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New Tacoma - Need Front Struts

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Golden Taco, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Oct 24, 2014 at 5:35 AM
    #1
    Golden Taco

    Golden Taco [OP] Member

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    Jason
    Cincinnati
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    03 PreRunner SR5
    Custom sun-roof. Locking T cover. Custom grill. GPS Navigation.
    Hi all,

    I bought my 03 Taco TRD Pre-Runner back in May. The truck has 122k miles. I recently replaced the timing belt and switched to synthetic oil.

    I will more than likely never take this truck off-road as I live in the city. But I need some opinions on what suspension to get. I have already purchased Bilstein 5100 shocks for the rear.

    I am not sure what to go with for the front suspension. I would like the strut and spring all assembled if possible, so I can just swap them out.

    I have looked at Bilstein 5100 with OME 881 springs from wheelers, but the $500 price tag is a bit steep.

    Any suggestions on what setup to go with for a truck that may never see offroad?
     
  2. Oct 24, 2014 at 7:04 AM
    #2
    unixadm

    unixadm Well-Known Member

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    When I bought my 95.5 a few weeks back the shocks were all original at 108k and all of them were way past needing to be changed. I paid about $164 for a complete set of shocks (F/R) with loaded springs off of eBay which included shipping. Changing them is easy on these trucks (I figured I'd get Bilsteins after I was sure I liked the truck), but they ended up working our very nicely to the point I'm not going to change them anytime soon. The truck no longer bottoms out up front over large bumps and after a couple of weeks the front springs/shocks have settled in to provide a good compliant ride. My front springs were also not in good shape and had sagged, so for the money it was hard to pass up since I was able to swap all four in 90 minutes. Compared to what the truck came with, the change was night and day. I'm sure many will frown upon it and I'm not one to buy cheap parts, but when they work and get the job done I may as well share.
     
  3. Oct 24, 2014 at 7:35 AM
    #3
    mustangstephen

    mustangstephen raise hell, drink beer

    Joined:
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    Stephen
    by da creek
    Vehicle:
    02 Tacoma TRD
    Homebrew bumpers and sliders, 5100s & Eibachs up front and mutt leaf pack out back, 285s & Wheelers type B, sway bar deleted. Wife's ride: 01 4Runner 4wd sport. Stock with exception of TRD taco coils, and shift kit.
    Disassembling the shocks/coils is easy with the right tools. With the TRD package though you should have the progressive coils (coils spaced closer at top). They can be changed with a rented Auto Zone spring compressor but it's a PITA. I made a homemade attachment to my Harbor Freight spring compressor out of flat bar and it works great. (do so at your own risk). Worst case get the 5100's, figure out which setting you want them at (note: they come with the snap ring on the highest lift setting) and pay a shop to swap the coils. You can take them off and install back yourself but make sure the shop aligns the top plate correctly so it'll all go back together.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM
    #4
    Golden Taco

    Golden Taco [OP] Member

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    03 PreRunner SR5
    Custom sun-roof. Locking T cover. Custom grill. GPS Navigation.
    Do you remember what brand of struts you used for the front? I am just having a hard time deciding if $500 is worth it for just the front suspension when I do not plan on going off road. Compared to a "no name set from Ebay.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM
    #5
    unixadm

    unixadm Well-Known Member

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  6. Oct 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM
    #6
    Golden Taco

    Golden Taco [OP] Member

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    First Name:
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    Cincinnati
    Vehicle:
    03 PreRunner SR5
    Custom sun-roof. Locking T cover. Custom grill. GPS Navigation.
  7. Oct 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM
    #7
    unixadm

    unixadm Well-Known Member

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    My buddy has a 99 Tacoma 4x4 and it rides as good as his did when it was stock. My '01 Tundra 4x4 Limited rode a bit better (both with the stock Yellow/Blue Bilsteins and later when I put on the Red/Blue Bilstein, but I think those trucks ride better since they are heavier. It is MUCH better than when I got mine a few weeks ago. My truck felt like a 1970 Caddy and floated, bobbed and weaved really bad. Driving over uneven surfaced was scary and the front end had a bad rattle from the lack of damping. After I changed out the shocks, it's as good as it's probably going to get and it fixed all of my issues. I have no regrets and I've installed many sets of Bilsteins over the years. If this was a brand new truck, I would have went with better quality parts. However being that it's an oldie, economics played a roll in my decision. Very happy tho and to be honest they work better than I was expecting.
     

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