The Bilstein 5100 Leveling Kit – First Look

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According to Bilstein, most spacer leveling kits are inferior to their new 5100 Series adjustable leveling shocks. Designed for truck and SUV applications, Bilstein’s 5100’s are meant to raise up the front end while avoiding the compromises that come with using spacer kits. Bilstein claims their kits offer 2 inches more of suspension up-travel while increasing ride height as much as 2.75″, without increasing coilover assembly length.

Breaking down the Bilstein 5100 Adjustable Leveling Kit - pros and cons

While we haven’t installed a set of these shocks on a truck yet, we have reviewed Bilstein’s literature and we have some notes for anyone considering buying this kit. First, however, before you can recognize the difference between Bilstein’s new adjustable height leveling kit and similar kits from ReadyLift, Truxxx, Low Range Off-Road, or Toytec, you’ve got to know a little bit about suspension lifts in general.

Suspension Lift Options

There are three common ways people raise the ride height of their pickups:

  1. A new coilover kit in the front, and new leafs or blocks in the back.
  2. A spacer kit in the front and new leafs (or more commonly) blocks in the back.
  3. A body lift, which doesn’t change the suspension at all, but makes the body sit higher on the frame.

First, a note about lifting the rear end of a pickup – you can either use a block or a new leaf spring. Most people go with a block, because new leafs are stiffer and really change the ride quality. Now, on to the front end…

The first option, a new coilover suspension kit, is the most effective way to increase the ride height of your truck’s front end. By replacing the factory coil assembly with a purpose-built adjustable unit, you will preserve or enhance the ride, travel, and durability of the factory suspension system. Unfortunately, coilover kits (like this one from ProComp) are one of the most expensive after market suspension options available, so they’re not necessarily a viable lift kit or leveling kit option for a lot of truck owners.

Next, we have spacer lift kits and/or leveling kits that are designed to raise the ride height of the vehicle in one of three ways:

  1. Increase the length of the front coil assembly
  2. Change the position of the spring perch and therefore increase the amount of pre-loaded tension in the coil springs, aka a “pre-load kit”
  3. A combination of both increased pre-load and additional length, aka a “combo kit”

Spacer kits are very common and typically very inexpensive ($200-$400 per kit), but they are an imperfect lift solution because:

  • Increasing the length of the coil assembly adds lift, but at the expense of reduced up-travel when the suspension is about to bottom out. This means that the suspension could technically bottom out without ever hitting the bump-stop, causing damage to the shocks, springs, and possibly more.
  • Increasing the amount of spring pre-load wil raise the truck’s front end, but it does so at the expense of ride quality, especially if the factory shock isn’t replaced with a new shock that’s designed for the new static spring rate.

Still, despite these issues, spacer lifts are perfectly acceptable for most truck owners in most applications.

Bilstein 5100 Adjustable Leveling Shocks

Bilstein’s 5100 series literature (pdf) does a great job of highlighting the limitations of traditional spacer lifts in great detail, but it seems to gloss over the fact that Bilstein’s new kit most-definitely relies upon spring pre-load to achieve lift. Bilstein’s literature states that pre-loading the spring is bad because:

A spring preload kit does not provide for more overall wheel travel. By lifting the vehicle in this manner, all you are doing is increasing the static ride height within the stock limited amount of wheel travel. The result of utilizing a spring preload kit is a loss of down-travel. For example, with the static ride height increased by 2″, droop has been decreased by 2″ causing the stock shock to top out sooner. Keep in mind, a certain amount of down travel *must* be maintained in order to maintain a decent ride quality. Vehicles with little or no down-travel deliver *extremely* poor ride characteristics.

We have two issues with this description:

1. Bilstein claims to overcome the “loss of down travel” issue by making their shock longer, but this doesn’t make any sense. The factory spring can only compress so much, and no change the length of the shock tube is going to change that number. When you rely upon spring pre-load, you reduce wheel travel. Period.

2. Bilstein makes it sound as if a spring pre-load kit makes your truck ride like a milk wagon, but that’s an exaggeration. ToyTec’s lift kits rely upon spring load, and it’s very hard to detect any change in ride quality when they’re installed.

However, to Bilstein’s credit, adding new shocks that are designed to compliment the new spring rate probably keeps the factory ride. Also, Bilstein makes it sound as if their shocks are designed to withstand being “bottomed out” without damage.

Should You Buy Bilstein’s Kit?

For years, we have recommended leveling kits from ToyTec and Low Range Off-Road, mostly because of their great quality, warranty, and customer service. However, there may be some good reasons to buy the new Bilstein kit instead:

  1. Bilstein’s kit includes new shocks which are designed to accommodate a stiffer static spring rate – they probably ride a little nicer than a straight pre-load kit.
  2. Bilstein’s kit is adjustable – you can set the new ride height by moving the spring seat to a different snap ring (see below).
  3. Bilstein’s kit is inexpensive – we’ve found the shocks for less than $100 a piece. At less than $200, they’re a little less expensive than most leveling kits.
  4. Lifetime warranty.
  5. Did we mention new shocks?

Reasons not to buy the Bilstein kit:

  1. It’s a leveling kit only, not a lift kit. If you want to go with 35″ tires, you’re going to need a 3″ lift kit with a 1″ rear spacer from Readylift, ToyTec, Low Range, Truxxx, etc.
  2. It’s a little harder to install the 5100 kit yourself because you need a spring compressor to get it done (most people don’t have one in the garage).
  3. It’s a good idea to replace shocks in sets of four, so the true cost might be a little higher than $200, which makes this leveling kit more expensive…but most of that cost is new shocks, so it’s not necessarily a negative.

Just a quick note about the 5100's adjustable ride height system - it must be adjusted off the vehicle with the springs de-compressed.

Bottom Line

We haven’t installed a Bilstein 5100 leveling kit (yet), but it looks like it would go on as easily as the lift and leveling kits from ToyTec that we’ve recommended in the past. Just like the ToyTec kit (see the ToyTec installation instructions), you’ll need a spring compressor to add Bilstein’s ajdustable height shock kit to your truck.

Considering the $200 price of the kit – new Bilstein shocks are almost $150 by themselves, and for an extra $50 you’ll get a level ride height – it’s hard not to give these serious considering if you need a leveling kit for your truck. While it’s not necessary to order a set of 5100 series shocks for the rear of the Tundra (which Bilstein claims provides a more ‘tuned’ driving feel), it’s a good idea to replace your shocks in sets of four…so the cost of this kit might be closer to $350 (plus labor). Still, a new set of premium shocks isn’t a bad thing, and there’s no arguing with Bilstein’s reputation for quality. We can’t wait to test a set and do a more formal review, but for now we have a hard time finding any issues with this leveling kit option.

Have you installed these on your truck? If so, please share your comments below!

**Special thanks to Reid for sending us a link to this product.

Search terms people used to find this page:

  • https://tundraheadquarters com/bilstein-5100-leveling-kit/

Filed Under: Tundra Leveling Kit


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  1. Mickey says:

    Very intresting. I would have to do some research into what type of ride I want in order to get the right shocks. Yes I think it’s better to buy all 4 shocks at the same time.

  2. Jason says:

    Mickey – That was my initial response too…I think it’s a good idea. Can’t wait to test them.

  3. Beezwax says:

    i’ve thought about getting these and stacking my 3/1 kit on them with some 35’s

  4. TXTee says:

    I’ve installed these on the front with a 7″ lift kit and had no issues in almost a year’s time. The suspension is firm and solid without making anything uncomfortable, but it’s definitely not a factory ride. I’m not sure if that’s attributable to the overall lift or the shocks since they were installed at the same time. So far, no complaints. I’m also not a serious offroader by any means but I also don’t baby the truck hitting speed bumps at the mall. LOL

  5. Jason says:

    TXTee – The 5100 shocks are a little different than the 5100 leveling kit, but glad to hear you like the shocks along with your new lift.

  6. TXTee says:

    Oh, sorry! Thought the model number was the same. Do you know what’s actually different by it now being called a leveling kit, because a lot of guys were using the same ones I have just for that purpose?

  7. Jason says:

    TXTee – I’m thinking that there’s a 5100 adjustable and a 5100 non-adjustable, but I don’t know. I could be wrong.

  8. Greg says:

    I’m seriously contemplating putting these on my 2008 Double cab. I will get the back shocks as well and probably install a Ready Lift 1″ block in the back.

  9. Tino says:

    I just bought the 3 inch toytec kit for my 07 tundra 4×4. I also bought the 5100s all the way around, at what hight should I set the front shocks?

  10. Jason (Admin) says:

    Tino – I don’t think you need to set the shock height above stock if you also have the ToyTec kit.

  11. Jozy Mamba says:

    Hi Jason, I was almost positive I was going to go with the LRO 3″ Lift kit after research between Toytec and LRO, but now I’m concerned about the ramifications and compromises it may have to install a spacer kit over installing the Bilstein 5100 leveling kit. Can you please thoroughly explain what the main similarities and differences are between the two kits? Why might one want to choose one over the other? Is the Bilstein the safer choice down the road? Warranty wise (wear and tear), and what are the compromises of adding spacers (even if they’re non rustable, corrionsless aluminum) to your truck? Like I said, I was almost sold and set on LRO, but now I am contemplating Bilstein. I was informed that if I am an off-roader, I should go with the Bilstein shocks, but if not an off-roader, I should go with the LRO spacer kit. Are there ways to combine the Bilstein and the spacer kit? Because you mentioned in another post that some upgrade their shocks when changing characteristics of truck (which I assume it is for a better ride only, and not necessary to change shocks/coil overs as youve stated. I know that the Bilstein is a leveling kit, and the LRO is a lift kit that levels the truck but why would someone prefer on over the other?Please help. Thanks

  12. Jason (Admin) says:

    Jozy – See this post:

    Also, if you’re an ‘off-raoder’, don’t go with any sort of cheap leveling kit. Invest in a new set of coilovers instead.

  13. stew says:

    I have a 2003 tundra 4wd and am looking to replace shocks with Bilstein 5100 all around. Noticed that Bilstein now offers a 5100 leveling kit(for front) for not much more than new shock. Is there any other cost required(shims,raising diff.) or any hidden additional things to be done.I have read that a spring compressor is required,but would not mind picking up front end a little.I do a little off-roading,mostly just to get to camping or dirtbiking spot.

  14. Jason (Admin) says:

    stew – No other costs aside from an alignment that you’ll need to pay for after you raise the front end of the truck. The spring compressor can be inexpensive too – some shops will break your spring assembly down for you for a very small fee.

    • stew says:

      I installed the 5100 leveling kit and set them on middle setting. When i put it into four wheel drive it doesn’t fully engage and there is a clicking that wasn’t there before. This isnt from possibly changing the angle of diff? Haven’t had an alignment, but seems to be fine, no pulling.

      • BB says:

        Just did my Tundra and have noticed some noise during 4×4 operaton. Alignement did not improve it. My front tires are set to middle setting.

      • stew – First, you definitely want an alignment. It’s not for steering stability, it’s for even tire wear. You could ruin your tires in as little as a few hundred miles if you don’t get one.

        Second, no idea why you’re hearing that clicking sound and having an engagement problem…definitely shouldn’t be happening.

  15. Derek says:

    Any recent information on the Bilstein 5100 leveling kit?? I am split between the Toy Tec, Low Range and Bilstein kits almost equally.
    I pull a boat (4000 lbs.) in the summer on paved roads, and a snowmobile trailer (2000 lbs.) off road in the winters. The snowmobile access roads can be rutted, and rough so there will be some horizontal truck movement along with the trailer jumping up and down on the hitch.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have read the reviews and I am not sure what aspect of the compromises should be most important in my application. Going for approx 3″ in the front 1.5″ in the rear.

  16. Jason (Admin) says:

    Derek – Regrettably, no. I keep saying I’m going to test this and the fact is I just don’t have time.

    My opinion on this kit is this: If you don’t need the extra 1″ of front-end lift, the Bilstein makes the most sense. Everyone I’ve talked to that has the kit likes it, and the cost is lower…win-win.

  17. Derek says:

    If I do go with the Bilstein and want maximum height up front, would I need a differential drop??
    What is your opinion of the Bilsteins up front and a 1″ lowrange tapered block in the rear. I like a little rake and I tow so it would be good.

  18. Jason (Admin) says:

    Derek – Two inches of lift is the magic number – anything more and you want a differential drop.

    As for preserving the rake, my suggestion is to install the Bilstein kit first and see how it goes. Many people say that their Tundra still has a rake after installing a leveling kit, and since each truck is different, you might want to see how it goes first.

  19. Codee says:

    I have an 07 tundra 4×4 is there any real dangers of stacking these shocks with a 3 inch leveling kit? My truck still has stock rake even with a 3″/1.5″ leveling kit so I need more lift up front. And also would I have to purchase new springs too?

  20. Jason (Admin) says:

    Codee – I don’t think you can stack two lift kits together – I doubt the parts would fit – but even if you could I wouldn’t suggest it. The angles on the drive shafts and CJ joints would be excessive and you’d likely have problems.

    There’s a 4.5″ lift kit from Rough Country that’s probably a better option.

  21. EasycomEasygo says:

    just got the 5100 belstien leveling kit install .after a stock with 3 in spacer .l/f shock bottum out on a nothing of diffrence . 2011 tundra crew max 4×4.

  22. ridetheglide says:

    After doing a lot of reading it seems like everyone has a had a different experience with this shock. I’ve got a the 5100’s on all four corners of a 2001 TRD access cab Tundra. They were initially set at the factory ride height which is the lowest setting. This is also the best riding setting IMHO. My sense is that Bilstein developed this shock with the lowest setting as the target ride with the stock springs.. Its a bit firmer than stock but still really nice riding. Handling is also improved. I then had the clips moved to the 2nd highest notch on the shock which levels the ride of my truck but as mentioned above, the compromise is decreased down-travel of the control arms.

    1.This is annoying because the ride is very stiff with not much travel. The pre-load spring rate at this setting is so high that it “feels like” it barely compresses the suspension. The truck tends to “skip” or lose contact with the ground if going over a small bump on pavement or a dip on a dirt poor road. I have to brace myself every time I go over a bump.

    2. When having the vehicle aligned at the 2nd highest setting, The techs were not able to get any negative camber which is the key to decent tire wear on a tundra.
    Hence, I’m having the clip moved down to the middle setting which should take care of the camber problem, soften the ride a hair, decrease the angle of the CV joints and elimate the need for a differential drop. The truck will have a very minor forward rake but I think this is worth living with for better ride.
    Currently mounted are P-series 265/70 17 Cooper at3’s on enkei rt6’s. If I had to do it again, I would stick with a 16″ rim size to absorb some of the road feedback through the tires. Ultimately this is a great way to level the ride of a Tundra but the super firm ride and reduced suspension travel that one gets with trying to level the truck may not be worth it. This is where it seems like a spacer kit with the 5100’s on the lowest setting may be the best combo. No loss of susp. travel and preserved ride quality

    • ee says:

      how did your truck do after moving the 5100’s to the middle position?? did the truck sit much lower in the front or almost level…? thank you

  23. Jason (Admin) says:

    ridetheglide – Thanks for your comments. I only have a minor quibble, and that is that spacer kits hurt travel too. In fact, many spacer kits are functionally identical to this Bilstein kit. However, your comments about the truck losing contact and the rough ride are helpful. Thank you. 🙂

  24. Trevor says:

    I have a 07 Limited dc and gonna install the bilstein adjustables but don’t know if the tallest setting will leave me nose high or if I should go a notch down?

  25. John says:

    I already have a 2.5″ procomp leveling kit installed on my 07 Tundra. Could I “stack” that with these shock for a 5″ lift and through some blocks in the back or would that rip up the suspension?

  26. […] Originally Posted by theizzardking oh that's the threaded body shock, i thought he was saying the shock arm was adjustable there for a second. my bad Nope, not the threaded body shock, that would be a coilover. This is the one: The Bilstein 5100 Leveling Kit – First Look | Tundra Headquarters […]

  27. Jason (Admin) says:

    Trevor – I don’t think you’ll be nose high at the tallest setting, but the fact is it’s a little different for each vehicle. The only way to know for sure is to try it.

    John – No – you never want to stack suspension lift kits. You could, however, add a body lift kit to get to 5″.

  28. […] that use both above and in-coil spacers (including adjustable shock spring seat kits such as the Bilstein 5100 leveling shock)Coilover kits that include new springs, and/or replacement springsDrop bracket kitsBody lift […]

  29. Frankie D says:

    I have a 2010 Tundra Crewmax 4×4 with a plow on it and I need to raise the front and would like to upgrade the tire size as well, I have concerns of the talk of limiting my suspension travel and quality of the ride. should I go with the Low Range 3″ leveling kit and the 5100 also ?? thanks


  30. Jason (Admin) says:

    FD – You don’t want to mix leveling kits, but this is a bit confusing because the 5100 shock is available with or without a lift. SO, if you want to beef up the front end, you might look at new shocks, a lift kit, or even some air springs (check out for more air spring info).

    You can also look for new coils, but it’s important to note that new coils will severely impact ride quality when the plow isn’t mounted.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I installed these 5100 adjustable Bilsteins on a 95 Tacoma and 1″ spacer blocks in the rear , didnt need to change the rear shocks they had already been replaced and had plenty of travel . the front was a little stiffer but actually better then it was before stopped cornering sway that it had before . I am very satisfied with this lift and the truck looks good . Al

  32. Frankie D says:


    Thanks, Because I have the TRD on my truck, are the springs upgraded as part of the TRD package???? I’m going with the Bilstein 5100’s with the lift. I’m Not going to install the low range 3″ leveling kit. I upgraded the Tires to the Cooper AT3 275/70 R18 and they look great and fit. I love the Cooper tire, great all around tire for snow and off road. Unlike the crap BF G’s that The truck came with. I will install the new Shocks next week and we will see on the ride…. do you think I need a Diff Drop on the middle setting of the 5100’s ??


  33. Jason (Admin) says:

    FD – I’m pretty sure that the TRD package is just different (read better) shocks…I don’t think the spring rates are changed from TRD to non-TRD trucks.

    As for the diff drop, you only need it if your front-end lift goes beyond 2″ (or so). Even then, you don’t really *need* it…it’s just a good way to reduce CV wear.

  34. Anonymous says:


    Thanks. We Will see this week how it rides……….

  35. Frankie D says:


    I have the 5100 with the lift on the middle setting in front , I think 1.75. The truck looks Great and rides great. The front end rides a little stiffer, but I think much needed. It was a little too light up front. The bigger tires and the lift up front is just what I wanted and the ride is what I wanted. Do you know what the new Specs are for Alienment with the 5100 lift ???? THX


  36. Jason (Admin) says:

    Frankie D – I don’t know the alignment specs, but I’m glad to hear the 5100 kit worked out. Thanks for letting us know!

  37. Frankie D says:


    I will call Bilsteins tech guys and see what they say on Spec. Thx


  38. Josh H says:


    I have a 2010 Tundra that I got a 2.5 inch tuff country lift kit(spacers and block kit) put on when I purchased it. I now have 285/75/18 tires/rims on the truck. I also just purchased a FWC popup camper. I have concerns with this lift kit when hauling the camper and was thinking about getting the spacers taken out and getting the bilstein leveling shocks put onto the front and the bilstein shocks on rear Do you think that the shocks will give enough height to fit my tires? Should I be concerned with the blocks on the back. I think the are just a inch and a quarter thick. Should I get rid of the blocks and do something else? The camper is going to be somewhat heavy and I just do not want to damage the truck.

  39. Jason (Admin) says:

    Josh – The blocks aren’t a durability concern for the most part. The main reason people don’t like them relates to axle wrap, which is really only a problem serious off-road users have.

    A new set of shocks will always help with towing and hauling because they improve stability, but on a vehicle as new as yours shocks probably aren’t in need of replacement.

    Finally, pop-ups tend to be really lightweight (relatively speaking), so I wouldn’t worry about it. You’re good to go as-is.

  40. Frankie D says:


    I’m having problem with alignment with Cooper tires’ there seems to be some Feathering on both front tires. Also having a problem when going around relatively sharp turns, the light for the traction control flashes and beeps, see my complete upgrade above on the 2010 Tundra Limited on November 11 th. Thanks !!

    Frankie D

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      Frankie – Feathering is sometimes an indicator of an alignment issue, but sometimes it’s a tire pressure issue. Might check both. As for the T.C. system beeping at you, could be that those sharp turns are sharper than you think! 🙂

      But seriously, you might look into a VSC recalibration at your local dealer. Might help reduce the number of false-positives kicked out by the system.

    • Darryl says:


      Sorry to bother you but i am having the traction control light come on as well, same as you describe. Can you tell me what the problem was? What is causing this?

      I appreciate the time.


  41. BigDerf says:

    The isse you are having with the stiffer ride is the cooper tires. I have the same exact truck and set up you do but im running nitto terra grapplers. Not a single issue in fact its going for a re align next week I will post the setting he adjusts to. Maybe that will help.

  42. Frankie D says:

    Thank you, I want to make sure that its not the new shock 5100,s
    making this issue ?? Stiffness in tire shouldn’t effect alignment ??

    • Anonymous says:

      No tire stiffness will not but you mentioned a stiff ride. Those coopers do it every time. Custom wheels will sometimes cause balance issues but of you are running stocks the hub is so large that most commercial balance machines if not used with the right cone will never get you balanced. A road force is your best option. My truck rides great it has 167k on it ans I swapped these out about a month ago for thes 5100 adjustables.

      • Jason (Admin) says:

        Anon – EXCELLENT point about wheel balancing the Tundra – you sound like a guy that works on these trucks for a living. Please comment as often as you like! 🙂

        • BigDerf says:

          Thanks I used to be in the wheel and tire business years ago but never a tech, I sell houses now. I have just owned this 07 tundra since april of 06 before its grand release. SO I have been through everything this truck has to offer in terms of drive line issues and vibrations. A lot of people dont know to line the high and low spots of wheels and tires for optimum ride. Some tires and wheels dont match well so it is really up to the reatialer to make sure proper fitment but most dont take the time to do so. Mine does lol…

          I just got an email yesterday that my other set of 5100’s are on national backorder. That is a pretty good indicator that this is a great product and worth the wait in my opinon.

          • BigDerf says:

            When I posted from my phone it showed me as anon sorry.

          • Jason (Admin) says:

            BigDerf – No worries – thanks again! Good luck in the home business…from what I hear it’s pretty tough sledding right now, so I’m guessing you’re good at what you do if you’re still doing it. 😉

  43. Frankie D says:

    Im also getting a slight shake of the steering wheel around 50. +, I checked balance on new tires again all good. ?? Can’t seem to figure it out

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      Frankie – Anon’s comments about using a top-flight wheel balancing machine are excellent. Back in my dealership days, every once in a while we’d get a set of wheels that we couldn’t accurately balance on the standard machine. We’d send them over to the Lexus dealership to use the super-duper balancer that can detect three extra hairs on a mouse’s rear end (or something like that). Very precise, and usually fixed the mysterious vibration issue.

      As for the 5100 kit causing problems, if it was installed correctly it should be 100%. Bilstein makes good stuff.

    • BigDerf says:

      Frankie take it to a differnet shop. Balancers are supposed to be recalibrated every 200 balances but rarely is the case with todays shops. Try and find a road force balancer used correctly it will show the high and low spots of the wheels and tires and help the tech run down your vibration. Good Luck.

  44. Frankie D says:

    Thank you guys for the input , I have a new shop with stated the art equipment I will be going to. We will see ….

  45. Greg Wilcox says:

    I have 2011 Tundra that I put a leveling kit on (1 inch spacer at the top of the front strut and 1 inch block on the rear axle below the leaf spring). I also have an oil field bumper on the front with a winch. This weighs about 600lbs. My problem is that I keep breaking the front shocks. The factory shocks have a stem that sticks off of the bottom of the shock. The stem breaks at the base of the shock housing and the strut then bottoms out into the socket of the control arm. I can get it home but of course the suspensions sags on whichever side broke. I do not really do any off roading. The last time it broke when I came across a set of railroad tracks on a two lane highway. What am I doing wrong? Is the factory shock bottoming out? Is the bumper too heavy? Will the 5100 series shock fix it? Help!

  46. […] about Bilstein's I thought they sounded good, but then this article turned me off from them (Bilstein 5100 Review | Bilstein 5100 Leveling-Lift Kit | Tundra Headquarters) The article doesn't seem to explain much about the shocks in general, just kind-of bashes them. […]

  47. adam says:

    I have a 07 wrangler with stock shock and my jeep is currently ride rough will this shock helps smoothe it out or do i need ot replace the coil spring as well? i dont want to do the lift (costly) i just want to smoothe it more to make it easy for me to drive.. Suggestion? advice? all welcome

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      adam – Jeeps ride really rough no matter what you do – this will not fix the ride, but it might help a bit. The problem is the wheelbase…longer wheelbases ride more smoothly.

  48. Paul says:


    I have done a lot of research and decided to go with installing the Bilstein 5100 adjustable shocks on my 2010 Tundra Crew Max. I will adjust them to the maximum height and I know I don’t ‘need’ a differential drop kit but would you recommend it? Also, I am going to get Bilsteins on all four corners and I originally was going to install a 3/1 Toy Tec Leveling kit. Should I even get a 1″ spacer for the rear if I am going to be using the Bilstein Adjustable Shocks? Will the Bilsteins work in the rear with a 1″ spacer? Thanks.

  49. Paul says:


    I have a 2010 Tundra Crew Max and after some research I have dediced to go with the Bilstein adjustable shocks. I plan on using the maximum adjustment on the shocks which would make it around 2.5 inches. Would you recommend a differential drop kit? I know it is not needed but recommended with say a Toy Tec 3/1 leveling kit. I was wondering if the Bilstein adjustable shocks would have the same wear and tear on the CV? Also, I am going to put Bilstein shocks in the rear also and wanted to know if I can put a 1 inch spacer kit in the rear with the Bilstein shocks back there? Or should I just do withouth the 1″ spacer in the rear if I am only raising the front 2.5 inches. Thanks for your help.

  50. HH says:

    I want to use the adjustable 5100s on a 06DC 2X4. plan is to level the truck and go to a larger tire. I read most of the replys – not much on 2X4s is this a bad plan for a 4X2? my only off road is the beach or dirt roads, no trails, I have a different ride for that

  51. Samuel says:

    I had the Bilstein leveling kit installed on my 2013 Tacoma (1.5″ front and a 1″ block for the back). Four days later, I was driving with my family in the truck and “BAM!” the front of my truck collapsed. The snapring that holds the adjustment popped out. Luckily, we had just gotten off the freeway.
    I bought the truck thinking I would go camping and fishing in the mountains this year. Now I can’t even trust it going down the street. I am looking to buy a different levening kit. Three hundred dollar in the trash!

  52. JD says:

    I just had the full set (front & rear) installed on my 2010 Tundra together with a
    set of Toyo 20″ tires. It rides a lot better than stock let me tell u. Freeway driving with
    the stock strut set up felt like I was riding a horse … Lol. Soo much smoother (at least to me).

    • JD says:

      I have the 5100 ‘s in all four corners. My biggest problem was getting the front ends alignment right. You have to bring it to a reputable shop w a good track record. It took 3 attempts bit this’d time was a charm…. They got it right. Don’t know why I didn’t use them to begin with. I am running 20 x 9 rims w 33 c 12.5 on Toyo A/T ‘s ….. 2010 2wd Tundra Double Cab 4.6l. My traction light usually blinks on and off when I have a tire slipping .

  53. Jeff says:

    The adjustable 5100 bilstein used with the stock coil over is not working on the toyota tundra we are breaking them right and left. The bottom stem is being pulled out of the can and punched back in. The bilstein will not hold up in offroading.

    • Frankie D says:


      What’s happening ? I’m starting to hear more and more issues with these 5100’s . Alignment is not easy to get perfect with these shocks …?

      • Jeff says:

        I have spoken with people from bilstein to make sure we are installing everything correctly and we are. I have sent pictures to bilstein and they claim that they are discussing the issue. The last 5100 shock lasted 80 miles before breaking. I have found a website check it out I would suggest useing their products. The prices are more expensive but you get what you pay for.

        • Skippy says:


          Who is “we” Jeff? Where exactly do you work? Post the proof, post the pics. Otherwise, we will ALL continue to assume you have a relationship with the manufacturer in the link you provided.

  54. Frankie D says:

    So far I have had no issues 6000 k on them … Is it the stock springs ?? Not much off road here …


  55. Matt says:

    I have a 03 tundra I bought it with a spacer kit already installed I believe it’s around 2″ the problem I am having it my upper control arms are contacting my springs in rough conditions I was considering adjustable 5100s instead of the spacers thinking they might be stiffer then a stock set up with spacers…either way will this be a problem I will always have unless going to an actual lift kit? I’ve been researching them a lot bilstein claims it will eliminate the the contact between the spring and control arm not really sure how sounds like the same idea as a spacer to me.

  56. Manny says:

    I have a problem figure out what kind of shock i need for my tundra 08 crew max sr5 with trd, i have already lif in front with spacer 2.5 inches and in the rear 2 inch with blocks, i have a hevy duty bumper in front and back, my truck is not 4×4 but when i go hunt i abuse of her lol, someboy please can help me to found what kind of shock i can buy.

  57. Geoge says:

    My 08 Crew Max 4×4 came with a ready lift leveling kit and factory shocks. The overall ride was good much btter than my buddies 2500’s. I replaced the spacers with the 5100’s and imediatly had a slightly firmer ride but much more plush. The stock shocks were a bit spongy compared to the Bilstiens. Overall it is a better ride with the truck remainig level. A reputable offroad shop did the shock install, front end alighnment and front differential spacer drop kit for $750.00 OTD. I was running 285.55.20 BFG’s that lasted 44k miles. Just put on 285.60.20 Good Year Adventures which are $80 per tire cheaper than the BFG’s and come with a 50k mile warranty. I like the looks and ride of the Good Years and they are an inch taller at 33.5 and they clear fine no trimming needed and my speedomter is still accurate within half a mile per hour or less per my gps.

  58. Manny says:

    I check the website but is just for jeep, i really appreciated, but any way tomorrow i will call

  59. Scott says:

    I have a 2000 Tundra SR5, it has been great up until I noticed a severe lean to the front driver side of the truck, I took it to a shop that said the shocks were gone and needed to be replaced, since I recently moved here I had no tools to do it myself so I was at the mercy of the shop to do the work, $700 later I still had a lean, I noticed the shop put “McPherson Quick Strut” on the front to replace the factory shocks, when this didn’t fix the issue I paid the local Toyota dealership $100 to diagnose the problem, they told me it was because the front end didn’t have “genuine Toyota parts” and that Toyota allows up to 1″ lean, disgusted and frustrated I began replacing parts (and began building up my tool collection again) I have replaced the back shocks with Bilsteins I have replaced the front ball joints as well, it still leans to the front driver side, does ANYONE have ANY ideas what is causing this, I’m tempted to replace the quick struts with Bilsteins, I just have no ideas what to do or where to start, any information would be helpful and appreciated, thanks!

  60. Jon says:

    With these do I have to adjust the coil length? I’m quite ignorant on this. It seems to me that if you raise the ring on the shock the spring will be tighter resulting in a stiffer ride. My Tundra is lifted with a 1″ spacer but over extends.

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