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Just picked up my new 2500 from the dealer a few days ago and not crazy about the ride quality. I’ve had numerous 3/4 trucks so I’m used to a stiffer ride but this is a bit too stiff. The dealer did a 2” level with new torsion keys and added Rough Country upper control arms. In hopes of improving the ride I’m considering replacing the factory Rancho shocks with Bilsteins. How many of you have made this change and what were the results?

Thanks in advance!

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Bilsteins are way better than the Ranchos but will only get you so far. These trucks are built heavier than previous generations and just ride rougher. I’m sure it’s bad being leveled. Look up Cognito comfort ride torsion bars. I have them and they helped a lot. They have a softer spring rate than oem


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I ran Bilsteins on a 2019 2500HD Denali and I put them on my 2020 2500 AT4HD.  They do improve the ride quite a bit.  I would do it again for sure, and the cost is relatively low.  Install is easy too.

 

Bonus, they don't rust and look like garbage like the Rancho shocks do, seemingly from day 1. 

 

I have a 3500 AT4 on order, and I plan to replace the Ranchos on it too.  I am trying to decide between Bilstein and Fox this time, just to try something new.

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The Bilsteins do offer a much better ride than the stock Rancho's. I put the leveling kit on my truck at approx. 6K miles and left the stock Rancho's on. At about 10K miles, I put on the Bilsteins. The ride quality definitely improved.

 

If tire rub won't be an issue, you may consider slightly de-cranking the torsion bars. Lowering the front end just a little, like a 1/4" will decrease the preload on the bars and this will also improve ride quality.   

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On 3/10/2021 at 8:36 AM, cdh7917 said:

I ran Bilsteins on a 2019 2500HD Denali and I put them on my 2020 2500 AT4HD.  They do improve the ride quite a bit.  I would do it again for sure, and the cost is relatively low.  Install is easy too.

 

Bonus, they don't rust and look like garbage like the Rancho shocks do, seemingly from day 1. 

 

I have a 3500 AT4 on order, and I plan to replace the Ranchos on it too.  I am trying to decide between Bilstein and Fox this time, just to try something new.

Stock height? Which model bilstein

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Yes, stock height. I ran the 5100s.

 

Its important to note, on the heavy duty trucks, the shock has nothing to do with height, like on the 1500s with coil over fronts. 
 

That said, Bilstein does make shocks for the heavy duty trucks for lifted applications that are longer than the stock sized offering. But they just accommodate the longer travel, and do nothing for actual ride height. 

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I went with Fox 2.0s on my last 2500 and I will be replacing them on the new 3500. They have a thicker piston rod than the Bilstein's and if you want you can move up to the reservoir ones which might be overkill for a road vehicle but the option is there. I did notice the foxes had a more compliant ride than the Rancheros.

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Much smoother ride. Here is a specific example...there is a section on the freeway that I drive going home from work with a fairly large transition (bump) on a bridge over-crossing. With the old Rancho's, I definitely felt it. It would rattle the truck. When I put the Bilstein's on, the bump was basically gone. I initially thought the road was fixed. But this is California - we don't really fix our roads even though we pay for it in our fuel tax and registration fee's...😉

Also, I noticed and increase in handling - much less body roll...  

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  • 1 month later...

The ranchos or base shocks provide you good performance for a twin tube shock.  When you step into a Bilstein or fox you switch to a monotube shock.  A lot these monotubes have more tuning flexibility with end stops, bypasses, etc that help separate primary and secondary ride events that can provide better ride performance without sacrificing handling.  

 

Alot of these leveling kits are bad for ride.  You lose rebound travel the way they are executed.  There is a rebound service stop on the frame and unless you remove it or have an UCA that does not contact it you will never get your travel back.

 

#iworkforGM 

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