Do Stock Shock Absorbers Work With A Lift Kit?

The parts found inside a truck lift kit vary widely depending on the design and brand of the kit in question. One part that raises some questions is replacement shock absorbers. There is some confusion about when you can reuse a set of stock shock absorbers and when a specialty set of aftermarket shocks is necessary. In this article, we’ll help you determine when you’ll need to get a new set of shocks with your lift kit.

When You Need New Shock Absorbers

Suspension lift kits that raise your truck higher than 3 inches will usually require a new shock absorber to take up the difference in distance between the top and bottom mounting points of the shock. To simplify the shopping experience, the majority of brands we carry will include new shock absorbers in these cases. Sometimes there will be multiple shock absorber options, such as hydraulic or gas, twin tube or monotube, and even dual or remote reservoir designs. Learn more about shock absorbers for lifted trucks here.

Generally speaking, when you purchase a lift kit on RealTruck.com, new shock absorbers will be included if necessary.

Dual reservoir aftermarket shock absorbers.
Dual reservoir aftermarket shock absorbers.

When You Can Keep Your Stock Shock Absorbers

Body lift kits raise your vehicle’s ride height by increasing the distance between the frame and the body, leaving the suspension in its stock configuration. As such, this lift kit design will let you retain your stock shock absorbers. Leveling kits, which only raise the front end of your vehicle and leave the rear at its stock height, also let you keep your stock shocks most of the time. Lastly, there are some short suspension lift kits that don’t alter suspension height enough to require a new set of shock absorbers, allowing you to retain your stock units.

In some instances, a lift kit will come with replacement rear shocks or replacement front shocks instead of both. In these cases, you can retain your vehicle’s stock shock absorbers for whichever end of the vehicle isn’t included in the kit.

A lifted RAM 1500 with stock shock absorbers.
A lifted RAM 1500 with stock shock absorbers.

Replacement Shock Absorbers For Lifted Trucks

It’s worth mentioning that trucks equipped with lift kits and aftermarket shock absorbers will need replacement shocks periodically (every 40,000 miles is a good rule of thumb). If your truck has a lift kit, make sure that you choose a set of replacement shocks that are designed to work with a lifted truck. Our site includes drop down boxes for most shock absorbers that indicate whether the shock is intended to work with stock ride height or a lift to simplify the process of replacing your shock absorbers.

If you have questions about lift kits, shock absorbers, or any other truck accessories, chat or give us a call.

Fox Shocks on a lifted truck.
Fox Shocks on a lifted truck.