BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
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 Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues

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Matt Trakker

Posts: 4980
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues   Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:41 pm

I have 4 Bilstein sports in my Impala right now, the 1104/0929 combo. It improved the handling like night and day, but I don't like how it rides in the back. The whole car rides pretty hard, but mainly in the rear. The tires have small sidewalls, 235/60.

My car has NO sway bar, and it has those TRW Hef-T-Coil variable rate springs in it, which are also new, along with some poly spring isolators. I did not put these in- I was going to but didn't have time, and this shop down the street did it for me.
When I go over a decent sized bump, the car jounces back up and down kind of hard in the back and it just doesn't feel right. If these shocks are just supposed to ride this way it wouldn't bother me but I dunno...I also get a lot of noise in the back as well, mainly the right rear, if I take corners or drive up a sidewalk curbcut or something, I will almost always hear a big "BONGGG" noise from there. Both sides of the rear suspension give me a clacking sound too like somethings loose. It's getting annoying. I'm not certain, but there are new exhaust pipes in the back that were there before I got the car, and they seem like an amateur install. Looks like maybe one is too close to the spring and possibly hitting it when I go into driveways, around corners, etc.

Anyway, a few years ago I had the same rear springs and 4 KYB Gas A Justs put in my old green Impala at the same shop. I seem to remember it riding smoother and handling about the same, and I thought the rear end was a lot higher. I did have 255s on the back though.

I didn't know what you guy's opinions might be on each brand, if I should try swapping the shocks to see what happens, etc. I've heard that KYB is a good shock for it's price range but Bilstein is the ultimate...I installed them in my Blazer and that corners real nice too.
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Matt Trakker

Posts: 4980
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:29 am

I was reading online that the Bilstein 1517 was developed to have a longer amount of travel for the 91-92 Caprice fender skirts...being that the springs I put in the car are taller than stock, maybe I should have gone with the 1517? The 0929 is what's listed for the car's application everywhere I've seen with stock springs.

I also seem to remember the KYBs being longer than the Bilsteins I put in. I have since gotten the springs and KYBs out of my green Impala when it was parted out, I may try to swap those in the back of the yellow Impala...
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Club President

Posts: 6699
Join date: 2009-01-20
Age: 38
Location: East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues   Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:11 am

I've heard the KYB's don't have a very long lifespan in our cars. Other than that, I have no info for ya...

But I would definately try a different set of rear springs. I have the ones out of my wagon if you want to try them. They may bit a bit taller and softer. It only takes 10 minutes to swap them out...

Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
American Ricer
"Ooooh! Look! Something shiny!"

LOWER IT!!! Wink
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Posts: 35
Join date: 2009-11-30
Age: 31
Location: Gloucester, MA

PostSubject: Re: Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues   Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:38 am

Just my opinion i think poly rides like crap. I use it for control arms and sway bars only. I have not used it in body mounts or spring isolators since my Monte. The ride was so harsh i had to put rubber back. Poly will last forever but i find that if you keep the suspension tight with poly you can sacrifice a little and go with rubber chassis mounts.

Sad Just spilled my beer
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Matt Trakker

Posts: 4980
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Bilstein vs. KYB / shock/spring issues   Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:41 pm


I actually had the old rubber ones someplace but I'm sure new ones would be better since they were from 1973...heh

Springs in 10 minutes Bill? Srsly? Laughing I need a new workspace!

When I had the cargo coils in the other Chevy it rode great and made no noise, and they were the same springs, just different shocks. I was thinking the Bilsteins might not be long enough for the springs and keeping them from fully extending or something like that? My other car did ride like an inch higher in back than this one, maybe more, with the KYBs.
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