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Why we use the FOX 117s over the 116 in our kits

Discussion in 'HeadStrong Off-Road' started by HeadStrong Off-Road, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:48 AM
    #1
    HeadStrong Off-Road

    HeadStrong Off-Road [OP] Well-Known Member Vendor

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    We get this question a lot and I thought it would be a good idea to explain things. In our FOX kits for the ones that include the 2.0 with reservoirs, for non lifted or AAL lifted we recommend the 985-24-117 or 985-26-117 shocks over the -116s. Now we do this because we have a clear understanding of the shock specifications and what compressed and extended length will work best. Now we understand the manufacturer might indicate which shock is good for what lift height, but unfortunately sometimes this information just doesn't make sense.

    For example the manufacturer indicates the 985-24-116 shocks are good for up to 1.5" of lift. The problem with this is the shock specifications clearly indicate otherwise. In fact the factory series 4600 shocks on the TRD models actually have a longer extended length over the FOX -116 shocks. And when looking at the standard 5100 shocks in comparison to the FOX -116 the 5100 shocks measure out 1/2" longer. So basically why would someone want to pay more for a performance rear shock and actually loose travel over the factory shocks? Answer is simple, they don't and this is why we use the 117 shocks.

    Now this could raise a question concerning the collapsed length, are the FOX -117s too long such that the shocks will collapse before striking the bumps when not running a rear lift? They sure aren't and we tested to confirm this. There are plenty of other shocks out on the market designed for no lift that actually have a longer collapsed length over the -117s, I'll point to part 25001-121 as an example (another manufacturers shock). Certainly this shock manufacturer did their homework before designing these shocks and had they not there would be a lot of failures as a result of collapsing the shocks before striking the bumps.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have questions concerning our pairings. Having just had to do a return for someone who purchased 117s from us because the customer called the manufacturer and they told them the 117s are the incorrect shocks (he went a bought the 116 not knowing), the customer is now out money and now has less travel in the rear over his factory set-up. Such a shame!

    Attached is a photo of the 985-24-116 shocks compared to the 5100 standards (24-186728) showing that 1/2" additional extension.

    Bilstein 5100 vs FOX 116.jpg
     
  2. Jan 15, 2019 at 4:47 PM
    #2
    cdub91

    cdub91 New Member

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    What about the 980-24-670 rear shock with a 1.5” lift?
     
  3. Jan 16, 2019 at 10:31 AM
    #3
    HeadStrong Off-Road

    HeadStrong Off-Road [OP] Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Matt here chiming in on this one

    Well honestly it wouldn't be ideal to run a rear lift with these shocks, but at the same time it can be done. Here's the deal with an AAL, there are those that run them simply to bring the rear back up to where it was before the factory leaf packs starting sagging and in this case you really are not gaining lift at all. Now if this is the case you won't really notice the shock fully extending any quicker (maybe just a little) over say the factory shocks. Now if the AAL were actually providing 1.5" above what the factory leaf packs provided new (i.e. if the truck were brand new an you immediately add an AAL), then you would probably notice the shocks reaching full extension fairly quick. Just keep in mind these shocks have a 22" extended length, so they are in fact shorter than a Bilstein 5100 shock which I pretty sure measures about the same as the 4600 factory series Bilsteins on the TRDs, so honestly right off the bat your are loosing a little travel, specifically the droop.

    With all that said what it boils down to is how important is it to have the same amount of droop in the suspension as it did with the stock shocks, for those who really off-road their trucks this is probably important to them and ideally they would want more droop over factory, for those who just commute back and forth to work and never really off road, they really aren't going to notice a difference since they likely never really maximize the range of motion in the suspension anyways.

    So yes you can certainly run an AAL with these, but it's maybe not ideal for those who want to hit the trails.

    I hope this make sense and answers your question
     
    cdub91 and ChadsPride like this.
  4. Feb 9, 2019 at 4:54 PM
    #4
    Nitori

    Nitori Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused here, need a little clarification- I have a set of 116's w/ clickers on my truck right now but they will be coming off for a revalve soon-ish. My truck has archive garage shackle hangers but is otherwise stock- leaf packs and all.

    It's my understanding that at least with a stock leaf pack, droop is limited by the pack and not the shock- as a general rule of thumb shocks should never act as limit straps on full extension, correct?
    So if the foxes have .5"-.2" of shock travel and I lose .5"-.2" of droop travel, double big oopsies because my shocks were the limit straps and not the leaf springs.

    I measured my OEM shocks and indeed their extended length is 22.5" compared to the Fox 22.3", but like I'm thinking, the only reason I would ever see a difference in travel on an otherwise stock setup would be if my shocks were the limiting factor, which they shouldn't be.:confused:

    I'm just trying to figure out if I am conceptualizing this wrong in my head. I know my setup is... unorthodox, as my build is aiming to pull the max potential out of the suspension without any lift or larger tires.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2019 at 5:02 PM
    #5
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    Easiest way to find out will be to jack the truck up by the frame and measure the droop with the shock installed. Lower it back down, remove the one bolt that holds the shock on and jack it up again and remeasure. If the number doesn’t change your shock is not limiting droop.
     
  6. Feb 10, 2019 at 1:13 PM
    #6
    Nitori

    Nitori Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to undo bolts or anything but I measured the shaft lengths with the tire hanging vs static ride height (bed unloaded) and I only have more questions now. Something don't add up...

    First off it would appear that my shocks are limiting down travel/ droop, if the stroke is 8.6 that's right about where my shocks extend to, hanging free:
    IMG_2149.jpg
    Right about where that rubber external bump stop meets the eyelet, looks like 8.6" or max stroke to me... but I thought that's bad news, unless the Fox shocks have internal droop limiters?

    But then at static ride height this is what really has me scratching my head now:
    IMG_2147.jpg
    I've got basically 5" of up travel before the shock would hit the external bump and start to bottom out. My stock bumps have about 4.5" from the strike plate to the tip, which I think is a nice comfy margin- half an inch of engagement with factory bump before the shock's eternal bump engages. With a 13.7" vs 14.7" collapsed length there is no way the 117 is engaging the factory bump stop at all before it crashes into the external shock bump, in fact it looks like it would have fully blown through it- 5.5" is basically where I would be striking the eyelet itself... !!

    I know a lot of this goes out the window with an AAL but, this just seems off somewhere. Or maybe i'm just not grasping the concepts.

    And for what it's worth I went back and looked at a picture I took of the stock Bilsteins next to the 116's, and the shaft lengths as far as usable travel look exactly the same:

    IMG_1705.jpg
     
  7. Feb 10, 2019 at 1:20 PM
    #7
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    Extended (taller) bumpstops are used to control the uptravel and prevent the shock from topping out. The bumpstop will contact the frame and prevent full compression of the shock to its limits. Basically the same idea as a limit strap to control the droop but in reverse.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2019 at 3:38 PM
    #8
    Nitori

    Nitori Well-Known Member

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    I already know that, which is why I was wondering why the 117 is recommended to be run over 116's on a truck with no lift, especially w/ no mention of an extended bump stop, because based on the geometry I am seeing on my truck they would top out before the bumpstop would contact the frame.

    Maybe this is a 2nd gen vs 3rd gen thing?:confused:

    After some googling and measuring it looks like there is a commonly held misunderstanding about 4600's and the OEM Bilsteins Toyota provides on TRD models, which just look a lot like 4600s but are not. (clever bit of marketing!)

    The OEM Shock I measured is PN as follows: 48530-04110
    IMG_2153.jpg

    Extended length: 22.50" ( Tape measure slipped a tiny bit as I took the picture)
    IMG_2157.jpg

    Collapsed length (I'm not a 5-armed wizard and I can't take a pic of this one :rofl:): 13.875" (13 and 7/8)

    So that gives me a travel of 8.65 which is roughly exactly what Fox lists as their total travel, and is probably a bit more precise than a dude in a garage with a tape measure.

    It's looking like the Fox 116's basically ape the stock geometry pretty much exactly, save for being two tenths shorter overall. I guess they must have some kind of internal stop on the droop travel, then... :notsure:
     
  9. Feb 10, 2019 at 3:43 PM
    #9
    Nitori

    Nitori Well-Known Member

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    So I guess TL;DR, I inadvertently found out that 116's are pretty much exact stock geometry and are acceptable for no lift, but only no lift, otherwise go with what Headstrong says and get 117's... :hattip:
     
  10. Mar 15, 2019 at 4:25 PM
    #10
    HeadStrong Off-Road

    HeadStrong Off-Road [OP] Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Matt here again..... I am just now seeing this sorry :oops:

    @Nitori I have access to all these shocks in our warehouse and can measure them as needed and I am also very much familiar with these trucks. The information I posted is accurate and very useful for those interested in the 116 shocks. To reiterate the 117 shocks bump out without an issue, even with no lift, and again there are actually various other factory replacement shocks with longer collapse lengths that also bump out (yes with the factory bumps) just fine. The reason I wanted to post this was to help people understand why we don't include the 116's in our kits.

    For what its worth, the rear shocks are the limiting factor for droop, not the leaf packs. So unless you plan to run limit straps in the rear, your shocks will be the limiter. This is a common misconception on here as a lot of people seem to think because they got new leaf packs they suddenly have additional droop or now need longer brake lines, well its the shocks extended length that determines the droop. Also in this case the travel of the shock has nothing to do with the travel in the suspension, you need to consider where you bump out at on up travel and what the extended length of the shock allows for as far as droop.

    As much as I appreciate your comments, they do somewhat confuse things and in turn this can cause more confusion with the TW members. I think before one decides to post up information its important they have a clear understanding of the suspension as a whole.

    Please feel free to reach out to us directly and we will gladly explain things in greater detail. I am 100% confident that after we explain exactly what's going with the rear suspension you'll conclude the same with the 117's. For those who choose not to believe us and apparently want less travel in the rear, we are happy to sell you the 116 shocks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 5:47 PM
    m603holden likes this.
  11. Mar 15, 2019 at 5:34 PM
    #11
    Nitori

    Nitori Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, your remarks about the OEM "4600" shock being longer than the 116 are... well, wrong.

    It's an honest mistake repeated by most everyone, what comes on an OEM TRD Toyota vs what Bilstein sells you as a 4600 are two slightly different but absolutely identical looking products.

    Any place you ask will list the 4600 as a 22.9" extended length but this is simply not the case for an OEM unit:

    IMG_2236.jpg IMG_2237.jpg

    Not even close. I even re-remeasured with a smaller easier to maneuver tape measure for the sake of having a full picture.

    But that's neither here nor there, I spoke to Fox and got roughly the same answer- shocks are indeed the limiting factor of droop and this is not a problem & limit straps are not really needed simply because most people don't mob that hard to be racking the shocks to full droop suddenly, over and over.

    More importantly, by "bumping out" do you mean fully collapsing to the specified collapsed length without engaging the chassis bump stop... at all?
    As in, if you got under the car on full compression and saw this:
    [​IMG]
    everything would be totally fine?

    Color me just a hair dubious...
     
  12. Mar 15, 2019 at 6:03 PM
    #12
    HeadStrong Off-Road

    HeadStrong Off-Road [OP] Well-Known Member Vendor

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    @Nitori we sell the 4600 series and we have the factory 4600 series here to measure from take offs.
    No mistake made here, we are very clear on the different 4600 series shocks.

    Bumping out meaning "Bumps" and not collapsing the shock

    You want to determine what collapsed length shock you can get away with, cycle your suspension.

    *********************
    Edit: I indicated the 4600 factory series (TRD shocks) were 1.5 diameter, thats just the fronts
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 6:52 PM
  13. Mar 15, 2019 at 6:13 PM
    #13
    Pushincaskets

    Pushincaskets Well-Known Member

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    @HeadStrong Off-Road wins again. Clear case of manufacturers saying something works DOES NOT mean it is optimized for a given situation. I’ll take practical experience of a trusted vendor doing this day in and day out, who has the capability to review many different shocks and applications to give the best advice. I have seen many examples where Headstrong does this whether they make the sale or not you get good advice.
     
  14. Mar 16, 2019 at 10:40 AM
    #14
    HeadStrong Off-Road

    HeadStrong Off-Road [OP] Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Matt here again

    Just had to step away from this last night, but I'm back and wanted to set things straight. As most on here know there is a lot of information that can be passed along and unfortunately in a lot of cases the information can be incorrect or misleading. As a result of this we get a tremendous amount of questions from customers simply because they get confused, which is completely understandable.

    The intent of this thread, on our own home page, was to both help provide some clarification regarding our use of the -117 shocks as well as a write-up/link we can point to for future use. Rather then people post information without the knowledge of both the product or the suspension to add confusion to the thread, we were hoping to be contacted directly so that if one didn't understand what we were talking about we could provide additional information to help explain things further.

    Regardless I wanted to clear the air on statements that were made and are inaccurate.

    TW Member - "It's my understanding that at least with a stock leaf pack, droop is limited by the pack and not the shock- as a general rule of thumb shocks should never act as limit straps on full extension, correct?"
    Response - The shocks are the limiting factor so this has never been a general rule of thumb. The easiest way to demonstrate this is to remove your eyelet bolt on the shock, jack the rear up, and see how far that rear end will droop beyond the shock.

    TW Member - "With a 13.7" vs 14.7" collapsed length there is no way the 117 is engaging the factory bump stop at all before it crashes into the external shock bump, in fact it looks like it would have fully blown through it- 5.5" is basically where I would be striking the eyelet itself... !!"
    Response - I've cycled the suspension to demonstrate this and so I know what you're saying is inaccurate. I also stated in my original post that there are other shocks (other manufacturers) that are used for no lift that actually have a longer collapsed length over the -117. Perhaps you should look at the FOX part# 883-24-007, were you aware the collapse length on these is 14.65" vs. the -117 being 14.70". I'm pretty sure 0.05" isn't going to mean the difference in striking the bumps before collapsing the shocks.
    https://www.ridefox.com/product.php...=Toyota&model=Tacoma+&year=2015&position=Rear


    TW member - "I inadvertently found out that 116's are pretty much exact stock geometry and are acceptable for no lift, but only no lift"
    Response - They do not have the same specifications and you actually can use them for small lifts, it really just depends on ones off-road use and ones need to have a specified amount of droop. The fact is some don't utilize the full range of motion in their suspension and so a little loss in droop after a small lift is maybe not that big of a deal at all. They can still benefit from having a decent set of shocks like the 116s. Also keep in mind FOX lists these for up to 1.5" of lift. Personally I wouldn't do any lift with them, but I hit the trails pretty hard and need/want as much droop as I can get.


    Lastly when measuring the Bilsteins extended length its important to have the boot on the shock. This is because the boot features a spacer that is about a 1/4" think. With the boot on you can measure from that spacer all the way down to the center of the eye. That's the full extended length of the shock
    :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 8:24 AM

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