Looking to smoothen or firm up the ride on your trusty Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD workhorse, but do not know where to start? You have wandered into the right place.
Today we are going to have a peek at the best shocks for Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD, their pros and cons, and help you decide which one best fits the bill.
After reading this entire piece, you’ll know exactly what you want.
So, let’s dive into the main topic.
Best Shocks for Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD
The Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is a pretty heavy truck, the 3500 HD even more so. So, they need sufficiently capable shock absorbers to really help the truck smoothen up or become firmer, whichever is your preference. Thus, we listed down several shocks kits that should fit the bit. Let us take a peek.
1. Bilstein 5100 Front 2-2.5", Rear 0-1" Lift Shocks Kit
Looking for a softer ride than the one offered by the factory shocks? Want to invest in a smooth daily commute and an equally smooth transverse across the occasional trail? Then the 5100 from Bilstein is worth your attention.
Now, of course, it all depends on what you want or expect out of your shocks kit. Whether you want a smoother ride or a firmer one depends more on your shocks than your tires. For a smoother ride, it does not get any better than these 5100s from Bilstein.
The unit is a gas-charged monotube design. Basically, there is a floating piston on the inside connected to a piston rod, which compresses and pushes the shock fluid through valves, which helps to control the level of damping. The company does not disclose the PSI on the nitrogen charge, but hey, it translates to a smooth ride.
Weight-wise, these are pretty heavy, especially when you compare them against like Fox 2.0s or similar substitutes. But that is not important. Because the target customer base of these Bilsteins is not extensive off-road drivers, rather those who daily their heavy-duty trucks and hit the trails on the occasional weekend.
Thus, we recommend this set for those looking for that smooth, long-distance, daily highway commute and looking to rip up the trails on the weekend. All at a very competitive price bracket.
2. Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Set
Next up on our list, we have a shock set from the good folks over at Rancho, the RS5000X. They are not quite as renowned as Bilstein. However, they more than make up for it with their hassle-free process for installing and marked improvement in the ride quality department over factory shocks.
Before we dive in, there are two things we need to keep in mind. One, you cannot use these shocks if you have custom lift kits or levels or levels on your truck. Two, these are not rated for off-road use.
These shocks are rated for 2001 all the way to 2010 model year Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD’s, both 2WD and 4WD. Similar to the Bilstein models, they, too, come with all the needed accessories for a smooth installation process. Their main selling factor is how simple these units are to install and start using.
You need not worry about the durability with these units, either. These held up pretty well and did an exemplary job of dampening almost all small vibrations and on-road bumps. We would not say the truck glided over them or anything of that sort, but the bumps and the general road ‘feel’ felt very muted.
Moreover, these go up against the best of the best shocks, but we reckon it cannot get better than this for daily-ing your trusty truck.
Cracked road problems will become things in hindsight if you install these shocks in your truck. Rain performance is quite good too, earning it the spot of the finest shocks for Silverado 2500HD for daily commuting.
3. 5072 - SENSEN Shocks Struts
Looking for something ready to use out of the packet? Nothing too fancy, something that is just good at being a strut for use in your trusty workhorse? These struts from Sensen have your back. The model we are featuring is the 5072 parts number, rated for use with 2001 to 2010 Silverado 2500 HDs.
We are loving the powder-coated finish on these units. This should see you through several years of durability and rust protection. Ready to fit out of the manufacturer's warehouse, you will not find any trouble getting these bad boys underneath your truck.
Surprisingly easy to install, given that they employ a twin-tube design. You would not need to spend any extra dough on mechanics to get these up and working. Made in conformation to OEM specs, these should be as easy to install as your Chevy’s own authorized parts.
The entire set weighs in at a mere 43 pounds, so you are not adding any extra weight to your truck. We recommend watching the installation videos online, and the included instructions are what we would describe as being subpar and fairly difficult to comprehend.
4. Bilstein 5100 Gas Shock Set
Picked up a newer Chevy truck? Not satisfied with the performance of the factory shocks and want something from a well-known brand? Let us continue our list then with the Bilstein 5100.
Do not worry if your truck is of a newer model. Chances are, these will work just fine. The shocks are rated for 2011 to 2018 Silverado 2500 HD model years. We tried this on our Duramax, and can we just say, these are probably the best shocks for 2500HD Duramax. Let us take a deeper dive.
The installation boasts a lifting height of 0-1.5 inches at the front and 0-1 inches at the rear. And the kit comes with all the needed washers, shock boobs, bushings, and nuts. What is more, we could opt for and reuse the factory stock shock mounting that comes with our truck.
Moreover, the kit offers a tremendous improvement in performance by using gas-charged monotube shocks in order to prevent the fading effect. And that performance is spoken of in volumes by all the people who bought this and used it in their trucks. The ratings pretty much speak for themselves.
Bilstein primarily makes its mark in the European exotics market, primarily in Porsches and Jaguars, but you certainly do not need to invest in an exotic to know the difference these Bilstein shocks make. You get the performance of the same shock, whether in your truck or in an overseas exotic.
Consistency is key, and these shocks from Bilstein prove that every step of the way. We tested our newly installed kit out in the trails, and let us just say that this is a significant upgrade for your heavy-duty truck. That being said, if you have a little more to spend, the recommendations could not go any higher for these Bilsteins.
5. Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum Truck Shock Absorber
Looking for replacement shocks for your work truck? Something competitively priced? Do you want a little smoothness thrown in for good measure? Then let us take a good peek at this 34630 Gas-Magnum from Monroe.
The color may seem a little off-putting for some, but hey, it is basically nitpicking when you consider the price we are paying for this kid. This shock absorber kid was designed with specialty work trucks and vans in mind, across different manner of terrain.
Even with a ladder frame chassis, you can be sure you are getting a smooth ride over what the factory spec shocks kit would offer. These Monroe shocks make use of an all-weather and fluid technology. This fluid technology reduces friction within the shocks themselves while allowing for a smooth shock reaction at the same instance.
This is a well-balanced shock absorber while being heavy duty at the same go. The best part about this is that it does not add any weight. But do remember that these shocks do not increase the weight carrying capacity. Nor do they improve any sway control.
But since they do not increase the overall weight (not the weight carrying capacity), that automatically equates to better vehicle performance. The valving mechanism helps smoothen out the ride even further. And the pistons are made of iron, so they will be fairly durable over the lifetime of these shocks.
What to Look for before Buying
So, perhaps now we got your attention, and you are now interested in acquiring a set of shocks for your Silverado. Not necessarily interested in the kits we have mentioned? There is nothing to worry about. We have got your back.
And we have decided to include a handy dandy checklist too. Have a peek before picking up your shocks kit.
What You Get for Your Money
The primary factor behind buying any automotive parts is the price. We all want parts for cheap. Especially if it is on our daily driven vehicles. But as with all commodities, an increase in price does generally point to better build quality, performance, etc.
Sliding down on the costs lever can be very appealing, but going for cost-effective parts can equate to sacrificing performance and quality. Competitively priced commodities exist, but they are a different topic altogether. The best shocks for Chevy 3500 are usually those from reputable manufacturers.
How Easy Are the Shocks to Install
This is applicable if you are keen on installing the kits on your truck by yourself. Now it would differ from person to person, but let us assume that this is the case. If your truck is lifted, you might be looking into more effort.
Hiring a professional mechanic only adds to the cost of getting those shocks kits onto your truck. So, what now? The ideal shocks for 2500HD Duramax are hose shocks that have a simple bolt-on installation process.
This is a step that is often forgotten by many. The reason why we always ask newbies and professionals alike is to do the research thoroughly. Else, it ends up being a very costly mistake. When you look for the best shocks for Duramax, even if you are currently owning one, do your research.
You need to determine what goes with your truck model. Do an in-depth analysis of the model compatibility. Look into things like make and the year. Have an idea of the trim level too.
What You Do with the Shock
It all sums down to where and what you are driving. The terrain, the weather, so many factors to consider. These all affect the dicing conditions. If your daily commute consists of miles and miles of highway driving, no doubt your needs would be different from those who wish to go do some serious off-roading.
The same applies to towing. If you plan on towing or hauling something every now and then, you may need to consider paying a bit of a premium for more heavy-duty shocks kits that can take on additional stress.
The Type of Shocks
This factor also comes from what you expect out of your shocks. Now we add in things like budget and driving style into the mix. Shocks differ from people looking for a smoother ride to people who plan on stiffer, off-road performance.
The Diameter of the Shocks
The shocks diameter is a major factor for consideration too. It is mostly according to your preference, but there are minimums to be followed. For example, for light-duty vehicles, 2.0-inch shocks are the day to go. For medium-duty, the diameter stands at 2.5 inches.
How Do I Make My Silverado Ride Smoother?
Getting softer shocks are just one way of doing it. Aside from investing in softer shocks, there are a few other things you could do, such as:
Unsprung Mass Reduction
Reducing the unsprung mass goes a long way in smoothening rides. Remove some heavyweight components, balance out the weight distribution.
Suspension System Softening
The ideal way to smoothen out our vehicles is undoubtedly opting for a softer suspension. And the driving experience is directly affected by this alteration. The current springs should be replaced by something softer, less weighty ones. Incidentally, you could go for an air suspension swap.
Change out Your Tires
Your tire selection matters a lot when it comes down do smoothening your ride. Softer tires equate to smoother rides. Replacing older tires with newer ones helps in this regard too. Option for lighter tires when you plan to go for a tire change.
Modding Your Chassis
Using lightweight chassis components in the place of heavier ones remarkably smoothen out the ride.
Invest in New Leaf Springs
Some people believe that changing out leaf springs work better than opting for airbags. While there may be some truth to that, we see no problems in replacing older leaf springs with newer ones. It will most definitely improve the ride quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most commonly asked queries regarding the best shocks:
1. How much time does it generally take to change out the shocks?
Bolt-on shocks typically take a couple of hours to maintain or replace. Lowering shocks or different formats may take some more time.
2. A typical shock absorber lasts for how long?
A shock absorber lasts anywhere from 50000 to 100000 miles, we should always keep an eye out for wear and tear and general failings.
3. What are the differences between shocks for 2500 HD & 3500 HD Silverados?
The 3500 HD has a heavier curb weight than the 2500 HD and, as such, requires stronger shocks to handle the load.
4. Should I go for a full kit replacement at once?
Not necessarily. We do not necessarily need to replace all of the shocks at once. What we should do is swap them out in pairs. Two at the front, and two at the back, together. This helps to keep the handling consistent.
5. Should we go for alignment after installing new shocks?
It is the best practice to go for alignment when shocks are replaced.
So, that is it. Our 5 best shocks for chevy 3500 are in front of you. We hope you all gained some insights about the different shock kits available for the Silverado models. Happy hunting!