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Bilstein News

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.

Team BILSTEIN Racers Earn Prestigious Short Course Championships :: November 9th, 2017

There is no greater punishment on a vehicles suspension than off-road racing, and short course racing is even more intense. Short course takes the punishment experienced in miles of off-road racing and condenses it onto a track where fans can witness the spectacle. Cars and trucks race door to door at breakneck speeds over terrain that is purposely designed to upset the vehicles. When they are not traversing uneven bumps or negotiating tricky corners, racers are flying through the air off of huge jumps. It’s in this crazy world where BILSTEIN chooses to compete. Not only does BILSTEIN’s shock absorber technology survive in short course racing, it excels.

Darren Hardesty Jr., who’s Pro Buggy runs BILSTEIN M 9200 Bypass and Coilover shocks, is a third generation racer who has carried on the championship tradition. His Father Darren Sr. won in the desert on BILSTEIN shocks. BILSTEIN has been a part of the Hardesty family for a long time. “We were 100% committed to winning another championship this season” says Hardesty Jr., “We worked really hard to be the fastest car on the track. You have to be fast and smooth to stay out front. During the final points race of the season, I got the holeshot and just ran my own race out front. We took the win and my spotter Matt came over the radio to tell me we won our second championship; it was incredible! Driving up to the podium, the fans lined up to give us high fives as we drove by. It was the most high fives I’ve ever seen, the fans are amazing! My eyes welled up with tears of joy. Our first championship felt amazing but the second one is beyond words. We worked so hard to achieve it and BILSTEIN is a huge part of our success.”

Jerett Brooks took his second straight Pro Lite championship title this season running on BILSTEIN M 9200 Bypass and Coilover shocks. He did it by being consistently out front. “We try to stay out front and run clean,” says Brooks, “If you get back in the pack, there is no time to wait; you have to move people out of the way. It’s important to qualify in the front and get great starts. BILSTEIN has been a big help to us for both of our championships. They helped us to set up our shocks and give us killer service between races.” Brooks also races in the Pro-2 class; full-size, 2 wheel drive trucks with 700-900 horsepower engines. After winning back to back championships in the Pro Lite class, Brooks will be moving up into the Pro-2 class full time next season.

BILSTEIN racer Ryan Beat travelled to Crandon International Raceway in Crandon, Wisconsin, the birthplace of short course racing, to compete for the 48th annual World Championships. Over 54,000 fans showed up to witness the best off-road racers in the world competing for the World Championship title.

It was Beat’s first trip to Crandon, but he left a huge impression. One of the most unique features of the track in Crandon is the land rush start. Beat and his fellow competitors lined up door to door and at the drop of the green flag; charged across an open field filled with bumps, mud, and slick grass towards turn one. Turn one is taken at full throttle as the trucks head to a jump before making a sharp left turn.

“Getting the land rush start right is the key to winning in Crandon,” says Ryan Beat, “We qualified fastest so we started on the pole. At the drop of the green flag it’s a drag race into turn one. My BILSTEIN shocks gave me the traction I needed to get off the line, and allowed me to stay on the throttle through the big holes off the start. We got the holeshot and never looked back; we led the race from flag to flag. Winning a Crandon World Championship is like winning the Daytona 500. It was a great experience, and I am grateful for BILSTEIN’s support and everyone else who helped us to achieve it. We made a few minor rebound adjustments to our 2.5 inch BILSTEIN external bypass shocks and our truck was perfect.”

BILSTEIN has been on the podium in off-road racing since the sport was invented. They continue to define the performance and durability necessary to win races and championships in the most demanding racing conditions in the world. Congratulations go out to Ryan Beat, Jerett Brooks, and Darren Hardesty Jr., three current BILSTEIN racers who, through hard work and determination, have added their names to the record books.

SEMA 2017 – BILSTEIN Unveils Ten New Products! :: November 6th, 2017

BILSTEIN Shock Absorbers will be making their annual debut at SEMA with a completely redesigned booth (#23057). The back walls feature vibrant oversized landscapes that capture the emotion of driving on and off road with legendary BILSTEIN shock absorbers. These landscapes set the stage for this year’s featured vehicles, a 1972 Toyota FJ-40 and a 2017 Audi RS3 LMS. BILSTEIN will also be unveiling ten new products and applications at the show, as well as an all new Online eCatalog.

The rebuilt 1972 Toyota FJ-40 is truly “the crawler Toyota would have built.” A departure from the usual rock crawler builds, this vehicle is “All Toyota” and is as true to the brand as possible. It was completely engineered and built by Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers. They restored the FJ to the original Toyota color code, explaining its iconic mint green color. The entire vehicle has been rebuilt with 100% Toyota parts. The original 1972 FJ-40 was cut in half and stretched 13 inches to help make room for some additional upgrades including: bigger brakes, 40 inch tires, lights and the addition of a custom three link front and four link rear suspension featuring BILSTEIN B8 8125s and M 9100 Bump Stops.

The 2017 Audi RS3 LMS is engineered by Audi Sport for an emerging TCR category, the RS3 LMS is equipped with a four-cylinder TFSI engine that delivers up to 350 horsepower through a SADEV 6-speed sequential transmission. All four corners utilize BILSTEIN MDS coilovers featuring independent rebound and compression adjustment for precise optimization of suspension characteristics on any track. Driven by JT Coupal, this Audi RS3 LMS was raced during the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season and most recently raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the final round of the Pirelli World Challenge series. He is supported by Micro Precision Components Inc., Berg Racing, and Redcom.

Additionally, BILSTEIN has partnered with ECS Tuning, Liqui Moly, StopTech, Mann, Rotiform, Milltek, Carista, 034Motorsport, Wagner Tuning, and Tire Source to give away a fully wrapped, 2016 Audi A3 Quattro S-Line equipped with BILSTEIN B16 (PSS10) suspension. The vehicle will be on display at the show and the winner will be announced immediately after SEMA. BILSTEIN will have three other featured vehicles in the show; the full list of sponsored vehicles and their locations can be found in the BILSTEIN booth number 23057.

BILSTEIN will be debuting their new eCatalog featuring improved navigation and functionality and an enhanced Year-Make-Model product lookup. Additionally, customers can now search for custom, non-vehicle specific BILSTEIN products in Custom Light Truck, Heavy Duty and Motorhome, Motorsports, and Off-Road Motorsports categories. Custom attributes can be selected to search product by length, mount type, extended and collapsed measurements, chassis type, and more. These features will help users further navigate the product pages, including those featured in this year’s new product showcase.

The SEMA New Products Showcase includes ten new products from BILSTEIN spanning multiple segments, including light truck and off-road, tuning, and motorsports.

– B8 5100 (Dual Steering Damper) | 2013-2017 RAM 2500/3500 4WD | Part #53-264817
– B8 6112 | 2015+ Ford F-150 2WD | Part #47-258075
– B6 4600 | 2017+ Ford F250/F350 4WD | Part #24-274937
– B8 6112 | 2005-2017 Nissan Frontier/Xterra | Part #47-266711
– B8 6112 | 2000-2006 Toyota Tundra 4WD | Part #47-260337
– B8 5162 | 2014+ RAM 2500 4WD | Part #46-263889
– B6 Performance | 2014+ Nissan Rogue | Part #22-251534
– B8 Performance Plus | 2016+ Fiat 124 Spider/Mazda Miata MX-5 | Part #24-249607
– BILSTEIN Clubsport® | 2016+ BMW M2 | Part #48-268721
– B16 (PSS10) | 2017+ Audi A4/A4 Quattro | Part #48-262316

If you make it to SEMA this year, be sure to visit the BILSTEIN booth (#23057) to learn more about the cart and the new products on display. The BILSTEIN Sales, Marketing, Motorsports and Product Management teams will be there to answer any questions you may have.

BILSTEIN B4 Air Suspension :: October 13th, 2017

100% New Manufactured — Know the Difference!

Learn how the quality of BILSTEIN 100% new-manufactured B4 Air suspension modules differ from other products available on the independent repair shop market.

High-quality BILSTEIN B4 Air suspension modules are engineered and manufactured to uncompromising OEM standards. These new-manufactured components have only been available for a few years, offering a superior solution to a market flooded with reduced-functionality spare parts and poor quality remanufactured parts. BILSTEIN B4 air suspension modules are the only aftermarket solution that provides full functionality for all active and passive systems – delivering the same perfect driving experience and ride quality as when the car rolled off the lot.

Active air suspension modules such as the BILSTEIN B4 Air empower the driver with the option to switch between different driving modes. In extreme situations, for example an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision, the system automatically switches the ride characteristics to a more responsive and safe setting. After the maneuver, the system returns to the pre-selected driving mode. Retaining this functionality is paramount to a perfect driving experience – something only BILSTEIN can assure.

BILSTEIN B4 Air suspension includes 100% brand new components:

– NEW air spring
– NEW gas-pressure shock absorber
– NEW electromagnetic control valve
– NEW seals, sensors and electrical

What is remanufacturing?

For many vehicle components, remanufacturing (the reworking of old parts) is a reasonable and cost-saving alternative to new parts. This only applies if all the individual wear components are replaced. With air suspension modules, all components are subjected to wear:

Air bags wear due to contraction, extension, pressure and temperature.
Gas-pressure shock absorbers wear due to continuous movement and high mileage.
Electromagnetic control valves and seals wear due to continuous oil flow.
In remanufactured products, only the air spring is replaced, all other parts are reused. This means you have no way of determining how high the mileage of the donor shock absorber was run. With used donor shock absorbers potentially coming from different vehicles, it is possible that the damping force at the individual wheels will differ significantly.

You paid for adaptive suspension features, maintain that functionality.

With competitor products, the electromagnetic control valve is replaced with a resistor to deceive the OE electronic controls – defeating the functionality of multiple driving modes. The air suspension system becomes limited to one driving mode – a compromised solution. By installing a seemingly cheaper part, you remove functionality of your customer’s suspension and risk reducing driver safety.

In contrast to OEM or BILSTEIN B4 air suspension modules, remanufactured air springs use a cross-ply bellows system – requiring a significantly higher rolling radius. Since the working chamber remains the same size, the cross-ply bellow is subjected to a significantly higher level of wear – it cannot expand and collapse sufficiently. A cross-ply bellow system does not achieve the same sensitive spring response behavior as a BILSTEIN axial bellows system.

Don’t compromise.

When servicing or replacing your air suspension, ask for BILSTEIN B4 Air and rest assured that safety, comfort, functionality and handling quality will be preserved.