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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
     
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  2. Apr 14, 2021 at 8:37 AM
    #2
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  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!
     
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  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!
     
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  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
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  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
     
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  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.
     
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  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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  12. Feb 11, 2022 at 6:50 AM
    #12
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    First off, hope this note finds you doing well and healthy..

    My radiator is leaking at the seam and it's time to replace. ( Fine by me, 135K on the original, that is impressive)

    Here is the breakdown of approx price for the parts (all OEM):

    radiator: 190
    both upper and lower hoses plus 4 clamps: 160
    thermostat: 75

    Any other parts I should consider changing while this job is being done that you suggest?

    I last did the water pump and drive belt when I had 84K which was back in March of 2017.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Feb 11, 2022 at 7:11 AM
    #13
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water crossing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    If you are at 50K miles from 2017 you might as well drop the $150 ish and do the water pump again. That way you don't have to service it down the line and you have a completely refreshed cooling system.

    Just my .02, otherwise, you already got the hoses so you're good there.
     
  14. Feb 11, 2022 at 7:51 AM
    #14
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Roger that. I see your point. That makes total sense. Make it '1 Stop Shop'.

    I just checked my garage and it looks like I have a half a gallon or so of that pink antifreeze left over from the 2017 water pump/drive belt job. Is that leftover antifreeze 'ok' to use ?

    Thanks!
     
  15. Feb 11, 2022 at 7:52 AM
    #15
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    No need to pay $190 for OEm radiator, rockauto sells a denso brand for a lot less than OEM & is as good as OEM, most say its what toyota used. i replaced my original at 140k due to dried pink residue, no leaks but signs it was about to leak. very easy to do & is a direct bolt in fit. i inspected the factory hoses & they were all in good shape, not hard or mushy anywhere, factory hoses are probably better than most aftermarket brands so i see no need to change them unless they show signs of wear. i had factory rad hoses on a 1997 jeep cherokee that were fine up till i sold it in 2019 & its still driving around town today with the same ones. but nothing wrong with replacing them if you want.

    if you did the water pump in 2017 its most likely fine & no need to change it unless youve put very high miles on it in 5 years & even then its debatable if it needs changed. thesewater pumps have weep holes that will start to show signs of coolant residue or seepage before they ever go bad & leave you stranded or damage the engine. i left mine alone since it showed no signs of seepage & zero temp issues even on the hottest summer days towing or stuck in traffic... but thats up to you if you want to do the extra work sooner than its needed. same for the T stat, if its not sticking or showing signs of corrosion etc, its probably fine.

    doing a full coolant flush is a good idea by draining the block via the drain plugs on the side, but changing the radiator will get most of the old coolant out, then do a drain & fill a few hundred miles later & you will be at ~90% new coolant. & yes left over new coolant is perfectly fine to use.

    did you change the xreas shocks with the KYB yet?

    denso at rock auto for $118, used to be $100 3 years ago.

    https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2008,4runner,4.0l+v6,1441492,cooling+system,radiator,2172
     
  16. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:20 AM
    #16
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Still running with the original xreas stock setup. I reached out to the 'care car nut' dude on youtube and inquired with him.
    He indicated that a tiny leak doesn't warrant replacement by itself. The ride isn't bouncy so I'll keep it going for now and go with your KYB suggestion or his suggestion of the non xreas OEM.

    Thanks again for all your support!
     
  17. Feb 14, 2022 at 10:23 AM
    #17
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Happy Monday,
    I visited the parts department at my local Toyota dealership and I get we have the virus/inflation and all that but it seemed super expensive.
    Can you point me to an online link for all my GENUINE OEM Toyota parts where I could maybe do a littler better with the pricing and purchase in 1 shot. ( I am avoiding Amazon). Thanks!
    There are tons of scammers out there too ( fake OEM) so def want the real deal. Prefer a place you have used successfully without issues.
    Thanks!
     
  18. Feb 14, 2022 at 11:30 AM
    #18
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    I use McGeorge Toyota online parts. Cheapest so far I've found.

    https://toyotaparts.mcgeorgetoyota.com/

    But, first I go to partsouq.com, put in my vin, search the diagrams, get the part number, plug it into McGeorge. I have yet to get a wrong part doing it this way. Also, give McGeorge your VIN and they will double check as their online database is not as good as partsouq. Partsouq has never been wrong and the guys at McGeorge can verify with your vin before shipping.

    Customer service has been great too. I got a charcoal canister assembly and the end of the wiring harness was smashed. They sent a new plug and instructions on repinning to the new plug and I was good to go.
     
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  19. Feb 14, 2022 at 11:35 AM
    #19
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water crossing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
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  20. Feb 14, 2022 at 11:36 AM
    #20
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    Two other tricks you can try...

    Go in to the local dealer with a print out from McGeorge with prices. Ask the parts guy if they can come close...they usually can't match but they can often give you their local wholesale price. It can make out since you won't have to pay shipping picking it up locally...and you usually get the parts the next day.

    Also, look and see if your local dealers have web ordering. I found a TOYOTA dealer that is about 40 min away that does online discount orders like McGeorge. Again, not as cheap as McGeorge, but they will take/fulfill the order and hold it there. I run up and get it and don't have to pay shipping (just my gas which is probably about the same). And I get it the next day.

    Very handy if you're in a big job and need something quicker than the week McGeorge will get it to you.
     
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  21. Mar 3, 2022 at 12:56 PM
    #21
    SURF2021

    SURF2021 [OP] New Member

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    Hi All,
    My apologies for the late reply. I did end up receiving the thermostat from the dealer and got the job done.

    The OEM parts cost was around $680 ( Radiator, 2 hoses, 4 clips, thermostat, water pump, drive belt, and 2 jugs of coolant). I paid my mechanic $800 for the labor.

    I'm now in the market for a roof basket, what do you guys think of the 'Yakima Loadwarrior' roof basket?

    Thanks for the continued support and your swift replies. You all rock!!

    20220225_163044.jpg
    20220225_092943.jpg
     
  22. Mar 11, 2022 at 5:47 AM
    #22
    slixx1320

    slixx1320 New Member

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    Did you at least do your heater hoses too while the system was drained of coolant? A lot of folks overlook those small hoses but they do soften up and expand due to heat. Don't want to overheat while out of town or on a 100deg summer day because one of them decided to start acting up.
     

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