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Bilstein vs. OEM Rancho shocks?


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Posted (edited)

If you are running empty with max tire pressure, especially with 20 inch wheels, that will contribute to a stiff, busy feeling ride quality, especially at low speed, and i don’t think shocks can fix that. You might try adjusting tire pressure if you haven’t already.  I’m running my new 3500 empty during break in at 55 front 60 rear and it is noticeably better than the 60/80 max the dealer delivered it with. I have the camper torsion bar option and 18 inch wheels.  When the 2500 lb slide in camper goes on in a couple weeks I expect the ride will be pretty nice. 
 

I suspect a set of Bilsteins are in my future, though. 

Edited by Another JR
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  • 2 weeks later...

Regarding my 2020 Chevy 2500HD 6.6L gasser w/ Z71 package, GM has designed an overall muscular and updated HD series truck.  However, their seats are so stiff and the tension on them is similar to a guitar string. So, adding that to the expected HD stiff structure + suspension is a tough package.  In search of a softer suspension alternative before I opt for an air ride seat (probably way too much $$$).  I've yet to try Bilstein shocks but I'm going to try changing my shackles instead to the American Sulastic Shackles (#SA-06). From reviews and such, even the wives report being happier riding in their respective brand of HD truck; happy life is a happy w..e :)).  Anyone else try these Sulastic shackles as an alternative?

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agree.....bilsteins while more controlled arent soft....they perform well but arent cushy, just depends on what you want......if stock shocks had some rebound dampening they wouldnt be that bad.....on 1500 you notice it more, on 2500 the stiffer springs make up for shock a bit when empty.....should have kept my 2500 tbh

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On 5/6/2021 at 3:27 PM, MTU Alum said:

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.  

 

#iworkforGM 

Aren't the Rancho's a monotube shock - I know they are on the 1500 AT4? 

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3 hours ago, Supercup said:

Aren't the Rancho's a monotube shock - I know they are on the 1500 AT4? 

They can be either.  On the 1500s, trail boss and AT4 get monotubes.  The rest of the Z71 trucks are twin tube.  HDs are all twin tube shocks.

 

#iworkforGM 

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22 hours ago, MTU Alum said:

They can be either.  On the 1500s, trail boss and AT4 get monotubes.  The rest of the Z71 trucks are twin tube.  HDs are all twin tube shocks.

 

#iworkforGM 

 

Good to know! 

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On 5/20/2021 at 5:34 PM, RJC Dove said:

Regarding my 2020 Chevy 2500HD 6.6L gasser w/ Z71 package, GM has designed an overall muscular and updated HD series truck.  However, their seats are so stiff and the tension on them is similar to a guitar string. So, adding that to the expected HD stiff structure + suspension is a tough package.  In search of a softer suspension alternative before I opt for an air ride seat (probably way too much $$$).  I've yet to try Bilstein shocks but I'm going to try changing my shackles instead to the American Sulastic Shackles (#SA-06). From reviews and such, even the wives report being happier riding in their respective brand of HD truck; happy life is a happy w..e :)).  Anyone else try these Sulastic shackles as an alternative?

 

I am running the sulastic shackles on my 3500 DRW and it makes it a lot more comfortable empty.  I am still looking for more improvement, mostly because I have the snowplow/camper torsion bars up front.  I would love to swap those to the regular bars and I am thinking about bilstiens, hence the reason I am looking at this thread.  But I would still recommend the sulastic shackles, they really do help. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2021 at 8:11 PM, Dunn said:

agree.....bilsteins while more controlled arent soft....they perform well but arent cushy, just depends on what you want......if stock shocks had some rebound dampening they wouldnt be that bad.....on 1500 you notice it more, on 2500 the stiffer springs make up for shock a bit when empty.....should have kept my 2500 tbh


Wait.. what?? One guy on page 1 said it smoothed out a large bump in the road he normally travels, but 2 guys are saying they are not a cushier ride??

 

I bought B8 5160’s in hopes of improving ride quality on road, should I be returning them??

Edited by Arkangel
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Posted (edited)

Bilsteins arent meant to be "cushy" shocks....they favor control and are tuned more for offroad than street.....as well as digressive valving (opposite of progressive)....while not for serious offroad that type of valving is bit stiffer in beginning of stroke vs progressive system...harder you hit something smoother it feels....you really can't have both....no shock will work excellent in both areas so always a compromise.....to what degree, personal needs, and taste depends on the driver....I prefer a progressive shock but didn't want to spend bank on kings......bilsteins do bigger hits well but small chatter on streets not so much....I would probably prefer eibach over them......again it's all preference and only way you'll know what's for you is to ride in a set.....after I burn thru these I will change to a progressive set....am a not huge fan of bilsteins myself...my 20" rims aren't helping either I am sure...but for the price and lift they provide, hard to beat......still relatively a cheap shock so can't expect too much

 

Edited by Dunn
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  • 1 month later...

when you talk about not meant to be  a cushy ride are you talking about the 5100s , 4600s or both.  if you are going to swap from the camper bars id go with the Cognito bars https://www.dieselpowerproducts.com/p-cognito-510-90887-comfort-ride-torsion-bar-kit-2020-gm-66l-duramax-l5p. i might do that someday day.  i was thinking of doing 4600s. 

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Does anyone know what model Rancho shocks come on the 2020 3500 Z71 SRW? Is it a standard configuration or a special GM model?

 

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I have consulted Rancho on this subject. GM installed Rancho shocks are made specifically for the GM trucks and are different than the Rancho products. To find the part numbers, check the ACDelco online catalog or Rockauto. These shocks are sold by  ACDelco.

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I took off the rear Rancho Shocks on my 3500 trucks after the first 500 miles and replaced those with Bilstein 4600 shocks I had from a prior truck.  I definitely noticed an improved ride especially over washboard roads and and had a more planted feel.  Sold the Rancho takeoffs on Craig's List.  Plan to do the fronts as well.   The ride improvement on my 3500 with the Bilsteins on the rear only was less noticeable than on my 2018 2500.  I think that is probably due to the higher spring rates on the 3500.  Not everyone agrees but in my research, I found that the 4600 shocks generally have a lower valving for compression and rebound over the 5100.

 

Bilstein 4600 and 5100 Comparison

 

I recognize that this is just one source but in my prior research I found other similar resources. 

 

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