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2004 gmc envoy_sle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im trying to get a comfortable luxury ride but at the same time able to handle all the potholes that NEW YORK CITY have. I read most of the threads here and still alittle confused. Planning to order soon as possible. I just hit 53,000 miles and my shocks are gone. THANKS.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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I currently have the Bilstein HDs and they are great but they will not provide the "luxury ride" that you desire. I have never used the Sensatracs.
 

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yeah dude i live on the island as well, and the roads seriously suck so bad. every road i go on there is a pot hole or dip in the road. it's horrible.

i plan on buying bilstein hd's, just reaching over 100K

I'm most likely going to order them within a few days. and i plan on ordering them from shockwarehouse.com and going to use the 10% code on my overall purchase :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
maybe this will help

i found some bilstein hd shocks for 200.84 for all 4 with free shipping from eshocks.com I'm kind of leaning toward this but not sure yet.


yeah dude i live on the island as well, and the roads seriously suck so bad. every road i go on there is a pot hole or dip in the road. it's horrible.

i plan on buying bilstein hd's, just reaching over 100K

I'm most likely going to order them within a few days. and i plan on ordering them from shockwarehouse.com and going to use the 10% code on my overall purchase :)
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Wow! i just ordered my shocks a minuet ago and got a amazing deal on them.

they are having a 10 percent discount on there shocks, and if you use the trailvoy code you get an additional 10 percent off. that's 20 percent! dangg :)

i ordered the Bilstein HD's, all four and bought 2 KYB upper mounts and the total was 267! and full price was like 325 around there.

i think that is a ridiculous deal!:m2:
 

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2004 gmc envoy_sle_xl
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This may be a repeat, but i just picked up the bilstein HD from the site sponsor, shock warehouse. using the "trailvoy10" code and the special that bilstein is having, i paid $195 for all four shipped. Regular is $241 from that website. Autozone wanted $82 a piece and Chevy wanted $150 for each! i can't believe $600 for schocks at the dealer!
 

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Im trying to get a comfortable luxury ride but at the same time able to handle all the potholes that NEW YORK CITY have. I read most of the threads here and still alittle confused. Planning to order soon as possible. I just hit 53,000 miles and my shocks are gone. THANKS.
Sir,

Regarding Bilstein vs Monroe Sensatrac. Both the Sensatrac and the Monroe Reflex are a similiar design, a twin-tube low pressure unit. The Sensatrac is Monroe's older design, the Reflex uses more modern technology to do the same thing as a Sensatrac.

If you are looking for performance then choosing Sensatracs may not be the route you are looking for. The 'Tracs are twin tube whereas Bilstein's are monotube, are of better quality in performance and will last longer.

Additionally, we mention this on our site when considering replacing shocks:

How a vehicle "rides", or "feels by the seat of your pants", depends on many different things.

* 1. Tire pressure: (make sure yours is set at what your owners manual says, NOT what the tires says).
* 2. Wheelbase: (short wheelbase vehicles tend to be more rough).
* 3. Tire & Rim Size: (Shorter or less forgiving side walls (low profile tires) tend to be more rough).
* 4. Road Conditions: (Rough roads are rough roads, some roads are worse than others).
* 5. Suspension type: (Torsion bars and leaf springs can be less forgiving than coil springs).
* 6. Using performance or lowering springs: (Typically these would be stiffer and have a different rate).
* 7. Lifting a vehicle: (With stiffer springs and tighter suspension parts).

Shocks are only ONE part of a suspension. What you "feel" is a combination of the list above, and other things, including all the other suspension parts, from swaybars, springs, frame-type, etc. Shocks (or Struts) are only ONE part of the total suspension.

Remember: a shock or strut's PRIMARY function is to hold the tire in contact with the road. Just changing the shocks / struts is not likely going to change what the vehicle manufacturer built into a vehicle's characteristics. Car companies spend MILLIONS of dollars to make a vehicle feel a certain way when driving. Spending a few dollars on shocks is not likely to alter what they have done.

How a vehicle rides is something that cannot be "plotted or graphed" scientifically, it is a matter of opinion. There is no 'measurement' or 'scale' for 'ride'. 10 people can drive a vehicle, 5 will says it's a Lincoln ride, the other 5 will say it's a dump truck. It's up to the individual.

We do not recommend buying shocks or struts specifically for trying to change the "ride" of a vehicle, that is not what shocks or struts do. The products we carry typically are designed to give a vehicle better handling, control, and safety. Will they maybe change the "ride", what you feel in some way? Probably. Can that be predicted ahead of time? No.

We know it's a tough decision sometimes to choose the right shock. But we want you to purchase a product for the right reasons, and get something that's right for you and your driving.


Hope this helps.


Wow! i just ordered my shocks a minuet ago and got a amazing deal on them.

they are having a 10 percent discount on there shocks, and if you use the trailvoy code you get an additional 10 percent off. that's 20 percent! dangg :)

i ordered the Bilstein HD's, all four and bought 2 KYB upper mounts and the total was 267! and full price was like 325 around there.

i think that is a ridiculous deal!:m2:
This may be a repeat, but i just picked up the bilstein HD from the site sponsor, shock warehouse. using the "trailvoy10" code and the special that bilstein is having, i paid $195 for all four shipped. Regular is $241 from that website. Autozone wanted $82 a piece and Chevy wanted $150 for each! i can't believe $600 for schocks at the dealer!
Thanks for your order guys, let us know how the shocks work out for you!
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Well..... I'm not sure I agree with everything said in the last post.

Ride can be and is measured scientifically. Scientific studies have shown that certain rates of vibration are less well tolerated by humans than are others.

Stiffer shocks will change these vibrations.

You can measure the performance of different shock absorbers scientifically on a shock dyno. I have graphs from the shock dyno in the ride and handling department at Firestone Tire and Rubber in Akron comparing a variety of shocks for Cosworth Vegas.

I put Bilstein HD's on the front of my 03 Envoy and found them to be too harsh for my tastes (had the Avalanche shocks on the back and they were even harsher). My wife absolutely hated the ride--boy was it "taught". Too taught. IMHO. Your taste may be different.

I have not tried the Reflex, but from what I have read, and from considering the design, they sound more like the shock for you.

Remember, ride is far more than what happens when you hit a pothole. Ride is mostly what happens when you aren't hitting big holes, but rather the smaller imperfections in the road surface. Those are what you experience 99.99% of the time. Well in New York, 95% of the time. :)

It is all up to you. Just remember, if you make a mistake, it is far easier to live with a suspension that isn't as taught as you might like than it is to live with a suspension that is punishing and uncomfortable.

Just my :m2:.
 

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I agree with you Mark in the fact that what one may consider stiff others may not. Bilsteins are certainly stiff, but for 'performance' applications they have been proven to best keep your tires 'glued' to the road, prevent side sway and sag while towing as well.

I had installed the Monroe Reflexes on a 1995 4dr, 2wd Blazer LS and I didn't see a difference with them and the bouncy stockers and I replaced at 120k miles.

I had wished I had gone stiffer; however it was all I could afford at the time. I also was towing a 18' Wellcraft Center Console boat about once a week, which certainly made a difference and sagged a bit while towing.

So it also does depend on the nature in which you use your vehicle.

I would like to see those graphs you mentioned (out of curiosity), are they digital or print outs?
 

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I would like to see those graphs you mentioned (out of curiosity)
Ask and ye shall receive.

This combined graph, with the backup data tables, are for a Spax gas pressurized adjustable shock absorber custom made for our Cosworth Vegas. It has an adjustment range of 14 clicks. Obviously every adjustment range was not tested.

You can see the "resistance" increase as the shock is "tightened up". Theoretically, if you made the shocks tight enough, they would be like a solid bar of iron. Now THAT would be one rough ride.

More realistically, every shock is a compromise, and every driver is different. You need some reasonable amount of "give" in a shock to avoid feeling every little bump or pebble or depression in the road. A well engineered and matched shock should "give" with those small excursions and not transmit any of their force into the interior. However, those same shocks should also dampen wild oscillations quickly. But you can't really have both. The more of one you have, the less of the other you have.

Except in the SensaTrac and Reflex shocks, which they claim gives the best of both worlds. Since I haven't personally used the Reflex shocks, I can't opine whether they do what Monroe says they do. But from an engineering standpoint, it looks like they should.

'Nuff said?
 

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Thanks Mark, that's a very cool and in depth test! I suppose those shocks are similar to the 9 setting Ranchos were you can stiffen or loosen the ride manually or with a controller?

I do understand what you are saying about the surface conditions and the Billies being stiffer. Bilstein states that their shocks have digressive valving that is designed to self adjust based on conditions both on and off road.

Thanks so much for your input.
 

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I have the Bilstein Blue/Yellow SS struts (that came on the 06-07 SS) and from what everyone says they fall below the HD's and above the Sensatracs in terms of stiffness and ride control..


I am very happy with them so far. :woot:


only sucky part about them is that they are not made anymore :weird:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
stiffer better?

:undecided does anyone know the pros and cons for stiff and soft shocks? im trying to figure out if stiffer is better.keep in mind my truck is not dropped nor do i have aftermarket rims. but i do have a heavy system in the back and plan on putting some 20s. thanks
 

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:undecided does anyone know the pros and cons for stiff and soft shocks? im trying to figure out if stiffer is better.keep in mind my truck is not dropped nor do i have aftermarket rims. but i do have a heavy system in the back and plan on putting some 20s. thanks
Just like bigger isn't always better, stiffer isn't always better.

The more mass you are carrying, the more capacity you need in the shock. But if you make the shock too stiff, they the tires won't follow the road surface, especially on washboard roads, and the truck will skitter this way and that. The best shock is the one that controls body movements but also keeps the wheels on the pavement the maximum amount of time.

To answer your question, "It depends." There is no universally correct answer, or formula to achieve an answer. Buy a set, try them, see if you like them. Drive other trucks. See if you like them. In the end the best you can do is an educated guess.
 

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My Thoughts..

Bilstein V. Sensatrack..

I had several "performance" shocks on my 99 Trans Am. Tokiko, KYB and Bilsteins. The Bilsteins were my favorite for that application however I say that because even though it was my daily driver, it was lowered and I had a lot of suspension mods done and wanted it to handle like it was on rails.. the bilsteins were stiff and responsive and good for the application, but you had to get use to and ignore the rough ride when you weren't performance driving.

My dad put bilsteins on his 05 GT and hated them.. took them off and sold them 2 days after installing. It was a commuter but he wanted the sport feel and bein a hot rodder wanted to feel the road more, but this was way too much for him. He put sensatracs on his after a couple sets of other shocks (don't remember which ones) and really liked them.. even after lowering the car he always liked the ride on the sensatracks.. both for commuting and for performance when he wanted to play.

Now that I have the TB and know I'm not going to be racing or corner carving its an easy choice for me to go with the sensatracs. Road manners will be much more gentle and still responsive enough for cruising around corners... at least thats what I'm aiming for...

Final thoughts.. it is not a performance car.. I don't want to be beaten up if I'm not pushing the car hard, so why would I need a "performance" shock? I don't. :m2:

I'm in the middle of putting the Sensatracks all the way around on my 02.. I'll let y'all know what I think when I'm done.. in fact I may have those monotube style for the rear, not sure.. but I'll keep y'all posted on it..
 

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SensaTrac's

I think that after reading all the posts/threads I can find on this subject, I'm going to replace the OEM shocks with SensaTracs. The voy has 125K kms on it with the original shocks. It is mainly a family vehicle (5 week old boy) so I don't think I need the stiffness of the Bilstein HDs, even though I think the colour makes them look cool on the vehicle.

It sounds like for the smoother ride for the family, and better handling than stock, the SensaTracs are the way to go. It might be a few weeks yet, but when I do it I'll post on my feelings.
 

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I don't think I need the stiffness of the Bilstein HDs, even though I think the colour makes them look cool on the vehicle.
THANK YOU! FINALLY! It bothers me very much when I hear people complain about the yellow and blue looking silly. Every time I see a truck with yellow and blue shocks I know that the owner knows the score.
 

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OK Skockguys, I have a question for you.

If I order my SensaTrac's from you, will I be able to apply for the Monroe discount here in Canada? And how do I go about claiming a warranty replacement should one ever fail? I understand that they have a manufacturer's lifetime warranty.

I'm debating, cuz your price is good, even with shipping to Canada. But if I buy locally for a bit more, I know I can get the $50 from Monroe, and if one fails I just go to the local dealer and get the replacement.

Thanks for the reply.
 
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