2005 4-Runner Limited


No pics of the car yet... 

I purchased this car a couple of weeks ago. It has only 45K miles and has been dealer maintained. It is a 2WD V8 Limited - I have all the service records which are mostly just oil and fluid changes.

The front seems real mushy to me and dives when I tap the brakes so today I replaced the front shocks with Bilsteins. I purchased these online for $86.75 ea with free shipping (shockwarehouse.com) so it is a relatively inexpensive job. I'm not an off-roader so didn't go with the 5100's.

This is a very easy DIY...

Jack up the front and place on jack stands. The rear of the front engine guard is reinforced on the inside and is the front jack point. You'll notice that I repainted the front engine guard and still need to do the rear.

Remove the wheels and disconnect the sway bar link (need to do both sides)...

Unbolt the sway bar bushings (both sides) and then move the sway bar out of the way....

Next remove the shock....  Remove 3 x bolts on top of the shock and the one large bolt at the bottom.

I used a 2 x 4 to lever down the swing arm and pop out the bottom of the shock.

The next step is counter intuitive and caused me to waste a bunch of time. You would think that pressing the arm down would allow you to withdraw the shock but in actual fact you have to lift the arm up to get the space you need to withdraw the old shock. Remove it to the rear of the swing arm.

I used my trusty spring compressors to compress the spring (it takes very little compression to loosen these springs).

Reassemble the shock making sure everything is aligned exactly as it was on the old shock (I use a marker pen to help with this).

Then install the new shock - remember to lift the control arm up to feed the shock into its upper mount and run one of the upper 3 nuts on by hand to help hold it in place. Then pry the control arm down to get the lower mount into position. Install the lower bolt but do not tighten it yet.

Reinstall the sway bar and links.

Install and tighten the 3 bolts on top of shock and the sway bar link end.

Sway bar bushings and lower shock should not be tightened until the wheels are back on and the car is under load.

Took me about 4 hours working at a slow pace.

I'm surprised at the amount of rust under this car (its a S.Cal car all its life). Up top it is in near mint condition. Must be the salt air due to living near the coast and poorly painted parts.