Are my billies too long?

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Jul 15, 2007
Houston, TX
I just bought a pair of Bilstein 5100s for the rear of my 62, part number BSN-F4B461132H0. They are listed by Bilstein as the correct part for a stock 85-90 landcruiser. My 62 has a mild (2") spring lift.

Landcruiser pin to pin distance while on level ground: 17.5"
Landcruiser axle to bump stop: 5"
Shock extended length: 21.5"
Shock compressed length: 16.0"

Sure seems like these shocks will bottom out well before axle does. I'm wondering if I should send these back. If these aren't the right ones then does anybody have a part number for the right one? I would like to make sure I keep as much travel as possible.

Thanks for your opinions,
Boy, when I sell shocks, I sure don't like to guess for my customers. The correct way to determine shock length is:
Jack vehicle up until tires are off the ground (full droop). Measure from top shock pin to bottom shock pin. When you buy your shocks, buy some that are 1" longer than your measurement when the shocks are fully extended. That way when your suspernsion goes into full droop, you will not be stretching your shocks out to their ragged edge. Now, if the shock body/housing is too tall at full compression (bottomed-out), install taller/harder bump-stops. Simple deal!!!
Well said Downey. Given that the listing you supplied is for stock height cruiser, and yours has a 2" lift, I would return them after you have measured your compressed and flexed travel.
I prefer to do it the other way around. I check the mount distance at full articulation, usually with the bump-stop removed. And then source a damper that is a tiny bit shorter than that measurement or move the mount until something available is a tiny bit shorter. If that results in a slight droop limitation I'm OK with that. If it results in too much droop limitation then it's time to move the mounts so that a longer stroke damper will fit.

My reasoning is this:
Full extension only has the weight and inertia of the axle, wheels and tires plus a tiny bit of ever decreasing spring rate to work with. Full compression has the weight and inertia of the whole vehicle minus that of the axle wheels, and tires to work with. Full extension doesn't happen with anything near the violence that full compression can, and bump-stops are not forever, they can and do evaporate. So high speed full compression of the damper is far, far more damaging to the damper than high speed full extension of the damper as that speed and the force behind it are far, far smaller than with compression.
Thanks for your thoughts guys.

I am a bit confuzled as to why Bilstein would recommend a 16" compressed length shock for a vehicle with 12.5" pin to pin at full compression. I wish they would publish the compressed & extended length for the 5100 series so I wouldn't be in this position.

I am hesitant to extend bump stops. I put lift springs on my ride to increase suspension travel and extending bump stops seems counterproductive.

Can anyone out there with a mild SUA lift and Bilsteins in the rear help me with a part number for what they used along with an estimate of compressed /extended length?


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