Original post by Konrad Chojnowski of TrailTacoma
THE NEW SUPERSPRINGS INTERNATIONAL U-BOLT FLIP KIT WITH BLUE SUMOSPRINGS BUMP STOPS FOR 2ND & 3RD GEN TACOMA – STEP-BY-STEP INSTALLATION GUIDE, REVIEW & OVERVIEW
Lift kits are definitely a rad upgrade. But usually, they are only part of the battle to dial in your truck. A shiny new suspension is awesome – but there are other important parts that complement and continue to improve your setup.
You may have heard about upgrading your bump stops. And you may have heard about U-bolt flip kits. In this post, we’ll get into the how, what, when, and why this option is a good fit for you and your truck.
We’ve covered some SSI products before, and everyone who has gotten their hands on their products has been pleased with the results. These are no different. Follow along as we install these on Kenny’s truck.
WHY ADD A U-BOLT FLIP KIT?
The answer here is super simple. If you’re modifying your truck to hit the trails, you want to get all the clearance and protection possible.
This U-bolt flip does two main things.
- Increases ground clearance (which decreases the potential for catching components on rocks, etc.)
- Protects the U-bolt threads.
WHY UPGRADE YOUR BUMP STOPS?
We’ve covered bump stops at length in the past. But the answer here is relatively simple. Upgrading bump stops not only applies to off-road and overland builds but also to anyone that uses their truck to haul heavy loads.
The upgraded bump stops serve a handful of purposes.
- Reducing the sag while under load
- Reduce sway
- Increase the truck’s load carrying capacity
- Increase stabilization
- Protect against hard bottom outs
TOOLS & MATERIALS
This install doesn’t require too many tools, and SSI provides you with everything you need in terms of hardware. Ignore that little bag of two nuts and bolts by the blue sticker; I didn’t mean to get that in the shot.
In regards to tools, you’ll need the following.
- Wheel chocks
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Mechanic’s tool set (deep socket for U-bolt nuts)
- Metric Allen key set
STEP 1. REMOVE WHEEL & SUPPORT TRUCK SAFELY
The first step is simple. Jack your truck up and toss some jack stands underneath it for support. Throw your tire under the truck for good measure. Chock the wheels.
STEP 2. REMOVE OEM U-BOLTS & BUMP STOP
The U-bolts hold the leaf springs to the axle. The U-bolts also hold the bump stop in place.
A close-up of the OEM bump stop and aftermarket U-bolts from Ironman 4X4. The Ironman leaf pack is much larger than factory and requires a new set of U-bolts. In any case, this kit comes with new U-bolts that are long enough to accommodate even the thickest leaf springs. So you won’t need to save anything, no matter what.
To remove the factory setup, identify the nuts that hold the U-bolts to the axle. You will need a deep socket to remove them.
Remove the four nuts entirely, and then take off the U-bolts, the mounting plate and the bump stop.
This is what the leaf spring and axle will look like with all the parts removed. The bolt in the middle will help you center the new mounting plate.
You won’t need any of these parts anymore. Dispose of them appropriately.
STEP 3. INSTALL NEW U-BOLTS & MOUNTING PLATES
Grab the provided U-bolts, four nuts and washers, and the new mounting plate. Make sure to center all of it correctly before tightening down. You really want to make sure all of the parts are mounted the right way so you don’t have any shifting or failures.
Here is a shot from underneath. Just to help visualize how to place the U-bolts. It’s worth noting that these U-bolts come standard with more length to make sure you have enough thread. We had both the older and shorter U-bolts and the newer and longer ones, but to avoid trimming the excess, we used the shorter ones, which had just enough thread engagement to be completely safe.
STEP 4. ASSEMBLE SUMOSPRING & BRACKET
Grab your SumoSpring, the provided bracket, and nut. Assemble it all together with a little bit of Loctite on the nut.
STEP 5. MOUNT SUMOSPRING TO NEW MOUNTING PLATE & U-BOLTS
Using the two provided zinc-plated bolts and two Nyloc nuts, attach the SumoSprings to the U-bolt and mounting plate you installed earlier. Tighten them down – and you’re done! Replace your wheel and drive off into the sunset.
COMPLETE KIT INSTALLED
Just like that – you’ve got extra ground clearance and all the benefits that come along with an upgraded set of rear bump stops. As you can see, the install is straightforward and only requires basic tools. The passenger’s side is the same as the driver’s side.
QUICK REVIEW & IMPRESSIONS
The real difference with this kit will be felt under heavy loads, uneven roads, and especially on the trail where you see more frequent cycling of the suspension. Once we made our first run to Home Depot (shortly after this install), the difference was noticeable, especially with the truck loaded down.
We installed this kit on my buddy’s truck, so we didn’t have a chance to do any wheeling yet, but I’ve experienced several vehicles that are running this kit. A huge benefit that you won’t feel until you’re out on the trail is how well these absorb the deeper ruts and whoops. Especially with the factory bump stops, bottoming out is a very unpleasant experience. You can hear and feel the impact. Makes you cringe a little and feel like you’re going to break something. With this new kit, that is a thing of the past.
The micro-cellular polyurethane SumoSprings are much larger than the factory bump stops, much softer (the factory ones feel like rocks), and completely maintenance-free. All of those features make this upgrade a no-brainer. As I said before – shiny new parts like full suspensions are awesome, but to really dial in the back end of your truck, this U-bolt flip kit and bump stop package is a must.
Which SumoSprings Should You Buy? Blue OR Black?
This is a common question asked about these SumoSprings kits. The answer is pretty simple.
The vast majority of us will be running the blue ones. They have a 1,400 lb. capacity at 50% compression. Even if you have a pretty heavy truck bed camper, you’ll be okay. The black is reserved for those who are carrying extremely heavy loads or towing around more than 50% of payload capacity. To each their own, but the black version is VERY stiff.
A simple install, a quality company, and a world of difference when it comes to using your truck both on and off-road.
SumoSprings have been around for a while, and not just for the rear of the vehicle. These guys also make a nice kit for the front of your truck. With the addition of the U-bolt flip kit, we see a solid product added to the lineup of products from SSI. Regardless of your needs, these guys have a product that will complement your suspension and improve the driving experience.
Use our application guide to see what we have for your vehicle.