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which Bilsteins?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TacoTuesday1, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Jul 19, 2019 at 6:53 PM
    #1
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I know this topic has probably been beaten to death
    so I apologize, and will keep researching

    but if I may ask for now, how do you pick which Bilsteins to get?
    I hear "5100" a lot, but am told that this can refer to an entire series and not just one specific model. So I'm not sure which is the case, and if people mean they have literally "5100", or "51xx/51__"
    I see there may be some rear one called "5160" which should fall within a 5100 series/model line-up

    My goals are basically to upgrade the suspension a bit, the proper way
    maybe making it a bit more comfortable while still on a budget

    I'm gonna be honest here,
    even at 5mph on a trail, it felt so rough (130k miles, stock) almost like the truck wanted to fling me out the window.
    Roads aren't the nicest either.

    I hear some are height adjustable and that spacers and "Rough Country Lift Kits" are not good.
    I'm told that trucks come with forward rake from factory that looks ugly but is there so the rear can squat down when carrying load.
    But here's the thing. I don't haul bags of concrete. And if I did, this may not be the best truck for it. A big Ford dually is probably better for that.

    Also, I honestly don't know the point of a lift, when Tacoma's are already known to have high ground clearance from stock.
    Never knew that shocks could lift a truck; I though that was always the purpose of things like springs, and that shocks just attached to basically control rebound

    I get that stuff like King and Fox are probably good. Good enough for the Ford Raptor to come with Fox stock; though I hear their valving can be further improved, and that expensive shocks allow for such disassembly and modification.
    It seems the same way for expensive street car coil overs and race cars.

    But they are too expensive (separate reservoir bypass coilovers)
    I haven't given other things any though such as whether or not more parts will be needed (supporting mods) such as different control arms, or at the minimum replacing wear items while in there (would DIY) such as if there's rubber bushings or something that can wear out

    TL;DR: is it worth going with something like Bilstein for now, and which specific models?
    Thank you

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jul 19, 2019 at 7:21 PM
    #2
    FishingPups

    FishingPups Well-Known Member

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  3. Jul 19, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #3
    PolishPat

    PolishPat Active Member

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    i got the 6112 in the front and 5100 in back and for the price ive been more then happy with its capability both on and off road. on road i take corners smoother and offroad it would handle what ur talking about no problem..most people wont recommend it but im from florida and we just go faster when its bumpy so your skipping over the bumps :bikewhoops: but florida also has people who do bath salt and try to eat other peoples faces off..
     
  4. Jul 19, 2019 at 7:44 PM
    #4
    MightyMouseTom

    MightyMouseTom Balance off road vs on road performance

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    2inch lift, 285/75/17 Nitto Trails Grapplers, Billy 6112/5100s AAL, Alpine Design Cab mount relocation, TRD Supercharger w/URD pulley, Volant Ram Air Intake, TRD Exhaust, Katzkin, TechDeck, Ram mounts, Audio w/hideaway kicker amp, CBI skid, Custom grille, and SS3 fogs

    I seriously just told the wife I’m ordering this same set up for mine on Monday.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2019 at 7:48 PM
    #5
    crx7

    crx7 1997 FZJ80 Triple Locked

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    1) I have 5100s, I don't know about the rest.
    2) 5100 shocks alone are height adjustable, however the only height adjustable I would buy is a full coilover that comes with springs. I don't recommend using the perch height adjustments on the 5100s to achieve lift, as this very negatively effects the ride.
    3) do not get a spacer lift like rough country. These are solely for looks and are not useful off road.
    4) Bypass shocks: these are needed if you are overheating your shocks by racing very fast off road. The reservior has more fluid which increases the heat capacity of your shock. So, if you're not racing fast off road, you don't really need an external reservoir.
    5) Money, brands and what you need/want is up to you. I have been very happy with the 5100s and feel they are very nice off road. I also had stock shocks and felt they were very very rough off road at 90 k miles.

    6) You asked why lift? Because it increases the up travel of the shock before it bottoms out. Thus, at speeds where I would usually be hitting my bump stops a lot and bottoming my shocks out, I'm not, and it's much smoother.

    I went from mostly blown TRD yellow shocks, to 5100s on stock springs, to 884s, and the ride and capability off road improved significantly with each step.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2019 at 8:12 PM
    #6
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you
    gonna plan for DIY and try out this new Arcan ALJ3T truck jack
    Screw giving away money for an installation to someone who might damage the truck
    free forearm workout, parking lot crossfit
    laying under vehicle = neck workout
    Changed transmissions on cars before; hoping this will be easy

    Only one way to become acquainted with the guts of your own vehicle to know what it is and how it looks, and that is by wrenching on it

    I wonder if there's any differences based on truck options such as cab size, off road vs sport package, etc.
    the same way there is with cars (different suspensions for sedan vs wagon, 4 cylinder vs v6/v8, model year ride height differences, low ride height sport vs non sport, etc.)
    but it seems maybe not in this case

    [​IMG]

    I wonder why despite hearing all the bad stuff about Florida for years, people still continue to move there
    which tells me it still must have certain good things to offer

    Sure that YouTube video said there's bull sharks everywhere, and that peoples backyard is a waterway to park their boat like a car
    but that looked pretty cool, as long as you make sure to not fall off the boat near a bull shark
    Maybe it's milder then Australia, with venomous snakes crawling in through the A/C vent, etc.

    Why the 6112?
    When I searched 2nd gen Tacoma in a parts site to see what Bilstein products come up, for a slightly higher price they had a separate rear reservoir version for the rear. I don't know why such a thing would only pop up for the rear, because I hear the fronts matter most.

    I put Bilstein HD's on a Mercedes once; reviews said they made it handle flat like a Ferrari; and maybe it did
    but on a Mercedes it didn't feel the best because the stock old shocks made it floaty (like a boat they say), but to me it felt more like a cloud
    which is how a Mercedes is supposed to be; a luxury car, not as sporty as BMW. Unless it's a Sport model or AMG I guess
    but new AMG's probably have a button to switch between comfort and sport modes

    in other words for sedans, Bilstein was said to be kinda rough and not as comfortable as it's competitor Koni, etc.

    There appears to be some sort of sale now too
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  7. Jul 19, 2019 at 8:21 PM
    #7
    ZachPrerunner

    ZachPrerunner Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t

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    I have 5100’s on the front and rear of my 07. The fronts are set at the .85 setting which basically “levels” the truck out with the rear. When I replaced my original shocks with the 5100’s, I purchased takeoff springs from another member on here. If you have a TRD Offroad package @TacoTuesday1, I’d suggest getting linear springs. If you decide to use the perches for lift (like I did), the progressive springs found on the Offroad package will be rough. While the ride is definitely stiffer from stock, it’s not overkill. The truck feels much tighter in turns and handles a lot better than stock IMO. Also you’ll need a spring compressor to install the new shocks. Although you can rent them from autozone, they’re kinda sketchy. I’d pay to have a shop install them over using one of those again.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2019 at 8:23 PM
    #8
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    If you have 130000 miles on your shocks they are shot, they need replacement, front and back. I know some will say they have more miles on theirs and they are fine. I say bs. You need need new shocks. Basically 5100 series Bilsteins are made specifically for lifted trucks. 4600 series Bilsteins are the same as 5100 shocks except are made for non lifted trucks. The 4600’s are a little cheaper than 5100’s. Internally they are the same shock, the outsides look a little different.
    If you don’t plan to lift your truck get a set of the 4600 heavy duty Bilsteins. They are great on the highway and great off road.
    I replaced the original factory shocks on my truck with 4600 heavy duty shocks. The difference in ride and handling both on the highway and off road is phenomenal. If I have to replace the shocks on my truck again in the future it’ll be with Bilstein 4600’s.
     
    spitdog likes this.
  9. Jul 19, 2019 at 8:34 PM
    #9
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That's what I heard but wasn't sure how to diagnose. I hear shocks can be a 100k mile wear item.
    One person told me that by pushing down on my truck bed and by looking at how it bounced and kinda squeaked, that it meant it needs new shocks.
    Plus trucks probably get more wear and tear on them out on a trail that a regular car doesn't go on, and the big weight of things like large tires

    I heard one series is wider size than the other, and that the first two series numbers are how wide it is. Like "5100 = 51mm"
    Not sure if true
    Bilsteins sound like a swallowable pill at this time; King and Fox not so much. Definitely would if I won the lottery though.

    Not sure if it's a good idea to lift the truck or not, and if that shock choice you mention has to do with the travel of the shock to garuntee it's not bottoming out
    Also not sure about some of these shocks claiming they can be adjusted to change the truck height on their own

    IDK if lifts offer performance including off-road,
    or if it's for posers trying to look cool in a parking lot
    Previous owner installed bigger tires FWIW, whatever larger size comes on 4Runner's

    Might look better if it's leveled though
    idk if lifting has drawbacks such as needing different suspension components to have the right angles (aftermarket control arms) and worse fuel economy if it becomes less aerodynamic,
    but the truck is probably already not the most aerodynamic due to having somewhat higher ride height/better ground clearance from factory
    Maybe that makes it better at off-roading vs. a stock Silverado that comes lower when stock, but trucks like that probably are designed for a different purpose including carrying/hauling higher weight loads

    it's a TRD Sport package, with fresh rear leaf springs from the dealership recall
    not sure what type of suspension it has (linear vs progressive)

    Whatever spring compressor Autozone rents, I used my own before (bought it for $20) - "You get what you pay for" as they say. Not easy to use, and was on a passenger car (idk if a different size is needed for trucks)
    and on the opposite end of the spectrum, have also used a wall-mounted spring compressor
    way easier to use, but more expensive. Might've been an $800 Branick one

    [​IMG]
    edit: truck is also manual
    on some passenger cars, things like transmission choice is part of what's called "weight indexes" ie engine choice, etc. and they use different springs (with color identification marks on them) based on things even as small as which transmission
    such as manual vs automatic (because the manual gearbox is like 50lbs lighter in weight)
    IDK if it's the same way for Toyota
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  10. Jul 20, 2019 at 3:33 AM
    #10
    TACOMA2NDGEN

    TACOMA2NDGEN Well-Known Member

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    I also have the 5100 series at all corners. Adjustables up front set on the 3rd notch witch levels out the truck. And IMO the truck rides smother and it doesn’t dive as much when your braking. I replaced the rear and nothing when driving the backend doesn’t hop around over bumps as much
     
  11. Jul 20, 2019 at 5:51 AM
    #11
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I thought springs did the lifting? and that shocks are chosen to match their travel height to that
    supposedly some ways to do that are spacers, or higher springs such as OME's,
    but that adds cost (OME front springs are $200 new I think)

    going to think over some 4600's,
    am just not sure what suspension is currently on the truck and if it can even be figured out
    Dealership inspected it to prepare for rear leaf spring recall to make sure it was stock (said they require it) and luckily it was, no leafs added or anything so that covers the back end
    but am not sure about the front yet and if the springs are stock or not because it sits high, unless that's normal
    though there are no visible spacers

    *if* the truck is stock, sounds like 4600's would be the cheapest option
     
  12. Jul 20, 2019 at 8:38 AM
    #12
    PolishPat

    PolishPat Active Member

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    sounds like ur taking ur time and doing hw..so whatever option u go with ur most likely gonna b happy! its just about coughing up that $$ which can b hard at first. when i got my truck spending a few hundred on aftermarket parts seemed crazy to me but now its been 2 1/2 years and im saving up to buy 1k+ parts and it still hurts not gonna lie but i know im gonna be stoked and im expanding the possibilities of where i can go with my truck! (i love being in the middle of nowhere living out of my truck for weeks at a time if school and work line up to make that happen)
     
  13. Jul 27, 2019 at 10:56 PM
    #13
    ricknobinson

    ricknobinson Well-Known Member

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    What year is your truck? I’d like to get the leaf spring recall done too but was afraid it might be too late.
     

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