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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:43 am

Gordinho80 wrote:Welcome! Thank you for joining!

What do you feel is the best shock option for the rear of our trucks? I, for example, have the BDS suspension lift all around, but I also have the Tahoe Z71 rear springs... I have a total of 3.5-4" of lift in the rear over stock. I've been running the factory Tahoe shocks. I'm not terribly pleased with the ride. Prior, I had ran Bilstein HDs in the rear, but I was even less pleased...


Thanks everybody.

I think the problem you run into with the Tahoe coil/shock combo has more to do with the coil rate then the shock. They are obviously designed to work together but on a heavier vehicle then a Trailblazer. On top of that there really isn't a direct 1 to 1 comparison between the unsprung weight of a Tahoe/Sub and a Trailblazer. Those factors can result in a harsh and unpredictable ride in several driving situations on the Trailblazer...as I am sure you are aware of.

Late last fall we actually changed the valving in our Trailblazer shocks. Originally the shock was valved very close to the stock valving. Through a lot of road testing that we did and getting a couple of outside opinions from more modified vehicles we decided to bump up the valving a bit. The new valving is closer to that of a full-sized truck shock that we use on several of our applications. These proved to provide better ride/control on more modified vehicles (combining lifts, resulting in larger tires) without sacrificing ride quality for those running more modest tire/wheel/lift setups.

Basically, using the Tahoe coils is more likely to be the source of your ride issue then the shocks. The higher rate in addition to the excessive ride height will cause some less then desireable results. At that height you are really stretching the limits of the factory suspension geometry working range. Also, if you haven't done any rear track bar (panhard bar) correction, bad ride quality/handling will definately result from that as well.

Back on topic: I feel that when running the factory Trailvoy coils you will be much better served running one of our shock options over the Tahoe shocks. Also, Bilstein makes very nice product but I don't believe you can get the proper length to compensate for the lift properly which can affect the ability of the shock to function properly.
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by Gordinho80 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:53 am

I agree completely that the main reason for the harsh ride is the stiffer Tahoe coil... I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride out of my truck, just something a little better. While switching back to the Trailblazer coil is an option, its not the best option for me. I'd rather have a slightly harsher ride with the added height.

I'm strongly considering the gas unit, #95619. I know there is no exact match for the Frankenstein Suspension set up I, and many others on here, are running.

Thanks..
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by fishsticks » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:05 pm

Gordinho80 wrote:I agree completely that the main reason for the harsh ride is the stiffer Tahoe coil... I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride out of my truck, just something a little better. While switching back to the Trailblazer coil is an option, its not the best option for me. I'd rather have a slightly harsher ride with the added height.

I'm strongly considering the gas unit, #95619. I know there is no exact match for the Frankenstein Suspension set up I, and many others on here, are running.

Thanks..
Mario



I agree with all of this... I think my/our main concern is bounce. My setup is similar to Gordinho's. Watch my rear end in this vid.




Rather than ride cushiness, I think we're looking for better damping. I know Roadie really feels strongly (in a positive way) about your 95000 series shocks for our platform. Would the 55000 series come close to be able to handle what we have as well?
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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:07 pm

Gordinho80 wrote:I agree completely that the main reason for the harsh ride is the stiffer Tahoe coil... I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride out of my truck, just something a little better. While switching back to the Trailblazer coil is an option, its not the best option for me. I'd rather have a slightly harsher ride with the added height.

I'm strongly considering the gas unit, #95619. I know there is no exact match for the Frankenstein Suspension set up I, and many others on here, are running.

Thanks..
Mario


I believe that is what the Roadie is running on his currently and last I talked with him he was pretty happy with them. Maybe he will put his 2cents in on that. Of course, to my knowledge he is hauling around enough stuff in his Envoy to make a 3/4 ton truck squeal.

I do think that both the 5500 and 9500 series shocks would give you a slightly better ride over the stock tahoe shock, but I have never driven a Trailblazer with the Tahoe coil/shock combo so that is more of an educated guess on my part.
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by MrSmithsTB » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:27 pm

Welcome! Happy to have the makers of such a great product aboard. Just this past weekend, I helped put a set of the 9500s on a Trailblazer and my initial impression, even without riding in it, is that they are a far cry better. Valving is one thing, but the big difference I noticed is the shock extension. Even with stock springs and lift, our stock shocks are close to full extension. That coupled with the stock panhard bar makes for a bumpy ride and makes it easier to end up on three wheels. I don't know if I'll ever run the Z71 springs(I probably will), but either way I think these are a great investment. I currently have a set of Z71 Tahoe shocks sitting on the shelf. We'll see how they work for now, but I predict i'll be ordering a set sooner rather than later.


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by Philberto » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:30 pm

I agree with the observation that the z71 springs aren't meant for a vehicle as light as our TBs. I find them very useful when the rear is fully loaded with water, tools, gear, and other "necessities," and as a result I never take these things out of the back. With that in mind, is there any reason to think that using the newly revalved hydraulic shocks (I'm on a budget) would be sufficient to dampen the springs under my heavy load? I'm assuming so, as you have said that the valving is similar to your Tahoe/Suburban shocks.

Also, is there any chance you've got any R&D going on around CA? I'd be more than willing to donate use of my TB if it leads to developing a shock for the spacer/z71 spring combo on a lot of our trucks. I know you are headquartered in MI, but can always hope.
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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:37 pm

fishsticks wrote:
Gordinho80 wrote:I agree completely that the main reason for the harsh ride is the stiffer Tahoe coil... I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride out of my truck, just something a little better. While switching back to the Trailblazer coil is an option, its not the best option for me. I'd rather have a slightly harsher ride with the added height.

I'm strongly considering the gas unit, #95619. I know there is no exact match for the Frankenstein Suspension set up I, and many others on here, are running.

Thanks..
Mario



I agree with all of this... I think my/our main concern is bounce. My setup is similar to Gordinho's. Watch my rear end in this vid.




Rather than ride cushiness, I think we're looking for better damping. I know Roadie really feels strongly (in a positive way) about your 95000 series shocks for our platform. Would the 55000 series come close to be able to handle what we have as well?


I think I know what you are trying to get out of a shock but it might be difficult. I think the problem again is rate/height of the Tahoe coils. I think some of the bounce is coming from a lack of proper suspension movement. There are a lot of factors at play. Increased shock dampening may very well help some of the bounce offroad but could result in even worse conditions on road. The fact that 4" of lift will cause the control arms/track bar to run at fairly steep angles starts to become a factor as well.

? for you guys running the Tahoe coil/shock setup....How much shock extension do you have left at ride height?
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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:42 pm

Philberto wrote:I agree with the observation that the z71 springs aren't meant for a vehicle as light as our TBs. I find them very useful when the rear is fully loaded with water, tools, gear, and other "necessities," and as a result I never take these things out of the back. With that in mind, is there any reason to think that using the newly revalved hydraulic shocks (I'm on a budget) would be sufficient to dampen the springs under my heavy load? I'm assuming so, as you have said that the valving is similar to your Tahoe/Suburban shocks.

Also, is there any chance you've got any R&D going on around CA? I'd be more than willing to donate use of my TB if it leads to developing a shock for the spacer/z71 spring combo on a lot of our trucks. I know you are headquartered in MI, but can always hope.


The valving on the 5500 is the same as the 9500. You will essentially get the same ride quality out of both under normal conditions. Where the 9500s come into play is under heavier use...when shocks would start to heat up. The 9500s will not foam up and fade like the 5500 in extreme conditions. Even then the 5500 can handle almost anything most of use can give them.
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by Gordinho80 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:51 pm

BDS Suspension wrote:The valving on the 5500 is the same as the 9500. You will essentially get the same ride quality out of both under normal conditions. Where the 9500s come into play is under heavier use...when shocks would start to heat up. The 9500s will not foam up and fade like the 5500 in extreme conditions. Even then the 5500 can handle almost anything most of use can give them.

With that said, I'll be getting a set of 5500s in the near future. I don't get out on the trail as often as I'd prefer to, so I don't think I'll be overworking the shocks.
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by fishsticks » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:52 pm

BDS Suspension wrote:? for you guys running the Tahoe coil/shock setup....How much shock extension do you have left at ride height?



Not much.

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Yes, I just went out and unbolted my shock. I don't have much to do today. :finger:
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by Philberto » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:59 pm

I'm sure many of us here would love to see a kit that returns the rear-end components to their proper alignments, maybe consisting of control arms/track bar and panhard bar. Possibly this could help our ride and articulation? I believe somebody checked and determined that we have enough slack on the slip joint to do this, but of course we could always check.
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by Gordinho80 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:03 pm

fishsticks wrote:Not much.

Image

Yes, I just went out and unbolted my shock. I don't have much to do today. :finger:

WOW! I could have sworn I had more then that... I could be mistaken.
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by bgwolfpack » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:05 pm

Are they Tahoe shocks? Not stock?

It's no wonder your ass bounces a lot. :roll:

How much travel should there be when done correctly?
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by MrSmithsTB » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:08 pm

Wow! You have a solid inch+ of extension left. Impressive! :mrgreen:
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by fishsticks » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:16 pm

Yep, Tahoe shocks. Stockers were the skinny black Bilsteins. I DO have a small spacer on the top of my spring as well as on the perch. 2.75" between the two.
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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:45 pm

fishsticks wrote:Yep, Tahoe shocks. Stockers were the skinny black Bilsteins. I DO have a small spacer on the top of my spring as well as on the perch. 2.75" between the two.


I bet that is just as much of a source for your "bounciness" then anything. Near full extension a shock will not function properly. Plus, just hitting a small bump will max out the shock on the extension side. Our shocks are 26-1/4" long eye to eye extended. I am going to guess that even with 3" of lift in the rear our shocks will give you the extension you need...and better ride/handling.
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by fishsticks » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:02 pm

BDS Suspension wrote:

I bet that is just as much of a source for your "bounciness" then anything. Near full extension a shock will not function properly. Plus, just hitting a small bump will max out the shock on the extension side. Our shocks are 26-1/4" long eye to eye extended. I am going to guess that even with 3" of lift in the rear our shocks will give you the extension you need...and better ride/handling.



I see what you are saying. I've only had these shocks on for 3-4 weeks now. The Tahoe shocks were a low cost solution used by others previously. I knew shortly after they went on that I was going to replace them. Like others, I've been doing my research on proper shocks for the rear so I can make a purchase I'm happy with. Having you join the forums here and be able to answer questions "live" so to speak has been a huge help.

For peoples' reference, I did a quick measure and the Tahoe shock is about 24" eye to eye extended. The stockers were significantly shorter than that, but were thrown out awhile ago so I can't measure for comparison.

That said, I'll be ordering a pair of shocks from you guys today.


...And I'll have a pair of 3-4 week old Tahoe shocks for free for anyone interested. :P
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by bgwolfpack » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:15 pm

fishsticks wrote:

I see what you are saying. I've only had these shocks on for 3-4 weeks now. The Tahoe shocks were a low cost solution used by others previously. I knew shortly after they went on that I was going to replace them. Like others, I've been doing my research on proper shocks for the rear so I can make a purchase I'm happy with. Having you join the forums here and be able to answer questions "live" so to speak has been a huge help.

For peoples' reference, I did a quick measure and the Tahoe shock is about 24" eye to eye extended. The stockers were significantly shorter than that, but were thrown out awhile ago so I can't measure for comparison.

That said, I'll be ordering a pair of shocks from you guys today.


...And I'll have a pair of 3-4 week old Tahoe shocks for free for anyone interested. :P

Which will you be ordering? The 55619 or 95619.
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by BDS Suspension » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Use our Distributor finder. Your local distributor can give you the best deals on any BDS product
http://www.bds-suspension.com/Distribut ... lookup.php
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by Gordinho80 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:22 pm

I never did an actual measurement of the Tahoe shocks... but the Stock TB shocks measure 23 1/4" eye to eye... Assuming the Bilstein unit is the same, and using this pic as a guide...

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One would believe the Tahoe shocks are approx 23 3/4" - 24", eye to eye.
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