Toyota Tacoma Leaf Spring Upgrade Kits

Toyota Tacoma Leaf Spring Upgrade Kits

Over the course of its production, the Tacoma has become a go-to overland rig for adventurers across the globe. This can be attributed to many reasons; chief among them is the fabled Toyota durability.

The Tacoma’s powertrain can run forever if maintained properly and the chassis is ready to take a beating no matter what you decide to haul. But one place where it could use a bit more bolstering is the rear suspension.

3rd gen Tacomas tend to have undersized OE leaf packs, causing them to sag over time if pushed to the limit frequently. If you do a ton of hauling, sooner or later your rear suspension will no longer feel as compliant as it once did.

To avoid or remedy that, consider upgrading your leaf packs. In this article, we’ll discuss how this upgrade helps as well as highlight some of the best aftermarket leaf springs for your Tacoma.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Leaf Springs

Fresh leaf pack

Leaving heavy objects in your truck bed for weeks or frequently pushing the limits of your payload capacity will lead to worn-out leaf springs. Even though the OE leaf packs are durable, overworking them will certainly cause premature failure.

If you intend on hauling massive loads regularly or lifting your truck for whatever reason, you should consider upgrading your leaf springs.

Aftermarket leaf springs are stronger and more durable. They’ll provide your truck with the necessary support to take on towing challenges. Other benefits include:

  • Improved departure angle
  • Better ride quality
  • Less body-roll
  • Better off-road performance

It’s worth mentioning that aftermarket leaf springs won’t allow you to haul beyond what your Tacoma is rated for, since they aren’t the only component limiting your payload capacity. The idea is to prevent sag in the long run.

However, this may not apply if you have upgraded axles and a long-travel kit. It’s also worth noting that you might require additional upgrades such as driveshaft spacers and brake line extensions if you wish to lift any more than 2″.

With all that out of the way, let’s get down to our list of recommendations.

The Best Tacoma Leaf Springs

For this particular list, we’ll be focusing on leaf springs for the 2nd and 3rd-gen Tacomas since they’re cross-compatible.

Whether you’re building a serious overlander or a mall crawler, upgraded leaf packs are always a good idea. Find our top recommended brands below.

Deaver Expedition

Deaver Expedition leaf pack

One of the best leaf spring options on the market comes courtesy of Deaver Expedition. The kit is offered in 3 stages designed for varying payload capacities. They’re compatible with all 6-lug Tacomas, which includes anything between 2005 and 2023.

All 3 of their options include 9 leafs, with the strongest ones being able to support between 700 lbs to 1,000 lbs bed weight. The latter also includes separate sets of springs for the driver and passenger sides.

The higher leaf count permits the use of thinner material which makes for a more progressive leaf stack, providing a smoother spring rate curve throughout its range of travel.

The leafs are constructed using American-made 5160 steel, promising durability for the long haul. They’ve even included anti-friction pads between the leafs to lower NVH levels.

Deaver’s leaf springs also give you a 2-inch lift, which will slightly enhance your off-road performance, give you a better departure angle, and allow you to clear larger tires. Even with consistent and frequent heavy loads in the back, it is difficult to get the Deavers to sag.

For those of you who carry heavy payloads regularly or frequently take your Tacoma across Mother Nature’s worst, it’s tough to beat the Deaver leaf springs.

All-Pro Offroad

All-Pro Offroad leaf spring kit

Another great option for aftermarket leaf springs is All-Pro Offroad. They’ve been making and selling 4×4 parts for a long time and the Tacoma happens to be one of their specialties.

All-Pro Offroad makes leaf spring kits for all 3 generations of the Tacoma. Each of them features different variants that go by the names of Standard and Expedition. Gen 2 and 3 kits, however, have an additional Expedition 2.0 trim.

Note that the gen-1 kit for older Tacomas will require a few extra parts. You’ll need to relocate the front spring hangers 2″ forward and the rear shackle hangers 1″ backward from their stock configurations.

Gen 2 and 3 Standard kits contain 11 leafs (10+1 extra for overload + rebound) and provide a 3″ lift while the Expedition kit comes with 10 leafs and a 20% higher spring rate.

Gen 1 kits contain 8 springs total and feature the same spring rate characteristics as the gen-2 and 3 kits; 20% higher on the expedition kits.

It’s worth noting that the standard kits aren’t designed to support heavier payloads, instead, they’re biased towards providing more flex and better ride quality.

The heavy-duty Expedition kits, on the other hand, are rated to carry 1,000 lbs, making them the ideal choice for long-term expeditions.

Each of these leaf packs can be mounted in the original spring hangers. They also include extended U-straps and Teflon friction pads for better performance and longevity. For added durability, these leaf springs also feature a military wrap at the non-shackle eye.

Ride quality is on the firmer side on these springs, but they are very well put together and are exceptionally silent. They can also handle heavy loads consistently and without any sort of hesitation.

Ironman 4×4

Ironman 4x4 leaf pack

The name Ironman 4×4 is lesser known in comparison to the likes of Old Man Emu and Dobinsons, but they sure do punch above their weight with their aftermarket leaf packs for gen-2 and gen-3 Tacomas.

They’re constructed using top-tier American steel and feature two variants suitable for medium and heavy loads. However, on pure specs alone, Ironman 4×4 doesn’t really bring out the big guns when compared to the competition.

For starters, you cannot install these leaf springs on 2WD Tacoma models, so if you’re planning some sort of 2WD prerunner build, these aren’t for you. They also include only 7 or 8 leafs total depending on which spec you buy.

That might be fine for most applications, but if you need the extra support for hauling massive loads regularly, these might struggle a bit.

It should also be noted that the included polyurethane bushings are meant for the front and rear eyelets, so you’ll have to reuse your OEM rear shackles with their stock bushings to install these.

If you choose the heavier/stiffer spring, you’ll have to keep the bed constantly loaded for the best experience, or else the ride quality might be a bit too jarring. A minimum of 600 lbs of constant weight is recommended

General Spring KC

General Spring KC replacement leaf springs

What if you’re looking for a simpler leaf spring upgrade that’ll give you minimal lift and is more focused on increasing the payload capacity of your truck? General Spring KC has you covered with a hauling-focused leaf spring upgrade.

These promise a 2″ lift initially, but then settles down to a 1.5″ while also providing a much-improved ride and payload capacity improvements. Of course, if hauling heavier loads isn’t your thing, don’t worry, as General Springs has you covered there.

Apart from heavy-duty leaf springs variants, General Spring also offers leaf packs geared more towards off-road applications.

One major thing to keep in mind with these leaf springs is that you’ll have to compromise on the quantity front. Unlike other leaf packs, these include only 4 leafs, which applies to later Tacoma models.

For the earlier ones, from 2005 to about 2011, you have to settle for either 3 or 4 leafs. There’s one upside to all of this—General Spring KC leaf springs are very affordable.

If hauling loads while staying comfy and level to the ground is your top priority, then these are a pretty solid option. If you plan to traverse very challenging terrain though, your truck might feel out of its depth with these leaf packs installed.

Icon Vehicle Dynamics

Icon Vehicle Dynamics aftermarket leaf springs

Let’s say you want your leaf spring setup to be adjustable. Icon Vehicle Dynamics’ Multi-Rate RXT Leaf Pack could be right up your alley. This leaf spring setup is user-adjustable and offers multiple different spring rates for optimal performance, no matter the circumstances.

One of the ways you can achieve those spring rates is through this system’s modular setup. As standard, it comes with 8 leafs, but you can add the included additional one for heavier loads or a camper setup if you have one in the bed.

You’ll have to pair these up with a good set of shocks and Icon does offer those as well, but you can go for Fox, King or any other shock option that does the job for you.

If you drive off-road frequently, these can develop a little bit of a creak, but nothing that can’t be fixed with some dry film spray.

All things considered, this is a pretty good leaf pack, and they’re pretty competitively priced.

Rough Country

Rough Country leaf pack for Toyota Tacomas

Another contender in the entry-level range, Rough Country leaf springs promises a 3.5″ total lift, and they come with the U-bolts and new bushings. They also fit both 2WD and 4WD Tacomas, which is a great bonus.

However, the Rough Country leaf springs are a slightly different story compared to all the others we’ve included so far.

If you primarily drive your Tacoma on asphalt and you don’t carry huge amounts of stuff in the bed regularly, then these are worth considering. Especially if all you want is a bit of a lift for aesthetic reasons.

But, if you plan to do more extreme things with your Tacoma, like carry a camper shell or go off-roading semi-frequently, these won’t cut it. Their quality isn’t comparable to other leaf packs in this list, but then again, horses for courses.

ARB Old Man Emu

ARB Old Man Emu Tacoma leaf pack

ARB leaf springs are a very popular option in the Tacoma community and they tend to be a lot of people’s go-to leaf spring upgrade. Frankly, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, as this is a pretty high-quality offering.

They can improve sag issues on most trucks very easily, without needing to do any other super complicated repair jobs; their ride quality and ability to carry heavy loads are also pretty impressive.

2nd-gen Tacomas can expect a 2.75″ lift after the installation, whereas 3rd-gen trucks will have to make do with only 2″. One unfortunate downside of this kit is what’s included in the package.

Despite it starting at a little over $500, it doesn’t come with the 7.5″ U-bolts, which means you’ll have to buy them separately or get them fabricated.

The rear bushings aren’t included either, but luckily the company sells them separately. You will have to budget for them if you plan to pick up these springs.

If you can live with the slightly higher price and the lack of included supporting parts, the ARB/OME leaf spring kit for the Tacoma is worth considering.


Dobinsons leaf pack

It doesn’t get much more reputable than Dobinsons. While you may not hear the name very often, they’ve been in the business of manufacturing leaf springs for over 60 years.

They also include the U-bolts and bushings in the package, which is always a nice bonus. Unfortunately, Dobinsons leaf springs come with the “we’ve-been-doing-this-for-a-long-time” premium in the form of a heavy sticker price.

These leaf packs are very solidly put together with high-strength materials and world-class standards, and they’re pretty easy to install.

They’re also quite heavy-duty, as they lift the rear end by about 5 inches. Thanks to their high-strength construction, they’re ready to take on just about any sort of load, including camper shells and other things you might want to carry in your Tacoma.

They might be more expensive than most leaf springs on the market, but you certainly get what you pay for. High quality, durable construction, good lift, a good ride, very little to no noise, and the ability to carry just about anything without hassle.

Concluding Summary

If you want to upgrade the leaf springs on your 2nd and 3rd-gen Toyota Tacoma, the options and possibilities are plenty. There’s a leaf spring upgrade kit for just about any type of build, application, use case, and budget. Most lift kits and leveling kits will include these.

That being said, only a handful of these can truly come out on top and thus are the ones that you should be spending your money on.

If you want your Tacoma to simply be a solid haul or tow rig for a good price, the General Spring KC leaf springs have you covered. They won’t respond all that well to off-road driving, but if you carry heavy loads regularly, they will get the job done.

What if off-roading is more your thing, but you’re on a bit of a budget? The ARB / Old Man Emu leaf spring kit will get the job done. They do bring the same benefits for hauling loads, but they’re primed to take a beating on the rough stuff as well, and they’re a pretty good deal.

For the absolute best leaf spring kit for your Tacoma, money is no object, with excellent performance in both hauling and off-roading, Deaver Expedition is your best bet.

Got any recommendations that you’d like to see in this list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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