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#4663846 - 02/12/18 11:48 AM Truck Shocks
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1515
Loc: wv
I have spent the past few days looking at various forums Ford/Dodge/Chevy/Diesel/Toyota etc etc trying to get a consensus on a shock absorber...I cant really find one.

The vehicle- 2003 Chevrolet Suburban with Z71 suspension- 6000lbs give or take, plus towing 1500lbs from time to time.

Why am I looking for shocks?- I bought the vehicle really cheap and planned on keeping it.. and skimped on the shocks. The shocks I removed had 200K miles on them and i found two that were dead.. so I installed NAPA Response (monroe matics)? shocks for $25 each thinking I would be good to go for awhile.

Additional reasons- I live about 25 miles from the cities.. potholes are everywhere on the rural roads that i have to take, i swerve to miss many of them but on occasion passing a car i just have to go thru them. Also i frequent washboard roads on getaways and weekend fun. I dont think these $25 shocks will last nor am i getting the ride i should. I would describe the ride as floaty not controlled.

The improvement over two dead shocks and probably 2 that were nearly worn out with the NAPAs were at first night and day.. but with time I can see that I probably made the wrong choice.

So i start looking for a shock for my needs-

1)Bilstein 4600- Reviews go from best ever to harsh ride and stiff, overpriced to best money ive spent.
2)KYB MonoMax- Reviews are all over the place again from best ever to junk and dont last to better than bilsteins.
3)Monroe Reflex- All over the place from rides like a cadillac to too soft to junk to better than OEM.
4)Gabriel Ultras- Most of the reviews come from here on a google search, a small number of reviews here and there on the big forums.

On the 4600 Bilstein there is alot of guys saying that the 5100 is better but someone always chimes in saying they are the same inside just the 5100 is more suited towards lifted vehicles..yet most of the reviews lean towards the 5100 maybe because they didnt know the difference.

On RockAuto-
Bilsteins- Heavy Duty $65
MonoMax- Heavy Duty $50
Monroe Reflex- Increased Handling/Performance $40
Gabriel Ultra- Original Ride Quality $35

From what i gather the Bilstein and the Monomax have 1 15/16 inch bore and the others have 1 3/8 bore- so im guessing that is what makes them heavy duty.



What say you?

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#4663855 - 02/12/18 11:57 AM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 3210
Loc: Kentucky
Easy decision for me on this particular vehicle - Monroe Reflex Monotube (not the regular, twin-tube Reflex light-truck).

Front - 911505
Rear - 911506

People with give general recommendations, but again for this specific vehicle, it's my pick.

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#4663876 - 02/12/18 12:19 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
drtyler Offline


Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 404
Loc: GA
Bilstein 4600 are the way to go. Ride well, and they last.

I have them installed on my Tundra and they provided a great improvement in ride.

The 5100 are just adjustable ride height, I believe.

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#4663879 - 02/12/18 12:21 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: drtyler]
2015_PSD Offline


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7231
Loc: SE Texas
Originally Posted By: drtyler
Bilstein 4600 are the way to go. Ride well, and they last.

The 5100 are just adjustable ride height, I believe.
This would be my recommendation as well (4600's unless you need ride height adjustment). I chose the 5100's for my 2010 FX4 and could not have been happier with them.
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#4663884 - 02/12/18 12:28 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 3210
Loc: Kentucky
It's a GMT-800 Suburban, so I'm not sure why you guys are talking about adjustable ride-height shocks? confused
No struts on this truck.

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#4663906 - 02/12/18 12:58 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 609
Loc: Toronna
My dad just got new shocks put on his 2004 1500 z71 and it did not really make a difference at 200000 kms. If you are going to spring for the bilsteins, you may want to also consider getting new springs especially if you are planning on driving off road. If your truck is crashing over bumps and not absorbing them, shocks will not change that.
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#4663907 - 02/12/18 12:58 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: Ramblejam]
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1515
Loc: wv
Edit on the Monroe Reflex shocks- they are $53 for the monotube. Not that price is that big of a deal, there is only $10 difference here and there and im doing it myself.

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#4663914 - 02/12/18 01:06 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
CKN Offline


Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 3680
Loc: Utah
The 4600's are the best for your application. One of the major complaints on the Monroes is longevity.


Edited by CKN (02/12/18 01:07 PM)

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#4663915 - 02/12/18 01:06 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: maxdustington]
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1515
Loc: wv
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
My dad just got new shocks put on his 2004 1500 z71 and it did not really make a difference at 200000 kms. If you are going to spring for the bilsteins, you may want to also consider getting new springs especially if you are planning on driving off road. If your truck is crashing over bumps and not absorbing them, shocks will not change that.


No its not crashing over bumps, its just floaty. Im guessing that the shocks arent 'absorbing' like they should.

anyway it doesnt have leaf springs, it has a coil spring in the rear and no coil spring in the front.

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#4663918 - 02/12/18 01:09 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: drtyler]
Richie Online   content


Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Valencia, CA
Ditto that. Cannot go wrong with either.

Originally Posted By: drtyler
Bilstein 4600 are the way to go. Ride well, and they last.

I have them installed on my Tundra and they provided a great improvement in ride.

The 5100 are just adjustable ride height, I believe.

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#4663946 - 02/12/18 01:42 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
I'd vote Bilstein or OME if they make something for that. I have had both on the Liberty and the OME springs/shocks are a very nice riding combo, especially off road. They ride pretty similar, the Bilsteins are a little stiffer and bouncier and the OMEs are a little cushier/ better absorbing but they're two sides of the same coin.
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#4663968 - 02/12/18 02:09 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
CARJ Offline


Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Olathe, KS
Love my Bilstein 5100's. The plus on the 5100's is you can level the front end of your truck out by just changing the clip.
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#4663982 - 02/12/18 02:25 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18829
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
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#4663996 - 02/12/18 02:38 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 879
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
Bilstein 100%. Monroe has had 3 shocks fail on me within warranty period, all quick struts. Ive never had an issue with Bilstein, they are lifetime warranty too, as long as youre ok with removing and sending them back to Bilstein to be refurbished.
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#4664000 - 02/12/18 02:46 PM Re: Truck Shocks [Re: krismoriah72]
555 Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 368
Loc: New England
The 99 came with Bilsteins. When those needed replacing I tried the Edelbrock. They were smoother but had the rears fail.
Went with KYB, too hard.
Back to Bilstein and couldn't be happier.
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