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Old 05-14-2020, 12:51 PM #1
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Front strut rattle - XREAS question

I have a 2014 4Runner Limited. Has about 85k miles and I just noticed a rattle in the front. I inspected the front shocks and noticed that both front are leaking.

Here are my questions
1.) Please confirm that this is an XREAS system (red arrow on the image)

xreas — ImgBB

2.) Confirm that struts are leaking

leaky-strut — ImgBB

leaky-strut-2 — ImgBB

3.) Can front struts be replaced without touching the XREAS system? If one front strut is replaced do all 4 have to be replaced? A simple explanation of this would be helpful. It's a daily driver, not much of an offroader except for the occasional curb hop to go fishing.

Last edited by wesrick; 05-14-2020 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Images weren't posting so I added the link
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:07 PM #2
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1. That is definitely an XREAS system.

2. Cant really tell, my front shocks look exactly the same at 40k.

3. They can be replaced one time with the XREAS system, after that the whole system has to be replaced which is quite pricey. You have to disconnect the lines to replace the shocks which will release some oil most likely. If you want to keep the system, I would replace all 4. If your rears fail after you replace the fronts then you will have to replace the entire system.

You should probably just scrap the system at your mileage and get some better shocks for much cheaper. Look into Eibach Pro shocks or you can go with Bilstein under $400 for all 4 and you can use those to lift it a little in the front or stay at original height.

Can you elaborate on the rattle? Could be something entirely different.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:38 PM #3
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Toyota 4-Runner X-REAS Shocks - Shockwarehouse.com

5th gen and XREAS system

X-reas

5th Gen Limited X-REAS Leak - Options? - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum

5th Gen 4Runner XREAS Removal & Tips

Removing X-REAS from a Limited
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:14 PM #4
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Thanks for the responses.

Elaboration on the rattle: It sounds like there's metal clanking, like there's a rubber bushing that is rotted and fell out. It only happens over bumps about 50% of the time. It's not loud, but definitely there.

I'm not a real mechanical guy - I can change oil and brakes/rotors and the occasional alternator. Is this something that required more expertise than that as a DIYer or should I rely on the local independent mechanic for replacement?

Lastly, is it better, in the long run, to just have the XREAS removed and put in different items such as what you've suggested?

Really appreciate the responses.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:17 PM #5
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Thanks all the links! Checking them out...
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:35 PM #6
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Maybe a loose heat shield somewhere?

Rattle Underneath 4Runner - Need Help

Heat Shield

Heat shields falling off
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:45 PM #7
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XREAS is designed as a closed system and was intended to last the lifetime of the vehicle. Unfortunately, when the system begins leaking the options for replacement with the exact same OEM parts are limited (and often cost prohibitive).

When I ran into this problem on my 03 Limited that had XREAS, my Toyota Master Mechanic strongly advised against replacement with a new XREAS. As my suspension was already gone by that point (the leak in the lines caused a catastrophic failure of the suspension), I had no choice but to opt for a standard SR5 set-up.

If your suspension is still operating okay, you may be able to limp along and find time to shop around for a good deal on aftermarket shocks.

A good independent mechanic should be able to remove the XREAS system (lines can be left on the 4Runner and just plugged) and then install the components that you want (daily driver = ride comfort).
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:59 PM #8
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As long as you follow the correct procedure for removal you should be OK. I'm too lazy to find the PDF from the Service Manual but I had found it somewhere here on this forum. At a high level, you need to raise the truck so the suspension hangs at all wheels, then disconnect at the union fittings. I also have a used set of shocks that you can buy for a fraction of a set of brand new ones. Shipping might be a bit pricing though. The front shocks are still in the strut so it would be an easy swap.

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/2581205-post9130.html
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:24 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesrick View Post
Thanks all the links! Checking them out...
I just sold my 2011 limited and bought a 2020. The 2011 XREAS system was getting long in the tooth and would need replacement so, I just went through this.

If you love the XREAS, then replace it. In the SF Bay area is about $3-4K.

The other option is to replace with "normal" shocks. I had a shop spec out the Bilstiens 6112 and 5160s with coils. It's about another $1500 to install. Yes, get the springs too and add some rear springs too, the sag.

I would never replace just strut/shock.
  • If one is blown out the other's are soon behind it.
  • Because of wear and tear, the new equipment will be stiff and it might handle funny.
  • It's already apart and on the rack.
  • The XREAS shares pressure between different corners. So if the system leaked it might be compromised.

So either way, to replace the system, your looking at $2K on the low end, at least around here.

If the XREAS is blown out any new parts will be an improvement.
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