The Best Shocks for Ram 1500 4 x 4 – Which Ones Should You Choose?

The Best Shocks for Ram 1500 4 x 4 – Which Ones Should You Choose?

If you’re loving your Dodge Ram, but you wish the ride was a little smoother, or you’re ready to tackle tougher terrain, you might want to consider upgrading your shocks.

Shocks can make a huge difference to the quality of your ride, increasing the enjoyment you feel while driving – so although they can be expensive, sometimes it’s worth investing in new ones. Many people are surprised at how much difference it can make to replace the shocks that originally came with their 1500 – so you might find it worth the time and effort.

In our guide to the best shocks for Ram 1500 4×4, we’ll take a look at some of the best models out there, comparing their features, their pros, and cons, as well as taking a look at what users think of them – so you can make the best choice when you upgrade.

First, let’s take a quick look at the different types of shocks that are out there.

The Different Types of Shocks – a Quick Guide

Ram 1500 4 x 4

There are a few different kinds of shocks, and if you’ve never bought them before, you might find it helpful to learn about them, so you know what to look for.

Gas Powered Shocks

Most of the shocks on this list are gas-powered. These tend to be filled with nitrogen and are suitable for vehicles large and small.

Standard Shocks

These are basic shocks, as the name suggests – they may not come with as many extra features as other types.

Heavy Duty Shocks

These are designed to be used with heavier vehicles or to be used for towing. You can also get them to deal with tough terrain, for example, if you do a lot of off-roading.

Air Shocks

Air shocks can be adjusted manually, so you can alter them – this is great if you want to have a bit more control over your ride experience.

Overload/Coil-Over Shocks

These have a coil on the outside, and they are designed to be used for off-roading – enabling your truck to handle much tougher, more uneven surfaces.

Automatic Level-Control Shocks

These will automatically adjust as you reach different types of road. This is helpful if you are swapping between different road surfaces often.

What Kind of Shocks Are Best for the Ram 1500?

ram shocks

What kind of shocks should you be looking for, then? Part of it will come down to what you want from your vehicle. The Ram 1500 is a tough vehicle and can handle tricky terrain – you can improve this by adding tough shocks, like coil-over shocks. These are great at absorbing some of the harsher dips and bumps you might find when off-roading. They’re great for tough terrain generally, so if the road conditions near you aren’t the smoothest, you’ll find these shocks to be helpful. They can, however, stiffen up the ride.

If you’re mostly driving on smooth roads or highways, you’ll probably find gas-powered shocks to be right for you. These are designed to stay cool and to last a long time – so once you’ve invested in some good shocks, you can hopefully expect them to last a while.

If you’re switching between the two – for example, if you like off-roading as a hobby but you still use your truck on highways often – automatic-level control shocks could work well for you. Look for shocks that specifically advertise this. This could be a good compromise, as it allows you to enjoy your vehicle even in wildly different conditions.

Whatever you choose, many people recommend switching up the shocks that come pre-installed in a Dodge Ram 1500 – because while the shocks work just fine, better shocks can make a huge difference to how the ride feels. You will find a variety of price points (we’ve tried to cover the full spectrum in this article) – so you should be able to find something that works for you.

Best Shocks for Ram 1500 – an Overview

Here’s a quick overview of the models we’ll be looking at today. As you can see, there’s a big difference in pricing, so you should be able to find one for your budget.

Name

Type

Features

Price

Monroe 58640

Automatic level-control

  • Adjusts to different terrains automatically

  • Good for towing and off-roading

Around $100 for two

Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Kit

Gas

  • Comes with everything you need to get going

  • Makes the ride much smoother

Around $350 for four

Bilstein 24-187374

Gas

  • Great for towing

  • Durable

Around $82 for one

Detroit Axle Shock Absorber Set

Gas charged

  • Very low price point

  • Makes ride more comfortable

Around $55 for two

Fox 2.0 983-02-050 Performance Coil-Over Front Pair

Gas charged

  • Packed with technology

  • Can handle tough terrain

Around $800 for a pair

Skyjacker N8000G

Gas charged

  • Durable

  • Improved comfort

  • Limited lifetime warranty included

Around $112 for a pair

 

Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber – Best for Off-Roading

Monroe 58640

Monroe is a great brand when it comes to shock absorbers. This model has an all-weather fluid (good if you experience changeable temperatures where you live), which reduces friction and ensures that the rods move smoothly. It’s tuned for each application, adjusting automatically to road surfaces – so you can go from the highway to bumpier terrain with ease.

It also has a heavy gauge calibrated spring, giving you extra control. You can maintain ride height with up to 1,100lbs of additional weight loaded onto your truck – so if you’ve got a lot to carry or you have a small trailer to tow, it will still work well.

What Do Users Think?

Users are generally pleased with the difference the Monroe shocks made to their Ram. While some people felt it increased stiffness, they preferred this, finding the shocks that were previously installed to be a bit too soft. It made the ride smoother, and made a huge difference on bumpy terrain, when off-roading, and when towing trailers. They also found them fairly easy to install, which is great.

A few users found that they wore out more quickly than they would have expected, however.

Pros

  • Makes a good difference to ride experience
  • Pretty easy to install
  • Makes a big difference when off-roading or towing
  • Automatically adjusts to different road surfaces

Cons

  • Some people found they wore out quickly

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $100 for a pair.

Bilstein 5100 Shock Kit for Dodge Ram 1500 FWD – Best for Ease of Use

Bilstein 5100

As you might expect, these shock absorbers have been specifically designed for the Ram 1500. This handy kit includes both front and rear shocks and have been designed with ease of installation in mind – you can install them using a direct bolt-on method, with no tinkering required. All the tools are included to install them, too.

What Do Users Think?

Users are generally very positive about these shocks, with many wishing they had installed them earlier. Most find it makes a huge difference to their own enjoyment when it comes to driving their Ram – making the ride firmer, but comfortable, and reducing feedback from every dip and bump in the road.

They also found it makes a big difference to off-roading, as it’s less bouncy than the shocks that come pre-installed in the truck, helping the wheels to stay firmly planted to the ground. They also found the installation process fairly straightforward, although it does require a bit of force.

Pros

  • Everything comes in one kit – all four shocks and the tools required
  • Pretty simple to install with no tinkering required
  • Makes the ride experience much better, including off-roading

Cons

  • Some felt they would get a better experience when off-roading or towing using a better brand

Pricing

  • You can pick the entire kit up for around $350.

Bilstein 24-187374 Monotube Shock Absorber – Best for Towing

Bilstein 24-187374

Continuing with Bilstein, this is another great model. They’re designed to fit directly into lifted trucks and SUVs. They have a monotube design, which is made to give consistent performance even after many miles of usage. It also has a velocity-sensitive digressive piston, which reacts automatically to variable road conditions. They create a much smoother, enjoyable ride.

What Do Users Think?

There are mixed reactions when it comes to installation of these shocks – many found it slightly trickier than they’d anticipated, with some finding the rear shocks harder to install than the front ones. Some even suggested they are not ideal for those without a lot of tools and quite a bit of experience.

However – once installed, they do seem to make a big difference, making the ride a bit stiffer, which is especially useful when it comes to towing. Most users found a significantly noticeable difference when they swapped the shocks that came pre-installed for these ones.

Pros

  • Makes the ride stiffer which is great for towing
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Not as easy to install as others on this list

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $82 each.

Detroit Axle Shock Absorber Set – Best on a Budget

Both (2) Front Driver & Passenger Side 4x4

These may not have as many outstanding features as the others on this list, but they are at a lower price point – which is a big consideration for many. At around $55 for two, this makes them right at the bottom end of the price scale. But are they any good?

They’re designed to be durable, with a tight seal between the piston and pressure tube minimizing fluid leaks, and they’re made to be less susceptible to dirt and fatigue – which should help them to last a little longer.

What Do Users Think?

As you might expect, users aren’t blown away by their experience with these shocks as they were by others on this list. However, they do praise the fact that they are simple to install, and that they make the ride more comfortable, which is great. They also commented that in terms of materials user, it felt like a decent-quality product given the price.

Pros

  • Low price point makes new shocks affordable even for those on a tight budget
  • Makes ride more comfortable

Cons

  • Won’t make a mind-blowing difference as others on this list

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $55 for two.

Fox 2.0 983-02-050 Performance Coil-Over Front Pair – Best on a Higher Budget

fox 2.0

When it comes to high performing shocks, Fox is a great brand to turn to. Fox is known for being at the cutting-edge of technological development, and these are no exception. It has a precision metal impact-extruded aluminum body, which allows the shock to stay cool and resist rust.

It reduces noise using composite bushing on the upper mount, too. It’s also easy to install, creating a comfortable ride even when off-roading over tough terrain. It’s a coil-over model, using a high-quality racing coil designed to deliver the best spring rate possible. Basically, it’s packed with features, which you might expect given the price!

What Do Users Think?

Users were blown away by these shocks. They were impressed with the fact that they are rebuildable, which gives you more value for money. They also loved how the ride felt with these shocks installed.

One thing that many people had to say about these shocks is the difference in quality when it came to off-roading – they found their truck could handle much tougher terrain with these shocks installed, even when being put through their paces with pretty aggressive driving. Even hardened users found they lasted around 50,000 miles of intense driving before they gave up – which you might see as a pretty good investment if you love off-roading as a hobby.

Pros

  • Packed with cutting-edge technology and features
  • Designed to be durable
  • Can handle incredibly tough terrain

Cons

  • Price may put some people off

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $800 for two.

Skyjacker N8000 Gas Shocks – Best All-Rounder

skyjacker n8000

Skyjacker has a great model to offer here, with responsive shocks that are suitable for a variety of road conditions and speeds. It has velocity-sensitive valving, giving a good level of resistance to improve the handling of your vehicle. It also creates a very comfortable ride, keeping tires in contact with the road – plus, they’re designed to be durable and long-lasting. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty which will protect you against defects or premature failure.

What Do Users Think?

There were not many user reviews to find here, which is always a bit of a gamble. However, the users reviews that we did find were positive, praising the longevity of these shocks, and commenting on the improved comfort they found when using them.

Pros

  • Decent price point
  • Durable
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Creates a comfortable ride

Cons

  • Not as many user reviews or tutorials online – this may mean installation is a little trickier as you might find it harder to find a video tutorial

Pricing

  • You can pick these up for around $112 for a pair.

FAQ’s About Best Shocks for Ram 1500 4 x 4

How Can I Tell That My Shocks Need Replacing?

Of course, you might need to replace your shocks because they are worn down, not just because you want to upgrade your vehicle. Shocks usually need replacing between 50,000-100,000 miles. But here are some other signs that they need a replacement:

Oil Leakage – Sometimes, oil can leak from inside the shock, which is an indication that they need replacing. You can check this by cleaning the shock, then continue driving as normal, then check it again. If there is fresh oil around the shock, there’s probably a small leak somewhere.

Bumpier Ride – If you’re noticing every little dip and bump in the road, it’s probably a good idea to look at your shocks. As they wear down, they’ll be able to absorb less impact – which means you’ll be able to feel it when you next encounter a pothole. If your ride is becoming uncomfortable, it might be the shocks that are the culprit.

Cracks/External – Damage If your shocks show any cracks or splits, it’s time to upgrade.

Wearing on Tire Treads – Any kind of issue with suspension can cause dips to appear around your tire treads – this is a sign that you might need to take your vehicle to be taken to a mechanic to get it checked.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace My Shocks?

This will depend on how much money you want to invest in it. Shocks can vary in price from $25 each to $400 each, so there’s a lot to choose from there. In terms of installation, it can cost between $150-300 to have a mechanic install them (on top of the cost of the actual shocks themselves).

Should I Install New Shocks Myself?

That depends. If you’re completely new, you have no tools, and no previous experience, you might find it easier to have it taken to a mechanic – however, if you want to learn a new skill, there are tons of videos and tutorials out there to help you out. If you’ve got some experience and the tools, you might find you can save yourself some cash by installing them yourselves.

It can take around 3-4 hours to do this, but some shocks (and some vehicles) are trickier than others. It’s a good idea to check reviews to see how easy it is to install them. Some shocks come pre-assembled, which makes the process a little quicker.

Should I Replace All My Shocks at the Same Time?

This is generally recommended – you’ll feel the benefit way more if you can replace all your shocks at once, plus it’ll be easier to keep an eye on how long you’ve been using them for if you replace them all at once. If one is broken or damaged, however, it’s obviously better to weigh it up and decide on a case-by-case basis.

Conclusion

As always with these kinds of decisions, it’s based on personal circumstances – if you’re on a low budget but you fancy an upgrade or your shocks really need replacing, the Detroit Axle Shock Absorber set might be just the right choice for you.

If you can afford to spend a little more, however, we’d recommend the Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Kit is a great choice. It has the huge advantage of coming with everything you need – all four shocks and the tools – which makes it pretty affordable when you break it down (at around $87 per shock, it works out at one of the cheapest on this list). It also makes a huge difference to your ride experience, which makes it worth the effort of installation.

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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