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Buyer Beware: Bilstein Rear Struts Don't Fit 98-02 Corollas!!!

Discussion in 'Stop, Drop & Roll' started by plu, May 25, 2008.

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    plu Well-Known Member

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    Buyer Beware: Bilstein Rear Struts Don't Fit 98-02 Corollas!!!

    If you buy Bilstein's Touring Class struts for your 98-02 Corolla, please know that the fronts will fit but the rears will be too short to fit. The part numbers listed for the 98-02 Corolla Bilstein in their website are as follows:

    Left Front Part Number: VNE-4824-BK (F4-VNE-4824-BK)
    Right Front Part Number: VNE-4825-BK (F4-VNE-4825-BK)

    Left Rear Part Number: VNE-4960-BK (F4-VNE-4960-BK)
    Right Rear Part Number: VNE-4961-BK (F4-VNE-4961-BK)


    The above part numbers for the rear struts do not fit because that's what I receieved but the front parts worked fine. My only theory is that the 93-97 Corolla struts might work since most other manufacturers list part numbers for their 93-02 Corolla struts as the same. Bilstein have the 93-97 struts with different part numbers than the 98-02, so that's kind of odd.

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    Mods please sticky!!!!
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    e_andree E

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    So what year car do you have?
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    98
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    MovieSTAR i hurd u liek?

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    odd......did you contact bilstein and tell them your problem?
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    I will tomorrow. There East Coast HQ is only 1 hr 45 min away from me.
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    MovieSTAR i hurd u liek?

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    oh cool, yeah i would talk to them maybe they oopsed and shipped the wrong ones? it does happen.
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    nah it's not the wrong ones. I went to many other websites and even Bilstein has the rear struts listed as the ones that don't fit. Maybe it was mislabeled then I can understand.
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    Denver Rolla 98 impreza

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    I would contact them and let them know to see what they say about it.. :)
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    I got Eibach springs also, but they shouldn't make a difference i don't think...
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    JspeXAE102 Active Member

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    that's very odd indeed.

    wait.. could you pull the piston rod up by hand?
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    Good idea, I tried it but what you see in the pictures is it fully extended.
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    Vibe New Member

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    odddd..........
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    94corolla-chafita uhh im a dude..

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    maybe defect... hopefully they'll set u up with the corect ones.
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    blah, no one answered I think Bilstein offices are closed today.

    Eshocks.com offices are closed too....
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    falnfenix Well-Known Member

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    um yeah, holiday weekend. call tomorrow. :)
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Update guys. I talked to a rep for Bilstein and emailed him the pictures. Here is his response:

    Hi Ricky,



    The strut you are comparing to isn’t the factory shock, but rather a KYB aftermarket replacement. There is likely a part number either on the label or possibly stamped into the body of that KYB, could you try to get that number for me so we can see what we’re actually looking at?



    I looked at KYB and Monroe ’s offerings and confirmed what you had found in that they consolidated the offerings during those years. It’s not entirely unusual for these companies to consolidate applications if they feel they are close enough to work, but most often Bilstein continues offering the most accurate options for the cars to provide better ride quality and fitment. Bilstein applications should work with factory spring setups, and I would assume the same with the other brands as well (I don’t see any notations otherwise). If someone changed springs at any time, it’s difficult to say whether they should truly work with the Bilstein setup at this point.



    I’m doing a little more checking on our end to get more accurate comparisons on the different designs we have in the 1993-2002 years.



    Best Regards,



    Keith Robertson

    ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America

    800-745-4636

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Hi Ricky,



    Those are indeed the KYB aftermarket shocks, according to those numbers. From my research, the Bilstein struts that are designed for the rears of the 5/92-4/97 vehicles are about 2” longer on the extended length. From the pictures, that’s roughly the amount of difference between the KYB and the Bilstein so it appears they consolidated their shocks using the longer of the two designs. Both of our shock designs were developed based on OE products, but I’m not sure what Toyota did in the later models to go towards a shorter strut for the newer models. I guess you can say that both our way and the other manufacturers work for the applications, we just chose to go a little further based on the variations from Toyota.



    On the springs, it’s a tough call to really compare the OE springs for the different model years because that’s not information we have. I’ve seen instances of higher free heights on springs but the same or lower ride heights, so that makes it a harder to know exactly what may have changed as well. Had the original springs been on the vehicle, it’s still possible that the struts would fit just fine. The pics seem to show that the spring can be compressed further, which it may still be able to compress far enough to fit onto the shorter extended Bilstein length. You’re in a much better position to judge this though, as pictures can be deceiving.



    If the measurements are similar, you may be able to see if your selling dealer would be willing to exchange for the longer 92-97 models (F4-VNE-4946-BA and F4-VNE-49947-BA). If you want to verify the measurements are similar, the extended length from the centerline of the lowest hole on the bracket to the top of the chrome part of the shaft (don’t include the threaded stud area) should be right around 22.5 inches.







    Best Regards,



    Keith Robertson

    ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America

    800-745-4636
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    willboy New Member

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    Wow, are you confused as I am. It seems as though the guy is blaming everyone except the company that he works for. So the struts made for the 92-97 models should work, but the 92-02 struts don't. WTF !
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    JspeXAE102 Active Member

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    so what are you going to end up doing about your struts?
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    LOL. You're right. He was nice to talk to on the phone, but he was quick to blame me and started right away asking if I have 'TRD' stuff or any aftermarket parts on my car. When I told him I had Eibach springs, he was adamant that was the problem and totally voided my claim. The guy even told me that these struts are NOT to be used with lowering springs. ONLY TO BE USED WITH FACTORY SPRINGS!!!!

    And he wants me to buy the 93-97 rear struts for my 98 which he is not sure that will work. This guy HQ is only 2 hr. away from me he should invite me over and look at my problem and fix it.

    Well, I got off the phone with the place I brought the Bilsteins from, www.eshocks.com and they agreed to do a refund at my cost to ship back. And I brought 2 rear struts from the 93-97 generation $115 a piece compared to $89 a piece for the 98-02 struts to see if it will fit or not. Only reason I brought them was:

    1) because eshock.com is so nice about it
    2) I am curious if it will fit
    3) I don't want mix two different vendor struts
    4) I am installing these by myself so labor is free

    But otherwise I would NEVER NEVER RECOMMEND these struts to anyone! So stay FAR FAR AWAY from BILSTEIN!!! ;)
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    XRSAZ New Member

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    Buyer Beware: Bilstein Rear Struts Don't Fit 98-02

    That's really disapointing to hear. Bilstien used to put out a great product, and probably still do, but if they can't help you with the proper application then rite WTF! Better off without them.:superconf
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    JspeXAE102 Active Member

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    Well there ya go, straight from the horse's mouth.. I hope people here will learn from your experience.
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    willboy New Member

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    But if the Eibachs are shorter than the factory springs, how would the longer factory springs be able to fit. If the factory springs were to fit, wouldn't the strut create a lowering effect.
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's what I was thinking and I asked him that in my email. His response to that was:

    "On the springs, it’s a tough call to really compare the OE springs for the different model years because that’s not information we have. I’ve seen instances of higher free heights on springs but the same or lower ride heights, so that makes it a harder to know exactly what may have changed as well. Had the original springs been on the vehicle, it’s still possible that the struts would fit just fine. The pics seem to show that the spring can be compressed further, which it may still be able to compress far enough to fit onto the shorter extended Bilstein length. You’re in a much better position to judge this though, as pictures can be deceiving"

    You know just now a thought came to me....if this dude is so sure that the 'short' version also worked for 8th gen. Corollas then how come I can't make these struts fit in my car?!?! Did Toyota radically change the rear struts that much? The dude's answers are vague and if he is so sure that the 'short' rear struts really did come out of a 8th generation Corolla then why can't I make it fit without modifying? The only way I can fit those springs on there is if I crush them flat, something impossible with these spring compressors. And even so, they are 2 inches too short from fitting into the strut mount location in the car!
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    94corolla-chafita uhh im a dude..

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    that sux dude. he even called you ricky!! doesnt he know your plu!!

    from what i know all struts are the same 93-02, they had the same part numbers at work. im pretty sure your new ones will work, but i might be wrong. if so then bilstein is geh!
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    plu Well-Known Member

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    Okay. I just called Toyota and they verified that there was only one rear strut used in 98 and one rear strut used in the 02 Corolla. Both are $171 a piece from the local dealership. I believe Bilstein is lying or they did their homework wrong!!!

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