make the truck look better and improve its off-road prowess right off. Seeing as how we can never leave good enough alone, we decided to install a suspension kit on the truck so we could go play. It just so happens that Tuff Country has a new 5-inch suspension kit for Toyota Tacomas, and BFGoodrich has some new 33-inch All-Terrain tires we wanted to test. So after a few calls, we tracked down a shop to get the work done, got some shiny wheels for our truck, and got started on some Tacoma testing. If you're looking for the most extreme suspension and tires for your truck, then this isn't it. On the other hand, if you want to give your truck a wicked new look and improve the off-road ground clearance while retaining that stock ride quality, then this recipe for improvement is for you. We took our '01 Toyota Tacoma to Off Road Warehouse in El Cajon, California, and worked with their techs for two days to install the kit. It was the first 5-inch Tuff Country Tacoma kit they had installed, and one of the first built, so it took a little while longer than usual to get all the holes lined up and parts bolted together.We took our '01 Toyota Tacoma to Off Road Warehouse in El Cajon, California, and worked wi Though possible to install in a well-tooled home garage, we would recommend taking the kit to a qualified shop if you have any doubts. The disassembly of the IFS is not exactly hard, but having some airtools, a lift or quality jackstands, and a person or two to help is almost required.Though possible to install in a well-tooled home garage, we would recommend taking the kit With the front differential removed, a portion of the lower rear A-arm mount needs to be cut. There is a new lower subframe that will support the front differential, and to clear where the differential will sit, the old supporting crossmember must be trimmed as per the instructions.With the front differential removed, a portion of the lower rear A-arm mount needs to be c In addition to the rear crossmember being removed, a section of the driver-side rear support also needs to be cut away to clear the hydraulic lines for the rack-and-pinion steering. We actually had to cut more than the instructions said to, but since the new subframe is tied into the brackets at four places, we were not concerned.In addition to the rear crossmember being removed, a section of the driver-side rear suppo The new lower subframe was a tight fit, and possibly due to the abuse the truck received from the previous owner, we had to pry and pound on it to get all the bolt holes to line up. Remember not to torque all the bolts down until they are at least all started. Another thing to be careful of is which bolts go where-the instructions are very specific, and though some bolts are similar is size, the lengths may be different by 1/2 inch, or you'll have bolts bumping into an axleshaft.The new lower subframe was a tight fit, and possibly due to the abuse the truck received f The front suspension doesn't affect the stock ride quality, because rather than replace the coils and shocks, you simply add a spacer to lift up the truck, and longer spindles. Another benefit of the Tuff Country kit is that the factory-style ball joints come already pressed into the spindle.The front suspension doesn't affect the stock ride quality, because rather than replace th The old standby lift block raised the rear suspension of the truck. We did notice some spring wrap from the stock, worn-out springs, and the block only added to that, though we feel it wouldn't have been so bad had the springs been in better shape.The old standby lift block raised the rear suspension of the truck. We did notice some spr With the kit installed, we mounted up a set of the new BFGoodrich LT285/55R20LRD All-Terrain TA tires on Ultra Wheel Stargazer 20x9 wheels that measure roughly 33 inches tall. When we went to put the tires on the truck we found that the tires rubbed the spindle and couldn't be completely mounted. We found that a minimum of 4 1/2 inches of backspacing is needed to clear.With the kit installed, we mounted up a set of the new BFGoodrich LT285/55R20LRD All-Terra We went with a set of 1-inch wheel spacers from Kartek to get the wheels and tires to clear on the front. Always be sure to retighten the spacers after your first 300 miles or first tank of gas.We went with a set of 1-inch wheel spacers from Kartek to get the wheels and tires to clea We wanted to test the new 20-inch tires against some more common 33-inch tires on 16-inch rims, so we brought along an extra set of BFGoodrich All-Terrains on 16x8 Ultra Wheels for our dirt testing. We will eventually come back and re-examine this comparison in a few months, but our initial review of the tires, wheels, and suspension is as follows: The Tuff Country 5-inch kit is a solid kit, and after a small wrestling match to get it on, we found the ride quality did not diminish from stock. The 33-inch BFGoodrich tires did rub just a little on the back edge of the plastic fender liner, but this could have easily been fixed by installing some replacement factory springs in place of our tired front struts, or just trimming the plastic back an inch.We wanted to test the new 20-inch tires against some more common 33-inch tires on 16-inch As for the 20-inch tires, some of the staff really like it, others don't. The 20s definitely weigh more than the 16s and also transmit more road surface feel to the driver seat, but also seem to corner as well if not better.As for the 20-inch tires, some of the staff really like it, others don't. The 20s definite SOURCES BF Goodrich Tires 877-788-8899 www.bfgoodrichtires.com Tuff Country www.tuffcountry.com Kartek kartek.com Ultra Wheel www.ultrawheel.com Off Road Warehouse www.offroadwarehouse.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!