With the release of Bilstein's newest suspension setup for late model trucks, the incredibly thick and beefy 6112 shock, debate between the newcomer and the encumbent 5100 series has erupted. Lets take a look at the objective differences between these two shocks.


Shock Body Size Body Material Piston Size Finish Springs Inc. Rod Material Rod Size
BILSTEIN 6112 2.65” Steel 60mm Zinc Plated Yes Chrome Plated Steel 18mm
BILSTEIN 5100 1.95” Steel


Zinc Plated


Chrome Plated Steel 14mm

Both products carry Bilstein's Limited Lifetime Warranty

Immediately right off the bat you realize the body size differences, this makes itself very apparent when holding both shock bodies. The 6112 shocks also have 5 height settings compared to the 5100's 3 settings. The added height settings on the 6112 is to address the many variations of equipment setups that drivers are outfitting their vehicles with. Checkout the #overland hashtag on instagram for what we're talking about.

Ride Differences

What do these feel like on your truck though? That's the objective answer that the driver and pilot is able to answer, everyone is different and people have different expectations for how a suspension should respond. Bilstein only develops a product like the 6112 with the best performance possible in mind, on all terrains. Monotube gas shocks will naturally handle very well on the highway and streets, both the 6112 and 5100 are excellent for this basic requirement.

#offroad is where these two shocks will part ways.

  • The extra size on the 6112 allows for better response on aggressive terrain, or under increased loads from equipment on the vehicle.
  • Significantly more shock oil to maintain lower temperatures within the shock, but the thicker active piston maintains consistent response under hard hits and other obstacles off-road.
  • New springs with the 6112 suspension kit also help vehicle dampening with extra load weight of equipment

Bottom Line

The 5100 series will get the job done, ride excellent, and still be good for off-road excursions on the weekend. The beefyness of the 6112 excels at all of the above and then some, there's significantly more damping capability off-road and offgrid. Bilstein has also developed some excellent springs to pair with the new thicker struts, providing exceptional ride quality on and off-road. The leveling kit function of both is icing on the cake.

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