While many people strictly give a lift to their trucks for the looks, the typical reason is to get the vehicle body higher in order to get a better performance off-road. Or it can also be to install bigger tires.
Whatever the reason, we use shocks for the purpose. It comes in different types and sizes, and you need the best aftermarket shocks for F150 to get the best results.
But the market for aftermarket shocks isn’t trivial, which makes it harder to come down with a choice. And we have done our digging to find some of the best ones for you to start with. Plus, everything else you need to know and a guide in our article.
When Do You Need to Change Your Shocks? or Signs of Bad Shocks?
Generally, shocks need replacement every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, or that is the recommendation. But that doesn’t mean it is always the case that it needs replacement after those few miles. However, if you are facing the issues below, then maybe you need to change them.
A worn-down shock can easily be the reason for sudden and unsteady brakes. If you are facing such an issue, then you should get your shocks checked and replaced. Ignoring it can only cause damage to other parts of the vehicle and even be dangerous.
Shaky and bumpy rides are a big red flag that your shocks are worn down and need replacement. Even on highways, if you are experiencing an unstable ride or off roads an unusually bouncy ride, then that means you need new ones.
Like we mentioned, after a few thousand miles, your shocks get worn down. So if you have gone through more than 50,000 miles with it and have been facing issues you are not used to, then it could be a strong indicator that they are the reason.
One of the issues a worn down shock can cause is making it difficult to turn your steering wheels. It makes the mechanism stiffer or even makes noises while steering sometimes. If that is your case, then it is highly advisable to get new shocks for your vehicle.
Our Top 10 Best Aftermarket Shocks for F150 Reviews in 2021
We have reviewed the bests in the market. So check them out if you are unsure whether they are worth it or not.
1. Bilstein 33256764 B8 5100
Using shocks on a lifted vehicle means putting extra pressure on them, especially due to the bigger tires. Depending on the shock, it could truly test out its endurance and damping ability.
Any ordinary one won’t handle all that pressure, which calls for this shock absorber that uniquely suits lifted trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps for the purpose. Its monotube design also maintains stability and comfortability, whether loaded or unloaded both on and off roads.
Besides, thanks to its patented digressive piston, it doesn’t get affected by sudden changes with the surface area. To put it simply, it adjusts and reacts instantly to the change, making sure there are no bouncy or bumpy rides.
The installation process is also not a hassle. Their specifically designed lift combination for the vehicles makes them an easy fit. Along with that, the bolt-on installation makes the process more convenient.
Moreover, its body is larger in diameter than most. And this helps to deliver a fade-free performance for a long time.
Furthermore, the multi-layer zinc finish of the body makes them corrosion-free. Thus it improves the quality and durability of the shocks.
- Specifically designed for trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps
- Monotube design maintains a stable and comfortable ride
- Easy to install
- Durable and corrosion-free
- Adjusts to surface changes
- Dissipates heat slowly
2. KYB Excel-G Gas Shock
Car parts, like most other things in the world, get worn down over time. But when it comes to the stock or factory shocks getting old and needs replacing, it can be tough to find one similar to the OEM performance.
However, thanks to this shock, that is not the case anymore. It is a perfect replacement for OEM shocks and designed especially to meet the demand as it helps restore your vehicle’s riding performance.
What’s more, their calibrated design specifically restores the original control and handling of a Ford F150! Its twin-tube design matches its OEM design giving you performance like it is brand new.
Moreover, with a seamless working cylinder and a Teflon coated piston band, it has a strong and secure seal. It also ensures that it will last longer than other gas shocks.
Additionally, the piston rod’s triple chrome-plated layer adds to its overall durability and further improves the seal. But that’s not all! The multi-lip synthetic oil helps to keep the liquids in and keeps it from getting contaminated.
This OEA (Original Equipment for the Aftermarket) product has a nitrogen gas charge. And with its rigid body and bracket, its durability is almost unmatchable. As a result, it will always maintain proper alignment with the wheels.
- Specially calibrated as an OEM product for F150
- Has a strong and secure seal
- Keeps the liquid sealed in and from contaminating
- One of the most durable and rigid body
- Maintains proper alignment with the wheels
- Bolt holes positions might cause inconvenience
3. Bilstein 33187501 B8 5100 Monotube Gas
Another from the company’s popular 5100 series, this monotube is also great for lifted vehicles both on and off-road. This one comes with a self-adjusting compression for more convenience.
This self-adjusting valve and deflective disc’s independent rebound ensure a ride without feeling the bumps. Whether you are on or off-road, you are going to be having a comfortable ride on your lifted truck.
The seamless extruded tube can be extended up to 2 inches, meaning you can lift your vehicle to 2 inches height. And yes, they are adjustable so you can add it to your liking.
Besides, the piston is the largest when it comes to diameter. This, as a result, gives you better and improved performance and handling than ever.
Its length is around 17.6 inches while the extended or lifted total length being 28.9 inches. The digressive piston is about 46 mm in diameter.
Moreover, they come with vehicle-specific fitting sizes. So it makes them a great OEM replacement as well.
- Has self-adjusting compression
- Possible to lift vehicles to 2 inches
- Provides a superior handling performance
- Good OEM replacement
- Larger piston improves overall performance
- Might be hard to install
4. Monroe 58643 Load Adjust
When it comes to pickup trucks and carrying loads, a tough shock is essential. Otherwise, any ordinary or cheap one might not hold the extra weight of the loads.
In that case, this load adjuster is the right one for you. A new pair of these can lift your truck while being able to hold up to an impressive 1,100 lbs of additional weight! But the limit depends on the vehicle’s capacity as well.
Thus, this feature makes them perfect for trucks, light trucks, and vehicles that tow trailers or carry loads often. Its nitrogen gas-charged tube and the design help to maintain good contact between the road and the tire.
Moreover, the all-weather fluid ensures reduced friction between the car parts and the shock with some special modifiers. Also, the fluid seal is self-lubricating providing a perfect seal to the gas while preventing excessive wear down.
With the Fluon banded piston, you will be getting a better seal along with the pressure tube. The nitrocarburized rod adds to the durability of the entire shock absorber.
Besides, the valves, specifically designed for each vehicle, are self-adjusting and make sure your ride is as comfortable as possible. It also helps to provide consistency through every ride.
- Perfect for vehicles carrying loads or towing
- Can carry additional 1,100 lbs of weight
- All-weather fluid ensures a reduced friction
- Helps to maintain a smooth, good contact between the tire and road
- Self-adjusting and specifically designed valves for each vehicle
- Does not come pre-compressed
5. Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Kit for Ford F150
If you are looking for a great deal on shocks for both the rear and front side, then kits are the smartest choice. And if you own a Ford F150, then this kit is something you definitely should check out.
The kit includes a pair of the 5100 series for front rides with adjustable height and a matching pair for the rear side. They are specifically for the Ford F150 4WD 2009 to 2013 model.
Moreover, like the other in the 5100 series, they also have a bolt-on installation method. It requires no modifications, and so it makes installing much easier and faster.
Both the front and rear shocks are adjustable, with the front being able to lift from 0 to 2.5 inches. However, the rear can raise the vehicle to 1 inch, so you need to lift the front to 1 inch to keep the balance.
Besides, they fit well together with the stock shocks. If you are using the stock one for the rear and a 2 inches lift with the kit’s front ones, it balances and levels your truck perfectly.
And luckily, even though they are for the Ford F150 2009 to 2013 models, it fits most 4×4 vehicles! The company’s online catalog features all the fits for the shocks, so make sure to check it out before purchasing.
- Great kit for Ford F150 4WD
- Easy bolt-on installation
- Adjustable height front and rear shocks
- Fits well with stock shocks
- Works with most 4WD vehicles
- Rides might not be comfortable
6. Bilstein 33253237 B8 5100
With the popularity of the brand’s 5100 series, you might have already guessed there will be another one on the list. This model features a monotube design for improved ride quality.
Its internal piston with its unique design allows tuning and compression that adjusts on its own. As a result, you will be getting a comfortable ride and improved performance without compromises.
The piston also has a greater sensitivity, which helps to provide superior vehicle control. So that means a smooth and comfortable drive on your lifted trucks and other vehicles.
Besides, the unit comes with a multi-layer zinc coating. It adds extra protection to it and also makes it free from corrosion.
Moreover, with the monotube design, it dissipates heat quickly, keeping it cool. This helps to keep the unit last longer than most, making them definitely worth the money.
Furthermore, with the piston’s self-compressing ability and rebound damping force, you will be getting the optimum performance and ride quality. They have specific tuning for each vehicle.
- Internal piston allows self-adjusting tuning and compression
- Multi-layer zinc coating adds extra protection
- Provides optimum ride quality and performance
- Keeps the unit cool
- Provides superior vehicle control
- Might be tedious to install
7. Rancho RS5251 RS5000 Series
A company and series that has been around since 1985, this model of the series is no stranger to most people experienced in buying shocks. And really, we can’t complete out list without it.
It’s ten-stage velocity-sensitive valving is one of its major features. This helps to adjust tuning for particularly each vehicle. So you will be getting the best performance for your vehicle.
The shock comes with a total length of 15.81 inches and an extended length of 27.11 inches. There is also the travel length, which lets your compress the length further to 11.3 inches.
Besides, the piston rod helps to add rigidity and strength. It is 5/8 inches or 16 mm in diameter, which contributes to the unit’s durability.
Along with that, the 1 3/8 inches or 35 mm diameter piston enhances the vehicle’s overall performance. It also ensures a smooth performance under any environment, on and off-road.
Moreover, it includes a protective boot. It provides a good seal to the oil and shock rod, further improving performance and reduces friction.
- Adjusts tuning for each vehicle specifically
- Comes in 3 different adjustable length
- Piston rod helps to add strength and rigidity
- Piston improves performance in any environment
- Protective boot provides a seal to oil and shock rod
- Might have issues matching the front and rear
8. Rancho quickLIFT RS999910
This is the solution you have been looking for for your late model trucks or SUVs. We understand that finding a shock that fits those late models without needing a complete suspension system is a challenge, to say the least.
And through our research, we found this gem. It levels and lifts your late-model vehicles as easily as you always wanted, without spending the extra bucks on installing a suspension system.
The installation is also easy and fast. It uses bolts for the purpose and also includes application-specific coil spring. The upper mounting plate further makes the process simpler.
You can lift your truck from 1 inch to 2.5 inches maximum. It can also help fit a 35 inches tire, providing a new look to your old truck.
Moreover, you can adjust the performance with its nine levels of the adjustable knob. The RS9000XL strut, along with the nine positions, gives you the freedom to control the damping and firmness on and off-road.
Adding to all that, it comes with a polyvinyl protective boot and a premium liquid metallic finish, making the unit long-lasting and durable. It is also self-lubricating, so it means less friction.
- Designed for late models of trucks and SUVs
- Can lift from 1 to 2.5 inches
- Able to help fit a 35 inches tire
- Adjustable performance
- Durable and long-lasting
- Might arrive in poor packaging condition
9. Detroit Axle 171361 4WD
For Ford F150 models, you can find many shocks in the market. But if you are looking for a great OEM replacement for your 4WD F150 models, then this might seal the deal.
You can use it to replace the shock for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Ford F150 4WD truck models. It also works with the 2004 new body style.
Besides, it is also an official replacement for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Lincoln Mark LT 4WD models. It comes with front struts assembly pair, strut shock coil spring, and strut coil spring mount.
The coil spring, made of premium-grade steel material, makes it durable and adds rigidity. This quality also helps to reduce vibrations while driving, ensuring a more comfortable ride.
Moreover, the rubber boot helps to keep away dust and debris off the absorber tube. It further improves the quality and makes it long-lasting. Along with that, the piston rod uses high-frequency heat treatment while maintaining the rigidity.
This ensures a stable and pleasing ride, even in high-speed driving. The package comes with a pair or two shocks.
- Replacement for Ford F150 2004 to 2008 4WD models
- Official replacement for 2006 to 2008 Lincoln Mark LT 4WD models
- Made of premium grade steel, reduces vibrations
- Keeps away dust and debris off the absorber tube
- Provides a pleasant ride even in high-speed rides
- Might cause bouncing on roads with prolonged use
10. Detroit Axle 171141 x2 4WD
Yes, it is another excellent OEM replacement for F150 trucks from the company. If the previous one doesn’t come with the model you own, then this one might.
A direct fit for the Ford 4WD trucks, it fits perfectly with the Ford F150 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 models. It is a great easy choice as an OEM replacement for the models.
The set comes with a strut, coil, mounts, and spring. So you don’t have to buy any extra equipment. It makes the process easy requiring no modifications or special tools.
Moreover, the strut comes assembled, making the job much easier. This also makes it friendly and a great choice for the inexperienced who don’t want to spend money hiring a mechanic.
Like the brand’s previous model, it has its premium-grade steel coil springs, which reduce vibrations and bouncing on roads. The SAE graded nuts and bolts, and bearings are also premium grade adding to the quality.
Besides, the lower mounting bracket perfectly fits the models mentioned above and current modern vehicles. Along with that, the hydraulic oil system further reduces vibrations for a smooth ride.
- Great OEM replacement for 2009 to 2013 4WD F150 models
- Comes with all the equipment for fast and easy installation
- Made of premium grade materials
- Great choice for inexperienced users
- Lower mounting bracket fits current modern vehicles
- Might make a lot of noise
How to Choose the Best Aftermarket Shocks for F150?
Here are the things you need to consider before buying shocks for your F150 truck.
Type and Style
There are mainly two types of shocks in the market: twin-tube and monotube. As the name says, the twin-tube contains two tubes, and the monotube has one. The most significant difference between them is that you can place the monotube either side down or up without a problem.
However, the monotube keeps itself cooler than the twin-tube. It dissipates heat easier than the other, and it is open to the air. Also, it performs better off-road.
When it comes to style, you can find various ones, but the most common ones and also on our list are the gas and air shock. These two, especially the gas one, is popular for its long-lasting quality. They also reduce the bouncing and great for smaller vehicles.
On the other hand, for larger vehicles, heavy-duty shocks are the best. They are a great OEM replacement for SUVs, vans, and trucks. Off-roading requires some great shocks with reflex action, and for that, overload or coil-overs are perfect.
Type of Material
Going with durable quality materials is always a priority for buying anything. So ensure that the one you are getting is of high quality and durable material.
The most common materials used are steel and aluminum. Steel ones are the cheapest and probably the most common found in the market. They are durable but installing them can be a hassle.
On the other hand, aluminum ones are much lighter but more expensive. However, quality-wise they are excellent, and their light nature also makes them a favorite among off-roaders. They are also easier to install.
Getting one that is not compatible with your vehicle and your driving environment is the same as getting the cheapest low-quality shock. It is nothing but a waste of money, so make sure to check for compatibility with your vehicle. Usually, the company has a compatibility chart listed.
Along with that, keep in mind where you drive, is it on or off the road? How often do you drive, and at what speed? With it, you can find the right one for your vehicle.
Generally speaking, for off-road trucks, a gas-filled monotube is a popular choice. A pickup truck might need an OEM replacement for the best results, whereas a standard SUV is perfectly compatible with a twin-tube shock.
Installation Process and Price
If you don’t want to pay extra for modifications or customization, keep an eye for those with an easy installation like a bolt-on process. They are simple and easy to install and requires no professional help.
However, if you want one with modifications, you definitely need help from a mechanic unless you are experienced or have the skills.
The general price range for shocks is around $20 to $500. It also heavily depends on the vehicle and model, if it is new or old etc. And with all these factors, it is easier to find the perfect one.
Tips for Taking Care of Your F150 Shocks
Just having a high-quality pair of shock absorbers is not enough. Maintenance is necessary to keep them going stronger for years.
Shocks belong to one of the vehicle parts where it is highly susceptible to dirt and mud etc. So make sure to take it apart and clean then often using soap or traffic film remover. Always remember to put it back after drying and never put in wet.
Check for Leaks
Over time, it might be common to see some of the oils leaking. It is usually not a problem, and you can just clean them. However, if it is leaking excessively, you can fix it by sending it to the manufacturer; otherwise, get a replacement.
Check for Damages
Any amount of damage to the shock parts like the coil, spring, boot, etc. can lead to the unit’s permanent failure. If you see any part of the coil spring cracked, you should get a replacement immediately. In case of corrosion, a good clean and painting over can fix it.
Moreover, if you find any dents on the unit’s body, it may be the reason for its slow performance. In that case, getting a replacement is the only way to it back to its previous state.
Testing the Performance
Here is an easy way to check whether your shock is in good condition or not. Push on both corners of the vehicle. This is to check its dampening quality.
If this causes your vehicle to continue bouncing for a minute or more, then it is a sign the springs are taking most of the load. You can review your suspension and look for any faults. Otherwise, it will lead to the shock damaging easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do vehicles need to have shocks?
It depends. However, it does improve the ride quality and performance of the vehicle to an extended degree.
2. When should I replace them?
If you find any leaks or damages like dents or cracks, then you should replace them immediately. But generally, it is advisable to replace them every five years or 50,000 miles.
3. Are expensive or high-quality shocks worth it?
Yes, their construction uses more durable and premium grade materials, making them more long-lasting than others. It also provides better-quality performance.
4. Can I replace all 4 of them at once?
No, they usually come in pairs for the front and rear. So you can replace two at once.
5. Do I really need to replace them?
Unless you enjoy bouncy and shaky rides, the answer is yes. But in case of a cracked coil spring, you should replace them as soon as you can. It can damage your vehicle and cause oil leakage.
You only need the best aftermarket shocks for F150 to get your truck ready for anything on the way. Whether you are going off-road on an adventure or driving on the road, they can improve your vehicle’s performance to a whole new level. And we hope our comprehensive article will help you find the right one.