Fixing Axle Wrap in a Toyota Tacoma

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Has the rear end of your Toyota Tacoma seen better days? Here’s how to get it riding like new again!

Overall, the Toyota Tacoma is an excellent, reliable, and well-built machine. But like many other leaf spring equipped vehicles, it suffers from a problem known as axle wrap. The rear axle is only held in place by the leaf springs, which is fine for a while. But over time, as the springs soften and wear out, they lose their ability to hold the rear axle in place. The rear axle begins to move around, and pinion angle changes. And eventually, things like yokes and driveshafts begin to break.

Toyota Tacoma

A simple search on axle wrap will turn up hundreds of results and several opinions on how to fix it. Many have installed additional parts or relocated existing ones in an effort to solve axle wrap once and for all. But in reality, the easiest (and sometimes cheapest) way to fix the problem is to simply replace those worn out leaf springs with new ones.

In this video from YouTuber Practical Enthusiast, we get to see exactly what axle wrap looks like in motion. But in addition to a moving rear axle, this 2003 Toyota Tacoma also has a couple of other issues out back. The parking brake no longer holds the truck on any sort of incline. And the rear brakes let out a loud “clunk” when released after a full stop.

Toyota Tacoma

Luckily, swapping out leaf springs is an easy task. Heck, they’ve been around since the days of the horse and buggy. All you need to do is rest the axle on some jack stands and remove the bolts and U-bolts. And in this case, the old Toyota Tacoma received a new parking brake assembly and rear drum rebuild. The result? After these inexpensive and relatively easy fixes, the Tacoma’s rear was as good as new. So don’t let your Toyota become a victim of axle wrap. All it takes to tighten up your rear is a couple hundred bucks and a little elbow grease!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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