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How to Replace the Shocks and Struts in a Toyota Tacoma

by Contributor

You Toyota Tacoma is great for hauling, but once you hit the point that the stuff you're hauling starts bouncing out of the bed, you need to replace the shocks. After 60,000 miles under normal driving conditions, you hit the replacement guideline. But it might be sooner, depending on your driving habits.

Replace the Front Shocks in a Tacoma

Raise the front of the Tacoma with a floor jack and support it by the frame with jack stands. Loosen and remove the nuts supporting the front wheels with a tire iron and set the wheels aside. Locate the shocks in the undercarriage. They look like two tubes that slide in and out of each other and fit into the bottom of a spring right behind the wheel hub.

Disconnect the bottom of the shock from the control arm with a wrench and a ratchet. Remove the upper mounting nut and retainer as well as the cushion from the top of the shock over the spring. Pull the shock out and repeat this step on the other side of the Tacoma.

Slide the retainer and cushion off the top of the old shock and onto the new one. Insert the new shock into the mount on the top of the coil spring and install the upper cushion, retainer and upper nut. Set the dial on the torque wrench to 18 foot lb. and tighten the upper nut until you feel the wrench slip. Install the lower bolts and torque them to 29 foot lb. Repeat this step on the other side of the Tacoma.

Mount the front wheels and lower the front end.

Replace the Rear Shocks in a Tacoma

Raise the rear end of the Tacoma and remove the rear wheels.

Disconnect the nuts, retainers and cushions from the stud and the axle. Pull the shock out and repeat this step on the other side of the Tacoma.

Position the new shock on the frame and the axle with the cushions and retainers and torque the nuts to 19 foot lb. Repeat this step on the other side of the Tacoma.

Mount the rear wheels and lower the rear end of the truck.

Tips

  • If you ever go off-road or drive aggressively, have your shocks checked for wear any time you have your tires balanced or rotated.
  • The torque specifications may vary depending on the model year and whether your Tacoma model is 2-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive. Check with a professional for your torque specs.

Items you will need

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