West Point, GA
Shocks for 92 Dakota So while I'm still driving the 92 Dakota, I figure since it hasn't had any suspension work done to it, it's probably due. The truck did just roll over 75K (yes, only 75K on it) so it hasn't been driven that much but I know parts do wear out from age not use. Plus it feel a little loose and unstable on the road, especially at interstate speeds. Maybe I'm just used to larger trucks though, but I figure it can't hurt to put new shocks on it at least.
Thing is, I haven't looked at shocks in a long time. I don't know what is good and what will ride like a rock. I see Autozone carries mostly Gabriel (which I've never heard of), and Advance carries Monroe and Rancho. Rancho is a bit out of my price range for this project. I want something that will ride smooth, and not ride like it has wood blocks for shocks. That said, I know it's a truck and I do not expect it to ride like a car.
The reviews on Advance for the Monroe Gas-Matic shocks seems to indicate they are a good OEM replacement for casual daily driving. That's what my use is, but other searches for this model have revealed those shocks to ride like blocks of wood. Are they just driving their vehicle more aggressively?
Given I may not keep this truck long, I obviously don't want to sink a lot of money into it. I'd probably like to keep this under $100 but I can go over with compelling reason. I know you need to do pairs, front pair and rear pair if you don't do all four at once. Would getting good shocks for the front now and saving the rear for later be better than getting four OEM replacement shocks? Is there anything else I need to look at on the steering/suspension while I'm at it?
Doctor OldsI Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.Premium,VIP
1970 442 W30
said by JoelC707:»gabriel.com/our-company/about-us
I see Autozone carries mostly Gabriel (which I've never heard of),
Leading the way through innovation for more than 100 years.
In 1907, Gabriel® invented the original automotive shock absorber followed by the first hydraulic shock absorber, the first adjustable shock absorber and the first air adjustable shock absorber. As transportation and industrialization expanded throughout the 20th century, so did Gabriel.
To this day, were still that same innovative, independent American company building high-performance shocks and struts that cover more than 96% of North American vehicles. Gabriel continues to be one of our nations most trusted aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers for light- and heavy-duty vehicles and things you might not imagine, like industrial washing machines and car washes. And of course, as the family car and modern transportation has become more advanced, so too has Gabriel.
Were constantly adding to and broadening our line and coverage, while endlessly looking to improve on our already high standards in quality, testing and validation. Weve expanded our line of ReadyMount strut assemblies, and we continue to Fit- and Ride-test every new light vehicle design on the specific vehicle application it was designed for and on U.S. roads. Of course, that only comes after weve engineered and designed the product to tight tolerances and precision specifications like only Gabriel does. Were also still one of the rare companies that offers super-finished chromed piston rods as standard on every shock and strut we make not just the premium ones.
Whats the point of owning a supercar if you cant scare yourself stupid from time to time?
West Point, GA
Interesting, that's good to know. I've been doing a lot of research on shocks and finding a lot of information. I've noticed that only the "premium" shocks seem to have mono-tube pistons, and all the others are twin-tube pistons. I've seen many people say twin-tube designs are inferior. I can see that but does that mean that twin-tube shocks are something to stay away from entirely? How can you tell what brand the OEM shocks are (assuming there's no sticker on them)?
On The Road
reply to JoelC707
IMHO, just buy some good shocks and you'll be happy. Especially if you haven't replaced them for many years.
I found 3 levels (price ranges) of Monroe shocks for my ranger. Picked the upper one, found the best price and had a coupon for 20% off. So price was great and the ride is good. I figure the shocks will outlast the truck now.
Not saying Monroe is better or worse than others.
West Point, GA
But what makes a shock "good"? For example, Gabriel has "guardian", "pro guard", "ultra", and "max control" in their lineup with the max control only being available for the front on my truck. Does "good" mean I have to pick max control and ultra (or ultra all around) or can I get good shocks out of the other two options as well? There's only like a $5 difference per shock between the guardian an pro guard but there's another $10 or $15 difference per shock stepping up to the ultras. Is it worth that step up?
West Point, GA
To put it another way, these are the prices from AutoZone.
Guardian: $19.99/front, $21.99/rear, $83.96 for all four
Pro Guard: $24.99/front, $25.99/rear, $101.96 for all four
Ultra: $36.99/front, $38.99/rear, $151.96 for all four
$18 to step up to the Pro Guard shocks would be worth it in my opinion (assuming the Guardian shocks are not worth getting). But another $50 to step up to the Ultra shocks, I'm not sure is worth it.
Apparently the rears are out of stock now at my local AutoZone but there are a few other stores close by I could check too. I'd probably prefer to get them locally but RockAuto wouldn't be a bad place to get them from. They appear to have Ultra's in wholesaler closeout (8 remaining), looks like rear only for $12.58.
They list those in the "economy" category though. Most of the others in the "original ride quality" and "improved handling" category are not Gabriel. Should I be looking at Monroe or KYB, which are in those categories?
Some generic shock information:
The economy shocks are basic OEM style units, no gas charging.
The middle price shocks are usually gas charged, the gas helps keep the oil inside from foaming during use so the damping action is more consistent.
The premium ones are usually fitted with automatic adjustable valves that dampen a wider range of motion, and generally give a softer ride.
West Point, GA
Hmmm and it seems some shocks can span into other categories. For example, all the Gabriel shocks are gas charged but it looks like only the Ultra and Max Control feature adjustable valving. And in the case of Monroe, all their shocks feature gas charging and adjustable valving (although each shock model from Monroe features different valving technology).
In the case of Monroe, where they all seem to fall into a "premium" category, what separates them? There has to be something, otherwise they wouldn't have all those different models. Aside from the valving, they all appear to be the same, at least in the core components: 1 3/8" bore, 5/8" diameter piston rod, nitrogen gas charge, etc. The Reflex and Monroe-Matic seem to feature reserve tubes for more fluid, but the Sensatrac doesn't.
From what I recall seeing at an NTB or some auto parts store or something, for Monroe at least, the Monroe-Matic was the "economy", Reflex was "middle" and Sensatrac was "premium". Would that still hold true? What about the monotube shocks, Monroe only seems to offer them in Reflex and Sensatrac. Are those worth pursuing or should I just get whatever I can?
Here is a good read on various types of truck shock absorbers:
JuggernautIrreverent or irrelevant?Premium
reply to JoelC707
You're over thinking this by a long shot. If you don't do off-road, go for the the 'Ultra' type of any brand. It's only $20...
Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.