Silverado 1500 is one of America’s favorite trucks. You can drive it on highways, city streets, off-roading trails, and use it for towing/hauling. Thanks to the advanced suspension system, Chevy’s best-seller feels incredibly smooth even on the most challenging terrain. Now, the factory shock absorbers play a key role in that. Designed to withstand harsh conditions, they’re perfect for the average driver.
However, shocks don’t last forever. While they are quite durable, if you do lots of off-roading, they’ll give up sooner than you expect. Besides, they’ll never match their aftermarket counterparts. So, do you feel like the shocks are failing? If the answer is yes, it’s time to get a replacement! In this guide, you’ll find the Best Shocks for Silverado 1500 4×4 – five sets in total. Go ahead and check them out!
Will New Shocks Make your Truck Ride Smoother?
Of course, they will! That’s the #1 job of any shocks – to eliminate the bumps on the road and, well, make the ride smoother and more enjoyable. As the name suggests, this gear absorbs the “shocks” on the road, eliminating the bumps. So, when the shocks are faulty, malfunctioning, or simply worn out, they fail at keeping the truck steady, which leads to a drop in ride quality.
That’s why the second you get a brand-new set and install it properly, you’ll feel the positive changes. There’s a lot to consider before buying new shocks, though – we’ll talk about that in the Buyer’s Guide. We’ll also discuss other ways to improve the Silverado truck and boost the comfort level. In any case, new shocks will be a dramatic improvement over the factory kit, especially if you’ve been driving with it for more than five years.
Best Shocks for Silverado 1500 4×4 Review
1. Rough Country – Best Shocks for Silverado 1500 4WD 2004
What’s the first thing that most truck drivers look at when scrolling through the available shocks at a local store/online? They check the price, of course, along with how efficient the gear is. And with Rough Country, they won’t have to make a hard choice, because it’s an equally affordable and effective kit. Compared to the rivals, it is, indeed, a lot cheaper, and that’s its biggest con. As for efficiency, it’s achieved through 10-stage (variable) valving.
The shocks can adjust to the ever-changing terrain, ensuring a smooth, comfortable ride quality for the person behind the wheel of the Silverado. Add a three-year replacement warranty by Rough Country, and you’ll see why this set is so popular in the US. Keep in mind, though, that the package doesn’t include rubber boots – you’ll have to buy them separately (that’ll cost you $10-15).
Rough Country is one of those can’t-go-wrong-with shock absorber sets. It is efficient, covered by a generous warranty, and comes at a reasonable price. This is a kit, actually, and includes all the necessary installation hardware. You won’t find rubber boots in there, however.
2. Bilstein 5100 – Best Shocks for 2005 Silverado 1500 4WD
Next up, we’ve got the Bilstein 5100 shocks. Again, this is a set (you’ll get four absorbers with the package), but no hardware except for rubber boots and bushings. At the same time, the installation process will be very smooth and hassle-free. The process takes 1-1.5 hours at a slow pace and with no extra hands to help out. I was also impressed by the engineering and material quality of these shocks.
They were built to last and easily handle harsh conditions on off-roading adventures. Another big pro is extended compatibility. These units will fit a wide range of Chevrolet trucks. However, they will NOT work on the standard Silverado 1500 – only the HD edition. Furthermore, this kit isn’t particularly cheap, and might “scare away” truckers on a budget.
Despite the slightly steep price tag, Bilstein 5100 is one hell of a shock absorber set. Quick, user-friendly installation, premium construction/material quality, and enhanced compatibility turn it into a must-have for most Silverado 1500 HD owners. If you’ve got the budget, it will be money well spent.
3. Detroit Axle – Best Shocks for 2013 Silverado 1500 4×4
Unlike all the other kits on the list, this one doesn’t only include shocks, but also struts. That’s right: you’ll get two shocks for the rear wheels, and a set of struts for the front. This mighty combo is actually quite efficient in real-world tests and greatly improves the handling and ride quality compared to factory gear. Thanks to the steel-based springs, the struts successfully minimize shaking/vibration in the cabin.
The top-notch bearings, nuts, and bolts, in turn, ensure a long service life and steady performance. Detroit Axle covers this kit with a ten-year warranty deal, by the way, and provides client-oriented support. As for the downsides, the installation will take you up to five hours, simply because struts are a bit harder to replace than shocks. Other than that, this is an excellent choice for the Silverado truck.
If you’re looking for a “best of both worlds” kind of a kit for your truck, Detroit Axle might have exactly what you need. This package includes two shocks for the rear, and two struts for the front, keeping the Silverado nice and steady on the most challenging terrain. The installation will take half of the day, though.
4. WULF – Best Shocks for 1500 Silverado
And what’s the deal with this next product? What are the biggest selling points of the WULF shocks? Let’s start with the fact that these shocks are designed, built, and tested in the US. That makes them ready-steady for the muddy, slushy, snowy, and bumpy off-roading trips. With this set, you’ll feel a dramatic improvement of ride quality, be it a flat highway surface or a countryside trail with potholes on every step.
The installation hardware also deserves our attention. First of all, the package includes every single bolt and nut required for proper mounting. Secondly, the hardware is of the highest quality and won’t rust or wear out over time. What I didn’t like about WULF was the return policy. While you can, of course, send a faulty/mismatching set of shocks back, the company won’t cover the delivery expenses.
WULF doesn’t cover the return shipping cost, but that’s pretty much the only significant con. As for the pros, you’ll get to enjoy superb ride quality, enhanced control over the road, and premium mounting hardware.
5. Rancho – Best Shocks for 2011 Silverado 1500 4wd
The last stop for us today is Rancho with a set of rear-wheel shocks for the 4×4 Silverado 1500. Yes, in contrast to the previous four packages, this one doesn’t include a “full-house” kit that covers all four wheels. At the same time, these rear shocks are not particularly cheap. So, what can you expect from Rancho? Is this going to be a worthy investment, or not? The on- and off-road performance is near-perfect, that’s for sure.
The Rancho absorbers have a perfect balance of firmness and softness. Simply put, they’re stiff when they need to be. This is achieved thanks to the nine-position, manually adjustable ride control/damping. The kit comes with a set of sway bar spacers, too – they help in correcting end-link angles. Sadly, the Rancho shocks aren’t available in California.
While these rear shocks are a bit expensive (compared to similar two-set kits), they still carry excellent value for the Silverado. Performance is exceptional, partially thanks to the 9-position dampening control system. You won’t be able to get these absorbers if you live in California, however.
And that’s all I wanted to share with you today! You can’t overestimate the importance of shocks, especially on a rough-tough truck like the Silverado. And a set of faulty shocks won’t be able to handle off-roading trails – that’s just how it is. As a vital part of the suspension system, they play a key role in keeping the driver in control over the road and the truck.
Driving around with bad shocks can lead to big trouble – remember that! And if your Silverado’s factory absorbers aren’t up to the task, get a pack of replacement shocks ASAP. Compared to the engine, transmission unit, and, say, the wheels, shocks are a lot more affordable and take less effort to install. So, make a pick, and get back out there!