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Thread: Suspension questions

  1. #1
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Suspension questions

    Im in the process of trying to add a little more life to my suspension. My van is an 86 with 327,000 miles is still on its original springs and my mechanic told me not to change them but instead change the rear shocks and add heavy duty ones instead of the Toyota OEM which are not available anymore. I called toyota and the springs are still avail but my mechanic said your better off just changing your shocks even though the springs are still original. I plan on also changing my front shocks and my mechanic also added that he would not feel safe adjusting the height of the van by the two bolts that adjust it just incase something breaks or bends. Im sick and tired of moving all over the place whenever I take a turn or hit a bump.

    My questions are, what shocks would you recommend for the front and back?

    Also how difficult is it to change the upper control arm bushings? They are noisy. Also which ones should I buy? My mechanic says I may get some stability by changing them.

  2. #2
    Van Obsessed
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Measuring ride height will tell you if you have an issue with springs.

    They may be fine, being NLA makes for an easier decision, though.
    You should verify availability, do a little legwork online.

    I know, for a fact, that the rear shocks are available, I ordered rears for my 4WD and they supplied the 2WD variant.
    They are going cheap if you want them.

    As for heavy duty, KYB is probably a good bet, hopefully someone else will chime in.

    BB

  3. #3
    Van Fan wirewrkr's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    I always liked the KYB gas shocks for "saggin' waggins"

  4. #4
    Van Fan RawbSpear's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    is your an 2 or 4wd?
    At the sirens of humanity we STOMP!

  5. #5
    Van Fan wirewrkr's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Mines a 2WD

  6. #6
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Mine is a 2wd. I'm probably going to go with the kyb's front and back and I will also look into replacing my front upper bushings if Toyota still offers them. With everything running good I feel as this maintainence will be essential in my goal to break 400k.

  7. #7
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Has anyone considered getting custom springs made? I have found a few places online, but I don't have any info on the van springs to supply for a quote. I was hoping to incorporate the 2.5" of lift I want on the rear, instead of relying on Mr. Gasket.

    I am running KYB's all around on my 4x4 and I like them.

  8. #8
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Name:  bushings.jpg
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Size:  48.2 KB

    I just got my bushings in and plan on having my mechanic do them next weekend. I will post pics of how the original ones look compared to these after 26 years.

  9. #9
    Van Fan davidgracevan's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    is gas type better than the fluid type shocks?

  10. #10
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    Re: Suspension questions

    In a word Yes. In reality all shocks are hydraulic (fluid filled), but a gas charged strut has a gas chamber as well.A strictly hydraulic shock will dampen movement only, whereas a gas charged unit will want to increase to maximum travel.When installed it is always somewhat compressed, and will provide a slight increase in ride height compared to non-charged shocks,they will also improve the dampening ability of the shock. OE shocks were gas charged, it is always better to stay with the same caliber or better, downgrading is not recommended.BB

  11. #11
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Started doing the upper control arm bushings on my van today with my mechanic. To me and him it is definitely not an easy job. We were able to do the right side which took almost 4 hours by itself. Once we started to do the left side the torsion bolt was stuck and started spinning. We may be in trouble here, any advice from someone who has done the job before will help.

  12. #12
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Finished the upper control arm bushings tonight on the left side. So now both sides are done. It is easier to access the bolts to remove the control arm from the engine bay instead from underneath. Van rides pretty smooth.

  13. #13
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Name:  image.jpg
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    Whats left of the upper control arm bushings on the right side. The left ones were even worse (didnt picture them)

  14. #14
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Lol, I suspect there's quite a few vans driving around out there with similar looking bushings . Tim

  15. #15
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Given that it is such a difficult job I would have to agree.

  16. #16
    Van Fan foreverly's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    So Mahleek - what method did you use to do the bushings? Brut force? Or did you take them to Toyota?

  17. #17
    Van Enthusiast mahleek87's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension questions

    I bought the bushings from toyota but my mechanic used a tool that connects to an air gun which is kinda like a high powered chisel that pushes them out. I dont know the name of that tool maybe someone can help me with that but thats what we used to knock them out

  18. #18
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Are the upper control arm bushings NLA? I only see "front lower" on RockAuto.

  19. #19
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrench View Post
    Are the upper control arm bushings NLA? I only see "front lower" on RockAuto.

    48632-27010
    Upper still available from Toyota $30 2 required

    48632-28030
    NLA

  20. #20
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    Re: Suspension questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JPERL View Post
    48632-27010
    Upper still available from Toyota $30 2 required

    48632-28030
    NLA
    Is the NLA part the arm itself?

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