This Is What Makes Bilstein Shock Absorbers So Great
The technology is simpler than you might think.
The only job of a shock absorber is to dampen the up and down motion of the vehicle they're attached to. And even though the task itself is simple, the technology behind it comes in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors. 89 years ago, though, Bilstein came up with something that was more innovative and better than all the rest.
The way shock absorbers work is by turning the kinetic energy, or the vertical motion of a vehicle, into heat and then dissipating that heat into the atmosphere. Traditional shock absorbers have two tubes—one inner, and one outer. The inner tube holds the shock fluid which provides the resistance and damping, and the outer tube holds that inner shock. And this technology seems fine, until you look at what Bilstein came up with so many years ago.
It's called the "monotube" system, and instead of using two tubes, Bilstein made the entire shock absorber the tube itself. Removing the inner shock allows for a larger tube, a larger tube means more fluid, more fluid means the easier heat can dissipate within the system, and that means the transitions between up and down are smoothed—resulting in a more controlable vehicle.
Furthermore, Bilstein shocks are pressurized, so no matter how many up and down motions the vehicle has, the pressure remains the same—perfect for every type of driving style. Traditional twintube shocks, which are not pressurized, provide a "floatier" feel due to the creation of air bubbles after hard use.
For this reason, Bilstein shock absorbers are the only choice for FCP Euro's racecars—a Mercedes C300 and BMW E30 325i—for providing uncompromised performance throughout the nine-hour endurance races our cars endure.
Click the video below for a full demonstration of how Bilstein shock absorbers work, and follow the link at the end of the page to learn see which Bilstein shock absorbers are right for your vehicle.
Written By: Michael Hurczyn
My Avatar picture was taken in 1980, and I've been playing with BMW's ever since. BMW CCA Driving Instructor since 2001. Track Rat, Club Racer, general tinkerer, and Brand Director at FCP Euro. Driver of the FCP Euro sponsored #710 e30 and #720 C300 in AER.