7 Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma: Reviews & Buying Guide

Just like any other part, at some point, you will need to replace shocks for your Toyota Tacoma. Replacing them is not an issue. The greatest challenge comes when you think about getting the best replacement shocks for Toyota Tacoma

In the market, you will find all manner of shocks. The truth is, not all of these shocks will give you good performance on your Toyota Tacoma.

In the same market, you will find other excellent shocks that will give you the original performance for your car. But if you are not an expert, it can be difficult to tell which shock is best for you.

So, if you are in a dilemma and confused about what to buy, don’t worry anymore.

In this article, we will share with you the top 7 best replacement shocks for Toyota Tacoma to buy today. These are shocks that will give you excellent performance.

But before we begin, let’s first have a look at our top pick. If you don’t have time to read through the entire guide, buy it today, and enjoy a comfortable ride.

Before that, let us know more about the Toyota Tacoma and understand what a shock absorber does.

Our Top Pick: Bilstein 5100 Series Front Shock

Bilstein 24-187367 5100 Series Front Shock for Dodge Ram 1500 09,Silver

These are replacement shocks that will give you an original feel. When you buy them, you will love their performance.

Bilstein 5100 Series Front Shock are the best shocks for Toyota Tacoma. They will give you a 2.75 front lift. As a result, you will cruise over any road and ensure that your ride is smooth and sturdy. The shock absorbers design also enhances seating position – with them, you can drive long distances for many hours. They also ensure smooth steering at all times.

The shocks are available on Amazon. Click here to check their latest price and buy them today.

Top 7 Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma

Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma Review

All of the following replacement shocks are perfect for your Toyota Tacoma. Pick any of these shocks and enjoy a safe and smooth ride.

1. Rancho RS999915 Quick Lift Loaded Strut

Rancho QuickLIFT RS999915 Strut and Coil Spring Assembly

Also known as Passenger Side Twin-Tube, Complete Strut Assembly comes with 2.5 inches to 3.0 inches front lift height. It’s a standard shock as compared to most of the other shock replacement parts you will find in the market.

The shock absorber comers with the Rancho quick lift that give the Tacoma an aggressive stance. With it, you can add a larger tire and wheel package and save money you could have spent on replacing the wholes suspension system of your car.

And when you think about installation, these twin-tube internal designs are easy to install. They come with an upper mount and a coil spring already assembled. When you install them they remove the factory rake and level your car front suspensions.

Something else you will love about the shock is that you will get a 9-position tuning technology. Depending on the nature of the ready, you can adjust the shocks to give you an easy and comfortable ride.

Key Features

  • Liquid metallic finish
  • 9-position tuning technology
  • Clear up to 35 inches tire

If this sounds like the shock you have been looking for, its available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it today.

2. KYB SR4130 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly

KYB SR4130 Strut Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly

This is a leading shock for KYB and one of the popular Toyota Tacoma replacement parts. KYB SR4130 comes fully assembled. When you buy it, you don’t need a spring compressor to use over it.

You will also get an improved and new coil spring with the kit. It’s customized to give you a corner-specific ride height for your Tacoma. The quality of the insulator and a bearing plate of the kit will give you a quiet operation and smooth steering. You will also get to enjoy a proper front end alignment for your wheels.

A travel-limiting bumper and new polyurethane boot come with the kit to protect the highly polished chrome strut shaft from corrosion.

Key Features

  • OE quality insulator
  • Protection against corrosion
  • Gas-charged twin-tube shock

The shock absorbers are available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon today.

3. Gabriel G57133 Ultra ReadyMount

Gabriel G57133 Ultra ReadyMount fit select Toyota 4Runner/FJ Cruiser and Toyota Tacoma Models (Front Left)

This shock is a preferred option for Toyota Tacoma replacement. It’s perfectly designed and engineered to deliver an amazing performance in your car.

The strut comes with coil spring, strut boot, spring seat, strut bumper and strut mount all equipped with advanced G-Force Technology. The entire strut has a design of super-finished chromed piston rod coating. As a result, it doesn’t corrode even when in harsh conditions. The entire design also gives nice seal lubrication over any wearing surface over the shock.

Key Features

  • One-piece assembly shock
  • Compressed length of 79 inches
  • Long-lasting with corrosion resistance

To get this shock, buy it on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it today.

4. Bilstein 5100 Series Front Shock

Bilstein 24-187367 5100 Series Front Shock for Dodge Ram 1500 09,Silver

Feel the comfort and confidence of your Toyota Tacoma again by installing the Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers. These shocks allow you to adjust your ride height on different terrains for a smooth ride.

These shocks will give you a 2.75 front lift. As a result, you will cruise over any road and ensure that your ride is smooth and sturdy.

The shock absorbers design also enhances seating position – with them, you can drive long distances for many hours. They also ensure smooth steering at all times.

Their performance is the reason why we have picked this shock absorber as our top pick. With it, you will enjoy every ride.

The shocks do not only work for front seats. If you have passengers in the car, they will confidently take a nap without feeling any roughness of the road.

Key Features

  • A monotube shock that will give you a durable performance
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Zinc plated to prevent corrosion
  • Gives an excellent performance

The shocks are available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon today.

5. Bilstein BE5B514HO 6” Rear Lifted Truck Shock Absorber

Bilstein (24-186636) 46mm Monotube Shock Absorber

If you regularly drive your Toyota Tacoma on tough terrains, consider buying BE5B514H0 6 inches rear lifted shock absorbers. This is a unit that will give you a smooth and safe ride on tough roads.

The shock unit comes as a direct fit for your Toyota Tacoma. As a result, you won’t have much work to do when it comes to its installation.

This particular absorber comes with a digressive piston that automatically adjusts itself on different velocity. The technology helps you car detect and react to road changing conditions. It adjusts its height automatically to give you a smooth and comfortable ride all the time.

Bilstein BE5B514HO is a shock that will enhance your overall car performance. So, if you find yourself driving on tough terrains, here is the solution for you. Buy the shock absorber and enjoy its experience.

Key Features

  • Monotube design for a durable performance
  • Velocity-sensitive hence how it reacts to road changes
  • Comes with a Lifetime Warranty

The shock absorber is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon now.

6. KYB 341340 Excel-G Gas Strut

KYB 341340 Excel-G Gas Strut, Black , Silver

This is a perfect shock designed to give exact tolerance and performance as the original Toyota Tacoma shocks provide. It’s a nitrogen gas-charged twin-tube design.

For performance, the shock is made with a Teflon coated piston band and a working cylinder. These two features work together to give a posit and perfect seal for durable performance.

To add to the life of the shock is a chrome-plated piston rod combined with multi-lip oil seals. As a result, you end up with a smooth and quiet performance enhanced by seamless and solid bolt bushings and mounting eye rings.

Key Features

  • Multi-lip oil seas
  • Triple chrome plated piston rod
  • Seamless, solid bolt bushings and mounting eye rings

The shocks are available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy them from Amazon today.

7. KYB SR4134 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly

KYB SR4134 Strut Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly

One thing we must admit is that KYB manufactures quality replacement parts for Toyota Tacoma. Whenever you need any replacement parts, you can find it with them.

This series of a shock absorber is a replacement part that will give your Tacoma its original ride. It’s manufactured to deliver the same performance as the original shock absorber.

With it, expect an excellent performance that gives you the original control and handling capabilities.

This shock absorber doesn’t need a spring compressor. It’s ready to install shock that comes with a twin-tube gas Excel-G strut.

Key Features

  • Ease of installation
  • Comes with all relevant components
  • Restores the original performance of your Toyota Tacoma

The shock absorber is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon today.

Read Also: How To Dispose Of Old Gasoline: When Your Fuel Fails

Toyota Tacoma: What is it?

Tacoma is the model name for a pickup truck that Toyota manufactures. The Japanese automobile manufacturer has been producing this model since 1995. Tacoma comes from an active volcano, Tahoma or Mount Rainer, in Washington.

The first generation of the Tacoma trucks existed from 1995 to 2004 as a popular pickup truck in the compact classification. From 2005 to 2015, Toyota upgraded the original model into a second-generation lineup of pickup trucks.

Further, Toyota introduced the third generation in 2015, which is still in production by 2015 Tacomas that come under the classification of mid-sized pickup trucks. They are manufactured in the U.S. as well as Mexico. Tacoma has also grabbed the spot of ‘Motor Trend’s Truck of the year’ in 2005. 

This pickup truck model is popularly sold in various countries, including the U.S.A, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, etc.

1st Generation Tacoma

The first generation of the Tacoma pickup trucks was introduced in February 1995. The company offered this model to replace the previously marketed Toyota Pickup truck, Hilux. 

The engineering of the Tacoma trucks gave greater attention to features such as ride quality, handling, safety, etc.

Tacoma’s design focussed on competing and fulfilling the needs of the Canadian and U.S. pickup trucks market. In these regions, the commonly used pickup trucks are compact and mainly are used for personal use.

The first generation of Tacoma trucks saw its development in 1989. It offered 3 engine variants; 2.4L, 2.7L, and 3.4L V6.

The 2.4L was a four-cylinder engine that could give 26 miles per gallon. It was rated for its power at 142hp or 106kW. The 2.7L offered a 20 miles mileage with a 150hp or 112kW. Lastly, the 3.4L V6 provided 21 miles per gallon.

The first-generation Tacoma trucks had their frames fully boxed. But, from the rear leaf spring mount bracket, it transited into a c-frame. 

The 3.4 V6 possessed an R150F manual transmission. At the same time, the automatic variant used an A340F for 4-wheel drive models, and the 2-wheel drive ones used A340E.

Since 1997, regular cabs offered only a 2.4L or 2.7 L engine; however, when Toyota introduced the TRD off-road package in 1998 onwards, it gave a locking rear differential to the model. PrioBeforet, such a feature was available only to PreRunner and 4WD models.

2nd Generation Tacoma

The second generation Tacomas came into existence in 2000, but it entered the market in 2004. 

It introduced a bigger and more powerful truck that the manufacturer revealed in the 2004 Chicago Auto Show. Toyota introduced this variant in 18 different configurations. 

The second generation Tacomas were available in 3 cab configurations and 4 transmissions. It also offered two engines and two-bed lengths. 

The new Tacoma came equipped with a 4.0L 1GR-FEV6 engine that replaced the original 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE V6 engine. 

The new V6 offered enhanced features that increased payload capacity and tow rating. Moreover, it generated 236 hp or 176 kW. 

The new generation of Tacoma also came with an X-Runner trim. Toyota intended to introduce it as a replacement for the slow-selling S-Runner trim present in the previous models.

The features of X Runner included the 1GR-FE. A 6-speed manual transmission accompanied that, along with 18-inch alloy wheels and X- Brace suspension package.

In some of the models, there was an optional TRD Off-road package. TRD expanded as Toyota Racing Development, and the models equipped with this package also included downhill and hill start assist control systems.

The downhill assist system functions by automatically engaging the brakes. When the vehicle descends through a downhill, it applies the brakes. On the other hand, the hill-start control system prevented rolling back on hilly terrains.

The 2nd generation also differed from the previous models in offering additional features. Those features included a rear locking differential, also known as a limited-slip differential.

The new Tacomas came with a deck rail system and a composite inner bed. The deck rail system consisted of 4 tie-down cleats that claimed to hold up to 100 kgs along with storage boxes, hook-pins, etc. 

3rd Generation Tacoma

The third generation of Tacoma trucks entered the pickup truck market in 2015. It is the latest generation of Toyota Tacoma trucks. Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, the new generation offers an enhanced exterior profile that takes the style from a model like the Tundra pickup. It offers a bigger grille and headlamps that utilize projector-beam technology.

The third generation also incorporates a redesigned bed and tailgate. You can also find an engraved Tacoma logo on it. Many new features come with the third generation of Tacomas, including an air dam in front of it.

These uplifted models come with 2.7L I4 and 3.5L V6 engines. You can find the 2.7L paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual one, whereas the 3.5L V6 engine pairs with 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

The 3.5 V6 also features the D-4S system from Toyota that allows the engine to shift to a direct injection from a port injection. However, that will depend on your driving conditions.

The engine can also operate on a simulated Atkinson cycle. It can do that by using the VVT-IW.

With the 2.7L variant, you can receive a power output of 161hp or 120kW. It also delivers a torque of 5200 rpm. The 3.5L variant will provide a power output of 278hp or 207kW.

Safety

It has a crash test rating of 5 stars in aspects like frontal driver and passenger, side driver, and side rear passenger. But it scores 4 stars in the rollover.

The new generation Tacomas are filled with lucrative safety features. Toyota now produces these trucks with standard anti-lock brakes and brake assist systems. You can also get an electronic brake-force distribution mechanism in many models.

When we look at the previous models, the 2008 model introduced a rollover sensor. Its main role was to deploy the side curtain airbags. So, the Tacomas equipped with optional side airbags could provide better side protection during rollover events.

Toyota upgraded its safety features further in 2009 by enabling all the models with its Star Safety System. That system offers additional vehicle stability and traction control.

It also upgraded the airbags feature by making it a standard for the trucks to have torso airbags and side curtain airbags. 

Considering the Toyota Tacoma’s performance in an IIHS safety test, we can say that it surpasses almost all other trucks. It received the highest overall rating compared to other small trucks in the same category. 

Tacoma is also a good performer in the frontal offset crash test. In 2009 it held the Top Safety Pick Award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS.

Shocks or Shock Absorbers: What are they?

Shock absorbers or simply shocks are nothing but mechanical devices. A shock absorber is also called a damper, and it may be of mechanical or hydraulic nature. It is designed to absorb the jerks a vehicle receives while moving on a terrain. 

The fundamental role of the shock absorber is to dampen shock impulses. Whenever a vehicle that has a considerable mass moves in uneven terrain, the bumps will cause the vehicle to adjust while in motion. While doing so, the car receives shock impulses due to its weight and motion.

The shocks help absorb the impulse and convert the shock’s kinetic energy into another form of energy. That kinetic energy is typically converted into heat which is later dissipated by the system. Most of the shock absorbers appear as a dashpot. It is because it has the property of resisting motion through viscous friction. 

The design of a shock absorber enables it to dampen or absorb the compression. It is part of the suspension system, springs, and suspension. So, the shock absorbers control the extra spring motion arising from the shock impulses. As a result, shock absorbers can keep the vehicle’s tires in contact with the road at all times. 

The working of a shock absorber is based on kinetic energy and potential energy principles. From the scientific point of view, it applies the law of conservation of energy. The law states that energy can only be transformed from one form to another as it is impossible to create or destroy it. 

The shock absorbers use this law by interchanging potential and kinetic energy. We must know that while a body is in motion, it involves two types of mechanical energy; potential energy, which signifies the stored energy, and kinetic energy, which signifies the energy arising from motion.

When a car or vehicle hits a bump, the suspension and springs occur. They move in such a way so that the tires do not come off the road and maintain contact. The shock absorbers there help in dampening the spring movement. It does that by transforming the kinetic energy into thermal energy. 

Thermal energy is nothing but the heat that arises due to the dampening process. The heat then must be dissipated to prevent it from damaging other parts, so it quickly degenerates in the hydraulic fluid.

These shock absorbers are nothing more than fluid-filled cylinders. It functions by allowing a piston to move up and down through the cylinder. When the car’s suspension moves, the shocks make the piston move. 

Such a movement pushes a tiny amount of the fluid to come out through the piston’s head. The small amount of fluid takes more effort to come out; as a result, it absorbs the incoming energy and slows down the suspension’s movement. That whole process eventually dampens the compression and the spring’s rebound. Therefore, the faster spring action will give the shock absorbers more resistance when the vehicle moves faster.

They form an integral part of the car’s suspension system. In simple words, the suspension system is the main part of the vehicle that nullifies the majority of forces acting on it. 

While the car or vehicle is in motion, it is subject to various ground forces. Therefore, a suspension system helps it attain a stable cabin while encountering such forces. It allows the driver to drive with a stable cabin and prevents mishaps.

Suspension System and its Working 

The suspension system consists of shock absorbers or dampers, springs, and struts. We know that it works on the principle of force distribution and energy conversion. It essentially converts the shock impulse force into heat. Doing so can fulfill its purpose of preventing the force from causing any damage.

The whole system begins its role from the springs, and then he reaches the dampers or the shocks for the final step.

Role of Springs: Storing The Energy

The spring is present in the suspension system to serve one major role; storing the energy. It acts as the instrument that stores the energy a vehicle generates due to uneven motion.

Spring is essentially a coil that stores energy by compressing itself. However, the amount of energy it can store will mostly depend on various factors. Such factors will include the material, spring coefficient, length, etc. The spring material plays a vital role as some can hold more energy while others may crumble after a specific threshold.

We can see two spring types used in various vehicular suspension systems; leaf spring and coil spring.

  • The leaf spring is usually seen with vehicles producing huge energy, such as trucks. It is incorporated on a solid axle and has a high capacity compared to the coil variant.
  • On the contrary, the coil spring is a common one that we can see in vehicles ranging from small scooters to cars.

Regardless of their types, both the springs act as a cushion providing structure while the vehicle bounces. Springs alone cannot fulfill the task of controlling the shock impulses as the vehicles will bounce without any control during bumpy motion. Therefore, a damper or shock absorber is essential to keep the vehicle under control in such scenarios. 

Role of Dampers: Converting The Energy

The spring only serves the purpose of storing the energy. However, it will not store the energy forever. Therefore, it must go somewhere. If the stored energy is not taken care of, the springs will release them, causing your car to jump uncontrollably. That is where the shock absorbers or dampers play a vital role.

Once the spring stores the energy, the dampers take over the process. As discussed before, these are cylinders with pressurized fluid in them. Additionally, the shocks or dampers consist of pistons with tiny perforations in them. 

So, once the spring transfers the stored energy, the piston uses the energy to move by pushing the fluid outside. That movement generates heat, marking the successful conversion of mechanical energy into thermal energy. As a result, it nullifies the forces effectively.

The new generation shocks are designed for faster reactions to high velocity. It means that they can provide better cushioning even when you drive at high speeds.

Role of Struts

Struts are nothing but dampers wrapped in coil springs. Nowadays, we can find it as an additional component in the vehicle’s suspension system. The functioning of a strut does not differ in any manner from a coil spring and shocks.

Shock Absorbers: Different Types

Before we share the top seven shocks with you, it will be better to tell you about the type of shocks you will find in the market.

You will find different types of shocks in the market. If you are still wondering which type of shocks you need for your car replacement, have a look at the following different types.

Twin-tube Shock Absorbers

It is a high-pressure gas shock with two tubes. The twin-tube shock absorbers come with three unique designs – gas-charged, positive, sensitive damping, and acceleration sensitive damping.

Gas-charged twin-tube shock absorber

This absorber works by minimizing the air that gets into the hydraulic fluid. It has a nitrogen gas that compresses bubbles in the liquid to create foam and prevent the wind from mixing with the hydraulic fluid.

Acceleration Sensitive Damping

This is a shock absorber designed to reduce the harshness of rice. It has innovative technology that gives your vehicle great control and comfort. Expect the shock to move beyond the traditional velocity-sensitive damping to address the riding impact. Depending on the condition of your road, the valve adjusts itself automatically.

Position-Sensitive Damping

This shock absorber controls the soft and firm valving to improve the balance between comfort level and control capabilities. It has tapered grooves in the pressure tube. As a result, a driver enjoys comfort and excellent vehicle control even in demanding situations.

Monotube Shock Absorbers

These shock absorbers come with only one tube. They are high-pressure gas shocks you will find in the market.

The single tube is divided into oil and gas chambers. The force balance of the shock happens when the piston and rod move up and down.

You need to know about these shocks because their balancing power results from the piston’s shape, size, and the number of washers.

Key features of monotube shock absorbers

  • It’s mounted upside down to reduce the unsprung weight.
  • The tube is always exposed to air; hence they run more relaxed.
  • Perfect for SUV, light trucks, and passenger cars

Best Shock Absorber for Your Vehicle

As we have already seen, there are different types of shock absorbers. So, it’s difficult to tell which absorber is best for your vehicle. The following are the comparisons and reasons which should determine the shocks absorbers you need to buy for your car.

Off-road Truck: Buy external reservoir shock absorbers

Off-road Truck (Raised): Get monotube gas shock

Standard SUV: Twin tube shock is the best

Heavy-duty SUV: air springs and monotube gas shock

FAQs

How long do car shocks last?

Usually, the new generation shocks or dampers can last up to 5-10 years, or we can estimate 50,000-100,000 miles in the distance. However, the durability of your car’s shocks will mostly depend on the driving conditions. Moreover, factors like harsh terrains, aggressive braking, and rash driving can significantly reduce your shocks’ lifespan.

Why is it necessary to replace the shocks?

Shocks are essential in providing desirable control over the vehicle when encountering bumpy terrain. Without the shocks or dampers, the force from the shock impulses will damage the sensitive parts of the vehicle. So, these shocks are continuously engaged while you drive. 

Therefore, they may get worn out after exhaustive use. If your car possesses inefficient shock absorbers, then it’s time to replace them. Doing so can restore the desirable control and handling you experienced when it was new. It will prevent the potential wear of tires and other components effectively.

When should you replace your shocks?

Most cars may require a replacement after every 50,000 miles of the drive. Your Toyota Tacoma may also need a replacement after the same duration. But, it can also vary depending on your driving skills. However, it is recommendable to subject your Tacoma to regular checks by a reliable mechanic after it attains more than 50,000 miles.

Final Verdict

Shocks are critical in your car. They will give you a smooth ride and increase your car safety. This is why you need to get quality shocks for your Toyota Tacoma.

Apart from giving you a smooth ride, quality shocks will protect and increase the lifespan of other parts in your car. Without proper shocks, your car bearings and wheel systems will get damaged easily.

So, if you want better performance and a long life for your car, buy the shocks we have recommended in this article. These shocks will give you excellent performance, as you have never found from any other replacement parts.

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