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Installed Bilstein 5100's

lunchwagon

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Thanks for making this thread and posting up photos.  The 1.18" setting looks like the ticket.  I'm not a fan of the leveling kits that put the nose up too high.  Just ordered 4 new 5100s and hope to do the install this weekend. 

Petrica, did you do the install yourself or have a shop do it?  I found another thread detailing the process and I've done shocks before on other vehicles so I'm comfortable attempting this, but feel free to share any pro tips if you did the installation yourself.

Thanks,
 

Petrica98

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I had done my research and was going to install them myself, but then I called Firestone just to see what they would charge for install.  They charged me $40 per shock ( I only replaced the fronts).  For $80 versus me rolling around on the driveway for 2 hours, I went that road.

 

CenFL Avalanche

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No regrets with my decision to go with the bilsteins.  Still a comfortable ride and good performing shock on rough terrain. (y)
 

lunchwagon

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Got my 5100s on finally.  like the others in this thread, I went with the 3rd setting, advertised as 1.18" of lift.

Before:

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After:

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Changing out the rears was easy. 

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The fronts weren't too bad either, but compressing the spring was a little sketchy with the rental compressor tools. 

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I opted to have the tire shop compress the 2nd one for me.

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Front back on:

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I'm happy with the outcome, and the advertised lift for the 3rd setting seems pretty accurate.
 

Southpaw63

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Hi all. For those of you who have just installed this model, I'm also it for my 05 Avy & have a few questions.  A while back, I had the front lifted via the torsion bars...maybe 1.5" - 2".  From what I've read, it looks like I need the 5100 with the Front Lift: 0-2.5 to compensate for this prior lift?  As for the rear, the option I need is the "Rear Lift: 0-1 inches" since I don't intend to lift it.

Thanks for any advice!
Tom 
 

lunchwagon

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Southpaw63 said:
Hi all. For those of you who have just installed this model, I'm also it for my 05 Avy & have a few questions.  A while back, I had the front lifted via the torsion bars...maybe 1.5" - 2".  From what I've read, it looks like I need the 5100 with the Front Lift: 0-2.5 to compensate for this prior lift?  As for the rear, the option I need is the "Rear Lift: 0-1 inches" since I don't intend to lift it.

Thanks for any advice!
Tom 

I'm not sure I understand your questions, but on Bilstein's website there is a link to an application guide that will tell you what product number(s) you need for your exact make/model/lift height.  The 0-2.5" option should be the correct one if all you have is a torsion key lift.  The 0-1" rear is correct for stock rear height.
 

Install40

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Hey All,  :wave:

I have an 09 Z71 with 39k . My front end feels a little jittery as far as hitting light rough roads ( small dips, potholes, uneven pavement etc...) I rarely tow but I do use the truck for Hauling (sheetrock, wood etc.. just not excessive) 
Questions:

I thought the Z71 came with Billstiens from the factory?
Are the 5100's better than stock for an 09 LT Z71?
Is it better to do Front and Rear at once?
How is the adjustment made on these? I like the look of your truck after the new Billstiens are in on I believe 3rd setting 1.18?
I thought about doing the "key" to raise the front but I didn't like the feel of it on my 04 after I did it and always looked for another solution...  this sounds like it may be the better option. Any feedback is greatly appreciated

 

CenFL Avalanche

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Whatever brand shock my 2007 Z71 had from the factory, they were shot over 80,000 miles.  I had someone install the 5100's for me (see the very first post) and would recommend that you do the same and install all four at once.  I didn't lift the rear, but had the adjustment set at 1.18 up front which created a level look for the truck (since the rear was higher from the factory).  The shocks essentially get adjusted by positioning a large diameter snap ring onto the shock body at your desired height.  The spring perch then rests on this snap ring. 

I enjoy the truck now every time I get in it.  The ride is smooth. Going down the brick roads in parts of my town is soo much nicer now.  Going offroad is much better handling and less jittery too.  I tow a travel trailer and a boat, and the ride is much better in those situations.
 

Whodey

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I was thinking of doing the 5100's w/ 275/65/R18 BFG. Do you think the bigger tire will be an issue if I use the 1/18" setting on a 2007? I wasn't interested in cutting and was hoping this would fit without rubbing.

Thanks

 

spidey

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Ive ordered and getting these installed on my 2012

But have a user saying the following.  So is he saying that to raise the front you need to do this instead, or this as well?

"As far as I can tell, the Bilstein 5100s are just very expensive gas charged shocks for slightly lifted trucks!  You can crank the torsion bars up to 2" higher and these shocks are supposed to work with that.  So know that you didn't buy something that you didn't need.  Just install the shocks and crank those torsion bars up to 2" higher - you will get where you want to be.

If you had a truck with struts instead of shocks, Bilstein might have a 5100 model that will raise that (since struts have springs on them) - but not on a shock/torsion bar type suspension like an Avalanche.

Whatever you do, get the ride height where it's going to be before the alignment.  It changes."
 

ygmn

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spidey said:
Ive ordered and getting these installed on my 2012

But have a user saying the following.  So is he saying that to raise the front you need to do this instead, or this as well?

"As far as I can tell, the Bilstein 5100s are just very expensive gas charged shocks for slightly lifted trucks!  You can crank the torsion bars up to 2" higher and these shocks are supposed to work with that.  So know that you didn't buy something that you didn't need.  Just install the shocks and crank those torsion bars up to 2" higher - you will get where you want to be.

If you had a truck with struts instead of shocks, Bilstein might have a 5100 model that will raise that (since struts have springs on them) - but not on a shock/torsion bar type suspension like an Avalanche.

Whatever you do, get the ride height where it's going to be before the alignment.  It changes."
Thought 2012 had struts in front?
 

spidey

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ygmn said:
Thought 2012 had struts in front?

Well from all my reading 2007 to 2013, people that have replaced their shocks, have said the 5100s shocks for the front is what you replace with.  There was no mention of struts

Or am I wrong, there seems to be conflicting info about this

Any place I have called, including a chevy dealership, have said to replace 4 shocks.  I never heard anyone ever say front struts

Even this thread alone, it doesnt say anything about replacing front struts. 
 

MS03 2500

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Yes you are correct 7up have struts no torsion bars.
 

spidey

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MS03 2500 said:
Yes you are correct 7up have struts no torsion bars.

But this thread alone the OP even said he replaced the front shocks with Bilstein 5100, and he has an 07

The Bilstein site even shows when you put in the year and model, unless you have a self leveling or auto ride, its says the fronts can be 5100's


Bilstein B8 5100 (Ride Height Adjustable) shock absorbers are designed for trucks and SUVs with a front OE coilover style suspension. Multiple snap-ring grooves in the body allow for different spring seat positions, providing 0-2.75 inches of front lift with OE springs (depending on application). The monotube shock absorbers feature a 46mm digressive piston a with self-adjusting deflective disc valve setting.  Bilstein B8 5100 (Ride Height Adjustable) shock absorbers provide increased wheel travel and improved handling. Utilizing a B8 5100 (Ride Height Adjustable) shock absorber is the easiest way to level out your vehicle.
 

MS03 2500

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I see what the problem is, a strut is a combined spring and shock.

Take a look at this video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3nxSdjnY_Q 
 

lunchwagon

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Spidey - I think many of us are guilty of using the wrong terminology when it comes to shocks/struts. 

What I can tell you is that I ordered and installed Bilstein part #24-186940 for both fronts on my 2011.  The OEM coil springs sit on an adjustable perch that is attached to the lower housing.  There are 4 positions that you can place the spring perch: 0", 0.59", 1.18", 1.75".  I went with the 1.18" setting and am happy with it.

Side note: my photos seem to have disappeared from an earlier post in this thread, not sure why. 
 

ygmn

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lunchwagon said:
...
Side note: my photos seem to have disappeared from an earlier post in this thread, not sure why. 
YOU link to an outside website so issue is with them or address changed
 

ygmn

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I think here is a good place to read and learn about shocks, struts etc:

http://www.monroe.com/en-US/shocks-101/shocks-vs-struts/

&

https://www.1aauto.com/content/articles/shocks-and-struts

More here about coil over difference and struts.

 

spidey

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lunchwagon said:
Spidey - I think many of us are guilty of using the wrong terminology when it comes to shocks/struts. 

What I can tell you is that I ordered and installed Bilstein part #24-186940 for both fronts on my 2011.  The OEM coil springs sit on an adjustable perch that is attached to the lower housing.  There are 4 positions that you can place the spring perch: 0", 0.59", 1.18", 1.75".  I went with the 1.18" setting and am happy with it.

Side note: my photos seem to have disappeared from an earlier post in this thread, not sure why.

Thats exactly what I ordered, and from Amazon to.  I confirmed the part number on the Bilstein site, and confirmed it fit on that site and Amazon with my vehcile (This product fits this position on your 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche:  Front Notes: 5100 Series, For Use w/Ride Height Adjustability, w/0 - 1.75 in. Lift, With Z71 Suspension Package)

I do know what a strut is, but what Im confused is the replacement of this.  I am used to a strut assembly being an all in one part, so you replace the entire thing in  a package.  Yet on here people are saying they are replacing the front with just a 5100 shock

So is it that the inside shock will just be replaced then within the strut assembly?  So the original spring, housing and mount will stay, just the OEM shock will be replaced inside of it all?

 

ygmn

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you can replace just the shock portion of a trust with special tools...
http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog/39104

or the entire strut:
http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog/139104

Apparently the Bilstein allow for the adjustment of the spring perch to moved up and down to raise and lower ride hieght.

As always springs set car height since they hold the load.
Shocks just slow movement when car bounces.

check monroe catalog to see all what they offer for front.

 

ygmn

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these bilstein are replacement shocks I see:
https://www.bilstein.com/us/en/product-search-detail/?ItemId=5425452796785772344&YearId=8515900447242829458&MakeId=8238956736005311994&ModelId=2447273795022631856&SubModelId=3840653552366408461

and have an adjustable spring perch mounting stop so you can raise truck.
 

spidey

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ygmn said:
you can replace just the shock portion of a trust with special tools...
http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog/39104

or the entire strut:
http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog/139104

Apparently the Bilstein allow for the adjustment of the spring perch to moved up and down to raise and lower ride hieght.

As always springs set car height since they hold the load.
Shocks just slow movement when car bounces.

check monroe catalog to see all what they offer for front.

Thanks, but I have all my Bilstein shocks already

So I did order the correct thing, since I can just replace the shock itself, instead of the entire shock, spring and assembly, like here

https://ca.autoshack.com/Auto/Suspension-Steering/Shocks-Struts/CST100197PR?keywords=2012+Chevrolet+Avalanche&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3JXtBRC8ARIsAEBHg4mgqsgGNYoccLYZyitVXA9DN69FmEs9GNkzXxusp27eQA6EXUP7fEsaAg74EALw_wcB

Thanks for the info.  I guess thats why every garage I talked to, and even the GM dealership, never told me otherwise about when I said Im replacing the front shocks as well, and didnt bring up anything about struts
 

spidey

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ygmn said:
these bilstein are replacement shocks I see:
https://www.bilstein.com/us/en/product-search-detail/?ItemId=5425452796785772344&YearId=8515900447242829458&MakeId=8238956736005311994&ModelId=2447273795022631856&SubModelId=3840653552366408461

and have an adjustable spring perch mounting stop so you can raise truck.

Thats what I got for my Avy.  My main worry was when people starting saying struts, I know for a fact that part is not a strut.
 

spidey

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So got these done today, and they did raise the front

My measurements though, I wasn't thinking.  I took my front and back measurements of the wheel wells with my summer tires/rims on, which are 20"  And since I has it there, I got my winters put on, so they are the factory 17"  So now of course my reference measurements will be wrong

But before, it was that the back measurement was 1" higher than the front,  so 35" in the front, 36" in the back.

But now, my front measurement is actually higher than the back, is that normal.  I thought they should be even.

  I realize the distance will be different because I have smaller rims/tires on.  But the principal should be the same for distance.  Not the front is higher than the back

But then measuring the running boards now, the front is 12" and the back is 12".    So that seems level.  I told them to do the 1.18" setting on the front shocks

The ride home on the normal rolling dips of the road, the back bounce is gone.

But the drivers front side seems to make noise going over any bump in the road, a manhole cover, etc.  Like somethings loose.  All I know the sound wasn't there this morning.

Is it because of the tightness of the new shocks and the adjustment.?

Weird how that adjustment made a difference in the view from the hood.  I cant see my deflector like I used to.
 

ygmn

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Height may be different with different OD tires (rims do not matter just tire OD) but relative difference at axle would be the same.

So if taller in front with small OD tires then will be taller with bigger OD tires.
 
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