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Advice about shocks

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Toyota1998, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Nov 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM
    #1
    Toyota1998

    Toyota1998 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been wanting to get some better shocks for my tacoma ever since I lifted it and now its getting to be about that time.
    I have and AAL on the rear that lifted the back end about 3 and half inches, I don't remeber the brand name, but it's a single leaf that is shorter than the others and very stiff, it went between my overload leaf and the stock leaf pack. I like how it lifted my truck and it lets me carry a good couple of hundred pounds before it even begins to sag. The bad thing about it is that it's stiff, which doesn't bother me a whole lot, but I kinda wouldn't mind it being a little softer(by that I mean that my girlfriend is pissed that she gets bounced all over the cab,lol). When i was reading about Bilstein 5100s on a couple of websites and a bunch of posts on this site I found out that they are adjustable. Which leads to one of my questions, can i put them on my truck and expect them to soften the suspension even though they'd be strechted the 3 and a half inches from the AAL? and if i adjust them out will that compormise the softer ride that i'm trying to achieve?

    Now to the front end of my truck. To level out the front I put in a 2 and a half inch leveling kit. I read on some website that the bilsteins for the front extend out two and a half inches to help level out trucks with AALs, but since i already have a 2.5 inch leveling kit, will putting in the bilsteins adjusted out to there max soften the ride at all in the front?

    The only reason i'm looking at bilstein shocks is because alot of fellow tacoma owners on this site seem to really like'em. If there is another product out there that would better suit my needs please let me know.

    Sorry for the long post, Thanks for any input
     
  2. Nov 27, 2009 at 5:06 PM
    #2
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    from what i understand, if you want a softer ride in the rear, you can get progressive leaf packs that have 7 or more thin leaves which allows good flex and ride, but sacrifices load capacity. The OME Dakar leaf packs have a good reputation for providing good load carrying capacity and also giving a fairly soft ride. Getting bilsteins for the rear when you already have a stiff ride wont make it softer, but will give you better performance through extended compression ie offroading thru a lot of bumps.

    For the front, someone may want to chime in, but spacers generall give a rough ride compared to springs and shocks that give you a suspension lift. If you get bilstein adjustable shocks for the front, just set it to about 1.75" (IIRC) to give yourself a good amount of lift while still getting a good ride...and maybe put a 1/4" spacer to get the rest of the lift. It will be much better than your current 2" spacer lift.
     
  3. Nov 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM
    #3
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Bilstein 5100's on the front are adjustable. They have a groove and retainer ring that can be set at stock height, 1" lift, or 2.5" lift.

    Bilstein 5100's on the rear are not adjustable. The will accept stock height or up to 1.5" lift, but the rear shocks themselves don't provide any lift. I don't thick they will work with a 3" AAL... they will come up short.

    I have the 5100's on the front at 2.5" and a 1.5" rear shackle on the rear with 5100's. This puts the truck at about level, since the front is about 1 to 1.5" lower in stock configuration. I am very happy with the performance and they are a big improvement over stock, on and off road.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2009 at 7:02 PM
    #4
    Toyota1998

    Toyota1998 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So what would happen if i took out the 2.5 inch spacer and put in the 5100s set at 2.5? would that give me 2.5 inch of lift? Or would i need to get new coil springs to go with it too?
     
  5. Nov 27, 2009 at 7:19 PM
    #5
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Yes, you would get the lift...

    Here's my truck (the only thing I have in the front is 5100's @ 2.5 setting):
    [​IMG]

    Here's a stock suspension:
    [​IMG]

    I've attached an article about the 5100's. Granted it was written by Bilstein, but it describes the differences pretty well. The spacers tend to be bad for CV's because they limit up travel and over extend down travel.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Nov 27, 2009 at 7:39 PM
    #6
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Just to be clear, I have a 1.5" lift shackle in the rear, which makes the truck close to level... otherwise, it would look sagging in the back. The shackle is nice if you don't need a lot of lift, because it doesn't stiffen the ride like AAL.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Nov 28, 2009 at 7:52 AM
    #7
    Toyota1998

    Toyota1998 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just read through that Bilstein article and i think i've got the front figured out now.
    Is there any shock out there that i can buy for the rear that will accomodate the lift from the AAL?
     
  8. Nov 28, 2009 at 8:18 AM
    #8
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    There are other shocks out there other than the 5100s. They also make 5150s that would definitely fit if you are set on Bilsteins. Best bet is to go call Bilstein and have them help you.

    http://www.bilsteinus.com/contact.php

    There is also Pro Comp and Rancho which seem to be popular.
     
  9. Nov 28, 2009 at 12:20 PM
    #9
    mixaro

    mixaro Well-Known Member

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    stay away from the procomps and the ranchos, i've run them and them and they are garbage just get a hold of the guys at downsouthmotorsports, they are on here and one of the vendors, they are great i got my 5100 and 5150 billys from them. they can answer any questions that you have. from my and a lot od peoples experinces the billys are the way to go
     
  10. Nov 28, 2009 at 1:54 PM
    #10
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Billy 5100, Satoshi, MBW Wheels, All Pro Front Bumper with 3x PIAA 530, LED dash lighting, other stuff too much to list
    The guys at Downsouth will give you a discount if you mention you are a member of the forum... I got mine from there as well.
     
  11. Nov 28, 2009 at 6:39 PM
    #11
    Toyota1998

    Toyota1998 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    KN Cold Air Intake,Add-a-Leaf,2" Leveling Kit, Rock Rims, Brush Guard, Blacked Out Badges, Flowmaster 44 Dual, Sockmonkey TRD decals, Grey Wire
    Ok thanks guys, I'll take a look
    Thanks for the help
     
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