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Toyota Tech: Shock Specifications

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Author: Joe Micciche - October, 2000

Arrows indicate the two mounting locations.

All Toyota 4WD's through model year 1995 are equipped with steering stabilizers. The stabilizer is affixed to the main steering linkage and to the frame (IFS) or to the tie rod and axlehousing (solid front axle), and they are basically 50/50 valved shocks which are used to minimize the kickback transmitted from the wheels to the steering wheel.

The factory stabilizer is a rather small unit which works effectively with stock tires. However, as the miles pile up on the truck and as the tire size increases, the stock unit becomes very inadequate.

Fortunately, replacement is very straightforward and can be accomplished with basic handtools. A 14mm box wrench, 14mm socket, 19mm socket, and pliers are the tools needed to remove the stock unit.

Typical OME construction: overbuilt!.

My stock stabilizer spit out its fluid several years ago, so I had a near-direct-fit Doetsch Tech replacement. This one also developed a faulty seal (likely due to not having a boot over the rod), so this time I selected an Old Man Emu (OME) replacement.

The OME (P/N OMESD33) unit is a fairly substantial dampener, with a large 35mm rod, 9-stage valving, and a metal boot over the rod. The OME is a true direct-fit, requiring no additional bracketry.

Replacement is simple. Remove the 14mm hex nut on the frame end, then push the bolt up out of the stabilizer and bracket. Working from the rear of the steering link, remove the cotter pin from the stud and then the 19mm hex nut, and remove the stabilizer altogether. If the stud through the steering link is difficult to remove, a quick and careful application of heat will help the process.

Antiseize on the steering link stud will make future removal a snap. The OME steering stabilizer does a fantastic job!

Installing the new one is just as quick! Apply anti-seize to the stud so any subsequent removal is a snap. Install the frame end first and hand tighten it, then install the stud through the steering link. Tighten the OME-provided Ny-Lock nut on the stud, then torque the frame end nut and bolt.

The new stabilizer really helps mitigate any unwanted feedback or steering shudder from my 33" tires mounted on steel wheels, and has helped smooth out the ride again. And the steering feels much smoother overall offroad!

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