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1986 Toyota Pickup Suspension upgrade?

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Old 02-28-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
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1986 Toyota Pickup Suspension upgrade?

Hey guys I would like to upgrade my shocks on my 86 toyota pickup 4x4 but I don't know what to put on it? I own a cattle ranch and spend a lot of time off road. I have a lot of trails and dirt roads that are real rocky and this 86 truck is a pretty stiff ride. I would like to upgrade the shocks to get a smoother, more comfortable ride but I wanna do it on a budget (Don't wanna spend $1500 on shocks for a truck that's worth $2500). The truck is stock height and I would like to keep it that way. Does anyone know a good budget shock that gives a smooth ride off road?
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 AM   #2
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Might not be the shocks

I really can't help you about appropriate shocks, but other things could contribute to a rough ride. I could be wrong, but worn out shocks typically give a softer, bouncier ride, not a stiffer ride.

Tires - bias-ply or radials? What load rating? P-rated or LT-rated? What air pressure are you running?

suspension - all stock, or beefed up for additional load-carrying?

Are you running any add-a-leafs in the rear? Those will stiffen the ride.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tan4x4 View Post
I really can't help you about appropriate shocks, but other things could contribute to a rough ride. I could be wrong, but worn out shocks typically give a softer, bouncier ride, not a stiffer ride.

Are you running any add-a-leafs in the rear? Those will stiffen the ride.
It's not that the shocks are worn out, they are just stiff. In fact I think they are the original stock shocks to the truck. It's hard to tell but they are real old looking and black. The truck rides like my 1 ton diesel off road and I would like it to feel more like a quad so I can cover some ground quicker without having to get headache by the time I'm done for the day. I've driven in newer TRD tacomas with the bilsteins and man are they nice but I cant justify paying $25-30k for a truck that will get the crap beat out of it on a cattle ranch with cows bumping into, etc. I guess what I'm looking for is the newer TRD suspension in my old 86 pickup (if thats even possible). I'm pretty sure all the suspension is stock at this point (stock springs, shocks, leafs, lift, etc). All I'm looking to change is the stiffness aspect of it. I wish I had bought a 1996+ tacoma because I would have just found a set of used bilsteins off of someone's TRD that they had to replace when they lifted their truck and bolted them right up to mine but because it's a 1986 pickup I have no idea how or if it's even possible to upgrade these shocks on the cheap?
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:32 AM   #4
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If your shocks are original, then I would guess that ANY modern shock would be an improvement. Have you tried calling a local parts house (like Napa or Autozone) and see what they have to say? Even cheap shocks are at least $40 each.

On these old trucks, that don't have struts up front, front shocks are very easy to replace, just unbolt them. They might be rusted up, though.

As far as the amount of dampening is concerned, you could take one of the front ones off, and see how much effort it takes to compress-decompress them. Then compare that effort with a new shock at the store.

In the meantime, air down the tires to 20 to 25 psi. That will smooth out the ride immediately, especially if they are radials.
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