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bad experience going to 5100's in front

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Old 06-14-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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Unhappy bad experience going to 5100's in front

I got my front end all took apart and took apart the first strut (stock shock / spring). I found out that the new shocks should have included new bottom spring perches. No one ever mentioned that in any of the writeups... Also the sway bar is a total pain in the ass. It completely gets in the way and just undoing the mounting point on the spindle IS NOT ENOUGH! I had to undo the rubber bushed mounts under the frame in front to get that POS out of the way enough to get the stock shocks / springs out. Then I went to take the first strut apart and go back with the new shock and discovered that the stock bottom spring perch will not fit. I was fucking pissed. I busted my ass all morning fighting with this and then had no choice to put it all back together again WITH THE STOCK SHIT I JUST TOOK OUT!

Thanks to DownSouth Motorsports. Yall really slipped me the chorizo on this one. Anyway if anyone is thinking about doing this on your own, think twice about doing it. It's not as easy as they say it is. I am pretty sure that when I get the parts to finish the job I am going to take it to a shop and they can do the alignment on it there. Also having a good close look at things while apart, I have to say that it looks like maybe not too advisable to go with any more than three slots up on the 5100's for the spring preload. The drive angles (CV boots etc.) just don't look too good with that much angle to them just my opinion. Probably get flamed for saying that but that's what I see.

Man that's a lot of work and aggravation only to have to put the stock stuff back in.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Sorry to hear about that, but this sounds like a rare case. Its not hard to do this install.. A couple of things. Always make sure all the parts are included. Different shocks are most allways gonna have lower spring seats for them. If not, they are incomplete. Also, did you have both front wheels off the ground/removed before takeing anything off? That makes a huge difference. There have been a couple cases in which the wntire sway bar has needed to be removed for the propper clearance. Once again, sorry to hear of the problems.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:58 PM   #3
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Follow-up on this: Sonny just called me and asked to verify the part numbers on the boxes. So I did and they were the correct parts. So I opened the boxes (ripped them apart and guess what; the lower spring perches were in there. Gosh what a moron! lower perches. But I was not aware of the different size to the shock bodies before starting the job so I just thought the other parts were not included. My bad on that one. So for the record: I screwed up. I am getting the rear shocks on order so when I take it to a shop they can do all four corners and be done with it. Sonny said that he generally recommends that people take the job to a shop where they can deal with the strut re-build safely with the right tools. That was one thing that kind of bothered me about doing this with the strut spring tools I got from O'Reilly Parts...they did not fit cleanly on the coils and I was kind of freaking out about what if that spring comes undone while I am working on it? It's worth whatever to me to take it to get this done because it's a huge pain in the ass.

Anyways I wanted to erase the bad rap about DownSouthMotorsports. I was a moron and that's all there is to it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:00 PM   #4
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Dont be hard on yourself. If you ever have any doubts about an install, its much better to let someone else do it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Yeah good advice...I am a mechanic (process control analytics) by trade working in refineries and petrochemical plants plus have built up engines for hotrods in years past plus motorcycles and generally do all my own work on everything so I was pretty comfortable I could do it OK. So I guess it will depend on if I can find a good shop somewhere around here to do it. If not I may give it a stab again but definitely going to have to find a better way to do those springs.
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post
Yeah good advice...I am a mechanic (process control analytics) by trade working in refineries and petrochemical plants plus have built up engines for hotrods in years past plus motorcycles and generally do all my own work on everything so I was pretty comfortable I could do it OK. So I guess it will depend on if I can find a good shop somewhere around here to do it. If not I may give it a stab again but definitely going to have to find a better way to do those springs.
If you can remove everything, then take the springs/shocks to a shop, it would be MUCH cheaper, than having them do everything.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post
Yeah good advice...I am a mechanic (process control analytics) by trade working in refineries and petrochemical plants plus have built up engines for hotrods in years past plus motorcycles and generally do all my own work on everything so I was pretty comfortable I could do it OK. So I guess it will depend on if I can find a good shop somewhere around here to do it. If not I may give it a stab again but definitely going to have to find a better way to do those springs.
Relax.....Have a beer, and have a go at it again.

It's a learning experience and I'll gaurentee it'll go much smoother the second time around. Seriously, you gotta give yourself a fighting chance before handing it over to someone else to do.

And seriously...If you find yourself getting frustrated about something, you gotta walk away from it for atleast 5 minutes or more. You'll be amazed at how much better things come together after you've been able to calm down and clear your head.

Good Luck!!
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #8
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You can do it. I helped my 17 year old brother install his today. Took us about 3 hours to do. Most of the time spent was struggling with the sway bar so we finally just took it off and then reinstalled it at the end.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #9
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Definitely don't give up. The one thing I have noticed with my first time installs is they usually take me an entire day (or more) to do what write ups say takes a few hours. However once I am done, I could redo everything in a fraction of the time.

Chris's advice is best. That the front assembly off of your truck, and that part only to a shop. They will assemble everything for you for cheap, then you can finish up on your own
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:24 PM   #10
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #12
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I will most likely give it a go again when I get the rear shocks in.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post
I will most likely give it a go again when I get the rear shocks in.
Go for it! Some times taking a step back really helps. Look at all the experience dissassembling/assembling your own suspension you've gained by messing up!
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #14
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go for it again dude,like chris said its not that hard.sounds like u have some machanical back ground and youll get it.good luck to ya.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:00 PM   #15
Got the itch!
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I know exactly how you're feeling. I just did OME Springs and Shocks all around. First Strut Assembly I put the spring perch upside down. Didn't notice till it was mounted in the truck. Then, for the AAL's I was provided the wrong axle U bolts. Had to reassembly the leafs and drive 20miles to the shop to swap them for the right ones. Then, I took the rearend apart again, and found that I didn't have the TSB Add A leafs. Man, I was so mad, and tired. But in the end I got it all worked out, and I really feel more proud of myself for sticking with it. And my friends all thought I was crazy for attempting it myself.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #17
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Oh well live and learn...I need to do it myself to help finance the stereo equipment.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #18
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Well now I have 5100's all around. Installed all today. 5100's in front set one notch up from bottom. That leveled the truck and the angles on the front axles went from nearly level to just a slight angle down. Not too excessive at all. The ride is stiffer which is what I wanted. I did rebuild the struts myself using the strut spring compressors from O'Reilly Parts. I really looked the tools over closely and determined they were perfectly safe to use. No problems except when I went to reinstall the sway bar I really had to muscle it over the tie rod ends. Probably best to spot it over the tie rod ends before making up the bolt / nut on the upper ball joint. Anyway it took me about 7 hours to do all four. Really satisfied with the results and the ride. Plus saved almost enough in labor to get a really good start on the Clarus speakers I plan on installing. Talked to Mr Marv last night for an hour and that is the route I plan on taking when I get ready to upgrade sound in the truck.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:10 AM   #19
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Glad you got it all sorted out.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #20
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I'm not the only one who struggled!
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