First of all, I am an off-road guy and second, I am a mechanical expert. Combine these two and you`ll get a bunch of advice confirmed by 50+ trips to Mendocino National Forest, Johnson Valley, and many others.
Camouflage, high boots, rope with a hook, 37`wheels, ABS on “off” - seems like it's your ordinary off-road trip, isn't it? But there is something I didn't mention. Something that keeps you bouncing on the gouges, potholes, big rocks...
I recommend to check my blog post Truth about Lifting a truck before lifting a car, it could save you a lot of money
A gift from a God
Best choice for clear control on any surface
- tuning system
- life-time warranty
Cheap choice for your off-road ride
Since the moment you purchase your car, whichever it is, your life will never be the same. You get the car buzz. And there is nothing wrong about it since you have to make sure that the vehicle is not attractive only but first of all safe and dependable.
There are a lot of things and car parts that matter and play a crucial role in long-term car service capacities as well as life safety. This article will describe one of those parts: shock absorbers. They can’t be ignored when talking about means of tire protection and vehicle control. So what’s this all about?
Shock absorbers help control bouncy movements of your car suspensions and springs. The prior role of them is to guarantee the constant contact of your tires to the ground, which in case of broken contact, makes your car steering and braking severely discredited.
Although all kinds of shock absorbers have common features and do similar functions, different types of vehicle and suspensions correspondingly, need different types of shock absorbers. I will describe the most common and reliable ones for Toyota Tundra. We will distinguish between their main characteristics and applications along with possible difficulties you may come across dealing with them.
NEW ARTICLE! Must-Have Accessories for your Toyota Tundra
Inspect by yourself
Cheap, reliable and practical. Visual inspection in the diagnosis of shock absorbers - a mandatory procedure. If you find a way to look at the shock absorbers, then at least traces of oil on the shock absorber housing can be seen immediately. In order to make sure that the diagnosis is correct, it is enough to wipe the shock absorber with a rag and repeat the inspection after a few days. If the car is on a lift, then at the same time try to assess the condition of the shock absorber rods: they should sparkle!
Traces of rust or other ugliness - a sign of malfunction.
Also, tires can show the problems with the shock absorbers can. Uneven wear spots hint at a malfunction. It is also worth assessing the state of protective kits (anthers) and springs, then - the upper supports.
Unfortunately, a defective shock absorber itself may not have any external signs of wear. Its inefficient work can be caused by the wear and tear of internal components and materials: it is visually impossible to calculate. In such cases, you should use other methods of diagnosis, as well as recall the actual period of its operation.
Table of Shocks for Toyota Tundra
|Name||Our rating||Required Year Period||Lift||Type of Tube||Installation Time||Price||Shops|
|Icon 2.0 Shock Absorber|
|Pro Comp Mx-6|
|Fox 2.0 Performance|
|07-18||0-1,5||Mono with Reservoir||1 Hour||$$$|
swipe left to see more
How I decided
Best Shocks for Toyota Tundra
Bilstein 5100 is a single-tube shock absorber, which has high gas pressure modifications and provides bump-free performance as well as long life. It has self-adjusting valving delivers, which make steering and control of the car much better, regardless what kind of surface the road may have. Bilstein 5100, due to its increased diameter and surface of the pressure tube, appears to be a perfect choice to take increased side loads.
These shock absorbers have adjustable cup, which provides you with an option to build your own pressure harness. In its turn, it will give a comfortable ride on any surface you go: on or off road.
Raymond MorshCA, Tundra 2015, said:
Starting with the con - the price. The rest is a positive one. The shock absorber became a bit rougher, I feel better handling. I’ve had Bilstein 5100 for three years, and its cost is fully legitimate. So the downside of the price is not the con, it’s the chicane.
Bilstein 5100 construction allows the extra heat from the oil to remove to the exterior surface of the shock body and deplete more efficiently. The dividing piston also allows the oil to grow as heat builds, averting aeration (foaming) and viscosity loss. This permits the shock to preserve full damping characteristics as temperatures rise.
Bilstein's consistent monotube design supports superior tube strength while augmenting heat dissipation and shock life.
Bilstein products provide lifetime warranty.
- adjustable cup
- vulcanized bushings
- superior heat dissipation
- brand: Bilstein
- lift: w/3.5-4"
- type of tube: mono
- short braking distance
- high directional stability
- different sizes of lift available (0-2
- a bit harsh
This shock absorber has adjustable damping with a reserve tube. It has really extensive body, which allows it to perform better under the most towing conditions. It will demonstrate endurance and durability whatever the terrain is.
The shock body is extremely large. It's actually 2.75 inches in diameter. The large shock body is going to increase the fluid capacity in the shocks that are going to have them operate cooler and operate with cleaner fluid longer. It's going to increase the service life of the shocks.
These shocks have a double-chrome-plated stock. In addition they are designed to provide nine different levels of performance and thus can provide different levels of adjustment: from soft to very rigid. These shocks go together with a specially engineered boots in order to exclude any potential damage.
Also, you get a 90-day free ride offer. I think that's kind of important to a lot of guys. There is a lot of you on the internet who surfing throw forums and guessing: what shocks do I buy? what shocks are the best? S,o if you don't like them - go get something else.
These shock absorbers don’t have nitrogen charge. However, it may be regarded as their advantage rather than a flaw. These shocks will provide a really soft and comfortable on road ride. On the other hand, for those who strive for hardcore driving, an adjustable nitrogen shock is a better option. The only thing that may be taken into consideration is the price. The latter is much more expensive in comparison with Rancho RS9000XL.
- Large, 2.75-in. (70mm) tri-tube body - Increased fluid capacity to operate cooler
- 9-Position adjustment knob - Allows for optimal performance in any environment
- Gas pressurization of shock - Minimizes air-to-oil mixture
- Rebound Bumper - Helps control the rebound motion during harsh driving conditions
- brand: Rancho
- lift: 0-3, 3-4
- type of tube: twin
- tuning system
- life-time warranty
- adjustable knob breaks over a time
The unique design of internal components of Skyjacker hydro 7000 shocks react to the on and off road conditions immediately. No matter if you go through rough or smooth road surface, what speed you are driving at, the velocity responsive valving will perform for better stability and high level of comfort.
The biggest advantage of Skyjacker Hydro 7000 Shocks' handling improvement and automatic adjusting is their multi-level, velocity-sensitive valving that makes comfortable ride at any speed. They have durable twin-tube construction to provide smooth ride, as well as heavy-duty bars.
These shocks are characterized by DOM tubing and a confined iron piston which lessens internal wear and augments durability for an all-around long-lasting shock.
They are a perfect choice no matter how often the vehicle is exposed to rough terrain rides. They demonstrate really good value for money. These shock absorbers have reasonable price and have pretty long life to pay you back and make them worth the money you invested.
Skyjacker Hydro 7000 shocks provide the patented Skyjacker red boot, and are supported by a lifetime warranty. You can be sure that they will serve you long and do a good job for you.
You will never regret your choice
- hydro shocks
- lifetime warranty
- lift: 1-3,5
- type of tube: twin
- easy to install
- smooth ride
- some of them leaking over time
- doubtful bushings
- paint finish
Icon 2.0 Internal Reservoir Shock Absorber
The American company ICON can be called an icon in the manufacture of shock absorbers for factory off-road vehicles. None of the competitors in the US market pays so much attention to setting up shock absorbers for a particular car.
These adjustable shock absorbers have repeatedly proven their power and durability. Designed and customized specifically for the Toyota Tacoma. They offer the best ride quality and handling. Increase suspension moves and dramatically increases the off-road capabilities of your Tacoma.
if you're somebody who doesn't want to spend the time to try and adjust the suspension or is worried about trying to crank that out in your driveway, something like the Icons 2.0 may be a better choice just because it's gonna arrive a little bit more ready to install than the others on the market.
Adjusting the compression stroke makes it easy, by turning the knob, to change the characteristics of the shock absorber without replacing the valves. For example, for the track, you can set high rigidity to reduce valkost, and on off-road - low, and fully enjoy the long-stroke suspension.
The bump-zone is a constructive feature of the ICON series shock absorbers, consisting in the fact that in the last 20% of the stroke, the rigidity of the shock absorber increases dramatically and the shock absorber works as a bump stop.
Installation does not require rework attachment points and any additional work. All necessary parts to install are included.
- heat emission
- brand: ICON
- type of tube: mono
- lift: 0- 3
Pro Comp Mx-6
This six-way adjustable shock is designed to give you maximum ride comfort handling and load carrying capability unlike most shocks this keeps the body of the shock at the top with an inverted mounting system keeping it out of danger and protecting your investment.
The inverse design of MX6 shock mount fasteners reduces unsprung weight and protects the shock absorber body from damage. This design also makes installation easier without problems with free space.
The shocks are not set at a certain setting from the factory. You can easily select from six different compression settings using the high-quality billet adjuster on the end of the shocks, allowing for everything from pillow softness to firm enough to handle big bumps. Turning the dial all the way to the left results in the softest setting and turning the dial all the way to the right results in the firmest setting.
- heavy-duty construction
- weight: 6.5lb
- brand: Pro Comp
- type of tube: mono
- easy to install
- life-time warranty
- small adjustable knob
- hard to tune
Fox 2.0 Performance Reservoir Adjustable
Once you’ve decided to start your off-road adventure, you have to purchase Fox brand made shocks. This the market leading and race prevailing performance has an affordable package.
These shocks were designed to lessen the heat. The shock body is made of aluminum and it helps to deplete heat much faster than the ones, which have the body made of steel. These shocks have got an external reservoir which gives a chance to augment oil and nitrogen capacity.
They can handle the toughest and roughest terrains. This reservoir in particular supports reducing cavitation and heat in the body shock, when it is used off-road or in extreme conditions. In addition, it excludes shock fade when you expose your vehicle to an extreme off-road.
Get unbelievable lift and performance when you take your vehicle off the road – what’s more the smoothest ride quality on the road. Besides lots of other advantages, your car will get a perfect and stylish look. All of these features combine for shocks and make your vehicle unstoppable on various terrain types, from sloppy to mountainous.
This Fox’s design allows you to adapt compression with 8 valving options with just a spin of a lever. With 8 regimes of compression adjustability you can set your shocks to perform between very softly to very firmly.
The main disadvantage of these shock absorbers is the price. Regarding all the features mentioned above, it’s obvious that their purchase can break the bank. However, the moment you start using them, you will clearly understand what you’ve paid for and how much they are worth it. This is the reason why this model is included into premium product list.
- 2.0 Metal impacted 6061-T6 aluminum will resist rust over time
- Application specific valving to maximize performance
- Quiet nitrile rubber allows for increased suspension articulation
- Direct replacement for stock and aftermarket lifts kits
- brand: Fox
- lift: 1-3.5, 4-6
- type of tube: mono with reservoir
- amazing control
- external reservoir
- the price is pretty steep
Best Shocks for Toyota Tundra Buying Guide & FAQ
How to tell if shocks are worn out?
Pump it up
Not the most accurate, but the most popular and visible way to diagnose. You need to vigorously swing the front / rear of the car, then take the load off and watch how quickly the body stops swaying.
If, after removing the load, it makes more than one tact of buildup, it means that the buildup was not in vain: the shock absorber is worn out. Another thing is if the shock absorber is tightly stuck: it will be determined instantly, since it is simply not possible to shake the car.
Try not to overdo it during the buildup, so as not to damage the body parts - it also happens…
Take a ride
If a car suddenly acquires a certain autonomy, while driving - it scans on unevenness, swings in all directions, reluctantly reacts to the steering wheel, then most likely it`s just a problem with your shock absorbers.
Contrary to popular belief, this is manifested not only at high speeds, but even if the riding on city speed. You do not need to write out a pretzel on the road - you just need exercises such as acceleration, braking, snake. In any case, if the car’s handling has deteriorated over time, you should contact specialists for diagnostics.
Best Shocks for Toyota Tundra FAQ
Q: Shocks vs Struts. What’s the difference?
These two notions are often mixed up. Sometimes they may be mistakenly used as synonymous ones. However, they are absolutely different things. Struts and shocks have similar functions. They both control the movement of the spring, bouncing effect and as well as stopping tire wearing out. On the other hand, they have nothing in common. Thus, a wheel can’t have both of them: a strut and a shock. Every vehicle was made either with a strut as a part of the suspension or a shock which is mounted between the axle and frame in the rear. As a result, before heading to purchase one of these components, make sure what your car really needs. What settings it originally has.
Q: When do I need to replace my shocks?
This is one of the topical questions. There are a few main criteria which can signal you that your shock absorber has to be replaced. The first thing to pay attention to is how comfortable your ride is. If you feel that your car has a bumpy or bouncy ride, you definitely need to do a check-up of your car.
Another thing can be poor steering response. You can identify that your shock needs a replacement by its visual look. It’s obvious that if it looks weary, have no doubt and look for a newer one. Don’t be waiting any longer because shock absorbers can affect your suspension, tires, springs, steering linkage and so on.
Q: Can I do the replacement myself?
Doing replacement of shocks on your own can save you a good deal of money. And you can be proudly showing off with your achievement at the end of the process. However, there are some things that must be taken into account before you go down to business.
The first things is that you may need a spring compressor in order to remove the springs. It can be a challenge. If you do something wrong, a lot of parts can be damaged as a result. Extracting an old shock is another portion of adrenaline and be ready to sweat a bit. Correspondingly, installing a new one has absolutely identical effect on you. The last thing not to forget is have a test drive.
Go ahead and check what you’ve done. If everything works properly and doesn’t mean to do any harm to you.
To sum up all the information mentioned above, what you need to consider when choosing the shock absorber for your car is make it crystal clear what you need and what you expectations are. There are a few main things to consider. Thus, which terrain your vehicle will be used at most of the time, if there is a planned extra load for your car, or your sole purpose is have a comfortable ride. All these factors affect the choice of a proper shock absorber.
Another thing to consider is the price. There are a lot of world-known brands producers of shock absorbers. However, not all of them are worth considering. The ones presented in the article have proven their value and good service. However, be aware that a good absorber may break the bank. So if you want to have a qualitative and long-lasting effect, wake up to the fact- you’ll have to pay for it.
What’s more to take into consideration is the warranty. Make sure that your supplier is ready to provide you with one. This will guarantee that you will definitely benefit in case of replacement. Otherwise, you may be overcharged for replacing the parts, which show malfunction caused by a bad quality shock absorber.
Whatever choice you make, the positions presented in the article are all worth buying. Just weigh up all the needs you have and go for it!