After hearing about so many people having problems with the Pro-Comp 4 Inch Tacoma lift, mainly related to the spacer that Pro-Comp uses on the top of the factory Tacoma knuckle, we decided to try to replace the Pro-Comp setup with a Tuff Country knuckle.

This was the first time that this had been attempted, so please read the entire article before you even think about doing it yourself!   We will be adding more information over time, as it may take some time to discover if there are any ill affects of this modification.   We are also going to be updating the page once the first alignment has been done.   Check back to see what we find out!

After I installed my Tuff Country 5 inch lift, I ended up with a extra set of knuckles.   Here you can see them, they are much stronger and beefier than the factory setup.

Here you see the Pro-Comp lift before we started.  

 You can see the spacer and L shaped reinforcing bracket on top of the factory knuckle.   This is what we want to eliminate.

For another picture of the Pro-Comp setup, click the camera icon.

Because this truck does not have ABS, the ABS sensor hole will need to be sealed off to prevent dirt and water from entering.
A simple plate with a nice bead of silicone solves that problem!

Here you can see the Pro-Comp setup on the left, the Tuff Country setup on the right.

Note the top of the Pro-Comp setup where the upper boll joint is.   In this picture, the flat top surface is slightly tilted to the rear, while the Tuff Country setup is more level.   This has to do with how the different manufacturers compensated for alignment with their lift kits.  

Although the Pro-Comp lift is a 4 inch lift and the Tuff Country lift is a 5 inch lift, the Tuff Country knuckle is actually about 1/4 inch shorter.   This is because Tuff Country uses a more downward starting position with the A-arms.   We think that this slight difference in height will not affect the performance of the front suspension.
Here we see the Tuff Country knuckle on the truck.  The installation was a straight swap.

After the install, I recieved these messages:

I took the truck back down to the shop on Saturday to check out the squeak and do the rotate and balance. I found the backing plate rubbing in the same spot that you had a problem. I straightened that and fixed that problem. Then I did my rotate and balance. I have my friend lined up to help me with the alignment machine this Saturday, but I realized we’ll be out of town.   So considering that it won’t get aligned for a couple of weeks, I did another eyeball alignment on the alignment rack. I used a level to get the camber straight and I set the tow with a tape measure. It should be pretty close now. Other than the backing plate interference everything went real well.

I did get it set real close the old fashion way. I used a camber gauge for the camber and a tape measure for the tow. It tracks real straight and there isn't any bump steer. There was plenty of adjustment left, so all in all I would say the installation was a success and the only modification was clearance on the brake hose bracket where it mounted to the knuckle. I would say that the rubbing on the back plate was do to the press work and didn't have anything to do with differences in the knuckle. The way
I set the alignment used to be the standard method before fancy alignment racks and we're pretty happy with the results, so I may just leave it the way it is.

Down the road we will follow up and see how things are going.

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5-1-05