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Scottydog
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PostSubject: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeTue May 10, 2011 3:46 pm

I want to simply (inexpensively) level the front of my FJ. Would rather not add shocks at this point. I have looked at other sites and find it hard to get a straight answer.

Also, I want to do the work myself...or with the help of a willing fellow local FJ owner...thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeTue May 10, 2011 6:58 pm

I went through the same decisions when I decided to do mine. I did so much research on the subject my head hurt. I started looking into the aluminum spacer that sits on top of the front strut but chose not to go that route. I actually started to make my own at work but never finished them and still have them in my tool box. I am a machinist btw. So, when I started reading all the potential negative effects of using strut spacers I then discovered Bilstein's 5100 adjustable shocks. For the $100 I was about to spend on strut spacers I just saved up another $100 and bought these shocks from Toytec. Now I know you say you are not interested in buying these but you would be happier in the end to know you have a better product leveling the front of your FJ. When it was all said and done I decided to buy Toytec's rear lift springs and go ahead and do it all. I spent about $350 for the lift, $25 for a local tire shop to swap my front springs from the old shock to the new Bilstein's, and $60 for an alignment. I could not be happier with my decision. Whatever you do decide now what you really want to do as far as leveling or lifting your FJ so you wont waste any time or money on pieces you either stop using or have to adjust to get what you want. Do it all at one time and be done with it. Hope this helps you.

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeTue May 10, 2011 9:16 pm

That is very helpful. I have thought about that and don't want to end up doing 2 installs for one end. and certainly don't want 2 alignments...maybe I will check into the Bilsteins...

do you have a picture of the final product?

thanks

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Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeTue May 10, 2011 9:53 pm

Are you referring to how my FJ looks after the lift?

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 12:53 am

bilstiens are the way to go with teh adjustable height 5100's set them in the middle and have your truck aligned then if you adjust the height later on the alignment will stay within specs.
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 1:00 am

Jami...great advice...I will be sure to talk with you prior to making my lift decision.

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 9:46 am

Sun Cruiser, I was looking for pictures of your ride...
Thanks, I think I will go the Bilstein route...It looks like I can do just the fron for $199 (Shocks only) or front and rear for $399 from Toytec.

Question: are the adjustments made prior to install? or can the height be made "on the fly"?

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Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 10:35 am

They are adjustable to .85", 1....something" and 2.5". But you can achieve 2-3" of lift with the Eibach springs and them set at 0


If you are looking for full adjustability then look for a coilover such as Icon, King, or Fox. But be prepared to pay for them.

5100's are a good way to adorably lift or level your vehicle and maintain a good ride and performance offroad. A big step up from a spacer. But they have their draw backs, but you're not gonna see them unless you offroad alot.


I would go 5100's for a "leveling" kit and OEM for a full 3" lift. Or piece together a rebuildable race coilover setup with a nice set of UCA's and a nice spring and shock setup out back.
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:01 am

im kinda with the whole skip the leveling kit stage. That rake is something you will miss if you ever tow a trailer. Go ahead and get you a spacer lift or a nicer strut replacement lift from OME or Icon. Then you wont be spending the money twice.
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:15 am

5100's it is...looks like Wheelers Off-Road has the best price at $175 for the front only...

More questions...sorry:

I installed shocks on my last sport trac. Can I assume I can do these? Also, any reason to NOT keep OEM rear shocks?

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2008 ALL Silver FJ
Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:22 am

longer rear shocks will free up the rearend to flex some more offroad.

Your sport-trac had a stand alone shock. The FJ shock is a strut. slightly more involved but you can do it no problem. You might want to read over a couple writeup from people who have done them to familiarize yourself with the process but it is relatively simple.
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:28 am

So for longer rear shocks is the same Bilstein 5100 a good choice? Not the adjustable one...but the matching rear...
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 12:45 pm

The 5100s are great for occasional progress use and daily driving
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 10:22 pm

Here are a couple pictures of my FJ. The first one is a pre lift shot and the second of course is a post lift shot. My 5100's have done well on and off-road. And as far as rear shocks, if you were to go with Toytec's rear lift springs you really would not need to replace the oem rear shocks. I still have mine in place. As far as swapping the front springs from the oem struts to the Bilstein's I would consider letting a tire shop do it for you. If you can get them off and have a way to get to a tire shop just take the strut/spring assembly to them and let them do it. They can do it in a matter of minutes and do it safely where it might take you much longer using a cheap spring compressor, which can prove hazardous. If you want to give your FJ a little more clearance for the trail and give it a better look then I would go with the setup I have. Here are some links....... Bilstein 5100 shocks at Toytec
Toytec lift springs

Leveling kits Mynewfj3
Leveling kits Fjpostlift

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 10:30 pm

This may be a horribly annoying question, but whats the difference between Bilstein 5100 and an OME 3" lift besides the OME being way more expensive??

I want to raise mine about 3" in probably 3-6 months and all the research is making my brain hurt. My FJ is my daily driver and I want something with quality that I can also take off road every now and then.

Thanks guys
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:03 pm

Rolando, if the OME lift you are refering to only has coil springs then it is just a spring swap front and rear utilizing the oem front struts. It also includes a thin spacer for each strut top to give a complete 3" lift up front. With the Bilstein setup you swap out the oem front struts for the 5100's but still use the factory springs. This is if you are looking at the Toytec site. The lift setup I have is 2.5" with the Bilstein shocks and 2" with the Toytec rear lift springs. When I did my research regarding a lift I read on several occasions where a full 3" lift front and rear could result in premature wear of ball joints and a constant over extension of the oem rear shocks not to mention the inability to get the alignment specs right. These reasons were the deciding factor for me to go no more than 2.5" up front and 2" in the rear. Unfortunately, even with this setup the alignment is still out of whack and can only be fixed by using adjustable upper control arms. However, my FJ still drives well but not exactly as it did when it was stock. One of these days I am going to go with some different upper control arms. Hope this helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeWed May 11, 2011 11:09 pm

Scottydog, stick with what you think is best. I am certainly not trying to push you in any direction but only offering my opinion based on my experience and what I know. I hope however, that I have been of some help in your decision. Lifting your rig is definitely something you don't want to goof on.

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeThu May 12, 2011 9:57 am

Cruiser 6, thanks for all the help. I am for sure going with the 5100s up front. I will check into the springs for the rear.

One last question: I promise (OK, maybe), If no change to the rear and I only want to level the front, what setting should I go with on the Bilsteins?

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Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeFri May 13, 2011 12:38 am

Did you get my email response? Let me know if I can be of any further help.

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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeFri May 13, 2011 9:11 am

Jami, I did get the email...thanks so much for your help.

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2008 ALL Silver FJ
Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeMon May 16, 2011 12:40 am

I know there are a lot of people that don't like rough country lifts and a lot of people that do. I personally have no issues with mine. I did it all my self. It was a spacer up front keeping the TRD stock front under them and coils and struts in the rear. Drives great on the road, and so far great off road (and i like to play <-----a lot). Alignment after the lift was cake to. Tech said it was almost in already.
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 2:22 pm

Got my Bilstein 5100s finally...anyone want to "show me" how to put them on?

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2008 ALL Silver FJ
Bilstein 5100s Front, Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks, OME 895 Rear Springs Rear, 285/75/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Baja Utility Roof Rack, Mombasa RTT, OEM Brush Guard, Custom Rock Sliders (Defensive Designs), BMC (Defensive Design), Ricochet Skids, All-Pro Ultimate Rear Lower Control Arms, All-Pro E-Locker Guard, Volant Cold Air Intake, FlowMaster 40 Series, Hot 12v Outlet, Custom FJammer, LED Dome Lights, MPac Rear Door Storage, Orange Boxx Custom P.S.D. Rear Side Storage, Custom Rear Storage Unit, Blacked-out Emblems, Scuba Driver Mod, Smittybilt Air Compressor, Midland 75-822 CB with 4' Firestik on Bandi Mount, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlights, Metal-tech Tube Doors
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PostSubject: Re: Leveling kits   Leveling kits Icon_minitimeMon Jul 25, 2011 3:47 pm

My mechanic friend was supposed to help me install my 5100s this past Saturday but had to cancel. I have been riding around with them for a few weeks now and am getting anxious to get them installed. Not sure when he will be available...

I think I will tackle this myself. I can get a coil compression tool for the deposit cost (so nothing). Does anyone have any pointers? What to take off and/or not? What is hard to reach? What will make me curse...etc.

I have a floor jack and jack stands, any other special tools required?

How long "should" this take me to do?
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