It turns out Icon
2.0RR are too short for expos regardless of input provided from people on this forum
, including an "esteemed" and prolific vendor on here. Lesson learned the hard way: cycle your suspension before buying shocks.
I wanted something rebuildable / revalvable. After talking to a couple helpful folks on here (Namely Monte
), it was brought to my attention that the 12" SB 7100s could be perfect, as the compressed length is 16.1 and the extended is 27.68.
These shocks however, come with 1/2" heims, which do not fit on stock mounting location (18mm). This leads to the following how to. If you break your face / and or shocks and or tools / it's not my fault. My methods are off the redneck / jerry rig variety. SO:
How to put bushings in 7100s to fit stock mounting locations
When I first ordered the shocks, one was leaking from the factory:
So then I ordered a replacement, which oddly enough had some different numbers on the shock than the other one from the first order:
Talked to Bilstein and they confirmed these are still the same shocks with the same valving.
The actual model number is the AK7112SBB. Quick bit about model number since it's not described that well anywhere. All of the 7100 shocks start with AK71. The next two digits are the travel in inches (12"). SB = short body. B is the valving (255/70 in my case). You may want different valving for your application. That was what Billstein suggested I run based on my truck (I typically carry 300-500lbs in the rear of my truck). They mentioned that they recommend 180/75 for folks who are entirely unloaded in the back for small/midsize pickups like hours. Regardless, I am not a valving expert and it's worth a call when / if you order these shocks.
First things first... grab yourself your IPA of choice (This happens to be the Lagunitas):
You're going to need a ball joint press. Or a vice or press of choice. I used a bj press. I rented it from O'reilly's
These are the other primary tools you'll need:
Flat heads of varying (small) size, 15mm socket, 17mm socket, 24mm socket
You're also going to want a spare 2x4 or scrap piece of plywood. If you get caveman, a BFH and large C clamp are useful to. You'll see why....
These are the bushings you want: Energy Suspension 3/4" ID Hourglass bushings (9.8108G [black] or 9.8108R [red]). When you order them, they come in a pack of two. So, you need two packs total to do both rear shocks top and bottom. Some folks use this opportunity to do a u bolt flip, at which point they'll keep the heims on the bottom and just use the bushings up top. Anyways, now you know.
OK so there are two snap rings that hold the heim in. One side looks like this:
You could use a snap ring tool if you want. It's not really necessary for this, and just as easy to get out with a small flat head. How I did it - wedge a small flathead in the gap here:
The give it a twist and or work the flathead around, prying the snap ring out. It should come out pretty easily.
Now, you have two options: 1) Get the other snap ring out first and the heim second or 2) Push the heim out first and the PITA snap ring second
I think it's worth trying to get the other snap ring off first. It's a serious PITA as there's no hole for the snap ring pliers and no gap to easily wedge a flat head into. I DID successfully get 2/4 of the PITA snaprings out before pressing the heims out, like so:
Then, finish your beer:
And grab a banquet beer because you're poor and can only afford so much of the fancy stuff:
This is my method of getting 'em out:
Press the 17mm against the heim, pushing it into the 24mm on the other side. The big ol' c clam is useful if you don't have a bench vise and need something to hold the bj press in place, as shown above. Caveman shit.
Eventually you'll press the heim through (requires some elbow grease). You'll know when it's through (probably will hear a bang, or notice the shock eyelet is now free-sliding on the bj press
And it's out!
The bummer of my caveman approach is you've now lodged a heim into your 24mm socket:
Getting it out's pretty easily though. Wedge a flat head from behind, like so:
Give a solid tap with your BFH:
And it's out:
If you couldn't get that PITA snap ring out from the back, you can press the heim out first, using the 15mm socket, using the same technique as above (with the 24mm on the other side). I got lucky on the shock I was taking pictures of doing this method, and was able to just push the heim out with my thumb. There is no way I could do that with the other ones. Anyways, you've then got the easy snapring and heim pressed out:
You can try to pry that PITA snapring out, but I couldn't find a good way to grab it. The geniuses at Bilstein did not make it easy since the snap ring gab is angled / /. Easiest way I found was to grab that 17mm socket and press it through, much like the method to press the hiem out:
By doing this, you'll end up wedging that 17mm socket in the eyelet. It may
damage your socket if it's cheap shit. I didn't have any issues. Anyways, now grab that 15mm and keep pressing:
This method will mangle the shit out of that snapring. But, who cares? An 18mm socket may
work better than the 17mm, but my sockets jump from 17mm to 19mm so i didn't have a way to test that. Might be worth trying if you have one though.
Andddd it's out:
OK so by either method you've got the snap rings and heims pressed out.
Put some grease in that eyelet (is it necessary - probably not, but I learned my lesson with squeaky leaf bushings that were supposed to be self-greasing):
Now's the fun part: pressing the hourglass bushing in. Much like the method of pressing the heim out, use the 24mm socket on one side and press the bushing in on the other. I found using a small piece of scrap wood (in this case 3/4" plywood) makes it a hell of a lot easier. If you don't push perfectly
straight in with the press, the bushing will go flying. Ask me how i know
. By using the piece of wood, you can fine-toon the angle it goes in by grabbing the wood and angling it straight in:
Keep pressing and wham-bam: you've got bushings in!
And here they are on the truck (you need to adjust your stock bumps