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Bilstein

Bilstein is a name that carries a tremendous amount of weight in the automotive industry. The legendary manufacturer has come to be recognized as the premier manufacturer of automotive dampeners, a reputation which it has held for quite some time. Much of the fanfare surrounding Bilstein as a company relates to the manufacturer’s production of premium tier shock absorbers.

Bilstein shock absorbers have not only become the aftermarket dampener of choice for many discerning consumers but have also served as the production OEM dampener of choice for a number of vehicle manufacturers throughout the years. Some of the most notable of these manufacturers include Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, and Volkswagen.

With every passing year, Bilstein continues to further refine its approach toward the engineering of superior automotive suspension components. As a result, consumers are presented with a host of premium-grade dampener solutions to choose from, all of which are designed to promote precise handling, superior ride comfort, and unparalleled durability. From shock absorbers and coil springs to steering dampers and steering stabilizers, Bilstein has what any consumer needs to meet their specific steering and suspension-related needs.

A Long-Standing Presence

While most are aware that Bilstein’s history dates back a number of years, few actually realize the true extent of the manufacturer’s longevity. Bilstein, as a company, was initially founded in 1873 by August Bilstein. In its earliest days, Bilstein was renowned for its production of window fittings, which garnered much attention in the region surrounding Ennepetal, Germany, where the company was based.

Even during the company’s early manufacturing efforts, Bilstein maintained stringent quality standards, even founding its first strip iron rolling mill in 1919, in a bid to eliminate reliance upon outside material suppliers. As time progressed, Hans Bilstein, who had succeeded his father at the helm of the family business, returned home to Germany after an extended stay in the United States. With his return, Bilstein brought a newly secured wealth of knowledge pertaining to methods of nickel and chrome plating.

With a firm grasp of these refined manufacturing practices under his belt, Hans Bilstein created a niche for his company within the fledgling automotive industry. Bilstein’s first foray into the production of automotive-related components entailed manufacturing and supplying of chrome-plated bumpers as well as vehicle jacks.

However, it was a later research discovery by Bilstein’s engineering team that would ultimately lead the company's name to be indelibly scribed into the records of automotive history. In the 1950s, those within Bilstein’s design lab applied the principle of gas saturation within base oil to the design of a revolutionary new dampener, known today as the monotube gas pressure shock absorber.

This newly designed shock absorber proved to be immensely popular with automotive manufacturers, first appearing as a production component on Mercedes-Benz series vehicles in 1957. Bilstein would go on to further polish and update the design of their monotube shock, which eventually found its way into some of the most distinguished performance cars ever produced, including the Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Porsche 911.

Throughout the years, Bilstein suspension components have also proven to be viable when pitted against the most demanding of circumstances. The company’s history is deeply rooted in motorsports culture, beginning over 50 years ago, when a Bilstein shock absorber-equipped Mercedes-Benz took home the checkered flag at the famed Monte Carlo Rally. In the years since, Bilstein suspension components have played an integral role in the efforts of numerous endurance and Formula 1 racing teams from around the globe.

Bilstein Performance

In the modern era, Bilstein has continued to expand its product line as well as its already robust legacy. As such, the legendary manufacturer has delved headlong into the production of numerous suspension-related components, all of which are manufactured to the same stringent quality control standards that Bilstein has clung tightly to for nearly two centuries.

Today, Bilstein offers a wide array of suspension components for every application, including highway travel, off-road trails duty, and motorsport-related functions. Additionally, the company has also dedicated itself to providing a vast selection of vehicle-specific offerings that provide a level of fitment far beyond the industry standard. Bilstein now offers custom suspension kits and shocks for an endless number of car, truck, SUV, and Jeep models, providing an application-specific solution to meet the needs of every consumer.

The following are some of Bilstein's most prominent product categories and application-specific offerings.

Street Performance

Bilstein boasts an extremely loyal following within the street and track sector of the automotive industry. This comes as no surprise, as many of Bilstein’s components have been put to the test on a substantial number of the world’s most infamous road courses, including the famed Nürburgring in Germany.

Whether you intend to put your vehicle through its paces on the track or simply wish for your daily driver to exhibit better handling characteristics, Bilstein offers the exact suspension system components that you need to get the job done.

Bilstein B6

The Bilstein B6 Series Shock is ideal for those who wish to enhance their vehicle’s suspension performance without sacrificing anything in the way of ride comfort. These shocks are designed to provide an enhanced overall degree of vehicle dynamics, especially in the face of heavy loads or trailering. The B6 shock is built to OE (original equipment) standards, and performs with efficiency when demands are high, yet provides a smooth seamless ride on the street or highway.

All Bilstein B6 shocks are of a twin-tube design and operate on the premise of superior gas pressure technology. These shocks are also designed for enhanced durability, even in the face of less than ideal circumstances.

Bilstein B8

If you have any intention of lowering your vehicle’s ride height in the near future, Bilstein B8 series shock absorbers should definitely be included on your list of “must-have” components. These compact yet sporty shock absorbers are specifically designed for use in conjunction with lowered vehicles and are guaranteed to provide the required tension for lowering springs, thereby bolstering a vehicle’s overall dynamic driving experience.

All Bilstein B8 shock absorbers are of a twin-tube design and are of a gas pressure configuration. As durable as they are sporty, Bilstien’s B8 series of shocks are built to provide superior ride characteristics beyond what many would believe to be possible from a non-stock ride height vehicle.

Bilstein B16

The Bilstein B16 series adjustable shock absorber is ideal for vehicles that alternate between time on the road and the track. These shocks feature Bilstein’s 1-Way Adjustment technology, which allows consumers to select between 5 individual pressure settings with the simple turn of a single knob. With each successive click of the adjusting mechanism’s knob, both compression and rebound are manipulated. This allows an individual to tune their vehicle’s driving characteristics to meet their specific needs.

All Bilstein B16 shocks are of a coilover design, which incorporates the use of the company’s signature gas-pressure technology. Shocks within this series are also subject to Bilstein’s Triple-C-Technology treatment process before leaving the factory. This process utilizes three individual surface treatments to prevent corrosion and maintain component longevity.

Off-Road Performance

Bilstein, as a company, is extremely keen on the fact that any off-road vehicle worth its place along the trail needs a robust suspension system capable of sustaining a lifetime beyond the pavement. Therefore, the company wasted no time in getting down to the business of creating a comprehensive line of heavy-duty shock absorbers, any of which is sure to be appreciated by all off-road enthusiasts.

In order to best serve consumers, Bilstein manufactures and stocks a diversified inventory of off-road suspension offerings, providing the public with an opportunity to locate the perfect suspension kit for their trail vehicle of choice, no matter its specific ride height. Numerous stock Bilstein shock absorbers are available to accommodate virtually any particular model of truck or SUV, including the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra/Tacoma.

Bilstein 4600

The Bilstein 4600 is the perfect shock absorber for any vehicle that is not used exclusively for off-road use. This shock is more robust in nature than many stock assemblies or standard OE replacements yet is not overly stiff to the point of degrading a truck or SUV’s on-road ride characteristics. 4600 Series shocks also improve handling, enhance steering responsiveness, and increase traction.

All Bilstein 4600 Series shock absorbers are of a gas pressure design and utilize the company’s monotube/upside-down technology. This design allows a unit’s piston rod to be installed at the bottom of the shock tube’s body. 

Bilstein B8 5100

If your off-road vehicle is lifted beyond its stock ride height and you are looking for the perfect shock to take its ride and overall capabilities to the next level, then those in the Bilstein B8 5100 series should be worthy of a closer look. These shock absorbers feature a patented digressive valving assembly, which is specifically designed to shoulder the additional wear and tear that is placed upon suspension components affixed to a raised vehicle.

All Bilstein B8 5100 series shocks are of a monotube design and feature the company’s proprietary zinc coating, which wards off the damaging effects of corrosion. Shocks within this series are specified to instantly react to changing road inputs to maintain a stable, controlled, and comfortable ride.

Bilstein B8 8125

The Bilstein B8 8125 series shock absorber is designed to operate in the harshest of off-road environments, without risk of untimely failure. Shocks within this series provide an unparalleled degree of strength, durability, and endurance, allowing consumers to conquer any perceivable obstacle that the trail ahead might hold in store. These remote reservoir shocks are available in 46mm and 60mm monotube configurations.

All Bilstein B8 8125 series shock absorbers are ride height adjustable and feature an oversized off-road piston for maximum dampening potential. Additionally, shocks within this series are zinc-coated for optimal corrosion resistance and utilize dual-rate coilover hardware.

Bilstein Warranty Promise

Although one can expect nothing short of absolute dependability out of any Bilstein suspension component, consumers can rest assured that they are covered to the fullest extent if the unfortunate does occur when on the street, track, or trail. Bilstein is known for its excellent customer service as well as its acuity toward complete customer satisfaction. As such, Bilstein products are backed by some of the greatest warranty policies offered by any manufacturer within the custom/aftermarket suspension industry.

Known as the “Bilstein Warranty Promise,” consumers are provided with a level of coverage that many competitors simply cannot boast of. This warranty includes full limited lifetime coverage of nearly all Bilstein components currently available on the North American market. This warranty specifies that all Bilstein products will be free from defects in design, material, and workmanship for as long as a consumer owns a particular product.

Additionally, any products not covered by this limited lifetime warranty are backed by industry-leading policies of their own right. These warranties typically range from 90 days to two years in length, with the same adherence to quality standards regarding design, material, and craftsmanship, as is underlined in accordance with the abovementioned lifetime warranty.

Any Bilstein product that is found to be defective can be returned to the authorized dealer from which it was purchased. Returned components will be assessed against warranty criteria and replaced at no expense to the consumer should the product’s defectiveness be confirmed.

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