Installed the fronts yesterday. What a bi***. Primarily because I tried using a rented spring compressor. Horrible idea. These springs have a CRAZY high spring rate. Makes sense though because the shock has such little travel. I gave up after the assembly came apart and shot across my garage lol took it to a local shop and paid $30 and they were done in 20 minutes. Aside from that debacle, super easy install. *Old shocks looked like crap. *Old shocks still functioned fine according to the trusty "push" test. The piston moved smoothly in and out with no qualms. It seems they weren't "shot" just the valving sucked. *Koni's assembled just fine, reusing the top mounts, jounce bumpstop things, dust covers, etc.. I've only driven about 30 miles and don't want to make any hasty comments, but here's what I can say so far,... *Rebound damping is spot on. IMO, this is where OE K2 shocks suck. This is evident when you drive over a speed bump at any speed >5 mph and the front wheels drop down so fast and clunk in the process. It's like there was zero rebound damping. Pot holes, expansion joints, constructions zones all sucked. - But now, that edge/harshness is not there at all. *Compression damping seems a bit stiffer at lower velocities, as in less than 20 MPH. Not a big deal mostly because that's super slow. But gravel roads might actually be a bit rougher. - on the blacktop and >30 MPH - it's fine and don't have complaints as of yet. *the biggest, unexpected change is a reduction in shift shock. Those of you that have seen how these trucks are tuned during shifts will understand. The timing goes way retarded during a shift, literally as much as -20 degrees timing. That causes weight transfer to the front tires in that split second during the shift. (that's how Mazda tunes handling BTW - it's called G-vectoring and it's all about timing advance to enhance weight transfer) Anyways, you notice that less. Odd, right?? It just feels more serene altogether. I've noticed myself going over the speed limit in town quite often because of how smooth it is. I'll give an update after a 400 mile road trip this weekend!
Okay y'all. Despite not hearing back from @mracer I went ahead and bought the Koni STR.T LT shocks for my truck. All four corners. I hope to get some free time today to put the fronts on, but did the rears last week since they only took about 5 minutes. I've driven a couple hundred miles since then. ALSO PLEASE NOTE: My truck has 76,000 miles on it. But I already had Bilstein 5100s on the rear. Fronts are the stock factory units. There are hardly ANY reviews out there on this new line of Koni's. In fact, they've never played in the truck space because it's dominated by a handful of competitors. Koni has a generally good reputation in motorsports though. Lots and lots of great experience out there and that was a big guiding factor. Also, these statements from Koni carried a lot of weight: "One of the key reasons why we chose twin tubes for the LT STR.T is that they generally have better ride quality on imperfect road surfaces when compared to mono-tubes which can tend to provide a more harsh ride quality over impacts, kind of like reading the road surface in braille and transmitting it to the cabin. That is a bit of an umbrella statement because it is still very dependent on the actual piston valving technology inside the shocks regardless of monotubes vs. twin tube and gas pressure but all else being equal, higher gas pressures do kick back more of the road feel.” “Pickup trucks are particularly challenging because they are over sprung especially in the rear for usually 95% of standard usage when they are unloaded but they need a lot more control for the limited time when the bed is loaded or they have trailering tongue weight on them. They have a basically 2 dimensional frame with the cab and bed as two separate parts which make them easier to flex in the middle than a one piece body car or van. A good twin tube can help isolate that and that is the goal of LT STR.T. It is never going to ride like Grandpa’s Cadillac but it will take some of the edge off.” Observations: *Build quality isn't as nice as Bilstein. *The orange color isn't THAT offensive. Though a zinc coated 5100 piston mounted downward is a much better look. *Before installing I did the ole trusty "push" test. They compressed very easily. In the past I would've been concerned about that. Now that I understand shock damping (a little) I realize that test means next to nothing. - the Bilsteins by comparison are much harder to compress. Ride Quality: Dramatically different. It feels like I did something much more substantial than just a shock swap. It feels like I put a set of Deavers on. (have them on my NBS Silverado) With the Bilsteins I was a little disappointed. They were just too stiff. In my mind, I didn't attribute it to the Bilsteins themselves. I thought it was the spring rate! But I removed the Bilsteins the morning my Koni's were supposed to arrive. Later in the day I climbed into the bed to gather up some ratchet straps forgetting that I removed the shocks. What I noticed is how easily the rear end bounces up and down. It took hardly any weight to cause it sag. I could push on the tailgate and get quite a bit of motion with little effort. With the Bilsteins it was almost rock solid. Rear end felt really stiff. I realize some people like that. Some people tow or haul a lot or just like a stiff truck for bragging rights. I don't do any of that on a regular basis and would much prefer a softer riding truck to capability. Do the Koni's feel TOO soft? Nope. Not one bit. What they do is the let the rear suspension move! I actually have suspension travel now. There's a section of IH-10 I travel regularly that's under construction and it's like whoops in the desert. It's handles these beautifully! Chopped up roads and broken pavement are also much improved. I'm rolling on 275/55R20 Michelin Defenders so I still have quite a bit of road feel. But all the little bumps and breaks in the road feel much better. I haven't even done the front yet! I'll report back once I do. But I imagine that I'll be even more impressed.
I used the hyrdoboost pump and pressure line from a 2003 2500 van. That's the only 3/4 ton GM vehicle to use a rack and pinion as far as I know. That's important because there's 2 hoses that complete the circuit. One from the power steering pump to the hyrdoboost, then from the hyrdoboost to the rack. It also needed a brake pedal from a 2500 too because the rod coming out of the hydro unit is different than the vacuum unit. At the same time I put a brand new PS pump from a 2500 on it too since it already has return line nipple on it. Overall brake power is much improved. No more sponginess! With the old booster functioning as designed it took quite a bit of pedal travel for it to even do anything. Now it has about 1" maybe of slack (which is probably because the hydroboost is used from a salvage yard) and then it gets real firm real quick. All in all, I'd say it was very much worth it but it was quite thorough. That was before I was married and had kids so I had a lot of free time. https://chevroletforum.com/how-tos/a/chevrolet-silverado-1999-2006-how-to-swap-vacuum-brake-booster-with-hydroboost-system-391165
Tentatively sold to @jshrubs The 24-186742 Bilsteins are still available. These fit just about every Silverado/Sierra made between 1999 and 2010.
Hey y'all. I have two different sets of Bilstein 5100's for sale. One set is off my NBS Silverado, Bilstein 24-186742. They have about 5,000 miles on them. Hardly drive the truck and de-modding it to sell. $100 shipped. The other set is for K2XX truck, Bilstein 33-238319. I actually just bought these off another member on here but decided to go a different direction for my new truck possibly involving some Viking shocks. They are in great shape and have about 10,000 miles on them. $100 shipped.
I died when I read this lol!! So true. Happy for you man. Two cars ago I had a Accord Hybrid. Wish I never got rid of it honestly. For the 25,000 miles I owned it, I average 46 mpg. Quiet, smooth. What more do you need? I already had a truck too - an old crap box 2000 Silverado with 312,000 miles on it. Still have it so there are days when I'm tempted to sell my newer 2016 Silverado and just get another car and call it a day.
Quoting my own post here. I do have to admit, if GM made a truck that looked as nice as they do inside and out but it still had a LQ4/4L80E/4.30 gears combo - that would be killer. Efficiency be damned. Something about a mild torque oriented LQ4 build with a 4L80 that is simply beautiful. And maybe that's why there are such big Tundra fans out there. And to @truckguy82's point - a Tundra interior is miserable. Hell they even look the same exterior wise. I'd probably have a different opinion if they had done a major restyle inside and out but kept their good ole reliable 5.7/6 speed/4.30 gears combo. One more thing, I've had the "pleasure" of helping a family friend work on their 2008 Toyota Highlander. 130,000 miles on it and every damn bushing and ball joint was ****** on it. It drove awful. The rack and pinion was leaking too. I was completely unimpressed. That SUV has been a highway queen it's whole life and that's how it's worn. Sounds real reliable to me! In comparison my mom has a 2001 Suburban. Didn't touch a damn thing except fluids until 225,000 miles. Nothing. Zero. Rebuilt the front end and new shocks and 60,000 miles later it's still a top. Same with my 2000 Silverado 1500 that we've also owned since new. It's got 312,000 miles on it and that little LR4 purrs. I swear it's smoother than my L86 at idle. It may seem like GM has gone backwards, but I really don't think that's case.
Very well said about the Tundra. It's one of things that irks me about Toyota fanboys. They tout their reliability yet Toyota has done literally nothing to the motor since it's release. Pretty sure they haven't done anything to the transmission either. It would be akin to GM still using the LM7, LQ4, 4l60e. Yep, reliability is a factor, but driveability, aesthetics, performance, all matter more to me. On a different note, Tundras aren't immune to little issues. Troll around on their forums a bit and you'll quickly see that Tundra and Tacoma folks have similar longstanding issues.
Yeah I think so too. I'm not doing anything crazy to this engine (famous last words) except E85 conversion, full custom tune, and maybe a muffler delete. But even with that I'm looking at 500 ft lb of torque. That's big block level torque for the same puny leaf springs that go on a 4.3 model. I'm pretty dead set on Rough Country's traction bars. I've done lots of research comparing them to caltracs and the likes and I think they'll be best for my goals, which is really just zero axle wrap. I don't care if I always blow the tires off since it's kinda fun I can always put it in 4wd if I want to hook up.
Most OnlineNewest Member
Who's Online 103 Members, 0 Anonymous, 2,675 Guests (See full list)
- David Higgins
- MTU Alum
- Winged Wheel
- Texas Daddy
- Matt Robertson
- RAYS B4U
- jagabom (Esquire)
- Trinidad Barrera
- Mark Vyskocil