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I think this thread is giving people the impression that changing the rear shocks is something that's impossible to do. I really didn't find that difficult, and I did all 4 with my friend, and neither of us had experience changing shocks.
The job is easy.....if you can get the top shock nut off. You Southern folks just have no idea how much harder these jobs can be up in the rust belt. If that nut is rusted solid it's a completely different ball game. I forget how long exactly but I think it took me about three hours to figure out how to do it then cut and grind down the two shock rods.
 

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I just replaced my rear shocks about 2 weeks ago and it definitely wasn't a walk in the park. And I live down south with no rust. Like most people have said in this thread, part of the difficulty is due to the fact that you're on your back and raising your arms up. Having a creeper helped me a great deal cause it made sliding in and out from under the vehicle soo much easier. I tried using vise grips but doing it blind and the position/angle the top shock nut was at made it impossible. I also warn anyone attempting the vise grip method to be careful that you're clamping on the top flat part and not the threads themselves cause that would make a difficult job harder now that you have to get that nut past some flattened threads.

What I found to work for me was using one of those oil filter clamps with the rubberband like strap to strap the upper metal shock protector. Had a friend hold the shock in place with that while I loosened the top nut.
 

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The job is easy.....if you can get the top shock nut off. You Southern folks just have no idea how much harder these jobs can be up in the rust belt. If that nut is rusted solid it's a completely different ball game. I forget how long exactly but I think it took me about three hours to figure out how to do it then cut and grind down the two shock rods.
Yea, I definitely agree about the rust, I can only image how much more everything would be to work on, especially the rear shocks because you barely have any clearance to mess with the removal of the top nut.
 

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I changed out the rear shocks on my '01 a month ago and too ran into the rusty nut issue. I chose to take a gas axe to the driver side shock and had to keep a water hose nearby to avoid setting the rubber bushings into flames, especially that near the fuel lines.
 

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I left it to a shop that works on tires and shocks; cost me $200 to have all 4 installed. I find I don't have the time anymore to wrench as much.
 

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I ran into the rust issues on mine and it was not easy. Frustration led me to breaking out the hole saw and pulling back the interior carpet. I was able to measure over to the top of the shock bolt, cut a hole and get a socket and ratchet on the top. I plugged the hole with a rubber grommet and put the carpet back. In the end it saved a lot of time on a Sequoia that spent 6 years in Michigan winters.
 

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$200 would have been a bargain! I'm in Seattle, not badly rusted, but it probably took me three hours to get both rear shocks off my '01. I finally had to resort to the old trick o f driving a big beefy screw driver through the shock body to give me something to hold onto to keep the shock rod from spinning. I've changed many many shocks in my life and none have been as much of a biiiyaaaatch as this Sequoia. Arrrrggghh.
 

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So I am going to do this in the near future.
Last night, I reached up at the top of the rear shock and felt a completely rusted out nut that was crumbly.
So I plan on going straight at them with a sawzall.
My Monroe shocks came with two retainers and two cushions per shock......do I still need to get another retainer per side? Do you know Mibro?
 

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rather than start a new thread. I just replaced the shocks on my 05 DoubleCab. The fronts were original, the rears were KYB, but had been there for quite a while, completely rusted. I struggled for 2 hours to get the nut off the top of the rear shocks, then I broke out the plasma cutter. I honestly don't think I could have used any other tools I have to get that rear passenger shock out. Had to cut the nut off of the stud. Not enough room for a grinder, nor sawzall, to get in there. All in, it took me 6 hours to change all of the shocks.
 

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Yes you do. This will be the least of your worries however. If I ever have to do this job again I will probably cut holes in the sheet metal above the shocks so I can remove the upper shock nuts with an impact wrench.

Buy two lower shock cushion retainers (48597-34010) ahead of time as these are not included with the Toyota shocks.

Here's how I did it. Let's hope you don't need to go this route.

1. Cut the shock rod with a cut-off disc right below the upper mounting hardware. Change the position of the guard on your grinder for each side so that it shields the coil spring - you don't want to cut the spring.

2. To improve access to the shock on the passenger side, remove the drag link on the right side of the rear axle - 19mm socket and wrench required.

3. Grind off the stub of the shock rod to release the mounting hardware and top of the shock rod. Again, change the position of the guard on your grinder for each side.

4. Don't be tempted to cut the rod again through the lower rubber cushion - there isn't enough space to get a cut-off disc in there without cutting the shock mounting point.

5. You WILL damage the lower shock cushion retainers while doing this. This part is not included with your replacement Toyota shock, so buy two pieces - one each side - before you start the job. For my '04 Sequoia the lower shock cushion retainer is Toyota P/N 48597-34010.

6. For my '04 Sequoia, two Toyota rear shocks are listed. P/N 48530-80105 (P/N 48530-34020 marked on shock) is manufactured by KYB. P/N 48530-A9180 (P/N 48530-AF021 marked on shock) is manufactured by Tokico. The visible difference between them is that the shock rod, which is uppermost, is protected by a metal shroud on the Tokico part and by a rubber boot on the KYB part. The KYB shock is a self-leveling shock and as far as I can determine, 48530-A9180 (Tokico) and 48530-80105 (KYB) are alternate parts and can be used interchangeably.

7. For installing the new shocks, a 17mm Gearwrench is very helpful.

I thought the Tokico and KYB are totally interchangeable and I went with KYB because my old ones are Tokico and I wanted to try something different. I regret big time. They are kind of interchangeable but the auto leveling KYB can't be compressed and installation is a pain because you have to drop rear axle. To me the installation of the self-leveling type is even worse than rear shock removal because I only have 1 jack. I highly recommend you to stay away from the OEM KYB unless you know what you are dealing with.

What is this auto/self leveling type shock anyway? What's the difference in terms of performance and everything?
 
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