Bilstiens...not liking them.

chillman88

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It is night and day better than the '17 F-350 "FX4" I had on rutted dirt roads. That truck was the worst handling POS I've ever owned

That's really impressive. Everyone says the newer trucks ride better!
 

ocnorb

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It was the first year off the aluminum body on the F-350. They stiffened the frames so Chevy couldn't make more bed twist videos, but then said "screw it"; just use there olds springs and shocks.

To fix it requires some additional investment in aftermarket parts and shocks. I was told this by the local dealer diesel mechanic. The bump steer was quite bad.

My '12 Ram and '06 Dmax were also much better riding and handling trucks.
 

david85

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They stiffened the frames so Chevy couldn't make more bed twist videos
That's hilarious because there's probably some truth to it. Perception is everything in marketing.

I did ride in 2018 F250 a few times and it felt fairly smooth until you had to go over any kind of articulation. If both front wheels hit an obstacle evenly, it was quite smooth. If only one wheel hit something, then the body would roll pretty violently sideways as the wheel passed over. From what I could tell, the truck had almost no articulation. I wasn't able to really see much of gravel roads but it seemed susceptible to washboad (though most pickups are).

It's been literally years since I've tried taking my truck at speed on a gravel road. Who knows, maybe I'll be so horrified that I'll try the bilstiens again?
 

david85

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Well, after taking the truck in these conditions a few more times, I'm going to double down on the motorcraft shocks. Overall, the truck has a slight floaty boaty feel, but I prefer it that way. Rutts and potholes area easily soaked up and handing is good. This is all running empty, so keep that in mind if any of you are in the market. I haven't hit any washboard yet, but I think it would do ok.

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chillman88

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Thank you for the follow up. I ordered some Bilsteins for the front of my 250 where it's got all the weight. I'll run some motorcraft rear shocks and probably be happy as a clam. I appreciate you sharing!
 

Mishka

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The straight axle will make for a bad ride regardless but are your Bilsteins the silver ones? If not that might help since you increased height in rear some?
For me I'm upgrading to fox's reservoir shocks but those cost a good amount more then Bilsteins
 

ocnorb

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I put 7100 Series adjustable Bilsteins on our Willys (1948) and it really made a difference. Ordered them with the lowest stock valving they offered. I was planning to tear them down and adjust as needed, but they work great as is. These are tunable similar to a dirt bike shock. It’s nice that they can be rebuilt too.

I mention this because I’m sure that the Bilstein shocks called out for these old trucks are a compromise. Sometimes it might be worth having some extra adjustability if your use case is a little different than the average. (And what IDI owner is average??).
 

david85

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The straight axle will make for a bad ride regardless but are your Bilsteins the silver ones? If not that might help since you increased height in rear some?
For me I'm upgrading to fox's reservoir shocks but those cost a good amount more then Bilsteins
See Post #7 for the exact part number I tried. And in all honesty, I can't say the ride is much worse now compared to the twin I-Beams. I'm sure it's worse but I don't cringe anymore when hitting a pothole or bump in the road. Actually, I caught myself aiming for them after putting the motorcraft shocks in. Even charged a few speedbumps just for the fun of it LOL

Thank you for the follow up. I ordered some Bilsteins for the front of my 250 where it's got all the weight. I'll run some motorcraft rear shocks and probably be happy as a clam. I appreciate you sharing!
I think that'll work well.

I put 7100 Series adjustable Bilsteins on our Willys (1948) and it really made a difference. Ordered them with the lowest stock valving they offered. I was planning to tear them down and adjust as needed, but they work great as is. These are tunable similar to a dirt bike shock. It’s nice that they can be rebuilt too.

I mention this because I’m sure that the Bilstein shocks called out for these old trucks are a compromise. Sometimes it might be worth having some extra adjustability if your use case is a little different than the average. (And what IDI owner is average??).
Adjustable shocks sound nice, but the Bilstiens were already expensive enough for me.
 

jwsfarrier

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I feel like running something adjustable for these trucks if you are hauling substantlial weight is the way to go. I was running the Bilstiens on my F-350. I carry a drop in utility body that adds about 3000lbs in the bed.Not top heavy like a camper but still weight. It did not squat it but rode terrible, lots of body roll as you would expect, especially on a CC. I added some airbags which helped a ton. Granted that added some cost ,but i felt it worth the money. I think any quality shocks are fine realizing the limitations of our stock suspension. Adjustability for weight makes all the difference.
 

Cubey

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Air bags might be an easier option for adjusting loads.
 

ocnorb

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I have air bags and it seems like they limit wheel travel when the bed is empty. It seems to make the unloaded ride harsher even when i pull the schraeder valves out completely.
 

david85

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I have air bags and it seems like they limit wheel travel when the bed is empty. It seems to make the unloaded ride harsher even when i pull the schraeder valves out completely.
Strange. I never ran air bags but I wouldn't expect them to stiffen the ride if all the pressure is released. I'm also surprised to hear they may limit suspension travel on an otherwise stock setup.

I kinda want to try them because of the potential flexibility that comes with it. Are you able to change the truck's ride height when empty?
 

ocnorb

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Strange. I never ran air bags but I wouldn't expect them to stiffen the ride if all the pressure is released. I'm also surprised to hear they may limit suspension travel on an otherwise stock setup.

I kinda want to try them because of the potential flexibility that comes with it. Are you able to change the truck's ride height when empty?
I can change the ride height. But it’s like they don’t stretch out as far as the shocks do and this limit their down travel.
Maybe they make a taller bag and the previous owner used the wrong ones.?!
 

jwsfarrier

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I can only say from my experience with an F350 CC 4wd the bags worked for me . Unloaded without the utility body in the bed, bags empty, its a pretty harsh ride. Its a one ton so its going to be stiff. A load helps alot but more body roll with it. I have on board air so its easy to adjust pressure and ride heigth. I run the bags at 65lbs, that raises the truck about 2 1/2 "
The air -bags for me have been a good investment.
 

david85

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That's what I was hoping to hear. I'm looking to swap from my current 4" rear lift blocks for 2" blocks. 4" are what I should be running for the F350 running gear, while 2" blocks were put in the F250s (to match TTB vs Dana60 monobeam). If I can change the height by 2" with air pressure, it means I could probably still keep the high clearance for the occasional offroad situations, while lowering the bed by 2" for all other conditions. I like the idea of onboard air as well. Definitely something to look into eventually.
 
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