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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I installed the Bilstein HD front shocks this weekend and have been VERY happy with the upgrade. The ride seems smoother and I no longer pucker up over bad bumps :p

The actuall install wasn't bad....most of the work was doing research on how to put the shock isolators on and for torque specs (22 ft/lbs for top bolts, 99 ft/lbs for bottom bolt according to the service manual) as well as transferring the spring (I rented two pair of the compressors from AutoZone).

Unfortunately I ran out of daylight and did most of the install in the dark and was doing a lot of the work by flashlight. I had some questions / concerns with which I am hoping someone can assist:

1) The front driver spring made a big *BANG* when I first drove over the driveway hump. No problems 170 miles on the ride home. Should I be worried? Perhaps a the spring was a little off kilter?

2) The shock "sleeve" seems to have slipped a little off the end of shock when I was compressing and I didn't notice until it I put it back on. Is this a problem? Perhaps related to #1? No noise what so ever since the first bang:

Old shock sleeve:


New shock sleeve:


3) The top shock nut was supposed to be torqued to 40 ft / lbs. however I could not torque it because I had to hold the center threaded bolt. Moreover it was not under tension so I don't think I would have gotten an accurate reading. Instead I cranked it down until the same amount of threads were shown as the old shock (about 3 - 4). Any issues?



4) The truck seems higher in the front - can anyone tell me what the stock fender height is?

Thanks!
 

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Maybe I missed it, but what spring compressor did you use?
 

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The shock sleeve is nothing, its just so it doesn't grind and damage the paint AFAIK :p
 

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Maybe the bolt on the rod needs to be tightened down more. I'd imagine the rod on the 5100's and the HD's is the same, and I have more threads showing than what you do. The "bang" may be from the spring settling inside the CB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The shock sleeve is nothing, its just so it doesn't grind and damage the paint AFAIK :p
Good to hear! I don't notice any sound at all.

Maybe the bolt on the rod needs to be tightened down more. I'd imagine the rod on the 5100's and the HD's is the same, and I have more threads showing than what you do. The "bang" may be from the spring settling inside the CB.
Mack - Thanks for your installation instructions as that is what I used when I was doing the install.

Originally I had the bolt down as far as you did in your picture but then I looked at the OEM shocks and there were only 4 threads showing so I decided to back it off. This was all done before I released the tension on the spring.

My thought was that I could not get an accurate torque reading (which would have been by hand as I needed to hold the top bolt) because there was no tension pushing back and could have easily cranked it all the way down with the lack of resistance.

If I should have it down tighter I am thinking of just reaching in the wheel well and doing it - perhaps lifting the truck to take the front end weight off of the spring. Does that sound like a plan?
 

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The shop I took my truck initially to install the 5100's had them torqued down all they way. They did it with a impact gun and, per them, they had done a lot of vehicles with aftermarket Bilsteins struts. They got the order of the bushings right so I trusted them. I have not had a single odd sound come from mine like this, on either of the setting I have tried, so I would say go for it and see. You will prob need to jack the truck up and take the tire off just so you can get in there good. Use vice grips and the box end of a wrench. Not having the nut all the way down could possibly make you truck taller because it is allowing the spring to extend farther than normal; the spring would have to be stiff enough to lift it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That makes a lot of sense. I'll give it a shot and report back.

What kills me is I did have it down but since the OEM shocks were not I backed it off. Hopefully I will have enough pepper to crank them down as I'm fighting the spring.

It's gonna rain the next few days so I'm going to coat the bolts with anti-seize to prevent any rust before I do it.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Found this on a Ford 150 forum. Not exact but seems to make sense:

Torquing the fastening nut is also a little problematic. Bilstein's method of holding the rod still calls for inserting a 6mm Allen wrench into the top of the rod. While this was easy enough to do, it meant that I couldn't use a socket wrench to tighten the fastening nut. It also means that I couldn't use a torque wrench on it while tightening. Another call to technical support informed me that tightening until the upper bushing spread about 1mm beyond the washer would give an appropriate amount of torque. Not the most precise method in the world, but given the surprisingly low torque levels specified for this nut, I decided I could live with it.


I am going to call Bilstein tomorrow to see if they can confirm.
 
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