For those of you who found that your truck’s rear suspension is not capable of handling your daily load, and lifting applications.  There is a great cheap way of increasing payload.  It will add some height, so make sure you talk with your local shop about the need for a new shock; or, do some searching and find an answer or at least an idea of what you need. 
Here is a quick guide of how to install an add-a-leaf.  I recommend purchasing a repair manual (Chilton) from your local auto supply shop for your make and year to help removing original suspension; or with a little of research figure out how to remove yours online. 

Beware this procedure is DANGEROUS!  Can cause serious injury if not done CAUTION!  I take no responsibility for any damage that may come to you, helper/s, bystanders, yours or other’s vehicles.

This project was completed at the TechShop!  Check them out at
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Step 1:

Step 2: Removing Rear Suspension

Picture of Removing Rear Suspension
1. Lift the rear suspension with a floor jack that has the weight capacity and the height to lift your vehicle 2-3 inches past when your tires are off the ground minimum… If you are replacing with larger tires at this time, make sure you add the difference in tire size for easy install.
a. Consult your owner’s manual where to place jack
b. Add jack stands under your axle, if the gap is larger than a few inches lower floor jack SLOWLY till just above one of the jack stands.  One side is usually higher than the other.
2. Open your Add-A-Leaf package and see if there are any clips they give to help you keep your springs together.  Follow instructions on proper placement of them if you want to use. 
a. Removing the entire spring package it was easier to work on, and little safer than being under the truck during the addition.
3. Use repair manual to remove rear shocks and leaf springs…
a. Take pictures to remember where any metal shims or plates are located in your leaf spring.
4. A few pictures…
slaitch3 years ago
Even with the extra leaf, that suspension looks suspiciously flimsy to my eyes. That much truck needs more metal under it.
nneylan (author)  slaitch3 years ago
This truck has been tested out in an 4x4 park getting air off of whoops and feeling great!!! Japanese engineers built a solid truck, designed to limit the need for extra metal... TRD knows there stuff!!!

Also, two dirt bikes, loaded down, dirt wash board trails... No Issues.. Love this truck, highly recommend to Tacoma owners!!

slaitch nneylan3 years ago
Fair enough. I come at off-road suspension from a Jeep angle, meaning I want my vehicle ready to transport a small army to gates of Hell. Or Utah. Whichever.
fyi to you nay sayers the 4.0 tacoma has a 4 leaf now and it can tow 800lbs. more than 1500 chevy.
only three leafs is suprising that it does good, i run my rig with 5 leafs on it