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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, bare with me. I just picked up a 2003 sequoia 4x4 limited with 140k. I can feel just about every bump that I drive over...which makes for a rather unimpressive ride. Is the culprit the springs or the shocks? I don't know.

So, I crawled underneath the belly of the beast and took the numbers off of the rear shocks. Tokico 48530-AF021. Are those the "self-leveling" shocks? I don't know that either. But they do appear to be the stock shocks and springs.

Well, I went to toyotapartszone.com and did some digging. In 2005, toyota actually changed the shocks and springs that they use for the sequoia from the previous years. Now, if I were to buy aftermarket shocks, the same ones would fit any of the first gen sequoias. So, both the newer and older shocks alike should all fit the first gens. But why didn't toyota update the oem replacements for the older shocks/springs to match that of the newer shocks/springs? I dontknow, maybe if they were mixed, it would cause rate and dampening issues.

My conclusion: I should be able to change all of my oem springs and shocks from the earlier model to the shocks and springs from the newer model. I also checked to verify that all other suspension components are the same (sway bar, bushings, arms, etc.) so it really should be that simple. Additionally, the prices aren't too ridiculous, making this an achieveable upgrade.

Why would I want to embark upon this upgrade? I have read that replacing the stock shocks with Bilsteins improves handling, but doesn't entirely smooth out the bumps that are felt, and in some cases is actually worse than the stock shocks for smoothness. I have also read comments from several people, exclaiming that they could tell a difference between the pre and post 2005 suspension, and that the post was better...but most commenters stated that the only differences between the years were engine/transmission and cosemetic. Apparently my research has revealed otherwise. I also test drove a 2005 sequoia in my quest for a new ride, and it undoubdtedly absorbed the bumps/road imperfections (good ol' Michigan) much better than the 2003 I ended up buying (for $8000 less than the 2005).

So, my plan is to make the upgrade. And I'm hoping that going this route will give me the same smoothness that I experienced while driving the 2005. And I might add that both my sequoia and the 2005 have the same tires...I think Dunlop AT20s. Size may have been slightly different, I didn't verify.

So, what do you think? Has anyone else tried this?
Thanks,
Betz
 

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The question is: did the 2005 also have 140K miles on it? I would guess after all those miles, your shocks aren't gonna be that great. So you really can't compare...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, the 2005 had 90,000 miles. And regardless of that, Toyota upgraded the shocks. It seems to make sense that I should too. I would just like to know if anyone else has done this or thoroughly researched it.
 

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I would never waste my money on the stock shocks? It's hard to know what someone else's idea of smooth is, but the stock ride is way to mushy for me. I'm not sure who told you that the Bilstein's were not a smooth shock? Much better than the stock rear shocks. Any upgrade will be better than the worn out shocks you currently have. To each their own! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Big-o,
Have you driven a 2005 or newer sequoia? The stock suspension is awesome! And about the bilsteins, I read much of what I know on this forum. One guy...would have to go back and look to find his screen name...provided a thorough writeup on the Bilsteins, stating that they were better in terms of control and handling, but that the small bumps were felt more-so on them than on stock suspension.
 

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betz: yes, I have driven an 05' Sequoia. I drove quite a few before I bought mine, and didn't mind the ride with nothing in the rear, and no people. I have 2" taller springs in the back and had tried many different shocks to fit and ride properly when loaded up. The best I've been able to find is the Old Man Emu 60002 rear shocks for a 100 series land cruiser. My only other option was to go with a custom valved Bilstein after trying so many different factory built Bilsteins with not much luck. I've also hear very good things about the King rear shocks (but they are about $700-800 per set). But, you have to know that my previous ride was a 05' Double Cab with rear add-a-leaf and Bilstein 5100's and that was a perfect ride to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will the OME 60002s fit even if I don't put a lift on my sequoia? I've also driven a 2006 DC, and I thought that the suspension on there was great too.
 

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Absolutely!
 

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hello gentleman, my first post.....I have an 04 with 98k miles . JUst changed out tires to smooth out ride and it helped, however from day one my truck has felt every rock in the road. A bit frustrating I might add. Thoughts on new shocks? The shocks seem to be fine and I would change them if it would smooth out my ride but I doubt it......so.....any thoughts on my question?
 

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Welcome vdan!

What kind of tires did you purchase, and what pressure do you run them at? It's an interesting comment you made about feeling every rock, as with a precision test driver is looking for steering control and feel of the road vs the "numb" feeling of many new cars. Some may argue that you want to feel the rocks in the road, but not at an uncomfortable quality that you are mentioning. What kind of vehicle are you used to driving? I'm not so sure that changing shocks would help what you are describing.
 

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Hmmm.....my $.02. I have an '01 with 120,xxx miles on it. I had the stock leaky, soggy shocks. The Bilsteins I put on to replace them were a HUGE upgrade! I don't feel every bump in the road, but....I do feel a huge difference in how it handles and rides.

Just my opinion, but I am very happy with the Bilsteins!

I also tow a 6000# 28' K-Z with the help of the Airlift airbags.....love that too! :D
 
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