Bilstein 7100 shocks installed on the 62

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Apr 22, 2003
Thought others might find this useful as I've had some time put into researching how these shocks could work.

This post got my brain going-

I've been looking for a replacement for my 10 year old OME shocks. I like the ride on the softer side, have always heard great things of Bilstein shocks, and wanted something that could last. Most of my travel in the 62 is to explore, so road conditions are anything but tend to end up over long stretches of rough gravel or dirt roads. I settled on 7100s because they measured closest to the OMEs that I could find and seemed to be well regarded. They can also be rebuilt and can be built for different ride qualities. So these should last forever if they aren't damanged and if parts exist.

I forget my actual measurements, but the closest shock I could find in all of Bilstein's range was the short body 10" travel, AK7110SB. I don't expect to ever go beyond running 33s in SUA, so planning for future increase travel wasn't in the cards.

My list of parts-

4 shocks, expect to pay around $700
4+ stem conversion adapters... I want to say w/14mm hole, 2x $17.50 @ man-a-fre
Dodge truck bushings for '69-93 truck, 1" spring eye

This is about a 2 banana job, mostly in figuring out how to mount things. Not a bolt up job.

After finding a post in the 80s forum, I decided to only use the front top heim joints that come on either end of each shock. The rest I converted to bushings, mostly for ease of use. I have 4+ U-bolt flip kits on each corner and that's how things worked out. The 4+ kit for the 60 uses 16mm mounting surfaces. The top rear OEM mounts for a 62 is 19mm. I had to drill out two bushings to fit the rear upper mounts and that was another adventure to find a 3/4 bit that would work (don't bother a gradual hole increase for poly bushings, just go for it).

Now that I know, I would have built the front stem adapters out of square tube. The adapters from 4+ have a massive vertical bolt.. 7/8", and is just a pain to deal with finding a bit to hone out the OEM mount. I'm not sure why such a huge bolt is needed.

I'd like to find a better way to do the bushings, but was limited to a size that fit and what form it came in. Ideally I wanted to find two hat-shaped ends and sandwich them together with a metal inner sleeve. Prothane sells something that might work if I cut the ends down, but I just went with what I found at the local 4x4 shop. Why are all my projects the weirdest thing a counter jockey has ever seen?

what comes in the box.. including 4 bushing rings, one goes on either side of each heim (i used 3 per top front shock to get spacing right with the stem adapters)

shot of the poly bushings used

easy end

with clip removed

this clip is more difficult.. see how the ends are formed?

my makeshift press bits.. 8mm and 25mm sockets

shade tree in action (a press would work better, be careful of the top shock housing)

what I came up to remove the clip.. prevent the clip from spinning with vice grips and pry the end I could get on with a small screwdriver... there has to be an easier way

vice grips don't mar up the end that bad.. nothing some emery cloth or die grinder can't correct

another angle

bushing fits

shot with a spare mount pin... this could be mounted better, but should serve to keep the end in place

very close in length to OME, my stock bumpstop should hit before the shocks bottom out according to measurements

another of lengths

front mounted, need to swing the clamps around but they don't interfere with anything

rear resevoirs clamped in.. my 3" exhaust is going to move so I might make a few adjustments then

and a few pics at different angles


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Ride quality is excellent. I went with 255/70 valving (pretty standard) and they seem to have a nice supple quality to them. Roads have just been asphalt around town and short highway, but they deal with any slight bumps effortlessly.

I have heavy OME front/rear. The rear pack has 2 overload leafs.

Will post more when I get some rougher roads under the truck.
Nice shock choice and great pics! Are you really leaving the body protectors on there?
Oregonians must think alike! I had this exact build in my head but couldn't figure out how to get around the eye size issue.

Thanks for the info!

Where are you in Oregon, I wouldn't mind checking out the your if I'm in your neck o' the woods.


Bilstein makes a stud top shock.

FOA is designing one as well.
They do, but not this model.. which was the closest to the size I wanted. I actually wanted the schrader valve setup, but this one measured out better.

Personally I wanted to get some tube bent and make a proper mount, but short term just wanted the shocks mounted. As time allows I will get rid of the OEM mount and setup a front hoop to my liking.
I ran around some mostly gravel roads in the local mountains for a cleanup project and the shocks did great. I noticed that I have been gauging ride quality in the past by in-cabin vibration noise vs actual ride feel. Mentally turning off my ears really helped. There is a lot of crap in the cabin to squeak, clatter or make noise.

The ride is smooth as I'd ever expect in the conditions and remaining at street pressure.

Casey, I'm just north in Salem, but my work schedule is really weird. I'll be up at TSF next weekend for a combined club run with a club from Washington.
Suggest thorough de-greasing of the shock and reservoir bodies and rough up the plating. Then paint them you favorite color. The plating is a bit thin and rust comes along fairly soon.

Energy makes proper hour-glass shaped shock bushings with both of the common shock pin size bores. I've used them on both my Mini and my 60 to eliminate the spherical bearings in both Fox and Bilstein shocks.
Great work, those things look sick. I am in Salem too, what kinda cash did you have into this conversion?
Not to mention time? Nice pictures too, keep up the good work.

Never mind on the cost, I just re read the 1st post >.<
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@esh, how is the long term use of the Bilstein 7110 (AK7110SB)? feedback?
Nice. I don't think the ride has changed.

I'd be tempted to try newer technology like a foam cell to get rid of the reservoir, but the 7100s are pretty sublime. I'd expect standard 255/70 5100s to feel the same.
Hello Esh, I saw your thread and I'm interested in your mounting for your 7100's. I just got my 7100's and I'm in the process of pressing out the heim centers and popping in the poly bushings for the 16mm shock stud. Have you had any problems, seeing that you also pushed out the center eyes? Were your shock studs 16mm also. Mine are going on a 73 FJ40.

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