How-to: Fabricate your own Bilstein 5125 Bushings - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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How-to: Fabricate your own Bilstein 5125 Bushings

I recently went through installing a set of these and it was unbelievable how little information is available for independently sourcing the bushings and sleeves for the lower shock mount. I did a ton of research over a few weeks on this site plus a bunch of others and compiled a summary of everything here for installing a set of these:

The Bilstein 5125 Bushing Guide –2nd Gen Nissan Xterra

The upper(frame) shock mount bushing works fine and you can just use it as is, don’t use the metal sleeve on this one. The lower bushing is where the problem lies. You probably already know a standard Bilstein 5100 bolts right up using the stock shock bolt (it's a 19mm head and 14mm body) and you don't have to make any changes. But the 5125 is a series of universal extended length shocks and come with matching bushings and sleeves for both ends.

The eyes on the 5125 have an Outer Diameter (the bushing eye on the shock) of about 1.125" and the Inner Diameter is about 5/8". They also come with two metal bushing sleeves, you only need to use one of them and it goes on the lower (axle mounted) bolt. The sleeves reduce the bushing down to a 1/2" Inner Diameter and that's where everyone runs into trouble because our stock shock mount bolt is a 14mm diameter, convert that to inches and it's 0.55" so you can see it's slightly too big to fit in the .5” sleeve.

Sadly the bushing/sleeve combo that would work with our existing bolt doesn’t exist as an off the shelf kit aside from buying the full shock from a vendor that pre-installs a custom bushing/sleeve. What needs to be done is replace the rubber bushing with one that has an 3/4" Inner Diameter. Then buy a tube of 3/4" x .095" wall Chromoly tubing (¾” is the Outer Diameter and .095” is how thick the pipe is going inward) and cut off two pieces 1.65" long and press those into the new bushings. So with the new bushing installed along with the new sleeve the Inner Diameter is reduced down to .56", and our existing shock bolt is a 14mm or .55" so now you can see there's just enough space to fit the bolt through without any play.

Here’s a summary of all of the options I’ve come across people using so far for the lower mount:
  1. Just using the shock as-is with no sleeve – terrible idea, you’ll get a clunk from the mount all the time as the shock moves around because it leaves a 1.875 mm gap from bolt to bushing and probably destroys the bushing eventually.

  2. Buying new high grade bolts that are ½ inch x 3 inches long with matching nuts and using the provided sleeve. To get to the needed 1.65” sleeve width either cut an additional ⅜” piece off of the other unused sleeve or use washers on either side. This option will leave a small gap of around 1.3 mm or 3/64” around where the bolt passes through the frame mounts but will have no gap where the bolt passes through the actual shock. Just for size reference a penny is about 1.55 mm thick.

  3. Option 3, buying a small section of 3/4" x .095" Wall 4130 Alloy Steel Tube along with a new shock mount bushing with a ¾” Inner Diameter and 1.125” Outer Diameter. Pressing out old bushing, pressing in new one, cutting two pieces off the tubing that are 1.65” long and inserting those into the bushing.

    Options for the bushing are:
    • Daystar KU08007BK
    • Energy Suspension 98108
    • Prothane 19904
    • The tubing can be sourced from companies like onlinemetals.com

  4. The much easier but slightly more expensive option, buying them from a vendor that pre-installs bushings and sleeves that will work out of the box without any extra work. IMO the best route for initially buying the 5125’s but if you ever end up making an emergency repair or are just really tight on cash the above will work as well.

Hopefully this helps people save some time and avoid the pain of endlessly searching for info!

Last edited by General_Tarfun; 03-11-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 11:43 AM
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Question hourglass shaped eye vs the standard straight eye

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Originally Posted by General_Tarfun View Post
Options for the bushing are:
  • Daystar KU08007BK
  • Energy Suspension 98108
  • Prothane 19904
  • The tubing can be sourced from companies like onlinemetals.com
I was looking up the bushing you recommended and they are hourglass shaped. Is there a reason to go with the hourglass shaped eye vs the standard straight eye?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Allshookup View Post
I was looking up the bushing you recommended and they are hourglass shaped. Is there a reason to go with the hourglass shaped eye vs the standard straight eye?
If I remember correctly the shock eye actually has a smaller diameter in the center than at the edge so the hourglass bushing fits it perfectly.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 11:43 AM
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FYI - The Energy Suspension upper bushing is 9.8107. I have replaced these on my 5125's and they are a direct fit. Amazon has the upper for ~$4 as an add-on item with Prime and the lower for ~$6 (Red).

The outer diameter is the same, so you can swap the bushings if you want to run the shock body at the top, I did not notice any difference (ran both ways over a six year period), pretty much just preference or for looks.

Be careful when removing the stem (shaft) side bushing, in a hurry during the winter I knocked it out with a hammer and damaged the inside upper seal and it started leaking. Use a press or c-clamp setup, you can make your own with a bolt and a few large washers.

No big deal as I am in TSWAP mode and planning to order new ones from Greg soon. These are good shocks and have lasted over six years.

Thanks.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General_Tarfun View Post
I recently went through installing a set of these and it was unbelievable how little information is available for independently sourcing the bushings and sleeves for the lower shock mount. I did a ton of research over a few weeks on this site plus a bunch of others and compiled a summary of everything here for installing a set of these:

The Bilstein 5125 Bushing Guide –2nd Gen Nissan Xterra
Hopefully this helps people save some time and avoid the pain of endlessly searching for info!
I purchased the 5125 Bilsteins Extended Travel 3-4" and did this exact thing with the lower bushing. Worked perfect. Thank you for you write up.

Bilstein grommet


New grommet


New insert


New shock vs old


Installed
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Glad it helped you out with the install! Great pics btw, those definitely help explain it.


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