Ford Bilsteins vs Bilstein shocks. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 02-20-2009
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Ford Bilsteins vs Bilstein shocks.

I have heard various possible differences between the Bilstein shocks form Ford and the shocks as Bilstein supplies them. I finally bought a set of shocks from Bilstein and can tell you the differences I have experienced so far.

The first thing I noticed is the Bilstein shocks are slightly firmer than the Ford Bilsteins. For the most part on the road there is not that much difference but you can feel more of the little bumps with the Bilstein shocks.

I now have to take short, speed bumps either slightly faster or slower; than I did before; to get over them comfortably. There are a set of speed bumps that I go over every day on the way home from work. I use to take them at 20 mph with the Ford Bilsteins and that worked well. I tried that speed with the Bilstein shocks and I could feel a definite jolt. I took them at 15 mph and that worked better. The next day I took them at 25 mph and that seemed to work OK too.

The most improvement I have experienced so far with the Bilstein shock is the almost complete loss of axle wrap when letting out on the clutch from a stop. With the Ford Bilsteins I always had that axle wrap under most conditions when taking off from a stop. I thought it would take more than different shocks to make it go away.

I have always thought the Ford Bilsteins were a little to soft for my kind of off-road driving. I think these new Bilsteins will fix that problem just fine. I will let you know when I get the chance to get out in the dirt again.

BTW, the Ford Bilstein shocks held up very well for 95,000 miles. They were starting to show very slight symptoms of wear and would have probably have been fine for many more thousands of miles. I like my shocks to be perfect and wanted something a little firmer so I made the decision to install new ones. I am glad I did.
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Old 02-22-2009
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Great info. I'm currently looking for a new shock for my lifted Ranger as the "extended" shocks I got with my lift suck.

Any suggestions on a softer shock that will fit with my 5" lift? My truck is bouncy as all get-out.
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Old 02-22-2009
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A better shock, regardless will help with the bouncing by dampening the springs.
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Old 02-23-2009
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Bouncy could be due to very stiff springs. Soft shocks will not help you there. In fact, soft shocks could make the problem worse. You need to balance the shocks with the spring rate.

Bilstein does have longer shocks for lifted Rangers.

I towed my race car about 250 miles this weekend and the new Bilsteins gave even better stability than I had before. With the exception of being slower to accelerate and decelerate due to the weight, I could not tell I was towing a 3,500 lb load. At one point I had to accelerate to over 80 mph to get past this jerk that was messing with me. Once I saw on the speedometer how fast I was going I slowed down. During that time I never once experienced any kind of instability and couldn't tell I was going that fast without observing the speedometer.
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Old 02-23-2009
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dont buy the 5150's if you offroad and take hard hits/landings ha, they will snap and go through your bed! and ive abused my old cj7 more than my truck when i had the 5150s on it and the jeep had good ol white rockets ha
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