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Shock’ing Discovery

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by Slopemaster, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. Jul 2, 2022 at 10:51 PM
    #1
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Happy 4th!

    Tonight I had some time to play with the stock jack and discovered that it is sufficient to get the wheels off the ground for a tire change if needed, even with the lift.

    It actually has an 11.5” stroke which is a lot. When jacking from the frame I used about 5” of wood to help it. Yes I know jacking from the frame is not the most efficient. More on that later.

    I’m going to do this in multiple posts so the pictures line up with my dialogue.

    9D261C1F-2907-4744-A952-0F8B9E39FE58.jpg
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
    bigmario73, kb808, True North and 3 others like this.
  2. Jul 2, 2022 at 11:14 PM
    #2
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    So what started this venture was that I have been experiencing a loud bang/thud from the rear when driving over a curb or rocks.

    After considerable time spent online, I finally found an old thread that confirmed my suspicions. Because of the rear spacer lift, approximately 1” the stock rear shock is bottoming out, meaning fully extending.

    Before I jacked up the rear from the frame, I marked a line on the shock. This is the reference line with normal weight of the car. Then I jacked until the rear wheel was off the ground.

    Unsurprisingly, the shock only extended 1.125”! before being at full extension. I was actually able to release the jack a bit putting the vehicle weight back on the wheel and still have the shock fully extended. This tells me that the shock is fully extending even before the full weight is off the wheel. This would explain why I experienced the loud thud going over minor bumps.

    I took two shock measurements from the top mount to the lower center mount bolt;

    Normal at rest= 22.25”

    Fully extended= 23.375”.

    Total shock down travel= 1.125”

    So my first reaction was, no problem, find some rear shocks that have a longer extension but not so much that the coil springs will fall out.

    Well…. That sounded good until I did some testing on the front suspension.

    Continued next post,

    947CCC44-68DA-4966-97BF-93BF8CE5AA60.jpg
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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
    bigmario73, kb808 and True North like this.
  3. Jul 2, 2022 at 11:37 PM
    #3
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Ok, time to play with the front. First I jacked up the wheel from the lower control arm. My goal was to see if the arm hit the bump stop.

    I was actually able to get the wheel off the ground without even compressing the strut at all. So it must take a large down force to get the struts to compress. Think Dukes of Hazard.

    Well ok, let’s jack it up from the frame and see how the front suspension looks with the wheel off the ground.

    This is where I was alarmed, after a considerable amount of jacking I got the wheel off the ground. But, the front shock allowed too much down travel due to the 1” spacer and the UCA contacted the strut spring and the upper ball joint looked to be at a very extreme angle.

    Fortunately, my off roading is very conservative. I definitely would not want to subject my car to an off camber situation!

    I’m glad I took the time and effort to see for myself what the weak links are with this setup.

    Tonight really confirmed my decision to put the vehicle back to stock. I enjoy the look and the ground clearance of the 3/2 lift but over the long haul, I just don’t think it’s worth it.

    Before the online hater’s flame me, understand that when I purchased the vehicle with this setup I was not nearly as informed as I am today.

    AD977AEB-DF8D-4B7D-8A0D-5EE11290507B.jpg
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  4. Jul 3, 2022 at 5:00 AM
    #4
    ChessGuy

    ChessGuy New Member

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    Too many..... Performance: • Magnusum Supercharger • Gibson exhaust with dual black tip • Pedal Commander • Suspension – Old Man Emu BP-51 front and back with Medium load coils • Tires: AT3 Faulken Wildpeak – 285/70/17 • Wheels: Relations Race Wheels, RR7-H with -12 offset • Full roof rack and ladder by Westcott Design (removed the stock Yakima basket) • Molle storage panels by Rago fabrication • Front light brackets by Rago • Illuminator light bracket by Rago (roof rack location) Lights • Morimoto front and back with sequential signals • Morimoto fog lights and side mirrors with sequential signals • 40” Baja design light bar for roof rack • 20” S8 Baja design driving combo (winch location) • Squadron sport baja design ditch lights • S2 Chase lights by baja designs (mounted on roof) In the bay: • Odyssey 34-PC Battery • SDQH Aluminum billet battery terminals and bracket • Switch Pro 9100 with aluminum tray • Anytime front and back camera • ARB twin compressor Recovery & Protection: • Smittybilt X20 synthetic rope winch • Factor 55 fairlead and flatlink • Southern Style Off-road (SSO) low profile bumper • SSO stage 2 high clearance wings • Weekend warrior recovery kit by treaty oak • RCI – skid plates – entire vehicle + catalytic converter protection wings Interior: • Nano Ceramic IR – Avery Dennison Window tint – all windows • Several phone mounts • Upgraded Rear Hatch lift gate struts (ladder is heavy) • Boom blaster horn switch (featuring La cucaracha)
    These are the kind of posts that add value and knowledge to our community of 4R. Thank you so much for taking the time of putting this out there. Very cool stuff.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2022 at 5:08 AM
    #5
    GtownRunner

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    You’re a good man
     
    Slopemaster[OP] likes this.
  6. Jul 3, 2022 at 5:24 AM
    #6
    GrantA

    GrantA Enjoying God’s creation

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    Nice work @Slopemaster
    You probably already have seen these but this might help explain things in ways that I can’t…
    https://youtu.be/_68Hc8GtLko

    He has many more videos explaining things. But in a nutshell the higher you go up the less your vehicle IFS can go down. Opposite applies if someone likes to low ride. The lower they go the less down travel they would have before hitting the bump stops. So having the vehicle lifted 3” impacts total down travel and could result in needing limiting straps to prevent the thud. Overall I think you are wise to remove the 3/2 lift. But going up some isn’t bad.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2022 at 5:44 AM
    #7
    Trail Runnah

    Trail Runnah New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to post. This is a great illustration of why everyone says that spacer lifts are probably the worst way to go about lifting.

    Somebody already posted one of Tinkerer's videos, so I won't post another one. I will strongly second the suggestion to watch them though, he'll give you a whole new understanding of how your suspension works, and the advantages and disadvantages of lifting.
     
    GEAUX4R, Slopemaster[OP] and Mtbpsych like this.
  8. Jul 3, 2022 at 6:22 AM
    #8
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    OP, great post. I would look into changing your suspension or driving habits if you’re bottoming out the shock. While blowing out a rear shock might not leave you stranded, it could lead to damaging other components that could make a bad day in the mountains. As everyone else said, great post showing why most of us suggest not going with spacers if people want to off-road.
     
    Slopemaster[OP] likes this.
  9. Jul 3, 2022 at 4:08 PM
    #9
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Yes, his videos actually inspired me to further investigate my setup, although my methods were not as detailed as his.
     
    GrantA[QUOTED] likes this.
  10. Jul 3, 2022 at 4:14 PM
    #10
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    Yours was good stuff none the less, thanks for taking the time, and posting it.
     
  11. Jul 3, 2022 at 4:27 PM
    #11
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Thank you all for the positive feedback. :)

    I agree that the root cause here is my spacer lift. Having said that, if I were installing a “legitimate” lift I would still check the angles, especially the front droop. IMHO, IFS suspensions don’t lend themselves well to lifts.

    I hate to waste the 285 tires. They are Nitto Ridge Grappler’s with only 25k miles on them and are barely worn. Not sure if I could keep them on without the lift or if they must be replaced. Maybe I could find a buyer.

    4FF1F4F6-71FF-4761-82E8-97DC03192748.jpg
     
  12. Jul 3, 2022 at 8:54 PM
    #12
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron New Member

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    Very good verification pics! It goes to show how much we rely on aftermarket manufacturers to properly check their fitments before offering them to the public, and that it might not always be properly done.

    And even if you go with name brand suspension lift components, whatever was properly vetted by the manufacturer isnt guaranteed if you mix brands (one brand may have wider coils than another, causing UCA contact, as an example).

    The 285s might fit without spacers, but you’ll only know for sure once you get it re-aligned, as that will move things around a bit. Might be close since you have TRD wheels.

    Im sure you’ll be able to sell them though if need be.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:14 PM
    #13
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Yes, I agree,

    When I purchased the 4R new I just saw one on the showroom floor with these/my mods and said that’s what I want. Honestly I was clueless about the ramifications to the lift. They said they had done many without customer complaints. Thing is that even though I was ignorant at the time about lift options, I do actually off road possibly more than some of the dealerships customers.

    I’ve been searching old forums and it’s hit or miss as far as being able to run 285’s with no lift. My gut tells me to just go back to 265’s and be done with it. Expensive lesson, yes!

    If I never went off road, I would probably blow it off, but I do enjoy off roading several times a year.

    I will miss the ground clearance both for driving and performing maintenance.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:20 PM
    #14
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    I’m actually entertaining buying another Pro rim and mounting the same tire on it as the others.

    I think I’m going to stick with the Nitto Ridge Grappler 10 ply LT in a 265. I’ve been very happy with the tires and I definitely want a 10 ply rated tire since I drive over sharp lava rocks.
     
  15. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:25 PM
    #15
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron New Member

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    What about meeting in the middle…. A mild suspension lift from a reputable vendor, say 1.5 or 1.75 inches? Dobinsons seems to offer a good package that wont trip over itself, for a bit more than the loss of your 285s (supposing you cant or dont want to sell them.

    My apologies if Im a bad influence. Lol
     
    nimby and glwood54 like this.
  16. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:29 PM
    #16
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    @Slopemaster, what is the actual thickness of your front spacers?
     
  17. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:44 PM
    #17
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    You already have the lift and bigger tires. Simply changing out the suspension would probably fix your situation since the shocks would be adequate for the off-road use. That would be a simpler fix in my opinion, but that’s just my two cents.
     
  18. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:52 PM
    #18
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    I appreciate your input and suggestion :)

    I am reluctant to exit one rabbit hole and enter another $$$.

    Armed with my new found knowledge, I would want to see the actual droop with any modification.

    The rear shocks could be resolved but the excessive droop on the front is my primary concern.
     
  19. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:54 PM
    #19
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Looks like approximately a 1.5” spacer which would yield a 3” lift.

    889DA868-EFFA-493F-A135-4F39D5791F63.jpg
     
  20. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:58 PM
    #20
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    Thanks. Sorry for all your troubles. I'm sure there is no mention of this possibility by ReadyLIFT in any of their advertising...
     
  21. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:04 PM
    #21
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Going with a proper lift would seem to be the solution, but to be honest, I would have to be witness to the front end unloaded as mine was to be assured the shocks do not allow over drooping of the IFS.

    What I witnessed last night scared the heck out of me. I’m glad I figured this out before I set off on one of my bucket list long haul off road adventures.

    I have no interest in going with an aftermarket high performance shock that requires overhaul every 30k miles.
     
  22. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:06 PM
    #22
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    Unless you go with long travel suspension, you won’t have “over droop”. Your travel would also be limited by your upper control arm. I’ve been running a cheap bilstein lift in the front with lift coils and it’s been great. Provides just what I need off-road. Only the high end coilovers require rebuilds, and you can get 30k-60k,70k miles in between depending how hard they’re ran. 40k miles on mine and zero issues, will probably need to replace at some point in the near future but they’ve been the best bang for the buck. Just my opinion, but of course go with what you feel most comfortable with. It’s your rig and you should enjoy it how you want it setup:cheers:
     
  23. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:13 PM
    #23
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Yes, like I said, the vast majority of their customers probably don’t off road. I personally don’t go crazy, mainly dusty trails with sharp rocks. For now, I think I’ll be ok as long as I avoid off camber situations. The main thing I enjoyed was the ground clearance. Some sections of the trails I frequent can have deep ruts and the clearance helps.

    I think we can all agree the the 4Runner in stock form is very capable especially with good tires.
     
  24. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:17 PM
    #24
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron New Member

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    I’ll be working on the 4runner over the next few days. I’ll post some pics of my 2.5in lift front fully extended and the clearances, for reference. It’s the IMS coilovers dobinsons makes, using stock UCAs. It’s not their cheapest (1800 bucks front and rear) but it’s not kings with regularly scheduled rebuild intervals. I wanted everyday reliability and durability. They have cheaper options that have good reviews as well. Ive got 16,000 miles on mine, including at least 1000 miles of atv type trails. So far, so good.
     
  25. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:19 PM
    #25
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Thank you, if you don’t mind, could you post some pictures on this thread.

    Thanks!
     
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  26. Jul 4, 2022 at 4:59 AM
    #26
    Daddykool

    Daddykool Photography enthusiast

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    One plus about returning to stock is that you should get a meaningful bump in MPG.
     
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  27. Jul 4, 2022 at 7:18 AM
    #27
    GrantA

    GrantA Enjoying God’s creation

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    I will also be happy to show you the Ironman setup if you want. That is what I have on my 4Runner and I like the adjustable shocks (while I haven’t done that yet).
     
  28. Jul 4, 2022 at 2:59 PM
    #28
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    Thank you,

    That would be great. I think at this point I need to calm down and carefully consider my options.

    I like the idea of being able to keep my 285’s and ground clearance, but I would need assurance that I am not exceeding the geometric down limits in the front.

    Putting it back stock would give me piece of mind that the suspension should last as Toyota intended at the expense of writing off the 285’s and having to buy 265’s. Plus losing ground clearance.

    I’ve been driving it like this for almost 4 years with no apparent negative effects with exception of an occasional rear shock clunk.

    We’ll see
     
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  29. Jul 5, 2022 at 12:15 PM
    #29
    Slopemaster

    Slopemaster [OP] Slope Survivalist

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    This video totally explains my rear shock situation. Also I looked up the specs for a standard Bilstein 5100 rear shock and it’s extended length was 23.5” which is the same as my current stock rear shocks so I would not gain anything.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s2RAS_PjFw8
     
  30. Jul 5, 2022 at 2:17 PM
    #30
    kmeeg

    kmeeg LionRunner

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    I would probably test the same. I'm pretty sure I can use the stock jack as before. Probably install mine next weekend.
    20220704_105937.jpg
     
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