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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, Happy St. Patty's Day!

I just ordered a set of bilstein 5100s for all 4 corners of my 2003 SR5. I have toytec add-a-leafs sitting in my room currently. Going to install at highest setting in front.

How will this affect handling? My truck seems to wander a bit and I'm hoping it's my worn out OEM shocks. I currently have a tonneau cover or dirtbike and gear in the bed 99% of the time. I just don't want it to handle like crap because I wanted it on the highest setting.

Anyone have any input on the handling of the truck with the bilstein 5100's at the highest setting? Should I look into all new steering and suspension bushings?

Thanks
 

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Make sure the balljoints have been replaced ( free recall) and that your wheel alignment is proper. Then, check out the tire pressure and add a Hellwig anti-sway bar. Your truck should then handle as well as you can dream.
 

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Not so....My 03 TRD handled like crap on highest setting. Had the BJ recall done, but, didn't have the Hellwig (I have 4X4 and care about articulation). Anyway, it's something about that TRE ball joint....I've noticed the lower I go (towards stock), the better it drives down the road. The T/C steering rack bushigs did help a lot though. Don't expect the truck todrive like a caddy on highest setting is all I'm saying. Happy St. Pats!
 

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You carry stuff in your bed often, so I wouldn't recommend the highest setting cause you will be nose high all the time. Unless you like that look. Definitely get the new steering rack bushings, big improvement and basically any 1st gen. truck needs them(originals wear out quick).

I will say, I'm not big on the Hellwig. I know it gets kudos from everyone here, and I loved it for a few years as well. My dad drove my truck one day and commented on the 'squirrly-ness' at higway speeds. I checked his stock Tundra, on the highway, did fast lane changes(like slalom around cones). Sure enough, my truck would feel like it was about to break loose in the rear while his truck stayed planted. I have AAL in the back though, so that already helps stiffen up the back. The Hellwig is great on corners(truck is on rails), but try the high speed maneuvers and doesn't inspire confidence.

/Mike
 

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i have my 5100s at the highest setting and the ride is a little bumpy but once i add some weight it smooths out and rides pretty good. does your aal give 1" lift in the rear? then you should still be rear high a little bit, my truck levels out once i put my 700 lb atv in the back

Andrew.
 

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The higher you lift the front, the more the tires have to scrub sideways to move up...so it does get stiffer.

If the truck is squirrely, caster is too low. If you didn't get an alignment after changing the ride height, then caster will be too low for comfort, toe is probably negative, and who knows where camber is sitting.

Any good tech should be able to align the truck to the following:

Caster +2.0 to +2.5 degrees
Camber +0.25 degrees
Toe +0.04 degrees

BOTH SIDES EQUAL.

...So says DJ, and it's been working for all of us for years...

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to go with the highest setting on the Bilsteins, if I don't like it, I'll take them off and adjust lower. The add a leafs say they will give up to 1-1/2'' lift in rear. I'll guestimate 1'' for me and my tonneau. I'm going to see what my local shop will do for me to get them all installed plus an oil change...
 
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