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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to upgrade my shocks from AC Delco with about 25,000 miles on them. they will go on a 2008 Chevy LMM with 224,000 miles on it. I purchased it with 199,000 miles on it 5 years ago. I use the truck mainly for towing my 34 foot travel trailer and a few Baja fishing trips a year. Baja is where I really feel is where all the punishment comes from. any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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I'm a fan of the Bilstein 5100's, but some prefer the 4600 series. I've put them on several trucks through the years and never had a problem. Much better then the Ranch POS that came from the factory.
 

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And I've had 5100's and 4600's and couldn't tell the difference between them. According to Bilstein, the dampening is the same on both of these. 5100's are for slightly raised trucks, my rear was lowered 2" so I suspect the 4600's are 'better' for my truck. As for towing, I would think that you would want a shock with a little more dampening, both compression and expansion. My 5th wheel is 12K and my 4600's work just fine, but I'm not spending lots of time n rough roads.

So, I say, take your pick. See what you think.
 
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5100s for me as well towing a 15k 5vr. No issues at all.
 
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I chose Bilstein 4600's for hauling my truck camper. The valving is the same between 4600 and 5100, the difference is that 5100's are for slightly lifted trucks and have more bling appearance. Either way, they are a huge improvement over the factory shocks.
 

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I did not like the bilisten 4600 bumper pulling. The truck rode great just the truck, but trailering the front end bounced more than my liking.

I prefer the rancho 9000s because of the adjustibility. Add air bags to the rear axel most comfortable set up I ever had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I believe I am leaning toward 4600's since my truck is stock. Thanks for your input.
And I've had 5100's and 4600's and couldn't tell the difference between them. According to Bilstein, the dampening is the same on both of these. 5100's are for slightly raised trucks, my rear was lowered 2" so I suspect the 4600's are 'better' for my truck. As for towing, I would think that you would want a shock with a little more dampening, both compression and expansion. My 5th wheel is 12K and my 4600's work just fine, but I'm not spending lots of time n rough roads.


So, I say, take your pick. See what you think.
Purchased the 4600's today Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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I know you already purchased, but in case you can still change, I did get 4600 bed camper version for my 07.5lmm. I do have a bed camper now, but I think they would have been good to run with a 5th wheel or other trailer that adds a good amount of bed or hitch weight. Running the truck unloaded has also been fine, so I don't think it really affects the unloaded handling of the vehicle. Bilstein 24-186575 Bilstein B6 4600 Series Shocks and Struts | Summit Racing
 

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I've had both the Bilstein 5100s and Rancho 9000s. Can't go wrong with either depending on your preference for adjustability. Both are a definite improvement over stock.
 
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I did have the Rancho 9000's prior to the camper shell version of the Bilstein 4600's. The 9000's were great for unloaded bed weight (full soft and I could crush washboarded roads like I was in a vehicle far less stiff than my 2500HD). But always felt underdamped for camper towing, IMO. The 4600's are much more damped, but I doubt they'd perform as well on washboard as the 9000's did.
 

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Would airbags be an improvement over any shock upgrade? Or are both upgrades needed to work together? I had an Air Lift system on my former tow vehicle ('95 gas Suburban C2500) and it was great for bumper pull towing... which is what I still do currently with my 3500 Duramax, but plan an eventual 5th wheel upgrade.
 

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I have both the Bilstein 5100s and Air Bags. I tow a 10k+# travel trailer
 

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Looking to upgrade my shocks from AC Delco with about 25,000 miles on them. they will go on a 2008 Chevy LMM with 224,000 miles on it. I purchased it with 199,000 miles on it 5 years ago. I use the truck mainly for towing my 34 foot travel trailer and a few Baja fishing trips a year. Baja is where I really feel is where all the punishment comes from. any suggestions would be appreciated.
Air bags make a huge improvement for pulling a 30’+ trailer over rough roads. Trailers that size typically have a very heavy tongue. Bags will stabilize the rear of the truck and also make it ride level. When you’re not pulling just air them down to 5psi or so and you won’t even know they are there. New shocks will help but they won’t fix your problem. I’ve run both Bilstein and Fox and the Fox 2.0 is a better ride.
 

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Would airbags be an improvement over any shock upgrade? Or are both upgrades needed to work together? I had an Air Lift system on my former tow vehicle ('95 gas Suburban C2500) and it was great for bumper pull towing... which is what I still do currently with my 3500 Duramax, but plan an eventual 5th wheel upgrade.
What air bags do is dampen the shock of the trailer tongue weight as the trailer rides over rough ground.
 

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What air bags do is dampen the shock of the trailer tongue weight as the trailer rides over rough ground.
What I'm wondering is if air bags would help with trailer tongue weight impact more than upgrading shocks, or if both would help. If one project will handle the issue, that would be fine!
 

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What I'm wondering is if air bags would help with trailer tongue weight impact more than upgrading shocks, or if both would help. If one project will handle the issue, that would be fine!
Yes. They will keep your truck from feeling like your bull riding with the rear end bottoming out through the whoops on the highway. Bags will stiffen up the rear as much or as little as you want depending on the amount of air pressure.
 
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