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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a long time viewer of the forum but first time posting. I'm about ready to pull the trigger on the Bilstein 5100 upgrade (front and back) for my 2001 AC because it's about time and based on everything I've read I probably should have done this years ago. I've decided to keep the truck (only 130K miles since original in 01) and therefore it deserves an upgrade. In any event, I am debating on whether to go with the 4th or 5th notch on the front 5100s and if I would need a 1" block if I went with the 4th notch or the 5th notch to make it approximately even.

In other words, those of you that have this mod on your 1st gen truck, what do you recommend? Do you have any photos you can post? I've seen a lot of photos with the middle notch or the top notch but not any with the 4th notch.

Also, what is your experience thus far? Now that you've had this upgrade done for a while what are your thoughts on going with the full lift (4th/5th notch) in terms of ride quality and alignment issues, etc?

For reference, I have the TRD wheels with 285/70/16 tires all around. I don't have a current photo of the truck but it currently has a 1-2" rake (back higher than the front) and it appears that the passenger front side has less of a gap between the fender and the tire than the driver's side. About a 1" difference.

Thanks in advance for any and all responses. When I get a chance I will post a "before" photo and then an "after" photo once I decide and get the installation completed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to add that it is a 2WD Access Cab SR5 V8.
 

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I have a 2004 2WD access cab and went with the 4th notch and 1" blocks (check out the photo in my "Garage"). That put the front about 1/4" lower than the rear and it looks good. If you go with the 5th notch, you'll either want 1.5" (tapered) blocks or AALs, which will also give you about 1.5" from what I hear. Getting the front shocks installed at the 4th notch was a real PITA. I'm not even sure if I would be able to squeeze them in there with the 5th notch. Some have had clearance issues with the 5th notch on certain years/models. Another reason to go with the 4th notch, is that the rear 5100s are rated for 0 to 1" lifts, so if you went with the fifth notch, you would need to exceed that range because you would need to go with a 1.5" lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mossman77: Thanks for the advice. I've been leaning towards the 4th notch and 1" blocks so this helps a lot. Your truck looks good. Not too much of a lift but enough to notice a difference. How is the ride? Also, I noticed you also have a rear sway bar installed. How is that working out you for you? Do you recommend it? I don't do any real serious off-roading so I've also considered that upgrade as well. Thanks.
 

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dmcarpio, I'm getting ready to add 5100's all around and an add-a-leaf in the back. I don't know what shipping costs will be, but those items at wheelersoffroad.com are the cheapest that I've found.

Check it out. The gentleman who works there (or owns wheeler's) posts here as well.
 

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Ride is good. A little bouncy but I expected that. I'll be putting 5100s on the rear this weekend so that will supposedly dampen things a bit. Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad at all. I don't have a rear sway bar. That is listed as a future mod
 

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2015 Toyota Tundra DC SR5 5.7L
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I have had both 1" blocks and the Wheeler's 3-leaf AAL set and I can tell you that the AAL is by far a better ride. Keep the overload leaf in and you'll see about 1.7-1.8" of rear lift over stock height.

The rear 5100s are more than capable of handling the lift provided by the 3-leaf AAL's.

I have my fronts set at the top (5th) notch. Pics in my garage.
 

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Blocks supposedly give you a stock-like ride whereas the AALs will stiffen up the back end. I forget, does anyone make shackles for our 1st gens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Antipas: Thanks for the heads up. I think you are right. Wheelersoffroad.com is the cheapest when you consider they don't charge taxes. The second best I found was AJUSA which had fronts and backs for about $350 with free shipping (plus tax).
 

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Summit will price match. Just saying.
 

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I have had both 1" blocks and the Wheeler's 3-leaf AAL set and I can tell you that the AAL is by far a better ride. Keep the overload leaf in and you'll see about 1.7-1.8" of rear lift over stock height.

The rear 5100s are more than capable of handling the lift provided by the 3-leaf AAL's.

I have my fronts set at the top (5th) notch. Pics in my garage.
Agreed. I have 5100's on top notch and Wheelers AAL's in the rear and the stance and ride is perfect, much better than stock. The AAL's balanced out the suspension nicely and it tows and hauls much better. I would not use blocks.
 

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Blocks supposedly give you a stock-like ride whereas the AALs will stiffen up the back end. I forget, does anyone make shackles for our 1st gens?
The AAL's will make your truck feel much more planted. They will not give it a harsh, stiff ride. Also if your lifting the front with 5100's you are putting more preload on the springs to achieve the lift, the AAL's balance that out. I drove mine with the 5100's installed with and without AAL's and the ride is better with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had both 1" blocks and the Wheeler's 3-leaf AAL set and I can tell you that the AAL is by far a better ride. Keep the overload leaf in and you'll see about 1.7-1.8" of rear lift over stock height.

The rear 5100s are more than capable of handling the lift provided by the 3-leaf AAL's.

I have my fronts set at the top (5th) notch. Pics in my garage.
Follow up question: Will the rear Bilstein shocks work with the Wheeler AAL?
 

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Follow up question: Will the rear Bilstein shocks work with the Wheeler AAL?
They're spec'd for 0" to 1" lifts and AALs will give you 1.5" or so, but I think it would be ok.
 

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Follow up question: Will the rear Bilstein shocks work with the Wheeler AAL?
They work just fine, myself and many others are running 5100's and Wheelers AAL's(Add a leafs).
 
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