Parts

Why Leveling Shocks Outperform Coil Spacer Kits in Off-Roading

Bilstein 5100 Shock

(Image/Expedition Portal)

A lot of truck and SUV owners choose coil spacer kits to add an inch or two of lift to their vehicles. They are a cost-effective solution, and viable if you’re mostly going to be driving around town under typical street-use conditions.

But when off-road driving, coil spacers can alter the factory suspension geometry which may cause unusual wear and damage to other suspension components.

Bilstein Suspension Up-Travel graphic

(Image/Bilstein)

Leveling shocks, like Bilstein’s ride-height adjustable B8 5100 shocks or in its B8 6112 leveling kit, can dramatically improve a truck or SUV’s ride quality and handling characteristics, all while eliminating the math problems that coil spacers can create.

The B8 6112 utilizes a larger 60mm piston which provides a smoother ride while offering better control over rough terrain. The larger monotube shock absorber design provides increased durability and heat dissipation, making the kit ideal for off-road vehicles subjected to particularly rugged roads and harsh conditions.

In off-road applications, maintaining a vehicle’s suspension geometry makes a world of difference to performance and part longevity.

Bilstein Suspension Down-Travel graphic

(Image/Bilstein)

According to our friends at Bilstein, coil spacer kits may seem like a cost effective option, but can cause more harm in the long run.

The two primary ways in which leveling shocks outperform coil spacers are:

1. Leveling shocks will maintain correct suspension geometry by maintaining maximum allowable wheel travel.  A spacer, when added on top of a factory coil-over, will compromise the durability of all the suspension components by over-extending droop travel. In many cases, a spacer will also cause coil bind at full compression, therefore decreasing the factory specified compression up-travel.

2. Leveling shocks are specifically designed and tuned for a leveled suspension. A spacer re-uses the factory coil-over, and when combined with an aftermarket top spacer, can vastly compromise the ride quality and handling.

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