Bilstein shocks on Express van?

zuren

Adventurer
I'm trying to figure out if Bilstein 5100 shocks will fit a 2005 Express Van. I've never sized shocks for a "custom" application so I'm hoping to get a little guidance.

http://www.bilsteinus.com/products/lifted-truck-off-road/5100-series-shocks.html (p. 13)

I know the OEM specs for the shocks on it are:

Front
Extended - 15.07"
Collapsed - 10.44"

Rear
Extended - ~23.3"
Collapsed - ~14.35"

I intend to attempt cranking the torsion bars just to level it and leave the rear alone at this point. Their "search for your vehicle" tool does not match anything in the 5100 series to an Express van. Should I just accept what the search is telling me or is this most likely a matter of them not marketing 5100 shocks to the van crowd so they could fit, but no one has tried? With all of the models they have I find it hard to believe nothing will work.

Thanks!
 
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nely

Adventurer
I would go down 3 more tabs and click on the 5125 series bilsteins and find them in the correct collapsed/extended lenghts. The 255/70 is single shock applications and the 170/60 valving is used for double shock applications.

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chasespeed

Explorer
Call Bilstein. IIRC, the HD and 5100 are basically the same. I have the yellow ones in my work van. Thy are great. This van gets beat, and used harder on unimproved roads, more than most wheelers, just trying to get to a lot of cell towers. I am loaded almost to GVW. I think you will be more than happy with the Bilstein HDs. You will reach the limits of where you can get than van, long before you out perform that shock on the trail.



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zuren

Adventurer
I would go down 3 more tabs and click on the 5125 series bilsteins and find them in the correct collapsed/extended lenghts. The 255/70 is single shock applications and the 170/60 valving is used for double shock applications.

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It doesn't look like they collapse far enough. The shortest 5125 listed collapses to 11.12". I'm not sure if this is a complete list.

Call Bilstein. IIRC, the HD and 5100 are basically the same. I have the yellow ones in my work van. Thy are great. This van gets beat, and used harder on unimproved roads, more than most wheelers, just trying to get to a lot of cell towers. I am loaded almost to GVW. I think you will be more than happy with the Bilstein HDs. You will reach the limits of where you can get than van, long before you out perform that shock on the trail.
What model is your work van (1500, 2500, 3500)? It seems that they cover the 2500 and 3500 vans with their B6 HD shocks but nothing is listed for the 1500. I looked closer at mine this weekend:

Front
Top - Stud type mount
Bottom - Clevis type mount
Example

Rear
Top - Crossbar mount
Bottom - Eye mount
Example

Are there adapters for the clevis style mount? I don't see many higher-end shocks offered with that type of interface. Even the $25-35 shocks at Autozone have to be special ordered since they don't stock these.

Thanks!
 

nely

Adventurer
Do you have a 1500 van?

According to my monroe master catalog, the coil spring 2wd are 1500 van specific. The torsion spring 4wd share the shock with the 2500 vans.

So i think if you have coil spring 2wd, you might be outa luck.

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zuren

Adventurer
Do you have a 1500 van?

According to my monroe master catalog, the coil spring 2wd are 1500 van specific. The torsion spring 4wd share the shock with the 2500 vans.

So i think if you have coil spring 2wd, you might be outa luck.

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I have a 1500 AWD with the torsion bar front suspension. So I can use a 2500 van for the purposes of searching? The shocks that come up for the rear look correct but the ones that appear for the front don't have the "clevis" style mount.
 
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zuren

Adventurer
To make things even more complicated, I was searching on this site:

Shockwarehouse.com

No Bilsteins appear in that list for a 1500 AWD but a 2500 AWD van does. If I redo the search for a 2500 van and the Bilstein HDs appear but only for the front!?!?! The image that I pull up for the Bil HD shock that is listed for the 2500 does not match the images of the other shocks that supposedly fit; the bottom attachment is different. I'm more confused now than when I started.

How do KYB Gas-Adjust shocks stack up against the competition? They are monotube, hit a middle pricepoint between parts store brands and Bilsteins, and I can get a complete matching set but the reviews appear to be mixed; some rave and say that they are as good as Bilstein, others claim they are cheap junk. Most of these reviews seem heavily biased (e.g. like asking a Ford guy what he thinks about Chevy). I looked at my shocks much closer last night and the bodies look like they are ready to rust through so I'd like to do something sooner than later now.

Thanks!
 
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nely

Adventurer
Im personally not a fan of kybs. That the shock of choice for our customers, but im not impressed with them and have seem plenty of them go bad . I love bilsteins. Had them on every car ive owned when it came time to replace the shocks.

I did a quick search on bilstein and only cam up with rear shocks for a rwd van.

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zuren

Adventurer
Im personally not a fan of kybs. That the shock of choice for our customers, but im not impressed with them and have seem plenty of them go bad . I love bilsteins. Had them on every car ive owned when it came time to replace the shocks.

I did a quick search on bilstein and only cam up with rear shocks for a rwd van.

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So here is something I'm really not understanding. I can go to most shock/suspension websites, search for a 2005 Chevy Express 1500 AWD and get results including Monroe and KYB but no Bilstein. I look through the application list for the Monroe and KYB offerings that fit the van and see that Chevy Silverado 1500, Avalanche 1500 and Suburban 1500 are also listed as being able to use the same part.

So then I try searching from a different angle. I enter the same model year Suburban 1500 4x4 and get almost all of the same shocks that fit my van including Bilstein HDs and 5100s. When I look at the application list, Silverado, Avalanche and Suburban 1500 appear (as I would expect) but my van is not. I find this to be a little odd. The Suburban has a GVW of 7000 lbs., only 200 lbs. less than my van. Shock lengths are relatively the same. Why would the same part number from Brand A fit both vehicles but Bilstein only fits the Suburban? Is it just a matter of marketing and not testing the HD or 5100 on the Express, therefore Bilstein won't publish that they'll fit?

I continue to find very broad reviews about KYB. It's hard to know what to think about them.

Thanks!
 

nely

Adventurer
So here is something I'm really not understanding. I can go to most shock/suspension websites, search for a 2005 Chevy Express 1500 AWD and get results including Monroe and KYB but no Bilstein. I look through the application list for the Monroe and KYB offerings that fit the van and see that Chevy Silverado 1500, Avalanche 1500 and Suburban 1500 are also listed as being able to use the same part.

So then I try searching from a different angle. I enter the same model year Suburban 1500 4x4 and get almost all of the same shocks that fit my van including Bilstein HDs and 5100s. When I look at the application list, Silverado, Avalanche and Suburban 1500 appear (as I would expect) but my van is not. I find this to be a little odd. The Suburban has a GVW of 7000 lbs., only 200 lbs. less than my van. Shock lengths are relatively the same. Why would the same part number from Brand A fit both vehicles but Bilstein only fits the Suburban? Is it just a matter of marketing and not testing the HD or 5100 on the Express, therefore Bilstein won't publish that they'll fit?

I continue to find very broad reviews about KYB. It's hard to know what to think about them.

Thanks!

I did the same looking thru my monroe shocks master catalog. And according to the part number i pull up in that catalog the front shocks are van specific
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nely

Adventurer


Monroe part number 911256 f 911085 r





So the rear is same as suburban, tahoe and van.

The front is van specific.

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zuren

Adventurer
Thanks for the Monroe info. Is it the collapsed/extended lengths that would make it "van specific"? I'm still trying to understand why a shock from Company A would fit a van and a Suburban but a shock from Company B only fits the 'burban.
 
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