March 9th, 2009 11:26 PM
Stupid Shock Absorber Question!
Another dumb question (see "tire post").....
At 83,000 my 2004 Suburban needs replacement shocks (one of the OEM's is leaking a wee bit, and the other three are starting to go mushy). Here are the specs:
2004 Chevy Suburban LT
4 Spd Electronic tranny
4 wheel disc brakes
Autotrac transfer case
Stabiltrac Vehicle Stability Package
I'll probably do some light trailering in the future (two horse trailer), and am confused on shock absorbers. Irecently changed tires too:
Original Tires & Second replacements: P265/70R17 ALS BW at 29-30 PSI
95% of all of my prior driving was highway and city
Now, I am 50% highway, 40% dirt/gravel/rock, 10% offroad
As a result, and anticipating some 4-5,000 lb towing, I upgraded my tires to:
LT265/70R17 E, load rated to 80 PSI
Who has a favorite secondary market shock absorber, and does it work with the Chevy Stabiltrac ECS? Why do you like them?
Does the ECS require anything different than the standard secondary market shock? The Bilstein site made this comment on the spec for the Suburban: "Will not replace electronic dampers"? Huh?
Any thoughts, folks?
Thanks in advance for the ideas and help!
March 10th, 2009 08:20 AM
Bilstein actually made the OEM shocks for a few years, and have a solid reputation. I actually wanted those but had to settle for Monroe Reflex on my Suburban while on a road trip. They aren't bad, just not my first choice. Edlebrock makes a nice shock also, I think it is called AES. I have one on my motorcycle and it made a dramatic improvement in handling over the factory set up.
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March 10th, 2009 08:23 AM
Stick with the stock shock absorbers. The suspension on your truck was engineered to work with stock parts, anything else will put undue stress on other suspension components. Your truck is made to handle the weight that you are wanting to tow. That being said, buy the best quality shock that you can get.
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March 10th, 2009 06:32 PM
My 2002 Dodge Ram quad cab weighs in at 6550lbs. I went from the stock LT275/70R17's to 315x12.5 with cranking the t-bars for front clearance. I went with Bilstiens at first, and even after talking to their technical guys. I broke the left front shock about two months after installed. I wasn't impressed with the ride of the Bilstiens either. So.......I went with Rancho 5000's all around that were spec'ed for Ford 4x4 with 2.5" of lift. Been running these for the past two years, love the way they ride and handle, no problems, and the Ranchos won't drain your wallet like the other guys.
By the way.......about the tire pressure deal.......I run 38-40lbs in my 315's most of the time. Get them nitrogen filled if available in your area.
Here's another edit for you......I tow a trailer occassionally, 40-50 square bales at around 70lb each once a year, and furniture moving for friends and such....12 ft flatbed single axle. When I went with the larger/taller tires, I also went with a rear sway bar from Helwig, and it works real well for towing. Some Chevies may already have a rear sway bar, but my Dodge didn't. Another thing when changing tire size....I have one of those Superchips® tuners that lets my calibrate my speedometer for the given tire height. I can change whenever I want to. Just another thing to think about. Total change in ride height for my truck was from the stock 32.5" to the Baja Champions 34.5". I know you're not changing tire height, y'all just got me going.
March 10th, 2009 06:40 PM
Thanks, folks! I plan on staying with stock configurations (OE) and have narrowed it down a bit. I'd seen the Rancho's, just didn't know of their reputation or anyone that had them.
I guess it'll boil down to the few top shock manufacturers.
Thanks again for the input!
March 10th, 2009 06:51 PM
I had Ranchos on my lifted Jeep. Great shocks for the money.
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March 10th, 2009 07:43 PM
Rancho is probably the best choice for a middle grade aftermarket shock. They are made by Monroe the number one maker of American shock absorbers.
If you want to get fancy and spend some money, go with Fox shocks.
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March 10th, 2009 09:34 PM
I personally like Bilsteins and I run them on my jeep.
But my truck came with Ranchos, and they work well for the little bit of towing that I do... (a boat, 2 horse trailers, 31' Travel trailer, 18' flatbed, 20k gooseneck, I think you get the picture)
March 10th, 2009 09:59 PM
Got to agree with Ram Rod, Hoss, and Tally, I have had Rancho 5000 on my 92 Bronco (w/ 4" lift) for years. They have never let me down. I have a better ride now then when I had the Ford recommended shocks.
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March 10th, 2009 10:01 PM
March 11th, 2009 12:22 AM
Rancho 5000 a good shock
bilstein better after the 6100 series, otherwise the rancho's compare closely enough to not warrant the extra spending.
fox- overkill for most light off road use
Kings- personal favorite but way over kill unless your a suspension junkie. King Off-Road Racing Shocks : High Performance Suspension
The Rancho 5000 are notoriously stiffer shock but with your 6500 pound rig they should ride fine.
March 14th, 2009 06:30 PM
Decided to go with OE Spec non-adjustables. I picked up four HD Bilteins at Kennedy Diesel:
Got all four for $210 plus $10 UPS Shipping.
Will post a report after installed. Thanks for the input!
September 5th, 2011 04:57 PM
Update: Bilsteins lasted 50,000. New ideas needed.
The Bilsteins lasted 50,000 and are now mushy and bouncy. My OEM's lasted 83,000. I am disappointed with the Bilsteins to say the least, although they were not expensive.
Needing to revisit shocks and struts, who has favorites for the set-up I run? Are the Rancho's still favorites?
September 5th, 2011 05:06 PM
Go with rancho they have 5000 series which are pretty nice but the best are the 9000xl series there a bit pricy but you can hook up the my ride wireless controller system and adjust your ride from highway off road trailering ect your local napa auto parts should be able to set you up with it all just dont fall over at the price. the my ride is not cheap but well worth it.
STUPID=WELL YOU CANT FIX THEM ALL
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