Another "Which Shock" Thread


I know there are many existing threads on the topic of shocks already, but hopefully this community will indulge me one more.

I have a 2003 Monty Limited. I put 265/75 BFG KO2's on it a awhile ago, and they're great. Since putting them on I've been using it more off road and the shocks are really showing their age and since the upper ball joints need replacing I figure now is the time to swap out the shocks front and rear while I replace them.. I'm not looking for any lift. I'm considering the following:

KYB Gas-A-Just

Billies - 4600

Billies - 5100

Rancho 9000, maybe

I don't want to go with new springs unless there's a really compelling reason to.

Anybody have any experience with any of the above on a 3rd Gen Monty?


Me too - I've been trying to verify if the Bilstein 5100's that fit the early 2000's Tundra will fit the Gen III montero( 24-100144 and 24-188265), the length looks good but I'm getting conflicting information some of the attachment points.


As with many, but not all things more expensive, the adage "If you have the means, by all means" is very true. Bilstein if you have the scratch. Period.

THAT said, I went with KYB Gas-a-Just, as I have future plans of King/Radflow...BUT keep in mind that those thoughts were based upon what I was experiencing with shot 150K OE components. Perfection is the enemy of good enough, and so many folks choose components out of fear that the "cheap stuff" won't meet their needs.

I have nascent plans to rally my truck, so until I have a cage and seem welded suspension components, etc., the speed that a Radflo or King setup would allow, is just asking to have chassis related fatigue issues here in Moab. I have some background with suspension from the cycling, moto, and rally world, so I already believe that it is THE number one thing that can be done, however, if you haven't THOROUGHLY gone through the truck, you will find weak/worn components in a hurry.

The truck is significantly and appreciably better with the KYB GAJ's/stock spring combo. By the time you add the KYB strut boots/upper strut mounts, etc. I really think the Bilstein's are the way to go for the extra $$, BUT my savings with KYB covered the cost of injector servicing and new coils. I have limited funds for this (or less $$$ for my new Beta) so with a Random Misfire code, and Bank 2 Long Term Fuel Trim/STFT approaching 30%, the mechanical stuff was far more important to me. Cost/Benefit...always.

My experience with Bilstein, and the experience's of those within my sphere(4600-PSS10/B16; Beater Previa-996 Track Car) has been stellar. Bilstein 4600's and order up the appropriate Lovell's from Kollar and call it "good enough". KYB GAJ's if you just need fresh component, would like a significant improvement, and could better spent that money elsewhere. My .02, YMMV.

The only wrong call...analysis paralysis. ;)


KYB Gas-A-Just - rears done on the '05, Fronts just waiting for me. OME springs


New member
I put KYB shocks on the rear of my 2001montero last year, they only lasted about 8 months before they started leaking oil on a camping trip. I have since replaced both the front struts and the rear shocks a second time, also with KYB. So far, two months, they are fine, and I do like the ride much better. Who knows if it was just a bad shock, or if they are more prone to fail, time will tell.

On the Bilstein front, they came as the OEM shocks on my Dodge. 26000 miles later and I have been through three sets of front shocks, two sets of rears and even the anti hop strut that is off the top of the rear differential once. When the warranty is over, I am going to look into something better.

In a nutshell, buy the best you can afford.


I'm Getting Around To It
No experience with a Gen 3, sorry for butting in on this thread. Anyway, I've used a BUNCH of KYB gas-a-just sets and have nothing but good things to say about them. I drive fast in the desert and haven't ever had one fail. Four and a half sets of four (the '83 pick-up has something else on the back) are currently in use on the seven Mitsubishi rigs owned between myself and my two neighbors. Jorge's '99 Gen 2.5 has MonoMax (heavier duty KYB's than the GAJ's) and we generally don't like them as they are non-too-compliant in everyday driving.

I have no experience with the other brands.

John B.


New member
Re. The Bilsteins, they are the OEM shocks on power wagons. The area that I spend time in has a lot of washboard, and that truck just eats them up.


Thanks for all the feedback so far. Right now it's looking like a set of four Bilstein 4600 series shocks for $500 is the way to go. I'll keep my OE springs and maybe update them to Lovells at a later date.

Forum statistics

Latest member