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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What’s the deal with the clip on Bilstein 5100 front adjustable shocks? I’m so close to ordering but I’ve been thinking and reading about how basically the vehicle is resting on these adjustable clip positions. How secure and safe is that? Obviously people use them successfully and I honestly haven’t read of any catastrophic failure but I still wonder. Any input?

Also, any ideas on how I can do this myself? I’m up for some wrenching but the spring compressor part freaks me out a bit, especially after what I’ve read online. I found a local shop who is willing to install them but their labor rates are a bit steep, and I’m already on a tight budget. I also have been on a mission to do as much as I can myself, simply to know it’s done right. I’ve looked into seeing if anyone online sells them assembled at a specific lift height, but to no avail. Also that kind of defeats the point of just reusing the current springs. Any chain stores that you’ve used that will disassemble my current set up and reassemble with the new Bilsteins so I can just bolt right in?

Oh and one last question. Does anyone sell u bolts that will fit new leaf springs but that I won’t have to drill out bigger holes into the plate? Are thicker u bolts a requirement or something?

Appreciate any info
 

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You could by them pre assembled.
 

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What’s the deal with the clip on Bilstein 5100 front adjustable shocks? I’m so close to ordering but I’ve been thinking and reading about how basically the vehicle is resting on these adjustable clip positions. How secure and safe is that? Obviously people use them successfully and I honestly haven’t read of any catastrophic failure but I still wonder. Any input?

Also, any ideas on how I can do this myself? I’m up for some wrenching but the spring compressor part freaks me out a bit, especially after what I’ve read online. I found a local shop who is willing to install them but their labor rates are a bit steep, and I’m already on a tight budget. I also have been on a mission to do as much as I can myself, simply to know it’s done right. I’ve looked into seeing if anyone online sells them assembled at a specific lift height, but to no avail. Also that kind of defeats the point of just reusing the current springs. Any chain stores that you’ve used that will disassemble my current set up and reassemble with the new Bilsteins so I can just bolt right in?

Oh and one last question. Does anyone sell u bolts that will fit new leaf springs but that I won’t have to drill out bigger holes into the plate? Are thicker u bolts a requirement or something?

Appreciate any info
Alldogs Offroad sells the 5100s assembled as part of the kit using their coils, which is what I put on my truck (very happy with the kit). Alldogs Offroad Complete Lift Kit w/ Bilstein 5100's for 2nd Gen Nissan Frontier
Or if you don't want the whole lift kit, could buy the front shocks and coil springs separately and have them assemble. BTW the customer service is outstanding. You can email them with any questions and they respond right away.

PRG also sells assembled 5100s and coils, but apparently customer service can be hit or miss.

Don't know about longer u bolts that aren't thicker as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My beef with buying them preassembled is the price and the ride quality. Seems like they really bang you for the assembly. It’s pretty much a wash buying preassembled vs my local shop doing it. From what I’ve read, the 5100s are made for stock coils, and ride crappy on other coils. Unless you buy them and set them at 0 lift.

what’s the ride quality difference in getting 2 inches from Bilstein 1500 set at 1.5 and a .5” spacer vs a 2 inch longer aftermarket coil and 5100s set at 0 lift?

in the mean time I will call around to other shops on Monday and see what their rates are to disassemble my current coilover and reassemble with Bilsteins.
 

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My beef with buying them preassembled is the price and the ride quality. Seems like they really bang you for the assembly. It’s pretty much a wash buying preassembled vs my local shop doing it. From what I’ve read, the 5100s are made for stock coils, and ride crappy on other coils. Unless you buy them and set them at 0 lift.

what’s the ride quality difference in getting 2 inches from Bilstein 1500 set at 1.5 and a .5” spacer vs a 2 inch longer aftermarket coil and 5100s set at 0 lift?

in the mean time I will call around to other shops on Monday and see what their rates are to disassemble my current coilover and reassemble with Bilsteins.
2 in lift from the 5100 is harsher. Plus you can not add a spacer for more lift with out aftermarket uca. Stock arms will clunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
2 in lift from the 5100 is harsher. Plus you can not add a spacer for more lift with out aftermarket uca. Stock arms will clunk.
I was referencing getting 1.5” from Bilstein. And another half inch from a 1/4” thick spacer. Multiple people have reported good results with stock arms. I don’t like that I’d have to order the spacer from PRG tho. Don’t want to have a 1/4” piece of aluminum holding me up.
 

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I don’t like that I’d have to order the spacer from PRG tho. Don’t want to have a 1/4” piece of aluminum holding me up.
Nothing wrong with a 1/4" plate of aluminum sandwiched between your stut mount and top hat. You could drop the whole truck on that and the spacer wouldn't fail in that compression load case.

In an interesting turn of events, I may have a set of 1/4" spacers to part with. Literally bought some off a forum member because I gave up on PRG sending me some, then got a box from PRG the next day. Still have to double check that everything fits right before I sell them.
 

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I have a complete set of 5100's to replace 4600's I put on about 9 mo ago. I got carried away a while back, all it REALLY needed was lower ball joints because the pass/gutter side was loose from the extra pounding it takes. I ended up replacing/upgrading all kinds of stuff while I was under there, including the coil springs.

The 5100's look precarious, but in fact the lower coil bucket fits in a way that forces the ring into the groove so it cannot come out. Be careful moving it so as not to bend it and it will be fine. The coil spring is easy enough with half decent compressors.
I have a set of amazon specials that work good and are secure. No, they certainly are not for daily use but fill my occasional need just fine.... EXCEPT ....

I replaced the old stock springs with Moog springs, and unknown at the time, the stock springs have 8 coils and the Moog have 10 coils. When I tried to remove the spring compressors the coils were closer together and I could not get the tool out. I had to use my cheap *** hook style compressors to get the "good" ones out.

I'm just going to drop the assemblies out and see if I can find a shop with a machine to do the swap, maybe...

I would need to be able to supervise to make sure they get it right, so I will probably just end up sacrificing my compressors by grinding them to fit between the coils.
315419
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I may just invest in a pair of spring compressors, and use my friends cage for their cat, and work in there. We’ll see. I’m still gonna call around and see if a shop will just take them if I just take them out of the truck as a complete unit and replace the shocks with the Bilsteins at the correct height.
 

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I may just invest in a pair of spring compressors, and use my friends cage for their cat, and work in there. We’ll see. I’m still gonna call around and see if a shop will just take them if I just take them out of the truck as a complete unit and replace the shocks with the Bilsteins at the correct height.
That's what I want to do this time, but now we are on shut down so I don't know if my regular guy will be open until monday.
 

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That's what I want to do this time, but now we are on shut down so I don't know if my regular guy will be open until monday.
I used one of the cheap ***hook style compressors to change my front shocks and was terrified by the way the "Screws" bent when loaded. I have done two sets and so far it has worked for me but just be aware of the consequences if there is a failure in the tool.
 

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I lhasa's to do the same and grind mine down.
 

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I used one of the cheap ***hook style compressors to change my front shocks and was terrified by the way the "Screws" bent when loaded. I have done two sets and so far it has worked for me but just be aware of the consequences if there is a failure in the tool.
I had the two locking ones and one cheap hook one on and a hook broke. Fortunatly the two others held. I had it pointed away just in case, so I wouldn't catch a spring in my forehead.
 

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The clips are fine, no one is having any failures from those. Compressing the springs yourself can be a little challenging. I have done it twice now and the second time was phenomenally easier than the first. I ordered U bolts that were longer but not thicker. Got them from Nisstec lifts I believe. Best of luck!
 

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While 50% more work, I recall another poster suggesting using 3 compressors/spring.
.02
 

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I have probably compressed 30+ springs over the years, never had an issue. Some of those older spring compressors were kind of scary. Just hooks. The new style ones are very bombproof. Yes the large amount of potential energy is a cause for concern, But then again, we jack up our trucks and crawl under them too. That is just as scary, even with jackstands; but we have gotten use to it.

As for the retainer rings (clips), that is how the OEM yellow bilstiens are held in places as well. You never hear of issues with them blowing . THe few times I have heard of a clip blowing on a 5100 is most likely due to user error. You have to make sure that the clip is seated in the grove. Easy for it to not. Some also spray clear coat on the 5100. THE bare zinc coated shock body gets eaten by salt easily. If you don't clean the paint out of the groove you can pop the clip. Better yet is to set the clip and paint over it. Lastly, since you are going to set the clip to the top or the 2nd to top most groove, you will have a few empty groves below. I pulled the clip off my yellow OEM shocks and set a 2nd clip per shock. Figure if it blows the first one then the 2nd one will "catch" it. In reality however, if the top clip blows, the shock force will blow through he 2nd.

The pre assembled 5100 typically use MOOG springs. Those have an additional coil to them, and look like they will bottom up when set to the 2" or even the 1.5" lift position. IMO the OE pro4x 4wd spring is the best to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the input all. I’m going to order the shocks and spring compressor soon and tackle this. The more I read the more confident I feel. I always work carefully. Will probably post in the what have u done thread when I do it, or maybe pop back in here to update.

Thanks again, truly appreciate the help and input. Also good to hear about the Nisstec u bolts!!
 

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Thanks for the input all. I’m going to order the shocks and spring compressor soon and tackle this. The more I read the more confident I feel. I always work carefully. Will probably post in the what have u done thread when I do it, or maybe pop back in here to update.

Thanks again, truly appreciate the help and input. Also good to hear about the Nisstec u bolts!!
FYI, I have a set of 5100 for the front fully assembled that I'll be selling in the next couple days. If interest, PM me. These are fully assembled (obviously) and set at 1.5". They have been used for about 12 or 13K miles.
 

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Gu
FYI, I have a set of 5100 for the front fully assembled that I'll be selling in the next couple days. If interest, PM me. These are fully assembled (obviously) and set at 1.5". They have been used for about 12 or 13K miles.
You got the OME coils installed?
 
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