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need advice replacing struts on 07 taco

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Old 01-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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need advice replacing struts on 07 taco

I need some help guys; here is my delima:

I bought my 2007 tacoma sr5, 4dr, 4wd about a month ago. I brought it to a tire/ lift shop this morning to get a rough counry lift and 265/70/r16 nitto trail grapplers installed. The lift includes 3" strut spacers in the front and 2" rear blocks with replacement rear shocks. They called me after they started the installation and said that I will need new struts soon, apparently mine are going bad and are going to wear down the tires fast.

I know the lift puts a 3" strut spacer on the front end; so, should I get longer, aftermarket struts or get some the same size as my stock ones? What are the advantages of higher quality aftermarket struts? What does labor usually run on a job like this (ballpark price)? What companies make the best struts and which ones should I stay away from? I know it would have been easier to let the shop change them out while they had everything torn down, but I won't have the money until next week and I don't trust that particular shop to do a great job. They were my only option for installation on the lift.

Feel free to go into as much detail as needed and let me know if yall need more info to answer my questions. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
I need some help guys; here is my delima:

I bought my 2007 tacoma sr5, 4dr, 4wd about a month ago. I brought it to a tire/ lift shop this morning to get a rough counry lift and 265/70/r16 nitto trail grapplers installed. The lift includes 3" strut spacers in the front and 2" rear blocks with replacement rear shocks. They called me after they started the installation and said that I will need new struts soon, apparently mine are going bad and are going to wear down the tires fast.

I know the lift puts a 3" strut spacer on the front end; so, should I get longer, aftermarket struts or get some the same size as my stock ones? What are the advantages of higher quality aftermarket struts? What does labor usually run on a job like this (ballpark price)? What companies make the best struts and which ones should I stay away from? I know it would have been easier to let the shop change them out while they had everything torn down, but I won't have the money until next week and I don't trust that particular shop to do a great job. They were my only option for installation on the lift.

Feel free to go into as much detail as needed and let me know if yall need more info to answer my questions. Thanks guys.
First of all, how are struts going to wear your tires incorrectly?? I think you're right in not trusting that shop...

Next, the lift you purchased has a lot to be desired... Coil spacers and blocks can kill the ride and cause a lot of damage to the truck. If I were you, I'd look into a pair of Bilstein 5100's for the front and ditch the coil spacers. Then save for an add-a-leaf for the rear and get rid of the block. The front 5100's will run you about $200. They are adjustable so you can set them to 0, .85, 1.75 or 2.5" of lift and they use your stock coils. They're far from the best thing out there but they're a lot better than what you have now.

Read through this, there's a lot of good info on suspension set-ups. Also, visit the vendor's section. Downsouth Motorsports, Toytec Lifts and Wheelers Off Road all sell quality lift components and some offer discounts to TW members. I believe Downsouth is the cheapest for the 5100's.
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sus...uide-read.html
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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So you're suggesting I get rid of the lift I have now and the coils you mentioned will lift my truck? And are you saying that this problem isn't as bad as what they're making it out to be?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
So you're suggesting I get rid of the lift I have now and the coils you mentioned will lift my truck? And are you saying that this problem isn't as bad as what they're making it out to be?
I just don't see how the front shocks could affect tire wear. Tire wear in the front is controlled by the alignment. Bad shocks could make it handle like crap or very bouncy, but I don't see how it could adversly affect tire wear. Is the truck bouncy or are the shocks leaking oil?

What can affect your tire wear is a 3" lift and stock upper control arms. Generally with that kind of lift, the stock components don't have enough adjustment left to get the alignment within spec (if they do, you'll be at the outter limits of spec).

With lifts, you generally get what you pay for. You currently have a spacer lift up front and a block in the back. The spacer lift just spaces down the coilover assembly giving you lift. The issue is, the shock can now bottom out before the lower A-arm hits the bump stops. The shock itself is not designed or intended to take this kind of impact and can snap, leaving you S.O.L. If you off road at all, I would not want a 3" spacer. That being said, lots of people run spacers and few have had issues as long as you don't overdrive your lift.

Read the suspension link I sent you about the available lifts for the Tacoma. An aftermarket coil over assembly would be a much better lift but I can certainly understand not wanting to pay for a lift twice.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=Pugga;4332628]First of all, how are struts going to wear your tires incorrectly?? I think you're right in not trusting that shop...

Um ~ I dunno about you but my struts were designed to keep my tires planted firmly to the ground and provide a nice ride.... if your struts are bad wouldn't this defeat the purpose of the above? Struts bad = Tires bouncing around (along with the truck) creating uneven wear on.....??? Wait for it....wait....wait.....the TIRES!!! Is this not true? Have I been mislead all my life?
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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I'm so lost, oh well I guess its time to do some research.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YotaTaco View Post
Um ~ I dunno about you but my struts were designed to keep my tires planted firmly to the ground and provide a nice ride.... if your struts are bad wouldn't this defeat the purpose of the above? Struts bad = Tires bouncing around (along with the truck) creating uneven wear on.....??? Wait for it....wait....wait.....the TIRES!!! Is this not true? Have I been mislead all my life?
Your shocks would have to completely and udderly trashed to start causing uneven tire wear. The OP's truck is a 2007 so even if they were beat to hell for 3 years, I doubt they are bad enough to cause tire wear issues. If they were, he'd know it right away when driving because it wouldn't feel safe to drive. Also, shocks just dampen the ride, the A-arms keep everything in place and aligned when traveling so even if the shocks are bad, the contact patch should remain even assuming the wheel/tire has been balanced properly and you have the right amount of pressure in the tires. Your theory only holds true in very extreme cases of, how you put it "tires bouncing down the road"...
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:28 PM   #10
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Ok well I can say that my alignment has been fine. The steering wheel doesn't pull and the old tires seem to have worn evenly. It's going to be realigned today with the new tires. I don't go offroad that often, and when I do its mostly mud so I don't think I need another lift. So basically the mechanic shop just wants me to spend some more money with them?
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
Ok well I can say that my alignment has been fine. The steering wheel doesn't pull and the old tires seem to have worn evenly. It's going to be realigned today with the new tires. I don't go offroad that often, and when I do its mostly mud so I don't think I need another lift. So basically the mechanic shop just wants me to spend some more money with them?
You have a 2007 so the shocks are 4 years old, how many miles are on them? If you push on the corner of the truck, does the truck keep bouncing or does it just rebound and stop? At 4 years old, it's not unreasonable to say you might need shocks, not seeing your truck it's hard to say whether you do or not, but I still stand by my previous statement, I don't see how shocks would cause differential tire wear except in extreme cases.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:10 PM   #12
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It's got 88,400 miles. The shocks aren't noticeably worn and everyone that rides with me comments on how good it rides.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
It's got 88,400 miles. The shocks aren't noticeably worn and everyone that rides with me comments on how good it rides.
Then I wouldn't worry about it unless the shop can give you a good reason why they should be replaced. I'd ask if they saw something when they did the install to make them say something like that, just to make sure there wasn't something obvious.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPT View Post
Tacomas do not have struts. They have shocks.
A shock with a spring seat and spring can correctly be called a strut.
More commonly, can also be called a coilover (doesn't have to be thread-adjustable).
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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sees what you did there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflan View Post
A shock with a spring seat and spring can correctly be called a strut.
More commonly, can also be called a coilover (doesn't have to be thread-adjustable).
Struts are by defination an integral, load bearing part of the suspension. The strut replaces the shock, UCA, and spindle. So if a vehicle has UCA's, it does not have struts.

Shocks


Struts
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:32 PM   #16
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That's by definition a McPherson strut, isn't it ?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #17
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sees what you did there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflan View Post
That's by definition a McPherson strut, isn't it ?
That particular picture is, yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
An automotive suspension strut combines the primary function of a shock absorber (as a damper), with the ability to support sideways loads not along its axis of compression, somewhat similar to a sliding pillar suspension, thus eliminating the need for an upper suspension arm. This means that a strut must have a more rugged design, with mounting points near its middle for attachment of such loads.
The most common form of strut in an automobile is the MacPherson strut. MacPherson struts are often purchased by the automakers in sets of four completed sub-assemblies: These can be mounted on the car bodies as part of the manufacturers' own assembly operations. The MacPherson strut combines a shock absorber and a spring in a single unit, by means of which each wheel is attached to the car body.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strut
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPT View Post
Struts are by defination an integral, load bearing part of the suspension. The strut replaces the shock, UCA, and spindle. So if a vehicle has UCA's, it does not have struts.

Shocks


Struts
I remember having this debate
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:11 PM   #19
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Thanks, jflan. It technically can be called a strut however it is shock as DFX pointed out, thanks for the correction. I also have a car, so sometimes my car speak crosses over and terminology...err...not so good. Regardless, struts and and shocks serve the same purpose in different applications.

Pugga read this..... http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-suspension.htm
This should help you understand why a shock plays an important roll in tire wear. This says it better than I could've and has pictures for you to look at. If you're still not convinced, then I say we do "Mythbusters" and use your Taco as the experiment! Hey by the way....I know reading is hard, but I didn't write "bouncing down the road......" My exact words were "tires bouncing around."

Other than that Cookie, I agree with Pugga, if it's not bouncing around or rolling around corners (and by technical standards - the tires are evenly worn) don't change them. I'm holding out on installing my 5100s (which are sitting on my kitchen floor) until mine are worn and I have 105K on my truck.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I just don't see how the front shocks could affect tire wear. Tire wear in the front is controlled by the alignment. Bad shocks could make it handle like crap or very bouncy, but I don't see how it could adversly affect tire wear. Is the truck bouncy or are the shocks leaking oil?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ;4332628
Is this not true? Have I been mislead all my life?
It is true, you haven't been mislead. Alignment is the most common cause of uneven tire wear. Worn shocks definitely DO cause poor tire wear, and is most common in the form of cupping.

Simply put, poor alignment causes premature tire wear, and worn shocks cause poor tire wear.
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