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Old 07-07-2014, 08:52 PM   #1
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Searching for a smoother ride

Hi,

Some background info:
I've got a 99 reg cab 4x4, only 80,000 miles. My daily driver for the last 5 years. Very little off-loading. It rides like crap. To my knowledge, the suspension is bone-stock and original (worn out). It just seems way too stiff. If you hit rough road or, God forbid, a pothole 50 mph and up things get scary. I've also found that the suspension bottoms-out when hauling things, but that could just be me overloading it (bed full of dirt, motorcycles, one time a dressed Ford marine 302). Most of the time the bed is empty though.

I need new shocks anyway. I'm looking for a suspension combo that will give me a more comfortable on-road ride (not looking for "sporty") without sacrificing the truck's usefulness for hauling things.

I know Bilsteins are very popular. I'm considering 5100's/5125 front and rear, and maybe an Add A Leaf for the rear (I'd love to hear options on this). I would only want to lift if that extra travel added to the ride quality.

Do you think I will be happy with the ride this gives? I would hate to spend that much coin only to find it too stiff and wish I just went with OEM replacements for less $$$.

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:49 PM   #2
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if you want soft, smooth and quality, 5100s are not for you.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:50 PM   #3
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If you want a smooth ride then buy Icon, fox or king.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3bassman View Post
if you want soft, smooth and quality, 5100s are not for you.
x2 i love the lift they gave me but the ride isn't that great. i got used to it and on smooth roads it ain't bad. but somedays it gets to bothering my back, in combination with the shitty taco seats ...
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePearlShark99 View Post
x2 i love the lift they gave me but the ride isn't that great. i got used to it and on smooth roads it ain't bad. but somedays it gets to bothering my back, in combination with the shitty taco seats ...
just wait, the seals will blow and they will get that nice mushy ride to them. ask me how i know.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3bassman View Post
just wait, the seals will blow and they will get that nice mushy ride to them. ask me how i know.
i'm a prerunner so i hardly go offroad and when i do its like dirt roads, beaches, fire roads, rock roads, etc
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:57 AM   #7
I have a problem for your solution…
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Sounds like you should stick with oe replacements. If your suspension is shot though, an add-a-leaf probably won't cut it because your old leafs are probably done. A new oe replacement pack would probably be required.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I decided to go with Monroe OE replacements with new front coils, and a new set of springs for the rear from General Springs.

I can't wait to feel the difference. I'll report back once I get everything installed.

Thanks again,
Jesse
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Tires too might make a difference.
I went from Duratracs to Firestone Destination AT's and got a much better ride. The load rating for the Firestone's was C, while the Duratracs were E I think...
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviele View Post
Tires too might make a difference.
I went from Duratracs to Firestone Destination AT's and got a much better ride. The load rating for the Firestone's was C, while the Duratracs were E I think...
he beat me to it.
Tires can make a huge difference. I went from 10 ply to 6 ply and I thought I was in a luxury sedan! (that may be stretching it but, it was a lot smoother!)
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:08 PM   #11
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I thought I'd give a little update in case it might help someone out one day:

So I replaced my rear leafs and shocks, and new coils and struts up front. The ride is certainly better. It feels more "planted" when you hit bumps, and bumps are not as harsh as they were. I don't feel the back end trying to jump all over like it used to. It ain't no Cadillac, but I guess I'm happy with it.

The worst part of the job is getting the old stuff out. The leaf bolts, u-bolts, and shackles had to be cut out out, and the struts needed the tops of those 3 bolts cut off... Be prepared to replace all that hardware on these rusted northeast trucks...

Jesse
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:14 PM   #12
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I was going to say, you might want OME front coils as I believe their spring rate is lower than stock- at least for my application (TRD package). The TRD coils are progressive, and aggressively so. Since going OME, its smoother. I want to say the 5100s were smoother than OE yellow Billys as well, the yellows are known for being very stiff.

And to have avoided the 5125s, they are harsh-- great if you carry a load often- wish I had gone 5100s in the rear. This is the first thread I've seen bashing the 5100s, everyone says they are so smooth, and my front 5100s haven't been bad, its the rear 5125s that Down South talked me into that are meant for a truck that always has a heavy load. I thought going with an AAL and deleting the overload leaf would have helped, but those shocks seem to have a crazy compression resistance, and not much resistance to rebound- kind of want to fork out the $$ and get something else in the back. Maybe 5160s with custom valving to help tame the rear.

Glad to hear your updates went well, sorry my inputs were too late but like your last post states, this is to help any others that pass by.
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