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Front shock replacement

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Ezra Smith, Feb 13, 2022.

  1. Feb 13, 2022 at 6:24 PM
    #1
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    Hello, I am anticipating having to replace my front shocks soon. Today I noticed that there was some fluid leaking down one and onto the passenger CV axle. I like the idea of getting the old strut off and bringing it to a shop to have them press the coil spring and get out the old shock and install the new shock. The truck has a leveling kit, and there is a spacer at the top of each coil spring. I am looking for shock recommendations. Do I need to get special ones because of the leveled front end? Pretty much all of my driving is on the road.

    f4a4895fe2df9a884cc18b64fe7dd367d50629f6-1.jpg
     
  2. Feb 13, 2022 at 6:40 PM
    #2
    AJKlug1

    AJKlug1 Well-Known Member

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    That upper mount looks like its toast. Depending on how many miles you have I would recommend replacing the shocks and top mounts for sure and possibly the coils if high miles.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2022 at 6:41 PM
    #3
    AJKlug1

    AJKlug1 Well-Known Member

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    since the leveling kit is just a spacer, no you wouldn't need longer shocks than stock.
     
    6 gearT444E likes this.
  4. Feb 13, 2022 at 7:04 PM
    #4
    Geeves77

    Geeves77 Well-Known Member

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    Get some 5160’s. And set the height, get rid d of that spacer
     
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  5. Feb 14, 2022 at 4:59 AM
    #5
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    Those come with an additional reservoir yes? I would not need something like that. Why would you get rid of the spacer? I guess it would make sense if the lifted shocks are the same price.

    Yes to high miles (270k). Not sure if they are the stock coils. Would metal fatigue be the concern with them?

    If I went with stock length I am looking at these: B6 4600
    For adjustable ones it seems like these are good ones: 5100

    With either I would buy replacement supports.
     
    Pearson likes this.
  6. Feb 14, 2022 at 1:34 PM
    #6
    Chuy

    Chuy Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you will need new strut mounts (KYB SM5640). Then check the lift inserts for cracks. Your call on keeping the oem coils; if you are going to keep them, swap them as one will be a bit more compressed than the other due to the Taco lean. You can also replace them with cheap aftermarket oem height coils.

    Since you need new shocks, the next most affordable route is to get 5100 Bilsteins and set them to highest setting to use with the OEM coils (still swapping the coils, and yet, I would still put in a 1/4-inch spacer on the driver side). And toss out the spacer inserts.

    Note, if you reside in Socal, you can have my oem Bilsteins for a six pack. They only have about 60K.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2022 at 4:24 PM
    #7
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    I like the idea of swapping sides with the coils and going with the 5100s. I would take you up on the old bilsteins, but I am writing from southern Maine, and driving down your way seems a bit far!

    I am starting to wonder if I should replace some other parts while I am in there. Both lower ball joint boots are almost gone, and I also wonder about the control arm bushings.

    As for setting the height on the 5100s, what setting seems to do a good job of leveling it out?
     
    OmahTako likes this.
  8. Feb 14, 2022 at 4:45 PM
    #8
    Chuy

    Chuy Well-Known Member

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    It was 90 here yesterday, and excellent humidity levels. You can make a vacation out of the trip. These are locally called Santa Ana conditions, but we are now looking at 50-60 degree weather the next two months or so. Probably warmer then in Maine, though.
    If you have original BJ’s, yes, it would be a good time to replace them as preventive maintenance, as well as the lower bushings. Check the LCA cam bolts now, though, to make sure they are not seized.
    Check this thread for height settings:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/5100-settings-to-level-the-front.460114/
     
    Sdtrueblue likes this.
  9. Feb 14, 2022 at 6:02 PM
    #9
    burrito782

    burrito782 Shit Throwing Ape

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    The 2nd notch w/stock coils, otherwise you're venturing into bro lean territory going any higher.
     
  10. Feb 15, 2022 at 8:00 AM
    #10
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    The best bang for the buck is getting 3rd gen TRD Off Road take-offs. No disassembly, raises the front about 3/4" (without the use of spacers) and far better ride than stock. Usually you can find take-offs with less than 5k miles for $200-$250 for front and rear shocks. Since the fronts are still fully assembled, there is no need to disassemble the front shocks, just swap them out.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/review-3rd-gen-suspension-on-2nd-gen.542843/
     
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  11. Feb 15, 2022 at 9:18 AM
    #11
    Wattapunk

    Wattapunk Stay lifted my friends !

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    At 270k miles, you might as well also address the rear leaf pack if they are original.
     
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  12. Feb 15, 2022 at 9:49 AM
    #12
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    I LIKE that idea! I have an offer in on new looking strut assemblies for the front for $200. I will keep looking around to see if I can find cheaper. Local junk yards do not seem to have any. Am I correct in thinking that I a 3rd gen OEM strut from Bilstein is the off-road package? Hitachi are sport I believe.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2022 at 12:07 PM
    #13
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    Just keep an eye on local Facebook swap, craigslist or on here in the classifieds. The TRD Off Road is the Bilsteins and the TRD Sport is the Hitatchi. The Sport suspension is quite a bit firmer valving and the OR is softer. The reason you gain the lift is because the 3rd gen spring rate is 700lb load and the 2nd gen is around 500-550lbs. Now that sounds like it's going to be a terrible ride, but Toyota took that into account when valving the shocks and it's a really nice ride!! It doesn't dive into corners as much and makes the truck feel more planted/stable too. Mine only had about 36k miles on it so I was coming from a still fairly new suspension and adding the 3rd gen OR shocks was great!! I can get into the "why" of the differences between the Sport and OR, but I'll keep it simple for now.
     
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  14. Feb 15, 2022 at 12:21 PM
    #14
    saint277

    saint277 Vigilo Confido

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    Oh man, unleash the anti spacer crowd. Anyway, you don't need special shocks. You can just move the spacer to a new shock. I wouldn't worry about the spacer on just a leveling kit. It will be cheaper to by a preassembled shock/spring then it will be to pay a shop to move the spring to a new shock. A shock change is and easy job anyone can do. Lookup a youtube vid on how to do it and go nuts.
     
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  15. Feb 15, 2022 at 12:38 PM
    #15
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    I agree. People get out of hand with the whole spacer subject. Within reason a spacer is just fine and doesn't cause any issues. If the OP does end up doing a 3rd gen suspension, a spacer won't be needed to retain his current lift. But if he wants more lift then the option is always still there. I ended up adding a small spacer on the drivers side after the 3rd gen swap because of the dreaded Taco lean. But I also have an AGM battery and I weigh about 240, so that doesn't help. haha
     
  16. Feb 15, 2022 at 3:13 PM
    #16
    Reggie4x4

    Reggie4x4 Well-Known Member

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    I recently saw a 2021 Taco with thousands of gear...

    Annndd a 3'' puck-lift, AAL in back. Is there any reason for a spacer other than lift/leveling? Why try to make a shortcut out of a line - upgraded suspension is the best, yes?
     
  17. Feb 15, 2022 at 5:35 PM
    #17
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    Would there be any issue using shocks from a gen 3 but stock springs?
     
  18. Feb 16, 2022 at 2:14 AM
    #18
    Wattapunk

    Wattapunk Stay lifted my friends !

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    I can see adding an aal to the rear due to the extra weight but front 3" spacers is the worst way to lift the front. Always go with front coilovers and UCAs if lifting the front that amount. The performance and ride quality of COs vs. spacers is night and day.
     
  19. Feb 16, 2022 at 2:17 AM
    #19
    Wattapunk

    Wattapunk Stay lifted my friends !

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    No but why would go that route for the front? Just swap the whole unit with coils.
     
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  20. Feb 16, 2022 at 5:41 AM
    #20
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith [OP] Active Member

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    I found a set of all 4 shocks brand new (from 3rd Gen) for $150 on Facebook, but no coils. Using those and keeping spacers seems like a better deal to me than $225 for just the front struts. It does not seem like the small spacer I have would make much of a difference in ride quality.

    I ordered new top control arms and lower ball joints, but I got to wondering: At what height do the stock arms cease to work because of the angles involved?
     

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