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Old 04-22-2020, 06:16 PM #1
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Any thoughts on the frugal strut replacement?

Background first, 205k on the runner that is due for front struts and of course it has the normal front end droop that I'd like to level off, no clunking though. I really don't want to put much money into this so need it on the budget side. I see the Bilstein 5100's should hit 2 issues with one stone for a bit over $200 but also see that KYB GR2's can be had for $130 and then I can add spacers for $30. So is the Bilstein worth $40 more over the KYB with spacers? Do I need to replace the strut mounts too? If so then there's always the strut assemblies that replace it all (KYB is around $100 each) and I assume would give some ride height back for awhile but I've never been a fan of low priced springs that are not OEM. Opinions would be appreciated including anything I may have missed.

Normal suspension on this beast, no OEM adjustable stuff.

Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:43 PM #2
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If you can afford downtime, I'd pull the top hats to see what condition they are in and then order replacements based on that. If your suspension is all original at 205k, I'd personally replace all the shocks and top hats.
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:44 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
Background first, 205k on the runner that is due for front struts and of course it has the normal front end droop that I'd like to level off, no clunking though. I really don't want to put much money into this so need it on the budget side. I see the Bilstein 5100's should hit 2 issues with one stone for a bit over $200 but also see that KYB GR2's can be had for $130 and then I can add spacers for $30. So is the Bilstein worth $40 more over the KYB with spacers? Do I need to replace the strut mounts too? If so then there's always the strut assemblies that replace it all (KYB is around $100 each) and I assume would give some ride height back for awhile but I've never been a fan of low priced springs that are not OEM. Opinions would be appreciated including anything I may have missed.

Normal suspension on this beast, no OEM adjustable stuff.

Thanks!
I have the Bilstein 5100s on mine Mike. I came from XREAS tho. 193k on mine and definitely had front end sag on original equipment. I would really recommend the Bilsteins over KYB. IMO the quickstruts (I assume that's what you mean by "replace it all") are of really low quality, I used them on a fleet escalade and town car with equally poor results)... Anyhoo. My vote is Bilstein. If you don't want lift just get the 4600 series. If you have significant sag, you'll need springs, and that's where you'll have to decide how far you want to pull the string. New springs will cost more than a small spacer to offset. But they will likely ride better than worn springs that are now sagging. You know your sh*t so I have no doubt you'll be riding in style again soon. Cheers
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:31 AM #4
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Also as far as getting springs -- check your local Craigslist or FB market to find some stock 5th gen springs. People usually sell them for dirt cheap.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:39 AM #5
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Tacoma springs

I found some Tacoma TRD Pro suspension parts on Craigslist for REALLY cheap. Provided a small lift and rides awesome.
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Any thoughts on the frugal strut replacement?-656edbe2-324a-4874-a0a5-3694bb6cdbb4-jpg 
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:04 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpilot View Post
I found some Tacoma TRD Pro suspension parts on Craigslist for REALLY cheap. Provided a small lift and rides awesome.
+1 Vote for this, Tacoma TRD Offroad suspension can be had cheap (It's yellow, so dont be fooled by stock Tacoma stuff)

Provides a little bit of a lift, rides nicely, and is super friendly on the budget. Also, if you find it off of a new enough Tacoma, most the time the owner swapped out the full suspension so you get a strut that is already assembled and that comes with the spring seat/bushings that are bound to be newer than 200k miles.

You can use non TRD-Offroad stuff from a Tacoma or a 4Runner, so you should be able to find someone semi local selling something!
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:00 AM #7
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Tacoma suspension on CL is a great way to go, plenty of them and cheap. there will be some modification you'll need to do but it should be cheap. if you can find some FJ suspension on CL that has low miles, then it should be plug and play. ALSO try Facebook Market Place. of FB groups that may be selling off parts sitting in their basement or garage.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:22 PM #8
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Interesting ideas, I do watch CL for 4runner stuff but never looked at the Tacoma side. Good point on the FB marketplace too, that seems to work better than CL much of the time. So is there specific years to look for or stay away from?
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:15 PM #9
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So would these fit? Seems odd that they have the same p/n on each but on the Toyota site left and right are different.

2010-2019 Toyota 4Runner OEM Factory Front struts, Springs, And Block Lift | eBay

2010-2019 Toyota 4Runner OEM Factory Tokico struts shocks Front Slightly used | eBay

16-20 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Bilstein Struts, Springs, OEM | eBay
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Old 04-24-2020, 02:06 AM #10
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I've had a 5th Gen suspension for almost a year now, and I'm very happy with it.

Front shocks needed about 2mm taken off the "eyes". I did that with a rotary grinder. Rears required the upper mounting hole to be enlarged a little, which I did with a step drill. Both were very easy, and went slowly, checking for proper fit often until I removed just the right amount of material.

My review from last year:

5th Gen suspension, initial impressions
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Old 04-24-2020, 12:02 PM #11
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since the thread is titled "frugal" the KYB are the frugal way to go, rockauto has them for ~$100ea & they include new top hats & the springs are as good as any other OEM type replacement like moog etc. the shock & spring is made to be 10% stiffer than stock so they do provide a little lift & are firmer than stock oem stuff. the KYB for 4th gen 4runners are the same part# for FJ's which are stiffer than 4runners. also KYB usually has a rebate going to make them even cheaper, i got a $60 rebate on mine last year.

as for the ride of the KYB, i am very happy with how they handle & ride, i came from xreas also at 145k miles & while there was no leaking, they were very soft & unstable feeling. the new kyb's also gave me about a 1.5" lift up front, if i want to add spacers later its cheap & easy to do.

bilsteins 5100 are a lot more expensive & still need springs & top hats etc. so unless you plan to do heavy off roading or want the multiple lift options, they are not really frugal. OEM 5th gen or tacoma shocks are a decent option too but KYBs have lifetime warranty & are a true all in one replacement if you dont need a big lift or do a lot of off roading.

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Old 04-24-2020, 12:41 PM #12
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Quote:
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since the thread is titled "frugal" the KYB are the frugal way to go, rockauto has them for ~$100ea & they include new top hats & the springs are as good as any other OEM type replacement like moog etc. the shock & spring is made to be 10% stiffer that stock so they do provide a little lift & are firmer than stock oem stuff. the KYB for 4th gen 4runners are the same part# for FJ's which are stiffer than 4runners. also KYB usually has a rebate going to make them even cheaper, i got a $60 rebate on mine last year.

as for the ride of the KYB, i am very happy with how they handle & ride, i came from xreas also at 145k miles & while there was no leaking, they were very soft & unstable feeling. the new kyb's also gave me about a 1.5" lift up front, if i want to add spacers later its cheap & easy to do.

bilsteins 5100 are a lot more expensive & still need springs & top hats etc. so unless you plan to do heavy off roading or want the multiple lift options, they are not really frugal. OEM 5th gen or tacoma shocks are a decent option too but KYBs have lifetime warranty & are a true all in one replacement if you dont need a big lift or do a lot of off roading.
I'll add that if kyb doesn't have a rebate going on with RockAuto, you can buy basically the same kit from 1AAuto for a little cheaper and free shipping. If you look at the part numbers on 1AAuto a lot of their stuff is identical to what you see on RockAuto.

$239.95 from 1AAuto
2004 Toyota 4Runner (without X-REAS Suspension System) Front & Rear Complete Shock Assembly & Shock Absorber Kit 4 Piece Set

$259.79 + shipping from Rock Auto
More Information for KYB 2SR4131344410

You can buy a cheap set of rear springs from Amazon (assuming these will fit yours):
https://www.amazon.com/Moog-81045-Co...5&sr=8-2-fkmr0

I haven't tried these out yet so I can't say if they are good or bad, but I am planning on buying them soon.
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Old 04-24-2020, 04:33 PM #13
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Thanks for the replies. I don't need to touch the back as I replaced the shocks last year with GR2's I think. Plenty of height back there for my needs. It seems those rebates are for when you buy all 4 corners. As for the 1AA site, I'll have to look into that but I'm leaning towards low mileage cheap Gen 5's like I linked to or the KYB assembly. I kinda like the used ones as I could still add spacers on the cheap and get almost new OEM assemblies.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:10 AM #14
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Fwiw I bought mine w kyb installed. Loved the ride and the front was leveled w them. +.5" for front.

Had them aftermarket w epic engineering springs on wrx as an upgrade over stock too and they were respectable
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:24 AM #15
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I just ordered the kyb strut plus kit from rock auto. 259 and KYB has a 75 dollar rebate right now...and that's for all four sides.

The reviews I've read have been favorable for this setup, and for that price, it really can't be beat.

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