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Old 05-15-2012, 10:38 AM #1
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Front Bilstein 5100's Finally Installed - Couple Questions

Well, I am ready for my new Michilen LTX-MS2 265/65/R17's so I put the front Bilsteins on last night. I left them at the stock height setting and put my spacer back in. I have a couple questions.

1. When I compressed the spring on the stock shocks, I had about 1/8" clearance between top assembly plate and coil spring. When I put the Bilsteins in, I had about 1" of clearance between the coil spring and the top assembly plate before releasing the spring compressor? That confused me, but everything seems to be working properly and I did have the coil in compression once released.

2. I did the method where you loosen and drop the lower control arm to install the shocks since it getting an alignment today. That lower control arm moves doesn't it? So, I guess there is a specific torque setting on the lower control arms that also hold the shims? That torque allows the lower control arm to move, but retains cshim position?

I had installed the rear 5100's earlier and couldn't tell much difference. The front is not like day and night, but feels tighter and I don't feel any bumps in the steering wheel. My old shocks only had 40,000 miles on them.

Looking forward to seeing how well these LTX/MS2's ride. They look like a nice tire. Hopefully they will be smooth and quiet.

By the way, the dealer matched Costco pricing on the tires at $977.66. Even with Toyota's buy 3 get the 4th one free was previously quoted at $1084. So if you have a Costco account, Toyota will match their pricing. Costco price was with this months $70 off coupon.

Best regards,
Doug
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:25 AM #2
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Just curious, why are you using a spacer in front since you just installed the 5100's which are adjustable? Your sig also says you have a DS 1.5" rear spacer. If I were you, I'd ditch the front spacer and set the 5100's at 1.75".

Also, it sounds to me that you didn't take the entire assembly out to change out the shock. Did you loosen the 3 top bolts on the top plate and slide the coil over assembly out? That's how I did mine, pretty easy job (I've done it twice now) so I'm not sure how to answer your questions.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:42 AM #3
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Yes, I took off the 3 nuts on the top plate and took the entire assembly out. After conversing on here about lifts with ARK and others, it was 6 of one and half dozen of the other as far as setting the Bilsteins to .85" or keeping the spacer.

I knew I had the exact lift I wanted with the spacer from my measurements, so I just left the Bilsteins at stock and put the spacer back it. I also had previously pressed longer studs in so I just went with the spacer. Lift measurements after installing were exactly the same as before.

I was just confused as to why the Bilsteins had more spacing than the stock shocks. So I had the coil springs on the bench, took out the old stock shocks and put in the Bilsteins. When I put the boot on top and the top plate with the 3 studs, the springs were further away from engaging the top plate that the stock shocks position. The only thing I could figure was that the plunger rod was longer until compressed.

After I installed the top plate assembly, I released the coils and they contacted the upper plate assembly and developed some pressure to keep everything in place. They went back into the vehicle fine, I just didn't understand the spacing difference between the Bilsteins and the stock shocks?.

On the lower control arm question: I loosened the LCA to drop it out of the way. My shims didn't move during installation and bolting the LCA back together. I don't have a torque wrench, so I just tightened the LCA to what I thought it was before. I am getting alignment today, so they will torque to spec. I was just wondering if you over tightened the LCA's, would this hinder movement of the LCA or cause other problems?

A torque wench is on the shopping list :-)

Best regards, Doug
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:21 PM #4
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Roger that on the use of a spacer.

On the LCA question, I do remember taking off the two LCA bolts and when reinstalling, torquing them on to spec. I don't think over tightening those bolts can do much harm if only temporary. I'd say, better to over tightening those than have them come loose! Make sure to tell whoever is giving you the alignment today that you need those tightened to spec and to use Loctite on those bolts. If it's a Yota dealership then they should know the drill.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:34 PM #5
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Thanks Krupnation,
Yes, I told Toyota that I had dropped the LCA's last night and didn't torque them back to spec. I told them that if the alignment was in spec, that they still needed to break those bolts and tighten to spec.

The 2 bolts I was referring too are the ones associated with the shims. The ones that attach to the spindle I don't think could be too tight.

Looking for a call soon that it's done and I'll post my coments on the new tires.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:58 PM #6
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The Michelin LTX/MS2's are nice and quiet, I think I'll be happy with this choice. I am not happy that the huge balancing weights from the Dunflops left marks on my rims :-)
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Front Bilstein 5100's Finally Installed - Couple Questions-michelin-tires-1-jpg 
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:44 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougtoms01 View Post
1. When I compressed the spring on the stock shocks, I had about 1/8" clearance between top assembly plate and coil spring. When I put the Bilsteins in, I had about 1" of clearance between the coil spring and the top assembly plate before releasing the spring compressor? That confused me, but everything seems to be working properly and I did have the coil in compression once released.
I think the shock length of the Bilsteins is longer than stock to accommodate the lift, so this would explain why you had more room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougtoms01 View Post
2. I did the method where you loosen and drop the lower control arm to install the shocks since it getting an alignment today. That lower control arm moves doesn't it? So, I guess there is a specific torque setting on the lower control arms that also hold the shims? That torque allows the lower control arm to move, but retains cshim position?
Over-tightening the eccentric bolts will not prevent the LCA from moving as it should. Regardless of the torque on the bolt, the bushings allow it to move still. There is a metal sleeve inside the bushings preventing them from being tightened to the point where movement is inhibited.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:29 PM #8
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Bilsteins Wrong

I just installed those Bilsteins. I believe I have the retainers on one side incorrectly. I can't be sure from diagrams I found on A.J.'s website, but here is my question.
Their are 2 retainers. Is the bottom one cupped and the top one flat?
If the cupped one is the bottom one, should it be located so that the inside of the cup is pointing towards the top part of the shock below upper strut plate cushion?

Also, looks like I should have located the coils so that the end of the coil is on the wheel side and the end would be pointing towards the front of the vehicle. If I am looking directly at the side of the wheel, the end of the bottom my coils is pointing towards me. In A.J.'s photo, the end of the coil is facing the front of the car.

How big of a deal is this?

The reason I looked into this, was after having the tires installed and aligned I drove it on the expressway. I noticed at ~60-65mph, I was getting a little vibration in the steering wheel. I was thinking the wheels needed balanced better. They have no weights on the front wheels and said the new Michilens were much better tollerance on being true.

I guess I'll redo the Bilsteins and coil rotation and then see if I need to take it back to have them check the wheel balance. Ugh, hate to tear this apart again, but I am learning :-(

I'll wait on answers before I tear into it.

Best regards,
Doug
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:09 PM #9
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is a 265/70 biggest tire u can run?? seems thats what most people are running with a 5100+fj coil setup...one or 2 guys are sitting on 255/75s but i dont know...
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:19 PM #10
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I am running stock coils
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:11 AM #11
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Ok, well I re-done both side of the Bilsteins 5100's with stock coils.
I had new Michilen LTX/MS2's 265/65/R17 put on yesterday.
I think I am feeling a slight vibration in the steering around 60-65mph.
I double checked my shock install and realized I did not have the coils ending in the correct place. I took them out and adjusted them to the manual position. I also found that I had the bottom retianer on one side above the suspension support, so I had a retainer above and below the upper bushing. Corrected that and put everything back together.

No change in the ride. Still a slight vibration in the steering at 60-65mph.

I'll have Toyota look at the balance of the front tire tomorrow. They evidently were so perfect that they required no balancing weights except for one rear tire.

After all this install and the new tire, the ride seems stiffer to me. I will have to reasearch the LTX/MS2's and see if they are a more ridgid sidewall than the Dunlops.

Disappointed at the moment, I was looking for a softer ride.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:55 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougtoms01 View Post
Ok, well I re-done both side of the Bilsteins 5100's with stock coils.
I had new Michilen LTX/MS2's 265/65/R17 put on yesterday.
I think I am feeling a slight vibration in the steering around 60-65mph.
I double checked my shock install and realized I did not have the coils ending in the correct place. I took them out and adjusted them to the manual position. I also found that I had the bottom retianer on one side above the suspension support, so I had a retainer above and below the upper bushing. Corrected that and put everything back together.

No change in the ride. Still a slight vibration in the steering at 60-65mph.

I'll have Toyota look at the balance of the front tire tomorrow. They evidently were so perfect that they required no balancing weights except for one rear tire.

After all this install and the new tire, the ride seems stiffer to me. I will have to reasearch the LTX/MS2's and see if they are a more ridgid sidewall than the Dunlops.

Disappointed at the moment, I was looking for a softer ride.
You bought one of the best tires around. You could check inflation to make sure it is what is recommended . . . I believe it is 35 psi. Also. from my understanding the Bilstiens will give you a slightly firmer ride than stock.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:21 AM #13
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check tire pressure. the 5100's are similar to bilstein's heavy duty except made for lifted vec. so they will firmer than OEM, how could you expect a softer than stock ride?
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:42 AM #14
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Yes the Bilstiens will be FIRMER than the OEM shocks so do not beat your brains out trying to figure out why. If you want a ride similar to stock you should go with a factory replacement type shock (Monroe, KYB, etc.).
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:36 AM #15
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Good enough men.

The Bilsteins must be a little firmer. Talking with folks and the vendor, I expected a better ride than stock. I guess I get better handling and the rise I'll get used too. No biggy. Maybe when these wear out, I'll try a different set up.

Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it as always.

Best regards,
Doug
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