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3rd Gen Bilstein 6112/5160 review

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by VangaSTL, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Oct 17, 2016 at 11:53 AM
    #1
    VangaSTL

    VangaSTL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Garrick
    St. Louis, MO
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    I just wanted to make a really quick review of my experience with installation and functionality of the Bilstein 6112/5160 combination on a 3rd gen Tacoma. Others' experience may differ.

    What I have:
    2016 TRD Sport 4x4 DCSB

    products purchased
    -Bilstein 25-242379 (Rear Left)
    -Bilstein 25-242539 (Rear Right)
    -Bilstein 46-241627 (Front R&L)
    -Heastrong Off-Road 1/4" spacer

    Background
    So first off let me make very clear that I am NOT a mechanic but I enjoy learning and thought of this as a challenge to put myself out of my comfort zone to learn something about my truck that I didn't know previously. I did have help from a neighbor and I could not have done this without him.

    Review
    I decided on the Bilstein combination because I think it's a great value and a great introduction to the world of suspension. My wallet couldn't afford a higher end kit such as Icon but I didn't want to go cheap with just spacers and lift blocks. I did my research and the 2nd gen crowd seem to love this setup so I pulled the trigger. Before I achieve total lift I am separating the process into 3 phases. Phase 1 = shocks & struts. Phase 2 = UCAs and Leaf springs. Phase 3 = A/T tires and stainless steel brake lines. Today I am just talking about Phase 1.

    Going into the install I had (still somewhat do) very little knowledge of how suspension works and what I was getting myself into. I followed this youtube video to remove the old struts and it was pretty much a breeze.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbsTJgb6S_c

    That was the easy part. Everything else pretty much fought me the rest of the way. The biggest problem I ran into was the assembly of the 6112s. After disassembly of the Hitachi coil-overs, I realized that the set of spring compressors I rented from the local Autozone were too fat and would not leave enough room for the strut to slide through after the spring was compressed. At this point I was faced with the dilemma of either putting it all back together or using the compressors, I could get them to work they just wouldn't have a perfect seat onto the spring. Well I'm not proud to say that I voted the latter option. And while I was lucky enough to not have an incident, I strongly recommend that you have a shop assemble the coil-overs for you unless you have access to commercial equipment. Better yet, spend the extra $$$ and save yourself the hassle by having the shop you ordered from assemble for you. I do not endorse my own stupidity, the situation could have been life threatening if went wrong.

    So I assemble the 6112 on the lowest (1st) notch. I read that this would give me approx 3/4" lift on the front just enough to level the front and give me a bit more clearance. I also used the Headstrong Off-Road 1/4" spacer on the driver side to account for the "Taco-lean." The rest of the front strut isntall went pretty smoothly. The 5160s I thought would be the easiest but even those threw me off. The brake line spacer they include in the kit does not fit very easily and the bolt they include IMHO is not long enough. There is maybe only 3 threads holding the unit down to the axle and I plan on replacing the bolt with a longer one as soon as possible. On top of that Bilstein forgot to give me the reservoir bracket on the right side and I didn't realize it until I was already half way through installation. Lesson of the story is: Take inventory before you begin to ensure you have EVERYTHING. So the right side reservoir is currently being held up with zip ties to the frame while Bilstein is shipping me the missing bracket.

    After all was said and done I got an alignment done and it rides great. There is no "Taco-lean" that is noticeable. While I'm sure the shocks are still breaking in they do feel like they absorb better than the Hittachi shocks but there is more body roll as well. I guess that is kind of to be expected. My only regret is it doesn't seem to have much lift on the front as i thought it would. Looking back I probably would have set to 2nd notch for a better level. I'll let you decide for yourselves with the pictures. I have not taken any measurements yet but I'll post those as soon as I take them.

    The kit
    20161013_190317.jpg

    Taking out old strut
    20161015_145438.jpg

    Old vs New
    20161015_154416.jpg

    New Bilstein 6112 installed
    20161015_200152.jpg

    New Bilstein 5160 installed
    20161016_112151.jpg

    Truck before Bilstein kit.
    20160811_175252.jpg

    Truck after Bilstein kit set to 1st notch. No lift in rear
    20161016_112132.jpg
     
  2. Oct 17, 2016 at 7:39 PM
    #2
    truegentlemansupplyco

    truegentlemansupplyco Active Member

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    Trapper
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    had this on my 4 runner it was the bomb
     
    VangaSTL [OP] likes this.
  3. Oct 19, 2016 at 8:29 AM
    #3
    Cgriff

    Cgriff Member

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    Very nice, Ive been toying around with installing a similar set-up this winter/spring. I may only run 2WD, the ground is fairly solid, rocky, and lightly sandy around here no problems, but some of the river crossings get a little close. I would like to bring the front up about 2". I'll keep an eye out for your final measurements on height.

    Solid info too. Thanks.
     
    VangaSTL [OP] likes this.
  4. May 12, 2017 at 11:40 AM
    #4
    jonnyozero3

    jonnyozero3 Well-Known Member

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    Dry places
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    '99 TRD OR V6 M/T
    OME, sliders, dents, hail damage, soiled armrest. Lightbulbs.
    Hey OP, you are the first one I have read says the 6112s have more body roll than stock. Do you still feel that is the case for on-road driving and street cornering? How pronounced is the roll difference from stock?
     
  5. May 12, 2017 at 1:13 PM
    #5
    VangaSTL

    VangaSTL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Garrick
    St. Louis, MO
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    2016 TRD Sport 4x4
    Keep in mind I'm coming off the Sport Hitachi shocks which were more stiff and tuned to street cornering so yes when you switch from a street tuned shock to a softer shock with extra ride height there is a noticeable difference in body roll. Now over the months I've become accustomed to it so it doesnt bother me anymore, I'll eventually remove the sway bar too which will give me even more body roll. But it's a truck, your not really supposed to be racing around corners anyway
     
    CygnusX191 likes this.
  6. May 12, 2017 at 3:30 PM
    #6
    jonnyozero3

    jonnyozero3 Well-Known Member

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    OME, sliders, dents, hail damage, soiled armrest. Lightbulbs.
    Thanks for the reply.

    This is interesting to me because in my test drives I found the TRD OR actually had less body roll than the TRD Sport. So, if the 6112 Coils have even *more* body roll than a sport, I might hate the Billies.

    Edit I swear I read other posters saying *less* body roll with the 6112s too. Huh.
     
    Dhannah likes this.
  7. Aug 17, 2017 at 8:02 PM
    #7
    MikeR585

    MikeR585 Well-Known Member

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    VangaSTL, I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm interested to hear how you're liking the setup and what you might have changed.
    Thanks!
     
    CygnusX191 likes this.
  8. Aug 18, 2017 at 6:09 AM
    #8
    VangaSTL

    VangaSTL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Since then, I've lifted my front shocks to the 4th notch, installed JBA UCAs and installed the OME EL095r leaf springs and removed the sway bar. Rides well. I'm pleased with it. You can start to see the fittings for the reservoir line corrode a little bit but no rust or anything. I kind of wish the stainless steel lines had some sort of poly coating to keep them from corroding but I don't think any of them have a poly coating. Most reservoir shocks just use rubber hose. I prefer the stainless steel. Still wish they offered the 5160 in an extended option and I wish they offered a heavier spring load for the front shocks. With the 5100s, you can put any type of spring you want on them. The 6112, your stuck with the spring it came with. To my knowledge they do not offer a heavier spring. So if you plan on butting steel skids, steel bumper, and a winch, these aren't the shocks for you.
     
    MikeR585 likes this.
  9. Aug 18, 2017 at 5:03 PM
    #9
    MikeR585

    MikeR585 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you sir - I appreciate the feedback.
    :thumbsup:
     
  10. Aug 27, 2017 at 7:22 AM
    #10
    Tacomamike mike

    Tacomamike mike Just that, nothing more.

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    Working on it, dissent offroad racks, shift sense pro, pedal commander , ARB twin, rigid SS dually's , dual batteries, ARB fridge , 2.5 Fox coil overs wResi , 2.5 Fox rears w resi Total chaos UCA , deaver packs , Nitto trail grappler's 33" .
  11. Sep 30, 2017 at 10:53 PM
    #11
    Mike_Lowrey562

    Mike_Lowrey562 Well-Known Member

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    Any pictures of how it’s like now after the adjustment?
     
  12. Nov 6, 2017 at 9:48 PM
    #12
    kodaco771

    kodaco771 Well-Known Member

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    6112/5160's & Wheeler's Progressive 3AAL SCS SR8’s
    I paid about $50 for top mounts and had a shop assemble my 6112's for $50. In my opinion that was money well spent. It is much safe and then you don't have to mess with the alignment cams.
     
  13. Feb 3, 2018 at 8:13 PM
    #13
    swissrallyman

    swissrallyman Well-Known Member

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    Old thread but anyways... Wheelers does offer stiffer springs for the 6112 I just noticed. I would guess they are Eibach but not sure. I got a 2017 TRD sport now and looking to lift and install an ARB bumper. Used to have a 2010 with an ARB bumper and OME lift, had 886 coils for years then went to 887 which were much more comfortable but more body roll. With my 2017 im looking at going the 6112/5160 route. Has anyone run this set up with a heavy bumper and winch, or tired heavier springs?
     
    CygnusX191, MikeR585 and Brostjoe like this.
  14. Feb 9, 2018 at 4:50 PM
    #14
    tow-coma

    tow-coma Well-Known Member

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    How are fhey doing on your truck?
     
  15. Feb 12, 2018 at 3:42 PM
    #15
    MikeR585

    MikeR585 Well-Known Member

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    @swissrallyman I don’t know anything about them, but I’ve read in multiple threads that there are Eibach springs for the 6112’s.
    Not much help, I know. But I’m wondering the same thing as you - what options are out there for adjustability for the 6112’s..
     
  16. Mar 20, 2018 at 8:38 PM
    #16
    schmidt4brains

    schmidt4brains Highway Warrior

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    Texas
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    255/75R17 Michelin L/T Defender Speaker upgrades: Front JBL GT7-96, Subaru H631SFJ01 Tweeters, Rear JBL GT7-6 Auxbeam FS-16 low beam LED bulbs AC drain extension Removed front bumper air dam
    Now that you are on notch 4 and put in Dakar’s, how much lift did you get both front and back?
    Do you have pre/post measurements?

    I have a 2WD sport and Im trying to decide what notch I should have the shop set the shocks to. I want it close to factory rake when I add the Dakar’s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  17. Mar 22, 2018 at 7:53 AM
    #17
    rlx02

    rlx02 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I think you might be the only one who has said the OR has less body roll than the sport. My OR had a ton of body roll, lean and dive. I was going to get these 6112s but they were out of stock for the time being so I ended up paying a little more for the Icon stage 1s which definitely firmed it up, almost to the point of it being like the Sport, except able to take bumps much better.
     
  18. Mar 26, 2018 at 9:52 AM
    #18
    Mikeybuck

    Mikeybuck Well-Known Member

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    The 3rd gen TRD sport I drove felt like it had no sway bars.
     
  19. Mar 26, 2018 at 12:08 PM
    #19
    rlx02

    rlx02 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Odd. My then-stock OR definitely had much more body roll than the Sport I test drove. A lot more squishy ride.
     
  20. Jun 10, 2018 at 1:16 PM
    #20
    davids540i

    davids540i Well-Known Member

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    @kodaco771 Where did you get the 6112s assembled? I currently have 6112s installed (purchased pre-assembled) and now looking to change the ride height.
    Most shops I call say they have to install them if they assemble them.
    I’d like to save on installation by having the shop do the reassembly only.
    Thanks.
     

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