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Old 10-01-2011, 08:40 AM   #15
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1972 29' Ambassador
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My F-150 has off-road lift from factory - installing the off-road Bilsteins made it bounce like kids playing on a waterbed versus just damping any and all motion. My shocks have been installed about six years and 60,000 miles now.

And as they age it takes longer and longer for the shocks to 'warm' up and get firm to their nearly new ride comfort. Now even in summer it takes 10-15 interstate miles before they firm up - in winter here in Minnesota I can drive an hour or more before they firm up - if they do.

If I were to do it over I'd replace the OEM shocks with... OEM shocks... that is unless I was doing off road driving for work. I believe Ford went with Rancho shocks as factory equipment, if I wern't being robbed by a dealer I'd go with Rancho...

The Bilsteins level out uneven ground when you 'go a little faster' like nothing I've tried before - and I had a sink hole open under the front wheel (imagine 55-gallon drum void, tire print stopping in exact center but four-foot down, opening up from motor weight) at speed that bent the rear leaf spring, but I think it might've torn the axle off without the trucks weight getting carried by the N2 boost of the other three shocks...



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Old 10-01-2011, 09:07 AM   #16
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Shock absorbers are where you get what you pay for.

Shockwarehouse is where I got mine. One should be careful about truck specification and vehicle use with any suspension part.


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Old 04-06-2015, 01:24 PM   #17
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Can anyone address shocks for my '03 Ford Ranger XLT with 16" rims. I have 142,000 miles on them and they seem ok but I'd like to do a preemptive replacement. I'm towing an '04 16' CCD just fine but when the truck is empty the rear end is pretty stiff. I sort of like the suggestion to just go with OEM but can I improve on what I have? Jamie
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:40 PM   #18
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Bilstein 5100's front and rear here.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:56 PM   #19
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I put a pair of Gabriel with coil spring assist on the rear
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:02 PM   #20
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You didn't state how you would like your vehicle ride, or if it is unsatisfactory under certain conditions like just when you tow. It also helps to know if it is a 2x4 or 4x4 drive train.

Yes, it is both possible and, IMO, desirable to improve the ride characteristics of your stock Ranger. Bilstein makes an excellent shock, specifically valved for your vehicle (the 4600 road, 5100 off-road) which will improve your ride on pavement. Rancho makes the RS5000 which will stiffen your road ride and improve handling when towing and off-road. The Rancho has ten settings to dial in the characteristics to your preference.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:08 PM   #21
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I had problems with a set of Bilstein struts I bought from S..warehouse. They simply did not work and had an internal rattle, from the time I put them on. I could not get any satisfaction from S..warehouse or Bilstein. They promised a return authorization which never arrived, and I had to dispute the purchase through my cc to get my money back.
I went to an alignment shop I know and respect - they confirmed that the Bilsteins were defective, and put on a set of HD Napa struts which I really like. When I had a Ford van, I went through a couple of sets of OEM shocks, but finally installed KYB shocks which felt great and lasted for years. So, I'd recommend Napa or KYB.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:25 PM   #22
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I have Bilsteins on my F-250 and the wifer's Lincoln LT (a fancy F-150) and they have been great. Had them on for about 70k and 2 years. Still work fine. My '96 Bronco has a full set of Monroe shocks and they seem to do well also. I had Rancho's on my old 2002 F-350 and they lasted 150k with nothing but rust showing, but they still worked fine.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:05 PM   #23
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SeeMore asks about ride characteristics and it is a 4X4. Does great towing. No complaints. I do get off the road frequently to drive soft beach sand for about a 1/2 mile to get to a surf spot. Basically, the truck seems stiff with driving unloaded, which is most of the time. Sounds like I just need to suck it up around town since the towing safety is more important. Thanks for the input. And the new shocks will have to wait because it looks like we're going to have to give the IRS more money than I thought. They must have found out we have an Airstream and think we are freaking millionaires... Jamie
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:20 PM   #24
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I also installed Bilsteins on my 2005 GMC Yukon XL.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:45 PM   #25
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Turtle - when you do get around to the shocks later, you might want to research the Ranchos and dial them in softer as your off-road is not unduly rough terrain. You can get an improved on-road, non-towing ride over stock without sacrificing the towing stability. As mentioned by others, I believe KYB offers an adjustable for the 4x4 that is good. I just don't have experience with their product.

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