BDS Shocks vs Bilstein 5100 / 5150 - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Wrangler Forums > TJ Wrangler Technical Forum > BDS Shocks vs Bilstein 5100 / 5150

Ruffstuff Axle Simple Swap Kit!ROCK BOTTOM prices on LIFT KITS at Rockridge4wd!! WANT TO Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

Reply
Unread 04-27-2009, 11:24 AM   #1
drandersoninc
Member
 
drandersoninc's Avatar
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posts: 142
BDS Shocks vs Bilstein 5100 / 5150

Hello fellow Jeepers!
I've been pouring over this and other Jeep forums soaking in as much as I can on shocks / suspension. I've got a tight time window to make a decision, so any thoughts would be appreciated. Here's the decision I need to make, but first my Jeep setup:

-1993 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sahara
- Transer Case: 4.56
- Front Axle: Dana 30 w/ Powertrax Lock Right
- Rear Axle: Dana 44 w/ ABS Selectable Locker
- Suspension: BDS 3" Lift (25k miles on this, came with BDS springs / shocks)
- Tires: 32 x 11.5 x 15 MTRs
- Front Bumper: Daystar Rock Krusher Jr front bumper w/ 4 fogs
- Recovery Gear: Warn x8000i
- Rear Bumper: Stock but Class 2 hitch attached below
- Softtop most of the time, hardtop 3-4 mos out of the year
- Rear seats removed

I mention all these things so you have a decent idea of the normal weight distribution in the rig as it relates to my suspension question. Keep in mind tis is a daily driver, offroaded on weekends (primarily crawling or firetrail / washboard roads at speed).


I was looking for a bolt on / low cost / low maintenance suspension solution to allow me to better handle potholes / bumps (daily driving) as well as washboard roads / dirt tracks on weekends. I considered coilovers (too expensive), replacing the springs in addition to the shocks (but the BDS springs are working well for the lift), and have bascially boiled it down to shock upgrades (as from what I'm reading this is the quickest / easiest way to help ride issues). From reading, majority of consenses for shocks were Bilstein or OME (with RE monotubes and Skyjacker Hydros in there, but not as highly rated). Between the two I'm leaning towards the Bilsteins as:
- Consistent praise I read from most posts for their performance / quality
- Price (sale on 5100's right now make them very appealing)
a)Bilstein 5100: $67 (these are the ones on special, bundle of 4 from E shocks com for $270 w/ free ship)
b) OME: $84 (these are competitors to the 5100)
c) Bilstein 5150: $99 (next class up with external reservoir)

So here are my questions:
1) BDS shocks are not mentioned much in the forums, but when they are it is inevitably positive. Would the Bilstein models increase the performance over these notably?
2) 5100 vs 5150 - From what I'm reading unless I'm driving high speed over washboards / jumps for an extended period of time, the 5150s don't differ significantly from the 5100's (just the added benefit of the ext. reservoir for cooling). And yeah, they look cool, but is it worh the extra $130+ for that cool look?
3) And I am aware of airing down the tires, disconnecting the sway bar, etc to help handling the bumps when offroad - but all things being equal will this shock upgrade help me accomplish what I want with my current setup or is it wasted money?

Thanks for the help! And please keep the comments focused to the above, a lot of these threads tend to go off tangents about other "shocks that are better", etc - I feel pretty comfortable with my potential choices thus far and am looking for specific answers to my questions - thanks!

drandersoninc is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 05:14 AM   #2
theguidoune
Registered User
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southern MD
Posts: 115
What did you end up going with and why. I have a CJ7 and I will be ordering the BDS lift soon and wondering if I should delete the shocks and go with another vendor.

Thanks
theguidoune is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #3
kswyg001
Registered User
2010 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA and Moyock, NC
Posts: 893
...7 posts total and no replies to his topic, i really don't think youre going to get an answer to this question
kswyg001 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
drandersoninc
Member
 
drandersoninc's Avatar
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posts: 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by kswyg001 View Post
...7 posts total and no replies to his topic, i really don't think youre going to get an answer to this question
Then you'd be wrong

To your question on which I went with. I went with the Bilstein 5100's vs the 5150's or BDS and have been very happy this far. During daily driving they soak up the bumps and holes much better, and during a recent blue/black trail offroad weekend they handled themselves very well.

The reason I chose them was twofold. 1st, the 5150's run an external reservoir which is great for high speed offroading (which I don't do) to keep the shock fluid cool. They are more expensive than the 5100's and I've read a couple posts about ppl who do rock crawling with them hitting / knocking off the external reservoir. So the between the 2 the 5100's were the better choice.

As for the BDS, they were a good shock when I first got the lift. But when I removed them (36k miles with 8-10 offroad weekends) I was able to completely collapse every single one of them easily by hand and none of them rebounded. Now I've heard some shocks are actually intended to be this way but I don't think the BDS's were - I just think they failed. And at only 36k miles, I thought I would try something different and the 5100's had good reviews and were a great deal. We'll see how much I like then in 36k miles

Hope that helps, good luck in your search!
drandersoninc is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 08:29 AM   #5
Wheelin98TJ
JEEP FREAK
 
Wheelin98TJ's Avatar
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: , Southeast MI
Posts: 24,877
BDS 5500 shocks are hydros, so they do not automatically rebound like a gas charged shock does.

I had 5500 shocks at one time and I really liked them. They ride pretty nice.

I currently have a set of Bilstein 5100 shocks, but they are still waiting to be installed, so unfortuantely I cannot give a comparison.
__________________
TJ
HOLIDAY THEMED GIVEAWAY!
Wheelin98TJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
BlackBellamy
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The Empire State
Posts: 2,208
I went with Bilstein 5125s because they let me get the exact travel and ext/coll lengths that I needed for my application:

Code:
5125 SERIES OFF-ROAD FOR CUSTOM APPLICATIONS
Part Number Travel Valving Reservoir Ext Length Col Length Shaft Dia. Mounting
BE5-A827-T5 5 233/90 N/A 16.50 11.12 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6251-H5 6.63 255/70 N/A 18.50 12.03 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6252-H5 8.13 255/70 N/A 21.54 13.58 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6253-H5 8.60 255/70 N/A 22.50 14.06 14mm eye/eye
BE5-A463-H6 9.24 255/70 N/A 24.35 15.11 14mm eye/eye
BE5-A464-H6 10.17 170/60 N/A 25.93 15.91 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6248-H5 10.17 255/70 N/A 25.93 15.91 14mm eye/eye
BE5-A465-H6 11.00 170/60 N/A 28.01 17.00 14mm eye/eye
BE5-A465-H8 11.00 255/70 N/A 28.01 17.00 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6249-H5 11.94 255/70 N/A 29.70 17.91 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6249-T5 11.94 298/36 N/A 29.70 17.91 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6250-H5 14.30 255/70 N/A 34.90 20.75 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6250-T5 14.30 298/36 N/A 34.90 20.75 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6250-T7 14.30 270/50 N/A 34.90 20.75 14mm eye/eye
BE5-6140-T5 6.65 366/240 N/A 18.42 11.77 14mm Stem/eye
BE5-6526-H5 7.62 224/100 N/A 20.45 12.83 14mm Stem/eye
BE5-6528-H5 8.23 389/94 N/A 21.50 13.27 14mm Stem/eye
Unfortunately they are still sitting in the garage because I need to relocate the rear coils first and my welder is on the fritz.
__________________
The top and doors on this vehicle are designed only for protection against the elements. Do not rely on the top and doors to contain occupants within the vehicle or to protect against injury during an accident. Wear seatbelts at all times.
BlackBellamy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 11:38 AM   #7
kswyg001
Registered User
2010 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA and Moyock, NC
Posts: 893
so then i was wrong
kswyg001 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
kbarwall
Senior Member
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maineville, OH
Posts: 720
i dont have any experience witht he bds shocks, however i have ran the 5100 on my dodge 2500 for many miles now and they are great and they improved my ride over stock greatly, also they look good with the nickel finish
kbarwall is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 12:36 PM   #9
Ej132
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 462
I have the BDS and they work good, about the same as stock but its hard to tell cause of my mud tires.

How can I tell if my BDS shocks are hydro or gas? Should it say on the shock?

I think the BDS shocks are good but have thought about trying something different for a bit smoother ride.
Ej132 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-20-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
Wheelin98TJ
JEEP FREAK
 
Wheelin98TJ's Avatar
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: , Southeast MI
Posts: 24,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ej132 View Post
I have the BDS and they work good, about the same as stock but its hard to tell cause of my mud tires.

How can I tell if my BDS shocks are hydro or gas? Should it say on the shock?

I think the BDS shocks are good but have thought about trying something different for a bit smoother ride.
The gas charged BDS shocks are gray in color and they are the 9500 series.

The 5500 series are hydros and they are white.
__________________
TJ
HOLIDAY THEMED GIVEAWAY!
Wheelin98TJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.