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Old 04-27-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
Rivet Master
2010 27' FB Classic
N/A , Texas
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Who make the best TV shock?

Right now I have OEM shocks on my Chevy 3500 4x4. Looking for a good set of after market shocks. I don't want to feel like I'm riding on a board. I'm happy with the OEM ride but want to upgrade when I change them out. Mainly I use this vehicle while traveling while towing and mostly hwy miles. Any recommendations? Bilsteins, Rancho, Monroe, Koni, etc.
Like to hear good or bad about any of them.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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The others are toys and may last 2 or 3 weeks if you are lucky.

If you can find an old Bilstein with 50,000 plus miles on it compare it to a new Monroe. You would ask for the old Bilsteins.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-28-2009, 05:09 AM   #3
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2010 27' FB Classic
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Since they have a sale going on the Bilsteins till the end of April I think I will take advantage of it and order a set for the truck. Right now if you buy a set of 4 it is like paying for only 3. Sounds like a pretty good deal.
As always, thanks for your input.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:06 AM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Rancho 9000's are adjustable and on my 3/4 ton truck - it really helped with the ride.
I've heard good things about Bilsteins but have not tried them yet.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Bilsteins come on most of the Toyotas we have bought. The ride is good and they have a very good reputation.

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Old 04-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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1965 26' Overlander
1962 24' Tradewind
Vincennes , Indiana
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I have Bilstiens on the front of BlackSheep, my 2001 Dodge 3500 Cummins 2wd. They have seen over 300,000 miles with over half of that towing, usually something big and heavy. They still control the heavy front end after all those miles. In my view there is only one shock, Bilsteins.

TV1: Black Sheep, 2001 Dodge 3500, 800,xxx miles, a few non-stock parts here and there...
TV2: Brownie, 1989 Dodge W250, only 256,000 miles!
TV3: 2004.5 Dodge 3500, 415,000 miles, 6 spd
TV4: 2005 Dodge 3500, 478,000 miles, 4spd auto
"Too much of what I once knew I now know not" Me
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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For warm weather? Bilsteins if you don't mind the truck hopping like two kids romping on a waterbed jiggle on town side streets - but at highway speed or traversing pasture they are great.

In Minnesota it takes a bunch of Interstate miles before the Bilstein's nitrogen charge gets up to pressure when the temperature is cold so the summertime firm ride is sloppy come winter for short trips.

I have 50,000 miles on my set and would not buy them again, they may be warrantied for life but I've been told you end up buying a shock to replace the worn one then the old shock gets replaced if all their conditions are met since independent shops don't cover the float.

I think I am leaning toward Rancho's next time - IIRC they are/were standard on F150s...
The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
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1997 30' Excella
Waddell , Arizona
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My opinion about shocks

I bought my first pair of Bilsteins for the front of a 1984 2WD C20 Chevrolet in Dec. 84 (because Rancho didn't make shocks for the front of that truck). When I sold that truck 5 years/127,000 miles later the Bilsteins were still on the front performing perfectly while I had worn out 2 different pair of Rancho RS5000s on the rear during the same time period.

I owned a 95 2WD C1500 Chevolet for a while, came with standard suspension. That truck bounced so bad it hopped clear off the road one day. Installed a set of Bilsteins, problems solved.

I bought a 2000 2WD Chevy Silverado 1500 to tow my first Airstream. That truck came with a set of "HD" gas shocks from the factory. When that truck changed lanes on a crappy freeway curve I replaced the factory shocks with a set of Bilsteins, problem solved.

When I needed a set of shocks for my 05 2WD F250 (spring 2006) Bilstein didn't list shocks for the rear of my truck. Turns out the older shocks fit, (wish I knew that then). So I installed a set of Edelbrock IAS shocks. The Edelbrocks, while an improvement over stock lack the control of a set of Bilsteins.

Bilsteins are cheap at the moment, about $220 for a set. On a stiffly sprung truck they usually improve the ride, they never made the ride of the two 1/2 tons I tried them on worse.

They last 100,000 miles easy.
Steve Heywood
Waddell, AZ
1999 19' Bambi (SOLD)
1997 30' Excella (SOLD)
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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2010 27' FB Classic
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Thanks everybody. I have the Bilsteins on order( yellow & blue) and should get them on Friday. The company who sold them to me suggested a spacer on the shock because on the Chevy, the shocks are hard on the bushings and the spacer solves the problem. I have no idea what it looks like but he said it is for the front shocks. The extra cost is only $5.00/set so I gave them the OK to add them to the order. I can see that a space is needed on a lifted vehicle but mine is the stock height and the owner of the company says I still need it to avoid a problem down the road.
If anybody knows anything about the spacer let me know, otherwise I'll post my findings once I receive the parts and figure it out.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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2010 27' FB Classic
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Got my new shocks and the reason for writing is the spacer. It is a small extruded aluminum spacer about 1/2 inch long that has a hole in the center that fits on the shaft just above the rubber boot and is put in place before any other pieces of mounting hardware. I still don't understand how it will save the bushings from stress but I'll put them on anyway. The guy I bought the shocks from swears by the extra spacer. He owns his own business and only works on the GM trucks and diesels so I figure he must know.
I'll probably wait for another day to install them as the weather will turn nasty later today. I hear that baseball size size hail is possible.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:12 PM   #11
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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Bluto, I also went with Bilsteins. They aren't soft, but they don't wear down. Sort of like paying the premium for Michelin tires. No product is perfect in all senses. Were I to change shocks I would try the cab-adjustable Rancho 9000-series; or, go for broke with some KING or FOX remote reservoir shocks that were dialed in for my application. Short of all that money (without suspension changes that would complement that level of sophistication), the BILSTEIN product is good to go.

Keep an eye on the shock spacer and bushing; inspect the mount on the truck regularly for peace of mind.
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