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Front shock squeak and results

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
Itchy Dog [OP] Itchy Dog is offline
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Front shock squeak and results

I have a 2003 Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab. I bought some OME 883 coils and OME 90004 front shocks from Toytech in Feb 2010, had them installed by my local mechanic. Truck had 76K miles on it at the time of install. It gradually developed an ever-increasing squeak in the front end (which I isolated to be coming from the top shock mount). I had it in the shop a couple times to have the problem looked at, but all they did was tighten the top nut and lube the top bushing (which was new). After that didn't fix it I took it back again (87K miles) and they disassembled the entire assembly and this is what they found: the shock piston was worn and the hole in the top plate was also worn from excess play. A call to tech support at ARB determined that this is not an uncommon problem encounter: "It's caused by lack of preload on the shock bushings allowing the shock to work against the top plate. Either installation related or excessive wear of the bushings will cause this."

I remember seeing a similar post (with photos) a while back when I was searching for the possible source of this squeak, but cannot locate it now. Maybe this will help others if you have a metal on metal, high-pitched squeak coming from your front shocks.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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So do you have to buy new shocks also? I'm replacing my top bushings this weekend and I have a bad feeling that's what my right side is going to look like

Anyone know where to buy a new top plate other than the dealer?
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Well, I just ordered a new top plate from Advance Auto for $30.

Now, what do I do if my shock piston looks like OP's? is it okay to re-use the shock like that or do I have to buy a new shock? I have 5100's...

Thanks,
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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I did not replace my shocks but the top plates were toast. My bushings were new when the shocks were installed so that wasn't the problem, FYI. The problem was that they were not "preloaded" just as the tech from ARB suggested. HOWEVER according to my mechanic, the reason they were not preloaded correctly is due to a design flaw in the shocks: there aren't enough threads on the shaft to properly compress the top bushing in order to preloaded. He had to add shims (a stack of washers) below the bottom bushing to remedy this. Since ARB said that they've seen this happen before it seems like a problem with the design.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itchy Dog View Post
I did not replace my shocks but the top plates were toast. My bushings were new when the shocks were installed so that wasn't the problem, FYI. The problem was that they were not "preloaded" just as the tech from ARB suggested. HOWEVER according to my mechanic, the reason they were not preloaded correctly is due to a design flaw in the shocks: there aren't enough threads on the shaft to properly compress the top bushing in order to preloaded. He had to add shims (a stack of washers) below the bottom bushing to remedy this. Since ARB said that they've seen this happen before it seems like a problem with the design.
Cool, thanks for the input man.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
Itchy Dog [OP] Itchy Dog is offline
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Update: Two days later and I am hearing the high-pitched squeak again on the driver's side. Not as bad as it was, but if I remember correctly it started very gradually the first time and gradually got worse. I think it may be time to dump the OME shocks (damn things cost me nearly $250) and get something else that'll work with the 883 coils.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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^ Thanks for the update.

Mine dosent actually squeak, it clanks...

The people I had assemble my 5100's/ome's forgot to re-install one of the bushings that go on top, so the top washer is loose and clanks when i'm driving. I meant to take care of it right away, but I just never got around to it . Hopefully the damage isnt too bad.
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