(approx) 6 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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Jake: Jake here for Extreme Terrain, and today I am taking a look at this Rough Country 3.5-inch Series II Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit for 2005 and newer 6-Lug Toyota Tacomas. If you're looking for a way to get more height, more clearance for larger wheels and tires, or even just to replace some worn-out suspension components on your Tacoma, this kit from Rough Country is probably going to appeal to you. It is nearly an all-inclusive kit, that will give you everything you need to make a pretty significant upgrade and a near-total refresh to your Tacoma suspension. It's gonna give you that really nice, aggressive stance, while maintaining similar levels of ride quality to stock, and it's a great compromise for the Tacoma owner who wants a little bit of everything.Now, since this is a 3.5-inch lift, you will, of course, get extra clearance to run larger wheels and tires. Rough Country states that you can fit 31s on your truck comfortably without any additional modifications, and you can see that they do fit nicely on our truck here. Now, you can squeeze some 33s on, but it is going to require some minor trimming. So just keep that in mind if you're looking at larger wheels and tires. And with that extra height, of course, is gonna come quite a bit of extra ground clearance. So, if you're planning on hitting the trails, the additional approach, departure, and break-over angles will definitely prove helpful, since this is a pretty significant lift over stock. Now, buckle up, because we got a lot to cover here.Now, starting up out front, you get a set of new upper control arms. These are heavy-duty arms, and as you can see, they include new Clevite rubber bushings and new ball joints already in and set to go. So it's gonna refresh the front end quite a bit, and it will make a big difference when it comes to absorption of impacts out on the road. These are made of forged aluminum, so they're pretty lightweight, but they have a lot of structural integrity, enough to hold up to whatever abuse you can throw at them out on the street or the trail. And you might have also noticed by this point that the ball joints are angled to accommodate the additional ride height. This is something that Rough Country does with a lot of their kits. So, despite adding quite a few inches up front, these are gonna keep things pretty close to your factory suspension geometry, which, again, is gonna help maintain that factory ride quality, and provide you with a full range of motion, so you can take advantage of that added ride height.Now, to achieve that lift, you get a set of Rough Country's N3 lifted struts. Now, these are really kind of the star of the show, especially up front. As you can see, they come fully assembled right outta the box, so all you need to do is bolt them in. The N3 shocks are nitrogen-charged, and they feature infinitely variable damping, so it's gonna give you a smooth, almost-stock ride quality. Such is the name of the game here. However, these are also designed specifically for lifted applications, so the damping is tuned to keep the ride smooth out on the road, while doing a good job of absorbing impacts and controlling rebound out on the trail. They have this massive 1 and 3/8-inch bore, and a hardened chrome piston rod, which you might be able to see through the springs here. So they're gonna stand up to the elements quite well, too.Now, that nitrogen charging we were talking about does help with heat dissipation as well. So, even under more aggressive off-roading conditions, a bunch of really quick-succession bumps, these shocks aren't gonna suffer from fade, so that means you can use them to their full extent without having to worry about that fade, or losing control of the truck. Out back, you've got a set of brand-new leaf springs that are gonna give you that additional height, while keeping things in control. As you can see, these are a multi-leaf setup, and they have spring pads included as well, so they're gonna do a good job of dealing with the impacts, while not compromising the ride quality. They also come with the bushings already installed, kind of like your control arms up front, and the leaves are tapered at the ends for improved flexibility, which, again, is all gonna add up to a smoother ride.Out back, you also get a set of Rough Country's V2 monotube shocks to help keep everything in check, and again, maintain that good ride quality. Like the N3s up front, these are also nitrogen-charged, but they utilize a slightly different floating piston design that's gonna keep the nitrogen and the shock oil separated. This means that they're gonna respond really fast, but they won't suffer from cavitations or bubbles popping up in the fluid, which is good because, as you probably know, fluid compresses a lot slower and a lot more consistently than air. So you're gonna get that smooth ride, fast heat dissipation, and solid damping performance out on the trail. Now, as I already mentioned, these are a monotube design, so there is, as you can see, no external reservoir. Now, they're not quite Baja-ready, but they are still pretty strong. The bodies are made of T6061 brushed aluminum, and the coolest part, you might have noticed already, by the way, I'm holding it, is that these mount inverted.So, while most shocks are gonna mount with the body towards the ground, these mount the opposite way, with the piston facing down and the body of the shock closer to the body of the truck itself. Now, having inverted shocks is great for impact resistance because they add strength against lateral forces. So when you're out there hitting bumps, where the impacts are going is gonna be up here closer to the body of the truck. So this isn't gonna move around as much as if it were a conventional shock with the piston up top. The big body keeps everything aligned, and it's just by nature gonna do a really good job of absorbing the impacts, just because of the size of it. Plus, hardcore off-road racers tend to run inverted shocks on their rigs, and who wouldn't want a little connection like that on their own truck?Now, to top all that off, you also get brand-new hardware to get things bolted in, including new U-bolts and a set of differential spacers. Now, despite these being the smallest thing I've got here on the table, this is about the hardest part of the job, but it means that Rough Country thought this through. It's very easy to find cheaper, less-inclusive kits out there, but they're gonna add up to a much bigger compromise in the ride quality of your truck. I know I keep stressing it, but this is gonna give you everything you need to do the job, and you can go in knowing that it's not gonna make the truck undrivable. In fact, even with this extra height, I would say that a Tacoma running this setup would still very much be able to be driven comfortably every day.Now, as far as pricing goes, complete kits like this do not exactly come cheap. I mean, look at all that you're getting here. This one is gonna come in around $1,700, so it is gonna cost you a bit. However, again, this is a nearly totally inclusive kit, that has pretty much everything. It's everything you need to get the job done. Not only is it a lift, but it's most of the way to a complete suspension rebuild too. So you're getting that added height, the really nice high-quality shocks and springs both front and rear. And when you look at it from that perspective, I really do think that you're getting a lot for your money.Now, when it comes to the install, this one is gonna get a 3 out of 3 on our difficulty meter, and you should plan on it taking upwards of six hours to get everything completed. The reason for that rating is that there is a little bit of trimming to do, and you also have to remove those aforementioned differential bolts to get these spacers in. However, again, the nice part is that since you have these front struts already assembled, there's no need for a spring compressor, so it's pretty darn close to a bolt-in install. You can certainly do this in your driveway, especially if you're comfortable with doing suspension work, but do plan on it taking you some time. And if you're not so comfortable with suspension work, professional installation is always an option. And once you've got it all said and done, make sure that you get your truck aligned. Since you're replacing so much of the suspension, things are gonna be a little outta whack. So get everything bolted in, give it a day or so to settle, and then go take your truck for an alignment, and everything should be set to go. And with all that said, let's head over to the install bay now, where we'll show you how to get this set up on your Tacoma.Male Speaker: Tools required for this install include a 1/2-inch impact gun, a 3/8 impact gun, a 1/2-inch air gun, a ratchet, a pry bar, a clip remover tool, a pair of needle nose pliers, a hammer, a 14, 15, and 17-millimeter ratcheting wrench, a 17 and 19-millimeter wrench, a couple extensions, a couple swivel adapters, a 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22-millimeter sockets, as well as pole jacks or jack stands.What's up, guys? Today we're installing a lift kit on our Tacoma. So let's get started. So, our first step's gonna be to remove our tie rod. So, we have a cotter pin up here that we'll take a pair of needle nose pliers, bend it back straight so we can pull it out, and then we'll remove our nut to get our tie rod off. So, now we can remove our castle nut with a 19-millimeter socket, and then we're gonna leave it on a couple threads, so that we can bang on the side of the knuckle to release our ball joint. And then we'll take a hammer to hit the side of the knuckle right here, to pop our ball joint out of place. And then we can remove our nut, slide that out of the way. So, now we can tackle our sway bar end link. This is gonna be a 17-millimeter nut holding that in. We'll take a 17-millimeter socket on an impact gun to get that off.So, now we can remove our brake line brackets. So, the one on the upper control arm is gonna be a 10-millimeter. So I'm gonna grab a 10-mill socket and get that off. And we'll put our bolt back so we don't lose it. And now, our bottom one's gonna be right above our caliper. This one's gonna be a 12-millimeter. Wiggle our bracket out of place, and we'll throw that bolt back in its hole as well. So now, moving to our upper control arm ball joint, we're gonna go ahead and remove this cotter pin. Now, this one's a little different than the tie rod cotter pin. This one goes straight through, and then it has a hook-around. So we can grab it with some needle nose, and pull that out. Now we can remove our castle nut. It's gonna be a 19-millimeter, and we'll leave it a couple threads on, so that we can do the same thing with our ball joint, tap the spindle to pop it out. And then we'll get our hammer and strike the side of our spindle. Now we can pinch down and fully remove our nut. So, at this point, you're gonna want to get caught up on the other side, doing the same thing. The reason being, we'll be able to move our sway bar out of the way of our strut assembly, so that we can get it out. So now, coming to the top of our strut, we can go ahead and remove our three 14-millimeter nuts. Now, it's gonna be easier if you tackle the one in the back first, so that's what we're gonna do.You got a 14-millimeter ratcheting wrench on that, and once you get a couple turns, you'll be able to get it out by hand. If you were to do these first, then it wouldn't be loose enough on the back to get it out by hand, because the whole thing would be weighing down. So, now with our back one out, we'll do the same thing for the fronts. So, now we're gonna remove our lower strut bolt. So, I'm gonna get a 19-millimeter wrench on the bolt head, and a 19-millimeter socket on our nut. And we can remove our nut and washer, remove our bolt, and then we can remove our whole strut assembly.So, our next step is to remove our splash shield. So, we're in the fender well of our passenger front wheel. So, we can take a 10-millimeter socket to remove these two bolts on the inside, and then we'll do the same thing on our driver's side fender well. And now we can come back to the front side, right below our bumper. We have seven more 10-millimeter bolts to remove, to remove our splash guard. So next, we can remove our four 12-millimeter bolts that are holding in our skid pan. So, we'll grab a 12-millimeter socket and take these off.So now, with our skid plate removed, we're gonna be looking at our driver's side skid brace. Now, we're gonna be installing a spacer on our differential mount here. So it's gonna pull it down a little bit, and we need to make clearance for it. Now, ours was already cut out for a previous video, but you're gonna have to take a reciprocating saw or a cutoff wheel, remove the four 17-millimeter bolts that hold the skid brace in place, make your cut, clean up the edges, and then, if you want to, you can add a little bit of black spray paint in here, just to make sure you can prevent the rust. So now, once we have our skid plate removed, we're gonna be coming over to the driver's side skid brace. Now, we have a lip here that's gonna block our differential mount once we put our spacer in here. So we're gonna have to cut some clearance. Ours was already cut in a previous video. However, Rough Country recommends that you go 4.5 inches from the backside of the skid brace, and an inch up from the bottom on the right-hand side when you're facing the front of the car.So, we're gonna remove our four 17-millimeter bolts on this skid brace and our three 17-millimeters on our passenger side skid brace, and we can remove those. So now, we're gonna have to go ahead and put a pole jack on our front differential. And then we're gonna remove our bolts on both of our mounts. We're gonna be sliding in our spacer, to correct our angle for our axle. So, it's a 22-millimeter bolt on the bottom, a 19-millimeter nut up top. So, we'll get the pole jack on it, loosen up these bolts, slowly lower our pole jack until we get enough clearance to slide our spacer in. And then we'll be using the bolt that comes with our kit. It's gonna be a little bit longer, to account for the space that our spacer takes up. And then we have a locking nut and some washers in our kit as well. So, now we can go ahead and loosen our bolts. We're gonna do this about halfway first, so that we can lower down our pole jack. And then we're gonna do one side at a time. So, I'll get my 19-millimeter wrench up top, and 22-millimeter socket, to loosen this up.So now, our driver's side mount is being a little stubborn, so I'm gonna get in there with an air hammer. It's, again, 19-millimeter wrench up top, 22-millimeter socket. So, the last step of our front uninstall on the wheel well is gonna be to remove our upper control arm. So, we have these two little covers that we have to remove. They've both got five little push clips on both sides. So, we can grab a clip remover tool and pop these out. And with those removed, now we have a lot of access to remove our bolt. So, now we can remove our upper control arm bolt. So, we can get a 19-millimeter wrench on our bolt side and a 19-millimeter socket on our nut side to get this off. So, next comes the fun part of removing our bolt. Now, it's gonna have to go this way, up behind the metal of the fender. You might have to get a pair of vice grips to help bend back this metal, to slide it out.So, now that we have our bolts loosened up, we can go ahead and lower our pole jack to get that gap here. And then we'll do one side at a time. Now, we'll loosen this side a little bit more, just to get a little more clearance. Now we can slide in our spacer. We're gonna be reusing the large washer from our stock hardware. So, put that up. And then we have one of the washers included in our kit. That's gonna go over our bolt. We'll line up our spacer. And then we're gonna grab another washer for the top, and throw our locking nut on. So, now we'll do that same thing on this side. So, we'll take our new bolt, with our washer included in the kit, and our large washer from our stock hardware. And then we'll slide our spacer into place, line up our hole, and then we'll get our washer and our locking nut on the top side. So, now we can go ahead and raise up a little bit on our pole jack and tighten down our hardware. Now, our new bolt is gonna be switching from a 22-millimeter to a 19-millimeter, and the top nut is gonna stay the 19-millimeter. So I'll get a 19-millimeter wrench on top, a 19-millimeter socket, and tighten this bolt down. And then we'll do the same thing on this side.So now, to install our new upper control arm, we're just gonna do the opposite of what we did to take it out. So first, we're gonna get our bolt snaked back there, and then we can put it into our upper control arm. So now, our bolt's getting caught up on our harness here, so we're just gonna push back on that, and continue to slide our bolt through. And then we can get our washer and our nut back on the other side. Be reusing the factory hardware on the other end. And then we can come back in with our 19-millimeter socket and a 19-millimeter wrench to tighten this down. So next, we can install our strut. Now, this can only go in one way, so you can't get it backwards. We're gonna have one stud towards the back, two studs to the front, and make sure that our bottom piece is straight. And now we can install the three nuts that come with our struts on the top. Next, we can install our factory hardware in our lower strut mount. Now, you might have to use a pry bar to get this to line up nicely.So, now that we've got our bolt poking a little bit through the hole on the other side of our mount, I'm just gonna take a hammer, just to tap that the rest of the way through. And then we can get our nut and our washer, and put it on the other side of our bolt. And we're just gonna leave that loose for the time being, until we reconnect our knuckle to our upper control arm. So, now we can reconnect our knuckle to our upper control arm. Now, I have a pry bar here wedged in between the top of the upper control arm and the coil on our strut. That way, we can pull down on the upper control arm to make our connection. Once we've got everything in place, we can take our included locking nut that comes in the kit to tighten that down. So, we'll pop off our thread protector, and then once we have some threads coming through, we can thread on our nut. And then we can take our 21-millimeter socket to tighten down our nut.So, now we can tighten down our lower strut mount. So, we'll get a 19-millimeter wrench on the bolt side and a 19-millimeter socket on our nut side, and tighten it down. So next, we can come to the top of our strut tower and finish threading on our nuts. And then we can take a 15-millimeter ratcheting wrench to tighten these down. So, now we can reconnect our brake line bracket to our upper control arm. We get a nice, new 10-millimeter bolt in our kit. So, we'll just line that up and thread our bolt in. And then we'll tighten that down with a 10-millimeter socket.So, now I've got a pole jack on our lower control arm, to push our knuckle up a little bit, so that we can get our tie rod back into our knuckle. And then we can put our factory nut back on the top, and we'll remove our pole jack. And then we can take our 19-millimeter socket to tighten down our nut. And now, once we have our castle nut tightened down, you can take a wrench, a 19-millimeter, to turn it, to get it to line up with our hole that we can put our cotter pin through. And I'll slide our pin through, and we'll bend back the edges, so that it can't go anywhere. And now, at this point, we can catch up on the other side, so that we can have our sway bar free, and put it in much easier.So now, once we're caught up on our other front side, we can reconnect our sway bar end link. And we'll reinstall that factory 17-millimeter nut, and then tighten that down with a 17-millimeter socket. Now we can reinstall our trim piece, by just pushing all the clips back into their holes. And now, finally, we can reconnect our brake line bracket to our knuckle. And we can tighten that down using a 12-millimeter socket. And then we can repeat that same process on the other side.So now, to wrap up the front, we just need to reinstall our skid plate, as well as our splash guard. So, we'll start by raising up our skid plate and getting it onto our hooks. And then we can insert all of our 12-millimeter bolts. And then we can just grab our 12-millimeter socket to tighten these down. And now we can reinstall our splash guard. So, we'll reinstall our 10-millimeter bolts. And then now, once we have our bolts on the front side of our splash guard hand-tight, we can take a 10-millimeter socket to finish tightening them up. And now, coming back behind our bumper, we can insert our last two bolts. And then, once again, we'll tighten those down with our 10-millimeter socket. And then we can do the same thing on the other side.So now, coming to the back, our first step's gonna be to remove our shock. And we have a 17-millimeter bolt with a 17-millimeter nut. So we'll get a 17-millimeter wrench on the bolt head side and a 17-millimeter socket on an impact gun on the nut side. And then we can slide our bolt out, and then we can work on our top. So now, we have a 14-millimeter nut on the top. However, if you get a wrench on here, the whole shaft likes to spin with it. So we're gonna get a vise grip, put it up here, all the way at the top, and then use the open-ended side of a 14-millimeter wrench to spin that nut and get this free. So, now we can get our vise grip on up top, and we'll get that resting against the frame rail to give us some resistance while we get our open-ended wrench on our nut. And once we have our nut removed, slide off our hardware. Now we can remove our shock. So, we'll go ahead and wiggle at the bottom, and then we can slide it right out through the top. So, now we can come over to the passenger side and do the same thing on this shock. It's gonna be that same 17-millimeter wrench on the bolt head side and a 17-millimeter socket on the nut side. And we can fish our bolt through.So now, coming to the top, we're gonna have to do this a little bit differently than the other side. We don't have enough to grab onto up top, so we're gonna be coming from the bottom. So, we'll get our vise grips, try to feed them through, get that nice and tight, and then we can work on our nut up top. And then we can get this shock out of here. So now, once we have our shock removed, we can disconnect our two brackets that are holding our e-brake cable. So, the ones towards the front of the car, it's gonna be a 12-millimeter. So we'll grab a 12-millimeter socket to pop that guy out. Now, the one towards the rear of the truck is gonna be a 13-millimeter bolt. So we'll grab a 13-millimeter socket to get this one out. So now, with our axle tube safely supported by a pole jack, we can remove our four 19-millimeter nuts that hold our leaf spring to our axle. So we'll be using a 19-millimeter socket on this, going in a crisscross pattern, to remove these. So now, with our nuts removed, we can remove our U-bolts. And now, with our pole jack, we can start to slowly lower our axle, to separate it from the leaf spring. And now we can work on removing our leaf spring.So, now we can work on removing our leaf spring. So, we're at our frontmost mount right here. We have a 19-millimeter bolt and a 19-millimeter nut. So, we can take a 19-millimeter socket on the bolt side and a 19-millimeter wrench on the nut side. We're gonna remove our nut, but leave our bolt in there, just to hold it in place for now, until we get the other side done and we can remove the whole thing. Now, coming back to our rearmost leaf spring mount, we can see that we have a bolt going this way, and a big piece of metal back here. So if we remove this nut, we won't be able to pull our bolt out. So we're gonna have to unbolt it by the shackle here. So, it's gonna be the same thing as the front mount. We'll get a 19-millimeter wrench on the bolt head side this time, and a 19-millimeter socket on our nut side. So, now that we have our nuts removed from our leaf spring, now's a good time to grab yourself a buddy. I got my buddy Mark here, and one's gonna go on each side, pull the bolt out, and then we can remove our leaf spring. So now, with our stock leaf spring removed from the truck, we need to transfer over our shackle onto our new leaf spring. Now, we have a Rough Country logo on one side of our leaf spring. The shackle's gonna be going on the side opposite of that. So, we can [inaudible 00:32:33] our shackle. We have a 19-millimeter nut and a 19-millimeter bolt that we can remove to transfer it over.So, now we can pull out our bolt, and we'll put that straight onto our new leaf spring, in the correct orientation. And now we can add our washer and our nut to the other side. And then we'll grab our 19-millimeter wrench on the nut side and 19-millimeter socket on the bolt side to tighten this down. So now, the last thing we have to do before we can get our new leaf spring into the truck is to remove our U-bolt perch. So, I'll just pop right on, and then it'll sit on our new one once we got it all installed. So now, once we have our shackle transferred over, you can grab your buddy to help you lift the leaf spring back into place. So now, with our leaf spring back in the truck and our bolts through, we can install our washers and our nuts on the other side. And now, once we have our nuts installed on both sides, we can tighten those down using that same 19-millimeter wrench and 19-millimeter socket. So now, with our leaf spring installed, we can raise up our axle to get the pin in our leaf spring to go into the hole in our axle tube. And then once we have that done, we can take our cap that we took off of our factory leaf spring and put the hole right over this nut on top of our leaf spring. And now we can take our U-bolts that are included in our kit and drop them on either side of that cap.And then we'll go back under the axle and put our bottom plate on and get our nuts started. So, now we can take our bottom plate and slide our U-bolts through the holes. And then once we have our plate in place, we can take a washer and a locking nut on each of our posts. And then once we have our nuts hand-threaded on, we can start to tighten them down in an X pattern, using a 22-millimeter socket. So, our next step is to assemble and install our shock. Now, we have two different types of plates. There's one with a hole that'll fit right over our stud. That's gonna go on the bottom, with the lip pointed up. And then we can get our rubber isolator that has the little protrusion coming off of it. That little protrusion is gonna go up. And then we'll get our plate with the bigger hole. That's gonna go on top here, with the lip facing down. So now, with that assembled, we're gonna get it into our lower mount first. So, we'll grab our bolt, slide it into that mount, and we'll slide our bolt through the bottom to hold that into place. And then we can compress down on our shock, to get it up through that hole.And then we're gonna be putting our flat isolator on top, another one of our plates with the small holes. This time, the lip will be facing down. And then our locking nut on top. So, now we can come back down to our lower mount and get our washer and our nut on the other side. And then we can grab a 17-millimeter wrench for our bolt side and a 17-millimeter socket for our nut side to tighten this down. So now, once we have our lower shock mount tightened, we can come back up to the top with a 17-millimeter ratcheting wrench to tighten down our nut. So next, we can reconnect our e-brake cable. So, we put in this little tab in the hole up top, and then threading our bolt back into that hole. Now, once we have that bolt threaded in by hand, we can take a 12-millimeter socket to tighten it down.Now, our other e-brake cable bracket doesn't have any receiving holes for our factory bolt. So what you could do is you can slide this, you could zip-tie it somewhere up out of the way, or if you'd want to, you can cut it off, so you don't get that metal banging around while you're driving. So now, once you've installed everything on this side, you can do the same thing on the other side.So, that'll wrap up this review and install of the Rough Country 3.5-inch Series II Lift Kit with V2 Monotube Shocks and Rear Leaf Springs, for your 2005 and newer 6-Lug Tacoma. Thank you for watching, and for all things Tacoma, keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
|Lift Height||3.50 Inch|
|Lift Kit Type||Suspension Lift|
|Lift Kit Max Tire Size||33 Inch|
|Lift Kit Includes Shocks||Shocks Included|
Rough Country 74272
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 6 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
What's in the Box
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