Coilover Spring Rates for Toyota Tacoma & 4Runner

Does my Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner need 700lb springs?

We often get asked about whether or not someone needs 700lb springs for the front of their Tacoma or 4Runner. Usually this question is asked because the customer has added more weight to the vehicle or heard that a 700lb spring is needed. Every vehicle is different, and everyone has their own driving style. 700lb spring may work for one person, and be horrible for the next.
Let’s dive into the topic and take a closer look.

Why do people recommend heavier springs?

More Weight
The best reason for recommending heavier rate front coilover springs is because the vehicle is substantially heavier than stock and heavier rates are necessary to prevent coil bind and to achieve the desired lift height.

 

Reduce Preload
Some people associate preload (loosely related to threads showing above spring nut) with a harsh ride because they are “cranking down” the spring. Increasing preload only raises ride height, it does not compress the spring more, and it does not make the ride rougher. The only time too much preload causes a rough ride is if you lift it too high and don’t have any down travel, or if the spring runs out of travel before the suspension bottoms out.

Compensating for Soft Valving
Fox, King and other OEM Tacoma/4Runner front coilovers come valved too soft from the factory. They can bottom out on small drop offs and bounce up and down on freeway rolling bumps. Some people add a stiffer spring to compensate for this feeling, and have some success, but cause other issues in the process. The proper solution is to tune the coilovers for the weight of the vehicle.

 

More Lift Height?
Its very common to think a heavier rate coilover spring will lift your truck more than the standard spring it comes with. Thats not entirely accurate. Ride height is achieved by adding preload, not swapping to a heavier rate spring. Before you swap to a heavier rate spring, make sure its the correct spring rate for your trucks total weight. Often times, you will just need to add more preload to get the desired ride height.

Why do we recommend soft springs on Tacoma’s?

Vehicles with soft springs tend to ride like Cadillac’s while vehicles with heavy springs tend to ride more like dump trucks. This is because softer springs compress from ride height more easily and force the tire to extend down from ride height more quickly to follow the terrain (see preload article for more). The result is that softer springs ride nicer.

Heavier springs are harder to compress and transmit more vibration into the chassis. Tacoma’s and 4Runners with heavier than necessary springs won’t ride as smooth on the road and will get more feedback on little bumps. On large bumps the heavy springs can be too stiff and feel jolting.

 


How soft can we go?

The next logical question is if softer springs are better, how soft can I go? In the perfect world I would like to see spring rates in the 450 to 550 lb/in range however that would require more preload and longer springs than can fit in the space provided by Toyota. The first limitation is the overall length of the spring, 14” long springs are the longest reasonable spring to install on OEM fit mid travel Tacoma & 4Runner coilovers. Next we need to consider how much travel the spring has relative to the travel of the shock and how much preload* is required to achieve the desired ride height. For the most 4Runner’s and Tacoma’s 600, 650, and 700 lb/in springs are the only 14” long springs that satisfy those requirements. Despite our desire to run softer springs it turns out the 600 lb/in springs are the softest that can fit and function, which is probably why that is the standard spring rate on most aftermarket 2.5 coilovers.

*Preload = (spring free length) – (spring length when shock is fully extended)

 

Why tune your shocks instead of installing heavy springs?

Shocks are velocity sensitive and are substantially more tuneable than springs, especially when using AccuTune Double Flutter Stacks. Springs only react to the frequency of repeating bumps or the size of large bumps. Shock valving when used with double flutter stacks can respond differently to small bumps, big bumps, slow rolling bumps, and large fast bumps. Fixing soft shock valving should be done internally where the root of the problem lies.

 

Spring Rate Recommendations for 2-2.5” lift:

600lb springs for Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner

13” x 600 lb/in Spring:
Standard on:

-2.5 Fox Coilovers – Tacoma

-Mods: sliders, skid plates

-Min installed length: 11” 1


14″ x 550lb Spring:
Standard on:

-2.5 King Coilovers for 03+ 4Runners

-Mods: sliders, skid plates


14” x 600 lb/in Spring:
Standard on:

-2.5 Fox Coilovers – 4Runner

-2.5 King Coilovers – Tacoma 

-Mods: sliders, skid plates, light bumper, & light winch

-Min installed length: 11-3/8” 1

 


650lb springs for Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner

14” x 650 lb/in Spring:
Optional on:

-All Fox & King

-Mods: sliders, skid plates, steel bumper, winch, dual batteries

-Min installed length:  11-3/4” 1


700lb springs for Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner

14” x 700 lb/in Spring:
Optional on:

-All Fox & King

-Mods: sliders, skid plates, steel bumper, winch, dual batteries, bed rack, roof top tent, additional armor (weight?)

-Min installed length: 11-3/4” 1

 

 

1:         Min installed length:  Minimum length the spring can be with the shock fully extended before risk of coil bind

13” spring data not available, extrapolated between 12” & 14”, use at own risk

All data based on Fox shock and Eibach spring data, use at own risk

 

Summary:

Heavy rate 650 and 700 lb/in springs are necessary to achieve 2+” of lift on heavily loaded Tacoma’s and 4Runner’s but can cause undesirable ride qualities on vehicles near stock weight. Bounciness and undulating motion should be fixed by re-valving. For most Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner owners, a 600lb front spring will be the correct rate to go with. Contact AccuTune Off-Road for help selecting your spring rates and for more detailed rate calculations.

14 replies
  1. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    Would the 14″x 600 be a good way to go on achieving the lift I want plus get a better ride quality. My current FOX 2.5 is set at 2.5″ top threads to lock ring, rides like a OBS Ford… Even with my sway bar taken off. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Admin
      Admin says:

      Ride quality will mostly come from the internal valving, not so much the spring. We specialize in tuning coilover shocks and can definitely help the shocks perform better than they currently do. Please give us a call to discuss options for your truck and driving style. (424) 377-0808

      Reply
  2. Trujillo
    Trujillo says:

    Will going from a 13 inch 600lb spring to a 14 inch 600lb spring give me the same 2.5 lift on fox 2.5 stock weight tacoma with less preload on the coil over?

    Reply
    • Web Admin
      Web Admin says:

      If you’re keeping the same spring rate, you will need the same amount of preload to get the same lift height. A longer spring will show less threads. If you’re maintaining the stock weight, I would suggest keeping the 13×600 springs.

      Reply
  3. Tyler Jeffery
    Tyler Jeffery says:

    I was doing a needle barring and CV axle upgrade over the weekend and noticed that both Eibach coils that came with my Fox coil overs were broken(looks to be discontinued) in bottom part of the coil. Looking over the site and measuring the coils at full droop 14″ 600 lbs coil look to be to long? I am planning on a winch (because I already own it) with a hidden mount behind the the cover. Would I loose ride quality with this one upgrade if I were to just replace the 14″ 600 lbs and adding the winch. I do lots of high speed desert running during coyote season. (below freezing temps)

    Reply
  4. Nikolas k
    Nikolas k says:

    I’ve got a 3rd Gen Taco. 150lb full hoop steel bumper, 100lb steel sliders, prinsu roof rack, diamondback bed cover with 3 steel Bed bars 100lbs, and 250lb roof top tent. That’s current normal Rolling weight. For suspension- Fox 2.5 DSC w/ resi In front and 2.0 dsc w/ resi in the rear with icon rxt leaf pack. Plan to do full aluminum skids and a winch. I take it off-road and push it hard on the trails. I’d like to keep a decent ride on the street but functional off road and have 2.5-3” max lift.

    Question is should I go up to a 14” 650 or 700 coil in the front?

    Really appreciate what you do for this community and look forward to sending in shocks when it’s time for rebuild.

    Reply
    • Web Admin
      Web Admin says:

      Sounds like you will have upwards of 600lbs of added weight to the truck, which would fit into that 14″ x 700lb spring category. Since you plan to add a winch and more accessories that would probably be a good option. If you are looking to purchase new suspension from us, we can calculate spring rates for you before buying.

      Reply
  5. Mir
    Mir says:

    I currently have King 2.5 coilovers with 3.14.700 springs and have arb under protection arb steel bumper + synthetic rope winch. No sliders. I run my shocks at 6 clicks tire pressure 29psi and the ride feels stiffer and i tend to feel potholes on road and at slow uneven offroad the vehicle seems to move quite a lot. Will 650 LB rate solve my issue?

    Reply
    • Web Admin
      Web Admin says:

      Tacoma or 4Runner? 700lb spring does sound a bit too stiff for just a steel bumper and winch. However, the shock valving will play an even stronger role in your ride quality issue.

      Reply
  6. Sidney
    Sidney says:

    I have a 2016 Tacoma offroad and got it used with I think a 3in spacer lift to run 285/55/17 tires but want to add a synthetic line winch and a hidden winch mount that looks like together will prolly weigh about 100lbs what do I need to do to keep my current lift from sagging? Thanks

    Reply

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