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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2005 Crew Cab 4x4. 165K owner since 140K and almost certainly shocks are OEM.
I'm naive regarding shocks. You know, somehow think they should last forever and don't notice them getting sloppy.

It's obviously time for change now and I'm looking for advise.

• Napa. parts tells me I need struts in front.
• I actually prefer the "less truck like feel" of the OEM ride.
• Drive mostly on paving with daily short dirt driveway that's moderately rough.
• Do only occasional light towing but would like option to maximize towing capacity.

Shared experience and recommendations appreciated.
 

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Bilstein, KYB and Monroe is the order I go in when looking for replacement shocks. Beyond that, I got nothing.
 

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Check to see if someone is selling OEM struts.
Plenty of people have changed out.
 

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KYB for stock feel - personally think the stock bils on pro4x ride great
 

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Again, KYB is a good choice for what you state.

If you replace just the shock/cartridge in the front, you'll have to use spring compressors. If you have done this, fine. If not, seriously look into it as it is not for the faint of heart. For more $$$ you can buy a complete assembly with spring and cartridge. 2x to 3x the money, but no spring compressing involved. I have done it both ways and I prefer the assembly.
 

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With the exception of the Pro4x, the stock struts and shocks are the same as KYB Excel/G2's. KYB also has the Strut-plus, which is a complete assembly with coil spring and mount. Either way, they carry a limited lifetime warranty. I usually prefer a monotube rear shock, such as KYB Gas-a-justs, Monroe Reflex or Bilstein 4600's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the informative and useful info.
I'm going with KKB recommended OEM replacements.
Pricey but what can you do.
I haven't felt good about the front end of this now 160K mile truck since I bought it at 140K.
Something just doesn't seem right even though I've had multiple looks and one little spring/coil noise cannot be easily duplicated so no technician can ever hear it.
Hoping the shocks correct it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As a final report. I went with KYB all around. Amazing. I could comment on the "ride" but mostly that nagging feeling that "something is not right in the front end of this vehicle" went away. No doubt I paid too much for this truck, but these new shocks relieved me of self-doubt that I'd also purchased a lemon. I'm one of those guys who simply never fully realized the importance of shocks and struts for safety really, and general proper road handling.

Thanks again for help and suggestions.

c
 

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on my last truck i replaced the junk OE shocks with basic Bilstein's, a good well controlled ride but not rough. with struts you will need an alignment ASAP, so buy a full set front + rear + let an alignment shop install the fronts + properly align the truck at the same time, rear is pretty simple with proper tools. you could prolly rent a spring compressor or loan one from advance auto parts, but get that alignment ASAP if you like your tyres!!
 

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Replacing the front struts on a gen 2 shouldn't affect the wheel alignment. I'm not saying a wheel alignment is not a good idea if it hasn't been done before, just that this particular design of strut should affect the alignment. It's not like the design on many cars or R50 Pathfinders where the end of the strut bolts to the top of the knuckle, potentially affecting the camber during replacement.
 

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after further reading + research i seen the front setup was not a typical strut as many call them, + although xtra work along with spring compression is required there should be little if any front alignment changes. if your tyres are wearing correctly why spend the $$$$ IMO!!
 
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