When I first purchased my Tacoma in 2014 I noticed that the previous owner had installed a Rancho lift kit. It included front coilover’s, rear 1” block’s, and a set of U bolts. Unfortunately, 6 years of driving through east coast winters meant it was time for an upgrade.
After doing some research (i.e. trolling the Tacoma forums), I finally decided to replace the rear stock shocks with FOX 2.0 Performance Series shocks. Between the quality, price, and reputation I decided that these shocks would give me the best bang for my buck.
When they arrived via brown Santa from All Pro Off Road, I couldn’t help but immediately start tearing the truck apart! Below is a quick how to guide for replacing your rear shocks. As always the same caveats exist, use good judgement, don’t be an idiot, and we’re not liable if you fail to follow this advice.
Total install time is about 30 minutes if you know what you’re doing, and 1-2 hours if this is your first time.
Here is what I used:
⅜ Impact Gun
14mm Ratcheting Wrench
BG Enforce Penetrating Oil
Start by putting wheel chocks around your front wheels and then jack the rear of the truck off the ground. Make sure to secure the rear end using jack stands and then double check to make sure the vehicle is secure. While safety may come third on the trail, there’s nothing more embarrassing that getting crushed by your truck in your own driveway.
Next remove your rear tires and then proceed to remove the 12mm parking brake bracket bolts from the leaf springs to prevent damage. Also make sure to support the rear differential with jack stands so that it doesn’t come crashing down after you remove the shocks.
Remove the 14mm nut off the top of the shock (you may need to use vise grips if the shaft turns with the nut). Again remember to have the differential properly supported because it will drop a significant amount once the shock is unbolted.
After the top bolt is removed, proceed by removing the 17mm bolt at the bottom of the shock. Once you have removed the bolt, go ahead and remove the rear shock, Depending on where you positioned the jack stand, you may have to lower the axle slightly, or use a pry bar to pop it out.
Now before you put the new FOX units in, you’ll have to “spread” the bottom shock mount. This is because the bottom mount for the FOX shocks are slightly larger than the OEM units. I used a pry bar to gently “open” up the mount, there are some other ways to do this but we find that this is the easiest and safest option. As always, use your own discretion.
Once you’ve completed that portion, you can go ahead and install your new FOX shocks. You might have to jack the vehicle up some more on the side you’re installing since it’s difficult to compress the shocks. I used an adjustable jack stand so I dropped the differential carefully making sure I didn’t pull a brake line or snap anything. Go ahead and repeat the process for the other side and then put all of the parts back on in reverse order.
After putting a few thousand miles on the FOX’s, I’m really glad I replaced the old rusty rear shocks, the difference is night and day. In regards to ride quality, they do a better job of handling the constant load of all the gear I always keep in the bed. I’ll have more details after I put on a few more thousand miles, but I would recommend these to anyone looking for new shocks for their Tacoma.
*Sorry for the lack of photos, I’ve discovered that it’s unsafe to take selfies while trying to remove suspension components.
**Update: Both shocks blew out on our trip to Vermont, I’ll have an update on the situation in the next few weeks.