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Suspension replacement

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Paul'sPrerunner, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Feb 20, 2019 at 8:17 AM
    #1
    Paul'sPrerunner

    Paul'sPrerunner [OP] Member

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    Goodmorning folks, 1st time posting, occasional reader.
    I've owned my 2004 prerunner since 2008 and have never replaced suspension parts besides a lower control arm on the passenger side. Last time I was getting an alignment the mechanic pointed out some play in my suspension noting the driver side upper control arm.
    I've been putting off doing the job myself since I'd rather replace everything at once while I have the car taken apart.
    My question is, at 165k miles what parts would you replace while accessing the uca? Any recommendation on brands? I'd like to go for an upgraded aftermarket, quality, but not the most expensive, it's a 4x2 that sees lots of snow and a little bit of functional off roading.
    At the moment I'm thinking both upper/lower control arms + new shocks.
     
  2. Feb 20, 2019 at 9:23 AM
    #2
    Kamill

    Kamill Member

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    Bilstein 4600 shocks, new bushings and most likely a new top hat (strut mount). I just did this on my 2001 and it made a big difference in driving comfort.

    If you decide to replace the shocks, the bushing part numbers from Toyota are:
    90948-01056 CUSHION, SHOCK ABSOR
    90948-01057 CUSHION, SHOCK ABSOR
    90948-A2003 RETAINER, CUSHION
    90948-02160 RETAINER, CUSHION
    90948-02159 RETAINER, CUSHION
    and you'll want 2 of each.

    Strut mount: Monroe 904900
     
    Clucky likes this.
  3. Feb 20, 2019 at 9:56 AM
    #3
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR Well-Known Member

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    OME 2.5", 881, Dakar, Nitrochargers
    Welcome to Tacoma World!

    I ran monroe quick struts for a number of years. They were definitely a budget item.
    Left
    Right

    They have some cheap shocks for the back as well. Install was a breeze since they're coil overs. I've had them since 2012, but they're super worn now. Next weekend I'm putting on an I bought back on black Friday.

    While you're in there, you may want to consider replacing bushings and ball joints. The lower ball joints fail catastrophically on these trucks. Also, if you have any shimmies when braking or while driving you may want to consider replacing your tie rods as well. They may be fine at 165k (mine have been fine until the last 10,000 miles or so), but it's something to look at.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  4. Feb 20, 2019 at 11:23 AM
    #4
    Paul'sPrerunner

    Paul'sPrerunner [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses. So I'm getting that both of you suggest I simply replace the bushings rather than the entire control arm?
    What about coils?
    Good point, I will replace the tie rods since they're cheap and already involved in the teardown.
    I wasnt considering tackling the rear, but I guess I might as well get in there and lube the leafsprings.
    Furthest I've gone on suspension work is replacing control arms and tie rods on a couple mazdas.
    This will be my 1st time replacing shocks/upper control arms solo, is the process significantly more difficult than the lower control arms?
     
  5. Feb 20, 2019 at 11:52 AM
    #5
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR Well-Known Member

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    OME 2.5", 881, Dakar, Nitrochargers
    Shops and the dealership recommend replacing the whole arm. Doesn't help that toyota doesn't sell the UCA bushings directly. You can find them online and press them in though. Heck of a lot cheaper than $231 per arm.

    New shocks can drive old coils. Just depends on how worn they are. I believe worn coils will wear down the newer shocks faster. That's why I opted for coil overs. May as well replace the rear shocks while you're doing this. I think the whole process took me a few hours, but I had never done that before. Certainly can be done across a weekend.

    I believe the lowers are far more difficult, though I've never done them before. I'll let you know how that goes after next weekend :)

    I haven't lubed the leaf springs before. Is that something you're supposed to do?

    After installing a new suspension, new bushings, and (maybe) tie rods that truck should drive a lot nicer.
     
  6. Feb 23, 2019 at 5:19 PM
    #6
    Paul'sPrerunner

    Paul'sPrerunner [OP] Member

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  7. Feb 23, 2019 at 5:41 PM
    #7
    Paul'sPrerunner

    Paul'sPrerunner [OP] Member

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  8. Feb 26, 2019 at 1:44 PM
    #8
    MacGyvR

    MacGyvR Well-Known Member

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    OME 2.5", 881, Dakar, Nitrochargers
    It looks like you're on the right track. I haven't had a chance to check your part numbers though. I wouldn't worry too much about Amazon garage saying stuff won't fit, I've found that it's wrong sometimes. Always good to check with other resources that the part will fit. Since you checked with Moog you should be okay with those parts. Another good resource for parts is rockauto.com, they help you sort through parts to find what fits and it ranks them based on usage (economy, daily driver, premium, etc).

    Also, many on the forum recommend sticking with OEM parts (buy it once), and others say it's not such a big deal. If you're interested in OEM parts I'd recommend checking out Camelback Toyota in AZ. I was going to order my parts online as well, but found that Camelback Toyota's prices were within a few dollars of what I could find online, and as an added bonus I could go pick them up in person vs having to deal with shipping. Plus if anything is wrong I don't have to deal with shipping anything back.

    Lastly, I can't recommend Timmy the Toolman's videos enough. He takes you through many of the maintenance items step by step and lets you know about gotchas before you start on the job. His YouTube channel is here. I'll be referencing a bunch of his videos this weekend when I pull my front end apart.
     
    Area51Runner likes this.
  9. Feb 26, 2019 at 1:54 PM
    #9
    Paul'sPrerunner

    Paul'sPrerunner [OP] Member

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    Great, I'm probably going to need some videos to reference.
    As far as OEM goes I was under the impression that name brand aftermarket parts are typically > OEM parts. Given that it was such a well built truck I might agree with the experts that that's not the case. I just trust Mike Rowe and he endorsed them haha. These parts look nice so far though, I'm just waiting on the UCA bushings to arrive. Thankfully everything was prime so free shipping. The strut mounts came with mounts and bushings so I already returned $100 worth.
    So far everything that's arrived has been made in either Japan or USA, with the exception of the tie rod ends which were made in India.
    I'll let myself be a case study for the reliability of moog parts. I'm starting the job Friday after work, stay tuned this weekend for updates :fingerscrossed:
     
    OneWheelPeel and MacGyvR like this.
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