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Bilstein, KW, H&R, Beltech

I see you offer free ground shipping on orders over $250 and was instructed to click here for details.  What are the details?

This covers all orders over $250 for shocks shipped within the contiguous 48 states.  For air shipping and orders to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada, the shipping for orders over $250 will be discounted to reflect the free ground shipping over what the shipping calculator shows. Free shipping will be adjusted manually at the time the order is processed and charged, after the order is placed online.

What is the difference between Comfort(C), Heavy Duty(HD), Sport(SP), Touring (TC), Rallye, and 5100 settings?

  • Comfort (C) and Touring (TC) - original equipment shocks that came with your vehicle - will provide the same ride that the vehicle had when it was new.
  • Heavy Duty (HD) - MOST POPULAR CHOICE, Designed to work with your factory springs these will provide a firmer, more controlled ride in cars and a more stable ride in Trucks and SUV's.
  • Sport - Designed for use with an aftermarket lowering spring (H&R, Eibach, etc.)  The Sport will be firm and actually made to work with a lowered aftermarket suspension (springs).
  • Rallye shocks are specifically set to meet the rigorous demands of driving competition.  These items are not usually suited for street use.
  • 5100 shocks are for lifted trucks, Jeeps and pre-runners. They are designed for specific manufactured lift kits utilizing the stock OEM mounting configuration, and in most cases are longer than stock.

Some vehicles only have one choice of shock type available based on that specific vehicle's inherent handling and performance characteristics.

What do you mean by a "Gas Pressure" shock absorber?
The Bilstein Gas Pressure Shock Absorber is a telescopic, mono-tube unit filled with nitrogen gas and hydraulic oil. The gas, sealed in a special compartment at 360 psi (25 times atmospheric pressure) exerts constant high pressure on the oil column eliminating cavitation and foaming. The absolute elimination of foaming (no bubbles forming in the oil) results in uninterrupted damping for even the smallest wheel deflections: a level of performance which no other type of shock claims or matches.

What do you mean by "Rising Rate"?
Rising rate means that the rate of damping coefficient increases as suspension movements become more rapid, such as on rough surfaces or high speed cornering. This results in a smooth, comfortable ride with exactly the right amount of control for changing terrain, road and driving conditions is provided.

What are the advantages of single tube design over conventional twin tube shocks?
The primary advantages are:

1. Better heat dissipation, which means better performance. A shock is an "energy converter." "Spring energy" has to be converted into "thermal energy" and the resulting heat has to be dissipated as quickly as possible. A shock absorber's effectiveness is directly proportional to its ability to dissipate heat, since a ''hot" shock quickly loses its damping ability. In conventional multi-tube shocks the heat must pass through two tubes before being exposed to the outside. The monotube design results in a cooler running, more efficient shock. For example, a Bilstein monotube shock can perform at peak operation between -20 and +480 degrees F.

2. Much greater piston area: greater sensitivity for small piston movements. This results in a stiffer shock at low shock velocities (cornering and braking), and a softer shock at high shock velocities (bumps and washboard surfaces).

3. They are lighter. Reduced unsprung mass allows wheels and tires to respond more readily to surface irregularities for improved control. Also by reducing the unsprung mass, wear and tear on suspension and steering components is reduced.

How long will they last?
Like any precision machine they cannot last forever. Operating conditions will determine their life. Bilstein monotube shocks contain no ball check valves or moving parts other than pistons. There are no springs and no hinge pins to wear out, deteriorate or get weak with age, use and heat. They outlast any other shock absorber in the same application. Koni shocks and Bilstien twin-tube shocks have more moving parts, however the adjustment in Koni Sport shocks is desgined to account for wear over time. If a Bilstein or Koni is proven defective due to maternal or a workmanship error, the shock will be repaired or replaced at no cost (excluding labor) to the original purchaser for the life of the vehicle. (For further details see explanation of the limited warranty in Bilstein's application list).

How does Bilstien compare with other shock absorbers?
Bilstein "Rising rate" shocks cannot be compared with any conventional multi-tube reservoir shock. Bilstein worked with Mercedes Benz to develop this revolutionary shock. The technology was so advanced that Bilstein shocks became original equipment on Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Saab. This original Bilstien monotube design technology is so efficient and so different than virtually all other shocks on the market that the combination of performance, comfort, and longevity cannot be equaled.

Why aren't Bilsteins adjustable?
A Bilstein doesn't need adjustment to compensate for wear or for varying surfaces. The shock responds instantaneously to the speed of suspension movement to provide the exact damping characteristics required for maximum control, safety and performance. As the terrain or road surface becomes rougher, the speed at which the piston rod travels increases. The working piston is velocity sensitive, so that as the piston velocity increases, the shock internally and automatically becomes stiffer. A Bilstein works with the road surface to provide the exact valving required. Because there are fewer internal moving parts and the quality of the materials used, there is virtually no wear on a Bilstein monotube shock. Conventional shocks, such as Koni, do not have the normal operating range of Bilstein monotube shocks, and require manual adjustment if any adjustment feature is available.

What will a high performance shock do for my car?
Improve the road-holding characteristics. Better tracking, more controlled pitching and nose-diving when braking, increased cornering stability, reduced stopping distance, reduced sensitivity to heavy winds, increased tire-surface contact, and marked improvement in control are all advantages that you will see even when compared to a new original equipment shock absorber. The life of steering and suspension components and tires may also be increased. Driving fatigue is reduced because your car is easier to handle and to control. A high performance shock, such as a Bilstein or Koni will allow the tires to stick to the road regardless of the size or roughness of the surface irregularity. The "seasick ride" so often associated with larger vehicles is tamed and eliminated.

Do you sell new parts?
Yes, we sell only brand new products. We are authorized dealers of Bilstein, Koni, H&R, and KW. In most cases, we get our merchandise directly from the respective North American distributor of these products.

The rubber bushings or shock boots on my shocks need to be replaced. Do you sell bushings or other small parts for my shocks?
We can get the bushings, shock boots, sleeves, and other small parts, however we do not stock many of them here, and in the majority of cases it is both faster and less expensive to go directly through the manufacturer for these small parts.

Oh No! There is fluid covering my brand new Bilstein Strut insert. What's wrong?

If you find a thick white, red or black fluid oozing out of your shock, most common in the strut inserts with the P30-, P36-, 34-, and 35- prefixes, do not be alarmed. This is assembly grease that has overflowed when the bare strut insert was mated to the strut housing, and is normal. The actual shock oil is an amber color. Though it can be a bit messy, the assembly grease overflow does not affect the functionality of the shock.

The strap that keeps the shock from being fully extended is either in the wrong place for installation or missing entirely. What should I do?

On some Bilstein shocks, there is a packaging strap to keep the shock from extending all the way. The only reason for the existence of this strap is so that the shock will fit into a smaller box for shipping.  The strap has absolutely nothing to do with installation of the shock itself, and should be removed prior to attempting to install the shock.

Do I mount the shocks with the boot pointing up or down?

With the internal design of the Bilstein monotube gas shocks, it does not matter whether the shocks are mounted with the shock rod side up or down. There are some minor advantages in longevity and overall suspension effectiveness with the shock rod pointed down, and there are many instances where Bilstein has changed the orientation to take advantage of these minor improvements where there are no clearance problems. If there is an option, we recommend mounting the shock with the shock rod and boot pointing down, but in the grand scheme of things, there is no noticeable difference. For twin tube shocks, such as the Bilstein Touring Class, Koni STR.T, and most Belltech shocks, they should be mounted with the shock body pointed down. These shocks are designed with gravity to aid the operation of the shock, and mounting them with the shock body up will result in a more wallowing, less controlled feel than with the shocks mounted in the proper orientation.

Why does the Bilstein part number I have start with "F4-" and yours doesn't?

Bilstein used the "F4-" prefix on the overwhelming majority of part numbers on their old product numbering system. Because of the frequency of the F4- prefix, we drop it from the part numbers on our website for convenience, as it doesn't provide any additional information about the shock itself. If you order the shocks from us, the shocks will most likely show up to you with "F4-" at the front of the part number if they have the old version of the part number on them.


What is the difference between the shocks end in -H0, -H1, -M0, -M1, or some other suffix?

The -[letter][number] suffix is a revision spec on that particular shock, and in the majority of cases makes no real difference in the shock themselves.  Any small revision that is made by Bilstein along the way usually results in a different last digit, and this can be something as small as changing the manufacturer for a hardware kit on the shocks, where the main shock itself is not altered in any way.  The exceptions to this are almost all with Off Road shocks for lifted trucks, where the different suffix options will appear on the same web page. It is safe to say that if you don't see an obvious option on our website, there is no difference. With Bilstein's new numbering system, in cases where this suffix made a legitimate difference, the new version of the part number is different between the two options.


Why is the Bilstein part number I have in the format of ##-######, but when I look up my vehicle on your site, it's in the format of ###-####-##?

At the beginning of 2011, Bilstein changed the format of the part number of most shocks they make to an 8-digit, all numeric part number.  There were no changes in the shocks themselves at this time, only in the part numbering system.  Because of the amount of information that the old version of the part number provides to us that is lost in the new party number format, we are still using the old format as our primary part number. For shocks released since 2011, there is no old version of the part number, so we use the new number. Both the old and new versions of the part number will work in the search box and bring you to the proper application for your car. A complete cross reference list can be downloaded from Bilstein's website at


What shocks do I need for my motorhome?

In choosing the correct shocks for your motorhome, you need to know the make, model, year, and suspension type (air or spring suspension) of the chassis that your motorhome was built on.  Motorhome manufacturers can use different chassis for the same model of motorhome, as well as chassis that are one model year prior to the manufacture date of the motorhome, which can make a difference in which shocks your vehicle requires.  Our online catalog is based on the chassis make and model, not the motorhome manufacturer.

Additionally, for GM P40 or Dodge B200 and B300 chassis you need to know the GVW of the vehicle to determine the correct shocks.

If you have the Ford E350 or E450 chassis, you need the length of the motorhome and GVW of the vehicle to determine the correct shocks.

If you have the 1997-2004 Spartan Mountain Master Chassis with Verst and independent front suspension, you need to know the front axle weight rating to determine the correct shocks for your vehicle.

If you have a 2008 or newer Spartan Mountain Master chassis, we need to know exactly what model of axles you have on your vehicle. Spartan used no less than 6 different front axle configurations, 3 different drive axle configurations, and 2 auxiliary axles if your motorhome has them. These are not available for online purchase, however if you email us at with the model and GAWR of the axles that your motorhome has, we will be happy to let you know what your options are.


What shocks do I need for my Mercedes?

In order to determine the correct shocks for your Mercedes, it is of great help to know the production series of the vehicle (e.g. W123). The production series is a letter followed by three numbers, and is the first group of characters of the chassis number (different from the VIN). This number can usually be found on the vehicle information plate on the driver's side door frame. 

It is also necessary to know whether or not your vehicle has either the hydropneumatic or self leveling suspension. The vast majority of the Bilstein shocks will not work on those vehicles.  Even if your model is not listed, the production series and suspension type will provide a definitive answer as to whether or not Bilstein makes shocks for your Mercedes.


Will Bilsteins work on my 2000 and newer Chevrolet or GMC SUV?

On the 2000 and newer Chevrolet Avalanche, Suburban, and Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon, GM offered three different suspension options. For the standard suspension, the Bilstein shocks will work without modification. For the Self Leveling suspension, the rear springs must be replaced (Bilstein Part 199020 for the 2000-2006 1500's, and 199021 for the 2000-2006 2500's), and if you have the Auto-Ride suspension, the Bilstein shocks will not work at all.

To determine if you have the standard or self leveling suspension, you need to look at the rear shocks. If the main shock body is about 2.5" in diameter, you have the standard suspension. If you the shocks are about 3.25" in diameter, you have the self leveling suspension and need the auxiliary springs mentioned above.

In order to determine which combination will work, you will need to know whether your vehicle is 2WD or 4WD, 1500 or 2500, and which suspension configuration you have.

These springs are not available for online purchase, but we will be happy to take your order over the phone at 800-666-7769.


The stock electronic or air shocks are too expensive.  Can I convert them to use Bilsteins?

Bilstein does make a few select applications designed to either be used with electronic or air suspensions, such as the Chevrolet Corvette FX3 suspension, the Porsche PASM system, and the GM SUV issue mentioned just above.That having been said, in the vast majority of cases, converting the shocks on a vehicle with either electronic or air adjustable suspension to a standard type is a far more complex issue than changing just the springs and shocks. If you are looking to retrofit the non-adjustable suspension on your vehicle, we recommend finding a parts vehicle with a standard suspension. In most cases, it is not simply a matter of changing shocks and springs, there are frequently issues of needing among other things, subframes, halfshafts, axles, and changing the electronics to get rid of any potential check engine lights that may pop up as a result of the conversion. It can be done, but in most cases, it is a very large project, and it is recommend that you stay with the parts that are specific to the self-leveling or air suspension.


I am not from North America. Can I order shocks from you?
Yes, we can sell shocks and ship outside of North America, however we can not guarantee fitment, as frequently the North American spec vehicles and the vehicles offered throughout the rest of the world have different shock requirements. As a result, the shocks offered in North America may not work properly on your vehicle even if the part number is the same in North American and where you are. Shipping also can become cost prohibitive, as it is usually a minimum of $200.00 US to ship a set of four shocks overseas. Your best bet is to contact a Bilstein dealer near you. A list of international Bilstein dealers can be found on Bilstein's German website by clicking here. Our website will accept orders from most international addresses, however we do double check the accuracy of shipping costs manually prior to processing all orders.

Also be aware that there are many vehicles that Bilstein makes shocks for that are not sold in North America (examples include Alfa 164, Fiat Punto, Opel Astra, Peugeot 307, and Toyota Hilux).  For these vehicles, you should contact a Bilstein dealer near you.

Am I ordering directly from Bilstein, or are you a Bilstein dealer?
You are not ordering from Bilstein, you are ordering from We are an official North American Bilstein dealer.

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