Toyota Tacoma owners who intend to modify their trucks in order to gain additional capability in an off-road setting often find themselves pondering a choice between a modest, conventional lift and a more involved long-travel suspension that would allow them to drive more aggressively on a wide range of terrain.
An often overlooked option, however, is what is known as a ‘mid-travel’ suspension system, a design that bridges the gap between basic lifts and expensive long-travel kits.
The iShock i6500 Mid-Travel Suspension Kit
One of the biggest names in mid-travel suspension kits is iShock, which offers its i6500 Mid-Travel kit for owners of 2005 and up Tacomas. The iShock i6500 kit comes with a set of extended travel coilovers for the front, extended travel nitrogen shocks for the rear (that feature a damping curve tuned to match the forward units), TIG welded chromoly upper control arms and one-inch rear lift blocks. It’s also possible to replace the shocks in the kit with FOX units as an option. The upper control arms feature a teflon lining for the uniball component, and a drop kit for the diff is included for those who own a four-wheel drive Tacoma.
Advantages Of The iShock Mid-Travel Kit
There are some very appealing reasons to consider going with a mid-travel suspension kit. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that drivers get almost all of the benefits of a long-travel setup without having to make serious modifications to their pickups.
“With a mid-travel system you reap the rewards of an aftermarket coil over but with the advantage of ‘extended travel’ obtainable by the use of aftermarket upper control arms,” says iShock’s Darren McGarvie. “It’s all a simple do-it-yourself, bolt-on system with no need for fiberglass fenders or costly fab work…not even a spring compressor tool.”
The iShock system retails for $1599.95, and can be installed by mechanically-inclined Tacoma owners over the course of an afternoon. The kit comes with everything needed to completely outfit a truck – there’s no need to scrounge for nuts, fasteners or other hardware to get the right fit.
Why Do I Want It?
Long-travel suspension systems are definitely an attractive Tacoma lift option, but they are also overkill for most casual off-roaders – not to mention expensive. The iShock mid-travel system is significantly cheaper, especially when considering the lack of modifications or expertise it requires during installation. Gaining an adjustable coilover setup with extended travel for just a bit more than a basic lift? Sounds good to us.