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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you're on a budget for your T-swap and are doing it in stages this is pretty much the ideal setup. You may even find that you don't need the very expensive Radflos/SAWs. This setup will get you ALL the benefits of a full on T-swap and a fraction of the cost.

What is it?- These are Gen1 (99-06) Toyota Tundra Front Coilovers. You use a Tundra Strut and either a Tundra or 4 Runner Spring with a Frontier/Xterra Top Hat or custom Top Hat to max out the travel.

Do they fit the Frontier/Xterra?- Yes*, on a Titan Swapped Frontier/Xterra they fit nicely with Aftermarket Titan UCA* Must swap over Top Hats*. If you choose to use the OEM Top Hat, it will be slightly difficult to install the assembled Strut. The custom Top Hat makes the fit much better.

How much wheel travel do these cycle?- With Aftermarket UCAs they will give you a solid 7"-10" of actual wheel travel depending on which Strut and Top Hat you choose. (Nearly the same as what a 2.5 Radflo/SAW would provide) Stock Frontier/Xterra cycles 5.6" for reference. With OEM Tundra Struts, Springs, and OEM Top Hats I had exactly 7.5". With Tundra 5100s, 4 Runner Springs, and OEM Top Hats, 7.75". With Tundra 5100s, 4 Runner Springs, and Custom Top Hats, 10". These were all with Total Chaos Clone UCAs, which were the limiting factor when using OEM Top Hats. PRG/Dirt King Arms will put you closer to 8-9" when not using the custom Top Hat.

How much do they cost?-
For the lower travel versions (7.5-8") ~$300
To get max travel with the custom tophat (10") ~$450

How much lift do they provide?-
In my opinion, the sweet spot with this setup is at about 3.5" of lift. This provides a great balance of ground clearance and ride quality, but you can go up to about 5" and as low as about 2".

Tundra Bilstein 5100s:
Tundra Springs -
No snap ring grooves added, OEM Top Hat: ~4"+ (7.75" wheel travel)
1-2 snap ring grooves added, OEM Top Hat: ~3"+ (7.75" wheel travel)
3-4 snap ring grooves added, Custom Top Hat: ~2"+ (10" wheel travel)

4 Runner springs -
No snap ring grooves added, OEM Top Hat: ~2"+ (7.75" wheel travel)
No snap ring grooves added, Custom Top Hat: ~4"+ (10" wheel travel)
1-2 snap ring grooves added, Custom Top Hat: ~2"+ (10" wheel travel)

How would you rate the handling/overall performance of these compared to other setups? B-
What's good: ride on the highway, handles washboard very well, tundra springs firm enough to reduce most body roll, provide near perfect lift height for droop/bump travel ratio, small and large bump compliance
What's not so good: Good amount of body roll with 4 runner springs, spring rate a little too high with tundra springs to be able to stuff tire all the way, rebound valving too light (feels like a 5100 with too much preload, minus the topping out)

Technicals:
Gen 1 Tundra 5100
P/N: BIL 24-188265
Collapsed Length (IN): 13.23"
Extended Length (IN): 18.68"
Travel Length (IN): 5.45"

2.5 SAW T-Swap
Collapsed Length (IN): 14"
Extended Length (IN): 19.5"
Travel Length (IN): 5.5"

Struts:
All of the ones used in the few variants of this setup are designed for the 1999-2006 Tundra. At the moment, there are two in particular that work the best. They are the Bilstein 5100 and the ProComp ProRunner SS. Both are similar in design but have different ride qualities and lift amounts. There is more data points on the 5100s currently as that is shock this setup was originally dialed in with. I have switched to the ProComps on my truck and you can read my 5k mile review/ comparison Here.

Some brief details on each:
Bilstein 5100- Softer/looser/bouncier ride, slightly lower cost, tend to leak fairly early in their life, no warranty.
ProComp ProRunner- Firmer ride, more stable/planted feel, less body roll, higher cost, only 1 lift setting usable without shock body mods, ability to use flat ground end springs (Eibach, etc), available 3 year no questions asked free replacement warranty.

*Some modification required to use certain Springs on both struts

Springs: You have a few choices, the original version of this setup used 99-06 Tundra Springs but I've since switched to 4 Runner Springs. These are the two spring variants that have been proven to work well. With the Tundra 5100, if you are open to adding more snap ring grooves to the body you can run just about any Toyota truck/SUV Spring (4 Runner, Tundra, Tacoma, FJ, LC, etc). Nearly all use the same Coil diameter and end type and as long as the free length of the spring is within 13"-15" you should be able to use it. See this post for details on how to decide if you need to modify your 5100s (add snap ring grooves) for your intended setup.
CAUTION: If you decide to buy used OEM 4 Runner Springs be mindful of year. 98 and 99 Springs are considerably longer than the rest and can result in too much lift.

More info on Struts and Springs

Top Hats: This is really the deciding factor on how much travel you'll get. It's pretty simple, if you use the OEM top hat you will be limited to about 7.5-8" of wheel travel (slightly more than you would get in a ext travel setup). CBC and the shock bottoming earlier than it should is what drives this. You will absolutely need to extend/replace the lower Bumpstop on the LCA with the OEM Top Hat (needs to be about 2+" tall). The Shock will bottom out and the factory one will NOT protect your Shocks. If you use the custom Top Hat, you will get a solid 10" of wheel travel. The custom Top Hat allows the shock to compress more before bottoming without affecting droop. You will still need to extend the LCA Bumpstop with this but only by about a .25-.5". You can not buy these at the moment, you'll need to find a way to make them. I am considering doing a run of 10-15+ sets summer 2017. Until then, shoot me a PM and I'll send you the design and additional info (Donations appreciated).
Click here for all the info you need on the Custom Top Hat

Current Gold Standard: (Check list for what has been proven to work)
Updated: 11-28-17

Option A, Stock Tophats:
~2"-5" of lift
7.75" wheel travel
595lb/in spring
no shock mods
$330-$390

Item______ Model-P/N______________________________Approximate cost
Strut: Bilstein 5100 - 24-261425(new P/N)____________________~$110ea
Springs: Moog - 81092____________________________________~$50 per pair
Isolator: KYB - SM5699________________ ___________________~$12ea (free if reuse)
Top Hat: OEM Frontier/Xterra (KYB SM5698 )___________________~$16ea (free if reuse)
Bump Stop: Wheeler's Super Bumps__________________________~$60

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Option B, Custom Tophats:
~3.5"-5" of lift (minimum height of about 3.5" without added snap rings)
10" wheel travel
580lb/in or 633lb/in spring
Optional shock mods for less lift
$460-$584

Item______ Model-P/N______________________________Approximate cost
Strut: Bilstein 5100 - 24-261425(new P/N)____________________~$110ea
Springs:
-OEM 4 Runner (580lb, good for stock weight)___________________~$140 per pair
-OEM FJ (633lb, heavy truck)_______________________________~$130 per pair
Isolator: KYB - SM5699________________ ___________________~$12ea (free if reuse)
Top Hat: Custom Top hat (DIY/shop built)_____________________~$50-140 per pair
Bump Stop: Wheeler's Super Bumps_________________________~$60


CAUTION- Recently I've seen two cases where the lower shock eye has failed due to coil bind when using the Moog 81092 or 81108 springs with custom tophats (this does NOT effect those using stock tophats). It is because of this I have changed the gold standard to not use the Moog springs with the custom top hats. The issue is that due to the number of coils on the Moog springs, coilbind can occur before the shock bottoms fully putting all of the bottoming force on the shock body. The solution for this is to use longer bumpstops or OEM Toyota springs. If you choose the bumpstop route, some stops that are 1.75" or taller should do the trick. If you choose to change springs, OEM 03-09 4Runner (580lb), 04-15 Tacoma (580-616lb), and 07-14 FJ (616-630lb) springs have been used with good results. This is due to the fact that the OEM springs have far fewer coils than the Moog counterparts and coilbind becomes a non-issue.


Buying New Pre-assembled:
Due to the popularity of this setup now and the sizable market share it has started to take away from other choices, the big vendors have taken notice. PRG and Nisstec are now offering/currently working on their own variants of this setup. While this is great and wonderful for the community, it really takes away from the cost savings this setup provides. Last I checked, PRG was selling its version for $619, while this is cheaper than Radflos, its a far cry from the average DIY cost of about $300-350. There are some Pros and Cons of buying from either vendor vs doing DIY.
Pros:
-One stop shop, easy bolt on, no hassles, can return, etc
-Both variants are using Eibach Springs, so getting the correct spring rate is easy
-NissTec variant will use a threaded collar so height adjustment will be just like Radflos

Cons:
-COST, can be double the cost or more of DIY
-Top Hats they come with will not get travel numbers that my custom top hat provides (at least for now), can still change the top hat they come with to the custom one though. Travel with provided hats will be comparable to that of OEM Top Hats.

Installing:
1) Change Top Hats-
*Must use Fronty/X Isolators, Tundra ones will not work*
Go rent a Spring Compressor and remove the Top Hats from the Stock Fronty/X Coilovers. You can only use the Toyota Springs as the Frontier/Xterra ones don't fit. The Toyota Springs are only just slightly larger in diameter than our Springs so they fit just ok in the Fronty/X Isolators. The key is to try and center the Spring on the hat as best you can when assembling them. They will make a depression in the isolator over time. Assemble each strut exactly as they were on the stock Coilovers.

2) Mount on truck-
When installing I had separate the UCA/Spindle bolt, but not completely remove it to get the Coilover in. I just backed the nut off until it was only on by about 3 threads and that was enough. The lower mounts are actually slightly smaller (about 1/8") than ours, so the LCA mount tabs will bend in just slightly. The lower bolt is exactly the same, so just reuse the stock bolt. Toque down everything and your done!

Other Potential:
This opens up alot of other Coilovers to the T-swap crowd. It would seem that any Gen 1 Tundra OEM length Coilover would work as long as the Top Hat is able to be changed. Another thing too is that Gen 1 Taco or Gen 3 4Runner Coilovers could also work, although they have slightly less travel due to being a bit shorter overall. If you go this route (used OEM Struts that is) I can provide no assurance that it will work well/if at all. It has been a mixed bag thus far, some have worked and others have provided way too much lift. If you are considering this route, shoot me a PM or post a reply in this thread on what you want to try.

Overall:
If you are strapped for cash but have/want a T-swap and still want to get most of the benefits of it (namely full travel) this may be a good alternative. Or if you need a coilover to hold your truck up that doesn't suck while getting your nice coilovers rebuilt, these are what you want.

Q and A Here!

Some threads to take a look at:
Tundra Coilover Research/Data - Nissan Frontier Forum
http://www.yotatech.com/f2/new-suspension-setup-trd-front-lift-3rd-gen-4runner-41848/
Coil Spring Color Code help - Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forum
The Club Frontier Thread


PHOTOS:

Travel:



Mounted Up:


Space Between UCA and Bucket at Ride Height:


New Stance:




Flex:



Does not stuff as well as previous setups due to Higher Spring Rate:


Lift Measurements:
Front Hub to Fender: 24 1/8" or about 4" of lift over stock
Ground to Fender on 285s: 39 1/4"
 

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This is definitely a pretty cool find!!

Heres a question tho...why not just run a titan coilover in the front if you're on a budget? What makes these better than say titan pro-4x front coilovers? I suppose the fact that the yotas have different spring rates to choose from?
 

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nice work!

another option for the budget crowd is always good. i'd kill for a t-swap...
 

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I don't understand why this only works with a T-swap, wouldn't it not matter as long as you run aftermarket uca's? or is it because the length of the axles on the t-swap are longer giving you the benefits of running this as well?

(sorry was thinking about it as I typed)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These coilovers have nearly the exact SAME compressed and extended as well as stroke as T swap SAWs guys. So 3" longer than stock, no chance at all these will work on anything but a T swap.

These are better than Pro 4x coilovers because they provide the same wheel travel you would get if your running 2.5 T swap SAWs. Pro4X coilovers don't even come close to providing the same travel in a T swap. These have over an extra inch of stroke.

Titan coilovers are not a good fit as they are too short still. These are the correct length with the correct stroke for a titan swap, trust me I did LOTS and LOTS of research first.
 

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These coilovers have nearly the exact SAME compressed and extended as well as stroke as T swap SAWs guys. So 3" longer than stock, no chance at all these will work on anything but a T swap.

These are better than Pro 4x coilovers because they provide the same wheel travel you would get if your running 2.5 T swap SAWs. Pro4X coilovers don't even come close to providing the same travel in a T swap. These have over an extra inch of stroke.

Titan coilovers are not a good fit as they are too short still. These are the correct length with the correct stroke for a titan swap, trust me I did LOTS and LOTS of research first.
Oh I don't doubt you...thank you for sharing this information with us!
 

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Heres something to think about....what about the piston diameter on these stock shocks? I know on most 2" or 2.5" coilovers, they get bigger and are better for more abuse.

Now that we know what shocks fit from the 00-06 tundra, I'm looking into other cheaper options of shocks. I found bilstein 5100 adjustables for 95 bucks each online. Not bad if you pair them with the stock tundra springs you used, and xterra/frontier top hats.

Edit: heres the link http://www.lowrangeoffroad.com/yotamain/99-06-tundra/suspension-parts/1999-2006-toyota-tundra-front-adjustable-bilstein-shocks-24-188265.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know the piston diameter off the top of my head but they are bigger than stock Fronty/ X shocks. You could do 5100s if you want but the valving will never be correct. After talking with Bilstein this was confirmed. The Rebound valving on the 5100s varies quite a bit on Tundra vs Frontier vs Titan. The Tundra rebound valving is the lightest of the 3 by about 800N. I foresee topping out often with 5100s but your welcome to give it shot and report back.

Just an FYI guys, I'm also working this at the same time, so if this setup is close to what you want but not perfect you may want to hold off for a bit and wait for these.
http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f26/potentially-new-bilstein-coilover-6112-budget-minded-beefy-5100-a-183522/
http://www.bilsteinus.com/products/truck-off-road/6112-series-lifted-light-truck/
I'm set to do R&D with Bilstein on these shortly so there will also be another option coming soon for both T swap and stock arm setups.
 

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I don't know the piston diameter off the top of my head but they are bigger than stock Fronty/ X shocks. You could do 5100s if you want but the valving will never be correct. After talking with Bilstein this was confirmed. The Rebound valving on the 5100s varies quite a bit on Tundra vs Frontier vs Titan. The Tundra rebound valving is the lightest of the 3 by about 800N. I foresee topping out often with 5100s but your welcome to give it shot and report back.

Just an FYI guys, I'm also working this at the same time, so if this setup is close to what you want but not perfect you may want to hold off for a bit and wait for these.
http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f26/potentially-new-bilstein-coilover-6112-budget-minded-beefy-5100-a-183522/
http://www.bilsteinus.com/products/truck-off-road/6112-series-lifted-light-truck/
I'm set to do R&D with Bilstein on these shortly so there will also be another option coming soon for both T swap and stock arm setups.
That is DEFINITELY something I'd be interested in. Keep me posted on that for sure!
 

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These coilovers have nearly the exact SAME compressed and extended as well as stroke as T swap SAWs guys. So 3" longer than stock, no chance at all these will work on anything but a T swap.
Thanks for clearing that up!
 

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I'm going to find out this weekend if my r180 is shot. This would help keep my cost down on sourcing out a swap. Thank you.
grrrrr. you can't titan swap before me.

i mean, you probably will, since I'm broke (thanks Saturn!).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i wouldnt do that if i were you...that will cause your front wheel bearings to fail very quickly.
I would have to disagree with you. Front wheel bearings will wear no more quickly than if they did have CVs in them. The CVs aren't structural/ holding anything together.
 

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I would have to disagree with you. Front wheel bearings will wear no more quickly than if they did have CVs in them. The CVs aren't structural/ holding anything together.
do you have first hand experience with that?

I used to have a 02 nissan sentra, and I moved it around without an engine/trans/axles in it and it ruined my front wheel bearings. I know its a totally different car, but its the same concept. I could've sworn I heard of the same type of thing happening when people tried to drive an xterra like that.
 

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Worst case scenario I get the 2wd front bearings. Its not a huge deal, best case scenario my current ones are shot and I just need to replace them. But the bearings shouldnt stop my from turning to full lock, which is why i think the r180 is on its way out.
 
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