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Bilstein 5100s are a HUGE upgrade!


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Got the back ones installed last week and am impressed. Smaller bumps feel about the same but big improvement on larger ones and on washboard roads. Crossing rougher angled rr tracks rear end used to have a tendency to want to bounce to the side a little but now tracks straight. Dropping down the mountable curb at end of my driveway truck used to rock side to side a bit but no longer. As others have said it just feels more planted with a better ride over most surfaces. 

I was  a little shocked at how bad the Ranchos have rusted after only 9 months and 8000 miles.

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I did all four shocks. Put me in the camp of it’s an improvement, but not a huge difference. My Ranchos on my AT4 had 20,000 miles on them. I would not go out and replace brand new factory shocks with a Bilstiens but if you have some mileage on yours, you will likely notice a bit of an improvement. It’s not night and day. 
 

I did set the fronts at the maximum height. The truck sits closer to level, but the bad news is that when I tow my boat, the rear is about 1 inch low. So now I have to deal with that.

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Is there any reason why I couldn't install the trailboss 5100s in the front on a base (LT) at the lowest setting (stock uca)or run them on 1.1 setting for a 3.1" lift (cognito UCA)? I searched some TB VINs on the parts store and they have the same coils and insulators as mine, so I can't think of why it wouldn't work? Seems like it's a better solution than using upper spacers

 

I'm also wondering about the steel leaf springs in the rear the Trail Bosses use. Would it be a decent investment to upgrade to those to the OE TB springs or should I just add a Deaver Leaf or some bags/sumosprings. I tow a 7000uvw travel trailer, and the mile of bouncing I get after hitting a bump is ridiculous. The Deaver seems cost effective since you're getting the additional 1-3" lift it.

 

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I just put the Trailboss 5100’s under mine. Put them at the stock TB height. Put a 2” GM block under the rear. 

Bolted right in and aligned perfectly. 
 

I say Deavers and Sumo springs or Timbrens in the back. That’s my plan. 

 

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11 minutes ago, AJMBLAZER said:

I just put the Trailboss 5100’s under mine. Put them at the stock TB height. Put a 2” GM block under the rear. 

Bolted right in and aligned perfectly. 
 

I say Deavers and Sumo springs or Timbrens in the back. That’s my plan. 

 

I'm torn on level vs lift because I do tow a pretty heavy trailer, usually about 7600lbs loaded. I use a WDH so I still actually come down with a bit of rake. So I could get away with the deaver at the 1" setting and 2"" up front or I can go 3.1 and 3 with the cognito. 

 

I'm currently also stuck in tire/wheel indecision which affects this also, haha.

 

Part of me is leaning to ust use the stock front shocks with some preload to make it stiffer and have the same affect as the bilsteins. So I could just get the 3" cognito kit which would be cheaper ultimately anyway. But the longer bilsteins seem like the better decision geometrically.  

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4 hours ago, AJMBLAZER said:

Go longer Bilsteins. The ride/handling improvement is immense. 

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Great looking truck! 

 

Right about what i want to do. Are those the stock 265/75r18? That's another issue I've got to deal with... i have the stock 255/70r17 with the general grabber that I'm trying to get replaced under warranty due to tread separation.

 

yours sits just right. that looks great proportionally. Plus gives you some options to up another 1" if you wanted.

 

I'm thinking going with the deaver and the bilstein and then just need to decide on 2" or 3". I'm in indecision hell right now. haha. 

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Those are Cooper AT3 XLT’s in LT275/70R18. About 1.5” taller than stock.  I could honestly fit taller but I didn’t want to have to mess with the gearing to get lost performance back.

 

From posts on here it seems like much above 2” of lift without dropping the diff or steering is where people start running into issues. CV shafts, tie rod ends, ball joints, etc don’t like operating at steep angles. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

First post for me.   I have a 2020 chevy 1500 with the duramax engine.  It has rancho shocks as its the z71.  The front end bounces like mad and is just wayyyy to soft.  I'm been thinking of upgrading to bilstein 5100s or 6112's and adjusting them up an inch or so.  I dont do a ton of off roading in my truck but it does see a fair amount of dirt roads and washboards when we go camping.  I'm wondering if the 5100s alone would help correct the issue or if the 6112's would be needed.  I know the diesel front end is heavier so i'm uncertain the 5100s can do the job.  Does anyone has experience running the 5100 or 6112 on their duramax who can weigh in here?

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18 minutes ago, jeeper2000 said:

First post for me.   I have a 2020 chevy 1500 with the duramax engine.  It has rancho shocks as its the z71.  The front end bounces like mad and is just wayyyy to soft.  I'm been thinking of upgrading to bilstein 5100s or 6112's and adjusting them up an inch or so.  I dont do a ton of off roading in my truck but it does see a fair amount of dirt roads and washboards when we go camping.  I'm wondering if the 5100s alone would help correct the issue or if the 6112's would be needed.  I know the diesel front end is heavier so i'm uncertain the 5100s can do the job.  Does anyone has experience running the 5100 or 6112 on their duramax who can weigh in here?

5100’s fixed that right up

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so I know this has probably been answered in this thread (or elsewhere) - but I can't find it now...   There are varying opinions around the web - but which way do you install the 5100s in the rear?   Boot side up, or down?   I would think with boot down it would hold all the gunk in there since it is an open boot...  so Up makes sense, but I read a lot that say boot side down...  

Then I read make sure the label is right side up...   

 

I'm so confused...  

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8 minutes ago, Chris Callanan said:

Ok, so I know this has probably been answered in this thread (or elsewhere) - but I can't find it now...   There are varying opinions around the web - but which way do you install the 5100s in the rear?   Boot side up, or down?   I would think with boot down it would hold all the gunk in there since it is an open boot...  so Up makes sense, but I read a lot that say boot side down...  

Then I read make sure the label is right side up...   

 

I'm so confused...  

so you can read the label if you looked at them straight on. Boot up. 

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Ok, so I slapped these puppies in on Friday, and I can concur - while normal driving doesn't seem to be affected, any bump has a noticeable change.  Speed bumps, where the back end would bounce 3 or 4 times, now does 1 bounce and done. So much nicer :)

 

Now I need to do the fronts - might pay somebody to do those so I don't have to mess with spring compression....

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