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How can I evaluate my suspension's condition?

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
ezatnova [OP] ezatnova is offline
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Question How can I evaluate my suspension's condition?

Hello,

Just picked up my Tacoma yesterday. It's an 04 with 133k miles on it. TRD Xtra cab.

Naturally, with 133k miles, I'm wanting to go over the truck and make sure things are safe and in operating condition. The Bilstiens look like originals to me...quite cruddy and old looking. Other than that though, I can't tell if things are shot, sort of old, just fine, etc. Are there any sort of tried and true ways to tell about the shocks, leafs, etc.? Would any pictures help? Can I press down on the front or back and check for certain movement, etc?

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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Name: Garrett
Joined: Jan 2011, #49443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezatnova View Post
Hello,

Just picked up my Tacoma yesterday. It's an 04 with 133k miles on it. TRD Xtra cab.

Naturally, with 133k miles, I'm wanting to go over the truck and make sure things are safe and in operating condition. The Bilstiens look like originals to me...quite cruddy and old looking. Other than that though, I can't tell if things are shot, sort of old, just fine, etc. Are there any sort of tried and true ways to tell about the shocks, leafs, etc.? Would any pictures help? Can I press down on the front or back and check for certain movement, etc?

Thanks
Your gonna want to replace them if they are the original ones from the factory, I took mine off at 90k and the fronts were shot, and the rears weren't much better. When I took my fronts off they were super easy to compress by hand and didn't return for a long time... it was my front springs that were pulling them back out. Since the fronts are coilovers
its a big pain to take out the shocks to check them. but the rears are very easy to remove and check, if you get new shocks and compare them
to the old ones you'll see its night and day difference before you even put them on the truck, in terms of compression/return...
For the Leafs packs if they are over the hill you can tell if they have a negative arch without any weight in the bed. But replacing them will make a difference too.. also just drive over some speed bumps with a little
speed, it should be stiff but not driving your spine through your head.

and if you go to replace them check the vendors section on the site,
their website have a lot of bolt on suspension parts that improve it drastically.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
ezatnova [OP] ezatnova is offline
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Question

Thanks G Scott.
I'll attach some pics of the leaf springs and maybe a little YouTube of me pressing the bumper and you guys can tell more from that. But like you said, I'm sure at 133k, they're shot. I got this truck just to have a winter beater, vehicle to take places I wouldn't take my car, and haul stuff around for our house we're building. So, it's not like I'll be driving it each day, or log distances etc. So, I have to weigh what I need vs what I should spend in reality. I mean, the truck certainly doesn't handle like a BMW, but it doesn't feel like it's going to kill me either. And the tires are crap on top of it all.
Between reading about tires and suspension stuff for hours on end, I'm
fried! I can't even decide on a brand/model of tire, or even 265/70/16 vs some people I see put on 265/75/16 for a slight beef up. Seems like (with stock suspension), half of them rub and half don't. Man!

So, I'm not keen on making this a monster truck, but if I have to get new shocks, is it ALWAYS worth going for the 5100s over replacent TRD part regular Bilsteins? I think I've seen the cost is similar.

Thanks



Quote:
Originally Posted by G scott04 View Post
Your gonna want to replace them if they are the original ones from the factory, I took mine off at 90k and the fronts were shot, and the rears weren't much better. When I took my fronts off they were super easy to compress by hand and didn't return for a long time... it was my front springs that were pulling them back out. Since the fronts are coilovers
its a big pain to take out the shocks to check them. but the rears are very easy to remove and check, if you get new shocks and compare them
to the old ones you'll see its night and day difference before you even put them on the truck, in terms of compression/return...
For the Leafs packs if they are over the hill you can tell if they have a negative arch without any weight in the bed. But replacing them will make a difference too.. also just drive over some speed bumps with a little
speed, it should be stiff but not driving your spine through your head.

and if you go to replace them check the vendors section on the site,
their website have a lot of bolt on suspension parts that improve it drastically.

Hope this helps
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