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Greetings and Suspension Guidance Appreciated

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by SURF2021, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Apr 14, 2021 at 8:24 AM
    #1
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Hello Hello!
    I am new to the forum and want to thank you in advance for any guidance. Also, apologies in advance if I have asked a question that has been asked before! :)
    I'm a family man residing in the Washington, DC area and the original owner of a garage kept 2008 Toyota 4runner Limited 4WD with the 4.0L V6 motor. I paid $40,315.00 for it back in October 25, 2008. I also financed thru Toyota Financial Services for a 0 rate over 48 months.
    As you all no doubt know, what a fantastic machine these 4runner are! I have just under 130,000 miles on the vehicle. I am a family man and so no 'off roading' taking place here. However, the ride quality has no become 'unforgivable' if you will and so I am interested in replacing the entire suspension system. Given the longevity I've had, I'd like to replace with OEM (Genuine Toyota parts). Can someone please educate me on what I need for the front left/right, rear left/right? What are the needed part#'s? What all do you suggest I replace?
    Can you recommend a shop or mechanic in the Washington DC area that can do the job and also the 4 wheel alignment? I'm all in favor of supporting any small business, especially during this time with so many struggling.
    Thanks for your help and let me know if you require any additional information!
    SURF2021
     
  2. Apr 14, 2021 at 8:37 AM
    #2
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    Slightly modded
    Welcome to the forum.
     
    SURF2021 [OP] likes this.
  3. Apr 15, 2021 at 7:32 AM
    #3
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    If you want OEM toyota I would look for low mile pull off front/rear shocks &/or springs from a 5th gen, lots of people upgrade their suspension & sell the stock components for very cheap with less than 10k miles on them. 5th gen SR5 shocks will fit a 4th gen aside from slight modification to the rear shock lower bushing.

    If you want quality aftermarket shocks/springs that will ride as good or better than stock I suggest the KYB complete front shock/springs for the front & shocks for the rear, they have a lifetime warranty & are priced right at about $100ea for the fronts & $50ea for the rear. Your rear springs are most likely good at only 130k miles & no off road abuse. Best option in my opinion vs buying used stuff with no warranty but either way will get you back to stock quality ride for least amount of money.

    As for a shop, call around to a few places & ask for quotes to do the work, this is a very easy job & doesn't take much time at all, should be less than $500 to do it & probably closer to $300-400 from an honest shop that only charges you labor for the work & you bring in your own parts.

    Best of luck & welcome to the forum!
     
    y=mx+b likes this.
  4. Apr 18, 2021 at 6:58 PM
    #4
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Thank you. The 'KYB' option you are suggesting, do I have the correct parts list here?


    KYB 344410 Excel-G Gas Shock ( Are these for both sides of the rear?)
    KYB SR4130 Strut Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly ( front right)
    KYB SR4131 Strut Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly ( front left)


    The difference between the above and the original parts quote from the dealership is insane.
    Would this above setup be 'turn key' for a mechanic who knows what he is doing?

    I did some research on my end and these high end brands such as 'King', 'Icon' , 'Fox' seem overkill given my needs.

    I'm fine with spending more $ to get more durability/quality, is there anything else you would suggest that would be a step up from the KYB?

    (I'm def not going to go used but thanks for pointing that option out, I had no idea!)

    Thank you again!
     
  5. Apr 18, 2021 at 7:22 PM
    #5
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    Yes those are correct part#'s for 4 wheel drive 4runners, make sure the mechanic knows there is left & right specific. Any normal mechanic should be able to install these with ease & it shouldn't cost that much, I'd guess 3-5 hours at whatever their shop rate is, call a few places get a quote & be sure they will let you bring in your own parts, try the smaller family owned shops or independent owned franchise places like good year or firestone shops etc.

    The icon & fox & OME are mainly for the off road guys, no reason to have that on a daily driver SUV unless its a dual purpose set up or you just want that look. The KYB are definitely a quality product, they make OEM shocks for many different car makers & have a lifetime warranty, the next step up but still ok for highway are the bilsteins, but ive read lots of reviews saying they were stiff/harsh riding compared to stock feel, I think the 5100 is what most guys like & they are adjustable in the front for some lift, but the KYBs will lift it at least 1" above stock, I've heard the bilsteains are on back order though.

    The last thing I suggest is poly sway bar bushings front & rear, I'm not sure on the part #'s & you need to measure what you have to know what to buy since some models like the sport & limited used bigger sway bars than the SR5.

    Hope that helps
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  6. Jun 22, 2021 at 9:03 AM
    #6
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Huge help! I appreciate it. Bought the KYB set up, install to happen over the weekend.
    I can't wait to see if I notice a difference in ride quality.
    Front driver's side axle reeds to be replaced as the rubber boot was torn with a bit of the grease leaking out.
    OEM part is of course ridiculously priced. Going with a 'brand new' ( as opposed to a remanufactured) aftermarket part for just under $200 for the part.

    The 'liftgate' struts no longer function properly ( I have to manually raise to avoid hitting my head when loading groceries, etc. I splurged and went with OEM ( about $60 per strut).

    When visiting the local dealership yesterday to fetch the these parts, I took a look at a SR5 2021 4runner window sticker.... approx $57,000 ( citing market demands given chip shortage, supply, etc)

    Crazy times..

    Hope you are well and thanks again!

    20210621_120116.jpg
     
  7. Jun 22, 2021 at 9:55 AM
    #7
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    You're very welcome, glad I could be of help. Im sure you will be happy with the KYB shocks but be prepared that the ride will feel stiffer compared to worn out 130k original shocks, you may have gotten used to the soft ride of the worn out shocks & any new shock will feel very firm at first but you will get used to it & most including myself like the firmer feel right away, better handling & more stable feeling around corners & highway off ramps at higher speeds etc.

    Also take note of the front height before the new ones are installed, it will have at least a 1" lift over what you have now, take a quick measurement using a tape measure from the ground to the bottom of the fender lip, use the center cap for location. At first it might even be 2+" higher but will settle down quickly after about 50-100 miles & should end up at ~1" 'higher than stock. I have 2+ years on my KYB's & they still feel like new & the ride height has not changed.

    Heres a pic of mine to give you an idea of the ride height, this is with 265/70/17 A/T tires that are 1 step up over stock size, the KYB's raised the front to be more level with the rear & gives it a much nicer stance than the droopy front soccer mom SUV look. 20190817_172841a.jpg

    Hope the shop does a good job at a fair price. I did mine by myself with very basic tools, its not a difficult job at all so shouldnt cost too much. & make sure they are aware of the right/left for the fronts, they should be labeled as such.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2021 at 9:42 AM
    #8
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, I will get back to you in more detail later when I have time but in the meantime...mechanic just called and indicated that I have the 'hydraulic' set up and so the KYB parts I ordered are not compatible. (See attached image from mechanic). I checked my window sticker and it says my 4runner is equipped with the XREAS sport suspension system ( I think this is what the mechanic means by the hydraulics). Anyway, can you suggest an alternate setup that accommodates the hydraulic stuff via Amazon and of course with part #'s would help me?
    (all 4 wheel locations please).

    Also, from what I saw on youtube...seems like I can also have him 'remove' the hydraulics and have him install with the parts I provided but of course no XREAS ( do I care? pros/cons?)

    Guidance appreciated!

    Thanks!

    IMG-20210627-WA0001.jpg
     
  9. Jun 27, 2021 at 10:00 AM
    #9
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    There are no shocks available to work with the xreas system except factory toyota parts which are very expensive... like $2500-3000!

    It's best to just remove the xreas system entirely, thats what I did on my 08 4runner & most other owners with xreas remove it too, at 100k+ miles they may still function but are worn out & prone to leaking.

    Very easy for the mechanic to remove the shocks & all hydraulic lines, the lines are just attached to the frame with small clamps & if he disconnects at the check valves about 10" from each shock connection only a few drops of fluid will come out, shouldnt add much to the labor charge, maybe .5 hours at the most. The lines can be left where they are if he/you dont want to remove them but the shock will come out like any other shock once the lines are unhooked.
     
  10. Jun 28, 2021 at 11:44 AM
    #10
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    I watched a video on how the XREAS system works. My mechanic has no experience with it and I think it's cool and ultimately want to go down this OEM route. He said my suspension is not that bad and that I can run it down some more, so I'm gonna monitor and punt it down the road. Returning the KYBs not an issue.

    In the meantime, while he had the vehicle yesterday, he did install a new driver's side axle, sway bar link ( driver's side), put some rust control sorta coating on the frame ( it just has that surface rust so nothing serious) and installed the new tailgate lift struts. I also had him install a plastic cover that protects the transmission ( mine ripped a few years ago) that is held in place via 2 bolts. All in $475 including the axle, sway bar, rust paint. I'm satisfied for now. Thanks for your help and swift replies!
     
  11. Jun 28, 2021 at 12:05 PM
    #11
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    Yes the xreas system is a good design & works fine when functioning right... the issue is that at 130k+ miles it is well past its expected service life even if its not leaking & the springs are sagging & worn out. I was in the same situation as you when i bought my 08 sport, it had 143k miles & the xreas was not leaking but with that high of miles it was on its last leg & felt rather bouncy & boaty feeling compared to my previous 1998 jeep cherokee with 200k miles but newer shocks, so i knew it needed to be replaced very soon. When i checked on prices for new xreas i almost fell outta my chair! & after some research from other xreas 4runner owners i decided to remove it & use some good replacement standard shocks, the off road type billstein etc were more than i needed for a daily driver that doesnt see much if any real off roading so the KYB were the best choice & have new front springs. I instantly noticed an improved ride & better handling, it was like a whole new vehicle! The xreas "worked" still but was obviously worn out & time for replacement.

    Thats ok if you want to keep the xreas but i still think you would notice a big improvement to the ride quality with new shocks/springs... when the time comes i just cant see replacing the xreas for $3000, when about $300 for new shocks will ride as good or better & have a lifetime warranty, but nothing wrong with squeezing the last bit of life out of a part. ;)
     

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