What Shocks Are Best For My Truck Build?

June 28, 2022

Everything You Need To Know About Truck Shocks

If you go up to 100 people on the street and ask them what a shock is, most of them would probably be able to tell you. But how many guys can explain exactly what a shock does? Today, we'll be sitting down, smoothing out the bumps, and finding out why shocks matter for your truck build.

What Is A Truck Shock And What Does It Look Like?

If you've ever shopped for a lift kit, then you probably have already made a choice when it comes to shocks. Typically speaking, though, unless you're a seasoned expert, when it comes to the anatomy of a shock, you likely just picked the one that you felt the most comfortable with or the one that looked the best. After all, color matching your suspension is kind of important when you built a truck - you want to make sure it looks good above all else.

But what exactly is a shock, and why do they matter in the first place? A shock absorber is a neat little metal tube-looking thing that sits inside of your truck's suspension. Typically you'll find these on all four corners of your truck, and depending on the type of shock you have, they can look a bit different case by case, whether you're talking about a monotube or dual-tube type setup.

BDS 6 inch lift kit with NX2 Rear Shocks

How Do Shocks Work And What Do They Do For Truck Performance?

Believe it or not, shocks don't support the weight of your truck - it's quite the opposite. Shocks work by converting the movement of your truck's suspension from kinetic energy to heat energy - this heat is then dissipated into the air, much like your Jack's pizza cools down after you take it out of the old brick pizza oven that every shop has.

As your shock does this, it's essentially working as a big liquid pump. As your truck goes down the road, the suspension of the truck moves up and down, pushing the piston of the shock into the main, inner, or outer tube. Inside of this tube, the piston plunges oil through the inside of the shock through holes that are called "orifices" - because these orifices are so small, they create resistance on the fluid, and ultimately on the shock piston. This causes the piston to take up some of that movement of the vehicle's springs as you go over bumps.

Fundamentally speaking, shocks work by smoothing out the ride of your vehicle. Not only is this important for keeping your truck planted while going down the highway, but it also means that you're going to have a much smoother ride. Essentially, shocks work by putting pressure on the truck's suspension, which leads you to not rattle out of your fillings on the highway.

Read More: Beginners Guide To Buying Truck Lift Kits

Do Shocks Help With Driving Safety?

A good set of shocks can keep you safe as well when you're on the pavement. This is because the pressure that your shock is putting down from the fluid resistance inside the tube is also pushing down on your lower control arm, thus pushing down on your wheels and tires. This resistance keeps your tires firmly planted on the ground like a good handshake, and it's here that you'll find the maximum amount of tread contact with the pavement. All this is to say that shocks are the main factor behind you getting traction when you need it, which is pretty much always.

BDS 4 inch lift kit with NX2 rear shocks

What To Look For While Buying Aftermarket Truck Shocks

With all that being said, not all shocks are created equally, and when it comes to which shocks you should buy with your lift kit, there are a few things to keep in mind.

As a rule of thumb, when it comes to shocks, you get what you pay for. While there are certainly some really good options out there that are more budget-friendly, shocks are one of those things that you don't want to cheap out on. Cutting corners here can lead to shorter-than-usual life from your shocks, rough overall ride quality, or worse, the possibility of you blowing a shock out, which is straight up not a good time.

Typically speaking, higher-quality shocks will have better internal valving. They have better bushing ends, and overall are just made with higher-quality materials, meaning that they can hold up against any abuse you throw at them.

Features and Specs of BDS NX2 Shocks

Take a BDS lift kit for example. When you look at a BDS lift kit, you'll see that they have a few shock options, and coilovers aside, included in the base kit is the NX2 Series of shocks. These will provide great performance for the price point, as they come standard with each BDS lift kit offered.

The NX2s are a two-inch diameter shock. They're charged with nitrogen and are downright ready to get dirty if that's what you're looking to do - plus, they qualify for the No Fine Print warranty that BDS offers, which is super neat for a lift kit.

Shop BDS Lift Kits and Shocks In Our Store

Fox 2.0 monotube shocks for RAM 2500

Features and Specs of Fox Adventure Series Shocks

If you're looking to go with something a bit more premium, you're in luck - enter the Fox Adventure 2.0 shocks. When it comes to lift kit shocks, these bad boys do not disappoint; Fox builds these shocks for BDS in an exclusive partnership, and every set of Fox shocks that BDS sends out is built specifically for the application that they're being put on.

Again, we're talking about a two-inch shock, hence the 2.0 thing. They come in a super bitchin' silver powder coat that's one of the toughest finishes on the market, and it all adds up to a shock that we recommend to anyone looking for top quality.

Shop Fox Shocks In Our Store

What Are The Best Aftermarket Truck Shocks To Buy?

To recap, if you're looking for shocks that are just a great bang-for-your-buck option, then the BDS NX2s is probably a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for solid ride quality paired with two of the most respected names in the industry, the Fox 2.0s will be your choice.

Shop Aftermarket Suspension Kits For Your Truck At Custom Offsets

Now, if you're looking to build your truck, then you'll probably need a lift kit, and with that lift kit, you're gonna need shocks. If you need a lift kit with shocks, we have them from some of your favorite brands like BDS, Rough Country, and others. Plus, we offer financing on most of the lift kits in our store so you can build your credit while building your truck. 

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