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Old 03-10-2024, 10:56 AM #1
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Anyone go back to stock shocks from aftermarket?

Three years ago I installed Bilstein 5100s and poly sway bar bushings on my '18 SR5 for leveling and body control. No complaints with amount of front lift and ride.

About a year go, I moved to an area with terrible roads - broken pavement, potholes, multiple speed breakers for a few miles in all directions.

In an effort to improve the truck's compliance over small bumps, I upgraded to Fox 2.0s (retaining the stock coils in the rear only). I hoped that the switch from digressive to progressive would help soak up the small stuff. I knew it wouldn't be like a Raptor, floating over everything, but i was hoping for some improvement.

What I got was amazing body control over smoother stuff, but a very harsh ride in my most common use case of 25-45mph over crappy city streets. I feel like the truck has little to no damping over even the smallest imperfections. It seems like I feel every single crack, expansion joint, piece of gravel, uneven repair - everything.

Finally, the front out-of-the-box lift from the Fox's is juuuuust this side of too high - in some scenarios I get a little negative rake which I can't stand.

All of this has me considering a return to stock with just a touch of leveling from front spacers.

The truck is otherwise dialed in, paid for, and perfect for my needs, so I'll say now that "shoulda got a GX" isn't realistic at this moment. I'd love to keep rocking this thing for another few years while I save for a house.

Anyone else gone back to stock and been happier with the ride?
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Old 03-10-2024, 01:43 PM #2
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Quote:
I feel like the truck has little to no damping over even the smallest imperfections. It seems like I feel every single crack, expansion joint, piece of gravel, uneven repair - everything.
This is my experience as well, and fwiw I'm running stock suspension (+ KDSS) with a 1" front spacer lift.

What tires are you running? I noticed the biggest negative change in ride quality and handling was due swapping in larger, heavier, C load tires.
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:16 PM #3
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I've had nothing but bad luck with Bilstein. From leaking shocks to extremely bad rot in short amounts of time. Longevity issues and shitty customer service. I was done

Been rockin Dobinson's for over three years now and they are the best affordable shocks I've ever used.
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Old 03-11-2024, 07:31 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCMSF View Post
This is my experience as well, and fwiw I'm running stock suspension (+ KDSS) with a 1" front spacer lift.
Well, there goes my theory about stock at least being cushier...

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Originally Posted by PCMSF View Post
What tires are you running? I noticed the biggest negative change in ride quality and handling was due swapping in larger, heavier, C load tires.
it's a good thought, but I have General Grabber APTs in stock sizes, SL load rating. I picked them since they have a nice mellow AT/HT mix and an accoustic layer as well. They're mounted on TRD wheels which are also pretty light.

I'm wondering if the TRD Pro Foxes are any more forgiving. There's a good deal on a new set out there that is tempted. OEM-ish ride, and keep a small amount of leveling without spacers.
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Old 03-17-2024, 03:59 PM #5
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I have a 2024 TRDORP with Dunlops and a 2022 GX460 with Michelin Defenders. The tires on both vehicles are stock size with 33 psi in both. I find the ride over small imperfections in the road a little better on the 4Runner and equal everywhere else. If you're running a tire with stiff sidewalls or high psi that will affect the ride quality.
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Old 03-17-2024, 11:30 PM #6
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I keep reading how smooth the Trd pro Fox shocks are so that may be worth a try.


Quote:
Originally Posted by raab02 View Post
Well, there goes my theory about stock at least being cushier...



it's a good thought, but I have General Grabber APTs in stock sizes, SL load rating. I picked them since they have a nice mellow AT/HT mix and an accoustic layer as well. They're mounted on TRD wheels which are also pretty light.

I'm wondering if the TRD Pro Foxes are any more forgiving. There's a good deal on a new set out there that is tempted. OEM-ish ride, and keep a small amount of leveling without spacers.
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Old 03-18-2024, 11:35 AM #7
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260K miles on our set of Bilstein 5100s. Only complaint, the rear boots split.
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Old 03-21-2024, 12:31 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Hbc234 View Post
I keep reading how smooth the Trd pro Fox shocks are so that may be worth a try.
In fact that's what I did! Snagged a set off ebay and will get them installed next week. Across my 2 4R's, my buddy's 4R and his wife's i've installed probably 6 sets of shocks so I'm throwing this one to a shop I like. I've had my fill!

I'll report back on my impresssions of ride quality.

Last edited by raab02; 03-21-2024 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 03-21-2024, 04:05 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutthroatSlam View Post
260K miles on our set of Bilstein 5100s. Only complaint, the rear boots split.
I have about 40k on mine and still brag about how much they've helped the vehicles responses to roll and dive. They're stiff but I wouldn't call them stiff by any means.

I, knock on wood, haven't had a leaking issue and if I do, they really aren't that expensive to replace.

As such, I can't imagine going back to stock. I like my set up a lot. I'm still running 265/70s BFG KO2s, Load Range E, though and I wouldn't mind going to a TA, Load C for my next batch. Either I have another bearing going out or these tires are louder that I remember.
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Old 03-21-2024, 05:42 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieOE View Post
I have about 40k on mine and still brag about how much they've helped the vehicles responses to roll and dive. They're stiff but I wouldn't call them stiff by any means.

I, knock on wood, haven't had a leaking issue and if I do, they really aren't that expensive to replace.

As such, I can't imagine going back to stock. I like my set up a lot. I'm still running 265/70s BFG KO2s, Load Range E, though and I wouldn't mind going to a TA, Load C for my next batch. Either I have another bearing going out or these tires are louder that I remember.
We're running Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT (load range E) on the 2014 SR5. Have 50K miles on the tires and they have about 40% tread left. That never happened on any load range C tire in the 350K miles we've put on the 4R. I will never go back to load range C. There is no discernable difference in ride, but a huge difference in wear longevity.

In contrast, the Dunlop load range C tires that came on our 2023 ORP have 21K miles on them and have less wear left on them than the Cooper LTs on the 2014.

Last edited by CutthroatSlam; 03-21-2024 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 03-21-2024, 07:19 PM #11
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I swapped my 4R back to stock before selling it. The OEM Tokico shocks have a nice ride for highway use IMO. I have no issues with them. And TBH I think they ride better on the highway than the Fox 2.5s I had. Those were a bit firmer than stock.

In my 2016 Tundra it had factory Bilstein shocks. They are digressive much like the 5100 and a lot more transmission of harsh small bumps than a softer shock like the stock tokico on the non TRD models in the Tundra. For me - I swapped to Fox 2.0s. The set of 4 ended up around $750 shipped (they are the c-clip ones) and I set them on the lowest setting. They are a big improvement. Very close IMO to stock twin tube tokico shocks. But they have noticeably more rebound damping so there's a lot less head toss on the bigger bumps at low speed - like curbs and big pot holes in parking lots. I've been surprised how good they are for a low budget. And how much softer they are than the Fox 2.5s I had. My wife who is not a car enthusiast noticed the difference immediately and commented on it, which is unusual because she said she could never tell any difference on my 4Runner between any of the setups. I think the factory tokicos are probably in the ballpark of the same ride and if you're wanting something pretty comfortable at low cost - they'll probably work well. If you wanted something with great softer highway ride without a huge cost, the Fox 2.0 c-clip are better than I expected.

My only annoyance with the fox 2.0 is that they advertise as having a zero lift option, but the lowest ride height clip is still about 1 inch of lift. I don't really offroad my Tundra - it's my tow and road trip truck, so I would have preferred to keep the front at stock height. (And Fox sent them with 14mm reducer spacers on one front shock - Tundra uses a 16mm bolt, so they had to send a new set of spacers which was a PITA mid install. I just drilled the 14mm out to 16mm and will put the new ones in when I take them off next time because I only had a 5/8 bit then had to ream it out and it's a bit janky how it looks even though you can't see it.)

Nice thing about going back to stock shocks is you don't have to guess - you can just go test drive one stock and see how you like it before you do it.

Last edited by Jetboy; 03-21-2024 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 03-22-2024, 02:07 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raab02 View Post
In fact that's what I did! Snagged a set off ebay and will get them installed next week. Across my 2 4R's, my buddy's 4R and his wife's i've installed probably 6 sets of shocks so I'm throwing this one to a shop I like. I've had my fill!

I'll report back on my impresssions of ride quality.
Please do interested in going this route
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Old 03-30-2024, 07:02 AM #13
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I swapped my 4R back to stock before selling it. The OEM Tokico shocks have a nice ride for highway use IMO. I have no issues with them. And TBH I think they ride better on the highway than the Fox 2.5s I had. Those were a bit firmer than stock.

In my 2016 Tundra it had factory Bilstein shocks. They are digressive much like the 5100 and a lot more transmission of harsh small bumps than a softer shock like the stock tokico on the non TRD models in the Tundra. For me - I swapped to Fox 2.0s. The set of 4 ended up around $750 shipped (they are the c-clip ones) and I set them on the lowest setting. They are a big improvement. Very close IMO to stock twin tube tokico shocks. But they have noticeably more rebound damping so there's a lot less head toss on the bigger bumps at low speed - like curbs and big pot holes in parking lots. I've been surprised how good they are for a low budget. And how much softer they are than the Fox 2.5s I had. My wife who is not a car enthusiast noticed the difference immediately and commented on it, which is unusual because she said she could never tell any difference on my 4Runner between any of the setups. I think the factory tokicos are probably in the ballpark of the same ride and if you're wanting something pretty comfortable at low cost - they'll probably work well. If you wanted something with great softer highway ride without a huge cost, the Fox 2.0 c-clip are better than I expected.

My only annoyance with the fox 2.0 is that they advertise as having a zero lift option, but the lowest ride height clip is still about 1 inch of lift. I don't really offroad my Tundra - it's my tow and road trip truck, so I would have preferred to keep the front at stock height. (And Fox sent them with 14mm reducer spacers on one front shock - Tundra uses a 16mm bolt, so they had to send a new set of spacers which was a PITA mid install. I just drilled the 14mm out to 16mm and will put the new ones in when I take them off next time because I only had a 5/8 bit then had to ream it out and it's a bit janky how it looks even though you can't see it.)

Nice thing about going back to stock shocks is you don't have to guess - you can just go test drive one stock and see how you like it before you do it.
Are you saying the Fox 2.0s went on your Tundra? If so, that would explain why our experiences with them were totally different.

I upgraded to them last year, and found them to be at least as harsh if not stiffer than the Bilstein 5100s over smaller bumps, which is what I finally got fed up with.

I realize a huge part of this is about where people are driving... someone in the burbs with pretty decent pavement is going to have a different experience than me in the city where every inch of tarmac has been ripped up and repaired to accommodate construction, etc.

That's the only reason I can figure that opinions vary so widely because I would never describe my 2.0s as soft in any scenario.
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Old 03-30-2024, 07:07 AM #14
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Please do interested in going this route
Just picked up the truck last night and did some in-town driving.

Very, very noticeable improvement in how much these shocks soak up. The rear are the biggest improvement.

With the Fox 2.0s, the rears seemed WAY harsher than the front, and now i realize how much that was affecting my opinion of them. Hitting say, an expansion joint, I'd see it coming, appreciate that the front dampers were going to do at least something, then brace myself for the impact in the rear.

In fact, I think the rear harshness in the 2.0s might be at least in part of why i was getting so many new rattles from the cargo area plastic trim (which I fixed but that's another story).

With the OEM TRD Pro Fox, I can't believe how much improved the ride is. They seem to glide over most things that would give the 2.0s a big WHACK when traversing. This is especially true in the rear wheels... now the front feels stiffer than the rear, in opposite of how it was with the 2.0s.

Only a few miles so far, so I can't give a full review, but I can say it's a very, very noticeable improvement in compliance over crappy pavement.

I'll come back and add thoughts about roll/ dive/ hwy tracking, etc if I have anything else meaningful to call out.
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Old 03-30-2024, 01:11 PM #15
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Are you saying the Fox 2.0s went on your Tundra? If so, that would explain why our experiences with them were totally different.

I upgraded to them last year, and found them to be at least as harsh if not stiffer than the Bilstein 5100s over smaller bumps, which is what I finally got fed up with.

I realize a huge part of this is about where people are driving... someone in the burbs with pretty decent pavement is going to have a different experience than me in the city where every inch of tarmac has been ripped up and repaired to accommodate construction, etc.

That's the only reason I can figure that opinions vary so widely because I would never describe my 2.0s as soft in any scenario.
Yes. 2.0 on my Tundra. Had 2.5 RR on the 4R. Tundra 2.0 are soft. Like Cadillac ride. It's as soft as my rx350. Maybe softer. TBH it's probably too soft for going fast in the whoops in the desert. At least not without upgraded bump stops. I haven't tried it yet though, so I'm not sure. Not really a truck I use for that.

Im living in Alaska right now so I don't have anywhere to do it even if I wanted to. But the roads are probably worse than anywhere in the lower 48. The ground is constantly moving and roads don't last very long.

It's odd if they were a lot different in valving on the 4R, but wouldn't surprise me that much. Fox is hit or miss in my experience on valving. Customer service is horrendous. But the parts are high quality. Not sure why I bought them again, but I guess I couldn't pass on a great deal. 🤷

I have seen some really good pricing on the ICON c clip stuff too. Might be a better option.
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