5 Best Shocks for Silverado 2500 & 3500: The Ultimate Guide

Looking to stabilize and enhance control when you turn, brake, or accelerate on your trusty Silverado workhouse?  

For those who are driving a Silverado 2500 HD or Silverado 3500 HD, it might be time to consider updating from your factory shocks to something that can handle your daily workload. Don’t know where to start? Not to worry.

We’ve put together a competitive list and guide of the 5 best shocks for a Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD. We’ve listed out their pros and cons, helping you decide which one fits your truck needs the best.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive into the main topic!

The Different Types of Shocks

Although there are several different brands of shock absorbers to choose from, today, there are four basic types available for truck owners. These include twin-tube, mono-tube, gas-filled mono-tube, and external reservoirs. All have different uses, from people looking for a smoother ride or a better performance for off-roading. 

What Is The Purpose Of A Shock Absorber?

The purpose of shocks is to control spring movement and maintain tire-to-road contact by working with the truck’s suspension. Maintaining tire-to-road is vital for road safety as it affects your steering, truck handling, and load control.

Best Overall
Bilstein 5100 Front 2-2.5
  • Gas-charged mono-tube design helps with damping
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Smooth ride on the road
  • The installation process is easy

Best Shocks for Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD 

It’s no secret that the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD or 3500 HD are pretty heavy-duty trucks. Because of this, they need sufficient and capable shock absorbers to help stabilize the vehicle. Below you’ll find our completed guide on different shock kits that should be able to provide you with enhancing overall control.

Do shocks make a difference? 

Shocks are a crucial part of your truck’s suspension system. They work with the other components of your pickup system to ensure a stable and comfortable ride. Overall, shocks and struts help your truck tires keep traction and minimize bouncing, swaying, and other unsafe movements while on the road.

What are the features of the best shocks for the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD?

The best shocks for a Silverado 2500 and 3500 truck should provide a comfortable ride, improve handling, and enhance stability. 

Ready to get started to see which shocks are best for your Silverado truck?

1. Bilstein 5100 Front 2-2.5”, Rear 0-1” Lift Shocks Kitir?t=carg05b 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B01EXJDLAE

Bilstein 5100 Front 2-2.5

If you are looking for a smoother ride, then the Bilstein 5100 Front 2-2.5″, Rear 0-1″ Lift Shocks Kit might be the right choice for you. The 5100s are the perfect shock for the occasional off-roader who wants superior handling and control while behind the wheel. They are designed to lift the Silverado 2500 HD, featuring a single tub with high gas pressure.

The Bilstein 5100s is a gas-charged mono-tube design. There’s a floating piston on the inside that is connected to a piston rod. This compresses and pushes the shock fluid through valves, which helps control the level of damping. 

Now, weight-wise, the 1500s are pretty heavy, especially when you compare them against Fox 2.0s or similar substitutes. But because the target customer base for the Bilstein 5100s is truck owners who use it more daily and only hit the off-road occasionally, the weight isn’t a big deal.

That being said, we’d recommend these shocks for those looking for a smooth ride when traveling long-distance, daily highway commute, or hitting the trails every now and then. These are great and sit within a competitive price bracket.

Bilstein provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty, but you must be the original purchaser of shocks and have proof of purchase.

Pros
  • Gas-charged monotube design helps with damping
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Smooth ride on the road
  • The installation process is easy
Cons
  • Fairly heavy

 

2. Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Set – Best Shocks for 2500HDir?t=carg05b 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B01LW94E48

Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Set- Best Shocks for 2500HD

Next on our list of shock sets for Silverado 2500 HD & 3500 HD is the Rancho RS5000X. Rancho isn’t as well known as Bilstein, but they make up for it with their hassle-free installation process. Plus, there’s a big improvement in the ride quality department compared to factory shocks.

But before we dive into the details of these shocks, there are two things to keep in mind. 

  1. You cannot use these shocks if your truck has custom lift kits, levels, or levels.
  2. These shocks are not rated for off-road use. 

Now, back to the Rancho RS5000Xs. These shocks are rated for 2001 to 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD 2ED and 4WD. Similar to Bilstein, these shock models come with all the accessories needed for a smooth and easy installation process. The main selling factor is how simple these units are to use and install.

And when it comes to durability, you don’t need to worry. These shocks hold up well and do a great job of dampening almost all small vibrations and on-road bumps. Not a completely smooth ride, but the road noise and bumps felt generally muted. So whether you’re traveling on bumpy roads or driving in the rain, these earn a top spot in the best shocks for your Silverado 2500 HD for daily commuting and traveling.

Rancho provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty that protects against defects and premature failure of the product. They also provide a 90-day ride guarantee that covers the RS5000X shock set.

Pros
  • Easy to install and use
  • A quality shock set
  • The exemplary job of dampening most bumps
  • Comes with all the needed accessories
Cons
  • Not rated for off-road

 

3. SENSEN 5072 Shocks Struts

5072 - SENSEN Shocks Struts

Are you looking for a product ready to use straight out of the box? Nothing too fancy, just some shocks that are reliable and durable for your trusty workhorse. Well, then, we recommend the SENSEN 5072 Shocks Struts. The SENSEN strut is a nitrogen gas-charged, twin-tube design that is designed to calibrate to help restore your truck’s original ride. Made for 2001 to 2010 Silverado 2500 HDs. These are premium bare struts that are designed and engineered for the ultimate performance. The entire set weighs 43 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about adding extra weight to your truck. They will provide comfort, control, long last durability, and maxim shock performance for today’s truck owners. 

The powder-coated finish provides rust protection and durability for several years. And they provide an easy installment, requiring no specialty tools. They are ready to fit right out of the manufacturer’s warehouse, so you shouldn’t have any trouble installing them on your Silverado 2500 HD. They are manufactured and tested to the highest OE standards for unmatched performance. They are quickly becoming a preferred brand among both truck owners and technicians.

SENSEN also provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty, so you can purchase with confidence.

Pros
  • Made to OEM specs
  • Easy to install
  • Weights a mere 43 pounds, no extra weight on your truck
  • Rust resisting powder coating
Cons
  • The instruction manuals are subpar

 

4. Bilstein 5100 Gas Shock Set- Best Shocks for 2500hd Duramax

Bilstein 5100 Gas Shock Set- Best Shocks for 2500hd Duramax

Have you recently purchased a newer Chevy truck? Not satisfied with the performance of the factory shocks and need something from a well-known brand? Well, not to worry. Here we continue our list with the Blistein 5100s. 

The Bilstein 5100 Gas Shock Set is rated for 2011 to 2018 Silverado 2500 HD models. Our team tried this on our Duramax, and these are probably the best shocks for a 2500 HD Duramax. 

Usually coming in a set of 4 shocks, the 5100s fit 4WD trucks for front lifted height of 0-1.5 inches and 0-1 inches at the rear. The kit includes washers, shock boots, bushings, and nuts. Factory shock mounting bolts are reused for installation. They are mono-tube gas-charged for long-lasting durability and high performance. 

You’ll also find that the kit improves performance by using gas-charged mono-tube shocks to prevent the fading effect. The single tube body allows for rapid heat to transfer between the shock oil to the body. In fact, these shocks are highly rated for this very feature and boasted about by truck owners who have used these for their trucks.

The German engineering combined with US manufacturing ensures that you receive optimum performance and long-lasting shocks for upwards of 100,000 miles. The 5100s are more compliant in off-road terrain compared to the 4600s for Silverado 2500 HD trucks. 

The biggest feature you can expect from Bilstein is consistency in its products. Our team has tested the newly installed kit out on the trails, and we can see a significant upgrade for our heavy-duty truck. Though they cost a little more, Bilstein 5100s are worth the price.

Pros
  • Easy installation process
  • Improved ride quality
  • The truck feels more ‘planted.’
  • Comes with all the needed accessories
Cons
  • We could not find any

 

5. Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum Truck Shock Absorberir?t=carg05b 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B000C55L3E

Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum Truck Shock Absorber

Are you looking for replacement shocks for your work truck? But something competitively priced? Then let’s take a look at the 34630 Gas-Magnum Truck Shock Absorbers from Monroe. 

The Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum is designed for mid to full-size hard-working pickup trucks like the Silverado 2500 HD. The shock absorbers provide form control without a harsh ride. It has twice the fluid capacity of standard 1-inch bore shocks, and they work more efficiently with less effort. Built to last, the heavy-duty nitro-carburized rod and sintered iron piston enhance durability for a longer life span.  

You can count on Monroe Gas-Magnum shocks to carry your truck’s load, providing not just a more comfortable ride but safe handling for your Chevy. They are designed and engineered for full-size trucks, featuring full-displaced valves on compression cycles to deliver controlled handling. They help to ensure consistent tire-to-road contact, maintaining vertical loads placed on the tires. But keep in mind these shocks do not increase weight-carrying capacity or improve sway control. However, because they don’t increase the overall weight, it equates to better vehicle performance. 

Pros
  • Firmer control over your vehicle
  • Smooth ride
  • Very easy to install
  • Good valving range
Cons
  • Not for those who want to stiffen up their vehicle

 

Before Buying The Best Shocks for a Silverado 2500 HD Truck

Still have more questions about getting new shocks for your Silverado? We understand that you might need more information and are not quite ready to pull the trigger on a new set of shocks. But that’s how we decided to include an additional list of commonly asked questions about the purchasing shocks for a Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD. 

What Do I Get For My Money?

Now, generally, the main decision factor behind purchasing any automotive part is going to be the price. It’s no secret that we all want the lowest price for the part. However, cheaper parts can sometimes lead to poor performance, whereas a higher price point will point to higher performance. 

So, while going the cheapest route might be more appealing, that price point can equate to poor performance and quality. We recommend first looking at reputable manufacturers and brands, a second look at the best shocks for a Chevy 2500 and 3500, and then comparing prices. Even well-known brands have competitive price points for truck shocks.

How Easy Are the Shocks to Install?

This is a common question, especially for truck owners looking to install the shock kits themselves. That being said, it’s going to be different from person to person. It depends on the truck, the skill level of the owner, and the types of shock kits purchased. 

However, for the most part, shocks are pretty straightforward. You typically have to disconnect the top and lower mount to be able to remove them. But on some trucks, you might need to remove some paneling to gain access to the shocks.

But how easy it really depends on the type of shocks you end up purchasing. Some are going to be more difficult to install, while others, like the Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum Shocks or Bilstein 5100 Gas Shock Set- Best Shocks for 2500hd Duramax, are designed for easy installment.

What Is My Truck-to-Shock Compatibility?

This step is actually often forgotten by many truck owners. This is why we highly recommend doing research BEFORE purchasing your shocks. Why? Because it could be a costly mistake if your shocks are not compatible with your truck. Even if you currently own one, do your research before purchasing the best shocks for Duramax. We recommend doing an in-depth analysis of model compatibility, looking into items like the make, model, and year. It’s also a good idea to know the trim level too.

Shocks for Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD

What Type of Shocks Do I Need?

This all comes down to where you are located and what type of truck you are driving. The terrain, the weather, and a number of factors need to be considered before purchasing your shocks. For example, if your daily commute consists of miles of highway driving, there is no doubt your needs would differ from those who are planning on doing some serious off-roading.

The same applies to towing. If you plan on towing or hauling, then you may need to consider a more premium shock kit for heavy-duty hauling that can handle the additional stress of the truckload.

What Diameter Do I Need For I Shocks?

The shock’s diameter is a major factor to consider when you are looking to purchase new shocks for your vehicle. It’s really according to your preference, but generally, the minimums are as follows: 2.0-inch shocks for light-duty trucks, 2.5-inch for medium-duty, and 3.0-inch for heavy-duty vehicles. 

How to Give Your Truck a Smoother Ride Without Changing The Shocks

Silverado Ride Smoother

Are you looking to make your suspension ride smoother without having to purchase new shock absorbers? There are a few things you could do:

Unsprung Mass Reduction

Reducing the unsprung mass goes a long way in smoothening rides. Remove some heavyweight components, and balance out the weight distribution.

Suspension System Softening

The ideal way to smoothen 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 and less weighty. Incidentally, you could go for an air suspension swap.

Change Out Your Tires

Your tire selection matters a lot when it comes down to smoothening your ride. Softer tires equate to smoother rides. Replacing older tires with newer ones helps in this regard, too—an option for lighter tires when you plan to go for a tire change.

Modify Your Chassis

Using lightweight chassis components in place of heavier ones remarkably smoothens the ride.

Invest in New Leaf Springs

Some people believe that changing 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:

How much time does it generally take to change the shocks?

Replacing shocks could take between 2 to 3 hours, depending on the brand and kit you purchase. Bolt-on shocks typically take a couple of hours, whereas replacing a spring or shock absorber may take less time. Lowering shocks could take more time.

How long does a typical shock absorber last?

You should expect your shock absorber to last at least 50,000 miles before needing to replace it. However, it really depends on the location and road conditions. For example, uneven roads or off-roading could shorten the life of your shocks. However, if the conditions are right, shock absorbers could last up to 100,000 miles.

What are the differences between shocks for 2500 HD & 3500 HD Silverados?

The difference between shock absorbers for a Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD is that a 3500 HD has a heavier curb weight than a 2500 HD. The 3500 requires stronger shocks to handle the load.

Should I replace all four shocks at the same time?

So, should you replace all shocks at once? Not necessarily. You don’t need to replace all four shocks at once. However, shocks and struts should always be replaced in pairs, either in the front or the rear. But replacing all four at once will help maintain reliable and consistent handling.

Should I get an alignment after installing new shocks?

Yes, you should get an alignment after installing or replacing your shock absorbers. It’s very important after lowering or lifting the truck as this will have a big impact on your vehicle.

How often do I need to replace my shocks?

This depends on a number of factors, but generally, shocks need to be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. But this depends on the brand and how you use your truck.

How do I know if I need shocks for my Silverado 2500HD?

If you’re not sure whether or not you need shocks for your Silverado 2500HD, the best way to find out is to have a qualified mechanic inspect your vehicle. Not having good shocks can lead to tire wear and a decrease in handling.

How do I know if my shocks are wearing out?

A few ways to know if your shocks are wearing out are loss of handling and control, instability while going highway speeds, the vehicle tipping to one side when turning, the front end of the truck diving more during braking, or fluid leaking on the exterior shocks or struts.

Final Words

Well, there you have it! Our five best shocks for a Chevy Silverado are 2500 HD and 3500 HD. We hope that this helped guide you on your journey to getting the right shock absorbers for your pickup truck. Happy hunting! 

Leave a Comment