Dobinson's MRA Extended FRONT Shocks, Install DIY

MongooseGA

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This is a simple install thread with a few points and tips that weren't included on the instructions in the box.

There weren't any instructions in the box.

So, start by opening and inspecting what you do have in the box. Mine arrived pretty beaten up with some of the hardware and bracketry ready to fall out. Luckily I only ended up short 1 lock-washer.

You should have:

2- Big Black Bouncy Sticks attached to their respective reservoirs. (You will need to reuse your original dimpled upper-bushing washers here, the kit only include the flatter saucer type).
2- Larger flat mounting plates.
2- Thin rectangular plates
2- Round mounting brackets
1- Bag of hardware (I assume, I had shreds of plastic) including 4 larger allen bolts with affilitated lock-washers and flat washers, 4 smaller allen bolts with the same accoutrements, a few zip ties, and 2 adjustment tools.

20220713_192110.jpg


I think that's it. Oh, and a sticker saying don't use impact tools when installing. I mentioned it, it's your fault if you mess up

Once you've confirmed you have all of the parts you need, begin removing the old shocks. This is pretty straight-forward and I'm not going to go in to detail here. Make sure you take a pic with new and old side by side for the 'gram. Chicks dig that stuff.

20220718_153607.jpg


I opted to install the reservoir mounting plates before installing the shocks. No real reason, it just seemed like it'd be nice to have it done. Initially I installed this with the lettering facing out toward me, but then decided I didn't like that so I flipped it around. This allows the round bracket to fit the reservoir more snugly. Basically, the skinny rectangular plate goes inside the 2 holes in the frame forward of the UCA. The little plate has threaded holes that allow both pieces to sandwich to the sheetmetal. I suggest getting finger tight then making sure they're as high up as possible, then snug em down. I also took a little section of some leftover rubber-mass-backed carpet I had, and inserted that between the reservoir and the plate. This keep the reservoir body from being in direct contact with metal. Maybe it's a good idea, I'm going to tell you it is.

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MongooseGA

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I would suggest compressing the shocks for ease of install. My old shocks were toast so I blew on them and they compressed, but the new guys are strong. I ended up using my shop press to slowly compress them into a manageable length, then used 2 big zip ties to hold it with another smaller zip tie to keep the first 2 in place. Worked great. Insert the bottom end into the LCA mount (be mindful of keeping the rebound adjustment screw pointed out, then cut the zip ties and let it expand into the upper hole. Pretty simple and standard. Only thing different here than most installs is you have to make your own compression system. Maybe there was an easier way to do this and I'm an idiot.

20220718_153613.jpg


In place, ready to release the zip ties. Don't mind that plate being backwards, I ultimately flipped it around so the lettering faces the frame.
20220718_145100.jpg



Now grab your round reservoir mounting bracket, slide it up from the bottom of the reservoir to about half way or so, and position it to get your smaller Allen-head bolts finger tight. Because I added that insulator behind it, I went a little at a time on each side of this bracket to keep it even. It is very snug now and I don't expect it'll come loose. Shouldn't ever have any squeaking, either.

20220718_151807.jpg


I lined my 2 bodies up as seen above, giving me a nice sturdy U-shape in the connecting hose. I will add a small zip tie toward the top of each of side of the hose to insure it never begins to wander toward the tire.

I just tightened the mounting bolts German style, but the torque specs for the main shock body are (confirm this...) 51 ft/lbs for the top (basically once the bushings match the width of the washers) and 100 ft/lbs for the lower mount bolt.
 
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MongooseGA

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So there you go. They're installed. Next you'll have to adjust them to your preferences. I'd tell you how to do that, except I have to wait for 2 pieces of Toyota hardware to replace damaged parts from my truck. IMO, given the price of these units as well as the average age and useage for the target vehicle they're designed for, Dobinson's should include ALL affiliated hardware in the kit. I don't believe an install should have to go on pause because of the unrealistic expectation that all hardware being removed is reusable. So for the lack of 1 (one!!!) upper mount bushing washer and one lower mount bolt, the truck is on stands until tomorrow. Whenever I put new Bilsteins on my old Mercedeses, they come with every nut and bolt involved and I don't see why it should be any different here.

I probably wouldn't care so much if I was able to reuse all the hardware.
 
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saucebox

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If they're even half as good as the variants for solid axle trucks, you'll love them.
 

MongooseGA

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If they're even half as good as the variants for solid axle trucks, you'll love them.
Hopefully so. I've got a set of the solid axle flavor the back that I'll install later this week once a new 22mm flexhead arrives.


For anyone curious, I am replacing Tough Dog 53MM Ralph front shocks and the 45mm adjustable rears. They've been on the truck since I initially lifted it, 3.5 years and roughly 85-90k miles ish. @Wermz had commented a while back to me that they felt pretty well shot, but I was convinced they still had tons of life left in them. Probably 30-40k mile ago. Well, they have nothing, and I was probably wrong about them still being good then. My front suspension has felt crashy and jarring for a while, despite having replaced every single piece of suspension with either OEM or upgraded aftermarket. I'd attributed it to poly, E-rated tires, heavy metal bolted to other heavy metal... etc. Sonuvabitch if it's been just the shocks the whole time then I'm going to feel dumb.
 
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Cant wait for review. Kings are at the top of my list but a new user has entered the chat.
 

YezusLX

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Nice write-up of your brand spanking new fancy "BIG BLACK bouncy sticks". (I have plenty of jokes that can accommodate this super technical jargon.) Noice freakin' setup. You are correct though, they should include hardware, especially for the price point. How expensive can that be? They will ultimately just pass along the cost anyway. Your use of zip ties is proof that strut compressors are wasted monies. Do pass along your two pennies on the idyllic caddilac-esq ride once you have completed hover mode, sir. But I will just end with, that is indeed what she said. That is all. ✌️ :rofl:
 

MongooseGA

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Nice write-up of your brand spanking new fancy "BIG BLACK bouncy sticks". (I have plenty of jokes that can accommodate this super technical jargon.) Noice freakin' setup. You are correct though, they should include hardware, especially for the price point. How expensive can that be? They will ultimately just pass along the cost anyway. Your use of zip ties is proof that strut compressors are wasted monies. Do pass along your two pennies on the idyllic caddilac-esq ride once you have completed hover mode, sir. But I will just end with, that is indeed what she said. That is all. ✌️ :rofl:
To be fair about the strut compressors, I wouldn't have been able to do this very easily/ safely without a press. I could have pushed it down myself, but then I'd need a second person to affix the ties in quick order with me in the way.


It does make a great case for having a shop press!


BTW, the rear shocks DO come with compression retainers on them.
 

YezusLX

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To be fair about the strut compressors, I wouldn't have been able to do this very easily/ safely without a press. I could have pushed it down myself, but then I'd need a second person to affix the ties in quick order with me in the way.


It does make a great case for having a shop press!


BTW, the rear shocks DO come with compression retainers on them.
I agree with you on the shop press. Probably the most underrated tool people forget about until it is needed. It is curious they include them on the rears but not the front. Where are your lovely shop assistant/manager (wife) and people supervisor (dog)? Are you doing this work unsupervised and in secret again? Haha
 

MongooseGA

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And in sandals.
 

jLB

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MongooseGA

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jLB

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Big black bounce busters

Somehow this reminds me of the scene in the movie “The Big Hit”, with the “Trace Buster Buster”…

Maybe the Wheeler’s bump stops are “Big Black Bounce Buster Busters” (not to be confused with the “Big Black Bounce Buster Sticks”)
 
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Reviews, cant wait.
 

MongooseGA

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OK so a quick trip to Mr. T this morning to pick up a lower shock mount bolt and bushing washer. Took me about 10 minutes to button the truck up once I got home.

For the initial settings, I turned HSC/LSC to the minimum setting, and I set the rebound at the bottom of the shocks to "4" (I think. It's not great to have this adjustment here).

Huge improvement, but I'm also realizing that I'm coming from completely dead shocks. Overnight the old tough dogs have yet to expand again, meaning they were giving me nothing for rebound.

20220719_103930.jpg


With these initial settings, I'd compare the ride to AHC in comfort mode. A little floaty, pretty comfy, but not wallowy. There's a huge disparity between my front end and rear right now. I'll fiddle with adjustments once the rears are installed and the whole truck can work together.

20220719_103844.jpg


My SC pouting the background because today is the first time I've driven it in rain since I bought the car. It's hard being beautiful.
 

YezusLX

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OK so a quick trip to Mr. T this morning to pick up a lower shock mount bolt and bushing washer. Took me about 10 minutes to button the truck up once I got home.

For the initial settings, I turned HSC/LSC to the minimum setting, and I set the rebound at the bottom of the shocks to "4" (I think. It's not great to have this adjustment here).

Huge improvement, but I'm also realizing that I'm coming from completely dead shocks. Overnight the old tough dogs have yet to expand again, meaning they were giving me nothing for rebound.

View attachment 3063189

With these initial settings, I'd compare the ride to AHC in comfort mode. A little floaty, pretty comfy, but not wallowy. There's a huge disparity between my front end and rear right now. I'll fiddle with adjustments once the rears are installed and the whole truck can work together.

View attachment 3063188

My SC pouting the background because today is the first time I've driven it in rain since I bought the car. It's hard being beautiful.
Don't be mean to the SC! Get her out of the rain you heathen. Also, comfort mode cannot possibly be a negative when you are driving all over God's green earth in your "Climate Change denial-mobile".
 

jLB

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I'm also realizing that I'm coming from completely dead shocks. Overnight the old tough dogs have yet to expand again, meaning they were giving me nothing for rebound.

I've got two sets of (removed) Tough Dog shocks, with a whole lot less miles, and they've shown no tendency to move from their "compressed state"... I'm not sure that a foam cell shot will "self extend" like the typical "nitrogen charged" shock...
 

MongooseGA

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I've got two sets of (removed) Tough Dog shocks, with a whole lot less miles, and they've shown no tendency to move from their "compressed state"... I'm not sure that a foam cell shot will "self extend" like the typical "nitrogen charged" shock...
Very possibly. I do remember making a mental note when I installed the TDs that they were very slow to rebound. Hence why I was sure that they still had good life in them when Wermz suggested they were bad.

But they're definitely bad now.
 

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