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  #1  
Old 06-18-2014, 04:05 AM
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Lil Black 4x4 Hemi Lil Black 4x4 Hemi is offline
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Post Shock Experience and overall Impression

So in 2010 I replaced my OEM shocks. The front has been replaced 3 times, and the rear once. Up front with Bilstein HDs, and the rear with Monroe Load Levelers. I wanted 5100s, but I needed shocks badly and they were back-ordered for about 2 mos.

The HDs I ran with 295x65R20 Nitto Trail Grapplers with a TRUXXX leveling kit until about year ago. The passenger side failed by blowing the o-ring on the top of the shock. At this point I was able to get some Bilstein 5100s. I put them on the highest setting to level my truck and removed my leveling "kit". Last October I got Atturo Trail Blade MTs. Allegedly they are 35x12.50"R20 but the width is the same as my old tires if not a hair smaller and they are definitely shorter.

Fast forward to last month, the threads on the top of the piston rod rolled over and then beat on the shock tower until there were no threads left. Allshocks.com has 5100s on back-order for 6 weeks and summit for almost 2mos. So I went to my local shop where I get all my tires and picked up some Rancho 5000s for the front and got them installed Monday night.

Obviously I'm done with Bilsteins, but one thing I didn't expect was the huge ride difference. When I went from the OE shocks to the HDs I could tell a difference in the ride. It was a significantly firmer ride with good control From there going to 5100s I felt more of the same.

It's entirely possible that having a regular cab short cab exaggerates a shock's characteristics, I don't claim to know. I do know that after putting on the Ranchos my truck rides better, but still has a stiff controlled feel that the factory shocks did not offer.

The interesting thing is the difference in the piston rods between the 4 shocks. The Rancho is about 30% larger than the other 3. I'm not sure what that means, other than possibly more energy transfer at a faster rate. The valving is also significantly different. The Rancho feels firm and controlled but not harsh like I believe the 5100s are and to a lesser extent the HDs.

I wish I'd had the 5100 handy when I took the pic of the others with the Rancho, but maybe you guys can see the difference. I lined these up so you guys could see how the spring "loading" worse if you choice to go that route.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2014, 01:33 PM
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When my truck was new, had dealer install Rancho 9000's. Now with almost 200,000 miles, they are still perfect. I run em cranked to max.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrex View Post
When my truck was new, had dealer install Rancho 9000's. Now with almost 200,000 miles, they are still perfect. I run em cranked to max.
Good GRIEF! That's awesome!

I like them so much Im considering pulling my load levelers for rear 5000s. I'm not thrilled that the 5000s for the rear don't have enough of a nitrogen cell charge to push out the rods, but they are for off road and a decent ride I guess.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:39 PM
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The Bilsteins 5100 series shocks have a lifetime replacement warranty on them, if you still have the old ones I'd send them back to Bilstein and get new ones. Since you're happy with the Rancho's I'd put the new Bilsteins you get back up for sale and at least get your money back that way.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:58 AM
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Lil Black 4x4 Hemi Lil Black 4x4 Hemi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelbaToast View Post
The Bilsteins 5100 series shocks have a lifetime replacement warranty on them, if you still have the old ones I'd send them back to Bilstein and get new ones. Since you're happy with the Rancho's I'd put the new Bilsteins you get back up for sale and at least get your money back that way.

Just some food for thought.
Thanks for the thought. Unfortunately I don't believe I would have any luck from Bilstein getting them to replace it because they could just claim I didn't tighten it or something arbitrary like that and that's what caused the damage. That said, I did email them with my issues almost 2 weeks ago and haven't heard back yet.

So I went to get a front end alignment today....lower ball joint on passenger's side is toast, and the sway bar links too. They wanted $942 to fix it. I talked to my buddy at Bumper to Bumper and using the exact same Moog parts it would cost $248 if I did it myself.


I'm still torn on what to do about my rear shocks though.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:28 AM
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Put the Rancho 5000s on the rear....it's pretty amazing that they are as stiff as they are even though you can move the rod with your hand. I hate that I lost some of my towing/hauling capability, but these roads are beating me to death with the load levelers. The wheel hop is insane.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:01 AM
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For anybody interested the front rod sizes per my calipers are:
OEM .554"
Bilstein HDs .654"
Bilstein 5100s .568"
Ranch RS5000s .7"

What it means or doesn't I dunno but there are the numbers.
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