The Professional Choice

2006 Toyota Tacoma 3/4 DJM Lowering Kit

2006 Toyota Tacoma 3/4 Suspension Drop by DJM


DJM launches a 3-4 drop kit for the ’06 Tacoma…

Story & photos by Marshall Spiegel

Originally published in 2006

2006 Tacoma
2006 Tacoma with 3/4 Calmax Lowering Kit by DJM

If you haven’t driven the ’06 Toyota Tacoma, you probably won’t appreciate this article. The new Tacoma has to be a neat package in anybody’s book. It is powered right. It is well balanced. It is roomy and comfortable. The sheet metal is bent just right. It has attractive appointments. It rides and handles well. It features a top quality, semi- permanent, ultra-modern drop-in bed-liner. Like many people, I found it a difficult vehicle to fault. However, I’ve always felt that selecting a vehicle is like choosing a spouse: Not every one works for everyone. Thus, there are going to be those who aren’t as enchanted by the Tacoma as I am. Oh, well, that’s life. Now, take the good guys at DJM Suspension in Gardena, CA, for example. They faulted the stock ’06 Tacoma, but only because they felt it is too far off the ground. The Tacoma’s standard ride height was recorded at 18 ¾ inches in front and 19-7/8 inches in the rear, both ends measured from the center of the wheel hub to the lip of the fender well. Of course, the DJM guys are in the business of designing, engineering and marketing drop kits and they tend to think that the stock suspension of every vehicle built anywhere on this earth is too high. But they didn’t just fault the ride height. They set out to do something about it. They engineered a lowering kit especially for the ’06 Tacoma that would bring the popular mid-sized pick-up down to where they and, they hope, many Tacoma owners think it should be. While lowering the new Tacoma, the engineers at DJM strove to preserve the quality of Toyota’s ride and handling. The result is the DJM 3-4 lowering kit for the ’06 Tacoma. The kit is based on specially engineered upper and lower control arms to drop the front. The rear is lowered with DJM’s heavy-duty steel four-inch lowering blocks; a C-notched frame for additional upward axle travel and carefully-sized and positioned DJM bump stops. When the engineers got into the Tacoma, they discovered a unique phenomenon. The C-notch on the driver’s side differed slightly from the C-notch on the passenger side because of the placement of the shock mounts. Nevertheless, the DJM guys created a top-notch 3-4 lowering kit that made for a more “down-to-earth” Toyota and still left the ’06 Tacoma with its quality ride and outstanding handling. Installing the new DJM drop kit for the Tacoma requires some effort. The DJM engineering staff demonstrated the installation for us on a brand-new, rich blue ’06 Tacoma extended cab.

(This kit is available at the Check out the photo gallery below to see how the parts went on, and click on the (  I ) in the picture to read the caption!


[img src=]9100Measure Before we begin
The box stock Tacoma is ready to go, the first thing to do is get good height measurements. The best method is to measure from the center of the wheel to the fender well lip. Then you can monkey around with different wheel and tire combination's and not effect the accuracy of your measurements. On this Tacoma we measured 18 3/4" up front and the rear came in at 19 7/8"
[img src=]7530Lets Get Going
Using hydraulic jacks and properly rated jack stands support the front end and remove the wheels
[img src=]8010Uppers First
Remove the upper control arms first (before lowers) and loosen and remove the upper ball joint nut and mounting bracket
[img src=]8550Compare the arms
Here we have the factory upper (right) and the new DJM upper arms
[img src=]8100Lets Begin the Ball Joint Removal
The rubber boots need to be removed carefully and set aside. There is a retaining clip under the boot which needs to be removed. This clip and the wire retainer for the boot need to be saved so you install into the new DJM arm
[img src=]7500You Need a Press
To remove the ball joint from the factory arm you need a hydraulic press with the proper sized die
[img src=]7390It's out
The ball joint pressed out. Inspect the ball joint and make sure you want to install in the new arm
[img src=]7510Pressing in
Use the same set up to install the factory ball joint in the new arms. If you don't have access to a H-frame hydraulic you can find a local machine shop who for a fee will take care of this step for you
[img src=]7170Assemble the Ball Joint
Carefully install the the retaining clip on the ball joint. Make sure your ball joints are clean, no dirt or grit, then grease and cover with the rubber boot securing with the wire clip
[img src=]6770Install Grease Zerks
Because the grease fittings tend to get busted off during shipping we must install them now before installing the arms
[img src=]6600Lubricate
Go ahead and shoot grease into those grease fittings and get the pivot good and lubricated. Don't forget to spread grease on the shoulder of the urethane bushings
[img src=]6680Install Upper Arm
Position the new DJM upper arm in place
[img src=]6480Insert Pivot Bolts
The pivot bolts are installed and hand tightened
[img src=]6680Tighten the pivots
The pivot bolts are tightened being careful not to over-tighten. If the urethane bushings look like there are squished or bulging, then they are too darn tight!
[img src=]6620Upper Ball Joint
Upper ball joint is installed and the nut tightened
[img src=]6510Instead of a Cotter Pin
As you noticed when removing the upper ball joint Toyota uses a peculiar clip on the ball joint studs to lock the nut in place, go ahead and use it now
[img src=]6420ABS Brackets
The ABS bracket is attached to the new upper arm
[img src=]6090ABS
Now it is tightened to secure it to the new arm. This buttons up the upper arm installation, now lets move down to the lower
[img src=]6090Tie Rod End
Loosen and remove the the tie rod end
[img src=]5960Swaybar End-link
Loosen and remove the swaybar end-link
[img src=]6020Ball Joint
The lower ball joint is attached through a plate then the spindle. Here we are removing the mounting plate
[img src=]5920Strut
Loosen and remove the lower strut mount
[img src=]5530Pivot Bolts
Loosen and remove the lower control arm pivot bolts along with the alignment adjusting bolts
[img src=]5840A Look at the arms
Here's a look at the factory arm (left) just removed and the DJM Calmax lowering arm
[img src=]5620Ball Joints
Like the upper arm you must remove the factory ball joint from the factory lower arm and install them into the Calmax arm. First step is to pop out the retaining clip
[img src=]5320Clip
Here's the clip removed
[img src=]5230Our Old Friend the H-Frame
Remember our buddy the H-Frame hydraulic press, well we need it again. Were going to remove the ball joint from the factory arm.
[img src=]5530Installing the ball joint
Now it's time carefully press the ball joint in the Calmax arm
[img src=]5760Prepping the Arms
Now the ball joints are in it's time to prep the arms
[img src=]5490Grease Zerks
Install the grease zerks in the pivot points, snug them up with a wrench
[img src=]5470Pump in the Grease!
Go ahead and pump grease into the pivots. It does two things it makes sure the grease flows and lubricates real good before installation
[img src=]5830Install the arms
The arm is prepped, now it's time to install into the factory locations
[img src=]5660Bolts installed
Pivot bolts are installed to secure the arms in place
[img src=]5680Extra Hand
An extra hand and a floor jack with an extension is very helpful when positioning the lower arms
[img src=]5570Help
In fact having a friend helping can save you a lot of time and make these installs much easier
[img src=]5660Tighten Up
Going through the front install and tightening fasteners
[img src=]5720Pivot Bolts
Don't forget the pivot bolts
[img src=]5910Front End
Here's a close look at the front end with the upper and lower control arms installed.
[img src=]5740Tie Rod
Install the tie rod end
[img src=]6560Ta Da!
Here is the front end complete with the new upper and lower arms. It's ready for the wheel
[img src=]6140The Wheel
Did we say it's time for the wheel? Well hear it is
[img src=]7380Proper Support
At the risk of repeating ourselves you can't have too many jack stands, or bottle jacks!
[img src=]8240Steel Blocks
Here are the 4" Steel Lowering blocks installed with new U-bolts and nuts
[img src=]8740Need More Travel
The factory bump stop is smack in the way of getting us more travel, sooo, an air hammer is a good friend to have in your tool box
[img src=]7910Bump Stop
Here is the factory bump stop bracket as it comes off. Don't worry the new frame supports you will install soon has a bump stop built in (like the front)!
[img src=]7910Drivers Side Problem
The gas tank is on the drivers side and setting right there in your way when you want "c-notch" the frame. What we did here was covering the exposed area of the gas tank with some scrap sheet metal so when we cut out the "notch" the gas tank is isolated
[img src=]8450Begin C-Notch Install
Use the frame supports to locate and scribe a line to use as a guide to cut out the notch. We used a plasma cutter on this job
[img src=]8960Cutout
Here's what the cut out piece looks like
[img src=]9050Frame
Here's what the frame looks like ready to receive the frame support
[img src=]9630Frame Support
The frame support installed with the new urethane bump stop
[img src=]9920Front Measurement
When it's all done, aligned and driven the "after" measurement was 15 3/4" A three inch drop!
[img src=]10310Rear Measurement
The rear measurement came in at 15 7/8" a perfect four inch drop
[img src=]11920All Done
Here's the Tacoma with it's new aggressive stance. A 3/4 drop from DJM!

65 Responses to 2006 Toyota Tacoma 3/4 DJM Lowering Kit

  1. Newbie here. I have a completely stock 1999 tacoma extra cab 2wd. If this kit is installed. Will it affect my ability to use it as a daily driver. I commute 60 miles a day.

    • Hey Dylan,

      No worries! You can drive your lowered Tacoma just like you do now. You can align to factory specs and drive it “normal” anywhere you want! Good luck, send us some pictures!!


  2. Hi, I’m interested in the DJM lowering kit for my 2010 tacoma access cab. But my concern is notching the frame, if I notch the frame it will void any factory frame recall these trucks have, as being in Canada we have harsh winters and they take a beating. if I went to a 3″ block can I avoid notching the frame? And just replace the bumpstop to a smaller one? roughly what is the distance from the axle with 4″ block to the notched frame rail? And the size of the notch, trying to figure out the travel distace between the full kitchen and just a smaller block

    • Mike,

      Your concern is a very good question. You could certainly void any warranty you might have by installing the frame supports. As a practical thing, there just is not enough travel in the rear to have a good ride without notching and installing the frame supports. Of course if you go with the 3″ blocks in the rear you will have an extra inch of travel, a good thing and maybe it might be ok for you. Our experience has been poor ride quality on the Tacoma’s with out the extra suspension travel provided by the notched frame supports.


  3. Hi I’m putting the 3in front 4back lowering kit on my 2012 Toyota Tacoma would I have to change out the shocks? if so what shots do you recommend

    • Rodney,

      If your using the DJM 3/4 kit your factory front struts are used so no worries there. In the rear DJM recommends their part number 1910, it is the correct length to work with your kit helping you get the best ride. Here is a link to the shocks!



  4. I have a 2006 toyota extra cab and want to use the 3/4 lowering kit. couple questions.
    1. can someone fairly mechanical do the job as long as he has access to someone for pressing and alignment?
    2. what is the product number I need to order for a 2006 toyota extra cab 4 cylinder manual transmission truck?
    3. can the install be handled with standard hand tools and a sawzal for frame notch?
    4. Do you have anyone in the temecula ca. area that could do the install for me?
    thanks for your assistance.

    • Alan,

      The 3/4 kit for your 06 Tacoma can be installed at home. You will need a good hydraulic jack and jack stands, a set of hand tools and patience. Do one side at a time! If you get the kit with the ball joints installed by DJM you don’t need a press! A sawzal works great for the notch, and of course when your done an alignment. Here is a link to the kits. The nearest place that I know of for installation is here, Mike is a craftsman, does great work! Good luck and send us some pictures.


  5. I have a 2008 x runner and i was wondering for a 4′ drop in the rear do you have to drop the gas tank to install the c notch on the driver side. Also where do you recommend i get the notch installed here in lawndale california

    • Efren,

      No need to drop the gas tank, your only installing lowering block and c-notches, leaving the leaf spring mounts alone. The closest place to have the parts installed would be Otto’s Car Tech. I know Otto personally, he is good, honest and will treat you right!


  6. Hi mark thanks for your last reply,I have another question for you on the 3/4 kit for the Tacoma it won’t leave the rear of the truck lower then the front will it.the next question is the c-notch brackets for the rear and they way it bolts in that is structurally strong.

    • Derek,

      The 3/4 kit is designed to have a slight forward rake (the rear a tiny bit higher), however every truck is a little different and if you did end up with the rear looking like it was lower you could change the 4″ blocks to 3″ blocks and away you go. It has not been an issue with Tacoma’s! The frame support, installed as instructed is adding much more steel than you remove when you notch. If you don’t install the notch kit you will have very little suspension travel in the rear and the ride quality will be poor. That type of notch kit is used in most rear lowering kits in the 6″ range for full size Chevy’s, Fords, and Dodges, even the dually’s! I wouldn’t worry too much about that.


    • Hi just installed the 3/4 drop kit on my 2014 Tacoma access can it looks sweet.the only issue I have is a squeaky front end what is causing the squeak.

      • Derek,

        Usually squeaking comes from the urethane bushings, generally because they may have been overtightened or not lubricated enough or both! Check your control arm bushings for lube and that they have been tightened too much!


  7. I have a 2014 Tacoma access cab going to install the 3/4 djm lowering kit and was wondering if there have been any driveline issues with this kit as far as it effecting the driveline being push in toward the tranny

    • Derek,

      No issues I am aware of! Your right to careful regarding the drive line and lowering! Most kits that lower 6″ or more have some offset built in to take care of that issue. With your 4″ rear kit your good and don’t really need to offset the rear-end.


  8. I want to do a 2/3 drop on my 2014 Toyota tacoma prerunner 2 wheel drive. Will a 265/50/20 tire with a 20×8.5″ wheel fit?

    • Mitch,

      The rule of thumb regarding wheel’s and tire’s is if you don’t stray from the overall diameter of the factory wheel and tire then your gold! So if your 265/50/20’s are the same overall diameter and the wheel offset is factory then you can lower your Tacoma without worries. Your speedo will be accurate as well! There are many more wheel and tire combo’s than we have seen and if your concerned that you may have a problem your best bet is to contact a local wheel and tire distributor who has worked with lowered trucks for advise. Good Luck!


  9. I have a 2014 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4×2 Double Cab (4 door) model. Would this kit work/fit on my Tacoma? Also, I was thinking of putting the x-runner rims on my model since mines is currently at a 15inch stock alloy and wanted something a bit bigger but still stock. Will the kit work/fit if I do change the rims on my truck? Mahalo.

    • Sevey,

      I have not heard of any problems with fitting your 2014 Double Cab. Having said that we have never had a double cab in the shop so I can’t say for sure. The only Tacoma application I know for sure that our parts won’t work on is the “Pre-Runner”. And the X-runner rims I think will work fine. Good Luck!


  10. Hello,

    I have a Regular Cab 2006 Tacoma and I was wondering if I can order the kit but instead of the 4″ blocks in the back I would like 3″ so, it would be even 3″/3″. Would that be possible? and also do I need to get the shocks as well? front and back???


    • Luis,

      Sure you can order that way but you need to call us and place the order! Can’t do ti over the web, sorry.


  11. i recently purchased a 2013 access cab tacoma and was wondering if there was a kit for this model. i havent found any and also is there anywhere in the colorado springs area to install??

    • Beau,

      If the access cab is not a “Pre Runner” style suspension then I am pretty sure our kit would work! We have never had an access cab here and I haven’t talked to anyone who has worked on one so I can’t be 100% sure. But I would bet it would! If you try let me know!!


      • but the picture of the one you do the lower on is an access cab its not a prerunner either just the sr5 extended/access cab should i call and talk with somebody about it? im very interested in lowering the truck…. also is this as low as this truck can go i’ve had lowered vehicles and am curious cuz another inch or two would suite me fine i’m not interested in bagging ive always beem static

        • Beau,

          The term access cab thru me, if it is like the one in the pictures then your good to go. That is as low as we went with the Tacoma, that is not to say you can’t go lower! If you want give us a call – 800-237-6748


  12. I am about to purchase a 2010 Toyota Tacoma XRunner and, among other things I am going to do to it, I want to lower the truck in a way so I do not loose the integrity of the original ride so I was looking at your 3-4 DJM2816-3 kit. I understand the dorp, which I want, but how does it effect the ride of the vehicle……Ridin’ a board is not what I’m looking for as I am 64 and this is going be my daily driver. I will also be installing a big disc brake package as well along with Enkei 18″ x 8’s in the front and 18″ x 8.5″ in the rear. Any information that you can give me would be great.

    • Steven,

      The kit does not change spring rates or travel in the front, and only lose a little travel in the rear. So what that means is in most “normal” driving situations you won’t notice any difference in ride quality. Having said that if you carry a load you will be closer to your bump stops in the rear so you can “bottom out” more often than stock. It takes either alot of weight or really bad roads or maybe both to ride like a board! So if you stick to the kit without trying to drop any more than the 3/4 you should be ok!


  13. If I have a 2008 , 4 door tacoma stock rims and tires, would this drop work on my truck? And if so, where can I purchase this, I’m in the Houston/Katy area. Also, how much would it cost?

    • Alberto,

      The DJM 3/4 kit would work fine on your truck! Even with factory wheels and tires (we prototyped with factory wheels and tires), so no worries there. Here is a link to the parts, good luck!!


  14. i got the 3/4 kit for my 96 Tacoma. in your instructions on lowering it keeps talking about to torsion bars and my truck does have them at all. now my question is will the control arms you guys sent are still going to work? this is what is slowing me down.

  15. Hi,
    I just purchase a 2013 Tacoma access cab 4×2 and I’m just wondering
    If there is a shop here in San Jose California that can install djm 3/4 kit.
    Please let me know if there’s any shop here near to milpitas ca. I’m planning to lowered my Tacoma ASAP

    • Angel,

      Go see Robert at Custom Modified Experts – 1204 W. Winton Ave., Hayward CA 94545 510-887-2993


  16. Would the djm 3/4 work with a x runner with 18″ rims and My question was who can I use to do the install here in Conroe TX. Do you guys have any shop to recommend?

    • Leo,

      You can use our 3/4 kit on your X-Runner no problem, and your 18″ wheels shouldn’t be an issue! If you can drive to the north side of Houston try Cutten Customs for the install. Their phone number is 281-537-6748. Good Luck!


      • The 3/3 kit that they offer looks sick on my X Runner. After the allinement it has 2.5 drop in the front & 3 in the rear. I can still get over most speed bumps with the stock tires. Sucks toyota is discontinuing the X in 2014.

  17. I have the same model and year Tacoma, and I was wondering if I could just replace the stock front coils with 2″ lowering coils and still get a smooth ride?

    • Jamie,

      If you use a lowering coil in your Tacoma you will loose travel and induce negative camber! But if you are conservative, lets say a 1″ drop, you probably wouldn’t notice any difference in ride quality. Somewhere in the lowering scale you will cause a crappy ride and bad alignment when using a coil spring. Coils are less expensive however so just be careful and conservative when using lowering coils.


  18. 3″/4″ in drop
    95 xtra cab. 2.4l
    Is it a good idea to go ahead and replace all the bushings at the time of install of your drop kit?
    I have never lowered any of my vehicles before, and dont really know much about this. Also, I want the truck to perform w. agility not corner like a lowered lumber truck…
    Any suggestions?

    • Brett,

      As a rule when your working on your vehicle and your in a position to really have a good look at parts you can’t normally see you should carefully inspect to decide their condition. if you have things apart that have moving parts or parts subject to friction and are hard to get to, replace them unless their super expensive. Remember to get to them you have to do whatever labor you’ve just done to get to them again. Now, having said that the only bushings you need to worry about in your front suspension come new in our Calmax Control arms. The thing you should look at is your upper and lower ball joints, now would be a good time to replace them if they need it, or you can order our control arm kit for your Tacoma now with brand new ball joints installed! Click here to see your options!!


  19. When lowering a vehicle wouldnt we want the shocks to be a little stiffer than the factory one. Just to prevent rubbing on every bump? Another one would be I met a guy who cut his springs on his Tacoma and used factory control arms, what are the cons for something like that?

    Thank you

    • Thomas,

      The job of a shock absorber in a lowered or stock height truck is to control the coil spring (or torsion bar) during compression and rebound. In the compression mode the shock doesn’t need to be strong, the rate of the spring should be adequate to provide the correct resistance to being compressed. As the spring begins to un-compress or “rebound” the shock needs to dampen this motion to control the rate of rebound. We have all seen cars or trucks with bad shocks just bouncing down the road, this is not only uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. If your front end rises too much because the shock is not dampening the spring your alignment changes, your contact patch changes, weight distribution is wrong and your steering is negatively affected! Now that is a severe case of course but it serves to illustrate what the shock does. On a truck lowered with a coil generally speaking the spring rate is increased and the compression valving in the shock is increased proportionally, where the magic is, is in the rebound valving which is increased much more to control or dampen that higher rate spring during the rebound mode, giving you a great ride without being unnecessarily stiff. When you cut a spring the spring rate increases dramatically, which right away over-matches the shock, not to mention stresses the spring beyond designed stress values, and almost always the ride quality suffers. If this doesn’t make sense to you let me know and I will try again!


  20. I have a 2008 toyota tacoma prerunner 4 door if i install the 3/4 djm lowering kit will i have any problems with this kit with clearance and will i need the calmax shoxs for the rear and front or i wont need them at all

    • Byron,

      I am sorry to report that the Prerunner has a different suspension system on it, from the factory. So that means our parts won’t work on a Prerunner! I do not know of any lowering kits being made for your truck, again sorry for the bad news, I will look around to see if I can find something for you, so check back periodically, maybe we’ll get lucky!!


  21. Have a 2010 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Access cab with Dunlop Grand Trek AT20 P245/75R/16 tires. To use 3/4 DJM lowering kit would it be necessary to change tires or rim size to maintain fender well clearance?

    Do you know of a good custom shop in the Santa Maria or San Luis Obispo, CA area that has done such a job using the DJM product?

  22. Im planning to purchase the djm control arms for my truck. Im a little weary of using the back c notches because of cutting the frame and possibly creating a salvage title issue because of it. My question was who can I use to do the install here in hawaii, Im on the island of oahu. Do you guys have any shop to recommend?

    • Jesse,
      We don’t have a direct recommendation for a installer on Oahu but I can give a contact who stocks and sells our parts and he may be able to help. Mar’s Sales and Service 808-533-0635, talk to Darin maybe he can help!


  23. I have a 2011 Tacoma 4 dr. can i use the 3/4 lowering kit along with the Tacoma Texas Edition 20″ wheels? Will there be cearance problems?

    • Billy,

      We have never had a “Texas Edition” Tacoma in our shop, but as long as it is not a “Pre-Runner” you should be able to use our kit. Your 20″ wheels should work with out trouble as long you have not deviated much from the overall diameter of the factory wheel and tire combo! Good luck, let us know how you do!!


  24. I just purchased a 2009 Tacoma regular Cab/shortbed pickup in great condition
    with what looks to be your 3/4 complete kit. I am mechanically inclined but know
    nothing about the ‘care & feeding’ of aftermarket suspension kits. Could you
    refer me to an installer(s) in the LA/OC (SoCal)area, or otherwise help me and my independent mechanic service everything properly. Also, Is it possible to get a set of the literature which you supply when you sell this kit.

    Many Thanks for your reply,

    Frank Hough

  25. hi i have 2011 toyota tacoma 4dr 4 cyclinder with the 3/4 drop my problem i am having is clearance in the front and rear when am carrying three to four people in the truck, i have the calmax shocks in the rear, but what would you recomend as an upgrade strut for the front?.. only because this truck has the flares…

    • William,

      Very sorry for the late reply. We changed servers for the site and comment notification got lost somewhere! What size wheels and tires do you have? And maybe more important is the offset same as factory?


  26. I would like to lower my 1999 Toyota Tacoma and found your kit to be the one that seems to be the one that best fits what I want.
    I dont understand how changing an upper control arm only will allow th truck to be lowered. I need some form of installation detail on the kit prior to purchasing it. My truck is on staggered 18’s and need to go down but I’d like to keep the stock ride quality “as much as possible.” That’s what your company offers as I drive 100+++ miles per day .

    I did search your webite for installation instructions and how the product works but have been unsucessful.

    Please send me the info so that I can make an informed decision.


    • Dane,

      On your 99 Tacoma the lowering is basically done by moving the lower ball joint from below the control arm to on mounting on top of it. The upper arms are for alignment purposes. Since you not changing any springs the ride should stay just like it is. You do lose a little travel but that won’t matter unless you are carrying a full capacity load often. You can download and read the installation instructions form the website here click on the complete front/rear kit

      DJM Tech

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