View Full Version : Shock Absorbers: Bilstein vs. KYB vs. OEM

Art From De Leon
07-10-2010, 03:37 PM
When it comes time to replace the tires on my pickup, I intend on replacing the front shocks for certain, and perhaps the rear ones (although I feel that since the pickup is never loaded, the rear shocks should last forever, since they aren't cycling that much).

Anyhow, I have always replaced the OEM shocks with Bilsteins, and have been happy with the service I got out of them, but I have never kept a prior vehicle as long as what it appears that I will be keeping this one, ie, forever.

For some reason, I have got to thinking about a set of KYB for the replacements, although they are priced about $25 per shock less than the Bilsteins.

I probably would not replace the original Ford shocks with Ford replacements, as I do not think Ford offers a 'lifetime' warranty.

I would also have considered KONI, but it seems that they do not make shock absorbers for this vehicle, but they do make them for my GE locomotive.

Again, TIA

07-10-2010, 03:50 PM
In the autocross world, I'd take Koni's over KYB's or Billie's in a minute. I don't think you could go wrong with any of the 3 on a 'regular' truck.

My choices would probably be Koni > Billie > KYB if the price difference wasn't big.

07-10-2010, 03:51 PM
This is one of those things that has bothered me for years. On my '98 Tacoma I replaced the factories at 80k. After that it seems I need to change them every 35k. The first set were OEM. The last 4 times I have used Gabrial from AutoZone. They are free replacement for lifetime. I am starting to feel guilty because I warrenty them out every 18 months.

It does not seem to make any difference between OEM and Gabrial. The shocks and Struts still only last 35K. I did antisieze all the fasteners because I know that I will be replacing the shock/struts in a year and a half.

Every time I replace these parts it only gets cheaper. I figure the cost of the shocks is down to around 4 bucks each, seeing how I keep getting free replacements.

Steve in SoCal
07-10-2010, 04:19 PM

Just because you don't carry a lot of weight in the bed is not a good reason to think the rear shocks are still fine. I would go with Bilstein or OE, I have never liked the ride with KYB. Most shocks on light duty vehicles have a 60~80K life span. If you keep the truck forever the few dollars you save will be long forgotten so get the most comfortable shocks.


07-10-2010, 04:22 PM
How makes the OE shocks for Ford ?

07-10-2010, 04:25 PM
How makes the OE shocks for Ford ?

The lowest bidder.

07-10-2010, 04:28 PM
Of those choices, I'd go with the Bilstein shocks. For a more bargain set, Moroe matic are decent. Maybe do the backs also.

07-10-2010, 04:35 PM
FWIW my Chevy Trailblazer had Bilsteins from the factory.

07-10-2010, 05:03 PM
FWIW the lightning comes with Bilstein 5100s from the factory I believe. The question is did you get the lowest end bilsteins, or decent ones?

Art From De Leon
07-10-2010, 05:33 PM
FWIW the lightning comes with Bilstein 5100s from the factory I believe. The question is did you get the lowest end bilsteins, or decent ones?

From how I interpreted the applications in the Bilstein catalog, the 5100 series are only available for vehicles with non-stock ride height.

The ones I have always used are the yellow ones, not the silver/chromed ones.

I don't really care for the smooth blue boot, the accordian style boot looks better, IMHO.

07-10-2010, 05:37 PM
If you are driving an F-150, you can stick 5100s in the read, but not the front, depending on the year. I know my Expedition takes 5100 rears and the HD models up front.

07-10-2010, 05:42 PM
I've generally replaced with and recommend KYB to friends. They have served me well and are very affordable if you shop around. I usually buy my shocks from, they are the cheapest i've found (atleast for japanese sedans).
Pornstars Stoya (

07-10-2010, 06:13 PM
Art stick with the Billies and call it a day. Its the only thing I will put on trucks and SUV's.

07-11-2010, 03:33 AM
You should check out Edlebrock's IAS shocks,they are pretty reasonbly priced and "Made in USA" too.

07-11-2010, 04:41 AM
I am running OME shocks in the front of my truck and bilsteins in the rear. this is on a truck that sees offroad duty. on my street truck, i have kyb gas-a-just shocks and after 100k miles, they still seem to be good. no complaints. cheap too.

07-11-2010, 04:52 AM
art , are you working on locomotives now?..............

07-11-2010, 05:04 AM
Art- If you are racing a truck use the $$$ "racing" brand shocks. Otherwise use a decent Monroe shock upgrade over OEM style and forget about it. Spend the money you save on other toys. Always use A-Seize on shock bolts etc.


Art From De Leon
07-11-2010, 10:32 AM
art , are you working on locomotives now?..............

No, but if I ever buy one, and it needs shocks, KONI makes them.

07-11-2010, 10:51 AM
I always use Bilstein.

In 2008 when I was doing the shocks/struts on my Honda Odyssey I chose KYB as Bilstein doesn't make parts for that van. One year later I changed out the KYB and went back to OE Honda parts. The KYB's were clunking and groaning like crazy. One data point, but it has soured me to them.

07-11-2010, 11:02 AM
I put a set of kyb's on my mustang after i lowered it and they seem to work alright, didn't have the money for bilstein or koni but if i had to do it over again it would be one of those two. Guy i work for had some tokico 5 way adjustable on his 93 mustang cobra, those were sweet.

07-11-2010, 11:04 AM
How makes the OE shocks for Ford ?

As far as I know Monroe makes many of them.

I stick to Monroe Sensatrac struts for cars, and have always gone OEM for my truck shocks.

07-11-2010, 04:27 PM
I'm running Tokico HP series on my Mustang and love them.

07-11-2010, 07:37 PM
i ran KYB's on my lifted toyota 4x4 i put them on in '82, they were still on the truck the last time i saw it in '98.
for a stock height truck on the street i think i'd go with monroe, on lifted trucks either rancho or superlift.


07-11-2010, 07:42 PM
Even my wife runs Bilsteins, I have them on all my vehicles including my street stock dirt track monte carlo. IMHO anything else is money down a well.

07-11-2010, 09:13 PM
What's the general opinion of Rancho RS5000 series shocks? I'm due to replace the shocks on my truck in a month or two. I'm considering them or Bilstein HDs. My truck is generally used for daily commuting, occasional heavy payloads, and rarely subjected to towing.