SP vs HD Bilsteins - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2002, 05:45 AM
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I was browsing Shox.com application guide for my friend's 95 K2500 when I decided to look at my car (again). I have already bought the boxy Bilsteins (1104 and 0929) from them and they're great...however, I noticed it recommends this for the Caprice:
HD B46-1104
HD B46-0929

And this for the Impala SS:
SP B46-1104
SP B46-0929

What is the deal??? Are the SPs somehow stiffer?? I e-mailed them and they don't really know. They said SP's are *generally* stiffer but I should call Bilstein to be sure. Does anyone on here know? I'll be pissed if I find out I could have bought stiffer shocks than the "HDs."
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2002, 03:58 PM
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Looks like I will be able to answer my own question. I was so bothered by the difference between SP and HD that I called Bilstein and waited on hold for 10 minutes to ask someone. The answer? Since they are the same model number, same shock. I guess the SP vs HD is more based on the application. The Caprice is "Heavy Duty" and the SS, being lowered, is "Sport," even though the shock is exactly the same for both.

Oh well.

Thanks anyway.
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2002, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for the follow through and info.
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2002, 08:33 PM
Terry McManmon
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Thanks for the follow-up Kevin. You had me wondering what I had done. Breathing easy now.
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2002, 11:43 PM
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There are at least two groups of shock absorbers available from Bilstein available for the B-Body:
Application Front Rear Notes
'77-'90 B-car #1104 #0929 Bilstein only
'91-'96 B-car #1516 #1517 Chevy SEO 8X3
The lowdown by Scott Mueller
You did get the stiffer ones.
I wonder if they still offer custom valving ...
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-27-2002, 05:55 PM
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Cheavy, I think they do offer custom valving. I was going to ask, but I decided not to bother the guy anymore than I already had. I still think adding some more compression damping and leaving the rebound damping alone (or adding a tad more...) would be REALLY great.

The 77-90 was lighter and you can tell that the 1104s were meant for that car when going over big dips in the road. I have slammed my poor air dam on the ground after driving in a spirited manner on a road with huge dips...I think between the "stiff" bilsteins and 9C1 springs, that shouldn't happen. Stiffer compression dampen would fix that, imo. Something to think about for next time, I guess.
My goal is to end up with the Hotchkis suspension setup and those are progressive and stiff, so that should curb all bottoming out over dips.
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-28-2002, 12:28 PM
Navy Lifer
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The Impala SS, being of the same chassis "class" as the original 91 "whale", had the -1516/-1517 shocks "qualified" for the application. These shocks use digressive valving, which equates to softer under most conditions. The -1517 rear shock is longer to allow easier removal of a rear tire.

When the body was changed in '93, this opened the door for Bilstein to consider listing the previous (box-car application) -1104/-0929 linerar-valved shocks as a more aggressive alternate, especially with the lower ride height of the Impala SS, which some lower even more. The shock length is probably more of an issue on front than rear, but most who have tried them seem to favor the early design over the later shocks listed, and Bilstein decided to call the early shock(s) a "Sport" application for the Impala SS. The OE deCarbon shock is a pretty good compromise in this area, actually, but they do cost more to replace than using Bilsteins.

A front shock that might be worth looking into for the front of a lowered Impala is the S10 Extreme/ZQ8 shock, which is also a deCarbon item, that I think is a little bit shorter than the OE Impala shock. Rears are another matter, but I think I prefer the -0929's, as a starting point. Others like Koni, HAL, etc....I'll dig up the GM P/N's for the front S10 shocks if anyone wants them.
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