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So I've been researching extensively for the last couple months about levelling my 2014 Sierra. I was gonna use the popular RC levelling kit but happen to stumble upon the billy 5100 ride height adjustable shocks. Just when I'm gonna pull the trigger on them billy's, I discover the 6116 kit... For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 6112 kit. the kit come with a weaker spring and a 60mm tube body, so its quite a bit thicker than the 46mm 5100 shocks. and we all know bigger is always better( thats what she said! ). It is also ride height adjustable by using a snap ring like the 5100 series. Basically its the 5100 on crack and steroids at the same time.

 

With all the info above, I have a few questions I hope you party animals can help me with:

 

1. Would preloading your spring cause any suspension component to wear faster and eventually fail, particular the ball joint on the upper control arm?

 

2. Would the 5100 shocks last as long as the oem shocks under the same driving conditions?

 

3. Would a ~$700 price tag justified for the 6112 kit.

 

4. My truck is seriously underdamped with the oem shocks, would the 5100 correct that? What effect would the new shock have on my truck.

 

5. What did the fox say?

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Edited by yanzhixiang
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First, the 6112 is not available for the gm truck yet.

 

1. Pre loading is not how a 5100 works. It just raises the spring perch. The truck raises along with the spring perch. The ball joint won't see any different load or angle with a 5100 shock, unlike a spacer kit.

 

2. Longer, many times longer.

 

3. Remains to be seen.not available yet

 

4. Yes, a 5100 will provide better ride and control.

 

5. He said "show me the money!"

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Raising/lowering the spring perch increases the spring pre-load. If the length of the shock body could be adjusted, changing ride height would not change spring pre-load.

 

I had never thought about the effect of spring pre-load on upper ball joint. My quick thinking is that spring pre-load by itself wouldn't affect upper ball-joint directly; unless the resulting lift or lowering pushed the operation range of ball-joint angle to the limit and beyond (too much lift or lowering).

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Raising/lowering the spring perch increases the spring pre-load. If the length of the shock body could be adjusted, changing ride height would not change spring pre-load.

 

I had never thought about the effect of spring pre-load on upper ball joint. My quick thinking is that spring pre-load by itself wouldn't affect upper ball-joint directly; unless the resulting lift or lowering pushed the operation range of ball-joint angle to the limit and beyond (too much lift or lowering).

 

Your statement is true. But only when the coilover assembly is not installed or the suspension is fully extended.

 

When the truck weight is supported by the coilover assembly, the raising and lowering of the spring perch simply changes the height. The force on the spring is only coming from one source, the truck weight. There is no additional force from raising the spring perch. The only way to increase the force is to increase the weight of the truck on that wheel (or an acceleration (bump))

 

The balljoint angle is controlled by the Bilstein 5100 by limiting the overall extended length similarly to the OEM shock. When you move the spring perch up or down, it does not change the overall extended length of the coilover assembly. That's in the Bilstein catalog.

Edited by spurshot

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That is correct. People commonly use that term, but that doesn't mean it's correct (much like referring to the coilovers as "struts"). The only thing preloading the spring when installed on the vehicle is the weight of the vehicle.

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Your statement is true. But only when the coilover assembly is not installed or the suspension is fully extended.

 

When the truck weight is supported by the coilover assembly, the raising and lowering of the spring perch simply changes the height. The force on the spring is only coming from one source, the truck weight. There is no additional force from raising the spring perch. The only way to increase the force is to increase the weight of the truck on that wheel (or an acceleration (bump))

 

The balljoint angle is controlled by the Bilstein 5100 by limiting the overall extended length similarly to the OEM shock. When you move the spring perch up or down, it does not change the overall extended length of the coilover assembly. That's in the Bilstein catalog.

That's clears out a lot! Thanks!

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Raising/lowering the spring perch increases the spring pre-load. If the length of the shock body could be adjusted, changing ride height would not change spring pre-load.

 

I had never thought about the effect of spring pre-load on upper ball joint. My quick thinking is that spring pre-load by itself wouldn't affect upper ball-joint directly; unless the resulting lift or lowering pushed the operation range of ball-joint angle to the limit and beyond (too much lift or lowering).

I was thinking the same thing, if the 5100 shock length is longer than the stock the preload would not change. However this seems unlikely because to compensate for the highest setting it would cause slack in the assembly when the snap ring is at the stock setting.

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I'm hard-pressed to believe that the front springs are installed with zero pre-load; this situation may cause damage.

 

Adjusting spring perch would affect ride height but not in a linear way like a shock body with adjustable length.

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The spring length with the weight of the truck on it is compressed several inches. Even the spring installed in the 5100 at the highest setting will compress under the weight of the truck until the spring reaches the same length and force as when it is installed at the lowest setting. It will have the same spring rate, no matter. You would have to change/alter the spring to change the spring rate. Pre-loading it in the extended shock a bit won't change the rate.

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Hey question here - i have a 14 silverado ltz z71 - i use it as a daily driver.... The Ranchos are nice but i was wondering if there were other shocks out there that would provide a really smooth ride.. ive read about the bilstein 5100 and from what people are saying these are a great improvement..

 

i would like to level my truck also - so i imagine that the bilsteins are the way to go but figured i would ask.

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Hey question here - i have a 14 silverado ltz z71 - i use it as a daily driver.... The Ranchos are nice but i was wondering if there were other shocks out there that would provide a really smooth ride.. ive read about the bilstein 5100 and from what people are saying these are a great improvement..

 

i would like to level my truck also - so i imagine that the bilsteins are the way to go but figured i would ask.

I installed the 5100's in place of the Rancho's along with a Zone 2" leveling kit for the front and left the front shock at the stock setting because I'd read that with the 5100 at the highest setting (1.86"), some were saying the ride was pretty stiff. I can say the ride with the Bilstein's over the Rancho's is far superior. It's still firm but not harsh. I have not tried other settings on the front. I thought about taking out the 2" leveling kit and raising the shock up to the highest setting, but I'm happy with the ride and not sure I wan to do the work anytime soon. I have no regrets buying the Bilstein's though. They went on a truck that had less than a 1,000 miles and for the better ride it was worth the money.

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Hey question here - i have a 14 silverado ltz z71 - i use it as a daily driver.... The Ranchos are nice but i was wondering if there were other shocks out there that would provide a really smooth ride.. ive read about the bilstein 5100 and from what people are saying these are a great improvement..

 

i would like to level my truck also - so i imagine that the bilsteins are the way to go but figured i would ask.

Night and day difference, install them in the highest setting, much more controlled ride!

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Thanks for the input guys - sounds like the Bilsteins are the way to go - a couple of my buddies are pushing me to go with the fox 2.0 shocks - a lot more money but they say its worth it, has anyone tried the fox shocks at all?

 

also my ultimate goal will be to throw a RC 3.5" lift on the truck in the summer - and i believe the kit comes with shocks, but I have no idea how good or bad they are??

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So I've been researching extensively for the last couple months about levelling my 2014 Sierra. I was gonna use the popular RC levelling kit but happen to stumble upon the billy 5100 ride height adjustable shocks. Just when I'm gonna pull the trigger on them billy's, I discover the 6116 kit... For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 6112 kit. the kit come with a weaker spring and a 60mm tube body, so its quite a bit thicker than the 46mm 5100 shocks. and we all know bigger is always better( thats what she said! ). It is also ride height adjustable by using a snap ring like the 5100 series. Basically its the 5100 on crack and steroids at the same time.

 

With all the info above, I have a few questions I hope you party animals can help me with:

 

1. Would preloading your spring cause any suspension component to wear faster and eventually fail, particular the ball joint on the upper control arm?

 

2. Would the 5100 shocks last as long as the oem shocks under the same driving conditions?

 

3. Would a ~$700 price tag justified for the 6112 kit.

 

4. My truck is seriously underdamped with the oem shocks, would the 5100 correct that? What effect would the new shock have on my truck.

 

5. What did the fox say?

 

 

 

The 6112 shocks were a nice improvement over the 5100s. Gives the big turck the shock it needs.

 

Check out how beefy they are.

 

 

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