Best Shocks for F150 2WD – Which Shocks Should You Consider Buying?

Best Shocks for F150 2WD – Which Shocks Should You Consider Buying?

If your ride isn’t as smooth as you’d like and you’re feeling every lump and bump in the road, you might consider buying some new shocks. Shocks will need replacing every now and then, but sometimes it pays to swap them with better quality ones – you might be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to the enjoyment of your vehicle. Not only that but if your shocks are particularly worn down, they can start to present a safety hazard – so it’s important to keep an eye on them.

In our guide to the best shocks for F150 2WD, we’ll be looking at how you can tell when your shocks need replacing and give you an idea of what to look for. Then, we’ll compare five of the best models out there for your F150, looking at their features, what users think of them, and their pros and cons, as well as comparing their price.

First, here’s a handy checklist of signs that your shocks might need replacing:

Do My Shocks Need Replacing?

car shocks

If you’ve never experienced this before, you might be wondering how you can tell if the shocks need replacing in your F150. As a general rule, shocks need checking as part of your general maintenance and possibly replacing after 50,000-100,000 miles – this is a pretty broad spectrum, so you may need to rely on signs or ‘symptoms’ instead. Here are a few things that might indicate it’s time for an upgrade.

Steering

Shocks can make a big difference to your steering. You may start to feel as though your car is leaning to one side when you turn, which is an issue that could lead to safety concerns. Always get your vehicle checked if you’re worried, but it could be that the shocks are the culprit here.

Damage to tire treads

Suspension problems can cause strange dips to appear around the edge of your tire treads – this means there might be a significant problem, so it’s worth getting your car checked by a mechanic in this case.

Cracks

If the casing is cracked, or there are broken bits anywhere, it goes without saying that it’s time for a new one!

Oil Leakage

Oil may be seeping from the shock shaft onto the body of the shock itself – this could be a sign that they need replacing. Try cleaning it and then checking it after your next journey – if there’s fresh oil seeping out, it’s probably time to upgrade.

Uncomfortable Ride

This is probably the most obvious sign you can get – if your ride experience starts to feel less smooth and a little uncomfortable, it might be the shocks that are to blame. As they wear down, they can handle less potholes and dips in the road – and you’ll feel it! Off-roading might become particularly difficult, and bumpier terrain will start to fill you with dread. In that case, it’s probably worth investing in some decent new shocks to help you enjoy your vehicle again.

Questions to Ask Before You Choose

car shocks 1

How do you know which type of shock to choose when there are so many brands and types out there? Here’s how you can narrow down the search a little:

What’s Your Budget?

Probably the most obvious point, the budget you have will determine what is available to you. Shocks range from around $60-70 each, right the way up to $300+ each – that’s a huge variety! You might expect to get higher-quality shocks for a bigger budget, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you can get a good-quality shock on the lower end of the price spectrum (the Bilstein model we review later in this article is a good example, at around $70 each).

Sometimes, when you find a higher-priced model, you’re paying for features that might not be relevant to you. The most expensive example on this list comes with technology that allows you to adjust them from your smartphone, which is great but may not actually be useful to you. Always check reviews and make sure you’re not paying over the odds for something you don’t need.

What Will the Driving Conditions Be?

If you’re mostly using the highway, you may not experience as many tough bumps or dips in the road. This means you won’t need your shocks to be as ‘tough’. In fact, the tough, designed-for-off-roading shocks might be a little bit too stiff for you.

However, if you have to drive over rougher terrain, with a lot of potholes and dips, you’ll want something a bit tougher. Yes, you might end up paying a little more, but it’ll be worth it for the smooth-riding experience it will give you.

How Long Do You Plan to Have the Vehicle?

Another obvious point, perhaps, but it’s worth thinking about how long you plan to have this vehicle. It’s not worth spending tons of money on shocks only to sell your vehicle a year down the line. Likewise, if your shocks desperately need replacing and you need to get back on the road ASAP, it may be worth just buying a lower-priced option while you figure out what your specific needs are. However, if you’re in love with your F150 and want to keep it for a long time to come, you could consider more expensive shocks to be a good investment for the future.

Best Shocks for F150 2WD: An Overview

Here’s a quick look at the main features of the models we’ll be looking at today:

Name

Type

Features

Price

Bilstein 33-253237 B8 5100

Automatic level-control

  • Durable

  • Comes with limited lifetime warranty

  • Reacts instinctively to different terrain conditions

Around $68 for one

Rancho RS999909

Gas

  • Fairly simple to install

  • Technology allows you to adjust the shocks using your phone

  • Improves ride significantly

Around $197 for one

Monroe 171362

Gas

  • Comes pre-assembled for easy installation

  • Great quality

  • Durable

Around $87 for one

Fox 983-02-45 Coil-Over

Gas charged

  • Very durable

  • Good for bumpier terrain/harsher driving conditions

Around $480 for one

Rancho RS5000X

 

Gas charged

  • Good in smooth and bumpy conditions

  • Great price point

Around $55 for one

 

Bilstein 33-253237 B8 5100 – Best for Variable Terrain

Bilstein 33-253237

With a zinc-plated body for corrosion protection and a monotube design that gives a consistent performance, this model will last a long time. It’s also designed with direct fit compatibility, making installation simple. Plus, the piston is designed with a velocity-sensitive method – this means it responds to different road conditions automatically. If you’re driving over different types of terrain, this could be a great choice.

What do Users Think?

Generally, users love these shocks. They report that installing them changes the ride experience completely, helping their vehicle to absorb bumps and shocks and making swaying less likely. They were also impressed with the relatively low price point, considering the quality of the product.

Some users report that these shocks reduce rocking when driving over potholes or uneven roads, and even over very bumpy terrain, the ride is very smooth. They also come with a limited lifetime warranty, which is a great bonus.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Responds automatically to different road conditions
  • Makes driving over bumpy terrain a much smoother experience

Cons

  • Not the cheapest on the market, which may rule them out for some people

Price

  • You can pick these up for around $68.

Rancho RS999909 Quick Lift Loaded Strut – Best on a Bigger Budget

Rancho RS999909

This is on the pricier side, that’s for sure. However, you might find that the features you get are well worth the price. It’s easy to install and comes pre-assembled with coil spring and upper mount (with an estimated installation time of 20 minutes per strut). It has 9-position tuning technology, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust ride performance depending on what you want from it.

It also has a feature known as SEMA MyRIDE wireless controller technology. This means you can control the units right from the seat of your vehicle – allowing you to adjust your ride using your smartphone. This is an incredible technology, and if you’d like more control and customization of your vehicle, you might want to spend the extra money on them.

What Do Users Think?

Users are generally very impressed with the performance of these shocks, with many of them experiencing a much smoother ride once they were installed. A couple of people found it was a little trickier than they expected to install them, but that it was still quicker than other shocks they had installed previously.

Plus, they found the customization useful, allowing them to feel much more in control of their vehicle. A couple of people had issues with accidentally buying fake shocks online – so be careful when purchasing them!

Pros

  • Innovative technology allows you to customize the struts from the seat of your car, using your smartphone
  • Fairly simple to install

Cons

  • The price point is high
  • Not as quick to install for beginners

Price

  • You can get these for around $197 dollars.

Monroe 171362 Quick-Strut – Best for Easy Assembly

Monroe 171362

This model has a lot of great features. It’s a great-quality shock, with OE-style bearings, SAE-grade nuts and bolts, plated steel, and rubber-to-steel bonding to create a durable shock that will last you a long time. The bearing plate helps to reduce steering noise that can occur when bearings wear down, and eliminates ‘memory steer’, ensuring that steering stays precise even as the shocks wear down over time.

As the name suggests, it’s quick to install – it’s Monroe’s first ready-to-install replacement strut assembly, which means it has everything you need ready to go – the bearing plate, upper and lower spring isolators, coil spring, upper spring seat, strut, and bootkit are ready to go in one complete package. This makes inserting them a much easier process.

It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is great.

What Do Users Think?

Users appreciated the ease of installation, although some vehicles make it easier to fit them than others. Even those who had experienced problems installing struts before found this incredibly easy, which is great, especially if you’re a beginner. Ride-quality speaking, these shocks have a lot to offer. Some users said it felt like they were driving a brand-new vehicle, and that the shocks had made a huge difference to the enjoyment they felt while driving.

A few people had an issue with accidentally buying fakes online, so again, it’s good to be aware of that.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Very easy to install

Cons

  • Some people had issues with Monroe’s customer service when needing replacements/extra support

Price

  • You can get these for around $87 for one.

Fox 983-02-045 Coil-Over Shock – Best for Tougher Terrain

FOX 983 02 045

When it comes to shocks, Fox is a great brand with 35 years of experience. Coil-over shocks look a little different, and this model is impressive, with a tough aluminum body which can dissipate heat much more quickly than other materials (like steel), and an interesting external reservoir system, which also helps with heat dissipation. It has heat-treated Teflon-lined bearings to help it to last longer, too.

 As with many Fox products, you get a decent warranty too. They are, however, incredibly expensive – so you may want to stay away unless you’ve got a very high budget.

What Do Users Think?

Users praised the smooth ride the Fox shocks gave them, even over bumpier terrain, which allowed them to put their vehicles through their paces a little more than they would normally. However, other models on this list are a little easier to install, with these being a bit more time-consuming.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Good for tougher driving conditions

Cons

  • Not as easy to install as others on this list

Price

  • You can pick these up for around $480 for one.

Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Absorber – Best on a Budget

rancho rs55149

This model stays cool thanks to the 2 ¼” diameter body, which allows for increased fluid capacity. The pressurized gas inside will improve your spring rate, making up for extra-bumpy roads. It comes with a rebound and compression disc system – this means it works well in low speeds, too. It’s also a great all-weather shock, with an internal temperature range of -40F to 248F.

What Do Users Think?

Users praise the quality of these shocks, and some have found it has made a huge difference to the quality of the ride. It works well on smooth as well as bumpy terrain and is straightforward to install, too, which is a bonus. They also appreciated the decent price point given the high quality.

Pros

  • Good price point

  • Works in all temperatures

  • Works well on smoother roads as well as bumpier terrain

Cons

  • Not as simple to install as others we’ve looked at

Price

  • You can pick this up for around $55 for one.

FAQ’s About F150 2WD Shocks

Does a Higher Priced Shocks Mean Better Quality?

Not always! Sometimes, a higher price just means different technology or specialist features. You might find super-cheap models out there, which may be fine, but it’s best to check reviews to make sure. Also, make sure you don’t accidentally buy a knock-off: there are a lot of them floating around, so if you see an expensive brand for a low price, make sure it’s legit first.

Should I Replace My Shocks Even if They’re Not Worn Out?

That’s a good question – it depends on what you want from your vehicle. If you don’t use your vehicle for much other than driving to work and back, you might want to hold out until the shocks start to wear down. If you love driving as a hobby, or you often have to take long trips, you might want to consider replacing them with better versions.

The shocks that come with your car might not give you the optimum performance – many people are surprised at how much difference the shocks make to their enjoyment while they drive. Plus, if you have specific requirements (like if you live in an area with bumpy roads), you might want to consider replacing them sooner just to make your life a little easier every day.

Should I Install Shocks Myself or Have Them Installed by a Mechanic?

If you’ve never installed shocks before, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to do it yourself. It depends – it’s always great to learn a new skill, but it can take a long time. On average it’s a 2-hour job, so you can expect to pay anything between $150-300 for a mechanic to do it for you (depending on where you live).

Some shocks come pre-assembled (like the Monroe model we reviewed earlier), which takes some of the hassles out of the procedure for you. It might be a good idea to watch a few video tutorials online to get an idea of how it works.

How Long Do F150 Shocks Last?

This will depend on the type of shocks you have installed. You should expect your shocks to last a good few years, however, if you have a lot of potholes in your area, they might wear out a little more quickly.

Do I Need to Replace All Four Shocks at Once?

No, but it’s a good idea to do so. You’ll notice the benefit much more if you have four new shocks as opposed to one new one and four old ones. Plus, if you change them all at the same time, it’ll be easier to remember when you next need to check them or replace them.

Conclusion: Which F150 2WD Shock Should You Buy?

Which shocks do we recommend for your F150 2WD? There’s a wide price range here, so we’ll pick one from either end of the budget. On the one hand, if you’ve got a bit more cash to splash, the Rancho RS999909 is a great choice. Automatic adjustment means it’s particularly well-suited to drivers who use their vehicles for different purposes – if you use highways and bumpier roads, for example. It’s a great choice at a fairly good price point.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, we’re going to go with Rancho again and recommend the RS5000X. Given the fact that it’s the lowest priced shock on the list, it’s a very high-quality shock. Users are full of praise for the difference it’s made for them – if you want a smoother ride, you can’t go far wrong.

The right shocks can greatly improve the enjoyment you feel when driving – so if your F150 is feeling a little bit off-kilter, or you’re getting fed up of feeling every dip and bump in the road, why not consider replacing them with something new?

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David Borgogni

David has been working with cars for over 10 years and is a freelance writer who specializes in automotive technology. He covers the topics that matter most to the consumer. Anything new in the automotive industry? David will likely be able to tell you about it.
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