Accessories & Gear / Lift Kits

A DIY ToyTec 3” Tacoma Lift Kit Installation Guide

ToyTec devotes their energy to producing lift kits, leveling kits, and suspension accessories exclusively for Toyota trucks and SUVs.  Colorado made and tested in the rugged Rocky Mountains, their products are readily used by dealerships and four-wheel shops around the country.

When Mountain States Toyota decided to deck out a stock Tacoma V6 SR5, the 3” ToyTec lift kit was at the top of the list.  Auto technician Max Fortarel took us back into the shop and answered our questions as we photographed and filmed the install.  Even if you’ve purchased a different ToyTec kit, this may benefit you since many of the steps will be the same.  In order, here are the steps for installing the 3” lift kit from ToyTec on a 2005 or newer Tacoma:

How to Install ToyTec 3" Lift Kit

This isn’t a comprehensive guide, only an explanation of basic steps with photos and video.  If you’re unsure how to install your lift kit, consult a mechanic or the manufacturer to ensure property installation and safety.

ToyTec 3″ Lift Kit Installation Video

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How to Install the ToyTec 3” Lift Kit

Part 1: Installing the 3″ Front Lift Spacer Kit

The Front Lift Kit Contains (2) 2″ Spacers and (2) 1 inch spacers made of CNC-machined 6061 aluminum.  Aluminum is strong, light weight, and  does not require post-installation adjustment, making it superior to many kits that use urethane material for their spacers.

Step 1:  Gather your tools.  Park on a level concrete surface with the tires straight and the wheels locked in the center position.  Raise the vehicle to an easily accessible height and take the front wheels off.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 1: Raise the truck and remove the wheels

Step 2: Remove the skid plate.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 2: Remove skid plate & disconnect the control arms

Step 3:  Remove the 2 lower ball joint mount bolts and separate the ball joint from the spindle.  Lower the control arms.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 3: Remove the 2 lower ball joint mount bolts

Step 4:  Remove the top three nuts holding the coilover to the shock tower.  Take out the coil-over/strut assembly from the vehicle.  Make sure to note the alignment of the strut top-plate studs in relation to the lower shock hole before compressing the spring.  If this isn’t done properly, you’ll need to re-do the installation.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 4: Remove the coil-over/strut assembly from the vehicle

Step 5:  Compress the spring in the spring compressor.  You can rent one, but it’s easier and best to take your factory coil pack to a local shop and ask them to do it, as the rental spring compressors can be very dangerous.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 5: Compress the spring in the spring compressor

Step 6:  Remove the top nut, top plate, and rubber isolator.  Install the large main spacer (make sure to line up the OUT printed on the spacer with the OUT printed on the plate).  Remove the factory top plate studs and replace them with the longer studs provided.  Re-assemble the top plate, spacer, and rubber isolator, and place the smaller spacer on top of the coil over.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 6: Install the large main spacer

Step 7:  Attach the spacer assembly to the top of the shock.  Yours should look like this:

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 7: Attach the spacer assembly to the top of the shock

Step 8:  Put the shock with install spacer back in the truck.  Make sure to align the assembly using the mark you made earlier (Step 4).

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 8: Put the shock with install spacer back in the truck

Step 9:  Reattach lower control arms and reinsert lower shock absorber bolt. Then tighten upper strut bolts.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 9: Reattach lower control arm & reinsert lower shock bolt

Step 10: Repeat on the opposite site.

Part 2: Installing the ToyTec Rear 1.5” Block Kit

The Rear Lift Kit Contains (2) 1.5″ CNC-machined 6061 aluminum Blocks, (4) longer U-bolts, (8) washer, and (8) nuts.

Note: Some Tacoma enthusiasts will argue that by using a block to lift your truck is bad, as there’s a much greater risk of axle wrap when a block is used. While this is absolutely correct, axle wrap is rarely concern for the average truck owner. Until you start really straining the suspension system off-road, blocks are a perfectly reasonable method for adding lift to your truck as they’re cheap and they don’t change your vehicle’s ride.

ToyTec also offers add-a-leafs that can be used as an alternative to blocks for rear lift, but these still run the risk of axle wrap (albeit lesser) and they result in a much rougher ride.

Replacement leaf packs which add lift are also available (only not from ToyTec), and these are the best way to go if you’re concerned about wrap off-road…but if you’re concerned about wrap, you’re probably not installing a spacer lift kit, are you?

If all this business about spacer lift kits and leafs is a little confusing, please check out our Ultimate Guide to Toyota Tacoma Lift Kits, a comprehensive resource that should answer all your questions.

Step 11:  Remove the rear tires.  With your vehicle raised and supported, use a floor jack to relieve tension off the rear suspension.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 11: Use a floor jack to relieve tension off the shock absorbers

Step 12:  Remove the lower shock bolt and the factory U-bolts.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 12: Remove the lower shock bolt and the factory U-bolts

Step 13:  Insert the block between the axle and the bottom of the leaf spring.  You may need to loosen both axle bolts to allow enough room to insert the block.  If this is the case, disconnect the brake lines to avoid stretching them.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 13: Insert the block between axle & the bottom of the leaf spring

Step 14:  Install new provided U-bolts through the lower plate and install the washers and nuts on all four ends.  Torque to 80 ft/lbs.

ToyTec 3" Lift Kit Install Step 14: Install new provided U-bolts through the lower plate

Step 15: Repeat on opposite side.

The ToyTec 3” lift kit install is complete.  The process took just over 2 hours in the shop.

To finish up, make sure everything that came with the kit was installed with the kit, then lower the truck and take it for a test drive.  After 10 miles, re-torque all nuts and bolts and bring your vehicle into the shop for an alignment.

ToyTec’s kit is designed to raise the front of the Tacoma 3″ and the rear 1.5″.   The result is a leveled truck, raised 1.5” that looks a little sharper and than can now handle a set of 33″ tires without rubbing.

As always, before you buy a set of tires, check with your tire shop to make sure they’ll fit…only we have a good guide to Tacoma tire sizes here.

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  • Charlie Williams

    I had the Toytec lift installed on my truck and am well pleased with it. Although I went with another Toytec product (Ultimate Lift). Still got the same desired lift, however went with new coilovers and a new rear leaf pack. But still an awesome lift regardless. Very satisfied with it and the new 33″ tires on my truck!

  • Mike T

    nice step by step installation guide with picture .
    it helps me a lot .
    thanks .

  • will

    put the pics in your gallery and attach them to here from the site itself….