How much does it cost to replace the shocks on a Toyota 4Runner?
June 20, 2008 7:16 PM   Subscribe

How much should it cost to replace four shocks on a 1996 Toyota 4Runner?

There's really several parts to my question:

1) Does anyone know the specification for the front and rear shocks on a 1996 Toyota 4Runner (HiLux Surf)? I am not 100% sure how shocks are measured or rated, but it must be some combination of length, diameter, weight ratings etc.

2) How much should it cost to purchase four quality shocks?

3) Is the labor to replace the shocks an extremely involved process? Any estimates for number of hours?
posted by thewalrus to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Your location would be an essential part of answering this question, because parts and labor (labour?) costs vary depending on where in the world you are. And you may need to give more details on the model of the car -- in the US, 4Runners were sold in various trim levels, perhaps with changes to the suspension.
posted by Forktine at 7:36 PM on June 20, 2008

One shock will usually fit a variety of vehicles, so it's more a matter of finding a manufacturer and plugging in you model. Cost to purchase could range from ~$50 to upwards of $300, probably more on depending on how high tech you go.

As far as the labor goes, it looks like it probably has struts in the front which are a little more involved than changing out a shock due to the need to compress the spring.

You can probably find a factory service manual here that might help you figure out if you can do it or if you want to pay someone else to.
posted by Big_B at 7:46 PM on June 20, 2008

Find a Toyota messageboard and post your question there. This is the kind of thing the customization crowd would be able to tell you, but it's also a make and model-specific thing.
posted by drmarcj at 7:47 PM on June 20, 2008

Well, I went to and couldn't get really far w/o knowing your engine size and engine displacement. However, assuming you've got the bigger motor and 4wd, Napa lists prices between $22 and $200, depending on exactly what you're looking for. Here's the link to the vehicle selector: here.

Shocks and struts aren't necessarily easy to do by yourself, because they have to be compressed to fit usually, and that can go really badly.

If you're looking high-end, you're looking at a thousand bucks. If you go everyday driver, you're looking at...mmm...probably $400-$650. That's assuming shocks only and not struts...
posted by TomMelee at 7:57 PM on June 20, 2008

according to my haynes manual (i have an '03 tacoma, but it covers the '96 4runner), your vehicle has struts, which are a spring/shock combo. you can buy them as a unit or separately. the process for removing a strut is sligtly more involved than a simple shock, but not too much so. seems you simply jack up the truck, remove the bolt at the bottom of the strut and three at the top. the manual doesn't mention any complex process to unload the strut first, such as might be necessary for a torsion bar.

however, separating the spring from the shock is dangerous and you need special tools to do it.

if the manual is accurate, the labour to do this should be minimal.
posted by klanawa at 10:55 PM on June 20, 2008

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