Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit (Stage 1) for 16+ Tacoma Review

I did quite a bit of researching on TacomaWorld forums on lift kits for my Tacoma and the Bilstein 5100 seemed like the most common upgrade people were doing, but I came across the Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit and it seemed like a pretty good alternative to the Bilsteins. There wasn't a whole lot of information out there so I contacted Eibach and spoke to Mark who was very knowledgeable and is a super cool dude. He owns a Magnuson supercharged Tacoma as well! After speaking with him he offered to give me a tour of the Eibach facility here in Corona, CA where they manufacture the parts. Yeah, they manufacture right here in Southern California. Along with the tour offering, he gave me a break down of the product and explained the differences between the Eibach kit and their competitors such as Bilstein. Oh and if you're interested I'll be posting photos from the tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing process from raw metal to coilover. Follow us to read more on that article.

Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit (Stage 1)
  • Value
  • Quality
4.8

Summary

  • Achieve up to 3″ front lift
  • 2.5″ rear lift with OME HD Dakar leaf springs (not AAL)
  • No UCA required; alignment within OEM spec
  • Great alternative to the popular Bilstein 5100
  • Less than $600 for full kit

Why Do I Want A Tacoma Lift Kit?

In simple answer: clearance. When it comes to off-road, clearance is probably the most important upgrade because of the functionality and experience you can get with a little more chassis clearance. I upgraded to a 33" tire for more clearance, however it must be paired with a lift kit or else you'll start rubbing around the fender area. This is a common problem for those that upgrade to a bigger tire and retain the stock suspension.

Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

Which Lift Kit Should I Get?

There are tons of lift kits out there. You can get external reservoir coilovers from King or Icon and shell out a few thousand bucks or you can get kits that serve the function of just getting the desired height for clearance and improved ride quality. For me personally, I just want to get a lift for tire clearance and still retain the comfort. For most of us, we probably can't justify spending $5,000 on a set of Kings because we probably won't utilize anywhere near the full potential of those shocks.

So while I was researching for Tacoma lift kits I kept coming across the Bilstein 5100 paired with leaf packs, but then I came across these Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit which includes both front and rear shocks with front springs for $595 on Wheeler's Off Road. I ended up going with Eibach because of the value. When I say value, I am considering what's included in the product and the performance I can get out of it. The maximum height adjustability and Upper Control Arms (UCA) requirements were also a big factor. Usually when you lift your truck to around 3" you're going to need UCA to set your caster alignment to the correct specs. Although it varies per truck, the magic number seems to be 2.5" lift before you need UCA. This is according to research on TacomaWorld.

What is a Leaf Spring?

The leaf spring is simply a truck spring for the rear of the vehicle. Leaf's are usually not part of the shock kit, although some shock kits come with springs. There are two different types: add-a-leaf and an entire leaf pack. Add-a-lead is an extension or add-on to existing leaf packs which are known to have a rougher ride. I ended up getting the OME Dakar HD leaf packs which should give me another 2.5" lift in the rear. Leaf packs are responsible for height increase/decrease in the rear.

Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit Features and Specs

Although this kit is advertised as +2.0 in front and +0-1 in rear height adjustability, you can get more. Read to the bottom to see my final results. Here are the additional specs for the Eibach kit. Look at this big red box!

Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

  • 2.0 - 3.0" of lift or leveling
  • Fits 2016-18 Toyota Tacoma
  • Includes Pro-Truck Lift Springs and Pro-Truck Sport Shocks
  • Million-Mile Warranty
  • Made In U.S.A.

The front shock and spring components are taller than the OEM Bilstein TRD Off Road suspension. It comes with a new spring collar and a lock ring to adjust the height.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
An up-close view of the spring will show micro blasting texture which helps to strengthen the springs. The proper name for this procedure is called shot-peening. You can learn more about this process on this Wikipedia article.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The height can be set to 3 different positions by switching the lock ring to one of the 3 slots. The higher the lock placements, the more lift. I decided to set it to the middle or second clip. I was advised this was the best setting for my vehicle and other's that don't have a front bumper kit or heavy front end.

The photo reference below has the spring collar upside down to show the clip and how the collar sits on top of it. They guys at Eibach said it is very important to make sure the spring collar is seated the correct orientation or else you will damage your suspension. Scroll down towards the end to see the picture showing how the spring seat should be properly installed.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The bottom of the shock is definitely thicker than the OEM TRD Off Road shocks.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Top mount bushings are thicker than the OEM.

The rear shocks are reverse mounted to the OEM Bilsteins. On the left is the rear shock. The other side is the front shock.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The Pro-Truck kit was recently updated with strong lower shock mounts.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The bushings looks to be a little bigger than OEM, but has similar durometer or hardness as OEM.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Here is a side-by-side picture of the OEM Bilstein TRD Off Road front shock and Eibach Pro-Truck on the right. Notice the thicker shock tube housing.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Here is a side-by-side shot of the rear shocks. You can see how there are reverse mounted. I also like how the dust boot is sealed on the Eibach shock.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Here is the lock collar on the Eibach kit.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The spring collar on the OEM Bilstein is a lot thinner.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

Installing the Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit

I actually did my install at Eibach HQ. They offer installation services to Eibach products so it was a very cool experience getting to see the shop, show room and seeing them install it. Here is the spring compressor to install the top mount.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Here is the front shock/spring installed on the truck. Besides the front shock/spring do you see anything else that's not stock?
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
These! The kit also includes a sway bar bracket to space out the front sway bar so it doesn't hit the shock.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
And here is another angle of the installed shock.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
The rear shocks only took about 15 minutes to do both sides. The tire didn't need to come off at all. Just loosen the top and bottom mount. 2 bolts total!
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

Do I Need UCA? Alignment Time!

Alright so here's the nervous part. I decided not to install the UCA I had bought because the Eibach guys told me they designed it to work without them. So onto the alignment rack I went.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma  Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Boom! Perfect alignment. No UCA necessary and the caster was adjusted within OEM spec.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Here are the before and after measurements. The rear measurement didn't change because I didn't install the leaf pack yet, but I was able to get 2.75" raise in the fronts on the middle clip. That means 3" is definitely achievable for those that want it.
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma
Eiback Pro-Truck Lift Kit Review for Tacoma

Visit the Eibach Pro-Truck-Lift Performance Systems page to learn more.


Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

I was looking around to buy some rain guards, or also known as side window deflectors, for my 3rd gen 16+ Toyota Tacoma and I found one on Amazon from Auto Ventshade (AVS) with stellar review ratings so I purchased them. This is the in-window channel rain guards for the double cab. They have access cab versions as well. Check out the link at the bottom of the reviews section to see product.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector
  • Value
  • Quality
4.3

Summary

  • Only $43.59 on Amazon
  • 5-minute install
  • Serves same function as Weathertech
  • May require trimming to eliminate any chances of window regulator auto-stop safety

Why do you need rain guards?

The reason I wanted them was because I wanted to prevent water from dripping inside the car on the door cards when it rains or after mudding. In one particular case, I hit a few mud puddles and the mud water got all over the roof of the truck. When I went to open the windows the water started to drip down inside the cabin. Especially since the 3rd gen Tacoma's have the perforated door card texture it's a bit hard to clean once there are stains on the rubber material. Here is my installation and review of the Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

Installation of Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector

1. Inspect all of the items to make sure you have everything. You should have a Scotch-Brite pad and some alcohol prep pads along with the vent shades.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

2. Remove plastic tape from sides.Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

3. Scuff the inside of the rubber weatherstrip seal. The purpose of this is to clean and provide maximum adhesion with the double sided tape.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

4. Wipe down the sanded area with the provided alcohol wipes. I used a flat head to get in between the channel.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

5. Peel back the red double-sided tape and insert the front visor. Insert up into the window channel starting with the front of the visor. You'll need to angle the front down as shown in the picture below.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

6. Do the same for the rear windows.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

7. Done. Easy right? Keep windows rolled up for 24-48 hours for maximum tape cure time.

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review

Auto Ventshade Rain Guard Side Window Deflector for 16+ Toyota Tacoma Review


Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Projector Retrofit and BHLM DIY

HID project retrofit is becoming more popular and especially since the black head light mod (BHLM) is also another popular DIY project, it's a no brainer to upgrade your projectors while you're in there. In this guide I will walk through the steps to do a Toyota Tacoma HID Projector Retrofit and BHLM using Morimoto D2S 4.0 projectors from Lightwerkz.

I'm not going to walk through the steps to open up the headlights, but just a heads up that this DIY can be very difficult for first-timers as it requires you to open up the headlights which are sealed with very tricky permaseal. Everything in this DIY is after-the-fact you opened the headlights.

What is a HID/projector retrofit?

OEM 16+ Tacoma project on left; Morimoto D2s 4.0 on rightIf you look at the headlight beam on the newer cars, you'll notice a sharp cutoff line where the light ends opposed to the older halogen style headlights where it emits lights 180° all around. The new cars with the cutoff on the headlight is running a "projector" style headlamp. It's already a better option than any halogen style headlight, however it can be improved significantly. During a projector retrofit, the headlamp replaces the OEM projector with another OEM or aftermarket one.
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Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod
OEM 16+ Tacoma project on left; Morimoto D2S 4.0 on right

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Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod
Morimoto D2S 4.0 super wide beam pattern

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Parts Purchased for HID Retrofit

So let's get to it starting with the parts needed for this DIY. I didn't list the paint to spray the headlight if you are doing the BHLM, but here is the hardware for the projector retrofit DIY itself.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Quantity Part Cost Link
1 D2S: Morimoto Elite HID System w/ H11 Harness $160.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/d2s-morimoto-elite-hid-system.html
1 Bi-Xenon Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0 $90.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/bi-xenon-morimoto-mini-d2s-4-0-projectors.html
1 2016+ Tacoma to D2S 4.0/G5-R Brackets $70.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/retrofit-brackets/toyota/toyota-tacoma-d2s-bracket.html
1 D2S: Morimoto XB HID $50.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/hid-bulbs/d-series/morimoto-xb35-d2s-bulbs.html
2 High Beam Splitters H11 Male > H11/9006 Female $5.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/high-beam-splitters-248.html
1 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma Switchback DRL LED Boards (optional) $140.00 https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/led-lighting/2016-2017-tacoma-switchback-board.html

1.Remove projector

1.1 After you open up the headlights you will have access to the projector housing, turn signal reflector and high beam reflector. Unscrew the 2 Phillips head on the high beam reflector and one Phillips head on the projector housing.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

1.2 On the backside of the headlight housing there is a small 10mm hex head nut which is used to adjust the cutoff line up and down. Unscrew this 10mm nut completely so the adjuster is completely detached.

1.3 Next there are 2 black pop clamps with 2 small tabs on each side. Press both sides to release each clamp. Now your projector housing can come out.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

1.4 Remove the 4 Phillips head screws on the back of the project housing to remove the OEM projector. There is a set of 4 identical Phillips head on the projector itself so don't get confused. Unscrew the 2 upper-most and 2 very bottom. You can now remove the OEM projector.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

2. Trim OEM housing

2.1 Next step is probably the most difficult part. The Morimoto D2S 4.0 (and most other aftermarket projectors) requires more clearance to make room for the bi-xenon switch that is located at the bottom of the projector therefore we need to trim a small amount on the housing. I outlined what I needed to cut.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

2.2 Using a rotary tool carefully cut off and trim the piece. Test fit the new projector to see if it clears. If not, trim the points in contact.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

3. Install bracket and new projector

3.1 Install the projector bracket with the original hardware and insert hardware for the new projector. I forget exactly which hardware I bought, but I got some extra bolts, nuts and washers.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

3.2 I also added a few washer on the top 2 mounts to even out the projector. Without the washers the projector tilts down.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

3.4 Tighten the projector with 4 nuts.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

4.5 The new projector should be sitting flush without any contact on the housing. Now you are ready to drop it back in the headlight housing!

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

5. Optional: Switchback DRL LED Boards

The Toyota Tacoma Switchback DRL LED Boards are optional, but I highly recommend it. The LED module switches to amber from white when the blinker activates. It's super easy to install as well.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

6. Optional: Black head light mod (BHLM)

Another cross over work is to do the BHLM for the TRD Pro look.

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

7. Reseal headlights and insert OEM grommets

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Additional images

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod

Toyota Tacoma HID Retrofit and BHLM Mod


Toyota Tacoma Bed Rack - MAX Modular

MAX Modular 10" TACO MAX Toyota Tacoma Bed Rack Review

I did a ton of shopping for Tacoma bed racks and I finally came to the conclusion that the MAX Modular TACO MAX 10" High Toyota Tacoma Bed Rack was the one for my 3rd generation 2016+ Toyota Tacoma.  My shopping criteria were:

  1. Functionality
  2. Price
  3. Quality
  4. Aesthetics

Tacoma Bed Rack Functionality

Is the height going to be high enough for a roof top tent to be high off the ground while it's low enough to have the tent flush with the roof for efficient MPG? What kind of attachments can I put on? Well don't worry because there are plenty of attachments for your high lift jack, bicycle carrier, fuel jugs, traction board and awning. You can also get a tonneau cover bracket for those that want to retain their cover.

Tacoma Bed Rack Price

I don't want to spend a ton on bed rack. Most of the racks I found were in the $900 range and some of them you have to pay an additional $100+ for shipping. This bed rack starts at $625 which is way cheaper than most brands.

Tacoma Bed Rack Quality

MAX Modular may be an unfamiliar name for some, but they are the same company as KB Voodoo who has a high reputation for quality in their products.

  • 12 gauge steel, CNC laser cut legs and crossbars
  • Fully bolt together, shipped disassembled, easy to put together
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Includes T-nuts for attachment to factory side rails
  • Black textured powder coated
  • Side Plates and Top Bars have adjustable positioning
  • Crossbars have holes for mounting bike fork mounts
  • 45" or 58" lengths

Toyota Tacoma Bed Rack - MAX ModularToyota Tacoma Bed Rack - MAX Modular

Tacoma Bed Rack Aesthetics

I wanted something that looked though with squared-off bars. Some of the other bed racks I saw had some Coke bottle cuts or cylinder bars everywhere. In addition I think the long bed 58" rack looks way better when it's stretched out to the trunk so I opted for that.


Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock

Pilot Rock Truck Trail Review

Pilot Rock Truck Trail is located in Souther California in the San Bernardino mountains and it is a 23.2 mile OHV trail with a beautiful view of Silverwood Lake. The trail is rated Moderate by AllTrails but it is very easy for beginners and some can even do it in 2WD. High clearance is recommended, but stock heigh off-road vehicles should make it no problem. The trail is pretty much open year-round and is great after a storm because of all the water that builds up. Towards the end of the trail there is a flooded area with about 2 ft of water so we had some fun! And as a bonus we had professional photographer Larry Chen shoot some epic photos of us and was nice enough to share with us!

Toyota FJ Cruiser @ Pilot Rock Ford Raptor @ Pilot Rock Ford Raptor @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Toyota FJ Cruiser @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot RockToyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Mitsubishi Montero (@gondirtin) @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock Mitsubishi Montero (@gondirtin) @ Pilot Rock Toyota Tacoma @ Pilot Rock


Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail

Toyota's Invade Cleghorn OHV Trail

The best part about going out on an off-road adventure is hanging out with fellow owners. We went up on a little trip over the weekend to Cleghorn OHV Trail up in the San Bernardino mountains with a group of Toyota owners. We have 3rd gen Tacomas, a few 4Runners and a TRD Pro Tundra who decided to meet up with us along the trail run. This was my first time ever going off-road with the new Tacoma and I had a blast. There was a sketchy moment on one of the trails because I didn't go through the by-pass. I would've skipped this obstacle but I didn't realize how tight it was going to be!

Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tundra @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota Tacoma @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail
Toyota 4Runner @ Cleghorn OHV Trail


Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

Picked up my 2018 Tacoma TRD Off-Road

I just picked up my 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road in Cement with leather seats and I got a whole bunch of plans coming for this truck. I mainly got this truck for the use of towing my track car to events, however I still wanted to do off-road/overland activities. I'm an outdoor person at heart so I really want to enjoy the lifestyle this truck has to offer. On this website, my purpose is to document my upgrades, build and anything I can do to help fellow off-road owners.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road