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Old 03-08-2019, 07:03 AM #1
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help me decide, dobinsons or bilstein shocks

ok so I need to replace the shocks in my 05 limited v8 with xreas and rear air springs. I am going to keep the rear air springs so just shocks would be needed for the rears. This truck is only driven on road with a good amount of highway driving and zero off roading. So I would like it to handle well without being too harsh of a ride and keep it close to stock ride height. I have been looking at both Bilstein and Dobinsons shocks. also was looking at Dobinsons springs for the front with no lift.
so I really haven't found any info comparing the two shocks so before I make a purchase I would like to get some info on how they compare.
I have looked at the dobinsons GS59-221 for the front and GS59-705 for the rear and either the bilstein 5100 or 4600
thank you
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:07 AM #2
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It all comes down to what you want out of the suspension. Robinson's are twin tube struts and shocks, bilstein are monotubes.

Monotubes will give you a more solid ride and better handling. Twin tubes are more on the softer side. More OEM manufacturers use twin tubes.

Best thing to do is Google monotubes vs twin tubes and you will get a ton of info on this and it might help you with your decision.

I prefer the bilsteins.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:30 AM #3
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Bilstein is too rough and Dobinson has many options to pick the exact height and ride you want. Dobinson vote from me!
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:45 AM #4
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This is a tough decision for anyone for a couple of reasons. First, it's subjective - someone else's perfect ride may be too soft or harsh for you. Plus, if you buy new, you have to invest a significant amount in something you really can't return if you don't care for it.

So my suggestion is to do one of the following:

1. See if there's a 4Runner or 4x4 group in your area. Lots of these groups exist online and on Facebook. Ask around to see who has a setup you're interested in and see if they'll let you ride shotgun on a trail run. Even a couple of trips around the block might be enough to give you enough of an impression to rule something in or out. Buy 'em a beverage for their trouble. That's what I was going to do until...

2. I was willing to buy if I could limit the potential monetary damage so to speak by picking up used parts. I found a TRD Offroad setup off a '15 Tacoma that uses Bilstein 4600s on Craigslist and rear FJ springs from an FJ forum. The TRD gear had 25K miles on it and the springs a few thousand.

I did the install so my "test drive" of 4600s involved a total cost of $200. That way, even if I didn't like it, I wasn't out much money (and I knew I could sell it and get some of the cash back anyway).

Turns out this configuration is awesome on- and off-road and the new shocks/springs lifted the front just enough to about level the truck, which is what I was looking for. So for a couple of hundred bucks, I'm set for 50-75K more miles until the 4600s wear out.

My two cents, and details are in a link in my sig if that would be helpful. Also happy to answer any questions about the gear or install.

Hope you end up with what you're looking for and please keep us posted.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:58 AM #5
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I just installed 4600s in place of a blown XREAS system due to price and availability - seeing all the rave reviews on this forum about the ride quality of the Bilsteins I figured it was worth the shot for a quick replacement.

I'm not so happy with the ride on our MN roads. 99% street driven and the thing feels kinda like a Jeep Wrangler now.

The shocks feel great driving slow over rough terrain, alright on freeways, and in turns; but not so great launching over small frost heaves over and over and over going 30-50.

If money permits then I'm thinking I'll be replacing these before next winter, but I want to see how they feel once the roads smooth out in the summer and I might just get used to them.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:10 PM #6
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lm loving my bilsteins and OME low lift (883/895e) feels great on the road and offroad
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:07 PM #7
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This is the best most recent thread I've seen:
https://www.toyota-4runner.org/4th-g...-learning.html

Also read up on AccuTune where they talk about on-road vs off-road, high speed vs low speed, and big woops vs small washboard across different types of suspension. I have 6112s, and for what I need - east coast potholed roads, highspeed rutted roads - and they are not the right shock. They are digressive when I should be running linear or progressive.

Digressive vs Linear vs Progressive Pistons & Shock Valving | AccuTune Off-Road
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:29 PM #8
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Stock height with bilstein should yield you a bit firmer ride. Go to the dealer and take one of their 4runner for a test drive. Get a feel what it used to feel. Then think with bilstein it will be a bit firmer. Still ride ok and complaint. If you're planning to lift, I'd stay away from bilstein because it will be much firmer where you are constantly feel like the truck is just jumping along the road. Every change in the road you will feel it. Hint hint...I hate it. It's like my daily lowered car except it doesn't go flying on a minor dip. I have dobinsons lift springs and will move onto their twin tube shocks. Like inscarguy said about the difference between them. Wish I had known before. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:07 PM #9
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thanks for the great info guys! well after reading through everyone's posts as well as doing some more research I think I might go with the dobinsons for now. it sounds like that is what I am looking for. going to change my lower control arms also. have to cut the seized bolts out first. not going to be fun but once the weather warms up here, ill get it done!
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:35 PM #10
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I was running Bilstein 5100s on all four corners with stock springs, fronts set at 0.85" for about 30k miles. Ride was awesome, firmer and better than stock with reduce nose dive. Recently just swapped to Dobinson's shocks and springs and it's noticeably firmer than previous set-up but in a good way. I find I prefer more of a truck-like ride compared to the cushy-bouncy stock. The increased firmness is likely also due to my lift now coming from new springs. I'm expecting the suspension to settle a little more. Either way, I think you'll be happy.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:06 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwong232 View Post
I was running Bilstein 5100s on all four corners with stock springs, fronts set at 0.85" for about 30k miles. Ride was awesome, firmer and better than stock with reduce nose dive. Recently just swapped to Dobinson's shocks and springs and it's noticeably firmer than previous set-up but in a good way. I find I prefer more of a truck-like ride compared to the cushy-bouncy stock. The increased firmness is likely also due to my lift now coming from new springs. I'm expecting the suspension to settle a little more. Either way, I think you'll be happy.
you notice a big difference when you switch since you were using some new shocks with old springs. i might consider doing the dobinson springs with my bills, not really happy with the moog fj springs since they dont really seat that good, but i was cheap and its working ok for me.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:36 AM #12
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Have you looked into the Old Man Emu options? My buddy has the OME lift kit installed on his truck and loves it. I am planning on installing on mine this weekend. Just another option to look at
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:13 PM #13
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I am also having a tough decision with this. However it seems like it's gonna be dobinson's for me. It's a tough choice to make, almost pulled the trigger on OME/5100
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:03 PM #14
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Everyone seems to love Dobinsonís. I was just on their website and they are reasonable priced and have tons of info on there. Good luck!


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Old 07-22-2019, 01:34 PM #15
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I got bilstein 5100 and dobinsons 302/325 coil spring, JBA high Caster and, dobinson diff drop. its been about a month with this setup and i like it a lot. I haven't taken the setup off roading yet. Just email mike directly on the forum he will definitely give you more information
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help me decide, dobinsons or bilstein shocks-effc44c3-7fb5-47bc-bcce-4f6a8d3f5675-2-jpg 

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