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Old 10-28-2015, 05:43 PM   #1
Sgt_Turpin
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Default Auto ride broken

Last year my auto ride I could tell was messing up. I would start my truck and it would make a low noise then one day it just completely quit. right now my truck is riding so rough it feels every bump in the road. I was wondering do I need a motor do I need shocks any advice would be grateful. And how much would this cost
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:26 PM   #2
Murder n Mayhem
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Default Continue to pay too much or just convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt_Turpin View Post
Last year my auto ride I could tell was messing up. I would start my truck and it would make a low noise then one day it just completely quit. right now my truck is riding so rough it feels every bump in the road. I was wondering do I need a motor do I need shocks any advice would be grateful. And how much would this cost
After the quote from Les Schwab of $1,300 just to replace the four shocks I did some research & realized how much maintaining, replacing & repairs on these Premium Smoothride & Autoride suspensions was. Best price I found for OEM style rear shock was over $300 per shock, not installed, & the quality wasn't that great.

Your RPO code in glovebox probably reads zw7-Premium Smooth Ride, regular front shocks & self contained Nivomat self leveling shocks in rear OR z55 which is the Auto Ride air system.

OEM style shocks are over priced & widely considered as overrated. Most convert to new shock & stiffer springs (basically what z71 has). If you get good shocks when do it your ride changes very little & you can use regular shocks from then on.

I (average joe driveway mechanic) did the whole conversion. It took about 2 hours in my driveway with limited tools & no spring compressor needed.

I used the following converting from OEM zw7 Premium Smoothride system (will work as conversion on all OEM suspension systems, some systems like z55 Auto Ride will require a resistor at shock for computer purposes).

This conversion retains your towing capabilities: Many conversion kits & replacement systems do not (such as many Arnott systems). Make sure to ask the manufacturer.

Bilstein 5100 series Rear Shock Part #24-187237
Bilstein 5100 series Front Shock Part #24-186643
Bilstein Coil Springs Part # 199021 (also known as #15711646)

I used 5100 series because they work for stock height yet give room for lift which I plan on doing later but you can use the 4600 series. Spoke to Bilstein & they told me they were same shock, the 5100s just allow for 1" lift in front & 2.5" lift in rear & were different colors.

I put on the new shocks first but not the springs so I could see how it went without putting in the stiffer springs. The rear end sat lower, felt like it was loaded down or had load on the hitch. The right & left rear side moved around a lot more independently of each other & bounced much easier & longer.

I then went home & put the stiffer springs in. The truck rides like new. I was afraid I would lose some of the smoothness but hadn't. The Tahoe is more responsive, rides smooth & the new set up leveled out the truck perfectly with no real height gain or loss.

Shocks were a very basic swap. Doing the rear springs (in a nutshell) I put rear up on couple jack stands (I put stands under outermost side of tow package bar that was frame connected directly above), removed wheels, removed 1 sway bar bolt & 1 lower shock off each side & let shock & sway bar hang free. I unbolted nothing else. Truck was set on stands just high enough that top of springs weren't contacting body & I simply reached in, grabbed them & angled right out. Then reversed that & put in new with rubber top & bottom from old springs fitted on new. Lowered slowly checking that they were in place when weight was going back on. Put lower shock & sway bars back on, bolted on wheels, put truck on the ground & done. I am not promoting this as a way of doing it. It is simply the way that worked for me & I felt safe doing it.

Stores like Autozone, napa etc wanted over $125 for each shock but I got them for less than half that by going to products site & finding local distributor & parts were ordered & available for pick up in 24 hours (places like shockwarehouse had 3-4 week delivery time because they order them from Bilstein then when they get them they process them & turn around & mail out to you).

I researched this for over month on forums, sites, at performance shops, product manufacturers etc. I firmly believe this is the easiest way to convert from the overrated stock OEM system to one that rides very closely to OEM, fully functional & are a superior quality product. Once the new rear springs are installed you can put on any shocks that fit the z71 package for your year. After all is said, done & tested I think Bilsteins listed above are the best bang for your buck @ $444 for 4 shocks & 2 springs.

Hope this helps anyone considering converting your Chevy SUV or truck

Murder n Mayhem
2003 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.3L Flex 4x4 250k
1994 Chevy Stepside Short box 4x4 full totaled rebuild w\1st gen 454

Last edited by Murder n Mayhem; 10-28-2015 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:25 PM   #3
Murder n Mayhem
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Over @ gmtruckclub.com guy has a set of 4 Bilstein shocks, new in box, for sale for $200 (he posted he sold truck before put them on). Just thought pass on the info in case helps.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
Sgt_Turpin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder n Mayhem View Post
After the quote from Les Schwab of $1,300 just to replace the four shocks I did some research & realized how much maintaining, replacing & repairs on these Premium Smoothride & Autoride suspensions was. Best price I found for OEM style rear shock was over $300 per shock, not installed, & the quality wasn't that great.

Your RPO code in glovebox probably reads zw7-Premium Smooth Ride, regular front shocks & self contained Nivomat self leveling shocks in rear OR z55 which is the Auto Ride air system.

OEM style shocks are over priced & widely considered as overrated. Most convert to new shock & stiffer springs (basically what z71 has). If you get good shocks when do it your ride changes very little & you can use regular shocks from then on.

I (average joe driveway mechanic) did the whole conversion. It took about 2 hours in my driveway with limited tools & no spring compressor needed.

I used the following converting from OEM zw7 Premium Smoothride system (will work as conversion on all OEM suspension systems, some systems like z55 Auto Ride will require a resistor at shock for computer purposes).

This conversion retains your towing capabilities: Many conversion kits & replacement systems do not (such as many Arnott systems). Make sure to ask the manufacturer.

Bilstein 5100 series Rear Shock Part #24-187237
Bilstein 5100 series Front Shock Part #24-186643
Bilstein Coil Springs Part # 199021 (also known as #15711646)

I used 5100 series because they work for stock height yet give room for lift which I plan on doing later but you can use the 4600 series. Spoke to Bilstein & they told me they were same shock, the 5100s just allow for 1" lift in front & 2.5" lift in rear & were different colors.

I put on the new shocks first but not the springs so I could see how it went without putting in the stiffer springs. The rear end sat lower, felt like it was loaded down or had load on the hitch. The right & left rear side moved around a lot more independently of each other & bounced much easier & longer.

I then went home & put the stiffer springs in. The truck rides like new. I was afraid I would lose some of the smoothness but hadn't. The Tahoe is more responsive, rides smooth & the new set up leveled out the truck perfectly with no real height gain or loss.

Shocks were a very basic swap. Doing the rear springs (in a nutshell) I put rear up on couple jack stands (I put stands under outermost side of tow package bar that was frame connected directly above), removed wheels, removed 1 sway bar bolt & 1 lower shock off each side & let shock & sway bar hang free. I unbolted nothing else. Truck was set on stands just high enough that top of springs weren't contacting body & I simply reached in, grabbed them & angled right out. Then reversed that & put in new with rubber top & bottom from old springs fitted on new. Lowered slowly checking that they were in place when weight was going back on. Put lower shock & sway bars back on, bolted on wheels, put truck on the ground & done. I am not promoting this as a way of doing it. It is simply the way that worked for me & I felt safe doing it.

Stores like Autozone, napa etc wanted over $125 for each shock but I got them for less than half that by going to products site & finding local distributor & parts were ordered & available for pick up in 24 hours (places like shockwarehouse had 3-4 week delivery time because they order them from Bilstein then when they get them they process them & turn around & mail out to you).

I researched this for over month on forums, sites, at performance shops, product manufacturers etc. I firmly believe this is the easiest way to convert from the overrated stock OEM system to one that rides very closely to OEM, fully functional & are a superior quality product. Once the new rear springs are installed you can put on any shocks that fit the z71 package for your year. After all is said, done & tested I think Bilsteins listed above are the best bang for your buck @ $444 for 4 shocks & 2 springs.

Hope this helps anyone considering converting your Chevy SUV or truck

Murder n Mayhem
2003 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.3L Flex 4x4 250k
1994 Chevy Stepside Short box 4x4 full totaled rebuild w\1st gen 454
Wow!! Man I can't thank you enough for the feedback. You have saved me slot of time. Thanks again. So which website should I order from??
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:22 PM   #5
Murder n Mayhem
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No problem, I found a lack of this info compiled when researched so did quick write up.

I found vast majority of Chevy owners preferred Bilstein 4600 & 5100 series shocks & Bilstein products hold highest ratings all around. I ended up going to Bilstein website, put in my zip code & found local supplier who ordered them in. They were close enough to me drove over & picked up next afternoon.

You can go to Arnott website, they have many options as well. Make sure to ask about towing if choose one before order. Arnott uses modified Bilstein in a lot of their kits, most tailored to ride over function. I wanted to be sure I could use standard shocks for life of my Tahoe & retain full towing capabilities so I went with the 5100 & spring conversion. I've yet to find anyone whose done it that way & complained about anything. After driving off road, down the beach, on the highway & in the city I am 100% thrilled with the change.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:38 PM   #6
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Does he still have them. I really need them bad. Anything would help.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder n Mayhem View Post
Over @ gmtruckclub.com guy has a set of 4 Bilstein shocks, new in box, for sale for $200 (he posted he sold truck before put them on). Just thought pass on the info in case helps.
Can u help me find him so I can see if he has them. I need them bad and have money now
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:54 AM   #8
Whtltz07
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How's the conversion holding up? My LTZ needs work done on the suspension and was debating on whether or not to keep the autoride.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:13 AM   #9
Whtltz07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder n Mayhem View Post
After the quote from Les Schwab of $1,300 just to replace the four shocks I did some research & realized how much maintaining, replacing & repairs on these Premium Smoothride & Autoride suspensions was. Best price I found for OEM style rear shock was over $300 per shock, not installed, & the quality wasn't that great.

Your RPO code in glovebox probably reads zw7-Premium Smooth Ride, regular front shocks & self contained Nivomat self leveling shocks in rear OR z55 which is the Auto Ride air system.

OEM style shocks are over priced & widely considered as overrated. Most convert to new shock & stiffer springs (basically what z71 has). If you get good shocks when do it your ride changes very little & you can use regular shocks from then on.

I (average joe driveway mechanic) did the whole conversion. It took about 2 hours in my driveway with limited tools & no spring compressor needed.

I used the following converting from OEM zw7 Premium Smoothride system (will work as conversion on all OEM suspension systems, some systems like z55 Auto Ride will require a resistor at shock for computer purposes).

This conversion retains your towing capabilities: Many conversion kits & replacement systems do not (such as many Arnott systems). Make sure to ask the manufacturer.

Bilstein 5100 series Rear Shock Part #24-187237
Bilstein 5100 series Front Shock Part #24-186643
Bilstein Coil Springs Part # 199021 (also known as #15711646)

I used 5100 series because they work for stock height yet give room for lift which I plan on doing later but you can use the 4600 series. Spoke to Bilstein & they told me they were same shock, the 5100s just allow for 1" lift in front & 2.5" lift in rear & were different colors.

I put on the new shocks first but not the springs so I could see how it went without putting in the stiffer springs. The rear end sat lower, felt like it was loaded down or had load on the hitch. The right & left rear side moved around a lot more independently of each other & bounced much easier & longer.

I then went home & put the stiffer springs in. The truck rides like new. I was afraid I would lose some of the smoothness but hadn't. The Tahoe is more responsive, rides smooth & the new set up leveled out the truck perfectly with no real height gain or loss.

Shocks were a very basic swap. Doing the rear springs (in a nutshell) I put rear up on couple jack stands (I put stands under outermost side of tow package bar that was frame connected directly above), removed wheels, removed 1 sway bar bolt & 1 lower shock off each side & let shock & sway bar hang free. I unbolted nothing else. Truck was set on stands just high enough that top of springs weren't contacting body & I simply reached in, grabbed them & angled right out. Then reversed that & put in new with rubber top & bottom from old springs fitted on new. Lowered slowly checking that they were in place when weight was going back on. Put lower shock & sway bars back on, bolted on wheels, put truck on the ground & done. I am not promoting this as a way of doing it. It is simply the way that worked for me & I felt safe doing it.

Stores like Autozone, napa etc wanted over $125 for each shock but I got them for less than half that by going to products site & finding local distributor & parts were ordered & available for pick up in 24 hours (places like shockwarehouse had 3-4 week delivery time because they order them from Bilstein then when they get them they process them & turn around & mail out to you).

I researched this for over month on forums, sites, at performance shops, product manufacturers etc. I firmly believe this is the easiest way to convert from the overrated stock OEM system to one that rides very closely to OEM, fully functional & are a superior quality product. Once the new rear springs are installed you can put on any shocks that fit the z71 package for your year. After all is said, done & tested I think Bilsteins listed above are the best bang for your buck @ $444 for 4 shocks & 2 springs.

Hope this helps anyone considering converting your Chevy SUV or truck

Murder n Mayhem
2003 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.3L Flex 4x4 250k
1994 Chevy Stepside Short box 4x4 full totaled rebuild w\1st gen 454
How's the conversion holding up? My LTZ needs work done on the suspension and was debating on whether or not to keep the autoride.
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