Question about 2000 Toyota 4Runner

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How to replace front shocks on 2002 toyota 4runner

Looking for a step by step procedure on how to replace the front shocks on a 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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Steps to replace front struts (actually coil-over shocks) on 2005 Toyota 4Runner:

(1) Jack up the front of the car and remove BOTH front wheels.

(2) Remove the skid plate underneath the front of the engine by removing the 4 (four) 12mm bolts.

(3) Remove the 2 (two) nuts (one on each side of the car) that connect the anti-sway bar to the front suspension. You can now push out the link by your thumb (or by LIGHTLY tapping on the link with a wooden mallet.

(4) Remove the anti-sway bar from the car by removing the 4 (four) bolts that holds the 2 (two) mounting plates and rubber bushings. Be careful not to let the anti-sway bar fall on you when you remove the final bolt.

(5) Spray some penetrating oil on the nuts and bolts that connect the strut assembly to the suspension (one nut at the top center of the strut, three nuts at the top of the strut connecting the strut to the suspension, and one nut at the bottom of the strut).

(6) Loosen, but do not remove, the three nuts that hols the strut to the top of the suspension. DO NOT remove the center nut at the top of the strut. This nut retains the coil spring onto the strut assembly and is under some serious pressure. You could be seriously injured if you remove this nut at this time.

(7) Remove the large nut at the bottom of the strut and slid the strut off from the lower mounting stud. You may need to use some pressure to get the strut to slide off completely.

(8) Now remove the three nuts holding the strut to the suspension at the top of the strut. Note that one nut is actually the third point of the triangle and is out of sight and located "behind" the center strut nut. Although not visible from sitting in the wheel well, you can reach around the opening between the top of the strut and the body (into the engine compartment) and feel the nut and you can get a wrench on it to facilitate removal. Once these nuts are out you can remove the strut by lowering it and feeding it out between the suspension components. I actually had to move the wheels back and forth to maximize the removal space, plus rotate the entire strut several revolutions (basically "unscrew" the strut) to get it out.

(9) Once the strut is out, use coil spring compressors (purchase some from Harbour Freight or rent from a car parts store) and compress the spring until it is loose enough to rotate inside the strut.

(10) Once the spring is compressed, remove the center nut from the top of the strut and disassemble the pieces paying particular attention to the order of removal. You will probably have to hold the strut shaft with a wrench while removing the center nut to keep the shaft from rotating.

(11) Assembly is the reverse.

NOTE that I purchased Monroe struts and the instructions were missing from the box. The directions on the outside of the box were worse than useless, and the struts did not seem right as any combination of the washers and bushings provided in the box did not allow proper fit as the spring was loose after removal of the spring compressors. The monroe www site did not have downloadable instructions, and Monroe failed to return my emailed requests for technical advice. I wound up returning the monroe struts and purchased from Toyota (at three times the price). Would recommend Blisteins (sp?) or some other brand other than Monroe.

FINAL NOTES: Make darn sure you have the spring compressed before you remove the center nut. You could be seriously injured if you fail to follow this step. Total time would be 3 hours for both sides without power tools, or 2 hours with power tools. Also, when removing and installing the struts, a second person would be nice the have so they can push on the suspension to allow for bolt/nut alignment.

Posted on Jun 08, 2011

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