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Restore ride to stock-like conditions?

Old 02-09-2019, 02:45 AM
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Restore ride to stock-like conditions?

One of the next things on my current ride is going to have to be the suspension and steering. The rear bounces like a b**ch at every bump, it has the wobbles (upside is that this really makes you appreciate the few moments it doesn't wobble) and sometimes clunking noises from the underside of the vehicle. A current bad idle / misfire condition also contributes to shaking which doesn't help the overall experience of what i need to be a daily driver that doubles as a weekend overlander / adventure ride.

I know the rear appears lower / sagging the way it came from the factory in 86. I don't want to change this. I don't want to lift it and would like to keep it stock-ish. I don't want to lift, but perhaps an inch or two wouldn't be the end of the world....

What are the most essential parts to replace in order to get it riding smoothly again?
Can this be done a bit at a time, maybe in $100-400 increments, starting with a solid $300-400 first investment on the first job / parts...
Will just changing the four shocks (and leaving these old springs) make a noticeable difference?
The main and most immediate / also safety problem is the bouncing What will fix the bouncing?

I already did front axles / wheel bearings / rotors / calipers
Was thinking to put a new steering damper and bilsteins all around as a first thing. If I want to keep it stock height, bilsteins 4600 are the way to go, right? As for the rear, I've never replaced a leaf spring... it looks doable but a bit of a pain in the ass. I've read of this zuk mod. And i've heard of the add a leaf. Is the zuk mod like getting new springs or completely different effect? Add a leaf vs new springs?
Then I imagine the various bushings should all be replaced - never really done this but seems doable. recommended kits?
I also snapped one of the four bolts on one of my upper control arm ball joint when i did a brake / axle job recently... so that should probably be changed.. is changing these joints a good improvement? recommended kits?
Steering isn't too bad. My last 2nd gen was worst. This one tends a bit to the right and the front right wheel is unevenly consumed, but that might just need an alignment? I don't recall the wheels wiggling when jacked up but now i'm thinking i should check again. Recommendations here?

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Old 02-09-2019, 03:03 AM
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It does not take much play in a ball joint to wear a tire. You really have to use a bar to check for any looseness. I have read Bilsteins are excellent.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:07 AM
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Stock doesn't include saggy butt... that's due to weak springs. If you...like that look just replace the shocks... bilsteins are a great choice.
the zuk mod is also a great low cost option that adds coil springs to raise ride height, to level...
shocks still are required to stop the bouncy bounce
12' 125lb black magic springs are the common choice for stock ride height and comfortable ride...
I used the ZUK mod on this 87 4 runner about 20 years ago and she's still sitting level...
I also added 1 1/2" spacers along with Bushwacker fender flares for a wider stance.... thousands of miles ago with no ill effect
I chose to customize my torn, cracked shifter boot with diamond plate aluminum... and LOTS of other custom touches with a hidden storage box in the back that includes amp and crossover for the 10" subs in the side panels...
basically from the rear seats back the whole back of the 4runner is diamond plated... everything was dynomated ... inside the fender wells and filled with poly stuffing for sound deadening, because that space serves as my sub boxes... reinforced by 3/4" plywood, covered with aluminum diamond plate...









Last edited by 87-4runner; 02-09-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
Stock doesn't include saggy butt... that's due to weak springs.
You are completely wrong. This is a myth spread by dummies. Follow your body lines, the rear fenders wheel wells are lower in the rear which gives it a "sagging" appearance. Nothing wrong with the springs at all if it still looks like these stock photos from the '80s;






If you want to lift the ass end of your truck and make it look like a Matchbox car then cover it in diamond plate like some redneck wet dream, by all means, go for it. Just don't spread misinformation. OP wants to keep it stock.

OP, it sounds to me like you just need to replace your rear shocks.

Last edited by beef tits; 02-09-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:18 AM
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Wow! Very classy response...
just sharing ideas, not trying to tell him what to do...
no need to get nasty, call names, and be demeaning...
the saggy butt is WELL documented... I'm aware of the body lines and LOVE the stock look... i did my interior because it was broken, falling apart and ruined... so i did the best i could do with what o could afford and had access to... thus the redneck wet dream look... great description 😁

Last edited by 87-4runner; 02-09-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
the saggy butt is WELL documented...
By who? And how? Show me a "saggy" truck vs. a picture of a brand new one on a sales brochure from the 80s? I bet you there is no difference.

The only thing well documented is that the rear appears to sit lower than the front from the factory, but it's actually just bodywork making it appear that way.

Here are some more, and 90's models too!





Last edited by beef tits; 02-09-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:15 AM
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Search this site for saggy butt and see what you find...

jeez... i don't come on this forum for confrontation... just wanting to be helpful... the term saggy butt isn't meant to be personal or a put down for the 1st gen it's just a descrption of the leaf springs getting weak allowing the back end to actually drop... and not provide sufficient lift to keep the spring's from hitting the bump stops, to the point that shocks alone won't fix it...
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:17 AM
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Great pics by the way... hadn't seen most of those brochure photos... beautiful
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:09 PM
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Woah!

Shots fired!

You guys are kind of both right.

The saggy rear leaf springs problem can and does happen, especially on Trucks and 4Runners that get a lot of use with a lot of weight in the back end.

However, I do think many people incorrectly think the rear end is sagging much more than it really is, if it is at all.

I saved this thread a while back, but unfortunately the "correct height" picture is no longer working: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/class...-4runners.html

Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
Search this site for saggy butt and see what you find...
Make sure the search is on this site, or at least in context of 4Runners or some things you can't un-see may pop up.....

The diamond plate interior isn't my thing, but that is not my 4Runner. It is 87-4Runner's 4Runner and he can do as he wishes.

I personally don't like the "Zuk" mod as I kind of feel it is a hack and covers up the real problem of worn out leaf springs that would still be there. However, they do work to bring up the rear end.

I mean no disrespect to forum member Zuk; it is just not the way I would personally do it. He does great work with Toyota differentials.

For a truly stock experience, the original leaf springs may need to be replaced with new stock height replacements. New bushings would be a great idea if they are as old as the 4Runner, both front and rear.

Depending on what shock absorbers are on the 4Runner and how worn out they are, new ones can certainly be an improvement.

For the front, I would check the ball joints for play. If they need to be replaced, get Genuine Toyota ball joints!

Also check for play in all steering joints as an alignment cannot be (correctly) performed with joints with play.


Last edited by old87yota; 02-09-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
Stock doesn't include saggy butt... that's due to weak springs. If you...like that look just replace the shocks... bilsteins are a great choice.
the zuk mod is also a great low cost option that adds coil springs to raise ride height, to level...
shocks still are required to stop the bouncy bounce
12' 125lb black magic springs are the common choice for stock ride height and comfortable ride...
I used the ZUK mod on this 87 4 runner about 20 years ago and she's still sitting level...
i love that look, inside and out! great rig!
i understand there is a difference between normal factory "sag" (that people here are talking about and that I do want) and the sag that i'm experiencing. you can almost bottom out my bump stops with your hand pushing down on the rear bumper. I need a rigid back end that doesn't bottom out and bounce around like a trampoline, and I don't want to change the factory rake / angle.

so i understand you did the zuk mod / coil springs route to take away the need to replace the leaf springs? zuk mod seems muuuch easier than replacing leafs! any suggestions on the best way to do it? I've seen the way you can just slip one in, but wouldn't a loose spring in there just make noise and pump around a bit?

As for the shocks, bilsteins 4600 or 5100?
Suggestions on steering damper? Any other parts?

Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
I also added 1 1/2" spacers along with Bushwacker fender flares for a wider stance.... thousands of miles ago with no ill effect
How does this affect the ride? I've heard there's laws against this, but in california that's not much of a problem, right?

Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
I chose to customize my torn, cracked shifter boot with diamond plate aluminum... and LOTS of other custom touches with a hidden storage box in the back that includes amp and crossover for the 10" subs in the side panels...
basically from the rear seats back the whole back of the 4runner is diamond plated... everything was dynomated ... inside the fender wells and filled with poly stuffing for sound deadening, because that space serves as my sub boxes... reinforced by 3/4" plywood, covered with aluminum diamond plate...
Very cool look. I think I might get inspired by your look further down the line! I also have the same stock dash with no tach (also my trans is auto) so I'll want to upgrade displays and add tacho and oil and battery gauges. Also an inclinometer

Thanks for sharing the pictures! Much appreciated!

Last edited by frikinyankee; 02-09-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:18 PM
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I just did the zuk mod on our 87turbo 4runnet today with my grandson! We had a blast...
it DOES NOT take the place of springs and no, once seated they do not rattle, make any noise...
the previous owner put in 3" blocks on top of the axle to level , which left about 1" before bump stops.... my kidneys couldn't handle it anymore...
it's a very simple job with a hydraulic jack, blocks high enough to get the rear end up so you can let the axle drop all the way down...
keeping the jack under the differential to raise and lower the axle as needed...
i did one side at a time... used new u bolts from orielys and a angle grinder to cut off the old ones...
the metal brackets that the rubber bumper hits on the frame is CUT and spread so it accepts the spring to hold it in place at the top... the coil fits over the rubber bump stop to secure it on the bottom...i cut those brackets with my angle grinder as well... and bent the bracket with a giant crescent wrench to accept the coils... install new u bolts.... let it down...
it will settle a tiny bit after some driving but not much... I'll take a pic for you..
this is the turbo runner... ct 26 , arp studs, 82 supra AFM 10 to 12 lbs boost on stock injectors and ECU...

test drive and I LOVE IT... its a firm non harsh ride. .

Last edited by 87-4runner; 02-09-2019 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:36 PM
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:41 PM
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If that is the "Zuk" mod, count me out. Looks pretty janky. If your springs truly are "saggy"; Just fix it right and get some new stock leaf springs. They aren't that hard to install on small trucks. Now leaf springs on my F250? I paid a shop to do that... yikes. Each spring is rated to hold up the weight of a whole 4Runner.

Bilstein 4600 for stock ride height. The 5100s are for if you will be doing a little lift OR want an un-neccessarily stiffer ride. 4600 will be plenty stiff on such a light vehicle!
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:27 AM
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For a " truely stock" experience...
buy ONLY oem parts and change NOTHING about or to your vehicle including wheels, tires, plug wires, stereo, speakers, shocks, exhaust system, paint, suspension, bumpers, headlights, floor mats, wiper blades, oil filters, upholstery, wiring...
don't yanky it, redneck it, customize it , improve it, heck dont touch it, it's sacrilegious to CHANGE anything....

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Old 02-10-2019, 02:57 AM
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here's a pic of my yanky, red neck wet dream, 180HP customized 22RTE CT26 82 Supra AFM
"mostly factory" engine in my "mostly factory" turbo 4runner with a A340F auto that I'm going to put dex6 in and a shift kit... i know I shouldn't alter it from factory original but, I'd like to improve performance...
it's NOT stock and i didn't put the crappy little ct20 oem turbo or the factory cast iron exhaust manifold (that i tried to fix 3 times, but always cracks) back on it to restore it to stock - like, instead I used the $700 LC Engineering manifold...HOWEVER I did use a toyota 82 Supra AFM that is an OEM part!
it's mine, I paid for it, and I like it!!!

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Old 02-10-2019, 03:08 AM
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Zuk mod yes or not? You will find the same passionate confrontation/debate between the green vs red coolant guys, fiberglass vs weld metal in body work, vegans and meat lovers, republicans and democrats. Some members say their truck rides better with it, others say it's noiser, etc.

This guy has zuk mod and a few turns in the t-bars. It's not original height/suspension and tires size, but his 4R looks very good with that to me. If you prefer original look/ride, it sounds good to me also.

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/2688533-post570.html
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SomedayJ View Post
Zuk mod yes or not? You will find the same passionate confrontation/debate between the green vs red coolant guys, fiberglass vs weld metal in body work, vegans and meat lovers, republicans and democrats. Some members say their truck rides better with it, others say it's noiser, etc.

This guy has zuk mod and a few turns in the t-bars. It's not original height/suspension and tires size, but his 4R looks very good with that to me. If you prefer original look/ride, it sounds good to me also.

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/2688533-post570.html
well said...
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SomedayJ View Post
Zuk mod yes or not? You will find the same passionate confrontation/debate between the green vs red coolant guys, fiberglass vs weld metal in body work, vegans and meat lovers, republicans and democrats. Some members say their truck rides better with it, others say it's noiser, etc.

This guy has zuk mod and a few turns in the t-bars. It's not original height/suspension and tires size, but his 4R looks very good with that to me. If you prefer original look/ride, it sounds good to me also.

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/2688533-post570.html
Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
well said...
I agree.

This is pretty much how I feel.

I prefer a stock Truck or 4Runner over a modified one.

The stock setup works well for me and is relatively easy to fix and diagnose because my Truck is still set up the way as shown in the Factory manual. There is no guess work if my modifications has caused a problem.

Like I said, the stock setup works well for me, but that does not mean that it works well for you.

If the stock setup does not work well for you, then change it!

Would I do what 87-4Runner did? Most likely not.

But his 4Runner is not mine. Unlike me, he did not like the stock setup and he set the 4Runner up to his liking and I am okay with that!

Also, this forum started out as an off-road tech forum dedicated to modifying Toyota Trucks and SUV's for intense off-road use, as well as stock tech.

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Old 02-10-2019, 11:03 AM
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Agreed, do what you want to your truck. It's your money and your liability if you cause a collision. But people are also allowed to think you're an idiot for stacking coil springs on top of leaf springs instead of just getting the correct leaf springs / overload springs for your application; Whether that is lifted, stock, whatever. If you're going to post on a forum to promote said controversial modification to people asking for help, be prepared for others to point that fact out.

My 4Runner is a stock garage queen, I drive it around town and never take it off-roading, but to me it's more of a collectible and nostalgic ride. Modifications only lower the value and make it look juvenile. If I want fast/useful/pulling power/mountain handling/offroad capability/more MPG, I have other vehicles that are superior in every category. Trying to make more power out of a 22RE is a huge waste of time and effort to me. A simple $160 tune chip on my Ford adds more power than the 22RE even makes in total from the factory. If my springs start to "sag" I'll replace them with new, OEM spec springs like any other reasonable human with "stock ride" goals would.

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Old 02-10-2019, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by frikinyankee View Post
One of the next things on my current ride is going to have to be the suspension and steering. The rear bounces like a b**ch at every bump, it has the wobbles (upside is that this really makes you appreciate the few moments it doesn't wobble) and sometimes clunking noises from the underside of the vehicle. A current bad idle / misfire condition also contributes to shaking which doesn't help the overall experience of what i need to be a daily driver that doubles as a weekend overlander / adventure ride.

I know the rear appears lower / sagging the way it came from the factory in 86. I don't want to change this. I don't want to lift it and would like to keep it stock-ish. I don't want to lift, but perhaps an inch or two wouldn't be the end of the world....

What are the most essential parts to replace in order to get it riding smoothly again?
Can this be done a bit at a time, maybe in $100-400 increments, starting with a solid $300-400 first investment on the first job / parts...
Will just changing the four shocks (and leaving these old springs) make a noticeable difference?
The main and most immediate / also safety problem is the bouncing What will fix the bouncing?

I already did front axles / wheel bearings / rotors / calipers
Was thinking to put a new steering damper and bilsteins all around as a first thing. If I want to keep it stock height, bilsteins 4600 are the way to go, right? As for the rear, I've never replaced a leaf spring... it looks doable but a bit of a pain in the ass. I've read of this zuk mod. And i've heard of the add a leaf. Is the zuk mod like getting new springs or completely different effect? Add a leaf vs new springs?
Then I imagine the various bushings should all be replaced - never really done this but seems doable. recommended kits?
I also snapped one of the four bolts on one of my upper control arm ball joint when i did a brake / axle job recently... so that should probably be changed.. is changing these joints a good improvement? recommended kits?
Well, it seems you're leaning on lifting a bit....

Safety is important, so I hear what beef tits (the name sounds awesome) is saying. And you are definitely on point with fixing that first and foremost. You got front brakes already. Tire tread still good? With worn shocks, the vehicle's braking ability is reduced and can interfere with traction in high speed conditions as the shocks lose control of handling vertical movements after hitting uneven road surfaces. And if panic braking, worn front shocks make rear wheel lockup more probable.

Stock replacements sometimes isnt the most economically feasible. OEM deals do exist depending on where you look online. But they also phase out, leaving you with aftermarket unless you find a salvage replacement with low mileage.

So those who really know their way through mods and upgrades are helpful to learn and see what could be done.

But in the end, you are the one who will make the call. All anyone can give is advice with a little opinion.

I think while there certainly has been two views to the question, we have to keep in mind our opinions on our yotas is out of the question. Its about the OP's. Start a new thread is the best COA.

But awesome pictures to go



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