Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have close to 90,000 miles on the Bilsteins I got thru a GP here back in 2005 or 2006.

The car was pulling to the right, so I took it in for an alignment. The alignment wasn't too far out, but the RF tire was worn (Outside edge), as shown below.

The car has 175K on OEM CTRL arm bushings, and front end components. I'm in the process of getting everything to replace the arms with new Del-A-Lum bushings, ball joints, a complete front end rebuild kit, Hotchkis springs...etc.

I was curious what the average life expectancy is from a set of Bilstein's?

How do you go about exchanging them in the lifetime warranty process?

Any thoughts are appreciated!



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,396 Posts
Steve, the shocks don't typically stop working until the seal fails, then things can go to crap. That's not to say that Bilsteins last forever--but that's why they cost more, and IF you've got your paperwork they'll replace the failure, as long as it meets all of their criteria.

http://www.bilsteinus.com/warranty.php

BILSTEIN WARRANTY POLICIES
(Proof of purchase is required to process warranty)
Please explore the links below for more information:

General Warranty Details
Warranty Details by Product Series
Warranty Restrictions
Return Procedures chart

GENERAL WARRANTY DETAILS
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America warrants its gas pressure shock absorbers against defects in workmanship and materials for as long as you, the original purchaser, own your car.

If a shock/strut malfunctions and Bilstein determines it to be defective, we will either replace it or repair it depending on the term of the warranty based on the assembly's model type.

WARRANTY RESTRICTIONS
The limited warranties set forth above do not cover normal wear and tear and are non-transferable.

There are only a few specific exceptions to this warranty. They include:

Original equipment shock absorbers - which are warrantied by the original equipment manufacturer.
Improper installation,
Racing, driving competition or off-road use,
Use on modified or other than Bilstein-recommended vehicles.
Bent or broken Rods showing abuse or abnormal wear
Surface finish, boot or mounting hardware such as, but not limited to, rubber bushings, as well as labor charges are not covered by any of the foregoing limited warranties.

Bilstein's liability for a defective shock absorber is limited to replacement of shock with a new or reconditioned Bilstein shock absorber. Repair or replacement as provided by this warranty is customer's sole and exclusive remedy in the event of a product failure. Manufacturer shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential or other damages resulting from the disassembly, handling, installation, service, repair or use of this product. Some States do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation may not apply to you.

This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from State to State.

Note: Other exclusions may or may not apply in certain states or rare circumstances.

WARRANTY PROCESSING

1. Proof of purchase is required to process all warranties.

2. If possible check the suspect shock/strut for possible failure using the directions listed below

3. If the shock/strut assembly qualifies as defective return it to your place of purchase accompanied by a copy of the proof of purchase. Include all contact information including a description of the problem/failure

For additional information about our warranty, please contact our Warranty Hotline by phone at 1(800) 370-9522 or email at [email protected].

Age & mileage does not constitute a failure--about the only way I can think of to evaluate that would be to run the car across a Hunter "safety lane" to have their suspension tester evaluate whether the shocks are up to snuff, but I doubt that will be an accepted reason for Bilstein to agree to warranty them.

Bottom line--warranty won't do any good unless you have a failure--loss of gas pressure, piston seizes, shaft gets bent, and worst case will be that the piston then forces the bottom of the shock body to break the tabs on the (front) lower control arm that secure the shock. On a rear shock, it would more likely be the upper mount (crossmember) that bears the brunt of a seized shock. These conditions may or may not be acceptable as meeting warranty requirements, but a case-by-case exception may be the way these situations get addressed.

A front shock on the B-body is fairly well-protected inside the spring, while a rear shock is more exposed to being hit by something that could dent the monotube and cause a piston seizure. If the shock body is damaged, I do not believe that is considered warrantable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,224 Posts
I had a set on a bmw with 380K , The new owner has over 400K currently on them! They are working perfect!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to do some root cause analysis, and pinpoint the reason the one tire is wearing like it did.

The front end is in need of a rebuild, and I'll have to dig into it more when I can this weekend for the cause.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
I had the same problem. I changed the idler arm,ball joints and the tie rod. Problem fixed:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had the same problem. I changed the idler arm,ball joints and the tie rod. Problem fixed:D
Thanks for writing. I'm positive the BJs are shot, as I can hear them 'pop' if I have to drive up or down from a curb. They're on the list for the complete FT end rebuild kit. Not sure if I'll get this done before the snow flies, and she goes into storage for the winter or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,505 Posts
"I'm positive the BJs are shot, as I can hear them 'pop' if I have to drive up or down from a curb. "

You should not drive it much at all if the BJ's are that bad. Why are you worried about Bilsteins, etc. causing tire wear and pulling with that going on. If a BJ fails you can not only be sitting beside the road but also risk additional damage. Be very careful.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,894 Posts
Remove the lower bolt from the bilsteins and just test them by hand. I agree with Jim - it's much more likely that other parts of the suspension are shot.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,064 Posts
Let an old tire guy jump in here.

The ONLY thing that causes a tire to wear on one side like that is alignment issues. If your shock was worn out, it would cause high and low spots on the tire, caused by the shock inability to keep the the tire's contact patch firmly planted.

The general rules of tire wear are:
Worn on one side: Alignment
Worn on both sides: Under inflation
Worn in middle: Over inflation
Uneven (feathered) pattern: Worn shocks/struts, or improper balancing.

EDIT: Found some visual aids. I'll create a new thread so it can be sticky'd.

There are lots of other things that can happen, too, but that would take all day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let an old tire guy jump in here.

The ONLY thing that causes a tire to wear on one side like that is alignment issues. If your shock was worn out, it would cause high and low spots on the tire, caused by the shock inability to keep the the tire's contact patch firmly planted.

The general rules of tire wear are:
Worn on one side: Alignment
Worn on both sides: Under inflation
Worn in middle: Over inflation
Uneven (feathered) pattern: Worn shocks/struts, or improper balancing.

EDIT: Found some visual aids. I'll create a new thread so it can be sticky'd.

There are lots of other things that can happen, too, but that would take all day.
Thanks for the reply. I'll have to look at the alignment printout, to compare before and after.

I'm a bit disappointed by the fact that the mechanic, when he swapped tires right to left and vice versa didn't notice the obvious cupping on the RF tire!! (I only take my car to anyone to work on for alignments and tire mounting and balancing.)

I received new FT end components yesterday, and got used CTRL arms to the sandblaster & powder coater yesterday as well.

Hopefully I will have the FT end rebuilt myself, and have the suspension dropped with the Hotchkis springs I have before the car goes into storage in just a couple weeks for winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
I have a clunking issue I'm trying to pinpoint. I was under the car yesterday and noticed thats the rear lower shock bushings on my Bilstiens are worn. These shocks might have 70k on them.

All else seem to be tight under the car, no loose bolts, no elongated or reemed out holes, New C3fab lca's in apil, upper lca's have decent bushings on them and are tight.

Do you think the lower shock bushings could be the cause of the clunk? It seems to happen all the time, low speeds in parking lots, over potholes normal roadbumps, when backing up. Even seems to happen when I'm opn the brakes.

Ether way, since Biltstien won't warranty the bushings, what can I do to fix them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
good deal Bill, I saw those links in another post in my search, but couldn't open the bushing link.

Any idea what size bushing the lower shock mount is by any chance?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,396 Posts
Looks like a trial & error situation.

http://www.energysuspension.com/universal-products/shock-eye-bushings.html

The shock mount bolt (from Speedway Motors) has a 5/8" shank, so you can eliminate some of the items in the ES list right away.

Maybe ES knows what is required for the Bilstein fitment, but I'd look at 9.8116 or 9.8147. The only way to know for sure is to take the lower end of your shock apart--drill or grind the peened end of the thru-bolt to get the retainer washer off, then push out the shaft, and then work the rubber out of the end ring and then measure it.

I happen to have a -0929 shock here with a broken lower mount, and I just took it apart--here's what I can tell you:

The bushing ring ID is ~1.100" (remember that Bilstein, being a European (German) company, uses metric dimensions).

The bushing ring width is ~ 0.940".

The rubber bushing has an ~ 1/2" hole (not 5/8") and is ~ 1.085" wide, meaning there's about 0.140" of rubber that extends equally past the width of the bushing ring (0.070" per side).

The other approach is to contact Bilstein, tell them what you're dealing with, and see what they say (start with the HQ location in CA). If you tell them you just need new rubber bushings (which they should be able to provide), and you'll deal with the mount bolt, all you really need to know is whether the hole in their rubber bushing is 5/8" or some other dimension....in which case they would be offering "no solution", unless they can provide you with dimensions that correlate to what ES offers. Even though I've provided info about what is used in production, maybe Bilstein has a variety of bushing ID sizes available and can still provide one that can be used with the replacement mounting bolt setup.

Now a question--are you running an extended lower control arm setup? IF so, do you have spacers on the lower shock mounts to keep the shocks in their original (closer to vertical) location? If the axle is moved back and shocks are not spaced forward, the result is that the rubber bushings will be put under greater stress by the change in angle of the mount and cause a problem as you've described.

It looks like 9.8147 may be the best approach, and you can then cut or grind the inner end of one or both halves of the bushing to get the correct overall length to work with the Bilstein mount ring and the 5/8" shock shaft. I would expect Summit or Jegs to have a similar part available to the one shown from Speedway Motors, and you may be able to find the same or similar item at a local parts store, too....for example: 31001.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
Thanks Bill.

I only have the stock length lowers, stock GM uppers. Whatever is causing my clunk, has to be more than one thing (I think). It looks possible that my exhaust contacts the axle housing a bit when I hit harder bumps, but there seems to be another (might be the same one) clunk during regular driving when hitting bumps a certain way. Not big bumpseither, just normal everyday road bumps.

I did just put some SS wheels on it with 255/50/17 Riken Raptors (used but still good) and the clunk sees to be more apparent now. Definitely more road feel with these wheels/tires then my 255/60/15 indy 500's. I'm assuming its the lower profile that does it. Also note that I took the rear 1.5" swaybar off to send it back and put the new one on (defective mounting pad from factory) and this also seeems to pronounce the clunk more. Perhaps the swaybar keeps something from traveling as far equaling less clunk?

All I know is, its getting very irritating and unnerving. The friggin thing clunks sometimes at such slow speeds with so little effort/bumps that it hardly seems it could be the shock bushings or the exhaust hiting the axle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
just wanted everyone to know that Autozone, advance, orieleys all carry universal lower shock mount kit with busings foir 5.99 each.

I was under my car trying to take the shock off to check it and to loook for my clunk and the stud snapped on me. I went to Autozone today and bought this http://www.autozone.com/autozone/ac...&fromString=search&itemIdentifier=720607_0_0_ from the HELP! section. They had only one in stock, so you may plan on that.

Its a Dorman priduct # 31001


also located them online at oriely's and advance.


The busihings seem tofit a little tighter than the stock bilstien bushings, but I have yet to re-install, will report back once I have to let you know how it feels.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top