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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been battling leaky shocks on my Toytec lift for years now, and think I hit the finally straw. Tonight, after waiting for 2+ hours for an annual vehicle inspection, I was failed for a leaking front strut. This is at least the 3rd time (I think 4th time) my shocks have blown out, leaking oil all over. The truck is pretty much babied, I drive it to work and back on the Prius travelled roads. No off-roading whatsoever since the last 2 shock replacements. The side seems to alternate each time it blows - no real consistency. Toytec has been accommodating in the past, where they have offered a slight discount due to the problems I’ve had, but between the replacement struts, the shipping, and the time it takes to replace it, I’m ready to completely replace the entire suspension to another vendor.

I’m looking for recommendations on what to go with for ride and durability. It will see a very little off-road. Mostly commuting back and forth to work. I don’t want to change my suspension almost as much as my oil.

I’ve considered the Bilstien or the OME, but don’t have first hand experience with either.
 

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This is the EXACT reason I went with an OME lift with the Nitrocharger Shocks. Old school technology that just works. Up to this point (3 years) I couldn't be happier with my suspension.
While I enjoy tinkering with and maintaining my truck, I don't want to be repairing/rebuilding "High Performance" aftermarket stuff (read crap, lol) on a far to regular basis.

The best thing my truck can do for me is being dependable/reliable. The KISS method! :)





 

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I went with Kings. They are a little expencive but I`ve had them 10 years now and they are dry are dry as a bone :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome advice so far. Keep it coming. As to the extent of the “leaking”, the front brake hoses are drenched from the wind catching the oil, and my LCAs are soaked. That’s more than a “little” in my book.
 

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I have only had my OMEs a little over a month so I can’t talk to durability yet. But the ride is a bit firmer than stock on roads and light years better off road. On road what I’ve noticed most is that if I have to jump on the brakes, I’m not looking at asphalt. “Competent” is a word that comes to mind.


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Go with kings,i have had them for 5 years with no leaks, and i push it to the limit on the trails.

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so as of now, I'm really torn between the Bilstein 5100s and the OME. While the Icons and the Kings are very tempting, at the end of the day I want something durable and I don't care how it looks (or even rides) at this point.

What I don't know is:
1. All of my suspension was upgraded with the current lift. I don't believe I can just buy a set of 5100s and use the toytec front springs, can I? If I can, I may just have to go that route for cost.

2. Most of the OME kits look like they don't come with the front coil overs assembled. It also looks like the top hat is not included. Toytec has an option to add spring assembly and top hats for ~$100. I don't need assembly, but I'm assuming the current toytech top hats on the FJ now won't work with the new lift. Can anyone confirm?

I'm ready to not throw any more at this than necessary to give me something that is more reliable than what I have currently and doesn't drive like a tank. Any extra money in my pocket can go towards the evil eye bumper I've been eyeing for quite some time now.

Edit: Another note - my rear suspension is perfectly fine. I have the original toytec springs/shocks installed. They don't NEED replacement.
 

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With the OME you use the same top hat you took off the old shock/spring set up. Unless Toytec does something odd/unique the top hat should work fine. But I like to "man talk" and can sound really convincing of my baseless opinions.....so.......I'd double check that.

I'm about 95% sure that "springs er springs." At least at this level, if you go more fancy they may be really sensitive to valving in the intended shock.
 

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Protect you front coli overs with covers. You can run them to hell and back and you coil overs will remain nice and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I just realized that I still have my stock suspension. I thought I had tossed it. I think this opens up some additional possibilities.

I think I'm going to go with the Bilstein 5100s, and now I have two choices of springs and all the OEM parts to choose from now. From what I can tell, for $379 I can get 4 shocks, and the shocks have a lifetime warranty. If all this is true, I'm sold.
 

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I’ve been battling leaky shocks on my Toytec lift for years now, and think I hit the finally straw. Tonight, after waiting for 2+ hours for an annual vehicle inspection, I was failed for a leaking front strut. This is at least the 3rd time (I think 4th time) my shocks have blown out, leaking oil all over. The truck is pretty much babied, I drive it to work and back on the Prius travelled roads. No off-roading whatsoever since the last 2 shock replacements. The side seems to alternate each time it blows - no real consistency. Toytec has been accommodating in the past, where they have offered a slight discount due to the problems I’ve had, but between the replacement struts, the shipping, and the time it takes to replace it, I’m ready to completely replace the entire suspension to another vendor.

I’m looking for recommendations on what to go with for ride and durability. It will see a very little off-road. Mostly commuting back and forth to work. I don’t want to change my suspension almost as much as my oil.

I’ve considered the Bilstien or the OME, but don’t have first hand experience with either.

My Dad has a very lightly used (1000 miles or so) OME full lift for sale and is willing to ship!

FJ Cruiser Parts Exchange
 

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Ok, so as of now, I'm really torn between the Bilstein 5100s and the OME. While the Icons and the Kings are very tempting, at the end of the day I want something durable and I don't care how it looks (or even rides) at this point.

What I don't know is:
1. All of my suspension was upgraded with the current lift. I don't believe I can just buy a set of 5100s and use the toytec front springs, can I? If I can, I may just have to go that route for cost.

2. Most of the OME kits look like they don't come with the front coil overs assembled. It also looks like the top hat is not included. Toytec has an option to add spring assembly and top hats for ~$100. I don't need assembly, but I'm assuming the current toytech top hats on the FJ now won't work with the new lift. Can anyone confirm?

I'm ready to not throw any more at this than necessary to give me something that is more reliable than what I have currently and doesn't drive like a tank. Any extra money in my pocket can go towards the evil eye bumper I've been eyeing for quite some time now.

Edit: Another note - my rear suspension is perfectly fine. I have the original toytec springs/shocks installed. They don't NEED replacement.
If your Toytec springs are the Eibach springs (which they probably are) you can simply swap in the Bilstein 5100s. Set the fronts to the second notch. If the rears are stock I would suggest getting the matching Eibach 1" lift rear springs. The ride, balance, and level is perfect. Get is aligned afterward by a real 4x4 shop.

The other solutions mentioned are also very good. It depends on how much you want to spend. I spent over a year looking for something for light trail work and in the end I ditched the Toytec parts. Not happy with the constant problems. You can get the Bilsteins from anyone. Buy the Eibach springs direct and / or buy their complete shock and spring kit:
 

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Call me silly, but if you are not going off-road with your FJ, why do you need a lift?
If I was in your shoes, I would install the OEM shocks and call it a day.

By the way, in my humble opinion, a non-lifted FJ looks just fine.
And the negative rake helps to ever so slightly improve wind resistance and gas mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My Dad has a very lightly used (1000 miles or so) OME full lift for sale and is willing to ship!

FJ Cruiser Parts Exchange
I appreciate the heads up, but I've already ordered the 5100s.

If your Toytec springs are the Eibach springs (which they probably are) you can simply swap in the Bilstein 5100s. Set the fronts to the second notch. If the rears are stock I would suggest getting the matching Eibach 1" lift rear springs. The ride, balance, and level is perfect. Get is aligned afterward by a real 4x4 shop.

The other solutions mentioned are also very good. It depends on how much you want to spend. I spent over a year looking for something for light trail work and in the end I ditched the Toytec parts. Not happy with the constant problems. You can get the Bilsteins from anyone. Buy the Eibach springs direct and / or buy their complete shock and spring kit:
Here's what I have from my original invoice:

FJ Cruiser/4Runner BOSS Suspension
*(2) TTFSC-2005 front shocks
*(2) 508600 Coils


RCC2.0HD Rear Coil Springs
*(2) 2' ToyTec Lifts Super Flex Coil Springs
TT -75109
*(2) TT-75109 Rear BOSS Shocks


It looks like they may be the Eibach springs, but I'm not 100% sure. I have the 5100 kit coming - should be here on Monday. I'm thinking that I'm going to use the toytec springs with the 5100s if everything goes right. I don't know if I'll need to use the factory top hat or the toytec one, but I guess I'll figure that out once everything shows up.

I probably won't even mess with the rear suspension, even though I will have the new shocks for back there as well. I'll save those for a rainy day.
 

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Also do the rear shocks to keep it balanced. The springs will probably work fine. The reason to lift with stiffer springs and shocks is to compensate for the height of the vehicle and larger tires. If you don't install bigger tires the FJ will feel corky or overly stiff when you push it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Man, I am fully regretting the Toytec lift more and more every time I have to wrench on it, which has been often. Finally got to start replacing shocks tonight, and it’s been a nightmare.

First, I was reminded of the shock hat bolt that started spinning when trying to tighten it on the original install. Of course it was the inboard-most bolt which is near impossible to get to. The nut was only threaded on about 1/3 of the way, but getting a wrench on it during installation would have chewed up the threads and made progress futile. The other two were tight, so I left it...to deal with now. I managed to get a pair of channel locks on the bolt under the nut, but not enough to stop the bolt from spinning. Resorted to the sawzall (which I have had to use every time I’ve replaced shocks on some portion of the Toytec parts). Managed to cut the bolt and nut off without severing any brake or hvac lines. One strut assembly out. Was planning to use the Toytec springs on the Bilstein 5100s. The coils of the spring were too close together to get the spring compressor on it. Gave up, and reverted to factory springs and top hats. 100% ok with this, knowing I won’t have to deal with the trash top hat bolt design on the fancy billet aluminum Toytecs. Got the 5100 installed with factory springs on the second to highest setting. Not sure if this is right, but we’ll see once I get it back on the ground.

Then I started on the driver side. Expletives galore. The F-ing top hat again. This time, the back bolt is spinning too, but I can’t get anything on the top of the bolt to keep it from spinning, and the nut is tightened down all the way, so I can’t cut the bolt off. Crap. Ok, so I manage to unbolt the top shock nut and disassemble the strut on the vehicle. Of course this just confirms that the bottom (top) of the stud that runs through the top hat isn’t much more accessible than the threaded end. Out comes the drill and assortment of drill bits.

After 2-3 hours of drilling and 3 batteries on the drill, I have a half-moon shape bolt head surrounded by mutilated billet aluminum on the near indestructible, fancy top hat. What’s left of the bolt and the strength of the little bit of non-mutilated billet surrounding it is enough for the top hat to be loosely fastened the the frame, blocking any attempt at progress.

I gave up for the night, but the expletives will start up again tomorrow sometime with hopes of a full Toytec-ectomy.
 

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Just think after all this . . When you add your bumper and winch you will get to do this all over again and kick yourself square in the nuts for trying to go cheap and not getting adjustable coilovers .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just think after all this . . When you add your bumper and winch you will get to do this all over again and kick yourself square in the nuts for trying to go cheap and not getting adjustable coilovers .
I’m removing adjustable coilovers... and if it means less maintenance, I won’t look back.
Although I didn’t go Gucci level when I first put the lift on, I didn’t feel like I skimped too much. With the amount of money I’ve spent on replacement shocks, I could have gone Icon or Fabtech.
 
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