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Hello all,

This is my first post on the forum, all of your previous insights have been much appreciated and i felt i needed to return the favor.

I just got done doing the 5100 level this weekend, and I think I've found an easier way to wrestle the stock shock assembly out of the vehicle. From what I gather, everyone seems to have had to 'unscrew' the assembly between the steering linkage and the axle shaft. I was doing this by myself, and I couldn't seem to be able to leverage the control arms downward creating enough space to remove the shock assembly, while also trying to maneuver the shock itself through such a small space. I found that if i removed the 12mm bolt holding the brake line bracket , and also removed the 10mm bolt holding the bracket at the top of the upper control arm, I could bring the shock through that space towards the rear of the car.

This seemed to be much less hassle than the tried and true methods discussed on the forum of bringing it out via the front of the car. The one caveat to this method is that you have to coax the brake line around the coils as you are maneuvering the assembly between all the lines, but with caution and attention, you should be able to invert the shock around the brake line, and weasel it out of the car. Since I was doing it by myself, I didn't have enough hands to take pictures, but I think its fairly self-explanatory once you're in there.

I hope this helps someone along their journey. I do most of my own work on my cars, but this was my first time doing suspension work and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to do; took me roughly 5 hours to do by myself. I've attached a before/after picture, 2011 FJ 4x4, Off-road Package, Bilstein 5100 front shocks set on the 3rd notch. In the picture it appears a little bit front high, but the measurements to the wheel well arches is spot on level.
 

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