What is the purpose of shocks? It is to ensure that your ride in the vehicle is dampened when you are driving and when they are not functioning, the ride becomes very harsh. This means that you will need to replace them with one of the best truck shocks that money will be able to buy to increase your ride comfort significantly.
There are various shock absorbers in the market which include overloads, air, automatic level, heavy duty, gas, and standard ones. Each of them has its own pros and cons and they are normally suited for specific setups of a certain vehicle suspension. During the process of buying, there are a number of factors which you will have to consider which separate the bad, the good and the ugly.
Comparison Of Truck Shocks
Truck Shocks Buy Reviews
1. Bilstein Monotube Shock Absorber Nissan Titan
It is designed to give you a better ride which is improved and quality in terms of control and handling. Its monotube provides a fade-free and consistent performance for the time the shock will be in use. The shocks are ideal for a variety of terrains.
With the unique sensitive digressive and velocity piston, this shock is designed to react instantly to road conditions which are changing. This in the process, ensures that you have a smooth transition from the surface, making this particular shock absorber to be one of the many comfortable to use.
It will be able to give you optimal performance on whatever type of vehicle you might be having. And to crown it all, this shock absorber has a lifetime warranty. If you have a heavy truck, this shock might not work well due to the fact that the damping tends to be soft but for SUVs and other vehicles, it might be ok.
1. Lifetime warranty
2. A consistent fade-free performance
3. It improves the ride due to quality and better handling
4. Good for a variety of vehicles
5. Optimal performance
1. Not good enough for offroad vehicles
2. Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Absorber 24-186742 for Chevy Silverado
When looking for one of the best shock absorbers, this could one of what you should consider purchasing. It is likely going to offer you with a smooth ride and that is the reason why it is one of my top picks for the best truck shocks.
It is constructed from quality durable and sturdy metal to make sure that, it will be able to serve you for many years to come. It utilizes its top-notch technologies for great performance. The technologies include the 46 mm monotube design which helps to ensure fade free and consistent performance in all conditions of driving.
Its digressive valving will be able to react instantly to surfaces which are changing for consistent and smooth rides. With the mounting hardware which is OEM certified which comes with the rear shock, installation of this particular truck shocks should be straightforward and thus, no need for a professional to do the job.
This particular shock comes with a lifetime warranty and thus, you are covered.
1. Easy installation
2. Fade-free and consistent performance
3. Instant reaction to changes on the surface
4. Lifetime warranty
5. Durable and sturdy metals
1. A little stiffer as compared to factory shocks
2. It doesn’t work well in heavily lifted vehicles
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3. Gabriel Air Shockers 49235 For GMC Sierra
The Gabriel company is one of the leading company in the production of shocks and that is why I found this particular shock absorber to be one of their best. If you are looking for a shock absorber for temporary towing trailers and boats or heavy loads, this particular one might help you.
It tends to have the capability of improving handling and reducing the risk of bottoming out and being able to provide you with extra lifting capacity which is up to 1100 pounds per each pair.
It features a super-finished chromed piston rod which helps in inhibiting corrosion, ensuring proper lubrication of the seal, and providing a consistent wear surface. The life of this product is extended by a leak-proof piston seal. To add to that, it is a unit which is maintenance free and therefore, you are assured of years of quality performance at a low cost.
1. A tough built
3. Chrome finished piston which prevents corrosion
4. Piston seal which is leak proof
5. Longer product life due to the drawn over mandrel tubing
1. It will not increase your vehicle’s maximum payload
4. ACDelco Rear Lift Shock Absorber 504-535 For Colorado
This particular shock absorber is designed to be able to help you to get proper handling for situations which are temporary such as when your truck wants to haul loads that are heavy or tow a trailer. The air pressure is adjustable between 25 psi to 200 psi. and each pair can accommodate up to 1100 lbs of carrying the load.
When you have underloaded, this shock will help in maintaining the height of the vehicle by releasing or add air as it is required thereby assisting in the alignment angles stabilization, reducing other suspension component wear, reducing the risk of bottoming out and improving handling.
1. It improves better handling
2. An adjustable air pressure of between 25 psi to 200 psi
3. The load carrying capacity of up to 1100lbs
4. Maintain vehicle height when underloaded
5. It reduces the risk of bottoming out.
1. It doesn’t increase payload
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5. Monroe Shock Absorber 58640 For Dodge RAM 1500
if your dream is to have quality, smooth rides all the time, then this could be the ideal shock absorber to purchase. If you install it in your vehicle, it might be able to get you through the challenges brought about by road and weather conditions.
The absorbers will ensure that they maintain the same level for the height of your vehicle allowing you to take advantage of the conditions which are changing for a ride that is smooth. With this particular absorbers, you will have ultimate control over how you want your ride to be. You also have the option of deflating or inflating the absorbers between 20 psi and 150 psi as per your specifications.
It is an absorber which can be ideal if you have a vehicle that hauls heavy loads and tow trailers. You will have the capacity to deflate and inflate the shock while the vehicle is loaded. This particular shock absorber has 2 inches reverse tub fluid which will offer you with consistent performance. For long life, it has a nitrocarburized rod which is heavy duty. When it comes to installation, it is very easy to install it.
1. It supports 1100 capacity weight
2. It has an 11-inch travel distance
3. Built from heavy duty nitrocarburized rod for durability
4. It is easy and quick to install
5. Deflates and inflates between 20 psi and 150 psi
1. Not designed for large trucks
6. Rancho Lift Load Strut RS 999910 For Ford F150
If you own a Ford F150 and are out in the market looking for the best truck shocks, this could be the one which will work for you perfectly well. It has a metallic finish which gives it an aesthetic appeal and protection from harsh elements.
It is a monotube type of shock absorber which provides fade-free durability and performance. Its rugged design will make it possible for you to travel with your Ford F150 in harsh driving conditions. Its mechanism will likely reduce the tear and wear when you are on rough off roads.
Although it looks expensive, purchasing this shock might just give your Ford F150 a comfortable and smooth ride, especially if you like offroading. This product will be able to help level the suspension on the front to be able to align with the one at the rear by ensuring that you remove the factory rake. With that, it will be able to help when you are hauling overloads. To control it, it has 9 positions turning technology to allow for convenience for custom ride configurations.
It has a QuickLIFT technology which operates wirelessly meaning, you can control it effortlessly while you are seated inside your vehicle. If you like DIY, then this product will offer you an easy installation process. It comes when it is pre-installed with the coil springs and the mount at the upper part. Defects are covered with a lifetime warranty.
1. Corrosion resistant components
2. Easy to install
3. Operates wirelessly using advanced technology
4. Rugged and unique design
5. Fade-free durability
6. Lifetime warranty on manufacturer’s defects
1. It is expensive
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7. DTA 70090X Full Set Shock Absorbers For Tacoma
It is a design of shock absorbers which will make it possible for you to complete a full installation including springs, struts, and mounts. These pieces come separately but in the package, you will find the tools required to ensure that, you do the installation on your own in an easy and simple manner.
The struts assembly include nitrogen charge which requires a softer ride and it has several small features which make the assembly simple to use. The assembly has a setup that is simple with the neoprene boots which keep the ride as soft as possible. It also has Teflon coating and spring seats.
Its spring seats are very soft and they are designed in a way that, you can feel them when they settle on the road. It is a design which is specifically meant for a Toyota Tacoma or Prerunner which are vehicles that are very rugged. If you have such vehicles, it is likely you do intense driving, but with these shocks in place, it will not break the heavy material they are constructed from.
If you have been running your Prerunner or Tacoma for many years, these could be the shocks for you after your vehicle has taken a lot of punishment. Whenever you realize that the struts are not performing, you will need to replace them.
1. Price is great
2. Makes truck movement great and makes it stiff and nice
3. Installation is simple
4. It comes fully loaded
5. The insulated spring seats make riding very comfortable
1. The ride might be too stiff for your liking.
8. Gabriel Ultra Truck Shock For G63813 For Nissan Frontier
If you own a Nissan Frontier, I would recommend this particular shock for your vehicle. I bought it for my father, one year ago and up to now, it is still giving him great service.
It is designed to offer performance and safety, making it possible for you to enjoy your ride in comfort. It provides improved comfort and control, giving your vehicle durability and long life. it is equipped with a G-force technology which features infinity variable damping for an on-demand control while on all types of road conditions.
It features an ultra spring seat which has a super finish chrome piston to protect it from corrosion and leak proof the piston seal will be able to extend its lifespan. It will be able to perform great under a variety of conditions. You will get increased performance, handling, and safety from your vehicle.
1. Has a leak-proof seal to improve product life
2. Friction is minimized for optimal sealing through the OE designed single lip oil seal
3. Tire contact improved by stablesteer valving On-demand control on all road conditions by the infinite variable damping
4. Durability and long life offered by G-force piston which has bonded iron construction
1. Package at times comes missing some hardware for installation
9. Sensen Speedy Struts Rear Pair Complete Strut For Honda Ridgeline
It is a complete strut for Honda Ridgeline which is engineered to ensure that it restores the original handling, control, and ride of your vehicle. When you purchase the complete assembly kit, it is faster and easier to install as compared to the traditional struts.
With this particular one, you will not require any spring compressor. It is engineered to meet OE quality and thus, a good quality to purchase. The valving and components are designed specifically for each car, van, truck, SUV, or minivan application. For the best simulate OE ride and feel, it is precisely calibrated valving combinations that are meant for individualized application.
Each pack includes gas-charged struts with NOK seals, hard chrome piston rod, mirror finished to ensure for long life, great seal, and consistent dampening over different types of temperatures. Coil spring with an electrostatic coating to provide for optimal corrosion resistance.
1. Bearing plates that have been endurance tested
2. Gas charged strut for long life and endurance
3. Great handling control
4. Good value for money
5. It has a direct fit
6. Limited lifetime warrant from Sensen, the manufacturer
1. It is expensive
10. Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Absorber For Toyota Tundra
This is a single tube shock absorber which is perfect for a Toyota Tundra. It has high gas pressure modifications which provide performance that bumps free as well live a long life.
It has valving delivers which are self-adjusting, making control and steering of the car quite okay regardless of the surface of the road which you are on. Due to increased surface and diameter of the pressure tube, it could be the right choice for increased side loads.
The shocks come with an adjustable cup which is able to provide you with an option to be able to build your own pressure harness. This, in turn, gives it a ride which is comfortable on whatever surface you go to; off or on the road.
It allows for extra heat from the oil to remove to the shock body’s exterior surface and deplete more efficiently. The piston which is dividing allows the oil to grow as the heat is able to build and avert aeration and loss of viscosity. In the process, it permits the shock to be able to preserve full damping characteristics when the temperature goes up.
Consistent with the monotube design, it supports superior tube strength while at the same time augmenting shock life and heat dissipation.
1. Parts are CNC machined from aircraft aluminum material
2. Short braking distance.
3. It is worth the price
4. Different sizes of lift available
5. High directional stability
1. It is a bit harsh
What Are Shock Absorbers And How It Work?
To select one of the best truck shocks will require that, you first understand what it is so that, you will have an opportunity to narrow your choice down. In simpler terms, a shock absorber is a pump-like mechanical accessory which makes use of oils and hydraulic to ensure that, the effects of shocks experience during driving are stabilized. It is also in a position to help keep your vehicle in a balanced state after the other shock systems in your vehicle recoil aftershock.
How it works
What it means is that the shock absorbers work with the suspensions and springs to ensure that the impact of the shock experience is reduced on the passenger and the driver. In the process, you will be able to enjoy a smooth ride despite the turbulence you might be going through.
The principle behind shocks is simply the heat energy which is translated from the shock absorbers motion into the air through an exchange of heat. The mechanism involves a piston attached to a tube in the form of a vacuum, filled with pressure and oil or hydraulic.
The piston is able to be plunged into the tube which resembles a vacuum with high pressure, the vertical movement of the spring or suspension is experienced during a shock. It is this action which enforces the hydraulic fluid to go into the tiny holes in the piston, passing only a tiny amount of fluid, ensuring that the piston is slowed down, at the same time, slowing the springs and the suspension.
Another important function of the shock absorbers is to ensure that the tires remain in constant contact with the road. This is the process, affects the effectiveness of road navigation and the brakes.
Not all shock absorbers are the same due to the fact that they have a variety of features which differentiate one shock from the next. The differences can come in the form of more updated technology, design, or just compatibility. Details in their mechanisms can also differentiate the different types of shock absorbers.
Advantages Of Shock Absorbers
Vehicle safety is not all about just not driving over the speed limit and buckling up. Car safety involves a suspension system which is impeccable. The main component that makes a suspension system are shock absorbers. They provide steering stability thereby completing the safety of the vehicle.
They are the ones responsible for your vehicle not being able to veer to the sides when it is windy and you not having any trouble to stop. In case you are experiencing this kind of issues, then it is high time that you replace or repair your shocks.
When shocks are worn out, they tend to lack the capacity which is required to be able to control the car and they can add as much as 20% to your vehicle’s distance stopping.
Shock absorbers are mostly associated with comfort. Since the first vehicle was invented, the challenge of ensuring that the passenger is comfortable was what occupied most manufacturers. That is the reason why the shock absorbers were invented. Apart from providing the vehicle with stability, they need to ensure that passengers are safe. This is done by reducing the magnitude of vibratory motions caused by imperfections on the road in order to give you a ride which is smooth and comfortable.
Shocks are responsible for your vehicle’s stability. They are the ones which boost the friction between the tires of the vehicle and terrain, enabling stability of the car while on the road. If highways, streets, and country roads were smooth and perfectly flat, then there will be no need for shocks. But the truth is that even the ones which have just been paved, have flaws which apply force to the wheel causing it to be able to move up and down.
When there are no shock absorbers, the wheel’s vertical energy will shift to the vehicle’s frame. This in the process, will cause wheels to lose contact with the surface of the road for a moment, and then slam back onto the road and in the process, cause damage to the passengers inside or the vehicle.
Four Basic Types Of Shock Absorbers
This is the standard type of shock which you will be able to find in any local automotive parts stores. Since it has been in the market for quite a long time, its production process is enhanced making it be the least expensive of them all.
Its main disadvantage is that it is poor in heat management. The friction which is in the two cylinders makes it hard to dissipate the heat faster and that causes the oil to overheat. When this happens, bubbles form inside the oil chamber. Oil isn’t compressible but the air is. In the end, there is a huge degradation in the way the shock performs with some as high as 35%.
2. Gas-filled Mono-tube
With the monotube being able to offer better management of heat than the twin tube, there is still the problem of the heat dissipation. While you are driving on roads which are bumpy, the oil heating problem remains. The answer to this problem lies in the gas-filled monotube shocks. It comes with a high-pressure chamber which is filled with nitrogen, preventing overheats from oil. Because nitrogen is an inert gas, it is hard for the heat to build up very fast like the traditional design. It is a kind of shock absorb which is hard to manufacture and thus, it is the highest priced in the market.
Monotube is the evolution of the twin tube design. The internal piston is able to travel on the cylinder directly, generating less heat. Due to the fact that the cylinder is directly exposed, it is able to be cooled by the air which surrounds it and thus, better heating management. Due to the complex manufacturing process, it tends to be more expensive.
4. External Reservoir
The external reservoir design could be the best of them all. They are designed with ultra-high performance and racing applications, are lightweight, and small in the body which then connects through a hose to a reservoir of oil mounted in a different section of the vehicle. The goal of an external shock reservoir is to:
◆ Provide for better cooling for the oils which are in the reservoir
◆ To reduce the weight at the wheel in order to have a better handling
◆ To provide enough air space within the reservoir to ensure that the hot oil can be able to expand without the seals blowing out.
◆ Allow for superb adjustability as the oil flow in the shock body, to and fro
This type of shocks are very expensive and you should only use them when you need extremely high performance.
What to Look for When Buying Shock Absorbers
When in the market to buy some of the best truck shocks, you have to ensure that you are buying the correct type and there are a number of types to go for. there is the standard shock, gas shock, heavy duty shocks, air shocks, automatic level control shocks, and overload shocks. Choose the one you think will work well for you.
2. Quality Materials
Due to the work that shocks do, it is important that you purchase one which is constructed from durable materials.
This is a very important factor as the variety of shock absorbers will have to be narrowed down depending on your budget. So what you intend to use on the shock absorber will determine which one you will have to choose, but if you can afford the one which is most expensive or you want to go for the cheap one which will work for you, then that is up to you.
In the market, you will find shock absorbers which are cheap yet quality and some which are expensive and yet, they are not qualified. Thus, you should not entirely peg your decision of purchasing a shock absorber basing on its price.
The size of your vehicle will also determine how much you are going to spend because, if the vehicle is small, then you will have to use shock absorbers which are cheaper as compared to heavy-duty trucks and SUVs.
4. Ease Of Installation
If you want to install the shocks on your own, then getting one that is easy to install should be a consideration for you. It is important that you know that, some shocks will require you do some modifications or customization for installation. If you get such shocks, then you will have to pay a professional to do the installation.
If you will want to install shocks which require modification by yourself, or you have the skills to do it, ensure that the shocks come with detailed instructions and mounting kit.
For those shocks which don’t require modification, the installation has to be straightforward and you can easily do it by yourself by using simple instructions which will be provided by the manufacturers.
5. Compatibility With Vehicle
Due to the fact that there are many shock absorbers in the market, you might find it hard to choose the right one for your vehicle. What is important for consideration is that you get one that is compatible with your vehicle type.
6. Driving Conditions
The roads which you drive on will determine the type of shock absorber that you should purchase. If you are an offroad adventurer, then you will require tough shock absorbers which will be able to withstand a lot of bounce.
In case most of the time you are riding in the smooth road, then any type of shock absorber will work for you due to the fact that you don’t face a lot of abuse or bounce.
The standard and gas shocks which come with most cars are enough to work with normal driving conditions while you will have to go with heavy duty shocks if you are always on rough or muddy roads most of the time.
How To Replace A Shock Absorber
◆ Jack stands
◆ Floor jacks
◆ Replacement shock absorber
◆ Wheel blocks
◆ Wheel Chocks
Lifting And Supporting The Vehicle
Step 1: Chock the wheels by placing the blocks and the chocks in front and behind one of the tires at the vehicles opposite end from where you are working form
Step 2: Raise the vehicle using the jack from the right jacking points or a strong unibody or frame location
Step 3: Just like jacking the vehicle, place the jack stand at a location of strong chassis. Once you have placed it, lower the vehicle slowly onto the stand. As you are replacing the shocks, move the floor jack to be able to support the suspension because the suspension will droop down when you remove the shock.
Removing And Installing The Shocks
Step 1: You will have to remove the upper shock bolt first to make it easier to be able to slide the shock from the bottom.
Step 2: After removing the upper shock, lower the shock out of the bottom of the vehicle.
Step 3: From under your vehicle, push the shock’s upper part into the upper mount. Secure the shock into the upper mount by the help of someone else as you push it up.
Step 4: Once you have aligned the upper shock to the suspension, secure the lower shock bolt.
1. Is It Dangerous To Drive With A Broken Shock Absorber?
It is very dangerous to drive with a shock absorber which is broken. It is very much discouraged as this could lead to very fatal and dire consequences. It is also discouraged to drive on expressways with shock absorbers which are broken and also to avoid taking sudden and sharp corners as this might cause serious accidents in case you lose control of your steering wheel.
2. When Should I Replace A Shock Absorber?
There are a lot of factors which will come into play when you are determining when to replace a shock absorber. Some of the factors include a number of miles covered by the vehicle, the kind of terrain which you most frequently ply, and how gently or rough the vehicle is driven.
With accurate and moderate driving, the shocks can be able to last between four to five years at maximum. Shocks of vehicles which are mostly driven on roads which are smooth should be able to last at least for 10 years before you do a replacement.
3. Do I Need To Replace All 4 Shocks At Once?
It is not necessary but recommended that you at least change them in pairs like; both rear shocks or both front struts. This is due to the fact that new shock absorbers will be able to absorb road bumps better than the ones which are old.
It will depend on the wear and it might be necessary that you replace all the four at once. This is because, when you mix old and new shocks, they can have a very undesirable effect on the handling, accelerating the wear on the already worn out shocks leading to even more damage.
4. Can Shock Absorbers Be Repaired?
It is only the front shock absorbers which can be repaired but for the rear shock absorbers, they are irreparable. The front shocks can be repaired but you should remember that, after a repair, they feel oil instead of gas.
5. Do Shocks Affect Ride Height?
If shock absorbers are bad, then they will definitely affect the ride handling but it will not change the ride height. But because the height is the same on both sides of the vehicle, it will just mean they are worn out and they need to be replaced.
Apart from the shock in your vehicle helping to cushion the ride, it tends to perform specific functions of safety for both the vehicles and the trucks. It also helps in keeping the tires and wheels intact and make it easier for you to maneuver and control with the car. That is why, you will need to be careful so that, you purchase the best truck shocks and ensure that you replace them as soon as you notice that, they are having issues.
On the overall, I liked the Rancho Lift Load Strut RS 999910 for Ford F150 due to the fact that it has corrosion-resistant components, it is easy to install, operates wirelessly using advanced technology, it has a rugged and unique design, it has a fade-free durability, and comes with a lifetime warranty on manufacturer’s defects.