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Bilstein News


Never before has such complete damping control been available in a direct fit suspension kit.

BILSTEIN’s New B8 8112 (ZoneControl® CR) shocks give you everything you want and need in a bolt on package for the 2005-2017 Toyota Tacoma. BILSTEIN’s unrivaled damping performance is achieved through 3 compression zones and 2 rebound zones; all controlled by 3 fully independent, position sensitive, internal pistons. Costly secondary bump stops, and finicky limit straps are no longer needed, the B8 8112 (ZoneControl® CR) takes care of it all by controlling every inch of stroke in both directions. Just bolt them on and go!

Transitioning from comfortable cruising on the pavement to conquering offroad terrain happens seamlessly thanks to BILSTEIN’s revolutionary damping technology, and strict attention to detail during extensive product development. The external coilover’s spring rate is vehicle specific and preloaded to factory specifications, however, the threaded retainer still allows an additional 2 inches of ride height adjustment. The 60mm remote reservoir provides increased oil capacity and enhances cooling. Designed for each vehicle application, a frame mounted, anodized aluminum reservoir mount is included. Aerospace quality materials and precise manufacturing means your BILSTEIN B8 8112 (ZoneControl® CR) shocks will provide years of reliable service, and unmatched performance. Available now, the B8 8112 (ZoneControl® CR) shocks will be joined by the B8 8100 (Bypass) shock in a few weeks.

Also position sensitive, the B8 8100 (Bypass) shock’s incremental flow adjusters allow finite and incremental changes in damping force for precise compression and rebound control. The 60mm remote reservoir, with machined aluminum chassis mount, uses a bottom port for the reservoir hose to provide increased bottom out control during the compression cycle. Direct fit for easy installation, B8 8100 (Bypass) shocks paired with the B8 8112 (ZoneControl® CR) shocks up front will provide a complete bolt on, performance handling package for your vehicle.

Happy Holidays from Essex Distributors :: December 22nd, 2017

Our office will be closed until January 2, 2018. Email us at if you have any questions and we will do our best to get back to you. Please take advantage of our Year End Sale while we are closed and we will commence shipping January 2, 2018

OE Replacement – Your Airspring Checklist :: December 13th, 2017

Considerations to keep in mind when replacing air springs on the rear axle of the Mercedes E class W211/S211 with or without Airmatic DC!

Always replace BILSTEIN air springs in pairs (per axle).

Check the orientation, condition and fitment of the new air springs prior to installation. They cannot be kinked or twisted. The protective collar must not show any signs of damage and the folds must be formed correctly. Measure the length between the upper support surface and middle of the lower lug. The measurement must not exceed 300 mm. Semi-active air springs (with auxiliary tanks) must not be separated from the connecting hose. If one of these points is not fulfilled, the air spring will be defective and should not be installed.

Use a suitable diagnostic device. The vehicle manufacturer’s specifications include step-by-step bleeding and filling of the air springs, which must be complied with.

Never lower the vehicle entirely from the lifting platform with unpressurized air springs. Follow the stipulated specifications regarding tightening torque of the pressure line.

Alignment of the new BILSTEIN air springs must occur in the construction state (K0-position). Use the provided assembly aid for this. You must check for correct installation: the air spring must be parallel to the shock absorber. A distorted installation or an incorrect alignment of the air springs can cause damage to the vehicle or to the air spring. This will lead to air spring failure. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications regarding the tightening torque and the replacement of nuts and screws.

The protective collar folds must be correctly formed. If necessary, correct by hand. The protective collar must also be free-moving and it must be possible to raise it from the air bellows when filling.

Always align the axles after working on suspension parts.

Feature Product – BILSTEIN B4 OE Replacement (Air) :: December 7th, 2017

BILSTEIN B4 OE Replacement (Air)
2014-2016 Mercedes S550 | 2015-2016 Mercedes S550e
Bilstein B4 OE Replacement (Air) dampers are designed to replace the original air suspension systems on many European brand vehicles. Bilstein is an OE supplier for air suspension systems; the quality of these products meets, and typically exceeds, the standards set forth by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Bilstein B4 OE Replacement (Air) dampers are designed to connect directly into the original connectors on the vehicle, ensuring modification-free installation and restoration of the original feel of the vehicle.

Features and Benefits:
– Direct fit
– Maintains the active factory system to ensure predictable handling, safe stopping distances and original ride comfort
– Manufactured with 100% new parts for maximum reliability and safety
– 100% OE quality and comfort
– Available for both active and passive air suspension systems
– Individually fine-tuned during BILSTEIN road testing to perfectly match the OE air suspension module

Part Numbers:
44-240004 | Front Left (Featured on right)
44-240011 | Front Right
44-239961 | Front Left
44-239978 | Front Right
44-239985 | Rear Left
44-239992 | Rear Right

Bilstein Legends :: December 5th, 2017

Legends are made by actions. Our BILSTEIN legends are defined by their actions and so much more – they are doers, fighters and champions. Each in their own field and each of them with an unbeatable team behind them. We are proud to be a part of this team!

The BILSTEIN Legends series is our latest video production. It celebrates our involvement in all types of motorsport and features champions from our most diverse disciplines. Watch the first episode of the BILSTEIN Legends series, Coffee Break.

BILSTEIN B4 Airsprings provide the Best Value for Your Luxury Vehicle :: December 3rd, 2017

Premium luxury vehicles from European marques including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Range Rover and Jaguar often utilize airspring technology to ensure top-shelf ride quality and adaptability over changing road surfaces. These vehicles are often sold prematurely because an original owner believes an aging chassis will no-longer support itself with the original ride comfort and security. Similarly, buyers on the used vehicle market may wish to freshen-up the airspring suspension system to re-invigorate a tired vehicle.

BILSTEIN B4 Airsprings offer Original Equipment quality and represent a more affordable investment than an original dealer replacement – eliminating the middleman. Unlike many competitors, BILSTEIN Airsprings are 100% new manufactured, with no re-manufactured parts. BILSTEIN’s electronic controls interface seamlessly with your vehicle’s OE ride controls, ensuring continued functionality.

With a remanufactured airspring, buyers cannot tell how many miles are on the seemingly new parts they are installing, whether they came from the same vehicle, and may not know if the electronic controls are being defeated or properly utilized. Remanufactured air spring modules eliminate functionality by defeating drive mode options. By removing these safety and performance features, your vehicle may have altered stopping distances or inferior maneuverability.

BILSTEIN partners with Mercedes-Benz to develop and provide air suspension for the flag-ship S-Class. With our Airspring technology, you can rest assured when it comes to reliability and safety. For a heavy luxury vehicle, the suspension system plays a vital role in safety. Controlling the weight transfer and handling under dynamic driving conditions is paramount to a controlled, comfortable and secure drive.

Motorsports – The Science Behind the Valve Stack :: November 30th, 2017

The art of shock tuning has long been considered a “black magic.” While this is somewhat true, there is an actual science behind the construction of a valve stack. With roughly 400+ shims in BILSTEIN’s tool box, ranging from 10.5mm to 60mm in diameter, and .10mm to .80mm in thickness, there are an endless number of possibilities when it comes to building the perfect stack for your vehicle. Below, we’ll provide some insight into the different components that make up a proper stack and explain the differences between linear, digressive and compression/rebound only bypass digressive valving setups.

How Does a Valve Stack Function Within a Shock Absorber?
As the tire and wheel move up and down on a vehicle in response to the road surface, the piston inside the monotube shock absorber cycles through hydraulic fluid and creates pressure differentials. These “pressure differentials” can be controlled by introducing a valve stack on either side of the piston. One stack controls rebound and the other controls compression. During compression, the rebound shims block oil flow through the ports in the piston and the compression shims bend open to allow oil flow. During rebound, the opposite effect occurs. Adding or removing metal shims (valve plates) will result in an increase or decrease in compression and rebound damping forces.

A typical valve stack consists of an arrangement of shims, including support, cover, bypass, bleed and preload shims, in a variety of thicknesses and diameters. Each of these shims plays a distinct role in the valve stack setup. BILSTEIN utilizes three main valve stacking combinations: linear, digressive, and compression/ rebound only bypass digressive.

Linear Valving
Liner valving is characterized by a high flow rate at low shaft speeds. The oil flow resistance increases as the shaft speed increases. Thus, the faster the shaft speed, the stiffer the shock.
Our linear piston has approximately three times the bleed on the compression side as the rebound side. Bleed refers to the amount of oil flowing through the piston and around the shim stack. The rebound side is usually noted by a small, faint, minus sign (-) in the casting. This means that if the valvings were to be built with the same series of thicknesses and diameters on both sides of the piston, the side with the minus sign will always have the greatest amount of damping force, because it has the least amount of bleed. (The piston can also be inverted to create a low bleed compression, with a high bleed rebound.)

Digressive Valving
Digressive valving is characterized by a low flow rate at low shaft speeds. This results in more oil flow resistance. The resistance rate increases as shaft speeds increase, but only to a pre-determined level. At that point, the resistance tapers off and as the shaft speed continues to increase, the resistance remains constant. This eliminates unnecessary resistance and provides more control as the vehicle encounters irregularities in the road’s surface.

Compression Only Bypass (C.O.B.) and Rebound Only Bypass (R.O.B.) Digressive Valving
Compression only bypass (C.O.B.) and Rebound only bypass (R.O.B.) digressive valvings are similar to the standard digressive valving, but differ in that they contain a check valve system. The C.O.B. Digressive piston utilizes a check valve, that when installed on the compression side of the piston creates less bleed and therefore more force on the rebound side. When the “C.O.B.” Digressive piston’s check valve is installed on the rebound side, there is less bleed and therefore more force created on the compression side.

How to Determine the Setup That’s Right For You
While there are many variables to consider when tuning your race vehicle, the valving code is arguably one of the most important factors to focus on. For more info on how to get started building your ideal valve stack, take a look at BILSTEIN’s Motorsports Technical Guide, which includes setup recommendations for a variety of motorsport uses. Additionally, BILSTEIN’s Motorsports Technical Team is available at 877-666-7662 to discuss any questions you may have.

BILSTEIN Expands Performance Suspension Applications for European Platforms :: November 29th, 2017

BILSTEIN is your go-to for premium suspension when outfitting your European performance car. As an OEM supplier of dampers to several revered marques including BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, BILSTEIN aftermarket suspension kits and struts are engineered to be direct-fit and ride-tested on the Nürburgring for optimal handling and feel.

A vehicle with four doors and a little more practicality doesn’t have to spell the death of driving pleasure. BILSTEIN understands that your fun car might also be your school-run, grocery-getter during the week, but come the weekend, it’s your canyon-carving lifestyle that drives you to push the limits of grip.

To answer the demand for performance suspension applications for just such drivers, BILSTEIN is excited to offer B6 struts for the 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera, and B8 lowering struts for 2016-2018 BMW X1 SUVs and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG model sport sedans. The B6 series strut features application-specific valving to improve handling and response, while using stock ride-height springs. Similarly, the B8 strut is tuned to the needs of your make model and chassis, but is engineered to accommodate lowering springs with a shortened compressed and extended length.

With the addition of B6 or B8 struts to your BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, you can transform your sedate sedan or SUV into a more focused and driver-centric machine where feel and balance are accentuated for your passion to get out and drive!

For more uncompromising drivers’ cars, BILSTEIN is upping the ante with increasingly focused strut and coilover kits. The B12 series incorporates a B8 strut with a matched lowering spring package – taking the guesswork off of the end user and ensuring BILSTEIN engineers make a pairing that will please discerning drivers. Now available for 2013-2017 Porsche 911 models, the latest 991 edition of the fastest thing out of Stuttgart can benefit from this performance-tuned suspension system.

BILSTEIN coilovers provide the most end-user control when it comes to adjustability. BILSTEIN B16 (PSS) kits and BILSTEIN Clubsport® coilovers feature threaded bodies to allow for ride-height adjustability, as well as anodized billet aluminum adjustment knobs offer convenient damping adjustment. BILSTEIN deflective disc technology allows for damping adjustments to be made on the main piston for direct and precise control. Inverted monotube design is a hallmark of BILSTEIN tuning suspension and contributes to longevity and resists damper flex.

The latest additions to the BILSTEIN lineup represent a keen understanding of enthusiast needs. As we continue to add applications for the European performance market, BILSTEIN engineers test and tune from the lab, to the real world and onto the grueling circuits of the world.

New Product Applications Now Available for the BILSTEIN B8 6112 Kit :: November 16th, 2017

2015-2017 GMC Yukon | 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
Bilstein B8 6112 leveling kits are designed to provide more ground clearance, allow for larger tires, and increase wheel travel. Multiple snap-ring grooves in the body allow for different spring seat positions, providing 0-2.75 inches of front lift (depending on application). These kits consist of (2) 60mm shock absorbers combined with (2) custom matched cold wound coil springs and (2) billet aluminum spring seats. The large 60mm digressive piston allows for increased damping control for optimal on-road and off-road capabilities. Experience the legendary Bilstein off-road experience with the best direct fit spring and shock kit for your light truck or SUV.

Features and Benefits:
– Large 60mm body for increased oil capacity, cooling, and long-term durability
– 60mm digressive piston improves ride comfort and control over rough terrain
– Vehicle specific tuning
– Monotube design ensures consistent, fade-free performance in all conditions
– Adjustable spring seat offers 0-2.75in of lift, depending on the application
– Custom engineered cold wound linear springs for enhanced vehicle control and ride comfort
– Kit includes (2) 60mm shock absorbers, (2) billet hard anodized spring seats, and (2) springs
– Available for late model trucks and SUVs which utilize a front coilover suspension
– Made in the USA

Part Numbers:
B8 6112 Suspension Kit | 47-251922

BILSTEIN Expands Coilover Suspension Applications for Audi and BMW :: November 13th, 2017

B16 (PSS10) coilovers include ride-height adjustable bodies and parallel rebound and compression damping adjustability. Proprietary Triple C zinc coatings ensure corrosion resistance, round threads resist galling and direct fit stem, tabs, brackets and locating pins make for easy installation. Now available for the popular 2017 Audi A4 and A4 Quattro platforms, double-duty driving enthusiasts can reap the benefits of adjustability on the track while retaining the option to adapt for inclement weather in the winter months.

Rounding out the top of the range in BILSTEIN tuning suspension is the motorsport-derived Clubsport® coilover suspension system. The latest and hottest addition to the BMW M-car range, the M2 is distilling the Ultimate Driving Machine’s identity into a nimble, sexy and compact platform. Balance and poise is accentuated with this straight-6-powered school-yard bruiser. The youthful but serious gameface of the M2 is a perfect match for the uncompromising characteristics of BILSTEIN Clubsport® coilovers.

Independent rebound and compression damping adjustment adds a layer of tuneability to an aggressive and sporty valving profile. The same ride-height adjustability and direct fitment feature apply to help you lower your center of gravity and roll-centers for BILSTEIN-engineered suspension geometry at home on the track. Camber-adjustable top mounts and uniball construction ensure direct driver feedback and road-feel, trading the flex and road-feel masked by conventional rubber bushing and topmounts.

Clubsport® coilovers are for the driver who demands every last drop of performance from their ride, whether on the highways and curvy B-roads with its TUV certification, or squeezing out a 10/10ths lap around the green hell of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The latest additions to the BILSTEIN lineup represent a keen understanding of enthusiast needs. As we continue to add applications for the European performance market, BILSTEIN engineers test and tune from the lab, to the real world and onto the grueling circuits of the world.