Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

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Neeginan
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Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby Neeginan » Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:17 am

A couple of years ago, I replaced the factory shocks on my 2011 LE 4X4. The common suspension/rust issues were addressed at the time, or shortly thereafter when alignment issues became obvious. I ended up with the moog 81119 rear springs, and the Bilstein 4600's all around (and a bunch of new suspension components). I have a slight rake, but love the firmed up ride.

I have less than 20k miles on this setup. The ride is still fantastic. I want to get some life out of these shocks. Thing is, I am considering leveling the front back up and a slight lift. Maybe lift the front 1 1/2 inches and the back another inch using spacers. sfcreations has a spacer kit.

I am getting conflicting information from Doctor Google. He is usually pretty good at providing reliable info, but in this case I can't figure out if you can do any lift at all with Bilstein 4600's. Bilstein basically says no. With the Moog springs in the back, I got some lift and the ride quality is excellent with the 4600's so that would lead me to believe that a couple of inches would be fine. I have found some Toyota forums where people claim that the 4600's are fine with up to 2 inches of lift, but they have a different part number for their 4600s. Bilstein themselves say stock ride height only for 4600's.

So I am trying to see if any R51 Pathfinder folks here have a slight lift on Bilstein 4600's front and back. If so, your experience, good and bad. I have been going through lift threads here but haven't found an answer to this specific question. Thanks. I am only trying to end up with 1 1/2 inch front and Moog 81119 spring + 1/2 inch or 1 inch in the back. Wondering if my existing 4600's will be overextended if I do that.

Thanks in advance.


silverarrow27
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby silverarrow27 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:13 pm

From my reading on here, clubfrontier, to thenewx; consensus says no. 5100s seem to be the go-to for any type of lift. If it's your daily driver and don't need any or rarely any type of offroading, I'm sure you can get away with the 4600s though. The only way to really know would be to take some measurements of the shock at no load, fully compressed, and at regular car load(vehicle just sitting on ground) and see how much travel you have to play with on the shock before picking up spacers. I think it was like 1.5 multiplies the actual size spacer equals your lift, example, 1.5x2" spacer= 2.25" of lift. For the Pathy, Frontier, and Xterra...it seems the most recommended spacer size is 1/2" to utilize a bit of extra travel on the stock shock if you care about travel.

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Neeginan
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby Neeginan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:49 am

Thanks, Silverarrow. Not the answer I wanted, but pretty much in line with what I have been finding. Another thing I am finding - many people just do a mild lift and don't even think about the shocks. Seems like less than 2 inches and many people just don't care, or aren't worried about it because they are not doing serious off roading. I won't be serious off roading either - more like overlanding/dirt roads/forest service roads. So I am kind of 1/2 way into just do it mode, but I am also 1/2 way into just wait and do it right mode. I hate that.

I have been trying to find the stock and Bilstein 4600 compressed/extended length specs to determine travel. I can't find these specs anywhere. A lot of the other Bilstein specs, I have been able to find. But not for the Pathfinder fit 4600s. It is entirely possible that these Bilsteins have a bit more extension and travel than the stock shocks, which would accommodate a very mild lift. But without the specs, there is no way for me to confirm it and make myself feel better about doing it.

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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby silverarrow27 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:33 pm

I went the way of "Go big or go home". I have a set of King Shocks Coilovers w/ reservoir waiting to go in and Mevotech/SPC UCAs and OME rear shocks(will probably be swapping out the OME shocks with King also once I get the front squared away) and medium springs with 33" Maxxis MT tires. I mostly do the same types of things you do, but I'm one of those people who would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Next on the list will be front and rear lockers with regear to 3.36, 35" tires, and the newly available big brake kit. And mostly I have to keep up with family that have Landcruisers & FJ Cruiser on weekends when it's a weekend out with the boys.

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Neeginan
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby Neeginan » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:56 am

Had the truck on the lift at the shop yesterday for a tire repair. My mech put it up on the lift for us to look at the geometry and shock lengths & travel. We both came to the conclusion that a 1 in spacer should be no problem. 2 inch would be pushing it and would probably bottom out the shock.at times.

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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby smj999smj » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:29 am

I think you mean "over-extend," and not "bottom out?"

silverarrow27
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby silverarrow27 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:56 am

I think bottom out is correct. I'm fairly new to the world of lifts myself as I've always been into lowering cars, not lifting trucks. From research, with the 1" spacer, it'll give his Pathy a 1.5" lift. But with that 1" spacer, his shock loses about an inch of travel(plus or minus some depending how long the 4600 is to stock) so his shock is sitting almost an inch shorter under load/driving resulting easier to bottom out shocks when hitting ruts, bumps, etc on the road. As I understand it from the Frontier and Xterra guys, they recommend a .5" spacer for factory shocks because the factory Bilsteins had an extra .5" to .75" of extra travel due to a longer shock so the .5" spacer gives more travel. But generally, spacers give you height clearance at the sacrifice of less travel/harsher ride.

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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby smj999smj » Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:16 pm

Well, if we are talking about the front struts, the spacer isn't going to make any difference on the strut travel. At the rear, adding a spacer to the coil will make the shock absorber extend further, not make the distance shorter, so it wouldn't bottom out. That's why the Bilstein 5100's are used because they have a longer extension compared to the 4600's. We can't really compare the R51 to the Frontier/Xterra because unlike those trucks, the R51 has an independent rear suspension. The problem with lifting the rear of the R51 is that the more you suspension lift it, the harder it gets to get the rear wheel camber alignment in spec. Two-inches about the maximum you can go before you need to go with eccentric rear control arm bushings, like those from SuperGo.

silverarrow27
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby silverarrow27 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:14 pm

Ah yes, I was not thinking of the rear for the Pathfinder. I was thinking of the front coilover setup only. My bad :idea:

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Neeginan
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby Neeginan » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:15 pm

Yeah, I was talking about the front when I was talking about bottoming out. With a strut extension spacer, up-travel is restricted when the shock assembly bottoms out earlier. Down travel over extension can be an issue as well. It seemed to us like 1 inch would be no problem.

Of course, we could be wrong. Only one way to find out I guess!

silverarrow27
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby silverarrow27 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:38 pm

Don't forget to come back and let us know what the outcome is.

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smj999smj
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby smj999smj » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:38 am

Neeginan wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:15 pm
Yeah, I was talking about the front when I was talking about bottoming out. With a strut extension spacer, up-travel is restricted when the shock assembly bottoms out earlier. Down travel over extension can be an issue as well. It seemed to us like 1 inch would be no problem.

Of course, we could be wrong. Only one way to find out I guess!
The front struts won't bottom out any earlier because the spacer is not put in the bottom or top of the coil spring of the strut; it's bolted on top of the strut mount. If you are bottoming out a front strut on an R51, you're simply driving it too hard! :lol:

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jlocal
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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby jlocal » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:19 pm

Hello guys, interesting info here. I don't want to hijack any thread here, but since this is about suspension, I'm wondering about my front. My Pathy had 98 thousand miles and was driven hard. I replaced my rear with Moog springs and Bilstein shocks. Can anyone recommend something for the front. I'm looking for a complete set, springs and shocks together. Maybe slightly stiffer from stock. Appreciate any help. Thanks, John

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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby smj999smj » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:59 am

jlocal wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:19 pm
Hello guys, interesting info here. I don't want to hijack any thread here, but since this is about suspension, I'm wondering about my front. My Pathy had 98 thousand miles and was driven hard. I replaced my rear with Moog springs and Bilstein shocks. Can anyone recommend something for the front. I'm looking for a complete set, springs and shocks together. Maybe slightly stiffer from stock. Appreciate any help. Thanks, John
If you are looking for a "quick strut" assembly, your options are somewhat limited to stock replacements. I always felt the front struts from the factory were pretty good. You say you want something a little stiffer, but is that because your current struts are a bit worn and not as stiff as you'd like? Basically, what I'm saying is that maybe new, stock strut assemblies would be "stiffer" than how your current struts are now? Both KYB Strut-plus and Moog quick-struts (both available at Rockauto for around $100 and both carry a limited-lifetime warranty) are good, stock replacements. The Bilstein B6 4600 front strut is listed as "heavy duty" and the Rancho RS9000XL is an adjustable and allows you to tune the strut, however, neither comes as a "quick-strut" assembly.

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Re: Any/Max Lift with Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Postby jlocal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:54 am

It's when I go over a bad patch of road (street driving) it doesn't seem to be in control. This is only used for street driving. I did replace the front shocks but not the springs, which now I feel was stupid of me to do. Maybe I will go with the quick struts, that way I'll know all is new. Moog or KYB, or they about the same? Thanks


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