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Help me understand why a spacer lift is bad (front) and 5100's are good.

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Old 05-10-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
Geosh [OP] Geosh is offline
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Help me understand why a spacer lift is bad (front) and 5100's are good.

I have an 03 Double Cab Prerunner that I recently purchased and the original owner put spacers above the front shock assembly to level the front end. I think it is a 2" lift.

I am looking to upgrade suspension now but don't want to degrade the ride. I just bought some 5100's for the front (deal from DSM) and just wanted to check before I proceed with install. With using the 5100's for a lift with stock springs, is preloading the springs at the 2.5" setting going to make things a lot stiffer compared to the spacer lift I currently have? If so, would running some Eibach's at the .85 or zero setting going to give me a better ride with a comparable lift?

Trying to do things on a budget as I still want to get some Icon Progressive AAL's for the back, but I don't want to go too cheap and hate it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
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I think I see what you're saying here... Either way you are increasing the distance between your UCA and LCA. With a spacer it is done at the top of your spring assembly and with the 5100 shock lift, it is done at the bottom. My only guess would be the stability of the whole assembly. Changing the bottom perch gives you an identical interface with the spring as before, whereas adding a spacer to the top of the assembly introduces a new member into the system. Some spacers are made of aluminum, while others are made of rubber or poly. Each of the spacers rely on putting your 3 top bolts into tension. This vertical tension must stabilize longitudinal and lateral forces over a longer moment arm. Maybe there is less structural strength in torsional and shear loads because of this? I don't know, this is just a guess.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #3
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5100's at 2.5" on stock springs will give you a rough ride. That is a lot of preload on those springs, so you're down-travel. With 5100's set at 0 or .85 with lift coils, you will retain a close to factory ride, and still get about 2.5-2.75" of lift. It will also feel much better offroad as well with the new springs.

The reason why 5100's are better than spacers is that with spacers, you are increasing the overall length of the shock assembly without increasing the length of the shock or the rod inside it. That leaves you to being prone to bottoming out the shock before you hit the bump stop. And that is what leads to shocks snapping at the lower mount stem. With 5100's the spring itself is doing all the lifting. When using stock springs at 2.5", you are not allowing the spring to compress as much when the tires hit the ground. With OME 885's or Eibachs, the coils are taller and firmer giving you the lift.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Truth be told, I have 5100s set at 2.5 on stock springs and they ride better than the stock trd bilstiens. I'd imagine buying a set of Eibach/OME and pairing them with the 5100s would result in an ever better ride but I honestly don't feel the need to
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrx2Taco View Post
Truth be told, I have 5100s set at 2.5 on stock springs and they ride better than the stock trd bilstiens. I'd imagine buying a set of Eibach/OME and pairing them with the 5100s would result in an ever better ride but I honestly don't feel the need to
There's no way unless your springs are blown. How many miles have they been riding like that? I know for me, they were stiff as hell on TRD OR springs set at 2.5" and that was for like 5 months. I soon replaced them with Icon coilovers.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Traveler View Post
The reason why 5100's are better than spacers is that with spacers, you are increasing the overall length of the shock assembly without increasing the length of the shock or the rod inside it.
^I don't think this is right. As you change the bottom perch location on the shock body, while leaving the top mount location the same, you are changing the length of the shock. The difference is that you typically get a longer shock when you go with a 5100.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrx2Taco View Post
Truth be told, I have 5100s set at 2.5 on stock springs and they ride better than the stock trd bilstiens. I'd imagine buying a set of Eibach/OME and pairing them with the 5100s would result in an ever better ride but I honestly don't feel the need to
The 5100's are valved to be used with stock coils, so going to a different coil will effect the ride. I would stick with the stockers

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Traveler View Post
There's no way unless your springs are blown. How many miles have they been riding like that? I know for me, they were stiff as hell on TRD OR springs set at 2.5" and that was for like 5 months. I soon replaced them with Icon coilovers.
Could be the TRD springs have a bit stiffer rate, but Still a good choice going to the icon's.

If the Icon's are in the budget that's the way to go, but a 5100 with stock coils is the next best option..
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Traveler View Post
...The reason why 5100's are better than spacers is that with spacers, you are increasing the overall length of the shock assembly without increasing the length of the shock or the rod inside it. That leaves you to being prone to bottoming out the shock before you hit the bump stop. And that is what leads to shocks snapping at the lower mount stem. With 5100's the spring itself is doing all the lifting. When using stock springs, you are not allowing the spring to compressor when the tires hit the ground.
THAT makes sense. So for springs, what is the best combo for a nice ride (that will net ~2.5" of lift)? Toytec/Eibach's? An OME spring, and if so which one?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #10
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Let me explain it this way...

TRD shocks have a certain length of travel, designed to move up and down within those means and either bottoming out, or hitting the bumpstop at either extremes. But when you add inches from the coil bucket to the LCA mount without adding inches of up travel, you risk breaking your shock each time you go full compression. The shock will bottom out long before the bump stop hits the LCA.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Hmmm.... need to do more research I guess. Maybe I will just put them in with the stock coils for now and see what happens.

I understand what you are saying Traveller about the length of stroke available by the shocks, and bottoming the shock out.

BTW, I have the stock Tokico TRD shocks. I assume the 5100's valved a little stiffer to handle a preloaded stock spring?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geosh View Post
THAT makes sense. So for springs, what is the best combo for a nice ride (that will net ~2.5" of lift)? Toytec/Eibach's? An OME spring, and if so which one?
5100's and stock springs.

I have some 5100's here on the shelf and were local.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geosh View Post
Hmmm.... need to do more research I guess. Maybe I will just put them in with the stock coils for now and see what happens.

BTW, I have the stock Tokico TRD shocks. I assume the 5100's valved a little stiffer to handle a preloaded stock spring?
Correct. And that would be a good idea, See how you like it with the stock springs, then if you want to try a different one go that route, no need in spending the additional $ if you don't need to
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDHQ OFFROAD View Post
Correct. And that would be a good idea, See how you like it with the stock springs, then if you want to try a different one go that route, no need in spending the additional $ if you don't need to
Agreed.

BTW, thanks a TON for sending me those Icon coilovers and rear shocks this week. Icon was fresh out and you guys had them in stock. Customer picked up his Taco yesterday and was amazed at how great it rides with the mid travel setup. We also put TC upper arms and Deaver J66 leaf packs on it.

Looking forward to doing more business with you guys.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Traveler View Post
Agreed.

BTW, thanks a TON for sending me those Icon coilovers and rear shocks this week. Icon was fresh out and you guys had them in stock. Customer picked up his Taco yesterday and was amazed at how great it rides with the mid travel setup. We also put TC upper arms and Deaver J66 leaf packs on it.

Looking forward to doing more business with you guys.
No worries! Glad it went good! We try to have all Toyota stuff in stock always. Let us know if you need anything else.

-Vince
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDHQ OFFROAD View Post
5100's and stock springs.

I have some 5100's here on the shelf and were local.
I just bought the set that DownSouth listed yesterday for $100 so I am good in the front. I may need a set for the rear and an Icon progressive AAL soon though (my birthday is coming up and the wife is fishing for ideas).
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geosh View Post
I just bought the set that DownSouth listed yesterday for $100 so I am good in the front. I may need a set for the rear and an Icon progressive AAL soon though (my birthday is coming up and the wife is fishing for ideas).
Nice! Send her on down! We have rear and AAL's in stock too.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpskie View Post
I think I see what you're saying here... Either way you are increasing the distance between your UCA and LCA. With a spacer it is done at the top of your spring assembly and with the 5100 shock lift, it is done at the bottom. My only guess would be the stability of the whole assembly. Changing the bottom perch gives you an identical interface with the spring as before, whereas adding a spacer to the top of the assembly introduces a new member into the system. Some spacers are made of aluminum, while others are made of rubber or poly. Each of the spacers rely on putting your 3 top bolts into tension. This vertical tension must stabilize longitudinal and lateral forces over a longer moment arm. Maybe there is less structural strength in torsional and shear loads because of this? I don't know, this is just a guess.
You are not increasing distance between uca and lca. That distance is fixed by the spindle and hinge mounts.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Traveler View Post
5100's at 2.5" on stock springs will give you a rough ride. That is a lot of preload on those springs, so you're down-travel. With 5100's set at 0 or .85 with lift coils, you will retain a close to factory ride, and still get about 2.5-2.75" of lift. It will also feel much better offroad as well with the new springs.

The reason why 5100's are better than spacers is that with spacers, you are increasing the overall length of the shock assembly without increasing the length of the shock or the rod inside it. That leaves you to being prone to bottoming out the shock before you hit the bump stop. And that is what leads to shocks snapping at the lower mount stem. With 5100's the spring itself is doing all the lifting. When using stock springs at 2.5", you are not allowing the spring to compress as much when the tires hit the ground. With OME 885's or Eibachs, the coils are taller and firmer giving you the lift.
Depends on spacer location. A spacer that preloads vs on top of assembly does not increase length and works like the 5100 to provide lift.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpskie View Post
^I don't think this is right. As you change the bottom perch location on the shock body, while leaving the top mount location the same, you are changing the length of the shock. The difference is that you typically get a longer shock when you go with a 5100.
You are not changing the bottom shock mount location, just preloading springs from the bottom.
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