Hello Taco enthusiasts -
I have an 02' Tacoma 4x4 dble cab that I want to set up for moderate rock crawling. Hence, I want to get as much travel, ground clearance, and articulation as I can get without going to a solid front axle (I'm not asking too much, am I?). I am trying to figure out whether I'm better off going with a simple adjustable shock/coilover system such as bilstein's new 5100's with a new coil - or King/Donahoe/EMU coilovers, or to move to a full suspension lift (max 4 inches) such as pro-comp, total chaos, or tuff country. I don't want to sacrifice too much in ride since this is my daily commuter. The 2.5 - 3" lift gained from the adjustable shock/coilovers system is probably enough to give me what I need for a balanced road/rock system, but I'm afraid I'm going to be limited in wheel travel. My understanding of the dynamics of this system is that as you push down the lower control arm by adjusting the shock/coil, you are inherently reducing the downward travel (droop) of the suspension. What I don't know is what is limiting the droop of the suspension? The max angle of the control arm ball joints and CV axle? This is why straps are used in long-travel systems?
I understand (I think) that a full suspension lift kit will typically drop the suspension components some to achieve the "lift", but I do not know how significant that drop is in relation to reduced ground clearance (something I definitely do not want to sacrifice). I'm not too worried about the rear - I'll probably choose to use Deaver add-a-leafs or a whole new leaf set with new shocks.
Somehow I think that I'm making this way more complicated than it needs to be, but I guess I'm a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities. Any clarification and/or suggestions would be hugely appreciated to stop my brain cramps.