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How to DIY bilstein adjustable shocks?

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Old 11-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #1
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How to DIY bilstein adjustable shocks?

I just bought a set of (4) 5100 Billys from Sonny at DownSouth Motorsports. $269. - 15% Paypal one day coupon yesterday-so I did pretty well. Anyone to advise how to install the fronts on my own? Is this possible in a driveway? I'm mechanically inclined enough to do brake jobs and such-just wondering if I can pull this off.

FWIW, my truck only has 1K miles and I haven't had the rear spring TSB done yet. Once I have it done, I will attempt top level out the front.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:28 PM   #3
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I know Advance Auto Parts rents tools for free. I wonder if they have a strut compressor.

Do you know if you actually compress the spring or just keep it from expanding to pull the strut out?
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:32 PM   #4
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This is what I know - O'Reillys rents tools for free too and I was going to rent the spring compressor. They didn't have it in when I needed it, so I bought one very similar. It simply wasn't strong enough to compress them. I stopped after about 5 minutes because I didn't want to kill myself and my dogs...

Be safe - have it done. PepBoys does it for $20/side. CarX (where I had mine done) matched that - $40.

And yes - you'll have to actually compress them to get the pressure off the nuts to take it apart...
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:32 PM   #5
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Auto Zone will lend you a spring compressor, just take your time and follow the instructions.

I did the springs on my wife's Camry...it was easy and safe
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:48 PM   #6
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What I did a 2.5 lift on my 02 tacoma, I removed the strut and took it to a shop that was willing to make the change for a few bucks. The AutoZone spring compressor was too weak and the shop I took it too had a industrial type compressor bolt to their wall.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Wilkerson View Post
This is what I know - O'Reillys rents tools for free too and I was going to rent the spring compressor. They didn't have it in when I needed it, so I bought one very similar. It simply wasn't strong enough to compress them. I stopped after about 5 minutes because I didn't want to kill myself and my dogs...

Be safe - have it done. PepBoys does it for $20/side. CarX (where I had mine done) matched that - $40.

And yes - you'll have to actually compress them to get the pressure off the nuts to take it apart...
$20/side wow! that would definitely be worth it if they do a good job. I wonder how they make any money at that price.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:18 AM   #8
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I did the struts on my old pathfinder w/a compressor from AutoZone. It was the same cheap one they sell in the store. It worked OK and it was kind of a PIA. A section of the threads was rounded like the compressor had been used on springs that were too powerful for it. I used it anyways, but in hindsight, if you can get it done for $20/side or even $40/side I would personally do that, especially if the shop has a machine that compresses them!
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by grivera View Post
$20/side wow! that would definitely be worth it if they do a good job. I wonder how they make any money at that price.
They probably don't do many, but it's the concept of "charge a little for this, a little for that, and at the end of the day, you made a lot".

The guy at CarX told me that he got afraid when compressing my springs (they were the eibach springs from ToyTec) and he had the machine! I'm all for doing stuff myself (that's why I bought the compressor from O'Reillys) but I just didn't feel safe with this one...

Now, if you can rent a "powered" compressor from somewhere, that's probably a different story. Just be HELLA careful.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Changed out my stockers to the 5100's (4)about a month ago. Did it in the driveway..not that hard.....don't waste your time with trying to find a spring compressor that will work, just take the front two down to a shop. I think it took them 10 minutes with a wall mount. Used a How to...write up ...it was either from here or TN. Set them at 1.75..rear shocks are a piece of cake!
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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I had a guy at my local offroad shop put the new coils / struts together for a 6 pack of beer +

I did the one of them myself with 2 little twist-like compressors but it took me FOREVER. That's when i decided to have the other side done on a real machine!
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixonesix View Post
Changed out my stockers to the 5100's (4)about a month ago. Did it in the driveway..not that hard.....don't waste your time with trying to find a spring compressor that will work, just take the front two down to a shop. I think it took them 10 minutes with a wall mount. Used a How to...write up ...it was either from here or TN. Set them at 1.75..rear shocks are a piece of cake!

Did you have the rear leafspring TSB done. I've gotta wait for at least that to make sure I don't over do it. Is the consensus that WITH the leafspring TSB, the 5100s take about a 1.75" height adjustment to level out the front?
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #13
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Ya I had the rear leaf spring TSB done prior to installing the 51's. It actually looks like it is sitting slightly low on the rear but I will give it a bit more time to see if anything else settles? Not sure if others have experienced this??....but I may have to figure something out to bump up the rear a bit.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grivera View Post
$20/side wow! that would definitely be worth it if they do a good job. I wonder how they make any money at that price.
The $20 bucks a side, what is actually done for that service?
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