Off-Road Shocks:
Shock Guide: Determining which Shock to Use

This guide includes several valuable resources:
Understanding Valve Ratings
Determining how many shocks to put on a vehicle
Determining Which Shocks to Use
Applications Chart


Understanding Bilstein Valve Ratings
Damping forces of Bilstein valvings for Off-Road are measured in Newtons at a velocity of 0.52 meters/seconds (approximately 20 inches/second). The ratings shown correspond to those measurements; rebound force is the first number, followed by compression force (rebound / compression). Conventionally, the ratings are written as one tenth the damping force in Newtons.
EXAMPLE:  Valve rating: 275 / 78
Rebound force is 2750 Newtons at 0.52 m/s
Compression force is 780 Newtons at 0.52 m/s
Higher numbers mean higher (firmer) damping forces. For example, 360/80 has more control (is firmer) that 275/78, while 170/60 has less control (is softer) than 275/78.
For valving recommendations please refer to the Valving Guide.

Determining how many shocks to put on a vehicle.
A shock absorber transforms mechanical energy (suspension movement) into kinetic energy (heat). If a shock absorber builds up too much heat, it will not function properly. Shock absorbers exposed to excessive heat will fade (soften) or fail.
If you are experiencing excessive shock failure or fading, it may be time to add another shock.
By adding another shock, you are spreading the work load from one shock to multiple shocks. Increased cooling capability will be achieved from the following factors:
Decreased Friction
Dampening causes friction. When you use a multiple shock set up, lighter valved shocks can be used which will decrease friction.
Increased Oil Capacity
The more oil, the better. Higher oil volumes take longer to heat.
Other methods to consider which will increase oil capacity are to utilize a remote reservoir or to use a larger diameter shock.

Determining Which Shocks to Use
Bilstein Off-Road Shock Absorbers are recommended for both race and non-race applications as listed below.
Special Note: Vehicle designs do vary. This is a starting guide to assist you in choosing an application.
Valving
Description Setting Position 150/50 170/60 180/75 255/70 275/78 360/80
Buggy Single Shock Front
1X
Rear
1X
Double Shock Front
Rear
2X
Baja Bug Sport Front
1X
Rear
1X
Double Shock Front
Rear
2X

5/1600 Baja Race Setting Front
1X
Rear
2X

1/2 1600 Race Setting Front
1X
Rear
3X



Valving
Description Setting Position 150/50 170/60 180/75 255/70 275/78 360/80
Fullsize Truck / Single Shock Front
1X
Sport Utility Rear
1X
w/ Solid Front Double Shock Front
2X
Axle Rear
2X
Race Setting Front
2X
Rear
2X

Fullsize Truck / Single Shock Front (Recommend Special Order Valving - 326/149 Digressive)
Sport Utility Rear
1X
w/ IFS Double Shock Front
2X
Rear
2X
Race Setting Front
2X
Rear
2X
Rear
3X



Valving
Description Setting Position 150/50 170/60 180/75 255/70 275/78 360/80
Mini-Truck / Single Shock Front
1X
Sport Utility Rear
1X
w/ Solid Front Double Shock Front
2X
Axle Rear
2X
Race Setting Front
2X
Rear
2X

Mini-Truck / Single Shock Front
1X
Sport Utility Rear
1X
w/ IFS Double Shock Front
2X
Rear
2X
Race Setting Front
2X
Rear
2X
Rear
3X



Valving
Description Setting Position 150/50 170/60 180/75 255/70 275/78 360/80
RockCrawler/Jeep Single Shock Front
1X
Leaf Spring Rear
1X

RockCrawler/Jeep Single Shock Front
1X
Coil Spring / 1/4 Elliptic Rear
1X

TJ Long Arm Single Shock Front (Recommend Special Order Valving - 161/72 Digressive)
Valving Rear (Recommend Special Order Valving - 162/66 Digressive)
Legend


1X = one shock per wheel   2X = two shocks per wheel 
3X = three shocks per wheel 

*If your Prerunner more resembles a race application, use recommendtions accordingly.
 

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