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In-Depth Comparison Of Bilstein 4600 vs 5100 Series

In-Depth Comparison Of Bilstein 4600 vs 5100 Series

Using shocks and struts, you can better manage the motions of your automobile when you have to stop and accelerate or turn. Shocks, struts, or a mix of the two are often seen in modern autos with some differences also. But when it comes to Bilstein 4600 vs 5100 series, how do they differ?

The noticeable difference between the Bilstein 4600 and 5100 series is that the 5100 series is intended for raised vehicles, while the 4600 is designed for stock height trucks. Also, the 4600 Heavy Duty has a painted yellow body with a blue dust boot, while the 5100 features a zinc coating on the shock body and a brushed metal shock body.

This article will explain how the Bilstein 4600 and 5100 differ from each other. Also, you will get all other relevant information regarding the Bilstein shocks. Let’s go….

Overview Of Bilstein 4600 vs 5100

  Bilstein 5100 Bilstein 4600
Body Size 1.95″ 1.95″
Finish Zinc Painted
Rod Size 14 mm 14 mm
Piston Size 46 mm 46 mm
Rod Material Chrome Plated Steel Chrome Plated Steel
Body Material Steel Steel
Position Front & Rear Rear & Font
Color Silver Yellow
Boots Type Protective Rubber
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime
Best For Hwy / Offroad OEM / Hwy

 Parallels Of Bilstein 5100 and 4600

  • For the life of the shock, they both cover any manufacturing faults.
  • Both shocks have an extruded metal body design for optimum strength and top-of-the-line sealing.
  • A similar internal design may be found in both the 5100 and Heavy-Duty versions of shocks.
  • Bilstein’s limited lifetime guarantee covers both the 5100 series and the Heavy Duty 4600 series.
  • Internal valving is identical in both. Thus, they will both ride the same at stock height vehicles.
  • Using 360 psi of nitrogen, both shocks are compressed to avoid shock fading and foaming of the oil in the shock.

Detailed Comparison On Bilstein 4600 vs 5100

Differences In Technology

In standard height light trucks and SUVs, Bilstein 4600 shock absorbers are intended to replace the OE shock absorbers. The monotube construction of these shock absorbers ensures fade-free performance. Different driving conditions are taken into account by the digressive piston found in 4600 shock absorbers.

Lifted trucks and SUVs benefit from Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers since they are a straight fit solution. The monotube construction of these shock absorbers ensures fade-free performance. Unique, velocity-sensitive, and digressive pistons are used in the 5100 shock absorbers.

The height of the shocks is the most significant distinction between the two. 4600 shocks are recommended for trucks with a higher bed. You need 5100 shocks if your vehicle is elevated above the ground.


Stabilization is provided by the Bilstein 4600 series’ rising rate valving, which delivers enough damping without losing ride comfort for heavy loads. 

Bilstein 5100 Series shocks Ride Height Adjustable Shock Absorbers are ideal for pickups and SUVs with Coilover front suspensions. The vehicle’s stock ride height may be adjusted from 0-2.5″ depending on the application by using various snap ring grooves to place the spring seat.


On average, the shocks are manufactured so correctly that they can survive for 50,000 miles. Both of them are precisely the same. They have a typical lifespan of five years or 50,000 kilometers. 

You, too, may go 60,000 miles on excellent or dirt roads and an attentive better ride. You and your loved ones are at risk if you don’t care for your vehicle.

Driving Comfort

With 5100s, you’ll notice that the valving is firmer to support larger tires or wheels for stiff rides. The level of control you require over your vehicle rises directly proportional to the number of modifications you apply.

The amount of weight that can be carried also affects this. The 5100s would ride significantly stiffer at lesser weights, and for some people, they would even be unpleasant.

The 4600 heavy-duty shocks would excel in this area since they would provide a much more pleasant ride. KYB Monomax is an option for cars with higher stock height applications and greater payloads.

Bilstein 4600 And 5100 Series Struts

Offroad and on the highway, the Bilstein heavy-duty 4600 has a premium feel to it. The Bilstein springs and thicker body deliver a smooth and predictable firmer ride at an incredible price.

Struts of the 5100 Series may be raised or lowered between 1.75 and 2.5 inches, depending on the model. The 5100 Series is offered in a factory height version for suspension lift vehicles and Jeeps. When it comes to factory height automobiles, the only option you’ll have is a 4600 series. The Bilstein 4600 is

Building Materials

There is a bushing-type mount on the Bilstein 4600, which has a highly polished aluminum shock body. They come in “comfort” or “sport” valving and may be used on the front or rear. An aftermarket or original equipment suspension vehicle’s best bet is the 4600 Series.

The innovative monotube gas-charged construction of Bilstein’s 5100 series shocks enables the oil’s excess heat to flow to the shock body’s exterior surface and dissipate more effectively. The dividing piston prevents aeration (foaming) and viscosity loss, which allows the oil to expand as heat develops.

Pros of Bilstein 4600 & 5100

Bilstein 4600 Series Bilstein 5100 Series
  • Improved stability and traction
  • A lifetime warranty is included.
  • It fits well the first time around, thanks to a vehicle-specific design.
  • A simple bolt-on setup
  • A higher level of security and a longer useful life
  • Optimal grip and high gas pressure
  • OE replacement of high-quality
  • Improvements in both everyday and severe lane stability
  • Uses the factory front spring coils of the vehicle
  • Regular, fade-free performance is guaranteed by the monotube design.
  • Guaranteed for the long haul
  • Increases the suspension’s travel
  • Excellent build quality and a beautiful chrome finish complete the package.
  • Coil spring spacers may be replaced using this product.
  • There’s no need for a spring clean-up.
  • Custom-made after extensive testing and tuning


Cons Of  Bilstein 4600 & 5100

Bilstein 4600 Series Bilstein 5100 Series
  • The most expensive product on the market.
  • In terms of RVs’ rear suspension, it’s a little underpowered.
  • Sometimes it is unavailable on the online store
  • Deterioration in performance after 15000 miles
  • Light-truck performance is mediocre.
  • The installation process is time-consuming.

Why Bilstein Shocks For Your vehicle?

Superior Monotubes

Extrusion is used to create the shock absorber tube for Bilstein Gas Pressure Shock Absorbers. This method ensures that the peak-to-valley tolerance is exceedingly tight and that the wall thickness is constant. Shock life and heat dissipation are maximized thanks to Bilstein’s monotube design.

Struts With Gas Pressure From Bilstein

Additionally, Bilstein monotube struts are very resistant to lateral forces. With the accuracy and attention to detail that Bilstein is known for, its twin tube strut assemblies are created. Because they’re built to bear heavy weights, they’re also quite durable.

Higher Quality

For the most part, conventional shocks are produced using stamped internal components and shock bodies that have been cut from steel tubes. Bilstein’s shock bodies, on the other hand, are precisely manufactured using a unique seamless extrusion method. High finish tolerances and higher strength result from this process, which is often used in surgical tools.

Better By Design

Shock absorbers are particularly vulnerable to heat, which negatively affects their performance and lifespan. In conventionally built shocks, heat is trapped inside the shock body, limiting proper dissipation, increasing the risk of heat buildup, fade, and eventually failure.

Graph Of Bilstein Distance

Over time, conventional shocks lose effectiveness and finally break, resulting in excessive wear on the tires and suspension parts. As long as you own a Bilstein shock, it will continue to function at its best. Shock absorbers are the most labor-intensive part of a vehicle’s suspension system. Therefore, choosing the right ones is crucial.

Functioning Piston Assembly

With the piston head design, compression and rebound damping forces may be independently tuned to deliver the best possible ride comfort and performance. Compared to typical twin-tube and so-called “road detecting” shock systems, this one has fewer components and less maintenance.

Patent Functions

Shock absorbers give smoothness, control, and stability. One area of compromise may lead to another. Compromise is minimized because of Bilstein’s innovative design. To be more responsive to road conditions, the Bilstein shock absorber’s increasing rate valving delivers the required dampening.

Shocks: How To Install Or Replace Them?

  1. Block the wheels that will stay on the ground while parking the car on a flat surface. Raise the vehicle and place it on jack supports using a floor jack. Keep the wheels on if you can for additional safety. To provide stability, position the jack stands in the proper locations on the frame.
  2. Using a wrench, loosen the lower shock fade holding nut, but don’t remove the bolt just yet.  Hard-to-release nuts on the shock bolts may be an issue. Penetrating oil may help loosen them, but you’ll have to wait for it to take effect. If you’re having trouble getting rid of difficult nuts, consider using a nut splitter.
  3. Locate the mounting hardware on the shock’s apex and install it there. Depending on the shock, the scare may be held in place by two bolts that need a lengthy socket extension.
  4. Bolts must be removed. A single stud/nut on the top of the shock or a through-bolt may be used to secure your shock absorbers.
  5. Tap out the bottom shock bolt with a rubber mallet after removing the nut.
  6. Removing the old shock is necessary.
  7. Insert the bottom bolt first into the new shock. Using a wrench, he secures the nut.
  8. Use a tool knife to gently cut the compression strap after the bottom bolt is positioned. When the strap is cut, the shock will gradually grow.
  9. The nuts on the top and bottom bolts should be tightened to the correct specifications.
  10. Changing shocks in pairs is usually a good idea, so go to the second one after you’ve completed the first one. Check the torque on all fasteners again before taking the vehicle out on the road for a test drive. The increased riding quality will be a pleasant surprise for you!

How To Care For Your Vehicle’s Shocks And Struts?

Fluid leaks are one of the most typical indicators that your shocks or struts need to be repaired.

If you want to save your vehicle’s shock and struts from being irreparably damaged, you can do a few things to repair them now.

Insist On Safe Driving Practices

Do not drive carelessly over potholes or uneven terrain. If a road has a reputation for being difficult for automobiles, avoid it. Make every effort to avoid placing your automobile under excessive stress. Your suspension system and the car as a whole will benefit from this.

Replace The Shocks And Struts In Pairs

When a car’s shocks or struts are already broken, it makes more sense to repair all four at once since they are all subject to the same amount of usage and abuse.

Minimize Exposure To The Elements

Shocks and struts are subjected to corrosion from water, road salt, and other chemicals and normal wear and tear, accelerating the need for repair or replacement. As a result, you should limit your vehicle’s exposure to any of these substances, which might lead to premature deterioration.

Maintain Proper Tire Pressure

The suspension would be incomplete without adequately inflated tires; therefore, be sure to do so. Doing so may cause premature tire wear and damage to other suspension components such as the shocks and suspension struts if you don’t do so. The tires should also be rotated regularly to help balance out the wear and tear on the wheels.

The Issues Must Be Spotted Early On

Shocks and struts problems may be detected early and treated quickly, saving you money and time in the long run. When it comes to the car’s suspension, notably the shocks and struts, it’s best to leave the mechanical work to the professionals. However, knowing how to keep an eye on the issues that can suggest that it requires maintenance is still a great benefit.

Every Year, Inspect And Test Your Vehicle

This holds for the remainder of the suspension’s components. If you’re going to be testing, you’ll want to do it on the ground rather than on a hoist or a jack. Then let go and continue bouncing the car around every turn. If the vehicle bounces more than 112 times after stopping, you should have a mechanic examine the shocks and struts more closely.

More About The Topics

Are Bilstein 4600 Shocks Good For Towing?

Towing with Bilstein 4600/5100 series, KYB monomax, Rancho RS7MT, or Rancho RS9000XL shocks is safe and reliable. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. We usually prefer Bilstein shocks because of their digressive valving when it comes to vehicle handling.

Can You Adjust Bilstein 4600 Shocks?

Can the Bilstein 4600 shocks be adjusted? There are no changes required to put BILSTEIN 4600/5100 Series Shock Absorbers into your vehicle. Shocks from the 4600/5100 Series may be fitted the same way as aftermarket replacements.

What’s The Difference Between Bilstein 5100 And B8 5100?

Both the B6 4600 and the B8 5100 shocks are designed for cars that have been elevated or leveled. Use our B6 4600 shocks if your stock truck’s ride height is the same as when you bought it. The B8 5100s are a good option if your vehicle has lift kit components and you need a longer shock.

Where Are Bilstein 5100 Shocks Made?

The Bilstein factory is the company’s primary manufacturing plant. Our headquarters in Hamilton, Ohio, houses our North American manufacturing facilities. Bilstein manufactures highly developed semi-active and passive monotube rear shocks absorbers for high-performance autos, racing, and offroad vehicles.

Is Bilstein 5100 A Specific Part?

The Bilstein shocks like Fox shocks and stiffer spring with leveling kit is not side-selective in nature. Even with the factory suspension, the lean is typical due to the driver’s side (battery, fuel tank, and the driver himself).

Can You Put A Spacer On A Bilstein 5100?

You’ll want to remove the front spacers if you get 5100s. With the 5100s like OEM shocks, you may elevate the front of your car by up to 2.5 inches “with the standard springs you already have. Put your standard coil on the 0-ohm position, and I don’t see any benefit. “Instead of utilizing the 5100 to raise your vehicle, use spacers.

What Is The Difference Between Bilstein B4 And B6?

B4 and B6 are much more expensive since the uprated dampers are constructed differently. While the B4 has two tubes, the B6, B8, and B8 all have one. B4 is a good option if you care about maintaining your ride’s comfort.

What Brand Of Shocks Does BMW Use?

BMW drivers prefer Bilstein shocks above any other brand. Bilstein accurately represents German motorsports & technology and produces high-performance BMW shocks and struts. Nothing beats a set of Bilstein BMW shock absorbers when it comes to street and track performance.

Which Of The Bilstein 4600 Or 5100 Should You Buy?

So, this is all about our Bilstein 4600 vs 5100 battle. When driving in the same car and under the same conditions, most drivers won’t notice a difference in performance between the 4600 and 5100. A raised package or bigger wheels and tires exceeding factory specifications are the only substantial changes between the two vehicles.

Because the 5100 is more costly, there is a common misconception that this means it is superior. We’d suggest using Bilstein 4600 HD shocks for your vehicle for the most part.

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