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Hoping for a little advice/feedback on suspension.

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by babscooter, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Nov 2, 2019 at 1:49 PM
    #1
    babscooter

    babscooter [OP] New Member

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    Hi all.
    Just joined this forum and hope that I can get some thoughts about shocks/suspension for my 1998 4Runner. I apologize that my knowledge base on all things mechanical is not refined, but it currently has Bilstein shocks (don't know the model, but bought them 10+ years ago and they are yellow with springs fitted over the shock, and are VERY stiff), and tires are Michelin Defender LTX M/S 265/75R 16.
    So, I am wanting a softer ride. I use the vehicle mostly for winter town/highway driving; but occasionally I get out into the wilds on some very rough rocky and/or washboard dirt back roads (no off-roading) which pretty much shakes my poor car to death and nearly gives me brain damage!
    I would appreciate any experience, info, guidance, opinions on softer shocks that give me a better ride when on those backroads and still can handle a 400 pound (+/-) camping gear load in the cabin.
    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. Nov 2, 2019 at 5:28 PM
    #2
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    For a 4th gen 4runner OEM suspension refresh (and after a ton of research)...

    I just got the KYB front coilovers ($120 each) + KYB ExcelG rear shocks ($40 each) + OEM Toyota rear springs ($80 each).

    Lots of good reviews out there for the KYB shocks. They should provide a nice ride similar to oem. I’ll be installing them next week and can let you know my thoughts.

    If you routinely carry a lot of weight you might want a stiffer rear spring. Problem is, there’s not much available at stock height. The stiffer springs are all lift coils.

    But if you only occasionally carry the extra weight and it’s evenly distributed, you should be ok.
     
  3. Nov 2, 2019 at 5:37 PM
    #3
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    I second KYB!! If I change mine out for the second time, 300,000+miles. I will go with these.....
     
  4. Nov 2, 2019 at 7:06 PM
    #4
    babscooter

    babscooter [OP] New Member

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    4runningMan and SR5 Limited....I will be very interested in hearing back from you about this.
    Also, I don't think my 4R has been lifted, but it sure sits pretty high (see below); I think the tire height raises it some, tho.
    Yeah, my current suspension handles a big load with no sagging. But I'd like to find a compromise in the middle somewhere, i.e. handles a load but is a bit softer riding.IMG_3237-2.jpg
     
    4runningMan likes this.
  5. Nov 6, 2019 at 12:27 PM
    #5
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    Well, we installed be KYB’s and are totally stumped. The front is an inch lower than it was with the hammered OEM parts that came out. Disappointed.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2019 at 7:58 PM
    #6
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    This is stumping me. Did you you guys assemble the front struts yourself? Did you forget to put in the top plate?
     
    4runningMan likes this.
  7. Nov 6, 2019 at 8:34 PM
    #7
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    I had the Toyota dealer do the install (I’m not set up for this kind of work at the moment). Please spare me the grief ;)

    This is all new to me. What is the top plate? I got the fronts from rock auto. The spring was already installed on the shock when i got it— “quick struts”.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2019 at 8:37 PM
    #8
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    I would go to KYB’s website. Cross check the model you bought from rock auto and see if they match?
     
    4runningMan likes this.
  9. Nov 6, 2019 at 8:40 PM
    #9
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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  10. Nov 6, 2019 at 11:23 PM
    #10
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    1988 4Runner 22RE/W56, '93 G144 4.88s, Spartan Locker, AllPro Sliders, BFG 33/10.5s, 4Crawler 1.5" BJS, OME 2" Dakar springs
    33"KM2s, 4.88s, Spartan Locker, TG rear bumper, AllPro Kickout sliders, 4Crawler 1.5" BJS, OME 2" Dakar springs.
    Have you tried adjusting your tire pressure? If they're inflated to max psi, they'll ride like rocks. Especially if you're going off road without airing down. From the pic you posted you have those tires pumped up. No wonder you're rattling yourself to death. Air down! It'll be a nite n day difference. :thumbsup:
     
    Husky Driver likes this.
  11. Nov 7, 2019 at 12:26 AM
    #11
    Husky Driver

    Husky Driver Sitka's chauffeur

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    40°35'09.0"N 105°04'38.3"W
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    2k T4R3 SR5 Highlander Sport TRD
    Toytec Ultimate 3" lift susp w/ OME 891 rear coils, Bilstein 5100 shocks front & 5125 rear, ARB 'Roo Bar, Warn VR10k, 0.7, 2 & 11-meter 2 way radios, Nitrogen inflated 33" BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s, FlexFuel E-85 conversion, AFe lifetime filter, Savage Offroad rock sliders, Ryno All Terrain 4.5mm skid plates, Line-X coatings on the armor, LifetimeLED & Rigid Industries LED headlights, UltraGauge 1.2, T3q 4.10 eLocker with armor from LROR, AmsOil lubricants used throughout. CBI plate rear bumper with swingaway, SPC Light Racing UCAs, ARB SS170HF Safari snorkel w/ Afrikaans centrifugal pre-cleaner, Tacoma antenna mod, TRD Supercharger w/ URD 7th inj. & URD pulleys, Anti-Dark engine bay lighting system. Having gone 250k, Aug 2016 was the time to replace the original clutch & get the driver's seat rebuilt/stuffed. Front & back Weathertech liners. Tundra front disc brake swap. Full length Rocky Mountain Rack with 40" lightbar & alternating strobe rear dust lights.
    Bingo. This is the answer. It sounds like you & I may have the same shocks, although mine came with the Toytec Ultimate 3" lift kit. I also had to replace mine after 5 years, so congrats on making it to 10 yrs! I run max air pressure (80#) in my BFG KO2s as a daily driver to maximize my fuel economy. When I go off road, I can drop them down to about 10# & not break the bead without beadlock rims. You'll have incredible traction & ride like a Buick Park Avenue Ultra. Now, in order to do the air down & air up effectively, you'll need a few extras:

    Air down: Exactly the same as the ARB set for 1/4 the price.
    Air up: Exactly the same as Viair but 1/3 the price.
    Reliable pressure gauge: Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauge (0-100 PSI) Certified ANSI Accurate.
     
    TWJLee and BestGen like this.

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