Last week we installed a set of Bilstein’s 6112 coilover shocks on our 2002 Toyota Sequoia with help from Chris and Adolfo at 4 Wheel Parts in Redondo Beach, California. This Toyota Sequoia is no stranger to OHV trails, and it’s pretty clear when you get underneath this thing that it’s no stranger to road time either. The odometer shows over 273,000 miles, but the rusted bolts and seized parts we ran into along the way were no match for Adolfo’s tight mechanic crew at 4 Wheel Parts Redondo.
Adolfo’s team started by removing the five-year-old Bilstein 5100 front shocks, which are entry-level coilovers that can provide between 1 and 3 inches of lift for most trucks and SUVs. The 5100 series shocks are a great option for anyone looking for an inexpensive way to lift the front end of their 4x4; they served this Sequoia well too, handling many miles of off-road trails from Colorado to California. With the owner looking for more durability and performance for the next stage of this trusty truck’s long life, the 6112 is a perfect upgrade. The 6112 provides about the same amount of lift that the 5112 provides, but with a stronger 60mm piston for improved performance, especially with a heavier lifted vehicle like this Sequoia.
With the old shocks out and a new set of OE lower control arms in, the 6112s are ready to slide right in, and that they do. These performance off-road shocks utilize OE mounts that make for easy and convenient installation. The Digressive Valving system works best with the shocks set to the higher suspension setting, perfect for the Sequoia or any vehicle that’s 1 to 2.75 inches higher than stock.
We also added a set of new Bilstein 5100 shocks in the rear to match the new performance standard of the 6112s up front. The 5100 is a 46mm monotube shock that provides improved off-road performance and handling while not taking away from the stock vehicle’s dynamics. Because the 5100 shocks are a pretty standard size and fit, it’s another easy application for someone looking to upgrade to more of a performance-oriented shock without having to modify the frame or other components of the vehicle. The truck also received a new set of Pro Comp Series 40 wheels, to test a new set of Kenda Klever R/T tires.
After the install our first impression of the new 6112 coilover kit is very positive. The front 6112 shocks seem to handle bumps on the street with a noticeably greater amount of composure than the simpler and smaller 5100s. Handling remains relatively the same, although there’s a significant amount of reduction in body roll, partly because the 6112s are more dynamic than the 5100s that previously used to be mounted up front, and also partly because the old 5100s got several years of heavy on- and off-road use and were in need of replacement anyway. Overall we’re very happy with the way the new 6112s are performing so far. Stay tuned for more on the Bilstein 6112s down the line.