Bilstein B8 5100 vs. Rancho RS7000MT, which shock absorber is the best in the showdown?
Bilstein’s B8 5100 could easily be considered that standard of a shock, by which all others should be measured. However, the series have more than met their match in Rancho’s RS7000MT products, readily available on the present-day market. Both of the absorbers are offered for SUVs and pickup trucks, while being fast, exacting, and precise, all of which translates into superior ride control and performance. And so, the Bilstein B8 5100 vs. Rancho RS7000MT showdown unfolds, while tracing sport utility vehicle and pickup truck forum debates on the net.
Bore Size in Question
If any performance suspension fan gets into greater detail, the differences in the shock absorbers’ diameters will be seen as negligible. The B8 5100s are 46 mm. / 1.81 in. and RS7000MT are 50 mm. / 1.97 in. in diameter, with 4 millimeters or several tens of an inch winning some marginal points for the Rancho series. That much is true in theory, however, Bilstein shocks are tightly following the lead, while having optimal inner volume to retain considerable amounts of low-compression oil, thus also ensuring excellent damping capabilities.
|Internal Design||Body Diameter (mm / in.)||Body Material||Country of Origin|
|Bilstein B8 5100||Monotube||46 mm / 1.81 in.||Steel||U.S. Germany|
|Rancho RS7000MT||Monotube||50 mm. / 1.97 in.||Steel||U.S.|
Both Bilstein and Rancho engineers have designed their shocks with steel monotube constructions, in order to guarantee outstanding structural integrity, durability, and dissipation of heat, with all of the aforementioned leading to a draw on the issue of ride quality. Both the Bilstein B8 5100 and Rancho RS7000MT series are designed for mounting in place of O.E. components, without any modifications necessary. Both of these product types come with limited lifetime warranties, with real-world users never experiencing premature failures, which could be backed by warranty claims, honored by either one of the manufacturers.
Because of bigger wheel-and-tire combos, higher vehicle stance, and plenty of off-roading accessories, raised pickup trucks and SUVs require greater damping ability from their shocks. These absorbers come charged with pressurized Nitrogen gas, with the actual formula being patented and retained secret. However, Bilstein B8 5100s are offered charged to higher pressure, approximately 200 psi, which ensures more crisp and exacting ride characteristics, with Rancho RS7000MTs being charged up to only 150 psi, which still has room for improvement.
Regardless of performance specifications, there’s always the money issue. If your next pair of shock absorbers will be too expensive, your vehicle will be left up on stands at the mechanic’s shop. Rancho RS7000MTs are regarded as being less expensive of the pair, with prices averaging at about $83.90. Bilstein B8 5100s are usually slightly more expensive, with the price tag going up to about $94.00. In the first case, the customer is expected to pay a bit less for a product made in the Good Ol' U.S.A., in the second, he will have to spend a bit more on German engineering, import taxes, and shipping costs.
The Sum of it All
Both the Bilstein B8 5100 and Rancho RS7000MT series are high-quality shock absorbers, which are designed, engineered, and manufactured utilizing only top-notch materials and equipment. The Bilsteins are made in both U.S. and Germany, with the Ranchos being produced in the U.S. The first of the pair seems as the more obvious choice of tried and true engineering and the second of off-roading and 4x4ing aficionados. The Bilstein B8 5100 will perform superb on a daily driver, while allowing for weekend warriors to venture off the beaten path, with the Rancho RS7000MT products making the pickup truck or SUV owner engage in braving canyons, climbing rocks, or driving over sand dunes with ease.