There are many reasons for which you would want to lower your truck. If you are a racer, you will certainly benefit from better aerodynamics as the drag is reduced. Even the grip on the tires is improved by lowering the truck. But one thing that all newly lowered trucks need to do is to get new shocks.
It is quite hard to find the best shocks for lowered trucks because they all claim to be the best. This article will be focusing on some of the top offerings from various manufacturers, so you don’t have to waste your time searching for them.
1. Bilstein 5100 Series GM Truck Shock
Easily overtaking all opponents and earning the First Spot is a Product by Bilstein. The manufacturer has been making solid shocks for quite some while now, and it is the name that any vehicle enthusiast generally recommends to another. This shock is a part of the manufacturer’s extremely popular 5100 series.
The shock has some pretty amazing features, which you will love. For example, it is a monotube gas shock. Yes, that’s right. The monotube design is the latest and the greatest entry in the shock absorber world and it has boasted huge improvements over the twin-tube design.
You will be able to get better control of your truck. Another thing about all Bilstein shocks is that they are built according to OEM specifications.
They have been designed to meet all requirements, so nothing is left at the chance. This means that the installation will be simple and quick. The shock uses patented digressive valving, allowing it to adjust itself almost instantly to varying road conditions.
As a shock is one of those parts exposed to the environment, the company had to make sure that the longevity of their product was not compromised. Well, thanks to the zinc-plated design and durable rubber bushings, you can rest assured that the shock will remain unaffected by all sorts of weather changes.
Bilstein shocks are tested to the extreme to ensure that they are up to the mark. Unlike many manufacturers that rely on simulations, the company relies on real-world testing to ensure that their shocks work flawlessly.
- Monotube design
- Zinc-plated to withstand harsh environments
- Meets OEM specifications
- Tested to the extreme
- May be too stiff for you
Although Bilstein makes some pretty amazing shocks, it is rare to come across negative ratings related to its products. It should look into the issue and see if there is a quality control issue.
2. Monroe Reflex 911262 Shock Absorber
Here comes another excellent product. This time the manufacturer’s name is Monroe. The company has taken a spot on almost every one of my shocks related articles, just like Bilstein.
It is a highly regarded name in the automotive community. The Monroe Reflex 911262 is a shock that comes pretty close to Bilstein in terms of performance.
Let’s see what it can do. The first thing that the company guarantees with installing this shock is that you will get a definite improvement in handling and stability.
This is to be expected because the shock is a part of the manufacturer’s Reflex line-up. The best feature, out of all, present in it is the company’s ASD technology.
It means Acceleration Sensitive damping, which allows the vehicle to absorb impacts almost instantaneously. The shock uses an all-weather fluid. This fluid has been designed to work in all sorts of temperatures and environments.
Plus, it reduces friction greatly, which means it will be able to dampen the impacts better. The shock also utilizes fully displaced valving, enabling the shock to give you a smooth ride.
Let’s talk about control. The shock uses a fluon banded piston, which makes sure that the seal remains consistent at all times. The proper seal enables the vehicle to be under your control at all times.
This also allows for there to be better tire-to-road contact, which is something many manufacturers don’t mention. So, you don’t have to worry about the vehicle losing contact with the surface you are driving on.
- ASD technology used
- It uses an all-weather fluid
- Excellent stability and control
- Better tire to road contact
- It May have too much bounce after some usage
The above-mentioned issue can be due to there being poor quality control in the company. The manufacturer must resolve this issue so that more customers don’t get frustrated.
3. Gabriel 49235 Hijacker Shock
You are in for a treat with this third product. Gabriel is another established company that makes some amazing shocks. I have had the opportunity to check out its products in the past, and let me tell you; they know what they are doing.
The Gabriel 49235 Hijacker Shock is proof of how good the manufacturer’s products can be. Let’s see what this shock has to offer.
The company claims that this shock is the best air-adjustable shock on the market. That is a pretty bold claim. The company claims that this shock will reduce the risk of bottoming out while improving handling.
This is something that many lowered truck owners have a concern about. But it does not end there. The manufacturer made sure that the shocks would perform properly in other departments too.
They are able to handle up to 1100 pounds per pair. So, when you do need to carry some load, then you won’t have to worry about the truck sagging too much. In order to prevent corrosion and maximize the longevity of the shock, a chrome-finished piston has been used.
An automatic seal lubrication system has been set up, which does not allow the seal to harden up and crack after a few months of usage. Even the seal is completely leakproof, which eliminates the chance of oil seeping out of the shock.
This is a common issue with many shocks, but Gabriel really thought from all angles to ensure that customers wouldn’t face any issues.
- Can handle up to 1100 pounds of weight
- Chrome-finished piston
- Fully lubricated leak-proof seal
- Better control and handling
- Broken parts
- Missing parts
Gabriel must look into these allegations and fix them as soon as possible. It is rare for the company’s products to cause issues for users, but unfortunately, the 49235 is one of those problematic ones.
4. KYB MonoMax 565102 Shock Absorber
This list just keeps on giving! Coming in a very close fourth place is a shock from the brand KYB. This is yet another company that makes stellar shocks, and I have had the opportunity to write about them. The KYB MonoMax 565104 Shock Absorber guarantees a 40% performance boost over the stock ones.
That is quite a large difference, and you will definitely feel the difference in the damping abilities of the old and the new ones. You might be thinking, how is such a huge difference possible.
Well, this is possible, thanks to the monotube design of the shock. As I stated earlier, the Bilstein shock is the best shock design out there.
It performs all other offerings on the market. So, the company made an excellent decision by using this design. The piston has been zinc coated which reduces friction significantly. This allows for the shock to adjust more rapidly to varying road conditions.
Apart from the performance improvements, the company has also made the shock durable and resistant to all sorts of weather conditions. The piston ring has been made from stainless steel, which means it will retain the seal, even when the conditions get intense.
The manufacturer has also included a rubber boot that shields the entire shock from getting in contact with dust and debris. These contaminants can affect the function of the shock, so it was an excellent decision to include the boot in the package.
- 40% improvement over the stock shocks
- Monotube design
- Zinc coated piston
- Rubber boot to avoid contact with debris
- Subpar build quality
I can assure you that although the shock may not seem premium to hold, the company has not sacrificed on performance in any possible way. If you choose to install it, you will definitely observe the difference.
5. Monroe MA829 Max-Air Shock Absorber
If you are trying to find out something that is adjustable, then I have got just the thing for you. You may have noticed that this shock absorber is from Monroe. Yes, that’s right; the manufacturer was able to snatch up another position on this highly picky list. I don’t know about you, but I find this very impressive.
The unique feature of the MA829 Max-Air Shock Absorber is that it is inflatable. You can control the height of your truck to your liking. You can inflate the shock up to 150 PSI, allowing you to get the height you want. Of course, if you would like to keep your truck lowered, then there will be no point in inflating it.
But, still, it is a great addition for people who would like to have some customizability in their hands for the future. The shock also has excellent performance.
Just like the previous Monroe product, this one also utilizes fully displaced valving, allowing for better and quicker responses to varying road conditions. You can rest assured that no matter the terrain you drive on, your ride will be as smooth as possible.
One thing that many automotive makers avoid talking about is the durability of their products. Well, that is not the case with Monroe. They ensure that the durability of this shock is top-notch.
They have used an iron piston alongside a hardened piston rod to make sure that it will not break in extreme conditions. The company has also added lubricated sleeves, which reduce friction, which enable the shock to adjust to varying road conditions quickly.
- Inflatable design
- Full displaced valving for better damping
- Extremely durable
- Lubricated sleeves for reduced friction
- Not extensively tested
- Fewer ratings
Although it is rare for Monroe products to cause any major problems, the company really took a unique approach to make this shock. It does have positive ratings, but I would still do the proper research before buying if I were you.
6. Belltech 9122 Nitro Drop 2 Shock Absorber Set
If you are looking for a brand that is not one of the more mainstream ones, then you should definitely check out Belltech. The company makes decent quality hardware, but due to the lack of advertising, they are not that popular.
Unlike other shocks on the market that focus on either performance or comfort, the 9122 Nitro Drop 2 Shock Absorber Set aims to achieve both in a single product.
This is something that I found quite interesting and unique. You can expect an overhaul of the entire suspension system with this bad boy installed in your vehicle.
Unlike other shocks, this one also has been specially designed for lowered trucks. It has been designed to increase compression while driving at low speeds.
One other thing that most shocks are not able to compete with when comparing with the Nitro Drop 2 is that they start working properly at high speeds. Well, the compression at low speeds solves that issue. This feature also makes the grip of the vehicle better, thanks to improved tire-to-road contact.
The shock also meets OEM specifications, which means that you will not have to make any additional modifications to install it. This will save you a lot of time and money.
And just like the KYB shock, the company has added a dust boot that prevents debris from coming in contact with the shock. If this dust finds a way in, then the shock will fail quickly.
- Meets OEM specifications
- Includes a dust boot
- Low-speed compressions
- Better performance and comfort
- May receive a faulty product
Although Belltech has made a decent product, it should improve its quality control so that users don’t face any more issues. If the brand really wants to compete with big names like Monroe, it must fix this issue immediately.
7. Fabtech FTS7052 Performance Shock Absorber
Lastly, I have a brand that is completely off the grid; I suggest taking a look at the company Fabtech. I have never heard of this manufacturer before, but its FTS7052 Performance Shock does have some ratings. Let’s see what it has to offer. Unlike companies like Bilstein and KYB, this shock uses a twin-tube design.
I must clarify that the twin-tube is not a bad design. It was popular until the monotube came out. The newer one boasted improvements in all aspects and that is why it is generally favored over the other one.
The shock is able to provide excellent damping. This is also possible, thanks to the 9-stage valving that the company has implemented. This allows the shock to adjust to all sorts of unevenness in the terrain. So, you can rest assured that the shock absorption capabilities of this product from Fabtech are up to the mark.
For better durability, the company has used a hardened chrome piston rod, which will not fail on you even when the situation gets extreme. That is an excellent addition, which is great for people who are looking for a long-lasting option.
Unlike other shocks that use nitrogen, this one uses a foam cell insert instead. This is the first I have heard of this technology. The foam has a gas that completely eliminates the chance of the formation of bubbles. This completely eliminates the chance of shock fade.
- 9-stage valving
- Foam-cell insert
- Guaranteed no shock fade
- Hardened chrome piston rod
- Wrong item shipped
- Missing parts
Unless you really want to risk it with another brand, I suggest that you go for one of the other six options that I have listed here. This shock is not bad, but it is not worth the risk of buying from an unknown manufacturer.
Can I Put Air Shocks On A Lowered Truck?
Yes, that is possible! You may need to make some additional adjustments by adding sway bars, but air shocks can be installed on a lowered truck.
The ride may not be as smooth when compared to the same shocks being installed on a raised truck, but there is going to be a considerable difference when compared to the stock shocks.
Is It Necessary To Get New Shocks While Lowering My Truck?
Although you can make do without new shocks, it is always recommended to get an upgrade when you lower your truck.
The reason for this is that the shocks will have to work from a new position, and they will not be able to absorb impacts properly. You should get shocks that have been designed for use with lowered trucks, such as the ones I listed above.
Does The Quality Of The Ride Is Affected By Lowering A Truck?
This depends on how you have lowered your truck. Simply reducing the height is not enough to keep the performance of the vehicle the same. You have to get newer shocks and struts so that the driving stability and overall control is retained.
Otherwise, you will run into issues such as poor performance and poor traction. This can also cause a reduction in the tread life of the tires, causing them to wear out much quicker.
Should I Lower Or Lift My Truck?
Now, this is an excellent question. Well, it depends on what do you want to do with it. Let’s say you are an off-roader or haul heavy stuff; then, it is recommended to raise the truck. If you are a racer and want better control and handling, then you should lower the truck. Both of these options require you to get new shocks.
Getting a lowered truck can make a night and day difference in the performance of the vehicle but finding the appropriate parts that will work with your vehicle is an extremely tiresome job. But this article has the ultimate compilation of the best shocks for lowered trucks.
From big names like Monroe to smaller ones like Belltech, everything is covered. If you still have any confusion, I would definitely recommend the buying guide that is available in this article. It may help in answering some or, hopefully, all of your questions.
I hope that this article may have helped you in making a decision to choose the correct one for your truck!