Old Man Emu BP51 Suspension Kit 2.5-3″ Lift Kit For 10+ 4Runner (with KDSS) – Install Guide, Overview & Initial Thoughts
Designed and engineered by ARB, the nitrogen-charged and progressive valved OME BP-51 high-performance shocks introduce a new level of competition to the current players in the game such as Fox, Icon and King.
The new OME BP-51 offers a 51mm (2.0″) shock piston with internal bypass technology pushing the OD (outside diameter) to almost 3″ with remote reservoirs all the way around.
Each shock is independently adjustable for both rebound and compression offering true race technology off the road and well-mannered behaviors for everyday applications. The shock bodies are made of hard-anodized aircraft-grade 6061 T6 aluminum giving them an absolutely stunning finish. With the introduction of the shocks, ARB and the OME BP-51 line of shocks are looking to disrupt and truly compete with the well-known race shock manufactures.
The ARB/OME engineers took the concept of an external bypass race series shock and redesigned that into the internal compact core of a traditional shock, giving the BP-51 a modern-day truck fitment with race class heat dissipation technology.
What’s so special about the BP-51?
You really get full control of compression and rebound adjustments with an ultimate user-friendly experience. Most “adjustable” shocks out there are really only designed to adjust the compression of shock, not the rebound as well.
What’s compression and rebound?
- Compression: The direction the suspension/ shock travels in relation to the impact of the obstacle the vehicle has traveled over.
- Rebound: The direction the suspension travels after the compression stroke. Rebound is determined by the stored energy of the suspension components at full compression.
With a simple turn of the compression and rebound dial, you can literally change the shock performance on the fly; more comfort (soft), or increased control (firm). An increase in either setting stiffens the shim pack inside of the shock absorber. In return, this restricts oil flow within the bypass and increases the damping stroke throughout the bypass zone.
Depending on the terrain you are driving, you can adjust the shock compression and rebound individually from anywhere between a 200% – 300% increase in valving variance from full soft to firm through the adjuster. Simply put, when you make these adjustments, it will cause your suspension to respond in a softer or more firm manner.
Why is it so special?
The BP-51s are as close as you will get to “custom-tuned” shocks that can be done by you… in your garage. Very few shocks let you have full control of how you tune your compression and rebound. I am not saying these are the best shocks out there; however, they might just offer the most functionality and features within this price range. After wheeling with them a couple of times, I would put them up against my Icons any day that ends in Y.
- 3-year/37,000 mile warranty
- Internal bypass shock absorbers
- Progressive valving
- Remote reservoirs with advanced heat dissipation (also allowing increased travel of the shock body)
- Compression adjusters (all corners)
- Rebound adjusters (all corners)
- User-friendly valving adjustments
- Competitively Priced
Find them online:
- 3″ Heavy Kit (Non-KDSS) – OME4RNR10HKBP51
- 3″ Medium Kit (Non-KDSS) – OME4RNR10MKBP51
- 3″ Heavy Kit (KDSS) – OME4RNR10HKBP51KD
- 3″ Medium Kit (KDSS) – OME4RNR10MKBP51KD
BP-51 Full Overview
Keep in mind, these are not a true 2.5-inch shock like the rest of the mainstream race shocks out there. They are a 2.5-inch body but the piston within is smaller (51mm) than something like a 2.5″ FOX, Icon or KING. Old Man Emu really has focused their design and engineering around making the shock work better, not necessarily to be larger.
They developed their internal bypass shocks to be fully adjustable in both compression and rebound, while most shocks focus on compression adjusters alone. The internal bypass means that, within the shock body itself, there are zones that essentially reroute the oil past the main active piston. Combine that with compression adjustment plus the rebound adjustment and you really have the ultimate shock adjustment for all types of offroad terrain along with great driving characteristics on road.
The OME BP-51s offer some of the most customizable shock adjustability available right now without going fully custom.
You can get these custom-tuned by your local shock expert but right out of the box, these are some of the best that we have seen in terms of DIY tuning and adjustability. Finally, price these against your other top tier race shocks, and it’s clear to see that OME is going to earn their place in the race shock category once more people start to run and appreciate their performance.
Old Man Emu BP-51s Vs. Other Shocks
After running a set of Icon shocks for the last 2.5 years, we were excited to get these new progressive BP-51s out on the trail and start pushing them around.
Without adjusting the compression or rebound on the BP-51s, we tested the shocks.
We instantly felt the difference between the digressive Icon valving and progressive valving found on the BP-51s. The progressive valving found on the BP-51s offers superior ride comfort when cruising around town. Hitting sharp city corners, speed bumps, potholes, backing out of the driveway and dropping off curbs never felt so plush, whereas the Icon valving is a little jerky and stiff. When you hit these same everyday driving conditions with the Icons, you feel it a lot more.
The BP-51s are stiffer than stock but nowhere close to the level of stiffness that you will find on Icons. Out of the box with no adjustments from their factory-default position, the BP-51s offer a more comfortable on-road driving experience than Icons, hands down.
The Bilstein 6112 is very comparable to the BP-51 on-road. They both offer that comfortable “Cadillac” driving experience. On both the 6112 and the BP-51 – compression/rebound is tuned very well for on-road driving. When you hit dips, you barely feel them. The downside to the 6112 is they lack adjustability in all areas; compression, rebound and a threaded shock body ride height.
We took the shocks off-road and put them through a few tests.
First, we took them up to 30-40mph and hit some rough dirt roads — whoops, rutted sections, loose rock and gravel. The compression handled all the dips with precise control as expected, but what surprised me was the rebound. Instead of an instant rebound jerk like you would find on a stock suspension, you barely even notice the suspension is working at all. Hitting a whoop at 35mph, both my passenger and I held on for dear life. To our amazement, the suspension soaked it up with ease and the 4Runner didn’t jerk around much at all. We continued to hit rutted sections and whoops for well over 30-45min. It was fun!
Out of the box at speed, the BP-51s offer a very capable off-road driving experience. You can drive this suspension hard and fast and really expect it to show up. Especially with the remote reservoirs, the oil inside the shock will dissipate heat with ease.
We aired down the tires and crawled around the rocks to see how shocks performed. Although we didn’t notice too much a difference compared to the Icons, we did notice that the BP-51s are softer. When crawling around mild (1′-2′) rocks, the BP-51s provided a very controlled and smooth compression and rebound cycle. I keep wanting to compare them to the Icons because there really is that much of a difference. The Icons are firm and will jerk you around whereas the BP-51s are a bit more forgiving.
At speed and low range, the BP-51s offer a more comfortable ride all the way around.
For a full suspension with remote reservoirs and working with KDSS, this was a pretty simple install. If you are working with KDSS, try adjusting the KDSS accumulator assembly to release pressure in the lines in order to gain more droop. Some guys swear by it, but we rarely release the valve; to each their own.
Time & Assistance
- Hours: 4-8
- People: 2
Tools and Materials
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Socket Set
- 3-12″ extensions
- Wrench Set
- Torque wrench
- Impact Driver (optional)
- Trim removal tool(s)
- PB Blaster/WD-40
- Allen Wrench Set
- Plier Set
- Large crowbar, prybar or 2×4
- Coil spring compressors
- Shop gloves
- Grease gun
- Zip ties
- Replacement push clips
Step 1. Remove UCA ABS Line
As with any suspension install, start by loosening and removing the ABS line bolt/bracket on the upper control arms along with the brake line bolt/bracket on the spindle.
Step 2. Remove Ball Joint Nut & Cotter Pin From Spindle
Once you have the ABS and brake line brackets removed, you can pull the cotter pin from the ball joint nut. This will allow you to remove the ball joint nut holding the spindle in place.
Step 3. Loosen Spindle From UCA Ball Joint
Once you have the ball joint nut loose, do not remove it. Leave it a few turns away from the ball joint.
With the ball joint nut still threaded on, take a large rubber mallet or soft hammer and hit the flat portion of the spindle until the spindle is free from the ball joint. By leaving the ball joint nut in place, you will prevent the spindle from coming loose, thus pulling the wheel hub assembly aggressively to one side.
Step 4. Remove Engine Splash Guard Clips
In order to gain access to the upper control arm bolts within the engine bay, you need to pull all the plastic push tabs holding the engine splash guards in place.
You don’t technically need to remove all the plastic push tabs but it does help in order to gain access to the 19mm bolts holding the upper control arms in place.
Just in case you don’t have a professional plastic trim removal tool, you may want to order an extra set of plastic push clips if you plan on reusing your engine splash guards.
We removed ours and will be adding new Rad Rubber Design splash guards.
Step 5. Remove Upper Control Arms
Removing upper control arms usually takes the help of a friend.
Once you loosen the upper control arm bolts push the long upper control arm bolt through the backside of the strut tower towards the front of the 4Runner.
While one person is underneath pushing the upper control arm bolt out, another guy should be in the engine bay reaching down and pulling the long bolt directly out. This can be a very challenging task if you’re alone but very easy if you have the help of a friend.
Step 6. Remove Top Strut Bolts
Now you can proceed to unbolt the top three bolts that hold the strut into the tower. You have two bolts in the front and one in the back. Use an open-end wrench or box end to access the bolt in the back.
Step 7. Remove Lower Strut Bolts
You will need two 19mm sockets in order to remove the lower strut bolt.
While holding the left side 19mm bolt tight, turn your other ratchet until the nut is free from the bolts. Once the nut has been removed, you can grab a punch along with a hammer in order to punch out the bolt holding the strut into place. When punching the bolt out, you want to press down on the lower control arms in order to release the pressure from the shock.
The factory strut (or whatever strut you’re running) should now be free from the strut tower and lower control arm.
Step 8. Remove Struts
Removing struts from an SR5 4Runner or any 4Runner without KDSS is simple. All you do is press down on the lower control arms and then pull out the strut. Removing struts from a KDSS-equipped vehicle on the other hand is tighter. Two people for this is preferable.
One person should be using a long prybar or 2×4 piece of wood in order to gain enough pressure on the lower control arms thus releasing the pressure on the strut. Once you have put enough pressure on the lower control arms, the struts should pull right out.
Congratulations, you are now ready to install the new suspension!
Step 9. OME BP-51 Coilover
The Old Man Emu BP-51 Coilovers feature remote reservoirs, along with the provided remote reservoir brackets and all the provided hardware you need to install them on your 4Runner.
We will not be using the provided hardware as we will be stacking aftermarket Ekstrom Designs Strut shims on top of our coilovers in order to gain a little more lift.
Step 10. Install OME BP-51 Coilover
Now it’s time to place the new BP-51 coilovers into the strut tower. Use the same method that you performed when removing the factory struts. Use a large crowbar or 2×4 to press down on the lower control arms in order to place the new coilover in the coilover tower.
At this point, you can bolt the coilover into place.
We are using two strut shims provided by Ekstrom Design. You do not need to follow the step. If you want your 4Runner to have added lift in the front, then you can install one or two strut shims. The Ekstrom Designs allows you to add 1″ of lift without adjusting preload on your coilovers. 1 1/4″ shim equals 1/2″ lift and two 1/4″ shims equals 1″ of lift.
Because we are using strut shims on top of our coilovers, we needed to get new, longer hardware from Ace Hardware. The hardware that’s provided with the BP-51 coilovers are black and blend seamlessly with the install. That’s why our’s featured here is silver and doesn’t quite blend in.
Step 11. OME BP-51 Remote Reservoir Bracket (Driver)
This is what your driver’s side remote reservoir bracket looks like. You have the actual bracket, all the hardware and the supplied stick nuts.
Step 12. Prepare Stick Nuts For Reservoir
Get an idea of how the stick nuts work and locate the plastic cover along the frame rail. You start by inserting the threaded nut into the stick and then the threaded nut will clip right into place.
Step 13. Install Stick Nuts For Reservoir
The actual stick portion of the stick nut can be bent at each groove.
By bending the stick in each location, this lets you rotate the actual nut which will run parallel behind the frame rail. This provides an easily accessible nut directly inside the frame rail. The concept is similar to a rivnut (rivet nut), however, stick nuts are a little more universal.
Step 14. Install Reservoir Bracket Onto Frame Rail
While holding the stick nut in place, proceed to bolt the provided hardware through the bracket and the frame rail into the provided nut. Repeat this step for the other provided nut. The remote reservoir bracket for the driver’s side should now be installed correctly.
Step 15. Position Remote Reservoirs
Once you have your coilovers in, you can start to position your remote reservoirs within the remote reservoir bracket. It helps to loop your right arm underneath the frame rail holding the remote reservoir while with your left hand adjusting the reservoir bracket.
Step 16. Install OME BP-51 Reservoir Onto Bracket
Before positioning the actual remote reservoir and bracket on top, first, slide the T-nuts into the channel allowing them to seamlessly drop into place. This will help to attach the remote reservoir to the remote reservoir bracket
Step 17. Install Driver’s Side KDSS Reservoir Bracket
The driver’s side is easier than the passenger side.
The driver’s side has 3 bolts that thread into currently open slots. The bottom portion of the bracket is held in place by a factory Toyota bolt and the top two bolts are held into place with provided hardware from old man emu.
Step 18. Prep OME Upper Control Arms
For installing the OME upper control arms, focus on the factory upper control arm washers.
You want to make sure that the washers go back onto the OME upper control arms the same way that they were removed from the factory upper control arms. You can see in the image above where the bolt on the outside of the upper control arm has been pressing into the washer. This portion of the washer faces the outside or away from the coilover.
Step 19. Install OME Upper Control Arm Long Bolt
Once you have positioned the OME UCAs into place, slide the long upper control arm bolt through the UCAs and through the backside of the coilover tower. This is where you will need assistance from another person above you reaching down from inside the engine bay just below the air intake box.
Step 20. Push OME Ball Joint Into Spindle
Once the upper control arms have been successfully installed, you can position the ball joint through the spindle. Once the ball joint has been pressed through the spindle, you can the thread on the newly provided nut.
Step 21. Grease Zerk Fitting On UCAs
We pushed about 10 to 15 pumps of grease through the ball joints on the Old Man Emu upper control arms.
Step 22. Torque UCAs to 82 ft-lbs
VERY IMPORTANT: Lower your 4Runner back to the ground FIRST, then torque upper control arms to 82 ft-lbs.
Step 23. OME BP-51 Suspension 5th Gen 4Runner (FRONT COILOVER)
Congratulations, you have now successfully installed your BP-51 coilovers and OME upper control arms
Step 24. Begin Rear Suspension Installation
Now, start the rear installation process.
Jack up your 4Runner and (for added security) place your tires directly underneath the center frame rail. Just in case your jack stands or jacks fail, your tires help to prevent severe injury.
Step 25. Remove Top & Bottom Rear Shock Bolts
Remove your factory or aftermarket shocks. You want to start by removing the top shock bolt and the bottom shock bolt.
Step 26. Remove Rear Spring
Once your shocks have been removed you can move on to your rear springs. Rear springs can be tricky if you have a KDSS equipped vehicle or if you have larger than factory springs. The factory springs are pretty easy to remove but once you get up into the 2″ and 3″ springs along with springs + spacers they can become a little bit more difficult to remove.
Pro Tip: One trick that we have learned over the years is to jack up one side of the axle in order to droop the other side. This will allow one side to fully droop thus making it easier to remove a coil. To gain even more droop from one side of the axle, you can place a bottle jack in between the axle and the frame rail.
Remember folks, we are not responsible for how you work on your truck. This is merely a suggestion. We are absolutely not perfect nor are we expecting you to think we are perfect, nor are we working in a professional shop or paying professional shop prices.
If you are not comfortable with working on your truck in your garage, we highly recommend you take your truck to a professional installer.
Step 27. Install new OME 889 Coil Spring
Once you have your old coil spring out, you can now install your new OME 889 coil spring.
Step 28. Raising passenger or driver side axle
Here is a look at jacking up one side of the axle in order to droop the opposite side.
This helps with the installation and removal of rear coil springs. Everyone has their own process though and to each their own when removing rear coil springs. Again, we highly recommend you take your struts and coil springs to a professional installer if you are not comfortable working in your own garage.
Step 29. Assemble Rear BP-51 Shock Guard
The OME BP-51 rear shock guards come in a few pieces. You have the actual shock guard and then the yellow clip that the shock guard sets into. Pull the yellow clip into place first and then pull the shock guard over snapping it into place.
Step 30. Install Rear BP-51 Shocks Reservoir Bracket
The rear bracket installation is pretty simple. Using the provided hardware, you can bolt the bracket into place using factory bolt locations.
Step 31. Install Rear BP-51 Shocks (Top + Lower Shock Bolt)
Slide the top portion of the shock into place first and then thread the nut on top. Then you can slide the lower shock bolt through the eye of the OME shock.
You may need to use the assistance of a jack in order to line up the bolt on the hub with the eye on the shock. Once you have the shock bolt through the eye of the shock, thread on the nut.
Step 32. Install Remote Reservoir for Rear Shocks
Once you have the shock successfully installed, you can proceed to position the remote reservoir and bracket.
Alignment Specs: Negative Camber & Negative Toe
You will need to get your alignment checked after this installation. Especially if you are installing the Old Man Emu upper control arms.
After taking the suspension off-road and daily driving for well over a month now, I am incredibly impressed with the OME BP-51 suspension. The suspension is almost perfectly tuned for an out-of-the-box experience and if we want to start tuning ourselves, we can. That’s the real beauty of these shocks—you can tune compression AND rebound yourself.
For the price, I don’t think there is anything better on the market. I rarely use the word best, but this is close to “best in class” when it comes to a $3000 budget. I will say these are by far the most feature-packed for the price. For around $3000, the BP-51 shocks are currently the most adjustable shocks on the market. On top of an adjustable threaded shock body, they feature remote reservoirs all the way around along with full compression AND rebound adjustment which allows the end-user full shock adjustability. For the price, you can’t find anything else like it. To top it off, the BP-51 is levels of comfort above a stage 2 Icon when it comes to everyday driving.
We are going to follow up with a full review once we start adjusting the shock’s compression and rebound. Once we get some trail time with them at speed and on the rocks, we will have more detailed information coming.