best brand of shock absorbers?

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by willbradfan, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. willbradfan

    willbradfan Rockstar 100 Posts

    I haven't replaced the shocks on my 96 suburban in a long time, they have only been replaced once or twice since the suburabn was bought in 96. I was going to purchase a pair of the monroe coil overs for the rear and wanted to see what i could get recommended for the front shock absorbers, I was going to go with the performance monotube pair for the front but I have never changed the shocks myself and i am not familiar with which manufacturers are the best or most reliable. Thanks!
  2. Pete95Sierra

    Pete95Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    bilstein 5100, rancho rs9000x, edelbrock. all good shocks
  3. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    All those that Pete listed are good shocks. I put Monroes on my last truck and was very well satisfied. I can't remember which ones they were, but one of their highest cost shocks.
  4. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    I have a 96 suburban and got the Monroe sensatrac coil overs for the back and love the way they have worked out for me!

    The front I wanted a softer ride but still heavy duty Monroe Monro-Matic Plus Shock Part No. 32263 you can see them here

    The sensatrac would be next option if I was going to upgrade them since I like way the others did.

    My Yukon has the softer version Bilstein and they are good I would get them again for the Yuke but with the suburban I wanted a stiffer suspension but not one going to beat me up.
  5. willbradfan

    willbradfan Rockstar 100 Posts

    Thanks for all of the replies. I checked underneath my suburban again to see if i could see what brand of shocks I currently have on and I found out that the front and back are bilstein shocks and they are the HD model I think. After seeing that the shocks are the HD bilstein shocks I was thinking about just leaving the front shocks on and replacing the rear with the monroe coil over shock, would the monroe coil overs outperform the bilstein HD shocks in the rear when I tow, plus they would restore some of my ride height if i have any sagging i think ? I have had bilstein shocks on for a long time..would it be worth changing all 4 anyways? I read on another website that you should replace your shocks every 75,000 miles.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Bilstein made shocks for GM and they are softer ride from what I have read on the bilstein site I think it was.

    The bilstein and the monroe are different styles of shocks in that the monroe has the coil overs on there that are made to help with towing and leveling the vehicle under load. They also help with the sag it raised my truck by a couple of inches or more.
    Bilstein makes a good shock and I have heard they make a coil over kit but I havent seen it yet and dont know it will fit our trucks.

    For a $100 bucks you can try a pair of the sensatrac's

    Here I found the info on valving

    Bilstein Heavy Duty Valvings-
    For most vehicles including full-size sedans, wagons and most trucks, these units provide improved handling and stability without sacrificing the ride. Their superior damping ability makes them ideal for heavy hauling or occasional off-road use - while still maintaining an exceptional "street" feel. As with all Bilsteins, these units instantaneously self-adjust to changing road surfaces. In addition, their performance does not gradually decline from age, use or heat - requiring no compensating manual adjustments as with conventional multi-tube units. All Bilsteins listed in our Online Catalogs are considered a Heavy Duty Valving unless specified otherwise in the catalog listing.

    Bilstein Comfort Valvings -
    Some vehicles come equipped from the factory with a Bilstein made shock. Specifically GM vehicles, Mercedes, and others. These units, while built by Bilstein, are made and valved to the car manufacturer's specs, not Bilstein's. They will have a soft or "light" valving. While they are still a monotube shock, they typically do not dampen as well as a Bilstein with Heavy Duty or Sport Valving. (most Customers upgrade to a HD or Sport valving Bilstein if more performance is desired.)

    Bilstein Sport Valvings -
    For the performance minded driver, Bilstein Sport units deliver absolute mastery of the road surface. Designed to push a car's suspension to its performance peak, these super-firm units are well suited for use with special springs, anti-sway bars, and other suspension upgrades. As with other Bilstein units, Sports are uniquely self-adjusting.

    Bilstein Ralley and Race Valvings -
    Bilstein units designated Ralley or Race are specifically set to meet the rigourous demands of driving competition. Their success should be measured by the unprecedented levels of acceptance and use by professional drivers in virtually all major motorsports. Ralley and Race units may include such features as spherical bearings, adjustable spring-seats longer or shorter than standard dimentions. They and not suited for street use.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  7. willbradfan

    willbradfan Rockstar 100 Posts

    Thanks for the information Dr Zero. I am going to buy a pair of the monroe coil overs for the rear and give them a try and just leave the heavy duty bilstein shocks i have on the front on for a while and see how the monroe coil overs perform and then maybe switch my front shocks to some monroe monotubes or something, as I think the bilsteins I have aren't bad as they claim to have a lifetime warranty.
  8. jn1965

    jn1965 Member

    I just put on four Bilstein HDs and my truck is a totally different animal!

    It rides so much better and now can corner like a much smaller vehicle!

    The truck had the original shocks on her for 168000 miles so I was well overdue.
  9. DarkCherry

    DarkCherry Rockstar

    i dont think you can even compare the monroes to bilstein's. Monroes give a harsh ride in my opinion and dont last anywhere near as long. A couple of vehicles ago i swapped out hte factor shocks for monroes and I was almost beat to death on every bump in the road. I would not recommend them.
  10. ride250s

    ride250s New Member

    Bilstein all the way! I have a set of 5100's that I still havent put on my truck, but I run them exclusively on my '87 Vette. That thing will hold the road like no other!

Share This Page

Newest Gallery Photos