I replaced the old tophats since they had a little bit of play in the bearings but the new ones also had the same amount of play. I guess this is normal for the tophats' bearing to have a little play in them. But yes, I agree, the tophats caused the extra heigth. The old tophats have been tossed.
I did put the eibach springs on this weekend (front only) and I'm back to a 3 finger fender gap (down from 4 fingers). Hoping once the springs settle, I'll be down to a 2 finger gap, which is exactly what I'm after.
To me, the ride quality it great! And the Eibachs have only marginally stiffened up the ride in the front. The bilstein HD's attribute to the stiffer ride more than the springs IMO. I haven't taken it on the highway yet, but for driving around the city, I love this setup... firm but still very comfortable over small and large bumps/potholes. Passed the wife test easily.
Next Iím going to install the HDís on the rear with stock springs and see how it handles. I donít want to add the eibachs to the rear as I like the height the way it is with a 2 finger gap.
Here's a pic with the eibach pro springs with bilstein HD's (front only). Rear is all stock.