Thinking about relocating the shocks on my 1st gen Tacoma

Have you relocated your shocks on a 1st gen Tacoma or are the shocks in the stock locations?

  • relocated the shocks.

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cr500taco

Adventurer
I am going to be getting new rear shocks, soon. My '97 Tacoma is lifted about 2.5" front and rear. I have been thinking about relocating the rear shocks to have them both behind the axle. So, I figured now is the time to do it if I am going to do it.
How many of you have the shocks relocated or still have shocks in the the stock locations?
From what I have read, it seems like it's a lot of work. I am wondering if it's worth doing, because my truck is a daily driver and my only vehicle. I am an electrician and I need it for work, so I would need someone to do it on a Saturday.
 

bkg

Explorer
What's the goal of relocating the shocks?

My xtracab does have both shocks behind the axle. It also has a traction bar. Shocks were relocated by the PO.

My doublecab has shocks in the stock location (also w/ similar lift numbers to yours). I can't think of any reason to change the doublecab.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
What's the goal of relocating the shocks?

My xtracab does have both shocks behind the axle. It also has a traction bar. Shocks were relocated by the PO.

My doublecab has shocks in the stock location (also w/ similar lift numbers to yours). I can't think of any reason to change the doublecab.
I've been told it's because you can use longer shocks to get more travel.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
Possibly, maybe...

But why go through all the work if you don't need to? Yank the shocks, flex the truck and see if they really are limiting travel. chances are, you're just fine.
That's why I posted this thread. Trying to learn from others. I cycled the suspension a couple weeks, ago with the shocks off. From what I have been told is I need to disassemble the leaf packs, then cycle the suspension with just the main leafs attached. Which makes since, because I only got a couple of inches up travel from ride height.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
I've been told it's because you can use longer shocks to get more travel.
This is very true and of course it will smooth out the ride more. But as @bkg asked, why if you don't need it.

If you are serious about it, look for posts by @turbodb. He did it and created a post on the entire process. I do not remember if it is on this site or his personal blog but either way you should be able to find it because he has lots of links to his personal blog.

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 

bkg

Explorer
That's why I posted this thread. Trying to learn from others. I cycled the suspension a couple weeks, ago with the shocks off. From what I have been told is I need to disassemble the leaf packs, then cycle the suspension with just the main leafs attached. Which makes since, because I only got a couple of inches up travel from ride height.
Unless you're building a rock crawler or prerunner, the amount of work you just mentioned is way more than the results you will get. Unless you're dead set on trying to eek out the last 1/4" of travel or articulation, flex it as much as you can (both sides), measure compression and extension, then look for a shock that best meets those measurements. Too short, they'll limit droop. Too long, they'll end up being bump stops.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
Unless you're building a rock crawler or prerunner, the amount of work you just mentioned is way more than the results you will get. Unless you're dead set on trying to eek out the last 1/4" of travel or articulation, flex it as much as you can (both sides), measure compression and extension, then look for a shock that best meets those measurements. Too short, they'll limit droop. Too long, they'll end up being bump stops.
That's what I was kind of wondering. I am going to reflex the suspension, again. This time I will disassemble the leaf packs, but only the main leaf attached.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
This is very true and of course it will smooth out the ride more. But as @bkg asked, why if you don't need it.

If you are serious about it, look for posts by @turbodb. He did it and created a post on the entire process. I do not remember if it is on this site or his personal blog but either way you should be able to find it because he has lots of links to his personal blog.

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
What BKG said, makes sense and that's what I was wondering. I found turbodb's post. They are on Tacomaworld. I am reading through 'em.
 

tacollie

Glamper
The OME shocks with Dakar leafs on my 02 hit the frame when it flexed. It's not a big deal with a cheap shock but it did bang up the shock. Can you or buddy do it yourselfs? I wouldn't pay somebody but if I was going to spend the money on expensive shocks I would probably spend the Saturday to move them. As far wheel travel I was happy with it even on harder years.
 

bkg

Explorer
While I personally think the effort outweighs the benefit... You should be prepared for a few things, especially since this is a DD.

1 - what are you going to do about the exhaust? Dump it before the rear axle or do a custom tile pipe to allow room for a shock on that side?
2 - Add a u-bolt flip kit or minimally be prepared to modify existing ubolt plates.
3 - Are you prepared to move the spare tire? You may not have enough room for shock mounting, spare and exhaust all taking the same general location
4 - What are the actual goals you are trying to achieve? More travel? For what reason? In what conditions have you needed more rear travel?
5 - I think you're taking it a leap too far on dissecting the pack. But if you do, remember to replace the leaf's you removed with a spacer to ensure you're considering the thickness of the spring pack
6 - Last but not least, you'll need to have all of your parts ready - shock mounts, shocks, etc... before you start to ensure you can get to work on Monday.

There are certainly ways around #6... but again, I'm of the opinion that the effort outweighs the results for a DD.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
While I personally think the effort outweighs the benefit... You should be prepared for a few things, especially since this is a DD.

1 - what are you going to do about the exhaust? Dump it before the rear axle or do a custom tile pipe to allow room for a shock on that side?
2 - Add a u-bolt flip kit or minimally be prepared to modify existing ubolt plates.
3 - Are you prepared to move the spare tire? You may not have enough room for shock mounting, spare and exhaust all taking the same general location
4 - What are the actual goals you are trying to achieve? More travel? For what reason? In what conditions have you needed more rear travel?
5 - I think you're taking it a leap too far on dissecting the pack. But if you do, remember to replace the leaf's you removed with a spacer to ensure you're considering the thickness of the spring pack
6 - Last but not least, you'll need to have all of your parts ready - shock mounts, shocks, etc... before you start to ensure you can get to work on Monday.

There are certainly ways around #6... but again, I'm of the opinion that the effort outweighs the results for a DD.
All those points I have considered and figured it was a lot of work and might not be worth it. I think I am going to pass on it for now. I will cycle my suspension agian and just order the shocks that fit right now. If I find later that the shocks are limiting my travel and if relocating will net me more travel, I will worry about it, then.

Thanks for your input.
 

cr500taco

Adventurer
The OME shocks with Dakar leafs on my 02 hit the frame when it flexed. It's not a big deal with a cheap shock but it did bang up the shock. Can you or buddy do it yourselfs? I wouldn't pay somebody but if I was going to spend the money on expensive shocks I would probably spend the Saturday to move them. As far wheel travel I was happy with it even on harder years.
I have a buddy that can help me with it. If I do it. Just don't know when he wil have the time.
 

turbodb

Well-known member
I am going to be getting new rear shocks, soon. My '97 Tacoma is lifted about 2.5" front and rear. I have been thinking about relocating the rear shocks to have them both behind the axle. So, I figured now is the time to do it if I am going to do it.
How many of you have the shocks relocated or still have shocks in the the stock locations?
From what I have read, it seems like it's a lot of work. I am wondering if it's worth doing, because my truck is a daily driver and my only vehicle. I am an electrician and I need it for work, so I would need someone to do it on a Saturday.
This is very true and of course it will smooth out the ride more. But as @bkg asked, why if you don't need it.

If you are serious about it, look for posts by @turbodb. He did it and created a post on the entire process. I do not remember if it is on this site or his personal blog but either way you should be able to find it because he has lots of links to his personal blog.
So, shock relocation is great if you actually need lots of travel, and it's not all that hard to do (can be done in 1 day if you have all the parts in hand) assuming you have welding skills and someone to help lift the bed off the truck. But, as many have said - there's not generally a reason to do it for a daily driver that isn't seeing a lot of off-road, flexy situations.

If you're interested in seeing how I went about this (which wasn't smooth b/c as is often the case - we learn as we go 🤣), definitely check out the posts I put together on the process:

Tacoma Rear Shock Relocation - Collecting Parts and Heading South
Covers all the parts you need - it's more than just shocks :) for the job.

Tacoma Rear Shock Relocation - Fabrication...and Failure
So, the first time I welded all the parts on, I got the angles of the mounts wrong, which meant that I was always at nearly full compression of my new shocks. The concepts of what to do are all correct here, but the way I figured out positioning wasn't.

Tacoma Rear Shock Relocation - Scrapping the First Attempt and Trying Again
After thinking about things and where they went wrong, I cut off the bits I'd welded on, bought new replacement bits, and welded them on in the right orientations. Worked great and has since!

Lastly - if you just want the detailed steps on how to do this, you can check out this post, which skips the story and just lays out the correct steps for a relocation on a 1st gen Tacoma:
How-To: Toyota Tacoma Rear Shock Relocation

 

lumpskie

Independent Thinker
I will cycle my suspension agian and just order the shocks that fit right now. If I find later that the shocks are limiting my travel and if relocating will net me more travel, I will worry about it, then.

Thanks for your input.
Post your numbers. I'm going to bet that your compressed number is somewhere close to 16. If so, you can just do the approach I did on my old rig... 7100 short body shocks in the rear without relocating them. If your compressed number comes in a little less than 16, you can always extend your bump stops to match. In the end, you can have a 12" travel shock in the stock location. (as you already know from the other thread... just sharing for others reading here.)
 

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