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In early November 2017, my ToyTec-sold, RadFlo-built "BOSS" front coilover on the driver's side failed. Fortunately, ToyTec has a 1 year warranty and I was able to get the shock repaired under warranty. That process has just now completed and I'm back rolling with the BOSS coilovers.

Everything was going swell - the ride was high and smooth, tight with no wobbles. I ran them up in the 2017 FJ Summit in May (and the drive to and from) without issue.

Sometime early in November 2017, I started to notice that the driver-side front coilover didn't seem to be moving as fast as the passenger-side one, causing pronounced side-to-side wobble after every bump. It began to become a safety concern. Inspection revealed that the driver's side was sitting 3/8" of an inch or so below the passenger side. No idea why, but the hypothesis was that raising the pre-load on the driver coilover to level things out would fix the side-to-side wobble and instability:



It did... for a few days. Then, then problem came back and got worse: The driver's side coilver would start staying in the "down" position after significant bumps, so much so that the CV axle angled upward from the wheel, rather than downward like normal!



At that point, I parked in the driveway, stopped daily-driving the FJ, and reached out to ToyTec support.

Fortunately, ToyTec had offered a 1-year warranty on the BOSS suspension kit I purchased, and agreed to inspect & repair the coilover under warranty. In the interim, I ordered the ToyTec Ultimate front coilover set (Bilstein 5100 shocks, instead of custom-spec'd RadFlo). They were installed about an inch lower than the BOSS - leading to a bit of tire rub at full-turn - but I wasn't taking any chances or reaching for maximum lift - just needed to stay driveable.

Gosh darn, the Ultimate was a smooth ride! Bumps vanished underneath, fully and completely smoothed out (until the rear wheels hit and the BOSS rear suspension laughed at the little bump's attempt to move it). Front bodyroll on turns came back significantly. Overall a very nice ride. I did not take them off-road. If I was building an FJ for on-road daily driving, I would absolutely go with those.

I paid something like $140 to ship the BOSS coilovers out to Radflo in California (with insurance! And maybe an excessive amount of padding...) and eventually got them back. I was "lucky" enough to be trying to do this right in the middle of the Thanksgiving + Christmas + New Year holiday cycle, so everything was slower than normal...

Turns out an internal bump stop on the driver's side coilover had been "destroyed." I asked, and ToyTec said that for the BOSS set a minimum of 2" of "droop" (increase in center-of-hub to fender height when the FJ is jacked up and there is no weight on the suspension) is required to ensure this doesn't happen. The theory is that the increase in pre-load to compensate for the original mysterious sinking/settling caused the acute failure. After that failure, though, it probably wasn't possible to glean any information about the original cause of the original mysterious loss of lift. My confidence in the other suspension components is a little shaken now.

Unfortunately, a spacer had gone missing in the mail, and I had to wait while ToyTec graciously sent a replacement. Finally, with a rebuilt coilover and all the pieces in-hand, today, January 13 2018, nearly 2 months since the issue started, I'm back rolling on the "right" suspension (and 2.5" of "droop," for now...).

Ultimately, I'm not sure what to make of this experience. I hope this was a fluke.

Pros
  1. ToyTec's got a 1-year warranty and they honored it.
  2. I have a working set of coilovers again.
Cons
  1. The issue that started it all - the original loss of lift on the driver's side - remains unexplained. Will it happen to the other 3 shocks?
  2. I had to take the suspension off and send it back. TheInternet has got me accustomed to "ok sir we will ship a replacement right away; please send the defective item back within 30 days."
  3. 2-month turnaround due to the holiday season.
If anything, I learned that I really, really want the suspension ride height to be easily adjustable with minimal tools, outside a shop, without having to take it off the vehicle. The next set of suspension I buy will absolutely, 100%, without-a-doubt, be designed to have the height adjusted while installed. Also, my FJ is pretty heavy and I should probably aim for a 4" or 5" lift kit and just dial it down to 3", as the 3" kit is struggling to actually get me up 3".
 

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If anything, I learned that I really, really want the suspension ride height to be easily adjustable with minimal tools, outside a shop, without having to take it off the vehicle. The next set of suspension I buy will absolutely, 100%, without-a-doubt, be designed to have the height adjusted while installed. Also, my FJ is pretty heavy and I should probably aim for a 4" or 5" lift kit and just dial it down to 3", as the 3" kit is struggling to actually get me up 3".
IMO install heavier rated springs to address FJ weight issues and reduce the pre-load required on the coilovers.
 

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The driver's side coilver would start staying in the "down" position after significant bumps, so much so that the CV axle angled upward from the wheel, rather than downward like normal!
That's odd. Even with zero fluid inside the shock the spring is the part that's doing the supporting of the vehicle weight, not the shock itself. For it to stay compressed leads me to believe some part of the destroyed internal bumpstop bound it up really bad.
 

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I'm glad you got it sorted out but yes I agree it all sounds very odd. And I would not be happy with just one side being sorted, I'd have expected the other side to have at least been returned too for inspection. Lets hope it doesn't follow suit now it's not under warranty.
 
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