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5100 post installation - ride is more solid, but awful

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:06 PM   #1
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5100 post installation - ride is more solid, but awful

Greetings all. After much research and debate, plus the addition of new rims and tires, I decided to take the 5100 route. Just had 5100's installed today on all four corners, fronts set to .85. She looks great - just as planned with a slight rake.

However, I'm not sure if others have had the same ride quality issues, but I'm experiencing the following:
  • I can feel every single little bump or imperfection in the road - even at highway speeds
  • Seem to be feeling a lot more bumps (maybe vibration?) from the rear suspension?
  • Ride is quite a bit stiffer than OE TRD bilsteins
  • Truck feels more solid in turns and at low speeds - better dampening and tracking
  • She aligned with no problems at all - perfect specs
My noob question is, do these shocks "break-in" after awhile? Starting to think that I'm going to go back to OE TRD billies given the harsh ride - any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
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hmmm. this is interesting. i'm getting ready to buy some bilstein's, they better ride nicer than stock
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:21 PM   #5
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I want the 5100's at .85 too eventually. But with this baby being my daily driver 50 miles a day, I don't really want it any stiffer. I will be watching the responses here.

You got some before and after pics?
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosiertaco View Post
I want the 5100's at .85 too eventually. But with this baby being my daily driver 50 miles a day, I don't really want it any stiffer. I will be watching the responses here.

You got some before and after pics?
i have 50 miles a day ONE WAY so if i'm going to buy $300 shocks they should ride better than stock IMO
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meteoraman2514 View Post
i have 50 miles a day ONE WAY so if i'm going to buy $300 shocks they should ride better than stock IMO
whoa, that's a long commute. And I thought I was racking the miles up quick.

Is the price we pay for these really for a better ride, or for the ability to be adjustable, or for off road capabilties or something? IDK.....
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Ever tried to lower you tire pressure? That will kind of help with the bumps in the road. I had 5100 Then i went with Donahoe racing Man the DR feels so much better and sits higher.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosiertaco View Post
whoa, that's a long commute. And I thought I was racking the miles up quick.

Is the price we pay for these really for a better ride, or for the ability to be adjustable, or for off road capabilties or something? IDK.....
well i only work 14 days a week, and might drive the truck 3 of those days if that. im going to set the billys at 0 first, but might go up to .85 in the future, so i like the adjustability. but you are right, do they really ride better than stock like the hype seems to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSquirrel View Post
I run the 5100s at .85 with 885s (No top spacer) & think the ride is fine.
wonder what they would ride like with stock coils though
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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How much better can the Icon coilover's be than the Bilsteins 5100's? I mean, now, my Bilsteins ride like a dream and I love them. However, this is probably because I ran spacers for a lift before. Will I notice a big difference if I go with Icon's?
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meteoraman2514 View Post
well i only work 14 days a week, and might drive the truck 3 of those days if that. im going to set the billys at 0 first, but might go up to .85 in the future, so i like the adjustability. but you are right, do they really ride better than stock like the hype seems to be.



wonder what they would ride like with stock coils though
and I thought working 7 days a week in my job was bad......you work 14 a week.....j/k.....

so, I assume you meant 14 days a month, and only 3 of those in the Tacoma. So just 300 a month.....I wouldn't worry about the ride then id I were you. I put 350 miles on mine a week, so that's why I'm a little concerned about the ride.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny650 View Post
How much better can the Icon coilover's be than the Bilsteins 5100's? I mean, now, my Bilsteins ride like a dream and I love them. However, this is probably because I ran spacers for a lift before. Will I notice a big difference if I go with Icon's?
The difference is noticeable, on road or off road I notice that it was smoother hitting small bumps and dips on the street, and even on fire road the difference was noticeable, the billies would get hot and start to fade, while the icons would take a LONG time to get hot.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meteoraman2514 View Post
well i only work 14 days a week, and might drive the truck 3 of those days if that. im going to set the billys at 0 first, but might go up to .85 in the future, so i like the adjustability. but you are right, do they really ride better than stock like the hype seems to be.



wonder what they would ride like with stock coils though
Seems like it's hard to get a straight answer sometimes, possibly due to some / most not wanting to admit they might have made a mistake, kind of like the feel i get about the TSB leaf change.

I don't know if either is the case, but by the wishy washy responses you see andget the 'feel' for from some of the 'afters', it makes you wonder about these two alleged 'upgrades'.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:55 PM   #14
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"Awful" may be a bit too strong of a word. I'm using the OE TRD coils and I can really feel everything on the surface of the road - bumps, expansion cracks on the freeway, grooves, gravel, etc. Per another TW member's comment about stock riding like a Buick, I think my truck now rides like a G35 Sport - tight, much stiffer but more "control" and a lot more "feel."

Another issue I forgot to mention is that the alignment may be off a bit as she drifts (almost pulls) to the left at highway speeds. She also seems to "float" quite a bit more on the highway. Lesson learned I guess - each Taco is unique.

I'm not certain if a new set of OME or Toytec coils will help or not but, for now, I'm going to switch back to the OE TRD shocks. While she won't look the exact way I'd prefer, the ride is more important to me since I'd rather not feel every single bump, hole or imperfection in the road.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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Also you got to think that when you lift your trucking using the 5100 all you are doing is compressing the springs. When the spring had more of a compression its going to ride a little stiffer. But if you have them at no lift it would be very smooth.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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ill admit, i made a mistake by getting a spacer lift. but im getting those bilsteins so they should ride 10 times better than a spacer lift. since i dont have the tsb and no longer qualify for it, the highest ill set my front at is 0.85 but for now itll be set at stock, so it should ride better.

sucks i have (technically i dont HAVE to but i see no reason to keep them) put my stock uca's on, getting the light racings off and stock uca's on will be a pita. what the pho you make a good point as to why they are a stiffer ride when you lift them, but even at .85 it shouldn't be too 'awful' of a ride.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #17
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A slightly stiffer ride makes sense with a small compression on the stock coils. What I can't get figured out is why the rears pass along so many more bumps than the OE's.

Seems like, whilst on the highway, that any bump is magnified coming from the rear, causing the truck to pitch and float more. Any large bumps make her wander a lot more than I expected. The stock shocks made it feel as if she was dialed into the road - no wandering or float and smaller bumps were largely absorbed.

As with anything, perception and preference is key. For now, I think I'll ride the OE's for a few thousand more miles and then - maybe - change things up. Finding it very hard to locate a small (1.5" or less) lift package that keeps the "stock" ride characteristics, without dropping another $1.5K+. Thought the 5100 billies would do the job, but will probably be selling them.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #18
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yeah i can't justify buying c/o's even though they give probably the best ride. since im just returning my truck to stock, i just want some aftermarket shocks instead of the stock ones i have.

im not sure why your rear end feels the way it does, i have no experience with these shocks yet. as for the wandering, it is possible the alignment shop didnt get it aligned back to stock specs.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #19
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Strangely enough, the dealer that I'm working with has been really helpful and offered great customer service. Just got off the phone the Service Rep and have made an appt to switch back to stock shocks. They are going to check/fix the alignment for free.

This dealer frequently installs and recommends OME lifts. In fact, they have several trucks on the lot that have 3" lifts that are brand new. This may be the path I take eventually, but I think I need to drive her for a few more miles to gauge performance both on an offroad. I don't do much wheeling but will be making regular (2-3 times/week) runs from Denver to the slopes. As such, highway ride and comfort is my most important factor right now.

Meatoraman - When you state you made a mistake about the spacer lift, what do you mean? Alignment problems? "Awful" ride? Mileage?
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:41 PM   #20
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I like the solid ride, it feels like a truck. Oh wait, it is.
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