The Toyota 4Runner is a multi-purpose SUV built to handle any road condition.
In fact, it has a multi-terrain system to help the car adjust to different terrains. While this is amazing, without good shocks, your 4runner might as well sit at home and look pretty.
Shocks are everything especially if you have a towing or hauling business or you love taking your vehicle off-roading. Without quality shocks, your vehicle is likely to have problems all the time.
That said, if you are looking for the best shocks for Toyota 4runner 4WD 2003-2009, consider getting Bilstein shocks or KYB shocks.
Of course, there are other shock brands out there, but read on and see why these two brands stand out and why they would be the best for your 4Runner.
Also, this review discusses two shock brands that you should absolutely not use for your Toyota 4Runner.
Shocks for Toyota 4Runner 4WD 2003-2009 Comparison Chart
341340 / 344410
24-239370 / 33-187174
Black Straight & Bellows
22.56 / 23.50 inches
17.03 / 14.91 inches
|Lower Mount Type|
Eye 14.2 mm / Eye 19.1 mm
|Upper Mount Type|
Stem / Stem
2 Best Shocks for Toyota 4Runner 4WD 2003-2009 (as of December, 2019):
The KYB Kit 1663 shocks are Japanese and there are some of the best shocks you can get for your Toyota 4runner 4WD.
So what makes these shocks so great?
They help improve the ride quality, stability, and handling capabilities of your 4runner.
You can drive your vehicle at full speed on the roughest terrain and with these shocks, and you’ll hardly feel the effects.
KYB shocks come in two designs: Twin tube design and monotube design. The two designs differ in the following ways:
- Twin-tube shocks have two chambers, an inner chamber and an outer one. When the shock is under pressure, the valves inside the shock control the flow of the hydraulic fluid within the shock between the two chambers. This process also provides extra damping.
- Monotube shocks have one chamber. The top part of the chamber contains hydraulic fluid and the bottom part contains gas. The fluid and gas don’t mix thanks to the piston inside and therefore, foaming does not occur. This is why the monotube shocks are better than twin-tube shocks.
KYB shocks use gas pressure technology which helps prevent shock fade. This is when shocks stop doing their job. And this is not necessarily due to wear and tear. It could be the shocks are not built to handle certain road surfaces.
The technology using nitrogen gas also helps prevent foaming which lowers the damping capability of shocks and consequently lowering their overall performance.
KYB shocks have a lifetime warranty. But to benefit from the warranty, you have to prove that you are the purchaser or owner of the car.
When it comes to durability, KYB have a good reputation of having a long lifespan. However, since generally shocks start to wear down after doing 50,000 miles and some even more.
It would be advisable to get a mechanic to check your shocks once you hit 12,000 miles. If they are okay, check again after they hit that same number of miles.
- Twin-tube design
- Gas pressure technology
- Nitrogen gas-charged
- Dust Cover Included
- Bump Stops Included
- Lifetime warranty
- Monotube design which helps heat buildup which can cause to foaming and shock fade
- Gas pressure technology which prevents the shock oil from overheating when driving on tough terrain
- High damping capability which improves the handling capacity of your vehicle over rough roads
- More affordable than other shock brands
- Installation may prove to be a bit challenging
- Some customers have complained that the shocks have a short lifespan on rough terrain
The Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas shocks are designed for vehicles with powerful engines like the Toyota 4runner 4WD because they provide stability while driving on rough terrain.
Furthermore, these shocks are built to deliver peak performance on and off-road.
If you are looking to get the Bilstein 5100 series shock kit for your Toyota 4runner 4WD, here is what you’ll get:
- Ride height adjustable shocks, front, and rear
- Lifetime warranty
The Toyota 4runner 4WD usually comes fitted with the Bilstein 4600 shocks. They are good, but if you go off-road driving often using your Toyota 4runner, you may want to upgrade your shocks from the 4600 shocks to the 5100 shocks. Here is why.
Although both shocks use monotube gas pressure, which by the way is what makes Bilstein shocks so great, the 5100 are designed to deliver more stability and control when driving on rough terrain.
The Bilstein 4600 shocks are not designed to provide ride height. They are designed for vehicles with stock height and vehicles that do light work like towing.
The Bilstein 5100 shocks are designed for heavy loads and harsh weather conditions.
All Bilstein shocks come with a lifetime warranty. But there are restrictions that come with the warranty. So if your shocks sustain damage due to an accident, the warranty does not cover this type of damage.
- Mono-tube Gas Shock Construction
- 0″ (stock height) to 2.5″ of front lift
- Multiple snap-ring grooves allows different spring seat positions
- Replaces factory strut/shock & maintains factory coil springs
- Corrosion Resistant Zinc Finish
- Alternative for coil / strut spacers
- Massive Self-Adjusting Digressive Piston
- Floating Dividing Piston
- Bilstein superior, race inspired performance characteristics
- Valved specifically for the Toyota 4Runner
- High Pressure Nitrogen Gas Performance
- Designed for vehicles with lift kits & leveling kits
- High performance shocks ideal for towing, off-road & daily driving
- Uses monotube gas pressure technology to help prevent fade and foaming
- The monotube designs helps prevent heat buildup which causes foaming
- It’s diving piston rod is chrome plated for durability
- They give you more control when driving on rough terrain
- They shocks are designed to give your car a lift
- The shocks are plated with zinc for durability
- They are not cheap
Not Recommended Products
Not all shock brands deliver great performance as they claim. Having reviewed numerous customer reviews, here are two shock brands that you might want to avoid totally.
1. AM Autoparts AM-308010901 Review
And although the company claims that their shock absorbers can deliver peak performance, customers say something else.
If you have a Toyota 4runner, here are some reasons why you need to avoid these shocks:
- Customers have complained of the shocks not fitting
- They do not ride comfortably
And when you don’t have control over your car when you run over bumps or potholes, you may find yourself swerving. And this can be dangerous.
So while the price tag these AM Autoparts AM-308010901 shocks is attractive, it is advisable to get shocks that are reliable and can deliver great performance. Remember, cheap is always expensive.
- Gas Charged Shock
- Direct Fit
- Matched Parts
- Boot & Bumper Kit
- Saves Time & Money
- Trouble-Free Install
- 10 Year Warranty
- They are cheap
- They are not ideal for a Toyota 4runner 4WD
- They do not deliver stability and comfort
- The ride quality is poor
- When it comes to safety, they are not an ideal option
2. Pedders Shock Absorbers Review
Although Pedders shocks are designed to maintain the suspension system of a 4WD under control while not compromising on the ride quality, customer reviews paint a different picture.
Some customers have complained about shock leakage after short use. When a shock absorber leaks it means that it is either faulty or worn out.
Another problem customers have with the Pedders shocks is its inability to reduce vibrations when they run over a pothole or bumps.
This can make the ride extremely uncomfortable because you can feel the effects of every bump. Furthermore, the vibrations can lead to car problems.
In addition, customers have complained the company has poor customer service. So if you buy Pedders shocks and you realize a problem with them almost immediately, you might not get much assistance from their customer support.
- They are affordable
- Customers have reported having leakage problems after a mere 800kilometer as well as stability issues
- Poor customer service
Your Toyota 4runner can perform great using standard twin-tube shocks. But they don’t hold well for long on rough terrain like monotube shocks.
So if you go off-roading all the time, you need shocks that can deliver excellent performance over a long period of time. You don’t want shocks that conk out after two or three rides.
Both KYB and Bilstein produce monotube shocks, so you can choose either for your 4runner as they both employ the same technology. The difference is in the pricing. KYB shocks are cheaper.