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Bilstein 5100 adjustable ride height struts?

Discussion in 'Modified 2006 - 2010 Explorers' started by PhoenixExp, October 29, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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    I was looking at the specs on the Bilstein 5100 adjustables for the f-150 part #24-122986 collapsed length 16.34" extended length 21.89" w/5.55" total travel (which can be slightly altered w/ the adjustable pre-load/spring seat collar) and was wondering if I could use them on my '07 Explorer xlt 4x4 4.0 as a bolt-on front leveling solution.
    The Rancho QuickLift struts (for the front- 2 part numbers both with same travel specs) Rancho RS999924 collapsed length 17.35" extended length 22.08" w/4.73" total travel. Any insight or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Also wondering weather the pre-load collar would change the collapsed length? from 16.34" to 19.09" with 4 possible heights (0",1",1.5",2.75") from 0"-2.75" lift as stated by Bilstein.


    http://www.my4by.com/rancho-quicklift-and-quick-lift-loaded-specs-a-11.html
    http://www.bilsteinus.com/uploads/tx_templavoila/Bil_OffRd_Cat2011_03.pdf
     
    Last edited: October 29, 2013
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  3. RJ

    RJ Member

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    I would love to know as well, as my truck is close to due for struts at 60k.

    I think the length sounds very reasonable, but what's more important is the mounting bolt pattern.

    Anyone compared the upper strut mount bolt pattern against an F150? And the bottom bolt hole diameter?
     
  4. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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    I think the 5100's (original style) must have a mounting option for the Explorer, as they are offered as an option on the 5.5" Fabtech lift for the Ranger. The Fabtech kit is for 2wd so the spindles will not work on 4wd. But I see no reason why they should not work with our factory spindles/knuckles with a uniball upper control arm in the mix.

    The ride height adjustable version should give that much more flexibility with the 4-position lower spring seat. I'll be calling Bilstein this week to see if I can get more info for us.
     
  5. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    the preload on the spring doesn't change the extended/collapsed length of the shock. That is a function of the design of the shock itself. All the preload does is cause the spring to settle less under the weight of the vehicle, so the shock ends up being more extended or less extended depending on the preload...a more extended shock when the weight of the truck is on the suspension means increased ride height (lift).

    The exception to this is if you choose a spring that gets compressed fully before the shock does (aka coil bind)....then your compressed shock length gets limited to whatever point the spring binds at. you want to avoid this kind of setup because the force caused when bottoming out could break something. All you have to do to avoid it is choose a spring that has more travel than the shock but will still fit on the shock body when installing it.
     
  6. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    also the bottom hole diameter is 18mm...well at least that's the bolt size. I have no idea on how the stud pattern on top matches the F-150.

    I looked at the bilstein 5100 idea about a year and a half ago but decided that I was better off building my own upper and lower brackets to allow me to use a 5" travel Fox emulsion coilover shock.

    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=376292&highlight=custom+coilover
     
  7. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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    Hello, Ronin. Thank you for the clarification/explanation. That makes sense! I was hoping to get your insights on this. I have closely followed your build threads and how to's. Awesome stuff!
    :salute:
     
  8. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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    Is it the bolt hole on the lower A-arm for the strut that is 18mm? Or the strut mounting eye that is 18mm? Either way, if Fabtech found a way to put them on a Ranger, they must have a mounting solution. Possibly a sleeve if the eyelet hole is too big.
    As for the stud pattern on the top side, it appears that Bilstein is either supplying their own studded top mounts or possibly reusing the OEM studded bracket? Does the stud pattern on the F-150 match that of the Explorer/Ranger? If not, does the bolt pattern on the Explorer at least match the Ranger (I think it should)? And if so, then a quick call to Bilstein and Fabtech should resolve all mounting questions.
    Also, thank you for pointing out the possible coil binding issue... Do you think that the OEM springs have more than 5.5"-6" of compression in them before binding? The Fabtech kit for the Ranger uses aftermarket springs, which they claim provide 2.5" of additional lift over the spindles (3" of lift).
    I guess what I'm getting at is whether taller spindles and/or taller springs would be needed in order for the Bilstein's to work properly? Perhaps Superlift spindles could be used? (As they are the only spindles/knuckles i can find for 4wd; CV shaft accommodations). I really do not want to drop my A-arms if I can avoid it... thoughts?
     
  9. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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  10. RJ

    RJ Member

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    Hmm, if it's just the strut itself, and not the full coilover assembly, then we might in luck. It's possible that the strut rod can thread directly to our factory "top hat".

    While I have no scientific numbers on whether the stock coils will bind at 5" travel, from the looks of it, we should be okay. Say at static height we're into 2" out of the 5", then the total coil spacing certainly looks to be >3".

    You MIGHT run into issues if you use the top pre-load setting, and smash into something really hard that causes excessive bump travel, but in that case simply lower it one or two slots and you should be okay.
     
  11. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    Phoenix, the lower strut bolt itself is 18mm. Hole is slightly larger but not enough to matter.

    Remember that even when installed on stock struts, the springs have an inch or two of preload due to the fact that you have to compress them to get them to fit between the lower seat and the top hat.

    I've searched high and low for published specs on the OEM type springs (i.e., free length, travel, and spring rate) and couldn't find anything. Fortunately you can measure and calculate these things if you have a set of springs that are disassembled from the struts. For this purpose (and for installing on the bilsteins) you could order a new set of just springs from rockauto...moog makes them and they aren't too expensive IIRC. Google "coilover bible" for a great article on springs, shocks, and suspension design in general. It helped a lot when designing my coilover setup.

    One of my concerns when looking at the bilstein idea back in the day was that if the stock springs were too short, or had too little travel, then I would have to get something custom made or find something really similar to make it work. This was one of the reasons I decided to just go with a coilover shock that would accept a universal coil spring design, instead of being limited to a very application specific type of spring.

    I think any lift spindle is going to have to be custom, as it has to accommodate the wheel bearing/ABS sensor assembly, as well as the tie rod ends, ball joints, etc. The superlift ones are pretty different from what we have as far as I can tell.

    Another thing to consider is you will probably want to get some BTF upper control arms with this setup, since the OEM upper and ball joint are limited, both in geometry and durability. I think you will want something better than stock if you plan on taking advantage of the lift/extra travel.
     
  12. PhoenixExp

    PhoenixExp New Member

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    Hey, RJ. That's kinda what i was thinking... And, I'm right there at 60,000 miles with you too. Stock ride is still pretty nice, but I'm planning on doing it within the next 20,000 miles or so...
     

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