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Discussion Starter #1
My Cruze has been exhibiting symptoms of shock wear for about 10,000 miles now. Depending on your driving conditions, after about 40,000-50,000 miles, the OEM shocks don't do as good a job of damping shocks and the frequency of bottoming out increases. The suspension simply crashes through when you hit a pothole or large bump.

In our cars, we don't quite notice it when the suspension bottoms out because the rubber stop absorbs most of the force and transfers it into the cabin, but if you know what to watch out for, you can tell when this starts happening, and the end result is typically compromised road stability, especially while cornering over uneven roads.

Since we drive economy cars, the suspension is tuned accordingly for comfort, so it's not surprising that the shock damping is a bit on the soft side. It's also a reason I'm uncomfortable with the concept of lowered springs on already soft shock absorbers. Sure, you might have a lower center of gravity and less body roll, but that doesn't mean your car actually handles better over a wide range of road surfaces.

I debated Eibachs for a week but concluded there's no way I could use those without a stiffer shock absorber, and Bilstein B8s, designed for lowering springs, were simply out of my budget, as would be the Bilstein B12 kit. Anyone who knows how I modify my car knows I'll either do it right or not do it at all.

As a result, I ordered my Bilstein B6 HD shocks today from Jerry at BNR. The Bilstein B6 is a significantly firmer shock designed for an OEM ride height that will turn a loose comfort-tuned suspension into a taut performance-tuned one. They're 2x as expensive as OEM replacement shocks, but will significantly improve suspension and handling performance without sacrificing deflection capability.

A tutorial and review will come as soon as they're installed.

Understanding BILSTEIN's Product Line

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I'm running Bilstein B8sp with my eibach's. It's night and day from the factory LTZ-RS stuff. I do need to reinstall my stock coils for a bit, as I've have been using my Cruze for work while my company car is getting fixed. Hopefully the B8sp work ok with stock coils.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ordered new Monroe strut mounts for the front and rear. The rears actually look pretty solid and may not even need to be done, but I'll evaluate when I pull them off. Also ordered a strut tool from rockauto as well as a couple new bellows.

Still waiting for the Bilsteins to arrive.

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I'll watching for your review on the B6 HD Struts on stock coils. As I post earlier I have/had the B8sp on Eibachs... I had to reinstall the Stock coils on my B8sp struts a few days ago for work driving. I thought I loved the Eibachs and B8 setup, the stock LTZ RS coils and B8 ride even better are exactly the same ride height. I sure it has to due with the strut mount a little lower on the B8 from the stock strut. I was however looking for the stock ride hight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll watching for your review on the B6 HD Struts on stock coils. As I post earlier I have/had the B8sp on Eibachs... I had to reinstall the Stock coils on my B8sp struts a few days ago for work driving. I thought I loved the Eibachs and B8 setup, the stock LTZ RS coils and B8 ride even better are exactly the same ride height. I sure it has to due with the strut mount a little lower on the B8 from the stock strut. I was however looking for the stock ride hight.
They lowered the spring perch on the 2012+ models and used a longer spring. I can find the Vin cutoff if you want to see what it is. You'll have to purchase springs from a newer year of your car to get true stock ride height back.

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They lowered the spring perch on the 2012+ models and used a longer spring. I can find the Vin cutoff if you want to see what it is. You'll have to purchase springs from a newer year of your car to get true stock ride height back.

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This. It was that thing you posted the other day off line when I asked if C in the last 8 was for 2012 Model Year.
 

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I've thought a few times about shock replacement on my diesel, but at 193K miles, I can't really tell that there's any degradation to the way the car handles. I wonder if they are significantly different.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've thought a few times about shock replacement on my diesel, but at 193K miles, I can't really tell that there's any degradation to the way the car handles. I wonder if they are significantly different.
Easiest way is to go drive a new or nearly new CTD. It will feel different, I guarantee it.

My issue was that on big bumps on the highway, the suspension dampers simply couldn't keep up and I was slamming the jounce bumper. As it is, we only have 3.5" of suspension travel with the eco springs and the jounce bumper makes up 2.5" of that. Most people don't notice it happening because the jounce bumper takes most of the shock, but if you know what to look for, you can feel the car relying on that jounce bumper far more often than it should. You'll also notice more pitch during braking.
 

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Easiest way is to go drive a new or nearly new CTD. It will feel different, I guarantee it.

My issue was that on big bumps on the highway, the suspension dampers simply couldn't keep up and I was slamming the jounce bumper. As it is, we only have 3.5" of suspension travel with the eco springs and the jounce bumper makes up 2.5" of that. Most people don't notice it happening because the jounce bumper takes most of the shock, but if you know what to look for, you can feel the car relying on that jounce bumper far more often than it should. You'll also notice more pitch during braking.
Thanks. I will have to find another one to drive back to back with mine.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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I'm glad to hear they sell the B6s for the the Cruze - I hadn't been able to find if they did or not prior to this. I replaced the original (1981) shocks on my Camaro with B6s - pretty sure the springs are shot now, but those B6s should be ready to handle once the rest of the car is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was reading the instructions for the front shocks and the instructions say "do not reuse original bump stop, as the BILSTEIN- strut has an integrated bump stop (see sketch). In the sketch, it actually does show a bump stop inside the shock assembly itself.

That's awesome.
 

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Sub'd to this. So far mine is good, but I only have 78K so far and the first 68K seemed to be very easy miles
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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So these are full strut assemblies for the front, not like the Konis on the Cobalt where you have to hack off half of your stock strut to "complete" it?

So I notice on Tire Rack there are B6 Performance and B6 Performance Plus. Any idea the difference?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll add this to the tutorial, but wanted to follow up here for the record.

My Cruze is a 2012 model year, manufactured November 2011. This is very important to note because in December 2012, the production lined stopped for 2 weeks in order to correct a shock design flaw that caused the shock to be noisy. The result was a longer spring and therefore a lower spring perch on the shock itself. I had the shocks replaced by the dealer twice; once to fix the issue, and the second time to fix the fact that the first shocks raised my ride height.

My current strut (driver side) is part number 13354009, and the Bilsteins will be direct replacements for those shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So these are full strut assemblies for the front, not like the Konis on the Cobalt where you have to hack off half of your stock strut to "complete" it?

So I notice on Tire Rack there are B6 Performance and B6 Performance Plus. Any idea the difference?
Are you sure Tire Rack has anything for our cars? Last I checked last month, they had only rear shocks.

These are full strut assemblies, 100% complete. No modification necessary. Just pull off the springs, put them on the new shocks, put new mounts on, and you're good to go. They have mounts for the sway bar end links and even the fuel line bracket built in just like OEM.
 

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Are you sure Tire Rack has anything for our cars? Last I checked last month, they had only rear shocks.

These are full strut assemblies, 100% complete. No modification necessary. Just pull off the springs, put them on the new shocks, put new mounts on, and you're good to go. They have mounts for the sway bar end links and even the fuel line bracket built in just like OEM.
Yes, I just looked (hence my post). The part numbers you posted are listed as the "Performance" B6s.

Suspension Products for 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

And perfect - when it comes time to replace, or I feel like an upgrade (while maintaining ride height), pretty sure I will be going with these.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes, I just looked (hence my post). The part numbers you posted are listed as the "Performance" B6s.

Suspension Products for 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

And perfect - when it comes time to replace, or I feel like an upgrade (while maintaining ride height), pretty sure I will be going with these.
Sorry, I forgot to respond to that part of it.

Performance refers to B6 HD. Performance Plus refers to the B8 shocks, which are designed to be used with lowered springs.
 
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