Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

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Thread: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

  1. #1
    Junior Member 87runner's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    Searched around a bit and didn't seem to find a definitive answer to my question. Truck is a 2000 4x4 Tundra. Got 5100's up front currently set at 2". Want to drop down to 1". Do I have to completely remove the spring to adjust the collar or can I compress the spring to relieve the pressure and adjust it that way without pulling it all apart?

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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    I'm fairly certain you will need to disassemble the coil-strut assembly. The issue is you need to be able to compress the coil sufficient to have the lower spring perch slide up and clear the c-clip, and there isn't enough available compression length to do that.
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    Quote Originally Posted by Remmy700P View Post
    I'm fairly certain you will need to disassemble the coil-strut assembly. The issue is you need to be able to compress the coil sufficient to have the lower spring perch slide up and clear the c-clip, and there isn't enough available compression length to do that.
    Thanks Remmy, I rented a spring compressor tool from the local parts store in hopes that this will be a relatively easy job. I have done the timing belt, swapped the rack and pinion, etc. on the truck, never have jimmied with coil springs though. I had a shop install the springs at the 2" setting last time, seeing as this is my first time attempting to adjust the 5100's, is this a fairly easy task or should I pony up the $20-$30 and just have the shop adjust the settings?
    Last edited by 87runner; 01-20-2013 at 09:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    If its only $20-$30, dont even wonder, just let the shop do it....
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    In theory, since you are lowering the perch and not raising it, it should be possible to do this without removing the spring. In actuality, that would be a very dangerous act to work on a coilover assembly with a loaded spring.

    I'd toss some cash at a shop with a fork style wall mounted unit, the rented spring compressors are typically of bad quality and aren't well cared for. They work great for smaller springs like those of a Honda Civic, but the springs under a Tundra are fairly heavy duty and harder to compress.
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    $20-$30? I had to haggle a place to come down to $75 for the pair. Everywhere near me seemed to want $150 for the effort... ridiculous!

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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    That's obscene, it's no more than 30 minutes work with a wall mount unit.
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    Quote Originally Posted by tundrunk View Post
    That's obscene, it's no more than 30 minutes work with a wall mount unit.
    That's what I explained to them to get the price down... said if I had their equipment I could do it in half an hour! Walked out of the first tire shop because they refused to come down from $150 (and I brought everything in... they didn't even have to take anything off my truck). Also, a couple places I called before that refused to touch the things because they didn't sell me the parts. It was a frustrating time.

    Found a good 4x4 shop that was willing to put them together, and I waited for about an hour and a half for them to finish... and this was with 2 guys working on them. Apparently my coils are pretty stiff and took some wrestlin', and they had to cut and hammer out the rusty top studs from the stock setup to re-use the top plates. I wouldn't want to try it myself with a little rented spring compressor, that's for sure.
    Last edited by seanpistol; 01-21-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    I did exactly what you're asking about, going from 2" to 1.5" with the compressor just holding the coils enough to relieve the pressure on the perch clip. It's scary, but no more so than using the ****ty cheap compressor in the first place. The actual time to re-position the clip is in the neighborhood of 7 seconds. If I knew of a shop that'd do it for 30 or 40 bucks I wouldn't even consider dealing with it myself. I tossed the cheap spring compressor in the garbage when I was done so I wouldn't be tempted to re-use them, after seeing how much they bent under the force of the spring.
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    After some debate, I opted to just have the shop do it. Course my $30 estimate was way off, they charged $80! Little spendy especially considering I dropped the units off, they didn't have to do any wrenching. Easiest money they have ever made I'm sure. Either way though I'm happy with the ride quality. Little plusher than the 2 inch setting. Still clear my 255 85/16's no prob

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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    I did it with them on my truck once. got a spring compressor, hooked it up to my coils while the truck was on the ground. then compressed the coils as much as i could (constraint was the room I had, not the tension) then I jacked up the front end and had plenty of room to slide up the bottom spring pad, and lower the circlip. then let the truck down, and released spring compressors. wuala!
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    Default Re: Adjusting Bilstein 5100's

    Quote Originally Posted by Auburn02 View Post
    I did exactly what you're asking about, going from 2" to 1.5" with the compressor just holding the coils enough to relieve the pressure on the perch clip. It's scary, but no more so than using the ****ty cheap compressor in the first place. The actual time to re-position the clip is in the neighborhood of 7 seconds. If I knew of a shop that'd do it for 30 or 40 bucks I wouldn't even consider dealing with it myself. I tossed the cheap spring compressor in the garbage when I was done so I wouldn't be tempted to re-use them, after seeing how much they bent under the force of the spring.
    we have a 20 ton floor compressor at work and the top bar that the hydraulic jack pushed down on is slightly bent and this is at a toyota collision shop. these springs have incredible compression forces.
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