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3rd Gen OR Bilsteins Ride vs. Blue Sport Hitachi's

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by baltimorebirds2, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. Mar 21, 2022 at 8:25 PM
    #1
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey all, hope everything is going alright. So I've had my truck a week, and its been awesome for the most part. However, I don't think I'm too much of a fan of the stiff suspension it has. It rides alright when the road is smooth, but when there are bumps and potholes, you feel every last second of them, and I almost find it somewhat unpleasant at times. Coming from an '04 Tundra Limited (non-Bilstein), it seems a bit stiffer especially on rough patches of road (unfortunately for me, there are some rough roads on my daily commute). I know it's a truck, but my previous truck felt a bit better on rough sections of road than the Taco's Blue Hitachis do.

    I've been reading different forums saying that the Sport with the Blue Hitachi's rides the stiffest, whereas the Off-Road rides a bit smoother, and the SR and SR5 are smoother, but still a little stiff. Honestly when I test drove the truck, it rode alright, but now that I think about it, I didn't really test drive it on any sort of rough roads, so I didn't notice the stiffness until after the fact, after I began driving on rougher roads.

    Anyways, I saw some other posts hinting at the possibility of swapping OEM OR Bilsteins in for the Hitachis, which would make a considerable amount of difference on rougher roads compared to the Hitachis. Speaking from experience, is this the case? If I were to dole out a few hundred for a set of used or possibly new OEM Bilsteins, would it get rid of the roughness and harness when going over bumps? I get I am still going to feel bumps since its a truck, and trucks ride that way and I'm used to it. However, I'm not really used to or fond of the harness experienced when going over rough roads. Or if OEM Bilstein's wouldn't be the best options, are there any relatively cost effective options I could explore for a softer ride? I would appreciate anyone's $0.02.

    For those who are going to ask about tires, they are Cooper Evolution H/T's in 265/70/R17. I ran them at 30 and ambient temp raised them to 35-36, then I aired them all down to stock pressure of 29psi and didn't really notice any difference to be honest.

    So if I'm getting everything correct then:
    SR/SR5: Slightly stiff, smoother than Sport
    Sport: Stiffest of the taco trims
    Off-Road: Softer than Sport

    Would the OEM Bilsteins yield a smoother ride, or is it not even worth the hassle? It seems I can pick up a front and rear set new for like $300-450, or I can get two used sets for like $200. If I went that route, would prolly end up selling the sport shocks. Are there any better cost effective options I could explore? I hear a lot about Fox's or Icon's, but honestly not trying to spend that kind of money as I don't think I need anything that fancy for what I'm doing with the truck (as of now at least.)
     
    Road_Warrior likes this.
  2. Mar 21, 2022 at 8:39 PM
    #2
    Speedfreak

    Speedfreak Member in poor standing

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    For the last 4½ years I have driven my Sport and found that at time the shocks were jarring and jittery over some sections of roadway. I lived with it, knowing I would upgrade at some point... that point finally came 2 weeks ago. I installed a Eibach Pro-Truck 2.0 kit with 1" rear blocks on my truck. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I can say this... I hit some of those same sections of road now and the truck feels more composed and controlled. The suspension is still firm on initial bump but it recovers smoother and absorbs the rebound better. I really feel that it was a very good upgrade. My understanding is that the Bilstein 5100's would be very similar. Not sure if this is something in your budget, but I thought I would offer my experience as it is very recent. 20220303142645_IMG_0898.jpg 20220302114248_IMG_0873.jpg 20220309_113958.jpg
     
  3. Mar 21, 2022 at 8:39 PM
    #3
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    Bilstien 4600 or KYB Gas-a-just are larger monotube shocks that offer better than factory ride.

    Basically the 4600's are 46mm vs the offroad 42mm shock, so they are slightly better, but you can buy them new and usually for cheap.

    I bought my 4600's for about 400$ CDN from Amazon after watching for good deals.

    They are smooth and I wouldn't consider factory unless it was near 0 miles and yellow.

    These are no-lift options.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2022 at 6:00 AM
    #4
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input man, I really appreciate it. I’ve heard some nice things about Eibach shocks, but I think they’re a little on the firmer side. I think the correct term to describe this is digressive, meaning that they act a little firm over bumps at higher speeds but are more sensitive to bumps at lower speeds? Still definitely something to think about though. Also if you don’t mind me asking, what brand and size wheels are those? I really like them and am considering looking into getting a black set of wheels sometime in the future.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2022 at 6:08 AM
    #5
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate it. So you think the 4600’s would be noticeably smoother? Honestly I get I’m still going to feel bumps since its a body on frame truck, but it would be nice if the shocks would actually dampen any roughness on the road, which the blue Hitachis don’t seem to do. In my old Tundra I felt the bumps, but they were pretty dampened which allowed for a more comfortable ride. Would you say they offer a semi pleasant ride without you being rocked all over the place on bumps and potholes? Are they less stiff than the 5100s? I hear people saying that the 4600s and the 5100s are pretty similar, but that the 5100s can support a lift while 4600s cant. I also hear that the 5100s are valved differently for a stiffer ride, but not too sure what to believe. Also would you happen to know if the stock coil springs play a part in the stiffness as well, or is it just how the blue Hitachis were designed. Would you recommend going to springs with a lighter spring rate, or just throwing the stock springs on a new set?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2022
  6. Mar 22, 2022 at 7:19 AM
    #6
    Speedfreak

    Speedfreak Member in poor standing

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    Yes you are correct. They are digressive, but you will find that most shocks are in the digressive scale, including Bilstein, with a few exceptions (Factory Fox shocks). Really the difference is how the shocks handle the rebound that makes all the difference.

    The Hitachi's handle rebound like there was a metal rod between the upper and lower shock mounts. With no give up or down. This gives that feel of hopping and jitteriness over uneven surfaces.

    The Eibach's take the first hit firmly but not bone jarring like the Hitachi's, and then absorb the rebound where you almost don't feel it at all. The wheels feel planted and the feel of hopping and jitteriness is gone.

    They are ART Replica 237's. They are a 17×8 with a +5 offset in satin black. They are replicas of the 2019 - 2021 TRD Pro wheel but 17" instead of 16". I really like the look in 17"... I feel it makes the wheel look better proportioned.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2022 at 6:56 PM
    #7
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    I think the 4600's and 5100's are close, but I've never driven a 5100 set to the 0 clip. All 5100's I've driven are set 3 or higher for lift. Which ride much firmer.

    I believe all the coils are the same, they always have the same colours stamped on them. It's 100% the shocks that cause the sport to ride rougher.

    I chose the 4600's as I wanted affordable and plush. So far I'm happy.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2022 at 8:55 PM
    #8
    pahaf

    pahaf Well-Known Member

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    i will say i had the bilstein 5100 in the 3rd clip and they were very stiff. not sure how they will ride on the 1st clip.

    the stock off road bilstein is pretty plush.

    and you are correct that the bisltein is digressive valved. meaning they dont do much for little bumps. like the 5100 or the 6112/5160. not sure about the stock off road package.

    Maybe save up a little and go for fox 2.0 shocks? they are progressive valving. meaning they will absorb the little bumps better. make for a better every day experience.
     
    baltimorebirds2 [OP] likes this.
  9. Mar 22, 2022 at 11:05 PM
    #9
    PahalaTacoma

    PahalaTacoma Well-Known Member

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    brand new take-off off-road bilsteins can be had for free (just search around FB, craigs, etc.). I wouldn’t even pay $50 for a set. There’s always that cool taco owner who gives these away to the taco community…and then there’s the ones selling for $300+:jerkoff::luvya:
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2022
  10. Mar 23, 2022 at 6:59 AM
    #10
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. Fox shocks seem really nice, and I’m sure they’re really worth the money, but I don’t know if paying like 4x more is the right thing for me, since those fox 2.0s seem more focused for offroad driving, and while I may be on some gravel roads occasionally, I think they’re probably overkill for everyday, daily driving. I know they make good suspension, I’m also pretty involved with the mountain biking scene and know Fox makes some killer stuff for that application.

    I mean I’ve heard good things about the Bilstein 4600’s, that they’re pretty decent for everyday driving and some offroad driving here and there. I get I’m going to feel the small bumps, and I’m pretty sure I did in my tundra, but maybe it just handled the bumps better. Do you guys think 4600’s would offer a better ride than the stock blue hitachis, and even like the suspension they spec on the SR/SR5/Limited too? I’m just looking to alleviate the harness felt when going over bumps, especially huge uneven sections of road and even some potholes. In many cases I would consider it jarring and pretty uncomfortable, which is why I’m looking for other options. I mean I have to imagine toyota doesn’t spec the best shocks ever on their SR/SR5/Limited trims, making me think they’re sorta digressive but don’t react harshly to bumps.

    When you guys say the Bilsteins don’t offer much small bump compliance, would you say that it still is somewhat pleasant travelling over them? I mean I get that Bilsteins wouldn’t feel like a cushion going over every little thing, but I just don’t want something excessively stiff like the Sport’s shocks, and I don’t want shocks that don’t seem to react to large bumps, therefore giving the harsh feeling. Would 4600’s be worth getting if I’m looking for a decent improvement in ride without paying a King’s ransom?


    Also, how does ride compare between the stock OR Bilstein’s compared to the 4600’s? Is one noticeably stiffer or smoother than another, or would I not really notice a difference? Are the 4600’s as “plush” as people say the OR Bilsteins are? I heard the 4600s have a larger diameter piston, but I’m not 100% sure where that would affect ride quality. Thanks guys
     
  11. Mar 23, 2022 at 8:13 AM
    #11
    curated

    curated Well-Known Member

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    The stock OR suspension seems pretty plush to me.
     
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  12. Mar 24, 2022 at 5:38 AM
    #12
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. I’ve been looking into OME Nitrocharger shocks and struts with the softer valving. Does anyone have good experience with these?
     
  13. Mar 24, 2022 at 5:56 AM
    #13
    RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you that my truck with the bilsteins was the smoothest ride I have had on any truck, with the exception of my friends raptor that was designed to be like a marshmellow ride. I have ridden in a few TRD sports and the ride is stiffer and harsher, but there is also less lean and the truck feels more sporty. So if you want the plush ride the bilsteins will give that. But you will lose some of that tight sporty feel you have now.
     
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  14. Mar 27, 2022 at 12:29 PM
    #14
    Road_Warrior

    Road_Warrior Off like a herd of turtles

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    Just to clarify on this…Are you talking about the OEM Bilsteins that come on the ORs or aftermarket Bilsteins.

    OP, you have some great info here.

    I have a set of OEM Bilsteins in my basement that I got from another TW member. I am looking for a smoother ride on my SR5 but everyone keeps giving conflicting answers on whether the OEM Bilsteins are smoother or stiffer than the stock SR5 shocks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  15. Mar 27, 2022 at 12:49 PM
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    WrecklessAbandon

    WrecklessAbandon They call me skippy

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    I've had 3 setups and the stock OR was the softest. This might be due to not having preload on the springs like my other 2 setups :notsure:. My advice, find a set of OR takeoffs for free/cheap and enjoy the comfy ride.

    Stock OR Bilsteins - softest
    6112 Bilsteins - slightly stiffer
    ADS coilovers - stiffest (surprisingly)
     
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  16. Mar 27, 2022 at 1:48 PM
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    TacoSupremo19

    TacoSupremo19 Well-Known Member

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    When I got my Sport, the harsh suspension was the first thing I noticed. I got Bilstein 5100 with OME 885 on the bottom clip and the ride was VERY plush. After driving it for a while, it sagged a bit. I installed a 1/2" spacer to compensate. After a while I just came to the conclusion the ride was too floaty. I decided to try the Eibach coils with the 2" lift on the 5100s. Should be the same Speedfreak has. I really like the ride. I was able to remove the spacers and I only lost maybe a 1/4" from the 885s and the spacer. Just to clarify, the spacer was out side the coilover. I think this setup is a keeper.

    EDIT: I would also suggest replacing the bumpstops in the rear. I did the Duro bumps with the U-bolt flip and I like it.
     
  17. Mar 27, 2022 at 4:04 PM
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    RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, stock suspension on the Trd OR is the smoothest "stock" suspension ride I have had and that includes my rubicon, my f150, my f350, every single nissan frontier i have ever driven and trd sport, and sr. I have only ridden in a few pros and they felt stiffer but not as soft and easy.
     
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  18. Mar 27, 2022 at 4:29 PM
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    Road_Warrior

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    Awesome. That’s exactly the info I’ve been spending hours trying to find. Thanks so much.

    Sounds like it will be worth it to swap out my shocks for the OEM OR shocks I have.
     
  19. Mar 27, 2022 at 4:56 PM
    #19
    RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to get a set fairly cheap. Your truck will lean in turns more, just keep that in mind.
     
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  20. Mar 27, 2022 at 5:08 PM
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    Road_Warrior

    Road_Warrior Off like a herd of turtles

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    Thats good to know. I actually already have a set I got for cheap from another TW member, just haven’t put them on the truck yet :thumbsup:
     
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