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Face off - KYB vs Bilstein shocks

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Old 06-04-2005, 06:36 PM   #1
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Face off - KYB vs Bilstein shocks

I went to the local suspension/alignment/brake shop who I deal with for suspension work (very reputable - family run shop that is very reasonable in rates and very honest) to order in some shocks for my Toyota pickup and have them install them. I talked to one of the techs there and told him I was interested in ordering in Bilstein shocks and he told me he wants me to consider KYB's. He see is it as Japanese (KYB) versus Bilsten (German) and they feel the KYB's are just as good in quality. He feels KYB's are very underrated and his shop never hesitates to recommend KYB. He does have a business stake in it too I guess seeing as how they will back the warranty of KYB shocks since they sell them for the most part as opposed to the regular Toyota truck junky who does his research such as myself who has heard recommendations of bilsteins, and wants them. However I don't feel he is lying to me or giving me a BS line considering his dad who owns the buisness also owns the exact same truck as me down to the year and model (he's a toy fan too in some respects although not much of an offroad junky or at least wanting something more based for those roads to the off the beaten path fishing hole).

My question is would you feel KYB's are a comparable shock to that of Bilstein? Do they perform well? As far as price goes it is not an issue for me - I want a high quality shock however having heard his opinion on KYB I am more inclined to go with them considering they would be backed by them as opposed to Bilsteins where if one went I would have to deal with the warranty replacement.

I'm just curious about your impression as far as quality on the KYB's for those of who have installed them. Would your opinion of them after you put them on be "they dramatically improve the ride quality," much like this is the opinion of people who switch to Bilsteins?

Your input is very much appreciated.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:44 PM   #2
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I had KYB's before I got Bils. I'm not sure what version of KYB's I had (if there is such a thing), but after 5 years they were shot. Horrible performance imho. After I switched to Bils, it was night and day in performance... the bils handled so much better and I regained my confidence in coming down mountain highways here in colorado.

I might be biased because I had a bad experience with KYB, but I like my Bils.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:59 PM   #3
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Ive been using the KYB gas adjust for over three years and while I havent had any problems Im not overly impressed.They feel similar to the rancho 5000's...blech!
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:11 PM   #4
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To me kyb's were meant for thr street.. But if for off-road and street id take the billies. Just compare the warrantys and you'll tell me whatsup.
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Old 06-05-2005, 06:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin444
To me kyb's were meant for thr street.. But if for off-road and street id take the billies. Just compare the warrantys and you'll tell me whatsup.
I have KYB Gas Adjusts on mine. I sort of feel the opposite, like I'm underdamped on the highway and sort of bouncy, but off highway I'm happy with the shocks. I'm using NWOR stage 2 rear springs with a slightly longer than stock shackle and SAW torsion bars in the front.
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:32 AM   #6
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Quality and durability goes to the Bils all the way. KYBs are a decetn cheap shock but after a few years you'll see why they are cheap.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:08 AM   #7
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Going to bump this up from the dead. I got a friend that own as auto parts place and he has hte KYB in stock for a good price. I am hesitant to go with the KYB. I'd like to see if anybody has some insight on the KYBs vs Bilsteins over the last couple of years.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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Those that had KYBs that were NOT the Monomax did not do themselves any favors. The Monomax are for SUVs.

Those KYBs were fantastic, especially for taking the parkway at 80 mph. I had no regrets. pricing is similar to the BIllies too!

I currently have Bilsteins on - changed them out when I did the springs. I like the Bilsteins just fine - as much as the KYBs.

I cannot speak much to the offroad prowess of either of them as I do not get to do that very often!

My 2 cents
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:43 AM   #9
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Decent Cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-AWDriver View Post
Quality and durability goes to the Bils all the way. KYBs are a decetn cheap shock but after a few years you'll see why they are cheap.
Cheap?? The Monomax is the same price as the Bilsteins.

Anyone who put anything but Monomax on did not do their research!! Or got cheap on us!!

KYB MonoMaxTM Heavy Duty Shocks are specifically engineered to provide better handling and control for SUV and light truck applications.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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I had KYB's gas adj. seize up on me! Went to Ranchos after. The only problem Ive had with Ranchos is blowing the bushings out of them. As long as you have the receipt there guaranteed.
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:58 PM   #11
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Had the KYB MonoMax on my truck, one of the worst rides I ever had on the street. You felt every little bump on the road, but they were pretty tight going around corners though. Finally got rid of them and went with the Billie HDs and the difference was night and day.
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin444 View Post
To me kyb's were meant for thr street.. But if for off-road and street id take the billies.
X2
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #13
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I've been running the KYB gas-a-justs for about 4 years. When new, the fronts were wicked soft - not much better than my worn-out factory shocks. The rears worked fine, not too hard, not too soft. I would avoid them unless you have a street-only ride.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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KYB monomax are a decent shock. stiff at first but after 2000k they feel better. had them on for about 8000k now and they are still fine. i like them and they seem relatively tough.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:34 PM   #15
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Definitely have to side with the bilstien crowd. I've actually had this same argument with my (now former!) managr. He was a fan of kyb's, and used them as our top of the line shocks and struts. Personally, when it comes to a customers car, a shock is a shock is a shock, and your never gonna please everyone. I've installed everything from sensatrac, gasmatics, gas grande, teraflex, pro comp, bilstien, rancho, skyjacker blah blah blah. Hands down though, the best ride quality I've seen is out of the bilstiens. I personally have rancho rs9000s on my truck, but as of right now, that's due to monetary constraints. Otherwise, I would definitely have a shiny set of bilstiens on the truck.

Having said that, everyone has their own preference, and that was the biggest issue I had with my manager. He was of the thought that we installed nothing but kyb's shocks and struts, and if he HAD to offer another alternative, he would berate and belittle the customer and their shock of choice. Hence why hes now my FORMER manager.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:44 PM   #16
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HOLY THREADBUMP.... ^^^^^^

You guys DO realize this thread hadn't been posted on in almost exactly 5 years right!?

BTW Bilstiens FTW.....
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:17 AM   #17
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I see nohing wrong with KYB as a shock manufacturer.

That said, I'm on my second set of Bilstein HD shocks. Installed the first set at around 30,000 miles after purchasing the truck new. They're firm, but they handle everything I throw at them - spirited highway driving and tons of beach driving.


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Old 02-13-2014, 05:14 AM   #18
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I recently installed the KYB gas a just rear shocks on my limited 97 4runner. These were replacing the original OEM shocks. The body roll and handling were great but I felt the ride was jarring and uncomfortable. I have the stock coil springs. I have given the KYB shocks about 500 miles. No good.

This weekend I will install Bilstein 4600 rear shocks and update with my results. I will use the 4runner for hunting and to pull my 18ft roughneck 1860. So I need support for towing but nothing so harsh as the KYBs.

There is one advantage to buying your shocks at a local retailer like Autozone or Oriellys. They accept returns!

Once you have removed rusted OEM top shock bolt you are well seasoned and removal and installation of a new shock is quick and easy.

Not so easy with the fronts.

A word on airbags. Get them for towing support if you don't mind redoing the job periodically. I used the firestone bags and had a horrible time with their "push in" airline fittings. They leak and it is no fun to drop the axle and everything that goes along with that, just to remove and return an unreliable product.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:52 AM   #19
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Had Ranchos for 17 years and it finally leaked (2 out of 4). Replaced them with KYBs and after 4 years, they're leaking now. Planning to replace them in a few weeks with Bilsteins which is what I should have got instead of KYB.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:19 AM   #20
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Post padding = BILSTEIN
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