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Thread: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

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    Van Enthusiast trestlehed's Avatar
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    Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Used the search function and I can't find the old thread pertaining to new 4wd shocks.
    Mine are super bouncy and I want to upgrade to the new Durango shocks i read about.
    On a piece of scratch paper I have noted the KYB 5476 and the KYB 5458.

    Will the "Real best front shock" please stand up?
    (Bonus points for those of you who get the game show reference!)
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    The 5476's are too stiff and you won't like them. The KG5458's are good (excellent actually) but they are not plug & play. You will need to modify to make them work. They also do not have a dust cover to protect the rod. This is probably not necessary, especially if you stay mostly on the main roads, just odd that they don't have that. Another choice could be going with any shock listed for the front of a 1996 - 2001 Ford Crown Victoria. From what I understand the Police Interceptor and Taxi shocks have the same length & compression. They also have the correct stiffness for the van & most other brands have dust covers............but will also have the same mounting issue as the 5458's. I'm not sure about the other brands for this application, but I was considering the ACDELCO Part #5405010 Premium Monotube. I don't know of anybody that's tried these yet, so I don't know what complications you might have or how the ride compares (I suspect they are top notch). They are expensive (over $50 each), but look cool with the flexible accordion style dust covers.

    The mods required to make the Crown Vic shocks fit has to do with the bar in the lower mount. The holes will not line up correctly (too far apart). On some shocks you can swap out that mount tube from your old shocks. sometimes though the tube is fused to the rubber and swapping over may not be possible. You could also get some 5/8" OD tube and make a new mount from scratch. Another way is to drill out the mount hole(s) on the new shocks to get what you need. In some cases you may be able to push the mount tube over a bit, cut the extra length off the other side, then just drill one new hole. The other mod (not really a mod) is needing to use the old rubber parts for the upper mount. This is because the new rubber parts are meant for a bigger mount hole (about 3/4"). You could drill out the upper mount hole on the van & use the new, but using the old rubbers is better (hard to undrill a hole if you decide to switch back). Tim

    PS: I should state these shocks are only for the 4wd vans. I mention this just in case a 2wd owner happens to read this .

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    Van Enthusiast trestlehed's Avatar
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Thanks Tim,

    I found the thread I was looking for over on TVP. I will send your advice to my mechanic buddy who is
    currently re-working my power steering pump and cleaning up my alternator after the PS leak.

    Will let you know which shocks he decides to use. The mod info will come in very handy.

    Thanks again!
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Yes, to give credit where credit is due, Saucymonkey & NEC blazed the trail on these. Tim

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    I an running the crown vic shocks.
    I learned of it here:
    Motorcraft pn ASH1 96-2001 ford crown vic with POLICE SUSPENSION http://www.toyotavanpeople.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7572&hilit=+shocks#p55467

    With the way my torsion bars are cranked: These shocks do not provide enough rebound dampening. Hitting speed bumps to fast or water bars off road will throw me up from my seat along with everything on my dash.

    Here are my notes on aftermarket parts for the van
    shocks front BEST Kg5458 from dodge durangeo 2wd, NEEDS MOD http://www.toyotavanpeople.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7572&hilit=+shocks Energy suspension PN 9.8107 (around $4 a pair) bushing and 5/8" OD DOM 16 gage tube
    shock front Gabriel Ultra Truck Shock, 4wd Front G63612
    shock front MONROE RockAuto Part # 550010 Gas-Magnum Severe Service Shock alternative to motorcraft


    Good Luck

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Having not gone aftermarket here, is there a huge difference b/w the shocks mentioned above and Toyota replacements?

    They seem to be available through mid-atlantic...

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    With torsion bars cranked. The motorcraft shocks allowed more rebound than I liked. But i think the t bars are to blame more than the shocks.

    Now that i havet 4 Runner t bars, they ride great!

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Did I miss the 4-runner torsion bar mod? How's that work?
    I switched from the Gabriel G60109 to the KYB5458 and I think I'll soon switch back-the kyb's are too bouncy. Unless the 4-runner torsion bar mod fixes the bounce somehow? It's too bad because the Gabriel's are nla.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    I haven't had time to post pics.
    Basically the 4runner bars are longer by about 2 inches. the length can be compensated for in the rear bracket. grind the welds and push the tube back.

    The front needs a custom bracket.
    Once you get all the parts its self explanatory if you have a welder.

    You need front and rear brackets that accept the spine on either end of the t bar. And the t bar of course.

    With the 4runner t bars i dont get thrown up out of my seat going over speed bumps any more. And i can actually hit my bump stops now.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    That sounds pretty awesome, but I have no welder. Please post pics when you have a chance.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Your projects get a que? I'm jelous.
    I just fight what ever fire is biggest at the moment.


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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Makes it sound better that way. The queue is really what's making the loudest clunking at the moment.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    As a professional welder this machine had been very handy to have at home.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/170-Amp...l_s1021_c3114b

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Ok. Maybe it's time to own a welder.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd


  16. #16
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by djshimon View Post
    I switched from the Gabriel G60109 to the KYB5458 and I think I'll soon switch back-the kyb's are too bouncy............
    This is likely due to preload (t-bars cranked too much). For an explanation, here's a couple quotes from an old thread on TVP:

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv
    The torsion bar is basically a spring in a non-traditional form. By tightening, you are increasing the tension. At some point the tension can become too tight and the spring will not give nearly as much........therefore making a much stiffer ride. When you hit a bump, they won't give easily. The result is harsh compression and rebound. This can be very forceful leading to discomfort and stability / safety issues. Other than appearance, and increased ground clearance, there is nothing to be gained by doing this. So don't over do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv
    These torsion bars are tough and I've never heard of one breaking, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. I would worry more about too much preload and the handling effects that can have. Preload occurs if you keep cranking the bars after max height has been reached. This can make for harsh and / or violent rebounds after bumps.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    I've never touched the torsion bars, but I'll take a look at them and see. It'd be nice to have a smoother ride, less bouncy.

  18. #18
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    There is an adjustment procedure in the suspension section of service manual for the torsion bars. Basically you put the van on a flat level surface and crank the bars one way or the other until ride height is correct. The manual tells you where to measure ride height and how much you should have. I would recommend checking that before swapping shocks.

    I understand the desire to crank the bars & I'm guilty of it myself. Just keep in mind that there's a price to pay for the extra ride height. The only way to get around that would be to make mods to the suspension. There's other things that can be done, but the t-bars have the most influence over the harshness of the ride. Shocks are important too, but finding the right combination of things can be elusive. Tim

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    ok. One of these days I'll have a second to check that, or sometime when I'm feeling level

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Recently got around to putting the new shocks in.

    I picked them up from http://www.toyotapartsoverstock.com/ . They took a bit to get here, but I wasn't exactly in a hurry. The old rubber on top looked pretty crusty. On the bottom connection, the rubber had somehow vaporized and was real loose, I could twist it side to side by hand.

    The ride height in the front now seems more equal to the rear. Installation was also a breeze, almost the easiest thing I've done on the van, so that was a nice surprise.

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