Bilstein 4600 vs 5100 - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
2017 - '19 (Non Powertrain) Discussion of 2017 - '19 topics not related to powertrain

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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Bilstein 4600 vs 5100

Thinking about upgrading the shocks on my 2019 Chevy 3500HD 4x4 Crew Cab SRW SB High Country. Stock shocks are the black AC Delco’s (not a Z-71 w/ Rancho shocks). Truck now has a Tuff Country leveling kit installed (tubular a-arms, replacement torsion keys, shock drop spacers, differential drop spacers, limit straps, etc.). Truck was lifted ~ 2.5 inches in the front but still has slight rake (~ 3/4 inch). I replaced the stock rims and tires with aftermarket ... but stayed with the stock sizes. Aftermarket rims are a +18mm offset vs the factory +42mm offset ... which equates to widening the stance of the truck ~ 2 inches (~ 1 inch wider on each side). Also added Hellwig front and rear sway bars to eliminate body roll on the corners (definitely stiffened the ride ... especially sided to side ... and uneven bumps in the road).
To be honest, I am looking to achieve the best ride / handling in town ... and on the highway. Truck is used for a daily driver and hauling our RV on the weekends (~ 8 months of the year). We have a Polaris General 4-seater for off-roading ... so our Duramax will rarely even see a dirt road.
Online magazine reviews state the Fox 2.0 shocks are designed more for the off-road and are stiffer than both the 4600 & 5100 series Bilsteins ... obviously not the right shocks for my driving situation. The online magazine reviews also state that the 5100 series Bilsteins are stiffer than 4600 Bilsteins ... and the 5100’s are truly designed for trucks with larger wheels and tires. And to make the decision process even less obvious, one online magazine review stated that 4600’s are meant for lighter trucks (1/2-ton and smaller) ... and the 5100’s were designed for heavier 3/4 and 1-ton trucks.
Can’t seem to find any threads where someone has changed out the black AC Delco stock shocks on their Duramax for the Bilstein shocks ... and can relay their opinions on:
1. Was it worth spending the money ?
2. Softer vs firmer ride ... stock vs 4600 vs 5100 ?
3. Other attributes
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 02:56 PM
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4600 is stock height

5100 is for lifted up to 2"

Besides that, everything I could read said they were 100% identical.

In your case I would go 5100 because you have lifted the truck...


I had the shitty Rancho's on my 2500, completely stock, it drove like shit. With the 4600's on it, it was night and day difference.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 04:37 PM
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Bilstein 5100's were night and day compared to stock Rancho's. First speed bump and you'll be glad you spent the money.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Black HD View Post
Bilstein 5100's were night and day compared to stock Rancho's. First speed bump and you'll be glad you spent the money.


Agreed, the ride quality and control of suspension is excellent.


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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacobsswa View Post
4600 is stock height

5100 is for lifted up to 2"
NOT completely true. 5100s can be had for stock height as well.

I thik his question is really about the ride quality with the 5100s vs the 4600s.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 407driver View Post
NOT completely true. 5100s can be had for stock height as well.

I thik his question is really about the ride quality with the 5100s vs the 4600s.
Tru dat as I have a set of 5100s on my stock LMM.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 07:09 AM
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5100's are listed for stock to 2" lift

I have them all around on my last two trucks, vastly better ride and control when towing sells them. for me
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 12:09 PM
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I just changed my 5100's for yellow and blue. Can't say that I can tell the difference when driving down the road. I thought that I MIGHT see a difference from the rear of the truck as I have drop shackles installed.

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacobsswa View Post

Besides that, everything I could read said they were 100% identical.
Totally not true.

Damping forces of Bilstein valvings are measured in Newtons at a velocity of 0.52 meters/seconds (approximately 20 inches/second). The ratings shown below correspond to those measurements; rebound force is the first number, followed by compression force (rebound / compression). The ratings are written as one tenth the damping force in Newtons.
EXAMPLE: Valve rating: 275 / 78
Rebound force is 2750 Newtons at 0.52 m/s and the Compression force is 780 Newtons at 0.52 m/s

So with that information .....

Bilstein 4600
Front 375/38
Rear 236/59

Bilstein 5100
Front 439/128
Rear 179/78

As you can see, the compression valving for the fronts are very different.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 06:27 PM
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I installed the 5100's on my stock-height 2500. I tow close to 10k lbs with about 1200lbs on the tongue. Love them. Very happy when she's empty too.
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