Time for struts and shocks

Petey

Well-Known Member
It's time to replace at least the struts on my TB they are leaking ,but I am doing all 4. I also have noticed lately the truck's rear end settles down whenever I release the brakes after I stop. .

What do you all recommend? It's a daily driver, and I do occasional tow with it.

Rock does not carry Bilstein but that's not a deal breaker for me.

I see mixed reviews about the quick struts, but I do like the idea of all new, again not a deal breaker if I can get something better for around the same price point.

Is there a difference between 181341 vs the 171341? The 17 the better assembly but is it still not great?

If I decide to assemble them, what should I get for mounts, boots and bump stops?
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
+1 on the 4600s. I put them on F/R. The front no longer leans like a Buick on turns. The rear handles 5500+ lbs of trailer (with a WDH) and says "got any more?" Worth every penny.

Personally, I didn't go for the quick strut b/c the OEM springs were matched for the truck, depending on config (I had the 'orange' version, which were the 2nd stiffest, IIRC). With the quick strut, you're going to prolly get something 'in the middle', perhaps. Might not make a whit of difference, but in the end, I chose to keep what GM put on and incur the extra trouble of compressing the springs & reusing the originals.

And if you're asking, I tried to compress the springs; in the end, when I started bending the bolts (b/c I applied them incorrectly, I later found out), I just took them to a shop, where they have pro equipment, and I don't have to risk becoming a member of the Darwin club.

I got an inexpensive kit from Monroe (?) for the mount / boot hardware. Ran about $20 or so. IIRC, Bilstein also included some new h/w, so I wound up having extra parts. But I used part of the Monroe kit, too.
 

smt 59

Well-Known Member
Agree with Bilsteins all around and if you do require springs Moog are a good choice as they are spec’d for our trucks as well KYB strut mounts are a good pic. DO go to a spring shop for the struts as noted by Reprise.
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
I've had the bilsteins on mine for 100k. Best upgrade I did and they still ride mint. People claim they're hard but I have yet to have someone complain about how my truck rides. They make it ride like it should. Not mushy but very compliant. If you've ever been in an escalade of the same era it feels like that. Sporty and fun.
 
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Petey

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the suggestion. I found them a little cheaper on amazon then shock warehouse.

Now the question is how much stronger are the springs on this than my SL2 I did all 4 struts on that myself no problem.
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
The springs are some beefy mofos... I rented compressors from pep boys that were up to the task but it was still scary doing it.
 

Sparky

Moderator
Check autoplicity.com for the shocks also. They were cheaper than Amazon a couple times I got shocks (but not always).
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Now the question is how much stronger are the springs on this than my SL2
SL2 ? As in Saturn SL2 ? Not even in the same league.

This was my experience...
I rented a compressor kit from AAP. Their standard 'Powerbilt' line (or whatever it's called)
That has two thick rods (about 1" diameter or so), and four 'hook' mechanisms that latch onto the springs. Standard stuff, but since these are intended for trucks / SUVs as well as cars, they're fairly stout units.

I put this on the first spring, tightening alternately, and could not compress the spring enough to even make the mounts loose, much less the retaining nut.

Went to Harbor Freight and bought a second kit (slightly thinner rods - but that's all they sold.). Before using it, I loosened the tension on the first kit's components. Attached the second kit, at right angles to the first one. Now I have a compressor every 90 degrees on the spring, and I start evenly tightening them, alternating sides / type (first the two from the one kit, opposite from one another, then the other two.

When the HF rods began visibly bending, I decided to stop, carefully release the tension in increments evenly across both sets, and then took the springs to a local shop to have the work done. In less than an hour, both fronts were swapped out and ready to go. The shop had a wall-mounted compressor - much heavier duty rated.

I later found out that I didn't have the compressors engaged on the right coil - they were supposed to be fastened to the outermost coil on each end; I had used the adjacent one, since the bottom coil is an inward radiused pigtail (meaning: smaller in diameter)

That being said...

If I ever have another truck that I have to replace struts / coilovers on - they will go straight to a shop to be compressed. It's not worth playing around with and risking injury (or worse).
 
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