Rancho RS9000XL vs. Bilstein 5100

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

A good set of shock absorbers make a huge difference in the vehicle’s performance, be it on or off the road.

The absorbers are components you must have, but sometimes it can be tricky to find the right set, especially if we want to get only the best.

You can narrow down the list of options by taking a look at two of the most reliable brands, Rancho and Bilstein.

Both manufacturers create high-quality products, as we’ll learn throughout our comparison today.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the Rancho RS9000XL vs. Bilstein 5100 to find out which one is better for you. Continue reading if you want to find out more!

Rancho RS9000XL vs. Bilstein 5100

  Rancho RS9000XLBilstein 5100
Pros1. Easy to install & adjust

2. Sturdy build with a metallic finish

3. Sturdy build with a metallic finish

4. Works perfectly with Rancho’s monotube steering stabilizers

5. Multiple settings available to meet your demands
1. Good-looking set of shock absorbers

2. Includes tools needed for installation

3. Perfect for 4WD vehicles

4. Improves smoothness for on & off the road driving

5. Capable of taking bumps & putting up a high resistance

6. No nose dive while braking
Cons1. Leaking issues after a few months1. May be tricky to set up

Rancho RS9000XL

Rancho RS9000XL

If your Jeep isn’t behaving the way it should, then one of the reasons could be that you need the Rancho RS9000XL Suspension Shock.

It’s no exaggeration, as it’s a set that quickly improves the performance of your car. Say goodbye to body creaks, and welcome a pleasant ride!

First thing’s first, installing the RS9000XL suspension shocks is easy and quick. While doing that, you could do some tweaks and adjustments yourself, as reversing the rear shocks leaves the dial exposed.

A single slip over an obstacle could deal with some unexpected damage to the adjustments.

The adjusting process is just as easy. Turn the dial counter-clockwise for softening, and clockwise for stiffening.

As you pass the 12 o’clock position, you’ll be noticing subtle “clicks” for each setting.

Since the RS9000XL comes pre-set at 5, it’s already good for lightweight purposes.

In case you’re over highways or logging surfaces regularly, then you’d want to adjust the front shocks at 5, with the rears at 4.

Those settings allow you to have a soft ride. Naturally, you’ll be able to adjust as much as needed depending on your vehicle and your driving preferences.

When it comes to performance, the kit is excellent. It only gets better due to how good the pieces look.

They feature robust construction, sporting a metallic finish, and measuring 2.75-inch in diameter. Due to their versatility, you’ll find an RS9000XL set for most applications.

Unfortunately, the lifespan isn’t the best. After only a few months, you may experience leaking issues, which is an issue nobody wants to have.

Latest Guide: Spartan Locker for Dana 30 Vs. Dana 44

Bilstein 5100

Bilstein 5100

The following kit offers a total of four pieces: two shock absorbers for the front, and another two for the rear side.

With extended length, the parts are good for 1.5-3” front lift systems, while also being suitable for 1.5-3” rear lift systems. This set is ideal for 4WD vehicles.

Besides the shock absorbers, the kit comes with multiple tools for installation.

The washers, bushings, nuts, and more will all be at your disposal. Additionally, you can re-use the factory shock mounting bolts. However, the mounting plates do not come in the purchase.

While most of the tools needed come in the kit, the installation could be quite tricky.

For instance, installing the shock absorbers on a vehicle like the 2013 JKU requires multiple modifications, especially on the inside fender.

The estimated time would be a couple of hours to get everything ready.
Of course, once you get things done, the results are more than satisfactory.

And the single-tube body makes it possible to transfer head quickly, going from the shock oil to the shock body.

Then, it dissipates, reducing the shock fade. Whether you’re driving on or off the road, the absorbers significantly improve road handling, making the whole experience more pleasant.

Although it can get tricky during the assembly, the impressions received after testing met the expectations.

The ride feels smooth and firm, not rough at all. The kit is capable of handling bumps pretty well, even on complicated surfaces.

For an affordable price, the Bilstein 5100 Set continues to be a purchase worth every bit of money.

Related Guide: Viair 400p Vs. Smittybilt 2781

Rancho RS9000XL and Bilstein 5100 Comparison 2023

While both kits are fairly similar when compared, there are significant differences that set them apart.

In this section, we’ll talk a little bit about their most important features to see what the kits have to offer.

The Biggest Differences – Height, Adjustability, & Safety

Many people would agree that the Rancho RS9000XL is the better option out of the two.

For instance, the RS9000XL comes with self-lubrication to deal with friction and a rebound bumper for tough roads.

The Rancho RS9000XL offers up to 4” height settings, while the Bilstein 5100 has the capacity for only 3” settings.

Also, the first one offers a 9-Position system for quick turns and total control.

Although the Bilstein 5100 provides quick transitions, the technology behind it isn’t as good.

Does that mean that the Bilstein 5100 is a bad product? Not entirely. It will deliver good results for specific riders under specific circumstances.

Bilstein 5100 – For Traditional Drivers

If you’re a driver in need of a shock absorber for everyday use, then the Bilstein 5100 is the one for you.

It offers a high-pressure performance that delivers a pleasant ride consistently. Also, it’s a good choice for people with vehicles like SUVs and trucks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the products discussed above:

What are the body sizes of each shock absorber?

The sizes of the products are quite noticeable when you put them next to each other.

While the Rancho RS9000XL measures 2.75-inch, the Bilstein’s body size is only 1.95-inch.

Additionally, the rod’s sizes are 18mm for the Rancho, and 14mm for the Bilstein absorbers.

Are the shock absorbers durable?

The Rancho RS9000XL features a durable body with a metallic finish, while the Bilstein 5100 has zinc-plated steel instead.

Both are durable, but some drivers have experienced issues rather quickly with Rancho’s absorbers.

What’s the best shock absorber for heavy loads?

Both are fairly good to handle heavyweight tires. The RS9000XL comes with an adjustable damping feature that will dampen the heavyweight tires.

Even though it doesn’t have a specific feature for that purpose, the Bilstein 5100 is also capable of dampening that extra weight.

What are the piston measurements of both absorbers?

2.75-inches for the Rancho RS9000XL and 1.95-inches for the Bilstein 5100 are measurements.

Which is the better overall shock absorber?

Choosing one of these shock absorbers ultimately depends on your preference.

With technology that offers 9-positions turning, the Rancho RS9000XL guarantees smooth turns and sturdy control regardless of the road type.

The Bilstein 5100 may not have the same feature, but it still does well.


Realistically, both shock absorbers sets are pretty good. Each one has its benefits and very few disadvantages, allowing you to decide which one is the more suitable for your purposes out of the Rancho RS9000XL vs. Bilstein 5100.

Next time you’re looking to improve your vehicle’s performance, give these absorbers a try!