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Is a Billstein 5100 lift that much better than spacers?

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Old 12-11-2010, 05:27 AM   #1
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Is a Billstein 5100 lift that much better than spacers?

As I understand it, the Billstein 5100 adjustable shocks, when used with factory springs, preloads the spring to achieve lift when set at certain settings. Isn't that technically operating in a similar manner to a spacer lift?

I've gone back and forth about how to lift my truck but have finally decided to just level the front after doing the TSB. However, I decided very early on to avoid any type of spacer lift after seeing and reading things about them on here. So, it seemed the Billstein's were the answer, until I realized it is very similar to a spacer lift. Will this type of lift hold up off-road? Or am I just better off saving for a front adjustable coilover setup (i.e. Radflow, SAW 2.0, etc)?
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:30 AM   #3
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Hey bro nice taco love the Kmc monsters but i'm in your same boat im still deciding on what to do also but for the time being i through an ebay 2" level on her because i couldn't stand the lean on my truck but i have been looking at the toytech spacer + rear aal and with the bilsteins but still very unsure also =/
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
Coilovers are better...but the Bilsteins are valved to deal with the extra preload-so they aren't supposed to be too bad.
Hmm, so you'd put 5100 lifts in a whole different league than "true" spacer lifts? I kind of wonder why anyone ever buys spacer lifts if thats the case, considering they are usually about 200 to 250 dollars, whereas Billsteins can be had from Downsouthmotorsports for less than that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:35 AM   #5
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i paid 54.95 free shipping for my front spacers, but i'm going to end up trying the billsteins around summer
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:37 AM   #6
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Go with the 5100s.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:38 AM   #7
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Blackshirt what about the toytec spacer+aal with the billsteins? yay/nay or just run the billsteins
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:44 AM   #8
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I wouldnt go with any kind of spacer lift. If you want to do it right and spend the $$ go with new springs and shocks. If just leveling it out go with 5100s.

I like the ride quality I have with my 5100s.

Only thing I regret is not setting it at 2.5 of lift.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshirts View Post
I wouldnt go with any kind of spacer lift. If you want to do it right and spend the $$ go with new springs and shocks. If just leveling it out go with 5100s.

I like the ride quality I have with my 5100s.

Only thing I regret is not setting it at 2.5 of lift.
Hmm. I too have considered whether I should get 5100 for fronts and set @ 1.75, or set to 2.5 and get an AAL and 5100's for rear as well. You think I'd regret not doing that extra .75 inchs?
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:46 AM   #10
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I'm so confused with lift specs and stuff all i want is an 18 inch rims for when i buy my set of KMC's and a 33 inch tire to clear and to get the look of a thicker wider tire because im running the stock 17inch alloys painted black right nown 270/70/17 general grabbers that i like just they don't look very mean just kinda skinny
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTacoZack View Post
Hmm. I too have considered whether I should get 5100 for fronts and set @ 1.75, or set to 2.5 and get an AAL and 5100's for rear as well. You think I'd regret not doing that extra .75 inchs?

Yes you would.. Just do it.

I do. I thought to my self aaa just do the 1.75 but now im like hummmm I should of done the tsb and then 2.5.. Owell lesson learned. And extra $$ will be spent
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommelleo22 View Post
I'm so confused with lift specs and stuff all i want is an 18 inch rims for when i buy my set of KMC's and a 33 inch tire to clear and to get the look of a thicker wider tire because im running the stock 17inch alloys painted black right nown 270/70/17 general grabbers that i like just they don't look very mean just kinda skinny

For you the rear TSB and the 5100s set at 2.5 and a little fender trim would look sick.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommelleo22 View Post
I'm so confused with lift specs and stuff all i want is an 18 inch rims for when i buy my set of KMC's and a 33 inch tire to clear and to get the look of a thicker wider tire because im running the stock 17inch alloys painted black right nown 270/70/17 general grabbers that i like just they don't look very mean just kinda skinny
Just FYI, check out my sig pics I ended up getting 285 width tires with 18 inch KMC XD Monsters, and right now I have no lift. The key is to get 285/60/18, which is only 31.5 inch tall, but has the same width as most guy's 33's around here. They definitely do not look skinny, and I think will still look good with mild lift.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:56 AM   #14
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dude i wish i could hug you right now... i love the monsters i'm looking at them the KMC hoss's, addicts, and the moto metal 951's all black but compliments on your truck man look great. was gonna PM you about your tire specs but you beat me to it lol
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:57 AM   #15
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Yes they are. You get a nicer shock that's designed to be at a lifted ride height. With a spacer you take your stock shock and make it ride around at full extension, that it's not designed to do.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:39 AM   #16
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I believe that the adjustable 5100's give you more options and its a decent quality shock. You will be able to adjust your shock to three different settings.

It was the first mod I did to my truck. Adding the 5100's all the way around. I set the front at 2.5 and added a 1" rear block for a lift. Then I upgraded to the TSB leaf pack for the rear and retained the 1" block for about a 2.5 rear lift. (Slight rake - nice stance). Be sure to get an alignment after they settle a bit to avoid camber due to the front lift. Most people don't and you will see uneven tire wear and a small amount of vibes after a few months with the billy's set at 2.5.

I just finished installing Camburg UCA 1.25 Uniball - to prepare for the Camburg Spindles (next week). After the spindle lift I will re-set the front 5100's to .85. I wanted a lift without maxing out the front 5100. The spindle lift with provide me with more travel, a higher lift than the 5100's and provide better better/more alignment options - and allow me to upgrade to better shocks to create a decent mid travel set up. BTW, Have you seen the Camburg spindles - they are bullet proof and beefy!

When I first bought the truck in March of 2010 I ran into a guy that did the spacer lift. I liked the look and thought that was cool. I called a local Off Road Shop (Full Tilt in San Clemente, Ca) and they talked me into the Billy's. Best move I made.

Looking at rear suspension upgrades now to work better with the spindle lift. I will remove rear block and change out the TSB leaf pack to something a little more better. I figure I could run this set up for a while....Until I save a little for upgraded shocks. (FOX, KINGS, Camburgs). Then the 5100's will be replaced.

I will dial in the suspension (cost estimate around $3000/$3500+labor) while I wear out my stock tires and replace them with new tires and rims ($1000/#1200 tires - ??? rims (undecided).

Yes - I have the bug and love my truck!!!

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Old 12-11-2010, 09:20 AM   #17
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Sounds like 5100's on all 4 corners, Fronts set to 2.5, and rear AAL is going to be the ticket. Thanks guys for all the info!
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:03 PM   #18
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Hey guys, I'm in the same boat in lifting my '02. I've decided on 5100's all around and trying to figure out what to do with the rear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the TSB is for second gen Tacos right? So My best bet, being I have a first gen, is to go with an AAL in the rear and set the front 5100's to 2.5"?
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:20 AM   #19
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02 taco that's what i was going for but i was gonna spend the 5 or 600$ and get the toytec set with spacers and the billsteins ,they make lifts for the older tacos see if you like anything
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:35 AM   #20
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If you do 2.5 front AAL in rear with the TSB do you need to do anything for the driveline? Any vibes?

I'm still going back and forth as well on the Billys or something better.....
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