Bilstein install problems...Real Time

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Jan 19, 2005
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Redlands, CA
I'm installing Bilstein 1477 and 1478's...at least thats the plan. So far, I'm om the front. I'm having difficulty figuring out the bushings and the washers for the install. I'm following Slee's write-up and the instructions that came with the shocks, but when I put the washers and bushings on, per the Bilstein instructions (which do coincide with Slee's instructions) there is not enough room on the post to work with. Also, both top and bottom mounts have one bushing larger than the other, but the instruction's illustrations do not show a difference, does the smaller or bigger one go closest to the shock? And finally (for now), the bushings for the bottom mounts do not slide over the post, the hole is to narrow for the post. Has anyone had these problems?

Thanks in advance for any help,
Perk
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
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Man, that's going to require some specific knowledge of the Bilstein product. Are you sure this is the correct shock? Did you compare available length of the post on the factory shock versus these now that one of each is off the truck?

Sorry not able to do more than random poking for ya.....

Oh, one piece of useful advice. Use penetrating oil with a straw to shoot the rear shock top bolts atop the bracket after cleaning them by feel with a toothbrush so the oil can get direct to the threads. Those can be a bear w/o some soak time. You can shoot directly on them by holding the tip of the straw blindly against the bolts while shooting lube with the other hand.

DougM
 
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Thanks for the tip on the rear Doug. Hopefully they won't be too bad.

Yah, I really don't know whats going on with the washers and bushings. Hopefully someone who'se done this install will be able to shed some light. Luckily I don't need to have it drivable until Wednesday, so I've got some time to figure this out. Don't need to start hunting for a mobile mechanic...yet.
 
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Jul 7, 2005
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MA
I'm installing Bilstein 1477 and 1478's...at least thats the plan. So far, I'm on the front. I'm having difficulty figuring out the bushings and the washers for the install.

Are you sure this is the correct shock?

Those are the same shocks I put on mine along with
the OME low lift springs, so I know they are the right ones.
It's been about a year since I did it, so my memory might
not be worth much.
I do remember having a hard time with the bushings/washers
as the Bilstein instructions suck.
I used my existing shocks to kind of match it.

I can try and take pics tonight if you think that would help.

You might want to try a search as I seem to remember a few discussions
about the bushing/washer order that I also read when installing.
 
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Pictures would be great. I really don't see how they go on. The bottom bushings flat out don't fit on the post.
 
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The bottom bushings flat out don't fit on the post.

I just installed these - I used dish washing detergent on the bottom bushings to help get them on. Also, I put the wider bushings toward the shock, top and bottom. I don't know if it's right, but I am using them with OME 850/860 springs and thought the extra length would help.
 
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Aug 12, 2003
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I also remember being confused with this but don't remember the specifics either. I think I used a combination of looking at the OEM shocks I pulled off and also paying very close attention to the tiny picture diagram that's provided with the shocks.

I remember the bushings looking like a no-fit as well. It was a bit of work to push them over the post.
 
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I used the same shocks but it has been a year. Yes the Bilstein instructions suck. I reused most of the toyota washers because they looked beefer than the billies. Take one shock off and match it up.
IIRC one of the washers is small diameter to fit the billy shock tube so I did not use the toyota for that one.
 
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Thanks for all the input.
I'll lube up those bushings and force those mofos on there, but they sure don't look like they'll go, especially on the bottom; the hole in the bushing is considerably smaller than the diameter of the post.
I've been able to make sense (I think) of the Bilstein instructions on the order of bushings and washers and it jives with Slee's and the existing configuration. The problem is when I place them all on, only the very tip of the post is exposed, none of which is threaded. So what gives?
Did anyone else have this problem of the section of the post that receives the washers and bushings being too short? I'm looking forward to seeing those pics.

Thanks again,
Perk
 
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Back on it. Can someone confirm that the metal cylinder for the top mounts must be pushed through the bushing. Considering that you all are saying a lot of force is required to push the bushings in place, it occurs to me that my lack of space on the post would be solved if the cylinder is supposed to be pushed through the bottom bushing. What did others do about the placement of the different size bushings (next to the shock/inner or away/outer). On the OEM setup, the top mount has two bushings the same size and the bottom mount has one larger and it is placed in the outer position.
 
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Ok...It's amazing what a difference some lube makes. The bushings are going on ok with the lube and all seems ok now. The cylindrical tube piece is down all the way( through the bushing) as well.

All is well, thanks for the help. I'll post back with the final results later (hopefully no more help requests).
 
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I'm looking forward to seeing those pics.

Thanks again,
Perk



I didn't get home until late last night, so I didn't
get a chance to take pics. I'll definitely do it tonight
if you still need them (even just to add to the thread)

Sounds like you're well on your way though :cheers:
 
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Pictures would be great.


I think I sort of mixed old washers with new bushings


Bottom of Shock (above mount)

Bottom of Shock (below mount)
IMG_8199_r1_1_1.JPG
IMG_8200_r1_2_1.JPG
 
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More

Top of Shock (above mount)

Top of Shock (below mount) (hard to get a good shot here)
IMG_8201_r1_3_1.JPG
IMG_8203_4_1.JPG
 
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Nov 16, 2003
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I used a mix of stock and bilstein provided washers also, some the the bilstein washers had too large an opening for my taste, use all the new bushings bigger ones inside closer to shock to increase length,

The schematic style of parts ID from the instructions is not very good.


Here is the only useful pic I have from the install, shows the rear, the black washer is a stock one, IIRC I used it because it had a lip that fit the opening properly.
shockn.jpg
 
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I got everything on. It just didn't occur to me that the bushings and the cylinder had to be lubed and forced into position. I'm surprised I didn't come across this in any of the searches or install instructions I read.

I really enjoy working on the cruiser, but man, I seem to make the simplest jobs difficult. It's amazing how much you learn working on your own vehicle. I think part of the problem I was having that first night, was I was brain fried from fighting with the two top nut on the front. I did this alone and could not come up with a way to secure the shock to get leverage on the nut. I had a nut splitter so I was never too concerned about these nuts in planning, but splitting the nuts turned out to be no easy task, as it was difficult to get enough leverage for that too.

I definetely recommend getting a helper for this, it would have made my life way easier if I had someone to hold that shock.

I sure like the stock shock's dust cover better, what's up with Bilsteins flimsy plactic? It seems like there must be a reason. When the time comes to take the Bilstein's off, will you have to hold the shock post itself with a pipewrench (since the dust cover is plastic?

Thanks again for the help,
Perk
 
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I'd take the dust cover off if you could (just a place to trap stuff up in there). No reason you need a metal cover over the piston. Just something else to chip and rust.

Welcome to lesson #1 of all single person DIY 4x4 jobs: Disassembly is likely to take you five times as long as you were expecting, and there will be at least one major snag in every project. My wife multiplies my project time estimates by 3 and is extremely accurate.
 

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