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CONFUSION - Bilstein Front & Back + 1.5" AAL

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
jeratbp [OP] jeratbp is offline
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CONFUSION - Bilstein Front & Back + 1.5" AAL

just had a conversation with the Bilstein rep.

Rep says Bilstein 5100's are:
Front rated 0" to 2.5" - I know this is posted several times
Rear rated 0" to 1" - I'm sure this is also posted

QUESTION
How does the rear Bilstein work if the AAL is 1.5"?
I believe it was DSM that said I would be better off with the front/rear kit, instead of just the fronts - YES or NO?

Pricing:
DSM site lists 5100 front/rear for $299
http://downsouthmotorsports.com/i-82...djustable.html
DSM lists 5100 fronts for $199
http://downsouthmotorsports.com/i-13...djustable.html

Wheelers site lists their 1.5" AAL for $77.50
http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/05uptacoaal.htm

EDIT:
I don't know if my truck has the TSB, I bought it used.
Also, recommend other vendors to check out?
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Count the number of leafs in the leaf pack. If there are 3 including the overload, you do NOT have the TSB. If there are 4 including the overload, then you do have the TSB.

I have a TSB leaf pack and 2" of lift with 5100's and have not had any issues. I also don't really wheel my truck, I wanted the AAL for towing and hauling.

The problem is, if you flex your truck out frequently, you can top out the shock, causing it to break. With a 1.5' AAL I doubt you'll have any issues, over that it depends on your usage and once you get near 3" of rear lift there is a taller version of the 5100 you can go with.

I'd go for the 5100's front and rear and the 1.5" AAL. DSM and Wheelers are both great vendors to deal with. They really know their stuff!
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
jeratbp [OP] jeratbp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Count the number of leafs in the leaf pack. If there are 3 including the overload, you do NOT have the TSB. If there are 4 including the overload, then you do have the TSB.

I have 3 leafs, including the overload - so non TSB. Thank you for helping me understand that part.

I have a TSB leaf pack and 2" of lift with 5100's and have not had any issues. I also don't really wheel my truck, I wanted the AAL for towing and hauling.

The problem is, if you flex your truck out frequently, you can top out the shock, causing it to break. With a 1.5' AAL I doubt you'll have any issues, over that it depends on your usage and once you get near 3" of rear lift there is a taller version of the 5100 you can go with.

I'd go for the 5100's front and rear and the 1.5" AAL. DSM and Wheelers are both great vendors to deal with. They really know their stuff!
See my response above in red - I have the non TSB.

Also, would I be better off ordering the Icon 3 Leaf Mini kit for an extra $120 ($199 vs $77.50 for Wheelers AAL)?

As for wheeling, I haven't gotten into doing anything yet. However, I'm sure that I would really enjoy it.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeratbp View Post
See my response above in red - I have the non TSB.

Also, would I be better off ordering the Icon 3 Leaf Mini kit for an extra $120 ($199 vs $77.50 for Wheelers AAL)?

As for wheeling, I haven't gotten into doing anything yet. However, I'm sure that I would really enjoy it.
Wheelers and Icon both make a 3-leaf AAL. The AAL that I have is actually the Icon one you mentioned. They advertise 1.5" of lift but that assumes you remove the overload for more flex, if you leave the overload in place, you gain an extra 1/2". I left my overload in place so I'm sitting at 2" lift for the rear.

The 3-leaf AAL rides very smooth! It makes your leaf pack act more like a progressive leaf pack so it'll absorb smaller bumps easier but still gains strength as you squat your truck so if you need to tow or haul something, it'll stand up to it. I haven't had the single AAL installed on my truck so I can't speak to the ride quality of those but from what I understand it's firmer and won't squat as much when loaded.

If you have a non-TSB rear, the standard 5100's will work fine for you with a 1.5" AAL.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
If you have a non-TSB rear, the standard 5100's will work fine for you with a 1.5" AAL.
And if I want to spend the extra $ on the smoother ride / 3 Leaf Pak @ 2" lift? Do I need a different rear shock?

Anyone recommend a brand other than Icon or Wheelers? Toytec, etc?

Also, I'm riding on the 17" FJ Cruiser BF Goodrich wheels, not sure if that makes a difference.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeratbp View Post
And if I want to spend the extra $ on the smoother ride / 3 Leaf Pak @ 2" lift? Do I need a different rear shock?

Anyone recommend a brand other than Icon or Wheelers? Toytec, etc?

Also, I'm riding on the 17" FJ Cruiser BF Goodrich wheels, not sure if that makes a difference.
The 3-leaf pack only gives you 1.5" of lift if you follow the instructions and remove the 1/2" thick overload leaf. If you keep it in like I did, you'll be around 2" of lift and kind of in a gray area as far as shocks go. With light wheeling and standard driving, you'll be fine with the standard 5100's. If you really flex out your truck, you'll most likely top out the shock and might even break it eventually so it depends on how you'll be using your truck. Talk to Downsouth Motorsports, they can give you recommendations based on your driving style and needs.

My personal opinion on the 5100's is they ride much better than the stock shocks but seem to stiffen up over time. I've had mine for about 1.5 years and I notice the ride firming up a bit. It's not bad by any means, just different from when they were new. I can still hit speed bumps at 40 and the 5100's soak it up very well

Icon and Wheelers both offer versions of the 3-leaf AAL, they're a little different but are both great products. It's more expensive than a single AAL but also comes with new U-bolts and centering pins (at least the Icon does, I'd imagine the Wheelers version does also). Toytec does not make a 3-leaf AAL, only single AALs.

I'm not an expert on wheels but I don't think there will be an issue with the setup you have. Plenty of members have FJ Cruiser wheels and I don't recall anyone having any issues with clearance.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Now I'm psyched!

I'll place my order next week:
Bilstein 5100's front/rear
Icon 3 leaf mini pak

As for most of my driving, I have a 35 minute commute to/from work 4 days a week.
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