The purpose of a suspension system on Ford Ranger or any other vehicle is to ensure that you have complete control over the vehicle and to provide comfort to the passengers by eliminating shocks.
Shock absorbers are probably the most important part of a vehicle’s suspension system, as they prevent a car or truck from bouncing when it hits a bump on the road.
This is why you need to keep your Ford Ranger’s shock absorbers in perfect condition at all times or replace them if you’ve noticed any signs of deterioration.
With so many different options on the market, you may find yourself thinking what are the best replacement shocks for Ford Ranger?
In this article, we are going to provide you with an answer to this question and we’ll take you through some of the most important aspects you need to consider while shopping for new shocks for your Ford Ranger.
How to Know When to Replace Shock Absorbers?
Shock absorbers are durable car parts that can last for 50.000 or 100.000 miles with proper care. Whether or not the shocks on your Ford Ranger can withstand the daily wear and tear for 100.000 miles depends on a broad range of factors.
Noticing the early signs of deterioration of shock absorbers may prevent more serious damage to your Ford Ranger’s suspension system and it will ensure your safety on the road. Here are some of the most common signs of bad shock absorbers.
Lowered stopping capability
One of the most common signs of worn-out shock absorbers is the increased stopping distance. In some cases, a vehicle’s stopping distance can increase by 20%, which can turn out to be dangerous if you are driving your Ford Ranger at a high speed.
Vibrations at the steering wheel
Maintaining control over a vehicle that is as powerful as Ford Ranger can be difficult even when shocks are working properly. If you start feeling vibrations on your pickup truck’s steering wheel, then this is a sure sign that you need to inspect and replace the shocks absorbers.
Dipping and Swerving
Worn out shocks are often the reason why a vehicle is dipping and swerving during the braking process. This can make keeping the control over your Ford Ranger very difficult, and it can be potentially dangerous if the road is icy or wet.
A pickup truck like Ford Ranger shouldn’t shake when you go over an uneven surface on the road. Shaking of the chassis is a sign that shocks on your vehicle have to be replaced. This issue will put a strain on other car parts, and you must attend to it as soon as possible.
Aspects You Need to Consider When Buying Replacement Shocks for Ford Ranger
If you noticed one or more of the symptoms of worn-out shocks, chances are that you have to start searching for replacement shocks for your Ford Ranger.
Nonetheless, there are a number of things you need to pay attention to while choosing new replacement shocks for the Ford Ranger model you own. Let’s take a closer look at things you need to do to narrow down your choices.
The compatibility of the shocks
The first and the most important thing you will have to do is to make sure that the shocks you want to buy fit your Ford Ranger. Besides checking if the shock absorber is compatible with Ford Ranger, you also need to find out if it fits the Ford Ranger model you have.
The easiest way to do this is to compare the shock’s OE number with the specifications that are provided in the user manual that came with the pickup truck. Furthermore, whether or not shocks are compatible with your vehicle depends on the model and the year when it was manufactured.
Luckily, checking the shock’s compatibility shouldn’t be too difficult as online retailers provide detailed buying guidelines for all shock models they are offering.
Check if the shocks are designed for the front or rear wheels
Even though all shocks absorbers serve the same purpose, the front and rear shocks are not identical. They are not interchangeable either, and you cannot install a rear shock on the front wheels. Before you start searching for new replacement shocks for Ford Ranger, you must first decide you want to change front shocks, rear shocks, or both.
Doing so will allow you to narrow down your options and decide if you want to get a full set of shock absorbers or just a replacement for front or rear wheels. Follow this link, if you want to find out how to get the best aftermarket struts for your vehicle.
Decide which type of shocks you want to get
Once you’ve determined that a shock model is compatible with the model of Ford Ranger you have, you should start considering different types of shocks. A shock absorber can either have mono-tube or twin-tube design, and you can choose from gas-charged, Position Sensitive Damping, and Acceleration Sensitive Damping twin-tube shocks.
However, mono-tube shocks have better cooling capabilities, which is the reason why pickup truck owners who drive their vehicles through rough terrains often opt for them.
Which type of replacement shocks for Ford Ranger you are going to choose depends on your needs, but you should research the advantages and disadvantages of different types of shocks before opting for any of the available options.
You can find more information about the best shocks for Ford 150 2WD, here.
Although the seal of a shock absorber can often be replaced separately from the rest of the vehicle’s shock system, it is still important to pay attention to their quality. A faulty seal is often a sign that shocks are worn out and in most cases, the best course of action is to replace both the seal and the shock.
The seal prevents the fluids a shock uses to reduce vibrations from leaking, and consequently, seals are frequently exposed to high temperatures. That is why you need to check if the material from which a shock’s seal is made is heat resistant, as shocks that have seals made out of low-quality materials tend to wear down faster.
Most replacement shocks for Ford Ranger models already have seals, and you should learn more about their quality before deciding to purchase a particular replacement shock for Ford Ranger.
The durability of the shocks
The purpose of purchasing new shocks for your pickup truck is to solve this issue for as long as possible, although no car part, shocks included, is indestructible. Despite being a relatively durable car part, shock absorbers still deteriorate over time.
The constant exposure to heat can impact the entire structure of the shock and cause fluid leakage or other types of damage.
Opting for a shock absorber that is made out of metals that are not affected by high temperatures is usually a good investment. However, the shocks made out of heavy-duty metals are going to add more weight to your vehicle as they are heavier than models that are made out of light-weight materials.
Corrosion is also something you will have to take into account, especially if your Ford Ranger is frequently exposed to rain or snow. Replacement shocks that have a protective layer don’t oxidize easily, because the powder or paint that the protective layer contains prevents water and oxygen from damaging the shock.
Buying shocks manufactured by well-known brands is possibly the best way to ensure that the shock you’ve selected is durable enough to withstand heavy usage regardless of the weather conditions.
The Top Six Replacement Shocks for Ford Ranger
Now that you have all the information you need to pick replacement shocks for your Ford Ranger, we should take a look at some of the best models you can find on the market right now.
1. Maxorber Front & Rear Full Set
Maxorber Front & Rear full set is aimed at the owners of Ford Ranger models that were produced between 1989 and 1997. The set is equipped with four shocks that are charged with the nitrogen gas in order to improve your vehicle’s stopping ability and stability while allowing you to steer the vehicle effortlessly.
The pressurized nitrogen gas boosts the performance of these shocks by eliminating the foaming and keeping the aerating at the minimum. In addition, the chromed pistons and the seals are made out of high-quality materials that ensure that there is no friction between them.
These shocks also have a protective layer that makes them less prone to corrosion and keeps them in perfect condition over the years. Moreover, the set also includes struts, which enables you to upgrade the entire Ford Ranger’s shock system.
Maxorber’s replacement shocks are a considerable upgrade from the Ford Ranger’s OEM shocks, as they improve the overall driving experience.
- The shock’s seal and piston are made out high-quality materials
- Features anti-corrosion protection
- Nitrogen gas eliminates foaming and aerating
- The set also includes struts
- Heat and corrosion resistant
- Excellent solution shock replacement solution for an entire vehicle
- Straightforward installation process
- Compatible with Ford Ranger models manufactured between 1989 and 1997
- Louder than most similar models
2. Gabriel 43167 Rear Spring Assist Load Carrier Shocks
In case you are searching for shocks that will enable you to handle heavy hauling tasks with your Ford Ranger, then the Gabriel 43167 Model is one of the best options you have at your disposal.
In addition, these shocks carry the pickup truck’s weight well and provide stability to the entire vehicle. The combination of shock and spring technologies ensures that you can steer the truck effortlessly even when you are driving at high speeds.
The model is designed to disperse heat efficiently and it is made out of sturdy materials that are resistant to corrosion. Coupling these rear shocks with front shocks from the same manufacturer will maximize their efficiency and enable you to transport heavy payloads on a daily basis.
Gabriel 43167 rear spring assist load carrier shocks are an affordable shock replacement for all Ford Ranger owners who transport large payloads on a constant basis. Click here if you want to find out how Gabriel shocks compare to Monroe shocks.
- Excellent shock absorption capacity
- Combines the shock and spring technologies to provide a superb driving experience
- Designed for hauling purposes
- Compatible with a broad range of Ford vehicles
- Handles heavy payloads efficiently
- Maintains the vehicle’s height even under heavy payloads
- Fits only older Ford Ranger models
- Exceeding the weight limit may damage the shocks
3. Monroe 32237 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
Like all shocks manufactured by Monroe, the Monroe 32237 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber is durable and capable of high-end performances. This model has a larger piston diameter than most replacement shocks for Ford Ranger, which increases its cooling capabilities.
This makes the Monroe-Matic Plus Shock Absorber a great option for truck owners that drive their vehicles through terrains that put a lot of stress on the suspension system. Moreover, the improved cooling potential also increases the shock’s durability, as the heat inflicts less damage to the shock.
The Monroe’s replacement shock for Ford Ranger is equipped with an all-weather fluid that allows the shock to absorb vibrations equally effectively regardless of the weather conditions. The fluid also reduces the friction of the nitro-carburized piston rod and enables it to move smoothly.
This shock absorber is only aimed at Ford Ranger owners that use their pickup trucks for off-road driving, and they don’t offer a significant upgrade from the vehicle’s OEM shocks unless they are used on rough terrain.
- The shock’s bore is designed to disperse heat efficiently
- The piston rod features a carburized exterior
- All-weather fluid ensures excellent performance even under difficult weather conditions
- Efficient vibration management
- No modifications required during the installation process
- Great cooling potential
- Inexpensive and durable
- Compatible with a limited number of Ford Ranger models
- Designed for off-road driving
4. Bilstein 24-188258 Rear Shock
Bilstein 24-188258 Rear Shock is compatible with both Ford and Mazda vehicles, including four-wheel drive Ford Ranger models. Like all mono-tube shocks, this Bilstein’s model has excellent heat dispersion capacity, which allows it to handle strong vibrations over long periods of time.
The fluid inside the shock prevents aeration and reduces the friction the rod encounters while moving. This rear replacement shock has the Eye 16mm upper mount type and Eye 12mm lower mount type, which allows for easy installation without any adjustments to the shock.
Moreover, the Bilstein 24-188258 is made from durable light-weight materials that don’t corrode quickly, even if they are exposed to rain or snow frequently. This rear shock also has a protective layer that provides additional protection against corrosion.
The fact that Bilstein 24-188258 is used by professional racers speaks volumes about its quality. This is a reliable replacement shock for Ford Ranger that will allow you to keep control of your vehicle at all times.
- Mono-tube shock with excellent cooling abilities
- Made from heat-resistant materials
- Excellent anti-corrosion protection
- Weighs just 5 pounds
- Lifetime warranty
- Compatible with a broad range of Ford Ranger models
- Straightforward installation process
- Pricier than most replacement shocks for Ford Ranger
- The front shocks from the same series are not available
5. cciyu 4 x Front Rear Struts Shock Absorbers
The owners of Ford Ranger models produced between 1994 and 1997, should consider opting for cciy 4 x Front Rear Struts Shock Absorbers kit. This is a great option if you are looking to give your Ford Ranger’s shock system a full overhaul, as the set includes both shocks and struts.
Both of these components are resistant to rust caused by oxidation or weather conditions, while frequent temperature changes cannot cause any serious damage to neither of these parts.
Furthermore, the viscosity of the oil within the shocks is unaffected by the heat that is generated during the shock absorption process.
The cciy’s shock absorbers are suitable for all types of road conditions, which enables you to use your pickup truck to transport heavy workloads, drive off the road, or in any other situation that puts the vehicle’s suspension system under pressure.
However, you should keep in mind that these shocks and struts are quite bulky and that they are going to add to your vehicle’s weight.
- Excellent shock absorption regardless of the road contentions
- Efficient heat dispersion
- Resistant to environmental damage
- The set includes replacement struts for Ford Ranger
- Improves the vehicle’s stability
- Heat resistant and made from highly durable materials
- One-year warranty
- Suitable for owners who want to replace all shocks on their Ford Ranger
- Compatible with a limited number of Ford Ranger models
6. Belltech 8000 Nitro Drop 2 Shock Absorber
Belltech 8000 Nitro Drop 2 Shock Absorber is one of the least expensive replacement shocks on the market that can’t offer much more than the Ford Ranger’s OEM shocks. This an entry-level option that is good enough for normal road conditions, but they are not well-suited for heavy-duty usage.
However, the metal dust boot makes this shock absorber resistant to environmental factors and ensures that they remain in perfect condition even after thousands of miles. This Belltech’s shock absorber allows you to have complete control over your vehicle and it makes the driving experience more enjoyable by reducing all vibrations to the minimum.
The robust construction increases the Ford Ranger’s stability, while the rubber mounts that come with this shock absorber also contribute to its vibration reduction capabilities.
The Belltech 8000 Nitro Drop 2 Shock Absorber is by far the best replacement shock for Ford Ranger in its price range, which makes it a great choice if you don’t want to spend too much money on new shocks for your pickup truck.
- Equipped with a valve the prevents air from reducing the shock’s vibration absorption capabilities
- Oversized construction of internal and external parts of the shock
- The metal dust boot protects the shock from environmental damage
- Made out of sturdy materials
- Great performance at an affordable price
- Ships with rubber mounts
- Improves a vehicle’s stability
- The installation process is more complicated than it needs to be
- Heat dispersion features leave much to be desired for
FAQs for Ford Ranger
The price of a single replacement shock can vary between $40 and $100, while sets that include front and rear shocks can cost up to a few hundred dollars.
Even though installing replacement shocks for Ford Ranger is not difficult, you shouldn’t go through this process alone if you don’t have the necessary skills.
No, they are not. That’s why you need to check if the shock absorber you want to buy fits the Ford Ranger model you own.
Most shocks that are compatible with Ford Ranger models are made out of sturdy materials and they are resistant to heat or corrosion. Even though they are built to last for 50.000 miles or more, you may have to change them more frequently if you are driving your vehicle through rough terrains often.
Finding replacement shocks for your Ford Ranger shouldn’t be too difficult, as there are so many high-quality models to choose from.
However, which model you can get depends on the shock’s compatibility with your vehicle. In case you have a Ford Ranger model that is produced between 1989 and 1997, and you want to replace both front and rear shocks then in our opinion the Maxorber Front & Rear Full Set is probably the best option for you.
Ford Ranger owners who are looking to replace just one shock should consider getting a Monroe 32237 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber or Bilstein 24-188258 Rear Shock. Click here if you would like to find out more about the best replacement shocks for Toyota Tacoma or follow this link to learn more about the best shocks for RAM 1500 4×4.