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Old 06-28-2021, 12:25 PM #1
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2002 4Runner - Suspension Question

Looking for some help on a 2002 4Runner 330,050 miles Have had it 14 years. And its been my primary vehicle throughout. A wonderful solid truck!

Ive never replaced anything at all with the suspension. Original shocks, struts, everything.

Though I had to replace the Rear Stabilizer Bar Links (passenger side broken) this past weekend. Used new Moog K90681s. This was new to me, but went fairly easy just had to cut one nut off with a Dremel. Done in about 2 hours with a Tire Rotate.

Ive just ordered the Front Stabilizer Bar Links (Moog K90619).

My question..

What are the other Suspension components I should be replacing with 330,000 original miles on the vehicle? Im looking to get 3+ more years out of it as my last son starts drivers training this month. And in what order from easiest to hardest should I replace components - as I want to do as much as I can myself? Suspension work is completely new to me. Im guessing rear shocks may be next.

I am a fairly capable mechanic with 8 years as an USAF Aircraft mechanic from 83-91. And do most of my own easy car work.

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:39 PM #2
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If you are happy with the current ride height (I wouldn't lift it if you are having a new driver learn on it...), just new shocks all the way around should be the major thing that is needed. OEM, KYB or Bilstein 4600 are all good comfortable options.

At this age, there could be a number of bushings that are worn out, but if it has been a street driver this whole time, maybe they are still fine...

-Charlie
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Old 06-28-2021, 03:08 PM #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I don't plan to change the ride height.

I did look at the KYB rear shocks per your suggestion. And will with the front as well.

Though I'm debating just buying and having my repair shop put them in. I'm kind of worried if I'll be able to get the old rusted ones out easily.

Jon
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Old 06-28-2021, 03:25 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
What are the other Suspension components I should be replacing with 330,000 original miles on the vehicle? Im looking to get 3+ more years out of it as my last son starts drivers training this month. And in what order from easiest to hardest should I replace components - as I want to do as much as I can myself? Suspension work is completely new to me. Im guessing rear shocks may be next.
Bushings are part of "suspension" and unless you have completely Blown shocks, will likely make a bigger difference in ride quality. I don't think any of the suspension was "hard", merely annoying. Top nut on the rear dampers is a royal PITA, expect busted knuckles and a fair bit of grumbling. The front struts are only a pain IF you're assembling them from components (putting the springs on the dampers) ~ but you can easily have a shop do that for you and just swap them yourself. The bushings (various control arms) are a little more trouble sinply because you have to disassemble more and use a press to remove and install the replacements (or buy brand new, which come with bushings installed and is cheaper than having a shop do the work).

Hopefully you know of the problem with the lower ball joints on these vehicles and have been on top of that, else do those *FIRST*. Like, now, before anything else. Very simple task. Oh, these fail due to poor engineering and the wheel falls off... just in case you Didn't know. Radiators are known failure points too, can easily kill a transmission... safer to mention than to assume you know.

Look through the videos that Tim and Sean have made (one of the sticky threads are the top of the forum) for doing the suspension stuff (and ball joints, and radiator... might be others you see and want to tackle too)..
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Old 06-28-2021, 03:39 PM #5
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My front sway bar bushings were completely toast at 227k so I would inspect those. Pretty much anything bushing related should be looked over.
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Old 06-28-2021, 03:46 PM #6
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Agree with above.

In order (LBJs and Rad tied for no1):

1. Lower ball joints (including four bolts each side)
1. Radiator
2. Bushings
3. Shocks
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:25 PM #7
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Okay… So Ball Joints first. Thanks for the heads-up on these – I’d heard/read nothing on this. Should I look at any specific brand of Ball Joints? I just bought my front and rear Moog Stabilizer Bar Links off Amazon.

Radiator – I had the radiator and transmission flushed by the dealer last year – should I still be concerned with it?

Bushings – I’d probably buy brand-new to save the shop work. Are there bushing kits out there with all the required bushings?

Sorry for all the questions…. Some of these items just caught me off guard..

Jon
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:44 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
Okay So Ball Joints first. Thanks for the heads-up on these Id heard/read nothing on this. Should I look at any specific brand of Ball Joints? I just bought my front and rear Moog Stabilizer Bar Links off Amazon.

Radiator I had the radiator and transmission flushed by the dealer last year should I still be concerned with it?

Bushings Id probably buy brand-new to save the shop work. Are there bushing kits out there with all the required bushings?

Sorry for all the questions. Some of these items just caught me off guard..

Jon

Consensus here seems to be OEM-only for the lower ball joints and the bolts.

My understanding on the radiator is if its older than about 10 years old and if the plastic changing color from a black to a brown or olive, just replace it. Internals break down. Cheap insurance against the strawberry milkshake. Im not clear if fluid flushes help prolong the rad life or not.

Energy Suspension sells bushings kits (if you want to go poly instead of rubber). I dont know about rubber since I went poly.
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Old 06-28-2021, 06:43 PM #9
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Quote:
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Bushings – I’d probably buy brand-new to save the shop work. Are there bushing kits out there with all the required bushings?
For the front sway bar bushings - Going with Polyurethane will make the ride a bit more stiffer because the material is much harder than the regular rubber. I think OEM Toyota bushings don't come in a full kit so you would have to order the pieces that you need separately.

I went with Energy Suspension Poly bushings as well (full kit in one box) and i'm very happy with them. What came in the box was the sway bar bushings along with the end link bushings. It's one of the best upgrades for fighting body roll. Just make sure you use the provided grease if you go with poly bushings. I ended up snapping both front end links bolts on top so if it's rusty get ready to replace those as well.
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:00 PM #10
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I'm not finding this sticky thread...

"Look through the videos that Tim and Sean have made (one of the sticky threads are the top of the forum) for doing the suspension stuff (and ball joints, and radiator... "
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:40 PM #11
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Lower Ball Joint Replacement Tutorial - YouTube
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:54 AM #12
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Quote:
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I'm not finding this sticky thread...

"Look through the videos that Tim and Sean have made (one of the sticky threads are the top of the forum) for doing the suspension stuff (and ball joints, and radiator... "

3rd Gen T4R DIY Maintenance, Repair and Modification Videos

I found it easier to browse through the youtube channel, but I don't think that thread was up yet when I was doing my work (or maybe just not a sticky and I missed it)
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Old 06-29-2021, 09:10 AM #13
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Thanks for the links!

I purchased both Lower Ball Joints and 8 bolts from McGeorge Toyota.

Plus Energy Suspension Rear and Front Bushings from Amazon.

Plus the Front Stabilizer Bar Links arrive in the mail today from Amazon.

Now to find the time to make the repairs.

I have to be careful of what I work on, as I only have 1 vehicle and a 60 mile roundtrip to work. My backup vehicle (2008 Pontiac G6) is with my daughter at college 100 miles away ad I don't get it back till December. So anything I work on has to fully get resolved that day.

Do any of these changes require an vehicle alignment after their replacement/install?
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:52 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
Okay So Ball Joints first. Thanks for the heads-up on these Id heard/read nothing on this. Should I look at any specific brand of Ball Joints? I just bought my front and rear Moog Stabilizer Bar Links off Amazon.

Radiator I had the radiator and transmission flushed by the dealer last year should I still be concerned with it?

Bushings Id probably buy brand-new to save the shop work. Are there bushing kits out there with all the required bushings?

Sorry for all the questions. Some of these items just caught me off guard..

Jon
OEM only for lower ball joints. It's not that much more considering how much longer OEM lower ball joints last compared to competitors. Also, if the radiator is original or the plastic portions of the radiator are brown you should replace it. OEM spec denso radiator is about $120 and is well worth it compared to the cost of replacing your transmission. There is a transmission fluid cooler in the radiator that can fail with age/time and when it does you will get coolant in your transmission fluid and if not caught immediately and transmission flushed several times it will destroy your transmission.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:29 PM #15
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I have OEM lower ball joints on the way.

And radiator is original. I'll look at that after I get the lower ball joints and bushings replaced. I'll just have to find a replacement procedure.

Thanks
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