Bilstein 5150 CrossFlow Piggyback Reservoir Shock
By Dog Walker

Recently I decided to shop for a new set of shocks for my trail rig, because my current shocks were in bad shape. Not only were they not performing up to standard, they were just not durable enough for my style of driving. I was running the Rancho 9000’s, and they may be adjustable in all, but the way I see it, manually adjusting shocks just doesn’t seem all that cool these days. Also, I needed a shock with heavier valving, stronger construction, and a shock that would last longer than a season of 4 wheeling. I chose the Bilstein 5150 series shock absorbers.

The new Bilstein 5150 Series offers traditional Bilstein technology with applications for lifted trucks, Jeeps and prerunners. The 5150 Series shock absorbers are designed for specific manufactured lift kits utilizing the stock O.E.M. mounting configuration.

Here are the shock absorbers as packaged, just before and after install. They are the longest 5150’s available with 14 inches of travel and 255/70 valving (heaviest available).

1. Installation of these shocks is pretty straight forward for your average mechanic. The hardest part I encountered was the fact that these shocks have such a high amount of gas pressure. Once you cut the strap that’s holding them closed, they immediately decompress, and re- compressing them is no simple task. I found it easier to leave them strapped, mount the upper shock eye, then jack up the axle housing high enough to connect the other end of the shock. Then I cut the strap off.

Below is a specifications table along with a cut out image of the 5150 shock.

If you are looking for the best shock absorber for your rock crawler, then look no further because here it is. The Bilstein 5150 series first production monotube, high gas pressure, fixed, CrossFlow reservoir shock absorber will blow your mind with its incredible performance! I could not believe how much of a stability increase I gained with my quarter elliptic rear suspension on my FJ40 with these shocks compared to the old Rancho 9000s that I was previously using. There was a noticeable difference at slow speeds when dropping off ledges in off camber situations. It feels like the shocks work together and control body roll and sudden suspension unloads.

In the past month I’ve taken my Landcruiser out rock crawling several times to get a good feel for these new shocks, and so far I am extremely impressed with the performance they offer. Check out these pictures of the shocks at work.

Key Points:

  • Race Inspired Fixed CrossFlow Reservoir
  • Adjustable Shock Mount Allows Unlimited Reservoir Positioning
  • Patented Digressive Split Valving
  • Huge 46mm Working Piston
  • Maintenance Free Design
  • Valving for Single or Multiple Shock Applications
  • Platinum Powdercoat Finish
  • Available in 6.5" - 14" Travel

How to position the reservoir for clearance

  1. Loosen the eye ring and lock nut on the shock body.
  2. Hand tighten the lock nut fully against the shock body.
  3. Apply a small drop of thread-locking compound (such as Locktite) to the threaded pin on the shock.
  4. Hand tighten the eye ring against the lock nut.
  5. Rotate the eye ring (counterclockwise) up to maximum ½ turn (180*) so that the reservoir is in the desired position relative to the upper mount.
  6. Hold the eye ring in position and tighten the lock nut securely against the eye ring to lock it in position (max. torque 35 lb/ft).

Here are a few more from another recent 4-wheeling trip. You may notice that I have mounted all 4 of my shocks with the reservoir up top. The reservoir on the 5150 can be set in any position, to fit most mounting situations. However, Bilstein recommends mounting them with the reservoir at the top end to decrease the possibility of damaging the reservoirs.

Bilstein of America, Inc.