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Front Struts on a 2003 DC PreRunner

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by fdunlop, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Sep 11, 2019 at 6:42 PM
    #1
    fdunlop

    fdunlop [OP] Active Member

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    Hey guys, I want to replace the front struts on my tacoma because every bump dip or turn it feels like i'm in a boat. The DIY looks pretty easy if I purchase quick struts, but I also have a buddy with a coil compressor. So a couple of questions.

    1. What brand of Quick Struts do you guys recommend? Monroe was the highest rated for quick struts but a lot of people like the bilstein 4600/5100 shock absorbers
    2. Should I just buy the shock absorbers and keep the old coils? I'd save money but I dont know if it's safer to get all new hardware.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sep 27, 2019 at 8:58 AM
    #2
    jondo

    jondo New Member

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    Hey, I've got the same dilemma, except my front shock actually is sagging a bit. Just replaced leaf springs which were sagging, I'm guessing that the coil springs are probably fatigued (+/- bad shock) and you might as well get new struts. I've looked into just replacing the front shocks but the process is so arduous it's not worth the trouble. You could take the unit to Pep Boys and have them change coil out for you with special machine they have tho. I went to the bilstein website and only struts they offer for 2003 prerunner is:
    https://cart.bilsteinus.com/details...810445&Submodel=8912730443254359864&Pos=Front

    Seems like overkill, would rather have new struts with 5100 model, will keep looking. Let me know if you or anyone else out there can recommend a model.
     
  3. Sep 27, 2019 at 9:01 AM
    #3
    jondo

    jondo New Member

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    OMG just priced that Bilstein b8 6112 front struts, it's $661 for the pair on Amazon. Will shop some more.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2019 at 6:12 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    5100s are like $170 a pair, and then use your old coils. You can rent the tools from most auto parts stores (Oreilys, auto zone, etc...) for free, too.

    If you aren’t interested in lifting it, use the 4600s.

    Also, these trucks don’t have struts. They are coilovers. I bugs me when so called experts sell “struts” for our trucks.
     
    Funkensour likes this.
  5. Sep 29, 2019 at 11:24 AM
    #5
    jondo

    jondo New Member

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    Thanks JB, didn't know about coilover (can only handle vertical motion) vs struts (both horizontal and vertical stress) till you mentioned that. Unfortunately, I pulled the trigger for $640 and got the
    Bilstein 47-267558 B8 6112 shocks with coil overs thinking they were struts (since I couldn't find bilstein 5100 struts -- they don't exist, you have to buy coil over springs separately). I have a 2003 prerunner with 230,000 mi and replaced the sagging rear leafs with General Springs HD's + bilstein 5100, work fine but bumped up height about 1" in back (that's with a 300 lb Flip-pac camper shell on it) -- my camping loads with bikes and so forth will add additional 300-500lb so maybe that 1" will disappear. Even though I would have gone for bilstein 5100 coil overs with new springs (figuring the old ones are worn out) this it works out well because the 6112 shocks are height adjustable using a c-clip (0 to 2") and are very heavy duty looking which will help since I'm doing more off roading these days to get away from the crowds (may have blown out old KYB on right front due to that and then I noticed right side sagging on and off).

    This whole suspension project started when I noted passenger side sagging, turns out old leaf springs weren't that bad in back -- it was a bad gas shock causing problem and it was intermittent. Consequently the entire right side of truck was sagging. I should have checked the passenger tire, there was cupping evident on it, a known sign of a bad shock.

    Here's a pic, notice the notched rings at the bottom or the shock where C-clip adjusts height.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077V4YSLV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  6. Sep 29, 2019 at 4:29 PM
    #6
    Blue92

    Blue92 Well-Known Member

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    They do exist. Dont do your auto part shopping on Amazon. Couldve got an entire kit from these guys for the price you paid for just your front shocks+coils, they'll even assemble them for a fee. https://www.headstrongoffroad.com/s..._Kit_for_1995.5-2004_Tacoma_(HS9504BK-1).html If you wanted new leafs, they'll hook you up too.
     

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