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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gotta say I'm dissapointed in the Bilstein 5100s (fronts in middle position) and the Nitto Terra Grapplers I jsut installed on my 08.5 SE 4x2 Crew Cab.

Set them up in the middle position to level the truck out and installed 285/65-18 Nittos on the stock wheels. Truck looks fantastic leveled out and with the larger tires mounted. Ride seems about as good and resists bottoming out in the front much better.

Problem is the handling. This truck used to rail corners, brake evenly and consistently (even while cornering on bumpy surfaces). Doesn't do that any longer. Truck is very skitish now...like there is too much compression damping.

Bummer as I've dipsosed of the stock shocks. Gonna have to live with it I guess.


John
 

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You might want to try removing the preload. It will lower it 1" in the front from where it's at now, but the tires should still easily clear with stock rims. Then if this solves the issue, and you don't like the rake, get the PRG adjustable shackles and drop the rear 1" or put on a 1.5" PRG leveling kit, which will lift without the additional preload.

As for the tires, if you can exchange them for something else, do it. Although my Terra's handle the curves pretty good, they have poor traction and are not as smooth as even my M/Ts were.
 

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i'd defintly drop the shocks to the low setting like nor cal said. if you need the height, get a small spacer. it just sucks cause you spent all that time or money or both and now your not happy with it, i know how you feel. might as well try to get it right though.
 

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You raised the truck and put bigger tires on and then complain it doesnt rail like it did stock.........Hmm let me think about this for a little bit and get back with you. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You raised the truck and put bigger tires on and then complain it doesnt rail like it did stock.........Hmm let me think about this for a little bit and get back with you. lol
Always a smart (dumb) a$$ in every group.

I'm complaining becuse it is dangerous. Yes, it used to rail corners waaayyy better than any 5500lb vehicle has a right to but now if I have to do any kind of avoidance maneuver, especially while on the brakes, the truck tries to get away from me.

I've been racing cars and motorcyles for several years and am better behind the wheel than your average driver. I know how a vehicle should react to various inputs, either driver or terrain induced.

I should have mentioned (in my OP) that I did get the truck aligned as soon as I installed the front struts however I don't think the shop used adjustable cam bolts. NorCal mentioned this as a possible contributer to my issues. If in fact there is now negative camber after the 1.5 inch level kit installation, that would explain the twitchyness from the front, especially on the brakes. Every little grove I hit in the road while braking fairly hard causes the front end to dart (unpredictably) off to the left or right. Very disconcerting!

At the back, the shocks have what seems to be an excessive amount of compression damping causing the rear to skip around during braking which is not helped by the weight transfer to the front. So with the front darting and the rear skipping around under moterately hard braking...you can see how this could quickly become a handful and is not safe. I could deal with the rear if the front wasn't darting around but combined it's a disater waiting to happen.

I'm planning on contacting the alignment shop Monday to see if they are willing to help me sort this. If not I'll need to seek help elsewhere.

Will keep you posted. Oh, if we could keep the smart a$$ remarks to a minimum it'd be appreciated.

John
 

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Do you have the sway bar installed still? I removed mine after my first lift setup and found turning a lot easier.
 

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You did just raise the heaviest part of the truck... The trucks center of gravity is higher now, so that might have something to do with it. But from what you said, I'm guessing the alignment isn't quite right.

Where did you get your alignment done? I know when I got mine at Tire factory, they said I could come back anytime if I was unhappy with it, and they'd fix it free of charge.
 

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Sounds like you have and alignment issue more than a suspension problem, especially the wandering under braking sounds like a toe out condition to me.
 

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Man i loved my 5100's. At one point I said they where the best mod I had ever done. I think you should lower the front shocks and add a spacer. May help some, but with the lift and probable extra weight of the tires, its not going to handle so athletic anymore or stop as good. But on OEM setting, the 5100's I had where a vast improvement. When I went back to OEM shocks, I thought I had broken something it rode so crappy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You did just raise the heaviest part of the truck... The trucks center of gravity is higher now, so that might have something to do with it. But from what you said, I'm guessing the alignment isn't quite right.

Where did you get your alignment done? I know when I got mine at Tire factory, they said I could come back anytime if I was unhappy with it, and they'd fix it free of charge.
I'm inclined to agree with you (and NorCal) that the majority of the issues I'm having are alignment related.

The shop I used for alignment is Porter's here in Redondo Beach, Ca. They are highly recommended by everyone I've talked to prior to this excersise. They typically work on hot rods, cobras and the like. They have been doing truck alignments for a local truck shop that speacializes in lifts so I thought this was a slam dunk.

Will be contacting them tomorrow. May have to get some adjustable cam bolts and give them another shot.

Will let you all know the results.

John
 

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Always a smart (dumb) a$$ in every group.

Will keep you posted. Oh, if we could keep the smart a$$ remarks to a minimum it'd be appreciated.

John
I'm sure bottlerocket thought here's another bozo that's just on here to *****. You have only a few posts. If you go back and read your original post it doesn't indicate you have any real knowledge of suspensions.
Lots of people come on here with no concept of trucks, suspension or anything mechanical and complain when a mod doesn't work.

Give the guy a break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm sure bottlerocket thought here's another bozo that's just on here to *****. You have only a few posts. If you go back and read your original post it doesn't indicate you have any real knowledge of suspensions.
Lots of people come on here with no concept of trucks, suspension or anything mechanical and complain when a mod doesn't work.

Give the guy a break.
? No quarter asked and no quater given. You say something stupid and I'll call you out on it.
 

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To the OP, I too am thinking it's related to your alignment. Had a friend with similar situation as you did and another trip to the alignment shop cured the same characteristics as you explained. I did the 5100 swap not to long ago and am very happy with the results.

Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Talked to the alignment shop today....they stated that they did not use adjustable cam bolts as they were able to get all dimensions in spec (apparently just for the caster and toe).

They said no problem, bring it back in and they will install the adjustable cam bolts, adjust the castor and toe and all should be fine. Taking it in tomorrow, will post results as soon as I test drive it.

Thanks to all for the words of wisdom.

John
 

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Glad your gettin' it taken care of. Hopefully ill have some bilsteins of my own pretty soon :D
 

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You might want to check with the on what they're going to charge you for the bolts. Everywhere i called was going to charge me $180 for them..needless to say I just waited for my prg ones to come in. maybe try an auto parts store and just take them in to the alignment shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just picked the truck up from Porter's. Only driven a short distance home but can already tell it's night and day better!

No more darting around under braking...woohoo. Was a little apprehensive but all good now.

They were able to get camber adjusted to + 0.5 deg (was + 3 deg, stock is + 0.25 deg) and castor to + 4.5 from + 2.5. Made a world of difference. They had to use 2 sets of adj. cam bolts @ $60 per set but was well worth it.

Happy now. Further testing to come.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Happy to say that the problem has been resolved.

If you're planning on doing a leveling kit I highly recommend you budget in the adjustable cam bolts if your truck is not already equiped with them.

John
 
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