View Full Version : Tundra shock replacement

07-29-2011, 09:16 PM
Any ideas on how to replace my rear shocks? I can't get the bottom bolt out and the top nut is spinning round and round with the stud. The stud was supposed to have flats on it, they got stripped by the crescent wrench and the vise grips just spins round and round on it and is wearing it down to nothing. I've tried PB Blaster, I've tried propane torch (BTW Jeff thanks for the use of your tools and driveway), and there's no hand space! I don't know if a sawzall or a grinding wheel, or even a plasma cutter will get in there! What the heck Toyota!? :banghead: :bawl:

Here's the setup and a picture showing how tight the fit is (my middle finger is just barely able to touch the top of the stud):

07-29-2011, 09:22 PM
And on a different but related note, I'm going to give the Fabtech/Fox "lift" kit a two thumbs down. 2nd owner put this on, 4th owner (me) spent almost 3 hours taking it off :rolleyes:

Last night I spent almost 2 hours getting the driver's side one off, and tonight the passenger side went a lot easier. I think the picture below is the reason it was easier...however the goobers who put it on forgot/lost the washer that went with the lower bolt; luckily I had a replacement that just happened to be the correct size sitting in my hardware bag...

Both lower bolts were worn through the bushing - the driver's side had been wearing big time into the tabs so I have a new one on order, will be replacing as soon as it comes in, for now running with the old one.

On the up side, my squeak in my front suspension is now gone :thumb:


07-29-2011, 10:17 PM
For the rear shock, can you put a pipe wrench on the top body of the shock and hold it while turning the nut, or hold the top nut and turn the shock body with a wrench?

07-29-2011, 10:19 PM
So are you replacing the front coilovers and going back to stock? Sucks that they are falling apart on you.

07-29-2011, 10:29 PM
Oooh, that's a good idea that I'll try. That might work.

As for the fronts, it's kind of a debacle. I knew my driver's front was leaking, but only when I did my brake upgrade a few weeks ago did I notice the passenger front was broken. It felt squishy anyway, so I knew it was time for replacement. I called Fabtech, and they said the Fox shocks were rebuildable, but only two places in the country rebuild them. So you have to take them off, ship them out, get them back a week later (while being out of a daily driver for a week, how convenient :rolleyes:), and it's like $75 apiece to do that. Almost as much as buying new shocks.

So I said forget it.

I went to Yota Jim's yesterday and picked up the full set of OEM coilovers, original Toyota Bilsteins included, rented the spring compressor from O'Reilly's, swapped my new shocks into the front coils, and am taking it back to stock. This is my DD and at this point the fewer mods the better. The Fabtech kit was set so my front was about 1/2" - 3/4" higher than my truck sits now, but I don't care. I went back to the stock tire size (from 285/75/16 with aftermarket wheels that had less backspace so the tires would clear the a-arm) a little over a year ago, and I went back to stock wheels. This way I know everything will work together.

Sweet stock coils :thumb: - the paint was still even in really good shape even though the truck they came off reportedly had 180,000 miles!

07-30-2011, 12:57 PM
What you really need is a neighbor kid with small hands. The only reason I had kids was to have a set of small hands to get into tight spaces. Don't tell my :Princess: though :lmao:

07-30-2011, 09:07 PM
yeah, but said neighbor kid probably wouldn't be strong enough or coordinated enough to try and hold the top of the stud with one wrench and turn the nut with another wrench. I was really trying to crank on it and came up with nothing but rounding it off.

07-31-2011, 10:02 AM
x2 on the pipe wrench. If all else fails, removing the bed is simple with a few buddies, and then you can get in there to cut it off.

07-31-2011, 02:54 PM
Reading the Tundrasolutions forums, I'm not the only one with this problem. Several have had to resort to the sawzall method. I think that's where I'm at; I just hope the blade is long enough to get back there and control.

On the plus side, with the new front suspension my truck seems to handle and corner a lot better. I drove up toward Rampart Range this morning and it was solid in all the corners. Makes me feel good when I can tell a difference after I've done something :D

07-31-2011, 07:20 PM
Sorry we didn't get those shocks swapped out Matt :( - Looked like a simple job but when stuff is stuck...

I wondered about the pipe wrench on the top shock body...I didn't notice if that was turning with the nut? Not sure I have a pipe wrench big enough to fit even if we had tried that.

Holler if you want to give it another go sometime this week after work or something.

07-31-2011, 11:41 PM
If you need a bigger pipe wrench, I've got one.

08-01-2011, 09:49 AM
Looks just like the top nut on 3rd gen 4Runner shocks. Be sure to use anti-seize compound on the bolts/nuts to help the next guy doing this (which as you know, could be you!)

You could also just loosen the bed bolts on that side and jack up that side of the bed a few inches to gain a lot of access, without greatly disturbing the bed/fuel filler stuff.

08-01-2011, 10:05 AM
That's a similar set up to the 100series. a ratcheting box end wrench is the ticket. And big channel locks on the shock body.

08-01-2011, 10:13 AM
Yep, loving my ratcheting box end wrenches. I'm sure my dad has a pipe wrench big enough for the shock body, that will be the next step.

08-05-2011, 07:59 AM
So last night my dad and I spend 3 hours to replace the rear passenger side shock. "A shock a day keeps the doctor away" my dad said. Took my mini sledge, a larger sledge, 4 chisels, the angle grinder, Dremel with cutoff wheel, pipe wrench, and various box end wrenches, allen wrenches, and ratchets/sockets. Good stuff :rolleyes:

08-05-2011, 03:03 PM
Wow :eek:

Hopefully the DS proves to be easier :)

I saw a video of this TOOL (http://www.harborfreight.com/oscillating-multifunction-power-tool-68303.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiMjg3MTY3MDEiLCJza3UiOiI2ODMwMyIsImlzIjoiMTkuOTkiLCJwcm9kdWN0X2lkIjoiODAyOCJ9) the other day and thought that we needed one of those the other night with the "plunge blade" :hill: (assuming it would fit/reach the top of the shock)

08-05-2011, 04:17 PM
Yep, doing the passenger side was a little bit of trial and error. Doing the driver's side, we'll know right off the bat that all the gloves have to come off and the cutting tools have to come out!

08-17-2011, 11:52 AM
Thursday last week finally got some time to finish up the shock replacement. Because I just went ahead and took the tire off and brought out all the cutting tools, it only took my dad and I 1 hour to replace the driver's side rear shock :D :rolleyes:

There was a definite need for two pairs of hands for a couple parts of the procedure. This one was more difficult accessing a portion of the upper shaft that we could grab with a vise grips (pipe wrench wouldn't fit), but we finally got one on and it worked out ok.

Now I have to tear into the fronts again to replace the lower bolts and I have new sway bar bushings to replace at the same time. I'm already into this for a little over 11 man-hours.

I've also got a solid "clunking" sound now when I hit cracks in the pavement or potholes. So I have to investigate that.

Oy ve.

08-21-2011, 09:41 PM
So today I went in to replace my lower shock bolts that were worn a little, and found the anti-rattle spring on my driver's side brake was on its way to nonexistence! Guess I gotta make another trip back in there after ordering some more parts...:banghead:

The offending lower shock bolt that got worn through partway by the Fox/Fabtech coilovers and the half-demolished anti-rattle spring:

08-21-2011, 09:58 PM
You need to whip this thing into shape so you can get back to working in the cruiser.

08-23-2011, 09:50 PM
You need to whip this thing into shape so you can get back to working in the cruiser.

No doubt.

Tonight I had a close call. Got my parts from Go Toyota. $5.45. Went to Safeway with Jacki and followed her home. She is driving the Tundra because of an incident with her Corolla, and I am driving the 40, without power steering because I pulled the pulley off to do a pulley swap :rolleyes:

Anyway, I noticed that the rear driver's side wheel was wobbling like a top! :eek: So after dinner I went out to replace the spring clip in the brake caliper, and after buttoning that back up I pulled off the trim cap on the rear wheel. All the lug nuts were loose and about to fall off! :eek: I've never had this happen before, though I've heard it can happen with alloy wheels. So I got the wheel on straight again and tightened them all up again. I don't know what happened, since I torqued all of them down with a torque wrench the other day, and there's probably less than 200 miles on it since doing that. Oh well, no harm done and lesson learned to check, double check, and triple check things like that when making the rounds during routine maintenance! :hill:

No she's making no noise and no vibes, so I'm happy :D Finally.

08-24-2011, 10:02 AM
I don't know what happened, since I torqued all of them down with a torque wrench the other day,

You sure about that? ;)

08-24-2011, 11:42 AM
Well now that you mention it...:boozer:

08-24-2011, 02:41 PM
After, umm, not tightening the lug nuts on my wife's FJ60, I now leave all the hubcaps (center ornaments) off until the final torquing. I had to create a system whereby I could be sure I had actually tightened the nuts. It has worked, so far, until that part of my brain gets foggy and I have to find yet another method.