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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been running the Bilsteins since 2017, which is only about 15k miles for me on this truck, and have not been extremely happy with them. They are definitely a high quality shock, however they offer nowhere near the dampening they should for a diesel motor. I notice considerable rebound at freeway speeds, causing the truck to ride like an old Cadillac. Going from reasonable condition stock shocks these, they are noticeable softer up front and stiffer in the rear, which is the opposite of what this truck requires for highway driving (in the front any way).

I contacted Bilstein, where to my surprise a real person answered and transferred me to an honest to god engineer. It was one of the best customer experiences I've ever had. That engineer did confirmed that the shock is the stiffest one they offer for the truck in a 5100, he also confirmed that it's the same valving on everything from a 1500hd gas truck to a 3500hd cclb duramax. The weight difference between these vehicles is tremendous and calls for different valving.

Long story short, my tires are being torn apart because I don't drive calmly. Does anyone have a recommendation for a stiffer shock up front? Any experience with Bilstein, Fox, or Rancho and possibly the differences between them? Should I just go back to stock with a shock spacer? Fairly stock truck CCSB, raised up 3/4" in the front when I bought it which probably just put it back to stock. 33" Ridge Grappler tires with mild fender trimming.

Thanks in advance
 

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I've been running the Bilsteins since 2017, which is only about 15k miles for me on this truck, and have not been extremely happy with them. They are definitely a high quality shock, however they offer nowhere near the dampening they should for a diesel motor. I notice considerable rebound at freeway speeds, causing the truck to ride like an old Cadillac. Going from reasonable condition stock shocks these, they are noticeable softer up front and stiffer in the rear, which is the opposite of what this truck requires for highway driving (in the front any way).



I contacted Bilstein, where to my surprise a real person answered and transferred me to an honest to god engineer. It was one of the best customer experiences I've ever had. That engineer did confirmed that the shock is the stiffest one they offer for the truck in a 5100, he also confirmed that it's the same valving on everything from a 1500hd gas truck to a 3500hd duramax. The weight difference between these vehicles is tremendous and calls for different valving.



Long story short, my tires are being torn apart because I don't drive calmly. Does anyone have a recommendation for a stiffer shock up front? Any experience with Bilstein, Fox, or Rancho and possibly the differences between them? Should I just go back to stock with a shock spacer? Fairly stock truck, raised up 3/4" in the front when I bought it which probably just put it back to stock. 33" Ridge Grappler tires with mild fender trimming.



Thanks in advance
I would also like to know of some stiffer shocks for my 08 2500 duramax. I have rough country but it does not dampen as well as I'd like plus i wish it was a lot stiffer than it is.

Lmm Guy
 

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Your experience has been 180 degrees from mine.

I put 5100s on my truck two years ago and could not be happier.

Don't know what "drive calmly" means but suspect that it is the type of driving for which these trucks were not built for. Maybe the issue is not the shocks.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I basically just mean that I don't drive it like a Prius. I drive the truck the way it's meant to be driven, if it was another issue I wouldn't have noticed a degradation in maneuverability when switching to the 5100's. The ride quality is good, meaning it's pleasant, it simply rebounds too much. The truck does not compress, then rebound only one time which is what the proper valving does.

A DRW truck is going to react very differently than an SRW truck, I suspect you're not getting nearly the amount of body roll I am due to having more stability.

Have you tried any other brands on the truck? I'm hoping for a comparison.

How do you like the sulastics on the rear?
 

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In general most feel an off the shelf Fox 2.0 is stiffer than the bilstein. I’ve run a number of different shocks and most recently went with a custom tuned (accutune) fox 2.5 with dual compression adjustment. Not cheap and i needed to fab custom mounts but a night a day difference from anything else I’ve had.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Boss, have you tried both the 2.0 smooth body and the 2.0 with reservoir or have any experience with them? I just called my local-ish performance shop, who said they receive this phone call about once a month, lol. They stated that the fox 2.0 smooth body will be quite a bit stiffer than the Bilstein, and the reservoir shock will not ride quite as rough but retain the same amount of dampening as the smooth body. @ a $200 price difference for the fronts I'd really like to be sure before pulling the trigger.

Thanks!
 

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I’ve not had a non res fox. The reservoir and non res will likely be valved the same but the increased oil and nitrogen the reservoir has will improve ride quality a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was considering sulastics for the rear, doesn't seem like much else saves your kidneys, not a lot a shock will do for a leaf spring that size. :) What do you have on the front?
 

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I have Fox 2.0s with Resis up front and they ride better then blown out stocks for sure but I don't think any shock out there is going to dampen the ride in these trucks with keys cranked. I replaced my bump stops and noticed a much better ride. My old truck had King coilovers and handled like a dream but im not dumping that kind of money into the Duramax suspension Lol. Ive considered going with an actual lift to see if ride quality changes any.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
100% agree. Norcal Nick told me I don't know my butt from a hole in the ground when I illustrated that while trying to figure out how to level the truck. Kind of disappointing considering the following he has on here. As soon as you crank that bar to the point your frame loses contact with the bump stop the suspension simply stops functioning properly. GM actually lists the "bump stop" as a "secondary spring". Without it you have a linear spring rate instead of the progressive rate that provides a smooth ride.

Of course the most disappointing thing is that you can't level this truck, you can only lift it, if you want your suspension to work properly. Considering I've got 5" of rake front to rear though, I'm very curious if a 4" lift would level the thing out without blocks.
 

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100% agree. Norcal Nick told me I don't know my butt from a hole in the ground when I illustrated that while trying to figure out how to level the truck. Kind of disappointing considering the following he has on here. As soon as you crank that bar to the point your frame loses contact with the bump stop the suspension simply stops functioning properly. GM actually lists the "bump stop" as a "secondary spring". Without it you have a linear spring rate instead of the progressive rate that provides a smooth ride.

Of course the most disappointing thing is that you can't level this truck, you can only lift it, if you want your suspension to work properly. Considering I've got 5" of rake front to rear though, I'm very curious if a 4" lift would level the thing out without blocks.


You will never get the ride with a level that you can with a lift. However, if you want to try bringing the bumpstops back into the picture with a level, try some sumospring bump stops. They are longer than stock. I put some on with my heavy ass winch bumper. They seem to work nicely.
 

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Coilover 2.5 conversion up front with a set of Deavers in the rear with the 2.0's should get you smoothed out. Add a set of sulastics for the cherry on top.
 

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Anyone seen a dual shock kit for the rear? My 2500 has 6500 lbs on the rear axle. I have airbags and a sway bar so driving down the road it's pretty comfortable. But, a bad dip in the road at highway speed will really get the truck bouncing. Also, if I come off of a speed bump to quickly, the rear end will slam pretty hard. I could fabricate some brackets but a kit would be a lot quicker and easier.
 

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I just called my local-ish performance shop, who said they receive this phone call about once a month, lol. They stated that the fox 2.0 smooth body will be quite a bit stiffer than the Bilstein
I had the 5100's on my previous Silverado 2500HD (gas) and now have the 2.0's on my Sierra 2500HD (DMAX) so I have experience with both. I liked the Bilsteins on the Silverado, I thought they worked very well. I'd have them on my Sierra if they didn't need a spacer with the RC keys. Fox had shocks that were the correct length so I opted for them this time. To me they are a little firmer in their movements, feel more planted, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "quite a bit". Different, yes, but not night and day.
 

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I replaced my bump stops and noticed a much better ride.
Where did you get those? I've been looking for a replacement set since leveling the front end, but I'm coming up blank with my searches.
 

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Where did you get those? I've been looking for a replacement set since leveling the front end, but I'm coming up blank with my searches.
Snagged mine from Kryptonite
 
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