Rear suspension upgrade - Bilstein 7100 shocks - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 09-16-2006
V8 Level II's Avatar
RF Veteran
Thread Starter
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,831
Rear suspension upgrade - Bilstein 7100 shocks

I recently installed a set of Bilstein 7100 reservoir shock absorbers on the front of my Ranger:
https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...ad.php?t=27975

I liked how the swap turned out, so I decided to get a matching set of 7100's for the rear of the truck. I chose a set of 12" travel 'short body' shocks that have almost exactly the same compressed length as stock Ranger 4x4 shocks but allow 2" of additional rebound travel.

My original (wishful) thinking was that, unlike the front, the rear swap would be a simple bolt-on. Well, not exactly. It turned out that there were a couple of problems to overcome.

The first issue was the mounts. These are universal shocks that are sold under the assumption that mounts will be built specifically for them. They are not offered as a direct replacement for any specific OE shock absorber.

7100s come from Bilstein with very nice 1/2" bore Heim joints installed. That's fine for the Ranger lower mounts which use 12mm bolts and Bilstein had thoughtfully included 1/2" to 12mm adapters.

The upper mount is a different story. Rangers have a shouldered stud mount on top that has a 16mm OD. That is very close to 5/8" and there is obviously no way that a 1/2" Heim is going to slide on to a ~5/8" stud. I ended up removing the upper Heims and substituting some polyurethane bushings leftover from a James Duff traction bar kit. All I had to do to make them fit was turn a 26mm OD step on each JD bushing to match the ID of the Bilstein upper eye.

Now I thought I was truly home free .... until I tried to mount the driver side shock. The reservoir hose exits the shock body at about 45 degrees. If the hose is aimed up, it runs directly into the bottom of the bed with no room to turn. Flip the shock over and the hose fitting hits part of the spare tire crossmember.

Undaunted, I ripped the box off and broke out the MIG. To make some room for the reservoir hose, I cut a notch in the crossmember and reinforced it with side plates welded in. There weren't many options for the mounting of the reservoir itself. I finally decided to put it between the evap canister and the spare tire winch. A piece of motorcycle exhaust tubing was welded to the spare bracket to make a place to clamp the polyurethane reservoir mounts that came with the shocks. In this location, the Schrader valve can be accessed easily with the spare dropped. The bed still has to be lifted to remove the DS shock but that was a given regardless of where the reservoir was placed.



By comparison, the passenger side was easy. I just used the curve on the top edge of the frame as a mounting point and clamped it on.


Last edited by V8 Level II; 09-16-2006 at 09:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-16-2006
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 5,782
Geez Bob... way to make me feel inferior AGAIN!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-16-2006
texasbullseye89's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Huntsville, Tx
Posts: 827
yeah. dont work too hard on that. nice work. im more of a OEM fit kinda person
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-16-2006
pastfinder's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,252
Awesome work Bob! I just installed your old Bilsteins :)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-16-2006
EdGe_wannabe's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Richmond Hill, Georgia
Posts: 4,306
You are the shiz-nazz Bob. Dang man, many props.

Brenton
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-16-2006
HighRollerII's Avatar
RF Veteran
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 10,066
looks good bob..ive always wanted some of those with the seperate resv.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-16-2006
rngprerunner's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Beach CA
Posts: 3,453
Awesome Bob! Very cool!

So how's it ride?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-16-2006
r0ng5's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: LA, CA
Posts: 2,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbullseye89
yeah. dont work too hard on that. nice work. im more of a OEM fit kinda person
I think that's what Bob was going for.. and it turned out freakin crazy.



---

damn.. 7100's up front AND back?!? that's insane. How DOES it right?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-17-2006
V8 Level II's Avatar
RF Veteran
Thread Starter
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,831
Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner
Awesome Bob! Very cool!

So how's it ride?
I haven't had it off road yet but I have tried a couple of washboard dirt roads. The front is great but the rear is a little bit choppy. I guess that you have to expect some of that in a nearly stock small pickup.

At first, I was concerned that the Ranger damping stack wouldn't be compatible with the full size Chevy spring swap but, when I checked the Bilstein valving guide, the recommended damping was the same for both Rangers and full size pickups (255/70).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-17-2006
RF Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 5,782
When you talk about valving stack, is that more or less the 'stiffness' of the shock? Would softening them up do any good on the dirt roads? Or would you want them stiffer?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-17-2006
V8 Level II's Avatar
RF Veteran
Thread Starter
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead61
When you talk about valving stack, is that more or less the 'stiffness' of the shock? Would softening them up do any good on the dirt roads? Or would you want them stiffer?
Yes, Bilstein offers 6 different valving options for the 7100s. I am using Bilstein's recommended settings:

Front:
Part number suffix "06" AKA 360/80
This is 800 Newtons compression force and 3600 Newtons rebound force measured at 0.52 meter/sec.

Rear:
Part number suffix "04" AKA 255/70.
This is 700 Newtons compression force and 2550 N rebound force measured at 0.52 m/s.

Higher numbers mean more restrictive or "firmer" damping. Lower numbers are softer. The shocks can be disassembled and revalved to any of the 6 settings. I am going to drive them for awhile as received to see if there is any break-in change. They can always be revalved later if necessary.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-17-2006
lifted97ranger's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Charlestown, IN
Posts: 1
nice job.....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-17-2006
D.
Unregistered User
 
Posts: n/a
"Undaunted, I ripped the box off and broke out the MIG... "

I think My mig has modified more Rangers in my yard then I have used it on my own stuff LOL!

Nice mod bro.
D.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shocks, shocks, shocks. teddy 2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech 3 01-21-2015 10:32 PM
2002 Ford Ranger EDGE Super Cab for $$7100 located in USA - California. Scallion02EDGE Ranger Based Vehicles 1 06-18-2013 01:28 PM
For Sale: Bilstein HD Rear Shocks (GA) Scott B. Suspension, Tires, & Wheels 0 09-25-2011 07:34 PM
2002 Ford Ranger XLT - $7100.00 obo Jakespeeds Ranger Based Vehicles 3 07-02-2010 08:11 AM
Bilstein 7100 reservoir shocks installed V8 Level II Suspension Tech 20 09-08-2006 06:08 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:11 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.