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Old 05-16-2017, 06:09 PM   #1
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3500HD-Max LB CC DRW "shocks"?

p, li { white-space: pre-wrap; } OK so Iíve got enough miles on the OEM shocks that Iím ďconsideringĒ replacing them.
We have no complaints with the original OEM shocks. Granted they may not even be worn out but really have no way of measuring response. We do tow heavy though.
My instinct is to always want to go improved after- market products, but, so much hype hype.
The truck is so well engineered thus far Iím not convinced I can improve anything.
I once put some premium Monroe shocks on a previous truck that I did not feel were any improvement.
Iím eyeing the Bilstein 4600 series which arenít cheap. I've not priced the OEM's yet.

We surely do not want any firmer ride bob-tail. The rig sits perfectly level, barely squats and in. with the nearly 4K# pin. We do not go off road, stock 4x4 height, we are within our optimal weight range per CAT Scale tickets. It would be just my luck that the OEMís are better units? LOL

Any recommends?
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:38 PM   #2
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I used to tow with an 02 Chevy Duramax dually, LB, CC, 4x4 truck. I replaced the OEM shocks once, they failed within 2 years. I then went to Sears automotive and had them install Rancho lifetime warranty shocks, I now forget whether they were 5000 or 9000 model.
That initial set of Rancho shocks began to fail, returned to a Sears automotive store and with no questions they ordered 4 new ones. Those were still doing their job when I sold the truck 4 years later.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, I'm thinking the Rancho 9000 models have a ratcheting adjustment on the top for firmness settings 1-6?
Yeah, I'm still on the fence on this shock issue. Fortunately nothing is really broken but seems shocks tend to loose their dampening gradually.
I'm thinking the truck builders are using slightly better OEM models than decades ago? The new truck(s) sure do ride better.
Builders do have the option of trying many suspension combos on a test track environment.
There are so many claimed improvements with every after model shock offered. Compounded by all the mods. some make to lifted / lowered trucks. Some even choose them by their flashy appearance, . Hard to make an objective comparison.
There is only one situation we would want a firmer dampening effect and that would be towing at highway speed over a bridge transition or railroad crossing. That doesn't happen enough to want to endure the other 97% of the time riding like a buckboard wagon.

Still researching.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:33 PM   #4
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I put Bilstein 4600 on front and 5100 on rear of my 08 3500 DRW in March replacing the OEM shocks that were shot. Rides smoother both bob tailed and towing.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halmfamily View Post
I put Bilstein 4600 on front and 5100 on rear of my 08 3500 DRW in March replacing the OEM shocks that were shot. Rides smoother both bob tailed and towing.
Hey, thanks for the input. Interesting, Why did you decide to mix them up?
I have read were the 4600 and 5100 are valved the same, with the 5100 having a slightly longer extended length to accommodate leveled or slightly lifted trucks.
Are you satisfied with the ride? Granted the OE can wear out gradually.
Curious if you tow what your pin weight is?
I really only have one complaint which is at expressway speed over a bridge transition or RR track, I get perhaps a slight second rebound from the truck rear axle. Nothing extreme but it seems it could use a tad more rebound valving. Perhaps I'm expecting to much. A rare occurrence over all it's a pretty good ride.

Be well.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:43 AM   #6
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Our truck has 123000 miles and we tow our fifth wheel right at 14600 lbs. I had what you are talking about the double bounce going over abutments. I went with 5100's on the rear per a recommendation of my mechanic, he said the truck sits higher in the rear and will help when loaded. The ride is night and day different from the OEM.
Our OEM had zero rebound left in them, I was amazed how bad they were since it was a gradual loss of absorption with no loss of oil from the shocks.
Took about three hours to install all four shocks, taking longer to place jacks and remove wheel well liners.
Best price I found was on Amazon.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:17 AM   #7
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My suspension guy recommended the Bilstein shocks.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:10 PM   #8
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I have a '16 Duramax and tow an 11,000 lb TT. I had problems with bridge transitions and large undulations. At 12,000 miles I installed Bilstein 4600's front and rear. The OEM front shocks no longer had a gas charge. The 4600's cured the problem and they ride better than stock when not towing. They especially ride better when not towing with 80psi in the tires. I no longer feel the need to air down when running empty when we're on a trip. I agonized over which shocks to use, finally called Bilstein and talked to their tech. Unless lifted, he recommended 4600's. I'm more than happy with my choice.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:44 PM   #9
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I have 5100 on my '15 GMC 3500 DC DA SLT DRW and would strongly recommend Bilstien 5100s I pull a Fuzion 375 which has a empty weight of 14,500 and usually goes down the road mid 15k#s. I installed at approximately 40k miles made truck feel like it had a 2-3" cushion before getting into tighter valving but still maintaining control of ride much better than stock.FWIW I had Bilstein 4100s on my '05 Chevy 2500 LT DA CC which pulled a '05 KZ New Vision 37 which weighed approx. 14K#s loaded both trucks have/had Air Ride 5k# Air Bags installed the 4600s IMHO were a slight improvement over stock. YMMV
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:04 PM   #10
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Bilsteins were the OEM shocks for the off road package back in 2001 when I bought mine. 125K mi and still good. My previous truck I replaced the same shocks at about 200Kmi; Bilstein has a lifetime warranty and honored it.

IMHO the only shocks to get are Bilsteins, Koni, and Penske, and Penske's aren't affordable for street applications.
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