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Bilstein 5100's Installation

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Old 04-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
Largefarva [OP] Largefarva is offline
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Bilstein 5100's Installation

Just talked to Midas up here and they were saying when you unbolt the sway bar to remove it for the front coilover removal and installation that the "sway bar links" get ruined and you need to have them replaced. I've been doing a ton of reading here about front coilover installations and haven't seen anything mentioned about this. Is this true and I should have them order some of these sway bar links or is the reason I haven't heard of this is because it doesn't apply to our trucks? He said we could try re-using the stock ones but they get trashed and the lock nut won't hold as well anymore...causing the links to rattle and bounce around.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Largefarva View Post
Just talked to Midas up here and they were saying when you unbolt the sway bar to remove it for the front coilover removal and installation that the "sway bar links" get ruined and you need to have them replaced. I've been doing a ton of reading here about front coilover installations and haven't seen anything mentioned about this. Is this true and I should have them order some of these sway bar links or is the reason I haven't heard of this is because it doesn't apply to our trucks? He said we could try re-using the stock ones but they get trashed and the lock nut won't hold as well anymore...causing the links to rattle and bounce around.

You tell them they're full of shit.....
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:27 AM   #3
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Just spoke with them again and I guess they run into this problem on vehicles where the sway bar link connects to a bracket on the strut itself. He was able to see that this isn't the case on the Tacoma because it connects to the steering knuckle instead. He also said we probably won't have an issue now but in case we do they can get a replacement pretty quick (the day of the installation). They have a couple different options available....one that is supposed to be an upgrade for $75 each and one that is the "economy" version that is $45 each. If you were to have to replace them...which way would you go? I'm thinking the "economy" because I'm sure that they will basically be a direct replacement for the OEM ones.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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Sounds like a gimmick to get more money out of ya.....
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:46 AM   #5
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never trust a mechanic
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:47 AM   #6
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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never trust a mechanic
X2. They'll tell ya a switch is bad, only to find its the motor...
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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X2. They'll tell ya a switch is bad, only to find its the motor...
^^^^see
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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One is probably a energy suspension piece and the other is probably a rebuilt OEM piece.

Unless you are replacing/rebuilding the whole swaybar setup, just go economy, if that piece is needed at all. Sounds like Midas is working you for more money,,which they will do if you are not careful.

I love to hear there explanation sometimes,, and play them along sometimes to see if the store or shop is honest. If it gets to crazy, I speak up and bust them.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:53 AM   #9
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You should have no problem with the sway bar links and if they do they don't know what there doing You might want to go somewhere else
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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Ok that's what I was thinking. If for some reason they do end up needing replacement I'll just go for the economy ones since I'm sure they are just as good as stock. But like I said, the first guy I spoke with was assuming they were the kind that attach to a bracket on the strut itself.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Largefarva View Post
Ok that's what I was thinking. If for some reason they do end up needing replacement I'll just go for the economy ones since I'm sure they are just as good as stock. But like I said, the first guy I spoke with was assuming they were the kind that attach to a bracket on the strut itself.
You should go pull up one of the threads on the "do it yourself" lift installs. They show plenty of pictures of what actually happens in the process of replacing the struts and coils. You would be able to clearly see that nothing at all will happen to your sway bar unless a mechanic makes a mistake. Then you could have that as ammunition incase they try to mess with you.

I really dont like shops now. Around here they are horrible. I got a quote to put sliders on my truck and they were going to run 700+ dollars for crappy sliders. Doing it a whole state away cost me less than half that.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #12
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Well I got the leaf spring TSB done on my truck today. The service manager I was dealing with was kind of a dick in the whole process. Well...he was cool up til the part where he gave me the estimates for installing my 5100's for $550. I told him that was way too much and I'll get taken care of elsewhere. He even insisted that the TSB was basically an AAL....but nope it was a whole new set of leafs on both sides.

I was hoping to get a tiny bit more lift on the back (got just a hair over .75" on both sides) than I did since I've read that people were getting anywhere around 1-2". But I kind of figure that my stock leafs weren't as bad as some people's since I rarely ever haul anything and my truck only a little over 14k miles on it.

So with the .75" or so higher now on top of the already 1" higher rear than before the TSB setting the front 5100's to 1.75" should get my truck pretty much dead level. I know things will settle, but I would figure all four corners should settle about the same. If the rear goes down by an additional quarter inch than the front it shouldn't be as noticeable as say the drivers side lean.

So for the time being I'm hoping this will look good...at least good enough to keep the stock tires for a couple more years. When I finally replace my tires I'm going to finish the lift with Eibach's, new leaf packs or maybe just an AAL, and UCA's. Im just happy that I'm going to be able to get the 5100's installed in the morning.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:50 PM   #13
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I just installed my 5100's last Saturday. They are so full of shit over that sway bar link nonsense that it had to be spewing out their ears.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:42 AM   #14
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Well so far so good. They were able to get the stock struts and springs out without having to disconnect the sway bar links. Looks like there's more room to finagle the struts out when the truck is up on a lift. Good thing though....the bolts on the end of the sway bar links are pretty crusted up with rust and stuff that I'm not sure if a 6mm Allen wrench could have gotten in there to keep it from spinning when trying to remove the nut.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:39 AM   #15
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Well so far so good. They were able to get the stock struts and springs out without having to disconnect the sway bar links. Looks like there's more room to finagle the struts out when the truck is up on a lift. Good thing though....the bolts on the end of the sway bar links are pretty crusted up with rust and stuff that I'm not sure if a 6mm Allen wrench could have gotten in there to keep it from spinning when trying to remove the nut.

That stud on the swaybar link is easily kept from spinning with a med.-small pair of needle nose vice grips, but I'm glad its going smoothly for ya bro'....
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:51 AM   #16
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Final alignment specs are so-so. Caster is right around 2 on both sides, toe is 0 both sides, and camber is around .5 on both sides. The tech said the only way to get the camber to zero it would end up pulling the caster down. Right now I'm more concerned with it driving straight than tire wear....if the tires wear down more I'll have an excuse to get bigger ones sooner. When I do get bigger tires and UCA's I'll take it somewhere else for the alignment.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:11 PM   #17
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Final verdict is that the truck looks great. Bilstein's set at 1.75" with the quarter inch spacer lifted the front end up by 2" on both sides. Funny thing is that I'm still half an inch lower on the driver's side....but for some reason it's not noticeable at all to me. Maybe my measurements are a tad bit off but I checked them like 5 times. lol Oh well.....it doesn't bother me at all and like I said, I can't see it anyway. Truck drives and feels great on the road. Firmer ride yet I don't feel bumps and dips in the road as much. Definitely a happy camper.
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