Before you get started, make sure you have everything you need:
Compressing The Coils
- OME coil springs
(either the 880s, 881s, or 882s)
- OME front shocks
(either the N91s or N91sc) or some other long-travel shock
- OME leaf springs (Part #s 15a and 15b)
- OME rear shocks (Part # N85)
Recommended Accessory Parts:
- (2) Toyota strut top plates
(Part # 48609-35010)
- OME greasable shackles (Part # GS12)
- OME shackle bushings (Part # SB88)
- OME exhaust bracket (Part # FK21)
- Daystar greasable front leaf bushings (Part # KT02017)
- Front differential drop kit (www.cornfedsuspension.com) or (additional tech article)
- Metal plate to relocate brake proportioning valve (can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot)
- Floor jack and jack stands
- Full socket set, including deep well sockets up to 20mm
- Torque wrench
- Coil sompressors (if you plan to compress the coils yourself)
Before you get started, you should decide whether you will be compressing the coils and shocks together to make the strut yourself or if you will let a shop do it for you. I highly recommend taking them to a shop as it is one of the more difficult (and potentially dangerous) parts of this installation. If you take your coils and shocks to a shop, make sure that you purchase a set of 2 Toyota strut top plates (see part #s above). They will need these to complete the strut assembly.
If you plan on compressing the coils yourself, take a look at this diagram to get an idea of the assembly of the strut and top plate. As always, be VERY careful when compressing your coils. Make sure that the coil compressors are in good shape and that they've got a good hold on the coils.
The OME instructions also recommend that you install the factory retainer washer (it goes directly under the top plate). I didn't install this retainer and haven't had any problems. Others have done the same and they have not had any problems as well.
If you are assembling the strut yourself, try to make certain that the bottom shock eyelet is parallel with two of the strut top plate studs. This will make your life a LOT easier when it comes time to install the strut.
Once you have your assembled strut, you'll want to jack up the front of the truck and put jack stands under it. For optimum access to the strut assembly, remove both front wheels.
On the strut top plate, you'll see three bolts with nuts on them and the top of the shock sticking up through the center. Do NOT remove the center shock nut at this time. Instead, unbolt the three nuts on the strut top plate. Unbolt the bottom shock mount and remove the shock.
To install the new longer strut, you'll need to press down on the upper control arm. It is common to use a bottle jack to jack the upper control arms down. Be very careful in your bottle jack placement on the control arms: it may be difficult to find a stable place to jack. Bolt in the lower shock mount and the three upper strut plate nuts and torque to proper specifications.
Put the front tires back on and remove from jack and/or jack stands. The front is done!