This is our review of the best GMC Sierra shocks replacement parts. At Mechanic Guides we’ve uploaded quite a number of reviews for different shock applications, and the recurring theme of queries is general confusion to what kind of shock is required. This confusion comes from an inexperienced enthusiast that want to upgrade, pump-up and pimp-up their rides, but at home in their garage.

The 5 Best Shocks for GMC Sierra 1500:

  1. Bilstein 24238304 Shock Absorber – the best shocks for GMC Sierra 1500
  2. Rancho RS999901 Quick Lift Loaded Strut
  3. Bilstein 24186636 Shock Absorber
  4. KYB SR4079 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly
  5. Fox 980-24-660 Body Shock

Top-Rated Shocks for GMC Sierra 1500 List:

 Product namePhotoFeatureProsMore info
1. Bilstein 24238304 Shock Absorber1. Bilstein 24238304 Shock AbsorberThis is the Bilstein B8 5100 Series Shocks #24-238304

  • Constant damping characteristics under any load

  • Proven BILSTEIN gas pressure technology

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2. Rancho RS999901 Quick Lift Loaded Strut2. Rancho RS999901 Quick Lift Loaded StrutThis is the Rancho Quicklift Suspension Lift Systems #RS999901

  • 9-position tuning technology

  • Twin-Tube internal design

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3. Bilstein 24186636 Shock Absorber3. Bilstein 24186636 Shock AbsorberThis is the Bilstein B8 5100 Series Shocks #24-186636

  • Monotube gas pressure technology

  • Multi-layer zinc finish is the most durable in the industry

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4. KYB SR4079 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly4. KYB SR4079 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit AssemblyThis is the KYB Strut-Plus Assemblies SR4079

  • Fully assembled

  • No spring compressor required

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5. Fox 980-24-660 Body Shock5. Fox 980-24-660 Body ShockThis is the Fox Racing Shox 2.0 Performance Series IFP Smooth Body Shocks #980-24-660

  • 2.0" Metal impacted 6061-T6 aluminum body

  • Race-developed high-flow piston design

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6. King Shocks 25001-154 Performance Shock Kit6. King Shocks 25001-154 Performance Shock Kit Performance Shock KitThis is the King Shocks OEM Performance Shocks #25001-154

  • Heat treated 6061 aluminum alloy pistons

  • 2.5" Shock cylinders are precision bored to within /- .001

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REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST 

We strive to always give you genuine, accurate information. To do this, all of mechanicguides.com reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience. This knowledge comes from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve “Whip” Whipple who has 11 years of experience in the auto industry. For more information, see here.

So, for all you DIY car enthusiast that has just spent a mortgage on tools rather than spend a tenth of the cost on a professional service, here is the lowdown on shocks.

There are three types of the shock absorber, which we will go into more detail at the end of this guide. However, as a quick taster, shock absorbers are not suspensions systems, they are parts of the suspension and wheel control system that aid the driver in maintain control over the vehicle even on rough terrain.

Essentially what a shock absorber does is it keeps the vehicle’s tires on the road surface at all times, even if the road is a marsh or a quarry. The obstacles and extreme ground conditions cause the tires to either lift off the ground or unbalance a vehicle.

The shock absorber performs two functions, it adjusts the height of the wheel to maintain a firm grip over all terrain, keeping the vehicle as flush as possible with the ground, and it absorbs shocks which are muted from damaging the vehicles other components.

When combined with a great suspension system, shock absorbers will improve the smoothness of the ride as well as give the driver complete and constant control over the vehicle. After all, a tire in the air cannot brake, accelerate or change direction.

Well enough about the technical aspects of shocks, now look at the Best Shocks for GMC Sierra 1500 and here are the six leading models.

Best Shocks for GMC Sierra 1500 Reviews:

1. Bilstein 24238304 Shock Absorber – the best shock for GMC Sierra 1500

Bilstein 24238304 Shock Absorber
  • Country of origin : United States
  • Package Dimensions: 68.58 H x 10.16 L x 10.16 W (centimetres)
  • Package Weight: 3.198 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : United States

These are part of the B4 Series Replacement Shocks and Struts by Bilstein®. They are monotube-designed with a 2” seamless extruded tube and a chromed, and super-polished case-hardened 14mm rod. The 46mm piston is digressive and self-adjusting and includes a deflective-disc independent rebound with optimized compression.

Specifications

  • Design: Monotube
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • Extended Length: 18.86”
  • Collapsed Length: 15.00”
  • Bushing: Black Rubber
  • Boot: Not included

2. Rancho RS999901 Quick Lift Loaded Strut

Rancho RS999901 Quick Lift Loaded Strut
  • Easy to install - Pre-assembled with coil spring and upper mount
  • Levels front suspension - Removes the factory rake
  • Clears up to 35-in. tires (select applications) - Creates a custom look, increases ground clearance
  • 9-position tuning technology - Easily adjust ride quality and performance
  • Liquid metallic finish - Premium long lasting finish. Compressed length: 13.81 inches , Extended length: 18.06 inches

The Loaded quickLIFT™ Front Driver or Passenger Side Twin-Tube Complete Strut Assembly with 2.0″ Front Lift Height (RS999901) by Rancho® is a peak performance strut type shock absorber.

This is a twin tube internal design with a pre-assembled coil spring and upper mount. This part removes the factory rake, and it clears up to 35” of tire height. What you get is a customer looking increased ground clearance effect.

The piston rods compressed. Length is 13.81″ and is 18.06” when extended giving you a 4.25” stroke length. Overall body length is 13.31”.  The reserve tube diameter is 2.13”.

Add to this their adjustable 9-position tuning technology and cover it in a liquid metallic finish for that extra pimped and pumped up look.

However this is not enough, Rancho is an extremist when it comes to performance engineering, and here are some more added features that go above and beyond what you would expect.

  • This twin-tube body increases fluid capacity leading to a cooler operation.
  • A heavy-duty Nitro-Carb rod that prevents scuffing resistance and promotes corrosion protection.
  • 9-position tuning technology that provides 9 incremental steps of differing flexibility, starting with OE style and reaching firm towing levels.
  • A nitrogen filled mono-tube that reduces the air-to-oil mixture, reducing foaming and other shock-related
  • A Graphite-filled, Fluon banded piston that delivers smoother piston travel while providing better
  • A Rebound Bumper that helps in controlling the rebound motion while traversing rough surfaces.
  • Low-Friction, self-lubricating seal that prevents dirt and debris pollution.
  • A Liquid metallic finish with a protective boot.

Specifications

  • Design: Twin-tube
  • Adjustable Valving: Yes
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • Extended Length: 18.06”
  • Collapsed Length: 13.81”
  • Boot: Black

3. Bilstein 24186636 Shock Absorber

Bilstein 24186636 Shock Absorber
  • Part Number 24-186636
  • You'll be getting one shock absorber.
  • All necessary washers, bushings, reservoir clamps, and nuts included. Factory shock mounting bolts are reused for installation. Mounting plates sold separately.
  • Bilstein Limited Lifetime Warranty

The B8 5100 Series Rear Driver or Passenger Side Monotube Smooth Body Shock Absorber for 2.0″-4.0″ Lifted Vehicles (24-186636) by Bilstein® is velocity sensitive and digressive piston design that absorbs even the most aggressive of surfaces.

This is a monotube design that is finished with a no-nonsense workaholic zinc plate that lowers pricing and increases durability. The piston rods compressed. Length is 18.17″ and is 29.92” when extended giving you an impressive 11.17” stroke length. The lower and upper mounting eyes are 0.555” in diameter, and the boot is 1.81” in diameter.

Bilstein is a leader in shocks, and any part they manufacture delivers what they claim. Their aftermarket parts are found all over the US and the world and are featured in many a racing enthusiasts list of must-have components.

Specifications

  • Design: Monotube
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • Extended Length: 29.91”
  • Collapsed Length: 18.17”
  • Bushing: Black Rubber
  • Boot: Black

4. KYB SR4079 Strut-Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly

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KYB SR4079 Strut Plus Complete Corner Unit Assembly
  • The World's Best Complete Strut Assembly from the most trusted name in OEM quality shocks and struts
  • Designed for proper ride height and original handling capabilities on GM trucks
  • Exact fitment engineered and pre-assembled for professional results
  • Includes a fatigue-tested, and improved coil spring with corrosion resistant coating
  • Engineered to help vehicles with electronic safety systems (ESC, ABS, etc.)

The KYB® Strut-Plus™ Front Driver or Passenger Side Twin-Tube Complete Strut Assembly #SR4079is an OEM replacement part that will restore all the original ride, handling, and control capabilities to your vehicle.

This component comes with the twin-tube gas Excel-G Strut that matches OE quality. This is a straightforward fast installation full stock replacement item, and the kit comes with, and Excel-G Strut, Coil Spring, Bearing Plate, Boot Kit and Bumper with Spring Seat and Isolators included.

What is truly remarkable about KYB is their simplicity. They do not try to overstate the obvious, this is an OEM replacement that might deliver a slightly higher performance than the original OEM shocks, but essentially are designed to deliver the identical performance so you do not need to relearn your driving environment.

Specifications

  • Design: Twin-tube
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • Boot: Black

5. Fox 980-24-660 Body Shock

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Fox 980-24-660 Body Shock
  • The Package Height of the Product is 3.12 inches
  • The Package Length of the Product is 24.87 inches
  • The Package Width of the Product is 3.12 inches
  • Part number: 980-24-660

The Fox® 2.0 Performance Series Rear Driver or Passenger Side Smooth Body IFP Non-Adjustable Shock Absorber for 0″-1.0″ Lifted Vehicles #980-24-660 is an aftermarket off-road product.

This is a rebuildable, serviceable race shock with some amazing features, including the clear anodized 2.0″ diameter metal-impacted 6061-T6 aluminum body that provides maximum protection from corrosion. The shaft is a 5/8″ hard chrome plated steel allot and comes wrapped with a redundant sealing pack system main seal, wiper seal and scraper seal with nitrile rubber suspension articulated bushings.

This nitrogen pressure compression and rebound valve system has a stroke length of 9.0”, the compressed length is 15.65” ad the extended length is 24.75” with a 0.56” internal diameter lower and upper mounting sleeve.

As with all Fox products they provide a plethora of specifications and these include:

  • An internal IFP reservoir designed for total separation of the nitrogen gas from the oil.
  • All internal components are made of black-anodized, CNC-machined 6061-T6 billet aluminum.
  • The piston shaft is a 5/8” diameter chrome plated heat-treated alloy steel.
  • Nitrile rubber bushings
  • A high-flow race designed piston machined for faster reaction and better rough surface performance.

Specifications

  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • Extended Length: 24.75”
  • Collapsed Length: 15.65”
  • Bushing: Black polyurethane
  • No Boot

6. King Shocks 25001-154 Performance Shock Kit Performance Shock Kit

King Shocks 25001-154 Performance Shock Kit Performance Shock Kit
  • Comes with full manufacturer warranty
  • Fits multiple makes and models (contact seller with your vehicle for fitment compatibility information)

The King Shocks® OEM Performance Rear Driver and Passenger Side Non-Adjustable Shock Absorbers #25001-154 was designed to act as a preference replacement for OEM parts.

This shock kit comes complete with heat-treated 6061 aluminum alloy pistons and integrates Rulon composite wear bands together with chrome steel micro-polished shafts, and rod ends with spherical bearings made of tough steel PTFE.

This is a piggyback reservoir system, with precision-bored 2.5 in. steel shock cylinders deliver a tensile strength of no less than 100,000 pounds per square inch. The compressed piston length is 15.63” and the extended length is 24.56” with an overall stroke length of 8.93”.

Specifications

  • Design: Monotube with piggyback reservoir
  • Adjustable Valving: No
  • Gas Charged: Yes
  • No Boot

What are Shock Absorbers?

Lest look at shock absorbers from a technological viewpoint first. These vehicle components are used to convert movement from the rough surface conditions (movement = kinetic energy) into heat (heat = thermal energy). Then, they perform a heat exchange by dissipating the heat into the atmosphere using optimized materials and mechanical product design.

The suspension is used to support the weight of your vehicle and assure a smooth ride, by connecting the axle to the frame through the leaf or spring suspensions. Shock absorbers are added to keep the tire surface flush with the road surface; they are not designed to support the weight of the vehicle. Having stated this, there are exceptions to this rule, so lets now look at the three types of suspension.

Conventional telescopic shock absorbers; these are gas and oil filled pistons that have an extension capacity defined by the vehicle fitment. They are not for the suspension, only work as shock absorbers and as such will usually be found on most applications as an addition to the suspension system.

Strut type shock absorbers: these are suspension-based piston shock absorbers that provide shock absorption properties while adding some aid to the suspension system. These are found on many rough off-road applications as they help to stabilize and smooth the overall ride for off-road journeys.

Spring seat shocks:  these are the most expensive models, they are a combination of a strut-type with a heavy-duty spring and are designed to replace suspension systems. They are found on heavy-duty vehicles mainly and will provide excellent performance even over the roughest of surfaces.

If you’re interested in more performance boosts for your truck, check out our list of the top programmers and the best rotors for the GMC Sierra 1500

FAQs

How do I choose shocks for my truck?
It entirely depends on what you’re looking for from the shocks — improved performance on the road (if your truck’s a daily driver), better capabilities off the road, or just a replacement to the aging factory fitment shocks. Once you have clarity, you’ll be able to choose easily. But keep in mind that off-road-focused shocks aren’t going to be great for highway cruising. And at the same time, stock replacements aren’t going to do a lot either off the road.
How do I know what size shocks to buy?
The ideal way to do this is by following our suggestions and compatibility mentioned in the guide. If you want to stick to the factory spec, then any shock absorber that mimics the factory shock’s specs (travel, diameter, etc.) should be fine. If you’re looking at upgrading then it makes sense to check the manufacturer’s compatibility chart closely. This is because the shock size is going to depend on a variety of things. For instance, if you’ve got a lift kit installed, then it’s likely that you’ll need a longer shock.
When should shocks be replaced?
It’s no secret that under normal wear, shock absorbers are bound to require replacing. But since it depends entirely on the road conditions, your driving, and how heavy the loads the shocks have been subjected to, the wise thing is to look for signs of failure instead of following a predefined shock-replacement interval. When you get your truck’s routine check-up done (or if you do it yourself), spend some time on the shocks as well. Some telltale signs of shock failure are bad cornering, lack of stability under acceleration and braking, and most importantly, audible thuds in the cabin when tackling bad roads.

Best Shocks for GMC Sierra 1500 by Year – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2014 & 2015

What’s the best shock for the 2004 GMC Sierra 1500?
If you’re looking at replacing the stock/factory shocks on the 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 with something that’s not very expensive but has a performance advantage over the stock unit, then the KYB Gas-a-Just shock absorber can be a good choice. It’s priced competitively and for about $200, you can get all four shocks. Its velocity sensitive valving means the shock absorber can adapt to changing road conditions quickly, while its monotube construction means aeration and foaming won’t be an issue.
What’s the best shock for the 2005 GMC Sierra 1500?
Trucks aren’t really meant for Concours events, or any other classic auto beauty pageant, (it’s okay — you can still display your pride and joy). They’re more at home tackling the rough stuff and a shocks upgrade is as fitting as it can get. For the 2005 GMC Sierra 1500, the Rancho shocks are exactly that. This built-to-last product comes with progressive engagement valving, rebound bumper, protective boot, self-lubricating seals, and heavy-duty twin-tube construction. So expect years of use without any issues.
What’s the best shock for the 2006 GMC Sierra 1500?
If your 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 is your daily driver, it’s hard to question why you’d want to replace aging shocks with something that offers you performance close to the stock ones and not go bananas with a more off-road-spec shock absorber. In this case, it’s easy to trust something like the Bilstein B6 series of shocks. Sold individually, the shock absorber offers a balance between stable performance on the road and comfortable ride.
What’s the best shock for the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500?
The Rancho Quicklift Suspension System kills two birds with a single stone, and if you’re after a better performance than stock systems, this might just be the perfect fit for your 2014 GMC Sierra 1500. The Rancho shock adds some lift at the front, thanks to which, you can fit larger wheels and tires. As far as suspension duties are concerned, with a 9-point adjustable ride, you won’t have to worry about achieving the perfect balance between a comfortable ride and good handling.
What’s the best shock for the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500?
The Bilstein B8 series of shocks are perfect for those who want a balance of off-roading and good on-road driving. The shock absorber is compatible with slightly raised trucks as well, has a monotube design for consistent performance, and its digressive valving ensures it adapts to rapidly changing driving conditions easily. You’ll need to shell out slightly more than usual for this shock absorber, but it’s going to be worth it.