The Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma – Top Recommendations!

The Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma – Top Recommendations!

The Toyota Tacoma is a great vehicle that should provide you with a smooth ride even on bumpier terrain. So, what happens if you start experiencing a bit of a bumpier ride? Or if you’re having steering or braking problems, or even noticing fluid leaks from your car? It could be the shocks causing the problem.

Generally, when the shocks wear down on your car, you’ll notice it – so if you’re having trouble when driving, it could well be time to replace them.

The question is, which shocks should you get? In our guide to the best replacement shocks for Toyota Tacoma, we’ll have a look at the best choices, including their pricing and pros and cons, to help you decide which ones to go for. We’ll also check out user reviews to see what drivers think of their performance. First, let’s help you to figure out if your shocks need replacing in the first place.

What are the Signs that My Shocks Need Replacing?

toyota tacoma

If you’re worried your Tacoma shocks need replacing, here are a few signs you might want to look out for:

Bumpier Ride

This is probably the most noticeable sign. You might start to feel smaller bumps and dips in the road, and the whole ride will probably start to feel less smooth. The ride will feel ‘rough’, and you will be at risk of losing control of the vehicle if you drive over a particularly deep pothole. Your vehicle may not be able to cope with bumpier terrain very well, and you might start to feel uncomfortable when off-roading.

Steering

You might find it difficult to steer, and you might feel as though your car is leaning to one side when you turn.

Tire Treads

Suspension damage can cause dips to appear around the edges of your tire treads. This can indicate a serious problem, so you should take your car to a mechanic immediately.

General Wear and Tear

Shocks should be checked and replaced every 50,000-100,000 miles or so. It’s always a good idea to check it at around the 50,000-mile mark, so you can be reassured that all is well.

Obviously, all of the above could pose a safety issue, and could even lead to you losing control of the vehicle. If you’re ever concerned about your Tacoma, take it to a mechanic to have it checked.

Best Replacement Shocks for Toyota Tacoma – an Overview

Here’s a quick overview of each of the shocks we’ll be looking at today:

Name

Type

Features

Price

Bilstein 24-185776 E5661H8

Gas charged

Great for off-roading and heavier vehicles

Around $90 for one

Fox 2.0 Performance Shock Rear Pair

Gas charged

Excellent quality

Comes with everything you need to install

Around $140 for one (comes in pack of two)

Rancho RS55118 RS5000X

Gas charged

Works well on bumpy terrain

Around $55 for one

Bilstein 24-186056

Gas charged

Works really well for heavier vehicles

Around $76 for one

KYB SR4463

Gas charged

Expertly engineered for the Tacoma

Gives a smooth ride

Around $118 for one

Freedom OffRoad 03+ 4Runner/FJ Cruiser Extended Nitro Rear Shocks

Gas charged

Comes with lifetime warranty

Easy to install

Around $150 for one (comes in pack of two)

SENSEN 1240-FS

Gas charged

Great price point

Easy to install

Lifetime warranty included

Around $53 for one

Monroe 32066

Gas charged

Very low price point

Simple to install

Around $22 for one

 

Bilstein 24-185776 E5661H8 Shock Absorber – Best for Tough Driving Conditions

 

Bilstein 24-185776

 

A gas-charged shock absorber, this model from Bilstein is great for drivers wanting high-performance shocks. They’re also great for lifted vehicle owners. It’s zinc-plated for extra durability, and it offers a smooth ride even when driving in mud and over hills.

What Do Users Think?

Users said that these can be a bit tricky to install. However, once they are installed, they work brilliantly. They noticed the front-end steering felt comfortable, the whole ride feels smoother, and that they hold strong even on heavy duty trucks carrying a lot of weight.

A few people had an issue with the price, but some admitted the quality and durability made it worth spending the extra money.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Suited for heavier vehicles/vehicles carrying a heavier load
  • Durable
  • Great for bumpier rides and off-roading

Cons

  • Some people found that it didn’t make enough of a difference to justify the cost
  • Doesn’t come with all the hardware you need to install it – make sure you have all the nuts and washers required to install

Pricing

  • You can expect to pay around $90 for one.

Fox 2.0 Performance Shock Rear Pair – Best for Bigger Budgets

 

Bilstein 24-185776

 

Fox is a great brand when it comes to shock absorbers, and this model is no exception. It’s gas-charged, with washers and nuts included, which gives it a great advantage. The installation is pretty simple, and you get a 1-year warranty, which is a great bonus. It also makes a great difference to the ride experience, giving a much smoother ride with less bumps.

What Do Users Think?

Reviews are generally positive for this model, with users praising the softer, smoother ride these shocks gave them. Users appreciate how easy it is to install them, particularly as all the hardware is included.

Pros

  • All hardware included
  • Gives a smooth ride
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Price is very high – it could be out of your price range if you’re looking for a budget model

Pricing

  • Priced at around $280, this is one of the most expensive models on our list. However, it does include both rear shocks, which is good.

Rancho RS55118 RS5000X Shock Absorber – Best for Durability

 

 

rancho es55118

 

 

Rancho is well known for producing durable shock absorbers, and this is no different. Great for tough rides and off-roading, this model looks a little more distinctive than others with a red and white exterior. It is gas-pressured and has a twin-tube body with a self-lubricating seal to reduce friction. The double-welded loops also add durability.

What do Users Think?

Users have said that these shocks are much stiffer than the ones that come as standard with the vehicle, meaning it can handle tougher bumps and shocks. It makes the ride very smooth when on bumpy terrain, but they don’t perform as well on smoother roads.

Pros

  • Low price-point
  • Great on tougher terrain

Cons

  • They don’t perform as well on highways and smoother roads

Pricing

  • You can get this model for around $55 for one.

Bilstein 24-186056 – Best for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

 

bilstein 24-186056

 

This is great for heavy-duty vehicles, like trucks and motorhomes. So, if you’re carting around a lot of equipment in your Toyota Tacoma, it will still perform really well. It has a heavy-duty design and is even used in NASCAR Super Trucks – so you know you’re getting a good quality model. It creates a stiffer ride, which is good for bumpy terrain – so if you’re planning on off-roading, it will still give you a smooth ride.

What Do Users Think?

Generally, users were happy with the performance offered here. It gives a stiff ride on smooth roads, but works excellently on bumpier terrain, and suits heavy vehicles especially well. However, it does not include the hardware you need to install it, which is a shame.

Pros

  • Works well on heavier vehicles
  • Performs brilliantly on bumpy terrain

Cons

  • Doesn’t include all the hardware you need for installation
  • Makes the ride a little stiffer on smooth roads

Pricing

  • You can buy these for around $76 for one.

KYB SR4463 Complete Corner Unit Assembly – Best for Experienced Users

KYB SR4463

 

This looks a little intimidating, and it takes a bit more expertise to install. However, it’s a great quality shock, designed to work with the Toyota Tacoma with the TRD package (but it can be used without the TRD package, too). It’s expertly engineered and pre-assembled for the best possible ride for your Tacoma.

It has a KYB spring which is designed to maintain proper ride height, without sacrificing the quality of the ride. It’s also built to last, made with durable materials.

What Do Users Think?

The general feedback from users is great – they report that it gives a smooth ride and works brilliantly with the Tacoma. They feel reassured in buying from a trusted brand, too.

Pros

  • Expertly engineered to work well with the Tacoma
  • Comes from a trusted, reliable brand

Cons

  • Looks a little intimidating and can be trickier to install

Pricing

  • You can get this for around $118 for one.

Freedom OffRoad 03+ 4Runner/FJ Cruiser Extended Nitro Rear Shocks – Best for Easy Installation

 

freedom offroad

 

The best thing about this model is the ease of installation – the instructions are easy to follow, and it comes with everything you need. It creates a very smooth ride and reduces shock from bumps in the road. it comes with a lifetime warranty, too.

What Do Users Think?

Generally, users are satisfied with the performance of these shocks, with many complimenting the smooth ride it gives them. However, a couple of people have had issues with the shocks wearing out more quickly than they would have expected.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Decent price point
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Some people have reported they wear out quickly, which is inconvenient
  • Very pricey

Pricing

  • You can buy these for around $300 for two.

SENSEN 1240-FS Front Pair of Shocks – Best Overall on Budget

 

sensen 1240-fs

 

Precision designed to fit the Tacoma, can restore the factory ride height. They come with a lifetime warranty, so you can buy them with confidence. For the low price, it gives a smooth ride, making it a great bargain. It’s easy to install, although it doesn’t come with a top mount or bearing plate, which is a bit of a shame.

What Do Users Think?

Users described these shocks as ‘unbeatable’, praising the low price point and high quality. They’re easy to install, even for complete beginners (a couple of people recommended watching a YouTube tutorial before you start). Some users even said they were ‘amazed’ at the quality, and how much it improved their vehicle.

Pros

  • The low price makes them a great bargain
  • High quality
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with everything you need to install

Pricing

  • These are priced at around $53 for one, but you do need to factor in the price of the top mount and bearing plate, which you’ll need to purchase separately.

Monroe 32066 – Best for Tight Budgets

 

Monroe 32066

 

Built with a twin-tube design, these are great for those on a low budget. Everything you need to install it is included in the package, and it has a nitrocarburized rod for long service life. It’s a pretty basic shock absorber, but it still works well.

What Do Users Think?

Users suggested that, for the price, these work okay. However, they did suggest that the ride was not as smooth as they would have liked, especially on bumpier terrain, and that it may be worth paying a little extra to get the best quality ride.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Pretty simple to install

Cons

  • Not as durable
  • Can’t cope with bumpy terrain as well as some of the others on this list

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $22 for one.

FAQ’s About Toyota Tacoma Shocks

How Do I Install New Shocks on My Toyota Tacoma?

If you’ve never installed shocks before, you might not know where to start. Generally, it’s a good idea to see if you can find a video tutorial on YouTube, as it’s good to get a visual of how it works. The shocks themselves should come with instructions, too. Firstly, you’ll need to jack up the vehicle until the tire is off the ground.

You can remove the tire and the bolts holding the shock to the frame to remove the previous shock. It’s then a case of mounting the new shock, starting with the top mounting and then moving to the bottom mounts. It should take around 2 hours to complete this task.

Remember to check beforehand if you have everything you need – some of the cheaper shocks don’t come with all the hardware required to use them. Most importantly, remember not to cut the plastic strap on the shock until you’re ready – this compresses the shock until you’ve aligned it to the bottom mounts, so you do not want to cut this strap too early!

How Much Will It Cost to Replace the Shocks on my Toyota Tacoma?

As you can see from our list, it can vary wildly. You can expect to pay between around $100 for a pair, all the way up to $300 for a pair– so there should be something to suit your budget. The shocks are pretty important, so you might find you want to spend a little more on them than you would for other parts of your vehicle.

When Should I Replace my Shocks?

Between 50,000-100,000 miles. It’s always a good idea to check your vehicle over at the 50,000-mile mark to make sure everything is running smoothly.

What are the Different Types of Shocks?

There are a few different types of shocks. You can check your manual to see which ones best suit your vehicle – for the Tacoma, you’ll mostly be able to find gas-powered shocks. They’re filled with nitrogen, and are great for smaller cars, as they reduce bouncing. This means they work well on rougher terrain, too. Here’s a quick overview of the other types you might find:
– Standard Shocks
– Heavy Duty Shocks
– Air Shocks
– Overload Shocks
– Automatic Level-Control Shocks

Conclusion

So, which one would we choose? As you can see, there’s a range of shocks to suit your budget. The performance of the shocks in your Tacoma can make an enormous difference to the ride quality, especially if you’re going off-roading. If you’ve got a little more to spend, you can’t go wrong with the Fox 2.0 Performance Rear Shocks – Fox is a great brand, the reviews are brilliant, and the quality of materials used is great. You can trust that they will be durable, and they work well on bumpy terrain.

However, if you’re on a tighter budget, you might want to consider the SENSEN 1240-FS. Although you do have to buy the top mount and bearing plate, they are still attractively priced, and the reviews are excellent, with users raving about the quality. You also get the bonus of a lifetime warranty, and they’re easy to install, too, with clear instructions – so they’re a great all-rounder.

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David Borgogni

David has been working with cars for over 10 years and is a freelance writer who specializes in automotive technology. He covers the topics that matter most to the consumer. Anything new in the automotive industry? David will likely be able to tell you about it.
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