TRD Springs Review
By Jason Bly
Ok guys I finally got my springs installed and tested. The wait was well worth it to say the least. I got my good friend Kevin that runs the garage for the gang in Hanover to do the install for me while I pitched in and gave him a hand. We have all the necessary tools and equipment to do the install in no time flat at the garage and Kevin has been changing and upgrading springs on all types of cars for over 4 years now. Its important for you to know that a home install is pretty much out of the question, as you need 1) a spring compressor, 2) Experience.
Wall mounted spring compressor
There are freestanding compressors available that can be attached to compress the springs or the preferred method is to use a compressor machine that we used to take off the springs from the strut assembly. The reason you should not do this alone for the first time as the springs are under tremendous pressure in the strut housing. Never unscrew the top of the housing without a spring compressor.
Kevin using the wall mounted spring compressor to install the springs onto the strut housing
You can easily loose your life or hurt someone very seriously by attempting this yourself with no experience. There is so much pressure from the springs that if it would fly off the housing, it can go through a solid brick wall, take off a body part, or go through a persons body without much of a problem. And I am being very serious about that too. If you buy a set of springs from a Toyota dealership they will be more than happy to install them for you.
Kevin and YT pulling out the rear strut assembly
If you decide to go with HKS or another brand, any performance garage will install them for you as well. There are many places you can have springs installed.
Ok now that we got all that cleared up lets talk about the TRD
lowering spring set from Toyota Racing Development. These springs were actually designed and made by Eibach. As we all know they pretty much are thee aftermarket spring authority. They didnt disappoint with this design either. The advertised drop from these springs are 1". I was hoping that they would go down more. And to my surprise they did. I measured before we started the gap between the top of the arch of the fender and the top of the rim. Which for the front was at 6 1/4" the Back came in at a huge fender gap of 7". After the install and a few laps around the block to settle the springs in I remeasured them at almost 5" up front and almost 5 3/8" in the back. So you see I got my wish and it dropped fairly nice.
I think took the picture to low. Makes the remaining fender gap look too big. Still tough looking though.
Installation took about 2 hours with the only problem was bending the rear struts to get them out of the tower.
As far as the test drive goes I was all smiles! I took it out to some of the decent back roads around my hometown with my brother to help decide weather this was a good purchase or not. He had rode in the car quite a few times with the stock springs and knows how the car feels as well as I do. So he said he could tell right away just driving through town on the way to our "test track" thats it felt "solid" and glued to the road. He also commented on the smooth ride and how well the stiffer, thicker springs still soaked up the bumps compared to other lowered vehicles where it feels like your in a salt shaker going over a bump or some railroad tracks. This was stiff yet forgiving. We were pretty excited once we got outta town and I started to let it hang out.
The road we were on has quit a few 25mph turns on it that really left us test the cornering ability. Which I "masterfully!" lol executed through at speeds of 65 mph and above. Little to no body roll even while driving at 10/10ths. I had my brother clinging to the door handle as these turns popped up out of the night while flying down unlit back country roads. All while I was thinking about flying through the twisties on a technical road course that needs optimal handling and braking ability to master. We were having a blast.
Front strut assembly pretty sexy aint it! Springs are attached and ready for the rest to be finished up.
I came back to drop my brother off at the house and pick up my wife as she wanted to see what this thing could now do as I left her drive it a few weeks before for her to play a little. She was excited the first time she had it out as she commented on how well it handled. We proceeded to drive around town for her to decide how its manners were while traveling through the city. She commented as well about the smooth ride it had.
We both said how much we liked the way it sits now compared to the stock height which leaves way too much fender gap. I proceeded to take her out to the other side of town to the infamous Hershey Heights Road which is know for its 2 90 degree turns which should be taken at about 15 20 mph! And a long sweeping right hand turn that leads into a sharp 45 degree turn. Its very tricky if you decide to "race" around on this road. Many people have ended up in the fields through the wooden fences. Needless to say I had the wife stiff with fear as I took the long sweeping right hand turn at close to 70 (turn is somewhat bumpy so I didnt want to loose it) then hammered it into the 45 degree lefty at about 65. (this one will leaves you in the ditch if your not careful) I got up to about 85 mph before breaking and pitching the car into the 90 degree right hander at about 45.
View from the rear. YES!!! This car is begging for an exhaust!!!
Then directly going to the left hander at 45 also. This last 90 degree turn drops under you as you leave the turn so it easy to loose footing exiting. The car left the ground for an instant and the car pitched to the right. I left of the gas and as soon as it settled back down I hammered it to the finish at over 100 mph about a 1/4 mile down the road. The wife was scared and impressed. As I was too. I am no expert on driving but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! J No really this car made me feel like a pro driver. I was able to push this car harder and faster than I have ever done in any car before with this much confidence. These springs took the sway out of the car As it feels planted down more than it did with the stock springs.
So as you can tell I really like this set of springs. I am not much for the "SLAMMED" look where you constantly gotta slow for the bumps and loose handling ability. This feels very functional and looks great in my opinion. The pictures I have along with this IMO dont do the springs justice. They look a lot better in person. And for the price you cant beat this mod.