When you finalized the deal on your Dodge Ram 1500, you probably thought you were in for some pretty gnarly off-road times, that the Dodge would be devouring the track, and you’d be safe and sound inside, but that’s not always the case.
Whether your factory shocks have rusted and worn out or you’re just looking for a high-performance replacement straight off the bat, well-designed new shocks will give your wheels and axles the support they need to dominate a challenging landscape, and own the road.
We know as well as anyone that picking out shocks isn’t exactly easy, especially if you don’t know much about mechanics.
So, to give you the support you need in giving your 4x4 the support it needs, we’ve ranked and rated seven of the very best shocks for Dodge Ram 1500s.
Once you’ve checked out all the hardware, you’ll find an in-depth buyer’s guide and FAQ segment to help you carry on your search.
Bouncing Around Behind the Wheel Like a Bullet off a Bell?
Our top pick’s right here to bring a little bit of equilibrium to your drive as fast as possible.
PS. If you own a 4Runner and are searching for Toyota 4Runner Tire recommendations, we have you covered here.
OUR TOP PICK
Don’t worry, we’re going to hit a number of lower price points as we head down the list, but we couldn’t ignore these top of the line shocks for our champion position.
The tube body is skillfully crafted from impact extruded aluminum. This process hardens the aluminum, completely eliminates weak connective spots, and lends it’s to rust proofing too.
With composite bushings on the upper mounts that kill vibrative noise, these are the only shocks on our list that put extra thought into performance volume.
They’re a monotube design, meaning the gas and oil never come into contact with one another which prevents foaming after intense impacts, ultimately providing a much smoother ride and greater stability over time.
As far as off-road capabilities are concerned, these are absolute beasts! Even over insanely rugged terrain, they vastly reduce bucking, keeping your front and rear end level for maximum tire to ground contact, and ultimately faster movement.
These shocks are incredibly dear. We’re talking times and times again more expensive than some of our other picks, but this article is about the best shocks for your Dodge RAM 1500, and these simply are they!
- Maintain a level chassis
- Monotube design makes for better dampening and longevity
- Super quiet performance
- Impact extruded production makes them immensely strong and lightweight
- Great for light to medium intensity off-roading
- Silky on-rad performance
- Mega expensive
Our number two bump busters come from a giant in the industry and offer unparalleled customization at this price point.
There’s plenty to talk about here but by far the most exciting is the 9 shock absorbency options. You can set these shocks up to suit the terrain you’ll be traversing before you even set off. 1 - 3 gives you a soft, squishy, cloudish ride perfect for adventure.
4 - 6 offers a lush in between, with lots of control and some good cushioning. 7 - 9 gives you maximum control, perfect for cornering at speed, towing or taking on heavy loads.
You set the rigidity of the shocks with very easy to find, easy to use red notches. It literally takes seconds. The only thing we didn’t really appreciate is how hard it is to read what setting you’re on.
Another stand out feature is the large 2.75” tri-tube body diameter of these shocks. Increased fluid capacity means they’re more heat resistant.
They also have a graphite-filled Fluon banded piston for a super-responsive performance and awesome rebound bumpers to stifle those hard impacts traveling through to you.
Due to the 9 stages of absorbency, these shocks are best suited to Ram 1500 owners that take to the wild fairly often. If you spend most of your time on the asphalt, you’re probably not getting your money’s worth, and a quality Bilstein set might be preferable.
- Large tri-tube fluid capacity keeps them cool
- Graphite filled piston increases responsiveness
- 9 rigidity options give you 400% more control
- Super Affordable for tweakable shocks
- Comes as a full kit
- Red notch is easy to use
- Self-lubricating seal keeps everything where it should be
- Seal is guarded by a protective boot
- Heavy-duty 18mm nitro-carb rod
- Tri-tubes aren’t quite as durable as monotube shocks
- Settings hard to read on the dial
- Not compatible with 1500s that have air or Mega Cab suspensions
Our second sensational shocks are an engineering marvel ready to give your Ram 1500 the support it needs in any situation for at least 100K miles.
The 5100s are a monotube design like our top pick. A single valve construction and large piston spread out shock evenly making them more durable than their multi-tube brethren.
These monotubes are first given a non-reactive zinc coating to prevent oxidization over long periods of use, and then a transparent sealant coat to prevent moisture even coming into contact with the metal.
Ride-wise, these shocks are going to feel quite stiff, especially at first, which is great if you’ve spent however long getting bucked by your Ram going over even minuscule joints in the road. They’re perfect for settling the truck quickly after potholes or whatever else you encounter, which makes them great for towing too.
Installation can be a little tricky, and the boots could be sturdier, but all in all, these are some pretty darn miraculous shocks. If you’re mostly pounding pavement and roads, but you’ve got a little bit of light adventure in your heart too, these shocks will smooth it all out to perfection.
- Monotube design makes them stronger and more shock resistant
- Primary zinc coat to prevent rusting
- Secondary transparent sealant coat
- Enhance your 4x4s handling
- Improves on-road ride quality with stiffness
- Very good price
- Can be tricky to fit
- Not suitable for extreme off-road
Taming both wilderness, roads and everything in between at our third spot is a set of shocks that use displaced valving to automatically adjust to the terrain as you drive, so you can keep on trucking.
Monroe has gifted us here with another awesome monotube design perfect for taking those heavy impacts and transforming them into little more than a nudge.
They contain a substance known as all weather fluid which is one of the only liquids specialized for use in compression systems. Monroe has added unique modifiers to this fluid that reduce rod friction, ending in a much smoother ride than you’ll get from your stock shocks.
They have a similar Fluon banded piston as our Bilstein pick, which helps them adjust to various surfaces and load weights and facilitates a secure seal between itself and the pressure tube. The chances of springing a leak are minimal.
You can expect a little bit of lift with these shocks too, especially in the rear. Obviously, it depends on your particular model, but you may be looking at a 1 to 2” lifted riding height.
They have a particularly heavy gauge spring, meaning it might be more beneficial to heavier Rams, but if you’re often carrying a hefty load or towing a trailer, these auto-adjustable shocks will keep you comfortable and your cargo supported and safe.
- All weather fluid reduces friction on the piston for smooth shock resistance
- Heavy gauge spring is perfect for handling heavy loads
- Lifts slightly
- Fluon banded piston keeps the seal strong
- They’re very well priced
- Automatically adjusts to different surfaces
- May be too firm when you don’t have a load
- Can be difficult to install as you can’t depress them by hand, and it’s a tight fit for a 1500
Supporting your Dodge Ram 1500 with the strength of Atlas, at our fourth spot is a shock designed specifically for supporting all that junk in your trunk...or truck bed anyway.
If you need maximum dampening capabilities, these are the shocks for you. They’re a monotube design, transferring heat efficiently, offering longevity and a smooth ride.
These shocks were released before Bilstein started using liquid metal coatings, so they’re just painted, but even after years of use or in snowy climates with salt gritted roads, you can expect a pretty minimal amount of rust. They’re absolute workhorses.
They can get a bit floaty towards the end of their life, but what shocks don’t. In the meantime, they give your Dodge Ram 1500 tons of support, especially when taking on bumps at speed.
The Bilstein 4600 Series are an amazing choice for replacing underperforming or old factory shocks as they’re not too much of a jump in terms of feeling and they offer shed loads more support.
You’ll be happy to hear that it has similar self-adjusting qualities as our third pick, and they’re super affordable. In fact, we don’t think these can be beaten for quality in this price range.
- Feel similar to a factory setup if that’s what you’re going for
- Automatically adjusts to any surface
- Steel construction offers longevity even though they’re only painted
- Take bumps insanely well at speed
- Great dampening abilities with heavy loads
- Super good value for money
- Painted rather than coated
Coming into our penultimate position is a highly affordable, butter-yellow shock, renowned for its stoic performance supporting some of the heaviest vehicles the world over.
These things are packing a large diameter nitro-carburized rod that offers insane compression control, and a PTFE rod guide increases durability, making them excellent for ultra-heavy loads.
With a 1.3-8” bore, these shocks have exceedingly low operating pressure, and thanks to a wide 2” body, fluids stay cool, keeping them from overexertion on intensive terrain. From a performance perspective, these things tick all the boxes, but they’re let down by inadequate rust protection.
On a few isolated occasions, customers claimed that these weren’t as heavy-duty as they were expecting, but that’s not to say they aren’t great shocks, especially when you consider the price. Even if you do have to replace them around the two-year mark, you still will have gotten your money’s worth.
These shocks are ideal for the working truck that tows day in day out and barely ever has a clear truck bed. They keep things firm enough for enhanced handling, but amazingly they don’t harsh the drive at all. Quite the opposite actually. They’ll make your heavy truck feel like a Cadillac.
- Nitro-carburized rod offers awesome compression control
- PTFE rod guide reduces friction
- Great price
- Robust hydraulic lockout saves shock from intensive suspension travel
- Bright color helps with installation and removal
- Great for working trucks
- Not enough rust protection
- A couple of customers were let down by their durability
Our very last shock soaker is perfect for truckers on a budget, looking for consistent factory style performance.
For a really low budget option, it’s hard not to be impressed by the mechanisms in place here. The piston seal automatically adjusts as the shock wears, maintaining its hold between the piston and pressure tube, preventing fatal leakage.
They also use a factory spec O ring to provide the correct amount of pressure on the inner tube, protecting the valve from build-ups of debris, keeping everything running smoothly for longer.
All things considered, if you’ve been struggling on with shocks on their last limbs, these are going to feel like a dream. They’ll give you more control, take away any floaty vibes when you corner, and eat up bumps for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Detroit Axle has earned notoriety as a high-quality supplier of OE parts. These shocks aren’t designed to outperform your factory set up, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re best off heading back up our list for a second look.
What these are good for is replacing your dead OE shocks without venturing too far from the factory feel you know and love.
- Perfect factory OEM replacements
- Firm up your drive
- Awesome auto-adjusting seal keeps them going for as long as possible
- O ring protects the valve from debris
- Cheapest option on our list
- Not particularly high performance
The Best Shocks for Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Buying Guide
Shocks aren’t exactly the simplest of contraptions.
There are an awful lot of things to think about before settling on the best for you, so let's quickly run over some of those considerations.
Coming up with some sort of a rough budget will guide you straight to a specific point in the market. You won’t have to trawl through a bazillion products before you get to a realistic option.
As you’ve seen from our list, there are plenty of awesome shocks at affordable prices, but if you truly want to evolve upon your old factory kit, you may have to throw in some serious dollar bills.
Needless to say, making sure shocks are compatible with your truck is the most essential part of your consumer process.
Luckily for you, all our amazon links present a drop down menu at the top left of the screen. You simply select your vehicle model and it automatically tells you if it’s a fit.
As is the case with most vehicular components, there are a variety of shocks on the market at the minute.
Have you paid any mind to what particular one you’d like in your car? Let’s quickly discuss some of your options.
Hydraulic shocks are commonly found in older vehicles. They’re filled with hydraulic fluid that dampens impacts.
They’re associated with quite a smooth on-road performance.
Gas charged shocks are injected with what is usually pressurized nitrogen. It’s all a matter of preference really, but it’s said that they provide more of a sporty ride in the sense that they’re incredibly responsive and have very low latency.
Gas shocks feel more immediate in their compression because…well...the compression is faster. When the nitrogen is injected, it forces all the air out of the oil and the shock as a whole. Air stops the oil from traveling through the valve as fast because it doesn’t compress, but remove that air and viola! Pure compression.
Air shocks or air springs have an airtight chamber for dampening impact, and they’re more likely to be adjustable.
Air shocks are known to provide a really smooth ride on and off-road.
Overload shocks combine other shock absorbent methods (usually gas) with the support of heavy gauge springs.
They’re the ultimate off-roading option as they prevent your truck from bucking out of control by leveling the chassis as efficiently and consistently as possible.
Monotube Vs Multi-Tube
We’d like to preface this section by saying that both of these kinds of shock can be really amazing, but when comparing the two, it can seem like mono is the only way to go.
With monotubes, gas and fluid is all contained in a single chamber separated by a free-floating piston. The gas and the fluid never come into contact, which prevents effervescing. Multi-tubes often get a bit muddled after a big impact.
The gas and the fluid combine forming a foam which can hamper their performance, meaning monotubes are a little more reliable.
Whereas multi-tubes are a collection of independently functioning mechanisms, monotubes are a fully contained singular mechanism, making them more responsive. In addition, monotubes tend to have a larger piston that provides great shock resistance and durability.
It’s the same old story when it comes to installation. Because monotubes are actually simpler devices, they’re also easier to install. So, do we think mono is more? Yes, sort off, but a good multi-tube shock will always outperform a cheap monotube.
You’re probably only going to encounter steel and aluminum casings. Steel is by far the stronger material of the two, but aluminum is much lighter and when properly crafted, much more resistant to oxidization.
If you’re looking for maximum on-road control, we’d suggest going the aluminum route because its featherweight properties offer greater agility. They’re also preferable for off-road driving because they have much better thermal conductivity than their steel counterparts.
This means heat travels through them quicker and thus they cool quicker. It’s the same with your pots and pans.
Traditionally shocks were simply painted to protect them from debris, moisture and rust, but that’s a little outdated now. These days it’s better if they’re zinc or nickel coated. Non-reactive coatings keep your inner materials in tip-top shape. Better still is a secondary coating.
If you live in a fairly dry climate, you won’t have to worry too much about coatings. If you live in snowy or wet areas where the roads are often salted to aid traction, you’ll need some serious layers to prevent rusting. As we’ve previously mentioned, aluminum shocks are more resistant to oxidization, so they won’t need to rely so much on coatings.
Self Adjusting Shocks Vs Manual
Many shocks produced these days are designed to be as versatile as possible, but the way in which they provide this versatility can differ vastly.
Most commonly you’ll find self adjusting shocks. These designs use components such as Fluon banded pistons to vary response to any number of terrains. Manual adjusting shocks such as our number two pick require you to physically alter the setting to match your environment.
Self adjusting shocks are far more practical, but they have fewer applications. Manual adjustment shocks may seem like a lot of effort, but you can dial in whatever setting you need for any situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are signs of bad shocks?
Visible clues will include leaking or premature rusting. You may even hear the problems. Bad shocks will get quite noisy before much use, so if you hear some weird sounds as you hit a bump, you didn’t just hit a poor animal, it’s your shocks squealing in exhaustion and anguish.
Performance-wise, you may notice that your chassis is fairly uneven, or perhaps your tires are developing pretty unusual wear patterns. This is a sign your shocks aren’t keeping your tires in line, causing strange tread to road connections.
The most common giveaway is that your vehicle simply isn’t handling very well. It might be excessively bumpy, floaty when cornering, and exhibit too much sway.
Do I need an alignment after replacing rear shocks?
You’re actually more likely to need an alignment when replacing front shocks, but it depends on your vehicle, the old shocks, and the new shocks.
Will new shocks make ride smoother?
If you’ve gotten used to a pretty dead set, then yes, it will definitely be a smoother ride.
What’s the difference between shocks and struts?
Shocks do not hold any of your vehicle's weight. Their sole function is to manage impact and bounce.
Struts do bear weight, helping with both steering and suspension.
Shock and Awe
There you have it, Dodge drivers! Seven fantastic options for your next shock project.
Any of these products will go a long way in making your Ram 1500 4x4 feel brand new. They’re practically little time machines, rolling the clocks back on the years of gnarly abuse you’ve subjected your truck to.