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Old 12-11-2020, 02:55 AM   #1
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Just installed Bilstein shocks on my 2015 190 Anniversary Edition on a 2014 chassis. Expected a difference I could feel, but did not expect this big of a change. Corrected tipsy feeling, bouncing after bumps, dive during braking, and overall handling is improved so much if I had not already ordered my sway bar kit I would not have. Best investment so far into my rig. I installed my sway bar kit today and just have to torque everything up tomorrow. Looking forward to see how sway bar will improve handling.
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Old 12-11-2020, 03:12 AM   #2
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Just installed Bilstein shocks on my 2015 190 Anniversary Edition on a 2014 chassis. Expected a difference I could feel, but did not expect this big of a change. Corrected tipsy feeling, bouncing after bumps, dive during braking, and overall handling is improved so much if I had not already ordered my sway bar kit I would not have. Best investment so far into my rig. I installed my sway bar kit today and just have to torque everything up tomorrow. Looking forward to see how sway bar will improve handling.

Welcome to the forum Buc22!


Bilsteins are highly rated, but then, any new shocks beat worn-out old ones.

Still, it's a nice feeling, isn't it.
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Old 12-11-2020, 04:16 AM   #3
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Thank you rowiebowie! Yes the change is so drastic I actually enjoyed the test drive a this morning. Will update after torquing everything down and then test drive tomorrow. Bought my 190 new back in Feb 2016 and enjoy the rig but almost hated driving.
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Old 12-11-2020, 01:40 PM   #4
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Thank you rowiebowie! Yes the change is so drastic I actually enjoyed the test drive a this morning. Will update after torquing everything down and then test drive tomorrow. Bought my 190 new back in Feb 2016 and enjoy the rig but almost hated driving.

We have Bilsteins on our 07 190P and have for a long time. We also have a rear sway bar that has been on nearly as long. I have found that the rear bar made even more difference than the Bilsteins. I highly recommend putting the bar on. What bar did you get?
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Old 12-11-2020, 01:40 PM   #5
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Just installed Bilstein shocks on my 2015 190 Anniversary Edition on a 2014 chassis.

Please post the model # of the shocks you used, approximate cost/source


Any tips, issues or concerns with a self install?


Thanks, Mike
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:29 PM   #6
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We have Bilsteins on our 07 190P and have for a long time. We also have a rear sway bar that has been on nearly as long. I have found that the rear bar made even more difference than the Bilsteins. I highly recommend putting the bar on. What bar did you get?
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I installed Hellwig sway bars yesterday and ran out of daylight because they left out 2 bolts from the kit so I had to run to Ace Hardware to buy some. After the rain stops this morning all I have left to do is snug up the bolts as everything was installed yesterday and look forward to my test drive.
I brought the Bilsteins to replace my shocks on my 30,000 mile 2014 chassis. After I ordered them I found this forum and read some of threads saying for many sway bars had the most positive effect on handling so I ordered them a few days later
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:39 PM   #7
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Please post the model # of the shocks you used, approximate cost/source


Any tips, issues or concerns with a self install?


Thanks, Mike
I used Bilstein (Front) (24-187435) and (Rear) (24-22194 for $114 each from SDtrucksprings online with free shipping and arrived 3 days. I used cargo straps to compress the rear shocks after mounting the top bolts to install the bottom and used my motorcycle jack to lift each front disk brake with 2x4 to compress the front enough to get spacer and bolt on the top of shock.
In all took me about 2 hours to complete everything. Sold the wife on saving labor cost by doing it myself and buying myself a new Dewalt 1/2 and 3/8 impact wrench
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:45 PM   #8
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In all took me about 2 hours to complete everything. Sold the wife on saving labor cost by doing it myself and buying myself a new Dewalt 1/2 and 3/8 impact wrench
Otherwise known as "going broke saving money". Actually those tools will pay for themselves many times over, not just money-wise but frustration-wise as well.
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:46 PM   #9
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Installing the Hellwig 7635 was straight forward which I ordered on Amazon for $395 and free shipping. A little clumsy laying on your back handling a 50# sway so I used cargo straps to hold them up while I made the connections. Was missing the 2 bolts for end links so I had to go to Ace Hardware to get two bolts. Hardest part of the install was after drilling holes in the frame was getting the bolts to thread into the bracket inside the frame. Hard to explain to once I figured out the first the last 3 went in fairly quickly. Stopped last night when dinner was ready so all I have left to do today is snug up and torque each bolt and then test drive.
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
Please post the model # of the shocks you used, approximate cost/source


Any tips, issues or concerns with a self install?


Thanks, Mike
I used Bilstein (Front) 24-187435 and (Rear) 24-221948 for $114 each from SDtrucksprings online with free shipping and arrived 3 days. I used cargo straps to compress the rear shocks after mounting the top bolts to install the bottom and used my motorcycle jack to lift each front disk brake with 2x4 to compress the front enough to get spacer and bolt on the top of shock.
In all took me about 2 hours to complete everything. Sold the wife on saving labor cost by doing it myself and buying myself a new Dewalt 1/2 and 3/8 impact wrench
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:58 PM   #11
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Otherwise known as "going broke saving money". Actually those tools will pay for themselves many times over, not just money-wise but frustration-wise as well.
As I get older I see the value of power tools! Not as strong as I used to be and even trying to break free lug nuts my body makes me understand every time I strain or over exert myself there is a price in soreness to be paid that night and the next day. If my wife finds out how sore I get for DIY projects she would just tell me to take it to a shop to install, but I would be robbed of the sense of satisfaction of DIY projects like this one.
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Old 12-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #12
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As I get older I see the value of power tools! Not as strong as I used to be and even trying to break free lug nuts my body makes me understand every time I strain or over exert myself there is a price in soreness to be paid that night and the next day. If my wife finds out how sore I get for DIY projects she would just tell me to take it to a shop to install, but I would be robbed of the sense of satisfaction of DIY projects like this one.
My wife says the same thing, but almost every time I pay someone else to do the work they do it wrong or not to my satisfaction and I have to redo some or all of it. Even something as simple as an oil change and chassis lube that I had done while on a 10,000 mile road trip almost turned into a disaster (filter not tightened, grease all over the outside of the fittings, with probably no grease in the joint...). One thing I would pay someone else to do after doing it myself 10 years ago, is replacing the Chevy coil springs. That was dicey when I was 54, so wouldn't risk it at 64.
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Old 12-11-2020, 04:20 PM   #13
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The good is that I got the large portion on my tools early on before anyone else was in the picture, as I was building hotrods then and needed them. They have long since payed for themselves as it has been over 40 years. The bigger shop and garage was part of getting a different house and by then the benefits of the home shop had been seen by all involved. Some additions since, in the machine shop equipment, though.


Scary part is that I am taking on major projects more now, before they are really necessary, so I can get them done while still able to them. 71 with arthritic hands, so getting harder. Full bodywork and paint, engine, trans, axle rebuild, new house windows with lots of stucco work to go with it, new furnace and air, water heater, HRV ventilator, etc. The last of those should get finished off this winter, so by the time the covid stuff gets cleared up, we should be good to go.



A good compressor and impact wrench/torque stick are your best friends on the class B with all those lug nuts.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:43 PM   #14
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My wife says the same thing, but almost every time I pay someone else to do the work they do it wrong or not to my satisfaction and I have to redo some or all of it. Even something as simple as an oil change and chassis lube that I had done while on a 10,000 mile road trip almost turned into a disaster (filter not tightened, grease all over the outside of the fittings, with probably no grease in the joint...). One thing I would pay someone else to do after doing it myself 10 years ago, is replacing the Chevy coil springs. That was dicey when I was 54, so wouldn't risk it at 64.
Petco

I had planned on tackling front springs and air bags in the spring, but may hold off and see how I like just shocks and sway bar. I saw video of front spring replacement on an roadtrek 190 I big project for sure. I am a lot like you I just do not like someone else touching my vehicles. I did not take my 2017 Camaro SS convertible in for my two free oil changes cause I just wanted to do it myself.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:50 PM   #15
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Wow 71 with arthritis and still enjoy working on your DIY projects. I am 55 with arthritis and struggle with gripping the tools after an hour or so, hence impact wrench. Tighten bolts until touching then finish off with wrench and then torque wrench. With my new power tools I feel like I can work and finish almost any DIY project. Only restriction is my 2015 190 Anniversary Ed is too tall for my garage and I work on it in the driveway, but I do have my toy car to use so I can take days working on my 190.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:13 PM   #16
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Took my 190 out for my first drive after finishing the install of my Hellwig sway kit with the combination of bilsteins has transformed by rig. I am so pleased with how this has improved the handling and feel is dramatic I enjoy driving this van for this first time. So anyone pondering whether or not to upgrade the shocks and sway you don't know what you are missing.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:35 PM   #17
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:53 PM   #18
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Superb outcome, good for you! Thanks for getting back with final verdict as it is now here for future users, too.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:22 PM   #19
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Superb outcome, good for you! Thanks for getting back with final verdict as it is now here for future users, too.
Booster

I am pleased with the outcome, but I cannot help stop thinking can a 5 ton van drive even better as you and many say with springs and airbag? I know ride quality and and handling as you say is subjective to each person, but how better can it get??

I think maybe passenger side wheel bearing "maybe" going bad so if I have that much taken apart to replace bearings going for the springs is not that much further. Have you ever heard of bearings making a sound sorta like a thumping at about 5-20 mph when temps get below 60?
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:59 PM   #20
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Booster

I am pleased with the outcome, but I cannot help stop thinking can a 5 ton van drive even better as you and many say with springs and airbag? I know ride quality and and handling as you say is subjective to each person, but how better can it get??

I think maybe passenger side wheel bearing "maybe" going bad so if I have that much taken apart to replace bearings going for the springs is not that much further. Have you ever heard of bearings making a sound sorta like a thumping at about 5-20 mph when temps get below 60?

I don't think you would see as much change with springs and air bags as you did with the shocks and sway bar, as those are big ones IMO. The changes get incremental by comparison, most likely. Again, my opinion, but if you have the non factory wheels that have the wrong offset, you might see more from getting to right offset, even. Increasing the tire size can also make a difference. We now have all of them done, and have for while now, including the actual softening of the rear leaf springs to let the air bags carrying more weight and give a smoother ride, which they do. This would normally be net slight decrease in handling as would increase understeer a bit, but I also put in a slightly larger rear swaybar to make up for it so we handle as we always have.



As you say, very subjective, and I tend to be on the picky end of the scale. I can say that our van will run 70mph in high winds without issues and still be a very easy drive. I drove it 850 miles in on day across Utah, Montana, and North Dakota when it was very windy and we averaged 72mph even with gas stops. I am a lazy driver and prefer one hand near the bottom of the wheel to the two hands firmly on it. I find the two hand drive tiring just from the position, I think.



If I were you, I would wait a bit until you see how you like the drive in all the various conditions of traveling. It may be fine for you, or you may feel the need to tweak it a bit.
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