As a truck owner shocks are one of the most important components of your vehicle’s suspension. Not only do quality shocks help make your ride more pleasant in most conditions, but they also protect the rest of your suspension system, especially when off-roading or hauling heavy loads. Dodge Ram owners that want to push their trucks with heavy towing, regular hauling or off-roading should consider upgrading to a more capable set of shocks. Doing so will result in improved performance and handling and a more pleasant drive feel. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious which set of shocks are the right ones to purchase. That’s why we put together a guide explaining the best shocks for the Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 pickup truck. No matter what you do with your truck, we’ll do our best to explain the option that’s best for you.
Below are some of my favorite shock selections that are designed to most effectively improve the ride of your truck in different situations.
Bilstein B8 5100
When you’re looking for a tough and reliable street-quality shock that’s well-suited to towing and hauling or just general driving conditions Bilstein B8 5100 shocks come highly recommended. They benefit from a reliable monotube design with a 48mm body for more fluid, less fading and good stable performance even when hauling.
- 46mm diameter
- Reliable monotube design
- Gas charged shock
- Zinc coating for corrosion resistance
- Fade-free performance
- Offers a smooth ride
- Not as supportive as a coil over shock is
- Narrower body than the Fox shocks
Thanks to its large fluid reservoir the Bilstein B8 5100 offers smooth and supportive performance over bumps and with a fully loaded bed much better than shock stocks do. I love that it uses a monotube design with the nitrogen and oil fully separated during use to reduce foaming so you get nice stiff support every time. This is what makes this Bilstein shock so useful for an everyday driver truck that’s being used an average amount. The exterior zinc coating also helps prevent corrosion over time, preserving your investment.
This Bilstien shock is highly recommended because it’s a rock-solid performer that offers long-term usability at a reasonable price. It’s not the toughest set of shocks I looked at, but one of the most reasonable options for standard truck owners that won’t be offroading regularly. Shocks for Heavy Duty Performance.
Fox 2.0 Performance Series Shocks
With its wide body and careful multi-sealed design, Fox 2.0 shocks perform
Quick Look — list of features, strengths, weaknesses and differences from other products.
- 2.0 inches or 50.8 mm body width
- Triple seal packing for maximum reliability
- Chrome-plated alloy steel shafts
- Available with an external reservoir for a boost in performance
- 6061-T6 billet aluminum body
- Nitrile rubber bushings for soft performance
- Fluid designed to perform at higher temperatures
- Rebuildable design
- Triple seal design
- Nitrile rubber bushings.
The Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks are built for serious towing and some off-roading. These shocks are built to last with a thick T6 billet aluminum body and a chromed heat treated steel shaft for corrosion resistance and minimal wear over time. I was impressed to learn that these shocks are designed to be rebuilt, making them affordable to maintain over time. They’re impressively quiet thanks to their nitrile rubber bushings, but more importantly, these shocks offer impressive damping even when going over major bumps and when towing and hauling. The socks are designed with a massive 2» body or about 50.8 mm for comparison purposes. Each shock is built with a monotube body style and uses carefully formulated oil that doesn’t suffer from fading at higher temperatures. The wide shock body offers a larger fluid reservoir for effective dampening for longer, and an external fluid reservoir can be added on for serious off-roaders looking to maximize these shocks.
It’s easy to recommend these shocks to off-road enthusiasts or truck owners with serious hauling needs because these shocks perform extremely reliably even over extended towing sessions.
Rancho RS9000 XL Shock Absorber
When you want extreme performance on a lifted vehicle, it’s hard to argue against the power and design prowess of the Rancho RS9000 XL. This shock is massive in size with a 70mm body and it’s gas pressurized and manually adjustable for optimal performance in any condition.
- 9 different performance level settings
- Limited Lifetime Warranty Protection
- 2.75» or 70mm body
- 18mm Nitro Carb rod
- Gas-pressurized shocks
- Sintered iron piston with graphite filling
- Features rebound bumper
- Self-lubricating seal
- Protective boot
- Oversized and costly for everyday use
- Larger than the other shocks
- Comes with rebound bumper
The Rancho RS9000 XL shock absorber is an impressively engineered product for a few different reasons. It is manually adjustable to nine different performance settings so you can get the right ride feel and responsiveness no matter whether you are driving on smooth roads or rough off-road trails. The shock is massive in size with a 70mm body, and it holds a huge amount of fluid to minimize fading with extended bumps and rough spots. This shock is built to last with a durable outer finish and an 18mm Nitro Carb rod built to prevent corrosion over time. I was impressed by the thickness of its protective boot and by the rebound bumper to help smooth out those extreme bumps.
Overall, this shock is the ideal companion when you have a lifted truck you want to take offroading. Its massive fluid capacity and careful rugged design implementations make it durable in most situations.
Skyjacker Hydro 7000
The Skyjacker Hydro 7000 shocks are designed to install on lifted trucks for smooth and efficient performance. These twin-tube jacks rely on a special valve system for a reactive response to major bumps for excellent shock absorption in most situations.
- Dynamic valving for variable speed performance
- 14mm piston rod
- Protected with a Lifetime Warranty
- Fitted with a polyurethane boot
- Twin-tube design
- Only shock to use a twin tube design
- Not gas charged
The Skyjacker Hydro 7000 shocks offer impressive dampening performance thanks to their variable valving design. The more velocity they are confronted with, the better they are at depleting that energy and creating a smooth ride feel. This helps to keep your truck feeling smooth hand level at all times. I don’t love that these shocks are made with a twin-tube design, but they only suffer from minimum foaming and don’t fade much during use. The shocks are useful for lifted trucks because they’re extended enough to offer support across the longer distance. They are also built with a tough 14 mm piston rod that’s designed to withstand heavy pressure well.
I recommend the Skyjacker Hydro 7000 for use on lifted trucks that you’ll use for moderate off-roading or towing and everyday driving. These aren’t the best shocks that money can buy, but they’ll offer luxurious handling in more moderate driving conditions.
Deciding on the right shocks for your truck can be an overwhelming decision to have to make. That’s because there are so many different variables to consider when making the decision. By breaking down all those different variables I’m working to simplify the selection process so you can choose the shocks for your vehicle without second-guessing yourself along the way.
Selecting the Right Style: Choosing Between Twin-Tube and Mono-Tube
When selecting performance shocks there are many options that are in the twin-tube form-factor and others set up as a monotube shock. Each option works well, but one is generally better than the other for most driving conditions, and knowing which will help you purchase shocks more reliably. Twin-tube shocks perform well and offer a smooth ride, making them good for everyday road driving, but when situations get tough they won’t prove as durable as monotube shocks are. Monotube shocks keep gas and liquid separated to help prevent foaming and to ensure stability and predictable performance over time.
Why Shock Diameter is Important
When investing in shocks for your pickup truck it’s important to know the size you’re considering. Larger shocks tend to store more fluid and gas within. That means it will take longer for this fluid to heat up, and that the shock can absorb more energy reliably, making it into a highly effective device. If you’re trying to decide on one shock option and another, and the only difference is that one is wider than the other, generally the wider one will be the better option.
Exterior Finish and Protection
Even well-made shocks won’t keep your truck running smoothly if they rust away and fall apart. That’s why care must be taken to purchase shocks that are protectively coated and built from durable materials like metal alloys or hardened aluminum for rust resistance and long-term reliability.
Outer Shell Thickness
There are two considerations to be made when looking at the thickness of a shock’s outer shell or covering. A shock with a thick outer layer is stronger and more protected. It also has less interior space for storing fluid, which means it will warm more quickly, and absorb less energy overall before suffering from issues like fading.
Piston Rod Construction
The piston rod is the heart of a shock and without an intact rod, a shock wouldn’t be able to do its job any longer. That’s why great care must be taken when choosing shocks, to ensure they come with a sturdy piston rod. Thicker rods are preferable, and rods with a corrosion-resistant coating for added durability.
Look for Gas Charged Shocks
Shocks rely on a mixture of gas and oil for massive dampening power and both elements need to be present for maximum effectiveness. Budget shocks rely on oxygen as the gas which works fine during basic bumps or a couple more serious bumps. When you encounter a seriously rough road or trail the air in the shocks will often begin mixing with the oil to create a foam that reduces the efficiency of the shock. This isn’t as much of an issue in shocks with nitrogen used in place of oxygen as the gas. These are known as gas-charged shocks, and they’re prized for that very reason.
For maximum performance the Rancho RS9000 XL shock absorber is the most impressive product on this list. It’s the largest shock with the greatest fluid concentration, which makes it the most capable of withstanding repeated shocks and bumps. The shock set is adjustable with 9 different performance levels for more control over your shock response, and it’s built to last with an 18 mm Nitro carbon rod and a thick liquid metallic finish. The shock also comes with a thick protective boot and features a rebound bumper for those serious shocks. It’s quite a costly option though and is only necessary for truck owners that want to push their vehicles hard on a regular basis. I recommend something like the Bilstein B8 5100 as a more economical choice for smooth everyday driving.