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Toyota Minute Mod - Tacoma Rear Shock Spacing

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By: Mark Griese - 9/03

When lifting Toyota Tacomas, longer aftermarket rear shocks will be necessary to get additional rear wheel travel. A common complaint after adding these (bigger) shocks is that they hit the leaf springs under compression, when the tire stuffs into the fenderwell. This contact may cause a dent in the shock body which might lead to premature failure of the shock, and is more of a concern with the monotube Bilsteins vs. the twin tube Ranchos. I came up with the following hardware to space the shocks away from the leaf spring, while still retaining the factory mounts.

Items to purchase:
  • (4) M12-1.25x35mm bolts
  • (16) 3/4" Inside diameter(I.D.) Flat Washers
  • (4) p/n 8491A442 drill bushings (3/4"O.D.x1/2"I.D.x5/8"long)

The drill bushings can be ordered from the McMaster-Carr website or by phone. The longer bolts will have the same thread engagement as the stock ones when using the drill bushings as spacers. When you go to the hardware store, try to select washers in sets of 4 that will equal 5/8" thick (to equal the spacing provided by the bushings).

  • Remove a shock from the mounts.
  • Slide four washers onto both mounts.
  • Force drill bushing halfway into your rubber or urethane shock bushing, on the side that you will put the bolt in.
  • Remount the shock on the vehicle.
  • Thread in the new 35mm long bolt. Torque to factory specs (very snug with a ratchet will do).

The O.D. of the washers was so big I had to cut about 3/16" off of them to clear the Bilstein (F4-BE5-6253-HO) shocks on top, as shown in the picture. If you don't have the means to cut the washers or don't like the look, try finding some 3/4" I.D. steel spacers or aluminum ones (p/n 92510A847) from McMaster-Carr that could be hacksawed to the 5/8" length. Trimming the washers is not necessary with Rancho shocks. I used this setup on my 2001 Tacoma for over a year with the factory and aftermarket Deaver springs without contact. This mod withstood many hard wheeling trips without breakage or coming loose. Total is about $35. (The drill bushings are hardened so they cost a little more than you would expect).

Shock Spacing-Top Shock Spacing-Bottom

Contacts Related Links
  • McMaster-Carr
    P.O. Box 54960
    Los Angeles, CA 90054-0960
    (562) 692-5911

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