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Struts for 2001 Tacoma Crew Cab?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Arnel, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Jul 13, 2017 at 4:00 PM
    #1
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a newbie here. My 2001 crew cab still has the original struts. It's been bouncing around after hitting pot holes so I know they need to be changed. Before finding this forum, I did some searching around, starting with watching YouTube videos. I was all set to buy front strut assemblies to make my life easier. Looked pretty straight forward. I was going to buy Monroe 171352L and 171352R strut assemblies for the front and Bilstein 24184960 and 24184977 for the rears. I tow a boat with my Tacoma so decided on the heavier struts for the rear.

    I thought I was set until I saw a comment on Amazon for the Monroe strut assemblies, saying they are not for the Crew Cab due to the heavy weight. huh? I checked rockauto.com truck description for the Monroes and yes, crew cabs were not mentioned as one of the vehicles for those assemblies. I emailed Monroe about having a crew cab and got a lame response ... "check the fit to make sure you have the right struts".

    I still want to install all 4 struts myself to save money, but want to make sure I have the right ones. I don't mind paying money for good struts. I just prefer an assembly for the front if possible.

    What do you guys with 1st generation crew cabs recommend I get? Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. Jul 13, 2017 at 4:31 PM
    #2
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    First, to avoid confusion, tacomas don't have struts. We have coilovers in teh front, shocks in the rear. They look essentially the same when off the vehicle (coil spring with shock inside) but function very differently. If you remove the coilover, the suspension will still "work" in that it keeps the alignment etc... because it has an upper and lower control arm. If you remove a strut, there will be nothing holding the top of the suspension and it will flop all over.

    I know I sound nit-picky, but it makes for ordering parts much more straight forward! :thumbsup:

    2nd, I assume you mean the double cab (4 door) correct? But it doesn't really matter anyway, there is no difference in the shocks themselves. The difference is in the *springs*, and that's only for the 4cyl or v6. No difference for any of the regular cab, extra cab or doublecabs...

    Here's what you do. Order yourself a set of Bilstein 5100's from Downsouthmotorsports. It'll run you about $299 for all 4 (that was the price when I got mine about 6 years ago) and that includes a TW member discount. Search for them on this site and PM them to get the discount. You can get a set of bilstein 4600's too, which are slightly cheaper, but are not adjustable. For the extra few bucks, get the adjustable ones so you can level out the front of the truck if you choose.

    Then, go to Autozone and get a coilover spring compressor (for free), and install them yourself. Compress the springs to take the old shock out, put the new one in and install on vehicle. (There are much more detailed instructions here or on youtube, just search for them, you'll find them very helpful). The rears are even more straight forward.

    The shocks (coilovers) are adjustable by moving a 3 position clip (for 0"-3" of lift) that puts the spring higher or lower on on the shock, so you can lift it a bit is you want, or keep them stock height - your choice.
     
  3. Jul 13, 2017 at 4:44 PM
    #3
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    jbrandt ... awesome! Nit-picky is fine. I'm learning.

    Yes, double cab (4 door), V6. 3.4L.

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it! I'll look into it.
     
  4. Jul 13, 2017 at 4:53 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Just FYI, I can usually tell when a Ford/GM guy is a convert to a Yota (when they say "crewcab" lol)...

    Kidding aside, tho, you can surely get some cheaper shocks from the auto parts store, but bilsteins are what the TRD tacos come with, and the 5100 are probably the most popular upgrade for our trucks, they offer good performance and an easy way to put a mild lift on it for off-roading/bigger tires. Even if you don't go off road much, the bilsteins are still a far superior shock to anything from an autoparts store, especially for the price (not that much more than monroe or others).
    :cheers:
     
    OneWheelPeel and Arnel [OP] like this.
  5. Jul 13, 2017 at 5:13 PM
    #5
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    Awesome jbrandt. I don't mind, and prefer, getting what you Tacoma guys all recommend.

    no prob with the jokes ... I'm not sure where i got crew cab, quad cab, double cab ... hehe. This is my second Tacoma and my other two cars are a Corolla and Camry :) I like Toyotas because they last forever! Never had a problem with my Tacoma ... well, except for that super light torque setting on my tranny plug ... I've stripped the pan twice! Now I torque it and don't do it by hand.

    I just visited the downsouthmotorsports website and found the following. Looks like this is the set to get. $339. not bad. But question from a newb ... how long are those front coil springs good for? My truck is 16 years old and has about 120,000 miles. Should I change the springs since I'm going to go through the trouble? Again, have to turn to you Tacoma vets for this type of advice. thanks.

    BILSTEIN 5100 SERIES FRONT AND REAR SHOCKS FOR 1996-2004 TOYOTA TACOMA 2WD PRE-RUNNER & 4WD (PAIR) 24-249928/33-247724/33-247717
     
  6. Jul 13, 2017 at 6:37 PM
    #6
    Kleenax

    Kleenax Well-Known Member

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    New frame & stuff CBI bolt-on Sliders
    I just installed KYB MonoMax heavy-duty fronts & rears from Rockauto.com and I Love em! I also added an Air-Lift kit on the back for when I have extra weight in the bed, and/or am towing my boat. KYB part numbers below:
    565052 rears
    564001 fronts

    Have a look at them; I think it's worth it.
     
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  7. Jul 14, 2017 at 8:51 AM
    #7
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    Thanks Kleenax. I'll take a look.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2017 at 9:39 AM
    #8
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    FWIW, I had KYBs on my 97 5-lug... Good shocks, but I didn't really beat on my 5 lug or drive it hard. They're just good basic shocks.

    Well, I've got about 130k miles on my 2004 TRD, and my springs are pretty worn out. But putting new shocks can do wonders for your driving. Plus, nice thing about the 5100's is you can lift the front to compensate for some sagging coil springs (exactly what I did). I think the first clip above stock height is 0.85" which should just about level out the front. For your rear leafs, they are probably somewhat "W" shaped (mine are). Again, new shocks will help, but the height is not adjustable like the fronts. You'd probably need an add-a-leaf, or, more ideally, completely new set of springs.

    If you want to replace the springs, you can certainly do that now. The more popular springs are Old Man Emu (OME). You can get a brand new pair for around $160 I think. There are various springs in various lift/weights available, so you could do a OME spring ( ) and set them on the "stock height" clip of the 5100's and get about 1.5" of lift. If you go for those, just talk to someone on the phone and tell them what truck you have (v6, etc...) and any accessories you have (aftermarket bumper, winch, etc...) and they'll set you up with the right combo.

    As for the rear, OME also has the "Dakar" leaf packs. They are a great set of springs, and very well respected in the off road community. They do offer a bit of a lift, so if you want to keep your stock height, there are some other options, too. But I think OME only does lift springs (but not 100% sure of that...).
     
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  9. Jul 14, 2017 at 9:55 AM
    #9
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Another website to check out is Wheelersoffroad.com. They have a ton of other stuff and junk to spend your money on too... :)

    They've got a good amount of springs for good prices. Old Man Emu (OME) has coil pairs for about $160 in various lift heights and weights. Most people go with 881's I think, but call the guys and tell them what truck you have and if you have any heavy crap (plate bumper winch) on the front, as that will change what springs to get.

    For the rear, you can do an add-a-lead to help compensate for a sagging rear end, but ideally you should replace the entire leaf pack if your leafs are "W" shaped like mine are... OME has leaf packs that are ~1.5-2" lift (iirc) for around $350. I think Wheeler's does stock height OEM style leaf packs, but they're (ironically) more than the OME's. There are a few other brands, too but most are generally geared towards off roading (lift).

    I *think* Wheeler's will also assemble your front coilovers (for a cost), so if you get some OME springs and 5100's, you don't have to go out and rent a spring compressor to install them. You can just bolt them right in. Since tool rentals are usually free, though, I tend to do the work myself and save a few bucks.

    A little perspective on what I have done with my truck:
    6+ years ago I got a full set of 5100's, and kept my stock springs. Lifted the front with the middle adjustment clip, and got longer shackles for the rear so my 265/75 tires would stop rubbing. Also took the opportunity to install full polyurethane bushings for the control arms. They have performed flawlessly (on and off road), and I'm really happy with them.

    Fast forward to today. Since I have a 4Runner as a daily driver now, the taco is my play truck now, and it's time for a suspension upgrade (I have King extended travel coilovers and total chaos upper A arms arriving tomorrow). I'll also do a full steering service while I'm under there with all new tie rods and ball joints.
     
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  10. Jul 14, 2017 at 10:13 AM
    #10
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. This is a lot of info for me to absorb. It'll take a while. I appreciate the info! I do some minor work on my truck, but the more I read about this, the more I realize I don't know. That concerns me a little, as I don't want to mess anything up. Now I have a new thought ... what do you guys think of me taking it to a Toyota Dealer to replace all four? Will they do a crap job with their shocks? or can I buy the Bilsteins and have them install it??
     
  11. Jul 14, 2017 at 10:41 AM
    #11
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Dude, a dealer will charge you arm/leg prices for something that is pretty easy to do yourself. If you have Wheeler's (from above) assemble your springs/shocks, there are literally 12 bolts to loosen/tighten for replacing all 4 shocks.

    So here's a set of pictures that may help. This guy ended up having a shop do the install, but the picture show essentially how it's done. It should give you a good idea of what's involved.
    http://www.customtacos.com/forum/1661954-post1.html

    Here's another thread on the subject from this site:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/bilstein-5100-install-thread.114418/
     
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  12. Jul 14, 2017 at 12:21 PM
    #12
    Arnel

    Arnel [OP] Member

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    Thanks jbrandt. Yeah, I paid over $2500 to have all four installed by Toyota for my Camry. Ok, thanks for the links. I'll give it a crack.

    One more question ... if I don't care about lifting my truck, shouldn't I just get the Bilstein 4600 instead of the 5100? ... one setting less for me to screw up
     
  13. Jul 14, 2017 at 8:30 PM
    #13
    Sicyota04

    Sicyota04 Slowly but surely.

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    I wouldn't have the dealer install any rear shocks or anything else for that matter. Unless you like to take your life into your own hands!
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/posts/15570462/
    :rofl:
     

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