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Hello -

We just traded our Forester (what junk) for a 2001 Tacoma 4X4, regular cab, 60K miles. I'm going to get a repair manual, but in the meantime, I have a couple questions.

First, we forgot to ask the previous owner if he had changed the timing belt/chain. On the subaru, this was cause for concern, as a timing belt break typically destroyed the valves in that interference engine. Is this the case with this truck? It's a 2.7l.

Second, the rear shocks are new, but the front coilovers are OEM and a little bouncy. I would like to replace them - do you have to replace the whole spring set, like a strut, or does the shock slide out of the spring? I've seen a few of the TRD coilover sets on ebay - would this fit my non-TRD truck? Is this a job for a shadetree mechanic (ie - I'm not particularly comfortable with spring compressors...)

Finally, this truck came from colorado, and there's a little rust here and there on bolt heads and the u-bolts that hold the axle to the leafs. Should this be cause for concern? I was thinking about replacing one of the leaf spring hanger bolts, a particularly rusty one. Could I just get a carriage bolt at home depot, or is there something special about these?

Thanks for your help - sorry there are so many questions here!
 

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Timing belt: I'd change it just to sure and might as well change the water pump since you already have it off.

Front shocks: The shocks should just unbolt and from the spring after you remove the top plate and the middle nut that holds the shock in place. Just get some replacement Bilsteins and you should be fine.

Rusted bolt: Getting a bolt from Home Depot should be OK, jsut be sure to get a grade 8 type bolt.
 
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