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Old 03-09-2021, 10:41 PM #1
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Function of shocks

Hello,

I live in a rural part of the country (eastern Montana). I have noticed that over gravel if I exceed 30+ the 3rd gen does not eat the bumps. Instead of going with the road it seems to plane it. I am constantly fish tailing. Do I need new shocks? When I take my work truck out there it handles it all fine. Just a question I have.

Thank you.
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Old 03-10-2021, 12:10 AM #2
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Gonna take a wild guess and say you have old/worn tires.
Should also take a look at your trailing arms bushings. I noticed after I replaced mine that my vehicle beforehand would like to sway and want to somewhat fishtail when reacting to dips in the road, and afterwards it ate bumps much better.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:50 AM #3
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Going 30MPH (and a bit faster) on gravel made my '97 fishtail and float as you describe. It had fresh springs/shocks/tires at the time. Maybe your work truck is substantially heavier than the 4runner?
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:41 AM #4
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Quote:
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Maybe your work truck is substantially heavier than the 4runner?
Good point. Longer wheel base too. More stability.
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Old 03-10-2021, 11:53 AM #5
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On one of my 2cnd gen's I had trouble keeping it straight when driving on washboard gravel roads.

I switched to Monroe sensa tracks and it solved the problem
Don't know what were on there before.

So yes, shocks can make a difference in some situations.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:51 PM #6
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I have this same issue if Iím going over 30mph on washboard gravel roads. I have KYB for rear shocks and stock coils. Good to know itís not just my 4runner that does this. I was coming down the mountain pass a couple weeks ago and hit some washboard packed snow/ice and oh most bounced off the road.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:36 PM #7
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Airing down tires helps. Better shocks would definately help. Also there is a sweet spot some roads it's higher speeds others it's slower. Pan hard correction, if lifted also goes a long way.
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Old 03-10-2021, 06:12 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
Gonna take a wild guess and say you have old/worn tires.
Should also take a look at your trailing arms bushings. I noticed after I replaced mine that my vehicle beforehand would like to sway and want to somewhat fishtail when reacting to dips in the road, and afterwards it ate bumps much better.
Which one are these? I know a lot about these 4Runners but I'm a little weak when it comes to the rear suspension parts and arms. Mine does this too and I HATE it when it does it, freaks me out.
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:30 AM #9
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one of the functions of shocks is it leads to good debates on which brand and has me thinking late at night on which way I should go on my next build ( brand etc)..so that is one function no one else has mentioned yet
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:20 PM #10
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A couple things to understand about shock design and lift in relation to our panhard bar:

1. A twin-tube shock design puts oil and N2 in contact with each other. If this is what you're currently using (most stock and inexpensive setups do) then you'll only get so much control out of the shock until the oil starts to aerate and exponentially lose dampening with it. A monotube is preferable for non-paved usage because it separates the air/N2 from the oil - an external reservoir monotube design goes one step further and takes the air/N2 out of the main tube completely for additional travel capabilities (along with greater heat dissipation).

2. Although heat build-up is a minor concern next to aeration, washboard roads tend to be the #1 culprit of heating due to the consistent and excessive movement it provides to the shock. A budget-centric shock generally won't consider prolonged heat build-up in their design, which can also degrade the consistency of the ride.

3. If you are lifted more than 2" then your panhard (rear lateral) bar may be causing excessive side movement of your rear axle due to its centerpoint being altered from the lift. This video explained it perfectly for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liR1--EHMg8
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:56 PM #11
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My theory is the sway bar contributes to this more than people imagine. It's causing the other wheel to skip around by pulling it up and interfering with traction or what the shock is doing or something like that. I'm not sure how to tune it better for gravel/washboard.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:25 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
Gonna take a wild guess and say you have old/worn tires.
Should also take a look at your trailing arms bushings. I noticed after I replaced mine that my vehicle beforehand would like to sway and want to somewhat fishtail when reacting to dips in the road, and afterwards it ate bumps much better.
I'm probably over-thinking it but I wonder how much comes from simply resetting the preload on the bushings from the factory preload to lifted height.
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Old 03-15-2021, 06:53 AM #13
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Hmmmm, much to think on here. I will look into the bushings issue Thanks for all the comments/suggestions.
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Old 03-15-2021, 11:13 PM #14
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I did rear suspension bushings with OEM rubber bushes. I immediately noticed less to no fish tailing effect on bumpy roads. I did not change anything else in the rear. Also make sure the shockabsorber stays at it's center of travel stroke when mounted on the vehicle.
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Old 03-16-2021, 03:18 PM #15
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Quote:
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I did rear suspension bushings with OEM rubber bushes. I immediately noticed less to no fish tailing effect on bumpy roads. I did not change anything else in the rear. Also make sure the shockabsorber stays at it's center of travel stroke when mounted on the vehicle.
Would you happen to remember the part no. for the bushings?
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