We continue to preach how strut spacers just aren’t going to cut it for any kind of performance gains. When you put a strut spacer on top of the shock tower in order to gain some additional height in order to clear larger tires, you’re directly impacting the factory strut in more than 1 way. The spacer will cause the factory shock tower to be pre-drooped, which eliminates downtravel of the suspension equal to the spacer’s physical height. And the factory struts and shocks aren’t valved to handle a 25-50% increase in unsprung weight due to larger wheels and tires, a significant change.
In the case of this 2020 Ram 1500 4WD with a 3” lift spacer, the physical spacer was about 1.5” thick. The factory struts have a 21” extended length by about 15” collapsed, leaving 6” total travel; 3” up and 3” down from ride height - not a lot. With the spacer addition, it eliminates 1.5” out of that 3” down travel. While not too big of a deal on the street, with little need for droop travel, it will cause problems offroad under any kind of moderately difficult terrain that maximizes shock travel to keep the vehicle stable.
With a change over to a leveling strut that preloads a coil spring to achieve vehicle lift, this doesn’t compromise droop travel. This customer opted for a Bilstein 6112, set to the max lift height of 2.6” of lift, the top circlip. While this resulted in a net loss of about half an inch, the ride quality vastly improved since the shocks can now handle the bigger wheels and tires a lot better, along with restoring the vehicle’s full suspension travel, plus some.
Daily Driver, Off-Road
A new addition to Bilstein’s arsenal, the 6112 shock is equipped with a massive 60mm active piston and 2.6” shock body, providing exceptional off-road capability and handling. This shock is aimed solely at the adventurer, offroader, and overlander that sees a lot of dirt, but also doesn’t want to sacrifice daily driver comfort.
- Leveling Height Adjustments
- 60mm piston, “best in class”
- Price-to-Shock ratio through the roof, 2.6” shock & spring less expensive than 2” coilovers
- Massive off-road ride upgrade, improved road handling and comfort
- Long lasting, durable, serviceable
- Does not come pre-assembled from Bilstein
- Requires coil-spring compressor for installation