Tacoma Bottoming Out in Back (but not real bad)

Mikerizer

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#1
MAKE: Toyota
MODEL: Tacoma Base (4WD) 4 Door
YEAR: 2013
MILES: 63K
ENGINE: 4.0L
DESCRIBE ISSUE.... My truck runs and drives great. However, on just moderate bumps, the rear end feels like it's bottoming out. I carry a small tool box, a tow chain, and a few accessories in the back; maybe 100 pounds. I also have an Undercover ABS plastic hard shell on the bed.

I pulled one rear shock off on Saturday. I don't see any signs of leakage around the shaft. I can push it all the way in with moderate effort, but I've seen some that are much more difficult to push in. The shocks are yellow Toyota Bilstein, part number 48530-AD051.

I'm confused as to whether I need to replace them based on the fact that they do have resistance when trying to push them in.

What are your thoughts? Thanks as always!
 

billr

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#2
So... what is "moderate pressure", and how fast are you stroking it? It sounds like that shock is shot, I always have found good ones to be rather difficult to move even slowly. I'm guessing 25-50# just to get one moving quite slowly, like 3" per minute.
 
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#3
The primary function of the shock is to control rebound, but the gas charge dose hold the truck up a little. Smear a little grease on the bump stop and then drive it over the SMALLEST bump you can find that causes the "bottom out". Then look to see if grease is smeared on the frame. No grease? You need to look for a cause for your concern that is not weak springs or overloading.
 

Mikerizer

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#4
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Bill, 3" per MINUTE? If that's the case, the shocks are definitely shot. I can compress them full length in about 4-5 seconds.

Dan, I inspected all under the truck, and couldn't find any worn/broken/missing hangars, mounts, etc. I also looked at the bump stops, and where they contact the frame; that spot on the frame was very shiny...not dirty like the frame around it.

Thanks for the input; I'm going to replace the shocks after my budget recovers from a wedding and Christmas shopping.
 
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#5
Mike lets slow down -
1) I agree with DAN if the frame is clean where bumper wound strike it I doubt shocks are the issue- that travel is the result of spring rating.
2) I cannot access the TSB or recall right now computer issues but there was a spring issue this model year. SORRY maybe colleague or Toyota can get details.
 

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billr

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#6
I have to admit, I'm kind of winging it there, but minutes is what I meant to write. Let's try this from another angle: can you hold the shock in one hand and compress it (full stroke in less than a minute) by pushing with the other hand? If so, it is probably bad.

I have to disagree a bit with Dan; most shocks are "double-acting" and resist in both directions. Rate of resistance may be different in each direction (and often is), but there will be significant resistance both ways. I'm assuming, of course, that this is just a shock absorber, no "coil over" suspension/helper spring on it.
 

billr

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#7
And... I'm going to disagree with Kev2, too: those bump-stops are much more likely to get hit if the shock is weak. I don't know about this particular type vehicle, but worn shocks are generally far more likely than relaxed springs.
 

Mikerizer

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#8
When I was reinstalling the shock, I inserted the top of the shock first, and used both hands to compress the shock a few inches, to get it where I could run the bottom bolt through. With it compressed, I can hold it stationary with one hand, for a few seconds.

There is no coil over helper on the rear shock.

I don't really have any free bouncing when I pump the rear bumper with my knee, so the shocks are at least doing something...I just don't think they are at 100%.