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Old 04-14-2021, 03:07 AM #1
Lazywildcat01 Lazywildcat01 is offline
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Bilstein 5160 leaks two times now

I read about some people having failures on their 5160s, but decided to go with them anyways and thinking it wouldn't happen to me. Well....its happened twice on driver side in 4 months/5k plus miles of ownership. A total of 2 moderate off road trails on the first set and 1 easy off road trail on the 2nd set.

12/5/20: Installed 6112 and 5160 with Wheelers T13 coils for 2.5"/1.5" (more like 2.75"/1") A week later got 285s on Falken Wildpeak at3w p-metric and icon rebounds 17x8.5" wheels

1/12/21: noticed a leak, got a warranty process in February. Had to buy a new shock, send old one back in and then the refund will be processed.






3/14/21: Installed new 5160 on driver side along with a pair of OME 10mm trim packers and now it sits level front and rear




4/12/21: Noticed another leak on same driver side. Still awaiting refund of first shock sent back. Have not notified Wheelers of 2nd leak yet.



*durobumps bumpstops ordered and waiting for them to arrive at this moment.

Overall, I'm happy with how the 6112s perform for the price and the 5160s work well when not leaking. Any insight on why this keeps happening or what new shocks I should look into if a 3rd leak arises?

Pic for attention:
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:04 AM #2
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The reservoir hose fitting should have a Threaded banjo bolt that can be tightened just like a brake line to brake caliper. You can see the copper sealing washers and it appears to be some type of swaged/mechanical connection of the hose to the shock head. Poor engineering design and the Germans always pride themselves on their superior engineering but not so much on the 5160. They could easily fix their design flaw but from my experience they don't listen to their customers (German products of all kinds) and only change/fix their mistakes when they feel it is their superior thinking that brings about a change. Pathetic in my opinion. Keep sending them back and don't back down ever.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:53 PM #3
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I think these shocks are trash and all they did was take their 5100 and try to make it "fancy" to compete with other remote res shocks, as well as have something "upgraded" to offer/recommend with their 6112. I think the 6112 is great but I ultimately chose to go with something else partially because I was not happy with Bilstein's options for rear shock.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:04 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazywildcat01 View Post
I read about some people having failures on their 5160s, but decided to go with them anyways and thinking it wouldn't happen to me. Well....its happened twice on driver side in 4 months/5k plus miles of ownership. A total of 2 moderate off road trails on the first set and 1 easy off road trail on the 2nd set.

12/5/20: Installed 6112 and 5160 with Wheelers T13 coils for 2.5"/1.5" (more like 2.75"/1") A week later got 285s on Falken Wildpeak at3w p-metric and icon rebounds 17x8.5" wheels

1/12/21: noticed a leak, got a warranty process in February. Had to buy a new shock, send old one back in and then the refund will be processed.






3/14/21: Installed new 5160 on driver side along with a pair of OME 10mm trim packers and now it sits level front and rear




4/12/21: Noticed another leak on same driver side. Still awaiting refund of first shock sent back. Have not notified Wheelers of 2nd leak yet.



*durobumps bumpstops ordered and waiting for them to arrive at this moment.

Overall, I'm happy with how the 6112s perform for the price and the 5160s work well when not leaking. Any insight on why this keeps happening or what new shocks I should look into if a 3rd leak arises?

Pic for attention:
Had 5160s on for 5000K+ miles now, and so far so good. I'm wondering if the way you have the reservoir fitting pointed directly at the upper shock mount gusset on the frame has anything to do with it. It could be that during flexing the shock moves enough to have the fitting hit the gusset. I have the shock twisted out a where the fitting is angled out towards the rear tires a little, and away from the gusset. I believe this is also how the factory TRD Pro has the rear shock mounted. I also noticed that if the top mount is too loose the shock tends to twist back inwards after some driving. Looking at your first picture it looks like the top mount could be tightened a little more. Good luck !

Not mine, but I have the rear shocks positioned like this. I had the TRD version of the Bilstein 5160 before, and remembered that there was a fixed washer on the shock with a prong sticking out that goes into a hole in the shock mount on the frame to prevent twisting during driving\off-roading. I'm assuming that was to prevent the fitting from getting too close, or hitting the shock mount gusset on the frame. Too bad the Bilstein 5160 didn't come with this same feature.
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Bilstein 5160 leaks two times now-rear-shock-jpg  Bilstein 5160 leaks two times now-49248161348_99379d93d3-jpg 
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Last edited by anomalous; 04-14-2021 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:06 PM #5
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I had the same issues as OP, 5160's with 2" icon springs in the rear. After having the last shock go out with less than a 1,000 miles I went OME in the rear and have had no problem, no other changes to the rear suspension.

I agree with OP that the 6112's, (with 650lb coils), have been great for my application but the 5160's would not hold up.
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:25 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom-a-Loom View Post
The reservoir hose fitting should have a Threaded banjo bolt that can be tightened just like a brake line to brake caliper. You can see the copper sealing washers and it appears to be some type of swaged/mechanical connection of the hose to the shock head. Poor engineering design and the Germans always pride themselves on their superior engineering but not so much on the 5160. They could easily fix their design flaw but from my experience they don't listen to their customers (German products of all kinds) and only change/fix their mistakes when they feel it is their superior thinking that brings about a change. Pathetic in my opinion. Keep sending them back and don't back down ever.
That's a bit hyperbolic considering Bilstein is one of the most prominent and well-regarded shock/strut manufacturers in the world and that their stuff came on the Pro's until recently.
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:27 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalous View Post
Had 5160s on for 5000K+ miles now, and so far so good. I'm wondering if the way you have the reservoir fitting pointed directly at the upper shock mount gusset on the frame has anything to do with it. It could be that during flexing the shock moves enough to have the fitting hit the gusset. I have the shock twisted out a where the fitting is angled out towards the rear tires a little, and away from the gusset. I believe this is also how the factory TRD Pro has the rear shock mounted. I also noticed that if the top mount is too loose the shock tends to twist back inwards after some driving. Looking at your first picture it looks like the top mount could be tightened a little more. Good luck !

Not mine, but I have the rear shocks positioned like this. I had the TRD version of the Bilstein 5160 before, and remembered that there was a fixed washer on the shock with a prong sticking out that goes into a hole in the shock mount on the frame to prevent twisting during driving\off-roading. I'm assuming that was to prevent the fitting from getting too close, or hitting the shock mount gusset on the frame. Too bad the Bilstein 5160 didn't come with this same feature.
Thanks for the insight. Not sure what you mean by the "reservoir fitting pointed directly at the upper shock mount gusset on the frame"...are you talking about the round ball/hose part that goes from the top of the shock needs to be angled down more. In any case, I will pay attention and twist the shock body more towards the tire in the next install and hopefully thats that. Bilstein instructions doesn't mention anything about angling the shock body except to "Orient the hose fitting toward the rear of the vehicle as shown in Figure 7". I'll also note to screw down the top mount more and compress the bushings even more.
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:49 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalcyon View Post
I had the same issues as OP, 5160's with 2" icon springs in the rear. After having the last shock go out with less than a 1,000 miles I went OME in the rear and have had no problem, no other changes to the rear suspension.

I agree with OP that the 6112's, (with 650lb coils), have been great for my application but the 5160's would not hold up.
Which OME shock did you go with? Nitrocharger Sports? Are you running 6112 in the front and OMEs in the back and how many miles or months have you been on that setup? Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:53 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazywildcat01 View Post
Thanks for the insight. Not sure what you mean by the "reservoir fitting pointed directly at the upper shock mount gusset on the frame"...are you talking about the round ball/hose part that goes from the top of the shock needs to be angled down more. In any case, I will pay attention and twist the shock body more towards the tire in the next install and hopefully thats that. Bilstein instructions doesn't mention anything about angling the shock body except to "Orient the hose fitting toward the rear of the vehicle as shown in Figure 7". I'll also note to screw down the top mount more and compress the bushings even more.
What I meant was the round hose fitting on the main body looks to be too close to the frame mount. During flexing it could come incontact with the part of the frame I marked in blue. Twist the shock outward a little so that the fitting clears the frame. I think Bilstein doesn't mention this in the instructions because the shock can be used in other applications that may not have more clearance than the 4Runner application? I know for sure the stock TRD Pro Bilstein 5160 shocks are pointed outward from factory with a prong that keeps the shock from twisting
Attached Images
Bilstein 5160 leaks two times now-iunu5u8~2-jpg 
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Last edited by anomalous; 04-15-2021 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:59 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalous View Post
What I meant was the round hose fitting on the main body looks to be too close to the frame mount. During flexing it could come incontact with the part of the frame I marked in blue. Twist the shock outward a little so that the fitting clears the frame. I think Bilstein doesn't mention this in the instructions because the shock can be used in other applications that may not have more clearance than the 4Runner application? I know for sure the stock TRD Pro Bilstein 5160 shocks are pointed outward from factory with a prong that keeps the shock from twisting
Thanks for the clarification. Too late now to rotate it since its already leaking, but I will be mindful in the next install.

Also from a quick google pic search on "4runner 5160", seems to be most people have the hose fitting installed similar to mine, maybe the Pro part vs the 5160 is a bit different and the nipple or whatever is at a different angle?
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:15 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalous View Post
What I meant was the round hose fitting on the main body looks to be too close to the frame mount. During flexing it could come incontact with the part of the frame I marked in blue. Twist the shock outward a little so that the fitting clears the frame. I think Bilstein doesn't mention this in the instructions because the shock can be used in other applications that may not have more clearance than the 4Runner application? I know for sure the stock TRD Pro Bilstein 5160 shocks are pointed outward from factory with a prong that keeps the shock from twisting

I respectfully disagree.
As long as there is clearance there it should never contact the frame.
Mine was installed in a very similar way and 80k mi, no issues with any contacts.



Sure turn it to a different position. That will give you piece of mind.
I think the failure is mechanical on BILSTEIN’s side, not that the installer.
Just my humble opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, BILSTEIN makes good products, but this was just a failure on this individual T4R.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:59 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazywildcat01 View Post
Which OME shock did you go with? Nitrocharger Sports? Are you running 6112 in the front and OMEs in the back and how many miles or months have you been on that setup? Thanks in advance!
Yep Nitrocharger sports rear, 6112's front. I have no complaints.

TBH after reading countless threads before buying suspension it seemed super confusing and I was way worked up about it but having felt several different suspension setups I feel that as long as the spring is the correct rate the shocks don't make near as much of a noticable difference as I thought.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:31 PM #13
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The Bilstein 5160's have definitely seen some challenges since being released.

From customer feedback and event observations, we think the 5160's are better
suited for 0-1.5" max lift.

So, keep at stock height or at most with a 1" spacer or coil in the rear.

Anything over 1.5" of lift does seem to have a higher fail rate with off-road use.

ICON 2.0 (56505) matches well with 6112's for coils with 1-3" of lift.

OME 2.0 (60080) is a great option for coils with 2.5-3" of lift.



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Old 04-16-2021, 02:13 PM #14
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Thanks for the write-up, I'll be keeping an eye on mine.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:15 PM #15
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I bought this set up also. 6112 and 5160. 55,000 miles on the 6112 5160s leaked twice with under 10,000 miles. Payed good money for those and Bilstein would not replace after first one. At the time it had never been off road and stock rear springs. I didn't really want too but I went with the 5100 on the rear and have had no issues on or off road. Plus the 5100 have a lifetime warranty.
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