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Installed new Bilsteins

mickeytee

Seasoned Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
483
Location
North Atlanta
In response on some posters on the subject of shocks. I elected to have Bilstein B8 24-020773 and 24-029780 shocks installed on my 2008 XLr.

I hade one of my techs do an alignment check before we started and note the ride height.. this was done on an Hunter alignment rack that is perfectly level. The car was found to be in perfect alignment with front toe only slightly pushing the outer "within specs limit" . 60,000 miles on it. I had installed lower rocker diffusers and the car was scraping them so I planed on raising it about 1/4 inch. The new shocks were installed. the car was driven around to settle and the alignment checked. The car was exactly were it was before the shock replacement. THE CAR WAS NOT HIGHER OR LOWER. MY tech said he had never heard a claim that mono shocks would lower or raise a car.

I felt this was going to be the case as I had spoke with John Trexler head of Tech support at Bilstein about the shocks before buying. He assured me the mono shock would not raise or lower the car. Unlike struts that may. He explained the difference in the B6 and B8 and they are the same shock. The only thing different is the internal valving that controls the ride. He said they could not recommend the B8 or B6 as it was not a direct bolt on due to the mag shock simulators being needed. He also said they had done several xlr cars and the b8 was the shock to use to restore a factory ride to the car. The B6 would be fine if you wanted a softer than stock but still controlled ride.
In driving the car I had forgot over the years how well it used to respond and ride. The mag shocks were shot on the front and he rear were pretty well worn. My tech says instead of looking at the oil on the lower shock to look and see if you have any metallic looking gray or silver grease on the upper portion of the shock housing, under the rubber boot. If you do they have failed. MY car drove just like when I first got it. excellent ride, Unbelievable improvement over the worn out mag shocks.

I had my tech raise the car 3/16 inch on the front and 1/8th on the rear which puts the alignment dead on perfect for the toe end. Toe-in being out can be felt when the front of the car seems to wander. Your car should stay pretty well straight with minimum pressure on the wheel and should return to the "neutral" position on its own after changing lanes. Caster alignment will control how fast it returns but toe will keep it there. Of course roads have a crown in the middle. more in Florida and up north than in the south so you still have to keep your hands on the wheel.

I would highly recommend this change to anyone with worn or damaged mag shocks. I have a set of new mag shocks and this winter I may do some side by side comparisons when I am in Florida to post a video to compare.

The experts at Bilstein were very helpful at putting any question of the shocks changing the ride height to rest. THEY DO NOT CHANGE IT AT ALL. I will say the car when lowered off the overhead rack appeared higher until it was driven around the parking lot and it settled to its original position. The tech said for anyone doing this themselves, be sure all suspension bolts are tightened with full body weight on the car. If you tighten one with the suspension at droop you put pressure on the rubber bushings and it may damage them.
 

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