When I purchased my '96 Rodeo a couple of months ago, I had the same
problem...it handled like a boat. Like you, I wanted more precise handling.
My approach was to change the shocks first and see what kind of effect it
would have overall. I installed some KYB Gas-A-Just shocks on front and back
and it made a huge difference. The handling is much better, with reduced
nose diving when braking. While these shocks improved the ride quality and
stability, my personal tastes would lead me to an even stiffer shock (like a
Rancho RS5000) if had to do it again. Good luck.
Shocks would be the first thing to replace by far. The stock shocks are
horrible. My 1999 Amigo nose dived when braking and rolled badly around
corners. I put Monroe SensaTrac shocks on and it greatly improved the
handling. Since yours is 2WD you probably don't need much stiffer of a
Rodeo's aren't usually referred to as "soccer mom" so the first
logical are shocks... especially if they are orginal on this '92.
This is very easy to do for a DIY and doesn't need be terribly
But if you want true improvement (not just regaining what it was like
when new) a sway bar kit is a must... a rear sway bar it sorely needs.
and a stiffer front would also be an improvement. I don't often hear
of people putting sway bars on Rodeo's since they ruin off-road
articulation (usually they disconnect or remove them) but yours is 2x4
so you probably aren't interested in off-roading.
Also you can buy air bags from the air lift company for about 100 $ for 2 or
from jegg's (online) for 70$. these are quick and cheap and go inside the
coil springs. I use them to tow with and they work great not to mention
really firming up the rear end of the truck. I even was able to put them in
myself, it is very easy to do.
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