Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang,

I've been browsing the posts and see plenty of talk about replacing shocks and struts but I haven't found a step-by-step write-up on how to. I've never done it before and would like to do this myself and it seems it's certainly doable with the proper tools. Does anyone have a write-up they could share? Pics would be fantastic. If there is a link that can be shared that perhaps I'm overlooking, that would work equally as well.

The reason I think I need new shocks is because my trucks braking distance has increased. Also, the backend seems to be lower than it was. Not much but it doesn't have the typical slant you see on a truck. I have the '05 DC Limited 4x4 and it's stock. When I do the bounce test, seems pretty normal frankly and I don't see fluid leaking from the shocks but they it just doesn't seem to be riding as well and it's the only thing I can think of.

Thank you in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
My first recommendation is to go to any post from RCSTundra and look at the bottom of his posts...there are links to repair manuals. Read the sections regarding front and rear suspension, including removal and installation. The rear should be straight foward...I think in your case the upper mounting mounting bolts for the rear shocks are accesible in the wheel well, but the front will be a bit more complicated. Doable, but complicated. You'll probably need someone to actually install the shock for you, since this involves a spring compressor.

My 2000 Tundra was easy enough, with the exception of the top mount on the rear. There was like a two to three inch access between the bed and the frame to work in...ended up cutting off the nut. Hope yours is easier!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,926 Posts
My first recommendation is to go to any post from RCSTundra and look at the bottom of his posts...

:tu:, there are pictures in the manual!! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Shocks don't support the rear end. The springs do. If your rear is sagging you need to look beyond the shocks. The shocks only control the springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Roger that. I didn't think it was the springs because its not sagging much and it's not bottoming out or anything. The truck has 60k miles on it and I don't haul or tow often. I will haul heavy loads a couple times a year but not regularly.
 

·
Forum Admin
Joined
·
8,219 Posts
replacing the rear shocks is easy, takes a little time because of the limited access on the top bolt with these trucks, but it's still simple.

Removing the spare tire will help tremendously.

Get your tools:
5/32" allen wrench (some aftermarket shocks require this, OEM may not)
14mm open end wrench
14mm ratcheting wrench (preferred)
17mm wrench (open/closed, doesn't matter)
17mm socket and ratchet

optional tools:
crowbar
mallet
long thick screwdriver

Disassembly:
Put the 14mm wrench on the top nut and turn ccw. This part is tedious and may take the majority of the project time. There is not much clearance for a small wrench up there and a ratchet won't fit, so take your time, it'll come off eventually. You'll see here why I said the ratcheting 14mm wrench is preferred.

The 5/32" allen wrench is used to insert on the top of the shaft to keep it still while you turn the nut. Some aftermarket shocks have this, some don't. Some use an inverted Torx (aka, E10 socket, or other size).

Next, remove the lower mount with the 17mm wrench and 17mm socket wrench. I could be wrong and this uses a 19mm, but that's a trivial detail. If you don't have a complete socket set, you shouldn't be doing this yourself anyway. Remove the old shock.

Repeat both upper and lower mount removal on the other side. FYI, Driver's side is easier than passenger side. Better access on the D-side.

Disassembly is complete.

Installation:
If you have a hydraulic shock, compressing it will be easy. And install is reverse order disassembly.

If you have a pneumatic shock (gas), such as a Bilstein 5100, compressing it will be a different story. This is where I mention use of the "optional" tools. Install your new bushings on both upper and lower mounts. Insert the upper mount in to place, attach the second bushing on the top of the shaft, then loosely attach the new nut.

Try and align the bottom mount as best you can. You can use the large shaft screwdriver to line the lower mount and push the bolt through while pushing the screwdriver out. Get the nut on there and loosely tighten it as well.

Tighten all the nuts to whatever torque spec they require, and you're done. :tu:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the detailed write-up Tundradrenalin...this is great. I'm looking at the Bilstein HD's which everyone seems to love so I think that should help.

Thanks again!

replacing the rear shocks is easy, takes a little time because of the limited access on the top bolt with these trucks, but it's still simple.

Removing the spare tire will help tremendously.

Get your tools:
5/32" allen wrench (some aftermarket shocks require this, OEM may not)
14mm open end wrench
14mm ratcheting wrench (preferred)
17mm wrench (open/closed, doesn't matter)
17mm socket and ratchet

optional tools:
crowbar
mallet
long thick screwdriver

Disassembly:
Put the 14mm wrench on the top nut and turn ccw. This part is tedious and may take the majority of the project time. There is not much clearance for a small wrench up there and a ratchet won't fit, so take your time, it'll come off eventually. You'll see here why I said the ratcheting 14mm wrench is preferred.

The 5/32" allen wrench is used to insert on the top of the shaft to keep it still while you turn the nut. Some aftermarket shocks have this, some don't. Some use an inverted Torx (aka, E10 socket, or other size).

Next, remove the lower mount with the 17mm wrench and 17mm socket wrench. I could be wrong and this uses a 19mm, but that's a trivial detail. If you don't have a complete socket set, you shouldn't be doing this yourself anyway. Remove the old shock.

Repeat both upper and lower mount removal on the other side. FYI, Driver's side is easier than passenger side. Better access on the D-side.

Disassembly is complete.

Installation:
If you have a hydraulic shock, compressing it will be easy. And install is reverse order disassembly.

If you have a pneumatic shock (gas), such as a Bilstein 5100, compressing it will be a different story. This is where I mention use of the "optional" tools. Install your new bushings on both upper and lower mounts. Insert the upper mount in to place, attach the second bushing on the top of the shaft, then loosely attach the new nut.

Try and align the bottom mount as best you can. You can use the large shaft screwdriver to line the lower mount and push the bolt through while pushing the screwdriver out. Get the nut on there and loosely tighten it as well.

Tighten all the nuts to whatever torque spec they require, and you're done. :tu:
 

·
Mech. Engr. / Mechanic
Joined
·
824 Posts
Thank you for the detailed write-up Tundradrenalin...this is great. I'm looking at the Bilstein HD's which everyone seems to love so I think that should help.

Thanks again!
I put the Biltein HD's on a couple of months ago, I wish I had done it when I first pulled the truck off the dealers lot. Follow Tundradrenalin's advice, it's right on. The job isn't hard, just be patient. If you are also doing the front shocks, you'll need a spring compressor that can be borrowed for free from most auto parts stores. (NAPA, O'reilly's, Autozone, etc..)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,875 Posts
Just to add my .02 shocks don't affect braking power so apart from the truck diving from worn out shocks you need to service your brakes. I'd suggest that you use a high friction compound pad/shoe when you swap them out. Aftermarket rotors, in my case anyway, offer way more bite than the stockers. Also measure the rear proportioning valve as most of them are set wrong at the factory. Yours should be 4.72" from the center of each bolt. Also with the front struts disconnecting the sway bar gives you a couple of inches more room to manuever the strut assembly into position however you'll need a floor jack to push the lower control arm back up to reconnect it. If the lower strut isn't aligned with the bolt holes place a strong screwdriver through it and twist it until it does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just to add my .02 shocks don't affect braking power so apart from the truck diving from worn out shocks you need to service your brakes. I'd suggest that you use a high friction compound pad/shoe when you swap them out. Aftermarket rotors, in my case anyway, offer way more bite than the stockers. Also measure the rear proportioning valve as most of them are set wrong at the factory. Yours should be 4.72" from the center of each bolt. Also with the front struts disconnecting the sway bar gives you a couple of inches more room to manuever the strut assembly into position however you'll need a floor jack to push the lower control arm back up to reconnect it. If the lower strut isn't aligned with the bolt holes place a strong screwdriver through it and twist it until it does.
Thanks Puffnstuff. I had the front brakes replaced not along ago and all were checked at my last oil change a couple weeks ago. I think the culprit is the shocks. The front ones seem to perhaps be the issue. Either way, cant go wrong putting on new shocks so we'll start there, it's a good upgrade.

Thanks for the advice though, I'll keep this in mind for when I do the brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I finally got around to my rear shock install last night and it went well with all the instructions provided here, thanks again.

One question however. The specs I found through TS was to torque the top at 15 and bottom at 64. However on Shockwarehouse's site they have Bilstein install instructions and it says the top nut should only be tightened until the plate makes contact or nut is at end of the threads. Well to reach 15 ft lbs of torque, which granted isn't much it puts the nut beyond the threads. Did I tighten the nut too much? The bushings are not compressed. In all honesty, I couldn't get the torque wrench on the top nut so it was a best guess effort on tightness but obviously it's not too much.
 

Attachments

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,875 Posts
I tightened mine until the bushing started to bulge slightly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I guess you'd have to define "slight" Mine definitely aren't that tight.

I took the truck on a test drive and the right shock appears to have a slight squeak when I take a turn aggressively. Pretty sure it's not the tire. Do new shocks and bushings squeak a bit? I did have to put some 3-1 oil on that side to loosen the nut, I may have inadvertently got some grease or oil on the bushings.

I tightened mine until the bushing started to bulge slightly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
I guess you'd have to define "slight" Mine definitely aren't that tight.

I took the truck on a test drive and the right shock appears to have a slight squeak when I take a turn aggressively. Pretty sure it's not the tire. Do new shocks and bushings squeak a bit? I did have to put some 3-1 oil on that side to loosen the nut, I may have inadvertently got some grease or oil on the bushings.
I would try and tighten the top nut a bit more like Puff stated...until the bushing starts to bulge slightly. The oil is not gonna cause a squeak.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top