This list has been compiled based upon feedback from folks who have reported what shocks they have found that work with a 1.5" - 2" lift. Information was gleaned from e-mails and web forum posts, such as http://www.yotatech.com/ and http://www.4x4wire.com/ If you want to contact folks who have direct experience with specific shock models, you might try searching on those forums. Also be aware that mfg's change model numbers and specifications over the years and it is nearly impossible to keep this information up to date, so you can use the information on this page as a starting point and go from there.
Lift from: 1.5" front ball joint spacer and/or torsion bar crank 2"-3" longer rear spring shackles (~1.5" lift) ~1.5" add-a-leaf spring ~1.5" leaf spring block 2" coil spring spacer
Up front, you are looking for 10" - 10.5" compressed length and ~15" extended length.
In general there are a couple of strategies you can use to determine the shock length needed.
The first is to check your current compressed and extended shock lenght and see how it works with the lift you have. So for example if your existing shock has say an extended length of 14" and you need 15" to reach full droop, you would want to find a similar shock that has approx. 1" more extended length. Realize that the extra length will typically be split between the length of the shock rod and the shock tube or body. So the rod on that shock would be about 1/2" longer and thus the tube would also be 1/2" longer to allow the rod to fit inside. So a shock with 1" more extended length will also have about 1/2" longer compressed length (i.e. the rod is that much longer). So you may have to play a balancing act between compressed and extended length. If you have a choice of too short or too long, it is usually best to have too short a shock, since too long a shock will cause the shock to act as a "bump stop" and the full weight of the vehicle jamming down onto the shock can cause damage.
The second approach for shock brands that do not list physical dimensions for their shocks is to go by "lift". Often the shock mfg. will supply their dealers with a parts catalog that will list shocks for a given vehicle sized by "lift" So they may list a 0"-1" lift shock (i.e. pretty much stock height) and a shock for 1"-2" lift, etc. The 1"-2" lift shock is usually a good choice for the front ball joint spacers. Realize of course that the shocks do not provide any lift in and of themselves. Also realize that this is a case where size matters and bigger is not better (see above paragraph). For example a shock for a 4" lift will probably be way too long to fit with only ball joint spacers and will limit your suspension up-travel. Even if the shock mfg. may not list dimensions, it is always a good idea to have your current shock measurements on-hand and a rough idea of what size shock would fit on your vehicle. That way you can pull one of the shocks out of the box at the store and do a sanity check on at leas the compressed length.
The following are some possible shock absorbers that may work with a ~1.5" lift on 1986-1995 Toyota 4WD pickups and 4Runners:
Bilstein: Apparently does not list shock lengths Front: Rear/Leaf: Rear/Coil: Doetsch Tech: Front: 3078, 8069, 9069 depending on type Rear/Leaf: Rear/Coil: KYB: Front: Rear/Leaf: 317514 Rear/Coil: ARB/OME: Front: N92(softer), N98(stiffer) Rear/Leaf: Rear/Coil: N72F Explorer ProComp: Vehicle LIFT ES3000(F/R) ES9000(F/R) 86-95 4WD Pickup 0"- 1" 314014/321506 914014/921506 86-89 4WD 4Runner 86-95 4WD Pickup 2"- 3" 317514/322506 917514/922506 86-89 4WD 4Runner 86-95 4WD Pickup 4" 318514/326506 918514/926506 86-89 4WD 4Runer Rancho: Front: RS5167, RS9272 Rear/Leaf: RS Rear/Coil: RS5009, RS9009, Sky Jacker: Front: SKYH7054 Rear Shocks: SKYH7024 (2nd gen 4Runner w/ FJ80 coils)
Which shocks are "best"? That is a very hard question to answer. It all depends on what factors you use to rate them with. There is the cost of the shocks, how long they last, how stiff or soft they are, how they handle at low and high speed, etc.
So your "best" shock, may not be someone elses "best" shock. Best bet would be to find someone with a similar vehicle to yours with the type shocks you are considering and take a ride in that vehicle to see how it rides. Short of that, find someone on-line (i.e. web forum or mailing list) that has the shocks you are considering on a similar vehicle and ask them how they like them.
Personally, I have run some of the above shock brands on various vehicles:
I have not run the Pro-Comp or OME shocks, so can't comment personally on those.
You can also consult each shock mfg's web site for specific information, some examples below:
And you can check the mfg. page for a list of dealers that carry those shocks.
And if you have any shock information or feedback, feel free to e-mail that to sales@4Crawler.com and we'll add it to this page.