Bilstein vs. Edelbrock Shocks

cornell77cornell77 Member Posts: 5
I would very much appreciate comments from those
who have tried Bilstein and/or Edelbrock shocks on
your pickup.

Which should I choose?


  • norm10norm10 Member Posts: 9
    I put a set of Bilstein's on my '88 K-3500 4 X 4 and have been pleasantly surprised by the firm yet not uncomfortable ride they present. My truck feels more like it used to when it was new. I tow a 30' 5th wheel travel trailer sometimes and then I really notice a real positive change in handling.
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123

    Bilsteins will help with leaning, or at least in swaying back and forth. However, you will get more help from a rear anti-sway bar.

    Hellwig has a bar and you can buy it many places, including JC Whitney.
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    The advertising for Edelbrock is very tempting, good roll control without giving up ride quality. With a 3/4T truck I don't need a stiffer ride when empty so I'm leary about the Bilsteins. Do you believe Edelbrock?
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    Make sure you get the camper package, if not avail then get the z71 which includes a rear antisway bar
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Here we have two shocks under consideration, Bilstein and Edelbrock.

    And we have two characteristics most owners will be looking for. Better ride. Better control.

    One owner wants firmer control when towing and hauling, so he chooses Bilstein.

    Another owner wants a more compliant ride in his daily driver, so he also chooses Bilstein.

    Other owners likewise choose Edelbrock for the same reasons.

    The point is, we really don't have many choices. Many of us will choose one or the other, looking for exactly the opposite characteristic that another is buying the same shock for.
  • mksalemmksalem Member Posts: 42
    Quad - does it have to be so complicated ? I just want a different color underneath so the cat has something different to look at when taking naps in the driveway . . .

    As soon as the Bilsteins are on the market, count me in for "yellow". (only 5 more days left on the Edelbrock rebate . . .)
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    The concept of the Edelbrock is the inertial valve. Basically, you have a firm controlled ride until you hit something sharp. Then the inertial valve comes off its seat to allow more oil to flow through the passage. That's how things should be.

    The Bilstein valving I think is less complex. The difference is in the execution. I owned Bilsteins before, and it was the longest lasting, best shock ever, but was stiff.

    Does anyone know the diameter of the Edelbrock or Bilstein. The stock Z85 is 36 mm, the Z71 is 46 mm. If a Bilstein was any smaller than the Z71 spec, the question I would have is for its durability over the life of the shock. I would have the same question for the Edelbrock also.
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    The Bilsteins are 46mm shocks. They are rated for 200,000 mile life. Check out the Bilstein

    The shocks are not yet available for the new Silverado's/Sierra's; but they are supposed to be available on the 1st of Sept. I already have mine on order and the will be shipped from Bilstein as soon as they are available.

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Are you replacing the fronts also?
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    Yes, on the front also.
  • mksalemmksalem Member Posts: 42
    Are you upgrading a 2wd or 4wd ?
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    I'm upgrading a 4wd.

    I would guess they also have shocks for 2wd but I never asked about them.

    In another 1-2 weeks I should have my shocks and then I can find out if the Bilsteins are worth the money or not.

  • mksalemmksalem Member Posts: 42
    Just found out the HD/trailering Bilsteins are in stock and available for 2wd, '99 GM's.

    Front BE5-2902
    Rear BE5-2903

    Also - has anyone looked into the Rancho RSX series stuff yet - sounds like an Edelbrock clone; "smart" inertial valve thing - not available for 2wd GM's until Dec '99
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    I wish I could get a camper package, Chevy doesn't offer one. They don't offer a rear sway bar either, the only one of the Big 3 that doesn't. Hard to understand. So the Z71 comes with a rear bar? I'm buying a 2500 so can't get Z71 but I wish I could get the bar. Guess I'm going to buy a Helwig.
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    I've never seen a rear sway bay in any of the Chevy options. The Z71 does not include a sway bar.

    I ordered a Hellwig from JC Whitney. $135 + 15 s/h.

    Should be here next week.
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    I'm interested to hear how the Helwig works out. Would you please let us know how it fits, how easy it was to install, and did it change the ride quality??? I'll order one too if you like it!
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    The sway bar is scheduled to ship 9-2 (yesterday). So I should have it around the 10th and I could install it that weekend. About a week later I will report on it.

  • ww00650ww00650 Member Posts: 47
    Looking at the options list - one of the items included in the Z71 package are "stabilizer bars". Isn't that a sway bar by another name?

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Remember the disclaimer...Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.
  • BrutusBrutus Member Posts: 1,113
    For carrying a slide-in camper, I've heard lots of good things about the Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks from people who haul slide-in campers regularly. They have five adjustment settings. When you are running empty without the camper, you set the shocks on level one. With the camper on, most people appear to put the shocks on Level 4 for the front and 5 for the back. The feedback is that the affect on the ride when running empty is not significant.

    If you're carrying a slide-in truck camper on a 3/4 ton truck camper, you're probably getting some pretty significant rear end squatting. Better shocks will help with some of the sway, but they are not likely to help lift the rear end. With the rear end sitting back, you're not going to have the best handling since the truck was not built to drive that way. There are other safety issues such as braking. If you're getting a significant squat, you may want to look into airbags aka airlifts to level the truck out. They are pretty common on trucks that haul slide-in campers, especially if you don't have a dually.

    You can find some additional info on shocks and air bags for towing at Go into the Chat area and you can search by a topic.
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    I've had my Bilsteins on the truck for a couple of weeks now, and I am happy with them.

    They are not harsh, but have good control. The control is better than the Z71 shocks I took off.

    And they are currently $50-60. Much better than the Edelbrocks.
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    For my comments (and others also) on the Hellwig sway bar for a 99/00 Silverado/Sierra see the Cabover Camper Chat #891

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Did you notice those Bilsteins increasing the ride height because of they are nitrogen charged? Wondered about that, since Edelbrocks have neat valving, but not nitrogen.

    I've said this before, but it's a case of new concept for the Edel vs fine execution for the Bilstein. Love to hear from some one with the Edels too.

    About the ride height?
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    The factory shocks are also nitrogen charged monotube shocks. So I didn't notice any significant ride height change.

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
  • gobeangobean Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone bought the edelbrocks? What is the best price paid? Have their been any comparisons done in any of the mags? My Bronco has quads up front and I want to be sure I am getting my $s worth, as expensive as the edelbrocks are.
  • psubongpsubong Member Posts: 9
    I bought four Edelbrocks at $80.00 a piece. Didn't notice any difference over stock. I'm really dissapointed in them.
  • eric16eric16 Member Posts: 38
    According to the bilstein web site they are OEM on GM trucks.

  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    They are an OEM to GM for the Classic Z71 trucks. Not for the new Silverado/Sierra's. New Z71's come with Tenneco shocks.

  • odenmeyerodenmeyer Member Posts: 61
    How do the tennecos compare to the Bilsteins? BTW, I have corrected many sales staff who still thought the silvarados had Bilsteins. The look on their face when you tell them is priceless.

  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    I thought the Tenneco were a little too soft, so I bought a set of Bilsteins. I find them a little firmer, but not much. The ride in the rough is better with the Bilsteins.

    I've got a small camper on my truck, and I am right at 6500lbs vs. GVWR of 6400lbs. So I am harder on shocks than most people.

    I put 16,000 miles on the Tenneco's and they are not bad. The Bilsteins are just a little better for a fully loaded truck.

  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    My Tenneco Z71 shocks seem to be holding up fairly well after 15,900 miles. One thing I don't like about the Edelbrocks, no nitrogen gas chamber. But then the Bilstein doesn't have the inertial valve of the Edelbrock, while it does have the nitrogen.

    I wonder if you wouldn't get the best of both worlds by putting the Edelbrocks on the front, for the best ride, and the Bilsteins on the rear, for the best load control?
  • dave40dave40 Member Posts: 582
    That might be the ticket !
  • gobeangobean Member Posts: 8
    would different brands and type of shocks on the same vehicle cause handling problems? I had thought of the same idea myself but worried about mixing.
    Aren't Tenneco the same as Monroe?
    Still taking a ddeepp breath befor buying 6 shocks for my Bronco.
  • afs11afs11 Member Posts: 86
    Has anyone replaced the tenneco shocks (that come with the Z71 pkg.) with the edelbrock shocks?

    I would like to know how they ride on the new Silverado?
  • mledtjemledtje Member Posts: 1,123
    No, but I did replace them with Bilsteins. Some improvement on the street, less wallowing, more controlled.

    Better off road manners for the Belsteins.

    Around $60 ea.

  • ovalleyovalley Member Posts: 135
    Has anyone out there replaced their shocks on a 2wd? I have a GMC with "solid smooth ride". Feels more like a '72 Cadilac than a truck. Also, what about Rancho 5000's. They seem to be a little cheaper.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    17 year old shocks? Yes, Rancho 5000's are cheap. Get some Edlebrock's you won't regret it. Not sure if they make it for the 72 Caddy though. Good luck!
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    As a result of 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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