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Old 12-19-2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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Sport vs HD direct from bilstein (2)

I posted this up a few weeks ago in the Xi forum and figured it would also apply to non-Xi's as well. Here you go:

Originally Posted by Messe46 View Post
Hey Guys,
So it's time for my rear shocks to be replaced and I was searching around for info between the 2 shocks list above (Sport and HD, for those who can't/don't read everything ). All the stuff I came across in the "xi section" did not help answer my question: "what's the real difference(s) between the 2?"
That's when I finally called up Bilstein directly, down in Mooresville, NC. The woman I spoke to sounded very knowledgeable, confident, and timely in her responses (did not have to put me hold on, etc. after I asked my questions).

Here's what I came up with:
The Sports and HDs have the exact same internals (same valving, compression ratios, rebound, etc.). The difference in the 2 is the height of the outer tube, which is to accommodate different spring heights. She assured me that the 2 shocks will have similar ride qualities, but the sport will be slightly stiffer. This is not because of internals, but rather the shorter tube length makes for the ride to be slightly stiffer since there is less room form the fluid to move (there's probably more head-loss and other factors from having more area to move (I'll let you know when I take compressible flow next semester )).
As for ride height (important for me and others in areas with snow (Vermont for me)), the car will have the same height whether you have the Sports or HDs (ride height will depend on the springs you use).
**Read this if you read nothing else** She also told me that if you have any lowering springs (H&R, Eibach, etc) with the HD shocks and the shocks blow-out, YOUR WARRANTY IS VOID!!! I don't know about you, but that helped me make up my mind on which ones to get.

-Same performance
-Same internals (valving, etc)
-Different length tubes (shorter tube makes slightly stiffer ride, but both rides will be similar)
-WARRANTY BECOMES VOID for HDs with lowering springs (if/when they blow)

I hope that helps anyone else out if they were in the same boat as me.

Disclaimer: this is based on information provided by Bilstein in Mooresville, NC. This is not my opinion or fact, nor am I stating it is. Other factors, such as tires, rim size/weight, and other modifications done to your car might have varied results.

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Old 12-19-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Good info. People generally use shorter shock bodies to maintain sufficient travel when lowering the car.

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Old 12-20-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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Did she also tell you that there may be a problem if you have Bilsteins in the rear and OEM front struts? Did you ask?
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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hummer... I've seen you post that a couple of places... any specifics on that? I have that setup for the time being, and i'm trying to decide whether to go back to boge all around or bilstein all around. There's definitely a disconnect btwn front and rear, but nothing that I've noticed that is just awful.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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If you have done this mixing of shocks and you don't have a problem, that's fine for you. But, I would never advise some one to do it. I installed just plain old new struts once with older worn rear shocks and the car felt really wierd and loose in back. Bilstein sports or HDs are even more different than worn OEM. So, this practice could actually be dangerous in some situations.
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