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Old 02-15-2018, 11:03 AM   #1
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
LAKE KIOWA , TX
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New shocks for the tow vehicle or not?

My tow vehicle is 9 years old and has 126,000 miles on it and is going strong. Although I have not noticed any issues, and the dealer did not said anything about replacing the shocks,when I recently had new brakes put on. I am wondering if I should replace the front and rear shocks as a precautionary measure? Heading on a 2 month trip to the Western U.S. this summer and now tow about 15,000 miles a year. My T.V. is a Toyota Tundra.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
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In my over 25 years of Auto repair, most shocks wear out at about 60k and need replacement. It is one of the hardest things to get people to understand that shocks have a specific lifetime and need replacing mostly because it only counts when you are about to crash and you cannot feel the "difference" when they are replaced. In a severe situation, i.e an accident, working/good shocks save lives do not underestimate this!
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:44 AM   #3
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Shock replacement at all corners at 126K should be seriously considered as a maintenance item. Plus a thorough inspection of all the other front end wear parts like ball joints, tie rod ends (both ends) and bushings. Replace anything that seems even a little sloppy or worn or deteriorated...

People tend to 'get used' to ride deterioration and are shocked to realize how much better a vehicle handles when the appropriate parts are replaced...night and day difference on our old Camry...
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:03 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reminder. I’m at 87k and have actually noticed a decrease in handling performance.

Ian
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:11 AM   #5
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I've heard all kinds of "advice" about when shocks need changing including not until they start to leak (from a dealer) to doing the response test on all four corners. I had 165k miles on my F250 diesel and the shocks (Rancho) appeared fine by all accounts (even having a repair shop test them out). Since I decided to keep the truck vrs trading it in I had heavy duty Bilstein's put on. Can't tell much difference in handling but haven't towed with the new shocks yet. If you are concerned about them, replace them for your peace of mind.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #6
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60k is about all I trust factory equipment. Unless you purchase a premium shock (bilistien) I only trust aftermarket shocks to about 30k. In my experience the wore out factory shock is better than most aftermarket shocks (monroe) are new. Quit buying monroe when 2 out of the last 4 I purchased would not even rebound after being cut loose from their packaging.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:00 AM   #7
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Id replace brand new OEM shocks the day of new vehicle purchase with at least entry-level Bilstein or Koni.

Thems that cant tell, cant tell a lot of other things.

Also, Id replace the TV anti-roll bar bushings with polyurethane. Measure bar diameter with calipers in metric, and order from Energy Suspension or other.

Id also replace the end links to those. Might only need bushings, but both are cheap for what they provide.

And, investigate steering slop. Some vehicles are bad from the get-go.

None is the only acceptable outcome.

Shocks aid straight line tracking, and bar bushings the degree of dial-In for a turn at speed. Both limit body movement against suspension.

Only braking is more important than steering/tracking.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:48 AM   #8
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Thumbs up leaking shocks

I too had forgotten about my shocks at 110k miles when I went in for an oil change I was told one rear shock had leaked out. I was told there are 2 stock shocks available 1 the standard truck shock and 2 the Ford heavy duty truck shock that comes with the towing package. So I went with the heavy duty shocks. Before I head out this year, I need new tires which will include a though look at all other front end parts. The advice you get from these guys on this forum should not be heeded. As I am usually not complaisant about repairs, it is easy to not notice the slow decline of your vehicles moving parts. And as they said, when I got the new shocks on it was OMG does this handle better. I just wonder, where did all those miles go. Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:36 PM   #9
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Bilsteins

Not only would I replace them and have all the suspension checks mentioned above, I would (and did) get Bilsteins What a difference a really good shock makes.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:21 PM   #10
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I had approx. 180,000 miles on a 7yo Toyota sequoia and the shop looked and said they were not leaking. I ordered some Bilsteins since I wanted to upgrade to the best and had them replaced anyway.

Actually felt worse than before they were replaced.
My advice would be.... replace with OEM Toyota parts, unless you are looking for a firmer ride.

Also if it were me and I was headed out on that trip, I would do it now.
We didn't tow with the Sequoia and that has to put more stress on them.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:40 PM   #11
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Have a Tundra 4x4 TRD wit similar mileage and going strong as well. Handling is great...I would replace with the original shocks...especially if it's a TRD...they have different shocks. Enjoy your travels west. Amazing!
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:35 PM   #12
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In reading my last post, I need to clarify. The Bilsteins actually seemed softer on corners than the stock ones. Was hoping they would give me a little more stiffness to the ride but did not.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:56 PM   #13
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New shocks for the tow vehicle or not?

Which Bilstein shocks did you order Fred? 5100s are preferred in this application.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:11 AM   #14
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I replaced my Tundra shocks with OEM
Toyota shocks. Increased Towing stability on bridge transitions and slight bumps was the first thing I noticed.
Next thing I replaced was the Michelin a/s
Ltx tire with Ltx Defender tire. Stiffer sidewall also increased towing stability.
Great way to enhance your towing pleasure.

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Old 02-22-2018, 05:34 AM   #15
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I have done three modifications to my 2008 Tundra. Bilstein 5100s, E rated Michelins & a rear sway bar. All have helped make towing a much better experience. However, the one that made the most significant difference was the rear sway bar. Depending on your Tundra model, you may already have one. If you do not, I would do some research. Its not an expensive mod and I am surprised that others dont discuss this option more.

Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:36 AM   #16
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Timely topic.

I just replaced shocks on my Airstream, and the rear on the tow vehicle.

TV rear were only 16 months old, roughly 35,000 miles. The top and bottom bushing mounts completely deteriorated. The first thing I noticed was the loud 'clattering' over bumps. Whether or not that alone caused enough play or the shocks themselves were shot, I don't know. But, there was definitely no dampening or keeping the tire on the road. Back end was all over the place, especially with our roads up here in Michigan. Pot holes everywhere! Big ones, too

It was interesting how the mounts failed. The top mounts were two cup-shaped metal brackets that clamped down on thick rubber bushings, either side of the vans mounting flange. These brackets had completely flattened out, both sides. I can see the lower cup flattening out from the compression forces, but the top flattening out surprised me. I'm guessing the rebound forces are pretty significant when towing.
The lower bushings had deteriorated around the bracket bolt, and then smooshed out the side, as well.

The trailer shocks I replaced because of mileage and strange wear on the tires.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malinois38 View Post
I have done three modifications to my 2008 Tundra. Bilstein 5100s, E rated Michelins & a rear sway bar. All have helped make towing a much better experience. However, the one that made the most significant difference was the rear sway bar. Depending on your Tundra model, you may already have one. If you do not, I would do some research. Its not an expensive mod and I am surprised that others dont discuss this option more.

Good luck!
This sounds interesting; where did you order the rear sway bar? Also, I thought I read that you should not use a rear sway bar if you use a WD hitch, is this a consideration?

thanks,
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:19 PM   #18
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Pickup rear anti roll bars are not always included with some trucks. They can limit rear wheel travel, and for those bumping across a pasture, a problem not an aid.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:11 PM   #19
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Absolutely get new shocks.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
Which Bilstein shocks did you order Fred? 5100’s are preferred in this application.
Interestingly did a bit of searching and found my 3 yo email. Shocks were 4600's which had been recommended to me by the shop, but after they came in and were missing bushings and washers, it was impossible to get them (East Coast Jeeps) to answer the phone and Bilstein themselves took care of the problem.
Pls note, these were for a 2007 Sequoia and not the new model that came out in 2008.
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