I wanted to share an experience I recently had with Bilstein regarding the 5160s I installed. First, let me say the shocks are great. Nice ride on the road, great flex on the trail and smooth ride, even at speed, on those main trails we have to take between the fun ones. Iím pleased with the MATERIAL or parts, I purchased. However:
I went wheeling on 18 Feb with them for the first time. It was one of those days where things became about as hardcore as they do any other time we wheel. Nothing serious enough to cause stuff to break, but at least with a handful of pucker-factor spots. And spots that make me really want lockers, but thatís another story. Anyway, about 6 hours on the trail and we make it back to the staging area and I notice two things. 1. The shock reservoirs were not in the place I mounted them. For some reason, they had rotated. This puzzled me since the $.50 hose clamps that were included with the shocks were just about as tight as I could get them without stripping them. I run plenty of back-spacing, so I didnít imagine it was the tire either. I still donít know why they rotated within the clamps. 2. I noticed a descent amount of oil film around the bung on the driverís side reservoir. It was dusty, but still enough to wet my finger fairly much when I wiped across it. This latter observation, I brought to Bilstein via their Facebook page. I was asked to message the details, so I did, and I shortly received a reply with contact information for Lisa Ciacci, who, according to the message, is the Warranty Administrator. I contacted her and she asked me to send pictures and the invoice from purchase. I complied and within the hour, received this:
The shocks were installed incorrectly which contributed to the failure. Also, your upper bushing has been over tightened. I have included a copy of the installation instructions for your review. This would not be considered a manufacturers defect and therefore not covered by the warranty, sorry. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.
Research & Development
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America
14102 Stowe Drive
Poway, CA 92064
Phone: +1 858 386-5951
Phone: +1 800 370-9522
Fax: +1 858 386-5945
E-Mail: [email protected]
Not, Hey Kevin, let me help you figure this out or, do you have pictures of the original install or even asking if I had any unusual circumstances on the trail. Just a simple, quick, ďDude youíre screwed, have a nice day.Ē I was appalled. With the current state of affairs in our country economically, I figure the get-this-guy-out-of-here-we-arenít-giving-him-anything mentality would be the reaction, but with such a summary assessment using PICTURES only? To say I am displeased with the customer service I received is an understatement. For a representative of a company as big as Bilstein to simply brush aside a customer surprised me. I had such high hopes for them. I guess they are like everyone else.
Now let me break this down. Here is a picture taken the day after I installed them (Iím only including the front, since thatís where the problem is):
Here is what the shock looked like after wheeling:
Now, again, I donít see how one can assess so quickly and thoroughly via these pictures that itís all on me. Maybe Iím wrong, but at least let me down easy.
Maybe I should have gone with Fox Racing 2.0s instead.