Stupid Shock Absorber Question!

Stupid Shock Absorber Question!

This is a discussion on Stupid Shock Absorber Question! within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; 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 ...

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Thread: Stupid Shock Absorber Question!

  1. #1
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Colorado at 11,650'

    Question 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
    K1500 AWD
    5.3 V8
    4 Spd Electronic tranny
    4 wheel disc brakes
    Autotrac transfer case
    Trailering package
    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!

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    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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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Hey R&G,

    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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  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    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.

  5. #5
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Colorado at 11,650'
    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!

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    I had Ranchos on my lifted Jeep. Great shocks for the money.

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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    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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  8. #8
    Member Array KG4ZRC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    on the way to PRK
    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)

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Dal1Celt's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Clarksville, TN
    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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  10. #10
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Houston , TX
    +1 on the RANCHOS

  11. #11
    Member Array gilliland87's Avatar
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    May 2008
    phx, az


    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.

  12. #12
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Colorado at 11,650'
    Decided to go with OE Spec non-adjustables. I picked up four HD Bilteins at Kennedy Diesel:

    Front: F4-BE5-6500-H0

    Rear: F4-BE5-6501-H0

    Got all four for $210 plus $10 UPS Shipping.

    Will post a report after installed. Thanks for the input!

  13. #13
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Colorado at 11,650'

    Question 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?


  14. #14
    Member Array wolf88's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    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.



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