Tacoma: Replacement Shocks Comparison & Personal Piece of Advice!

“When people talk about shocks, the first thing they mention is how they provide a clean, smooth ride. What is often left out of this conversation is how shocks can drastically improve the performance of your vehicle in other ways, most importantly in its handling.

List & Comparison of Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma:

PhotoProductDetails
Fox Shox 980-24-670Fox Shox 980-24-670More Information
Bilstein 24-185776Bilstein 24-185776More Information
Bilstein 24-186056Bilstein 24-186056More Information
Rancho RS55118Rancho RS55118More Information
KYB SR4463KYB SR4463More Information
Monroe 32066Monroe 32066More Information

By helping the tires stay in contact with the road through the elimination of bouncing shocks help ensure you and your passengers make it safely to your destination.”

There’s a lot more to the humble shock than meets the eye, and there’s a reason that those looking for true power and luxury insist on a high-quality pair of shock absorbers. Every time you hit a pothole, a speed-bump, or any other irregularity in the road its the shocks that help absorb that impact and ensure that you don’t bounce your head off the ceiling.

As you speed along with all the roads dips and valleys, it’s the shocks that ensure that your tires remain firmly attached to the road as your vehicle glides effortlessly on their support.

Review of the Best Replacement Shocks For Toyota Tacoma:

1. Fox 2.0 Performance Shock Rear Pair – Fox Shocks For 2016 Tacoma

These shocks are configured for replacing the rear shocks on a 2005-2016 Toyota Tacoma and are optimized for 4WD vehicles. Mounting plates, roost shields, and shock boosts do not come standard with this set. Nuts, bushings, reservoir clamps, and washers are included to make installation easy and quick.

First Impressions

These shocks provide an exceptionally smooth ride and are worth the investment. When I installed them I discovered just how bad things were with my Toyota Tacoma as I suddenly was able to relax as we cruised down the road.

It took me no time at all to take them out and bounce them as hard as I could, and that was an experience I definitely was ready to do again. Good quality, good design, would buy again.

Features

  • Optimized for factory height vehicles
  • Clamps, nuts, washers, and bushings included

Pros

  • Fit 4WD vehicles

2. Bilstein 24-185776 BE56681H8 Shock Absorber – Best Shocks For Toyota Tacoma 4×4

This 5100 series shock absorber from Bilstein is perfectly suited to lifted vehicles owners that are looking for a high-performance shock. The collapsed length of this model is 14.88 inches with 9.49inched of travel to a full extended 24.37 inches. The shaft is zinc plated and 14mm for enhanced durability. It has an interior monotube design with an included boot. The lower mount has 14.1mm eyes while the top is shaft mounted.

First Impressions

When I first spotted these I was certain I wanted to lift my vehicle (spoilers: I opted not to) just so I could take advantage of these high-performance shocks.

Being gas charged I knew they’d provide an exceptionally smooth ride as I drove through mud, bounced over hillocks, and otherwise got up to all kinds of shenanigans in my ride. Their reputation for easing your ride and helping you maintain control in rough environments is well deserved.

Features

  • Intended for lifted vehicles
  • Gas Charged

Pros

  • Durable design for offroading

3. Bilstein 24-186056 Rear Shock – Heavy Duty Shocks For Toyota Tacoma

This monotube shock has been optimized to provide superior control and stability for motorhomes, trucks, and daily drivers on even the roughest of roads. Aeration is eliminated thanks to the heavy-duty design that ensures your vehicle’s tires stay firmly attached to the road. This model is used in NASCAR Super Trucks, PRO-TRUCKS, and SCORE competitions. The lower mount has a 12mm eye while the upper mount is a stem configuration.

The reputation of this model is what brought it to my attention, as its clearly a high-quality rough and ready shock that’s ready for anything I want to dish out. The experience I had after putting them on my vehicle made it clear why NASCAR favored these for some of its toughest truck competitions. A smooth ride even when you’re bounding over the roughest of terrain recommends this unit strongly.

Features

  • Monotube Design

Pros

  • Aeration elimination
  • Durable enough for rough driving

4. Rancho RS55118 RS5000X Shock Absorber – Rancho Shocks For Toyota Tacoma

Innovative design from Rancho brings an advanced compression phase and rebound valving system to this high-quality shock damper. Designed for vehicles that love off-roading and rough riding this shock is sure to provide a smooth ride. It features a 2 ¼ inch twin tube body, 1 3/8in iron piston, a self-lubricating low-friction seal, and double-welded loops for extra durability.

First Impressions

There’s nothing like a Rancho shock when you’re gunning for exceptional durability in your ride. When I first started looking I was trying to avoid these simply because I knew they’d top my list and I wanted to give others a chance.

Just 4 steps down the list here we are anyway, and at this point, I was seriously considering selecting them for my vehicle. Durable, long-lasting, and able to provide a smooth ride under a surprising number of circumstances, the Rancho gets my full support.

Features

  • Progressive engagement valving
  • Rebound Bumper

Pros

  • 60PSI of gas pressurization
  • Protective Boot

5. KYB SR4463 Complete Corner Unit Assembly -Strut, Mount and Spring – Best Shocks For Toyota Prerunner

The KYB SR4463 strut is known as one of the most popular models in the industry today. It is optimized to provide the perfect ride height while maintaining the OEM handling of your vehicle. The unit comes preassembled to ensure that you get professional level results when you mount them. A high-power KYB spring is included to help control weight, maintain ride height, without impacting the quality of the ride.

First Impressions

This whole unit was just a little intimidating, but its ability to handle the rigors of off-road running were unmatched. No matter what I put these through they refused to give up or compromise on the quality of my ride at all. They’re an excellent model for my purposes, and I’m proud to have them on my vehicle.

Features

  • Complete Strut Assembly
  • Gas-A-Just Monotube Strut

Pros

  • Precision engineered for a professional fit

6. Monroe 32066 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber – Best Shocks and Struts For A Toyota Tacoma

This Monro-Matic Plus line of shock absorbers from Monroe is an excellent example of the quality of craftsmanship you can expect from one of the industry’s best-known names. This model is gas charged and built with a twin-tube design that provides exceptional support. The parts are included in the package, making it easy to install the cross-pin lower mount and stem design upper mount.

First Impressions

A much simpler option for most vehicles but still capable of an impressive amount of support and smoothing of your ride. Monroe’s reputation has always been well-deserved, and this model just reinforces that. I was pleased with their performance but ultimately went with the KYB SR4463.

Features

  • Twin-Tube Design
  • Gas Charged

Pros

  • Durable and long lasting

FAQ

How To Change The Shocks For A Toyota Tacoma

For those who have spent a fair amount of time working with tools and repairing vehicles changing the shocks on your vehicle won’t be much of a challenge. Even the complete newbie can handle the task if they have the right equipment and are able to follow a few simple instructions.

Before I even go into how to prepare your vehicle to replace the shock, I want to emphasize that you must NOT cut the plastic strap on the shock until you’re ready. This strap compresses the shock until you’re prepared to align it with bottom mounts. That out of the way…

The first thing you need to do is jack the vehicle up until the tire is off the ground and remove it. At this point you can remove the bolts holding the shock to the frame and axle, and then replace it with the new shock starting with the top mounting.

Once the top is mounted in place its time to align it with the bottom mount and cut the strap and then bolt it into place on the bottom mounts. With the right equipment this process should only take you a couple of hours. If you’re feeling apprehensive don’t be afraid to go online and find instructional videos to show you the way!

How To Pick Shocks For A Toyota Tacoma

When you’re out looking for a new set of shocks for your Toyota Tacoma you’ll quickly come to the realization that there’s a bunch of different types out there. Your research will quickly reveal that the most basic classifications include overload shocks, air shocks, standard shocks, automatic level-control shocks, and gas shocks.

If you’re new to picking out and replacing shocks you’re going to need a little help understanding what these are.

  • Standard Shocks – These very basic shocks will do the job but don’t have an extensive lifespan. Expect to change them after 100,000 miles. In spite of their name, these aren’t the ones that come standard with most vehicles.
  • Gas Shocks – That would be these, the gas shocks. These are a nitrogen-filled shock that is exceptionally good at handling the amount of bouncing that smaller cars experience, making it the most ‘standard’ shock to come with these models.
  • Heavy Duty Shocks – If you’re getting a van, a large truck, or an SUV you can expect that this kind of shock will either be included or be an upgrade option you can get from the dealer. While the ride they offer tends to be stiffer than that of other shocks you’ll discover that they smooth out as you add additional weight to the vehicle.
  • Air Shocks – These shocks can be manually adjusted to suit the needs of the driver by altering the amount of air pressure inside them. Its a convenient way to tailor your shocks to your ride.
  • Automatic Level-Control Shocks – These are air shocks but with an automated control system. The air pump that’s built-in adjusts your shocks to provide you with the most comfortable ride possible.
  • Overload Shocks – If you like going off-road as I do, and regularly beat the living tar out of your vehicle, then you’re going to want to look into overload shocks. These durable shocks come with additional support in the form of an external spring that ensures it can put up with whatever you care to throw at it.

If you aren’t certain what style of shock you need for your truck then you should contact your dealer, check into your manual, search online, or talk to the person who sold you the truck. Your primary focus should be on ensuring that the shocks you select will serve the needs of the way you use your truck. Of course, you also need to make sure they fit your make and model.

Conclusion

When shocks start going out you’ll not only notice that your overall ride appears to be rougher and less comfortable, but that the handling of the vehicle becomes more erratic. The bad news is by the time you’ve noticed these effects it’s already past time to replace your shock absorbers, which makes it essential that you have them checked out at every possible stop.

If that happens to you, don’t think you’re alone. I didn’t start looking for new shocks until I couldn’t take the rough feeling of my Toyota Tacoma anymore. I had put it through a lot of abuse and new it was time to not just replace its shocks, but to look for a high-quality set that handles the abuse I regularly put it through.

These are the pieces I found in my search for the perfect strut; I hope that this list will be of some use to you in yours. Picking the perfect strut is really a subjective experience, though there are a lot of objective qualities that can help guide you in your search. When you’ve found a model and design that fit the way you use your bike, that will be the perfect strut for you.

About the author

Jim Malkovich

If you have any ideas or seek cooperation in any way, contact me today and let’s see where this leads us to. You can reach me at jimmalkov@gmail.com

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