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I've got a 14 Canadian spec RS package which has 11mm shorter springs, re-valved struts/shocks and 18" wheels. (Mine is silver too.) With my winter steelies and snows, mine looks to sit almost identical to yours, but that is the tire gap from the snows.

I started researching Bilsteins a couple of years ago. The North American Cruze is a match for the European Astra J. For Canadian's we're better off ordering from one of the big online English sites. The USD kills us.

My car is 35 months old with only 34M kms on it (20M miles). No rattling end-links yet, but they must be reaching the end of their lifespan. The struts/shocks are still excellent, but I have owned cars with Bilsteins on them going back to the 1970's. Back then, Bilsteins were sold as high-pressure gas shocks, and easily lifted a car an inch or so. To compress a strut, you had to brace it on the floor and really put your weight into it. I vaguely remember being told back then that Bilsteins had 80lbs gas preload pressure on them. But I have no idea if that is accurate or not. On my rally car, I could race along the most gawd forsaken rutted and pot holed forest roads with no problems. The big teams had fancy coilover suspension setups. The rest of us just sourced out the heaviest stock spring we could find, and bolt in a set of Bilsteins.

I'm thinking about Bilsteins strictly for the fun of it. My struts/shocks will last years more, but why wait to change them and probably dump the car a year later? Better to change them now.

One of the Bilstein sites I found said the B8 was good for cars lowered 10-60 mm, but I will probably go for B6's
 
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