The key component to a smooth and comfortable ride is the shock absorber. This is the unit that connects your wheelbase to the vehicle frame and blocks all the roads imperfections from jolting you into oblivion.
The larger the vehicle, the stronger the absorbers must be and sturdier too, for the basis weight of the vehicle is the beginning weight that the shock absorbers must be able to handle. When driving a Chevy Tahoe, you will immediately have to factor in added equipment and materials weight, apart from the passengers.
- The 5 Best Shocks for Chevy Tahoe:
- REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST
- Look at these Chevy Tahoe shocks:
- 1. Bilstein 24-187237 Rear Shock for GM Tahoe/Avalanche
- 2. Bilstein 24-104050 Heavy-Duty Gas Shock Absorber
- 3. BILSTEIN FRONT & REAR SHOCKS FOR 07-14 CHEVY AVALANCHE SUBURBAN TAHOE YUKON & XL 1500 WITH A 0″ TO 2.5″ LIFT
- 4. Bilstein 24-026703 Front Shock for GM Tahoe/Yukon 2WD 4 Door HD
- 5. KYB 345030 Excel-G Gas Shock
- 6. KYB KG54327 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock
- 7. KYB 344381 Excel-G Gas Shock
- 8. Rancho RS5265 RS5000 Series Shock
- 9. Rancho RS999262 RS9000XL Series Shock
- 10. Skyjacker B8527 Black MAX Shock Absorber with Black Boot
The 5 Best Shocks for Chevy Tahoe:
- Bilstein 24-187237 Shock Absorbers -- the best shocks for Chevy Tahoe
- Bilstein 24-104050 Heavy-Duty Gas Shock Absorber
- BILSTEIN FRONT & REAR SHOCKS FOR 07-14 CHEVY
- Bilstein 24-026703 Front Shock Absorber
- KYB 345030 Excel-G Gas Shock Absorber
|Photo||Product name||Model||Weight||More information|
|1. Bilstein 24-187237 Rear Shock for GM Tahoe/Avalanche||24-187237||5.5 pounds||View on Amazon|
|2. Bilstein 24-104050 Heavy-Duty Gas Shock Absorber||24-104050||3.7 pounds||View on Amazon|
|3. Bilstein Front Rear Shock Absorbers for Avalanche Tahoe Yukon / XL Suburban 1500||Bilstein||6 pounds||View on Ebay|
|4. Bilstein 24-026703 Front Shock for GM Tahoe/Yukon 2WD 4 Door HD||Bilstein||4.41 pounds||View on Amazon|
|5. KYB 345030 Excel-G Gas Shock||345030||6.7 pounds||View on Amazon|
|6. KYB KG54327 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock||KG54327||3.5 pounds||View on Amazon|
|7. KYB 344381 Excel-G Gas Shock||344381||3.2 pounds||View on Amazon|
|8. Rancho RS5265 RS5000 Series Shock||RS5265||4.2 pounds||View on Amazon|
|9. Rancho RS999262 RS9000XL Series Shock||RS999262||8.2 pounds||View on Amazon|
|10. Skyjacker B8527 Black MAX Shock Absorber with Black Boot||Black MAX||6.15 pounds||View on Amazon|
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.
Good shock absorbers will provide ample comfort over a long time, but just as important as your comfort; they will maintain your vehicles integrity. Just think what all the bumps can do to your body, and now imagine how the cars frame and parts would feel without shock absorbers. Within a few hours your engine would most probably drop off, and most of the smaller parts would shake loose and break free of their restraining joints.
While smaller non-commercial vehicles sight needs less rugged shock absorbers, commercial vehicle requires only the best since they go off road a lot, and are bound to suffer a lot of rough terrain driving. This review is focused on the Chevrolet Tahoe, and we present to you the worlds leading shock absorbers for this model range.
Look at these Chevy Tahoe shocks:
Bilstein is one of the leading automotive industry parts manufacturers and is well known for their large and versatile range of products for just about every type of commercial vehicle around. The Bilstein B8 5100 which is the 24-187237 model is specifically designed for use with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Avalanche.
Before you buy any model, you must check the dimensions and fit, and only then invest in buying the best option you can budget. In most cases, shock absorbers will not be the most expensive part of buying for your Tahoe.
The B8 500 is a velocity sensitive, digressive piston mechanism that absorbs all road and off-road conditions, providing you with a very comfortable and safe ride.
- Body Design: 46mm ID smooth body (Non-Coilover),
- Boot Included: Black bellows,
- Collapsed Length (MM): 395,
- Extended Length (MM): 618,
- Finish: Zinc plated,
- Internal Design: Monotube,
- Upper and Lower Mount Type: Eye 14.1mm,
This is the Bilstein heavy duty gas shock absorber that provides an instantaneous adjustment to changes in the road surface. This is the ideal haulage and off-road shock absorber unit since it maintains a smooth environment even on the roughest surface conditions.
The B6 model, 24-104050 is a mono-tube design that maintains a constant high performance that does not gradually decline from age, use or heat, and you don’t need to adjust manually.
This model provides expert service for pulling transporters and trailers, or when taking frequent journeys with loads. It works in both day-to-day and extreme conditions. This model uses BILSTEIN gas pressure technology combined with BILSTEIN mono-tube/Upside-Down technology.
3. BILSTEIN FRONT & REAR SHOCKS FOR 07-14 CHEVY AVALANCHE SUBURBAN TAHOE YUKON & XL 1500 WITH A 0″ TO 2.5″ LIFT
Bilstein B8 5100 shock absorbers have a gas pressure monotube designed specifically for lifted trucks, SUVs and Jeeps. The shocks feature a 46mm digressive piston with self-adjusting deflective disc valving. Bilstein B8 5100 shock absorbers offer superior damping ability that makes them ideal for heavy hauling or occasional off-road use, while maintaining an exceptional street ride. Bilstein B8 5100 shock absorbers feature a zinc-plated steel body for resistance to harsh off-road elements.
This amazing set is the Bilstein 5100 Series Monotube Shock Absorbers, 2 Fronts, and 2 Rear. The set includes two Bilstein # 24-186940 46mm Front Shocks, and two Bilstein # 24-187237 46mm Rear Shocks. These are high gas pressure monotube shocks designed specifically for the Tahoe model as well as other trucks and SUV’s.
This model is known for its durability and road comfort, so you won’t go wrong buying this one.
- Collapsed Length: 12.95″ (329.00mm)
- Extended Length: 18.48″ (469.39mm)
- Collapsed Length: 15.55″ (394.97mm)
- Extended Length: 24.33″ (617.98mm)
This model is suitable for all Tahoe models dating 2007-2014
- With 0″ to 2″ of Lift in the Front
- With 0″ to 1.5″ of Lift in the Rear
- Including Base, Hybrid, LS, LT, and Z71
Another great Bilstein product, this is the 4600 series are gas pressure monotube shocks designed specifically for the older Tahoe models and work with 1995 & 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe. This is a non-adjustable model that comes with a black rubber bushing.
This is a great road worthy model, you get the best performance on road conditions, so don’t buy this if you intend to drive on rough tracks.
- Finish: Yellow paint,
- Internal Design: Monotube,
- Lower Mount Type: Bar Pin,
- Upper Mount Type: Stem,
Another great manufacturer of Chevrolet Tahoe body parts is KYB. What KYB does is fabricate as near to the original manufacturer’s specifications as possible, so you get the exact performance levels you received when the vehicle was brand new.
The KYB 345030 Excel-G Gas Shock is a nitrogen gas-filled twin tubed piston with Teflon coating. It comes with a triple coating of chrome plating for extra resistance to corrosion, a multi-lip oil seal to reduce wear, and solid, seamless mounting eye rings and bolt bushings designed to eliminate rattles.
This is the KYB Gas-a-Just monotube shock absorber that comes with a high gas pressure design providing instantaneous control over all surface conditions.
This model has a few advantages over the twin-tube models, in that it can adjust itself automatically, it also doesn’t suffer from aeration fade. This particular model the Gas-a-Just can be used as an OE monotube replacement or as an OE Twin-tube performance upgrade.
The reason this piston is unique is that it comes with two separate working chambers. The first chamber includes the KYB air-free hydraulic piston and valve area, and the second chamber provides high-pressure nitrogen gas area with a floating piston. These two chambers work in symbiosis to provide a reactive and comfortable driving condition.
This is an air-free hydraulic unit, that is calibrated to help restore the original handling and control characteristics through its monotube design.
This is the KYB Excel-G gas shock and strut that respond to changing road conditions using a velocity-sensitive valving system. This model comes with sintered-iron pistons and guides rods that provide the strength along the hard-chrome piston rods that give you durability. The seamless cylinders and eye rings eliminate weak points found in competing brands.
Excel-G shocks and struts have a patented check valve that is designed to minimize foaming and aeration, which helps maintain control through tough conditions. This model features the KYB twin chamber system.
The first chamber includes the KYB air-free hydraulic piston and valve area, and the second chamber provides high-pressure nitrogen gas area with a floating piston. These two chambers work together providing an instantaneous reactive and comfortable driving environment.
The Rancho RS5265 is a highly versatile ten stage velocity sensitive valving and a protective red polyvinyl boot to keep your rod and oil seals protected from the environment.
The loops are double welded for increased durability, and it comes with an expanded tube body diameter allowing more fluid carrying capacity, which leads to a cooler maintained shock absorption operation. The piston is fluon gas filled, and the bushings are specialized black rubber.
This is a classic non-adjustable model, and it gives you great performance on and off road.
- 1 3/8” (35 millimeter) Diameter Piston.
- 5/8” (16 millimeter) Diameter Piston Rod.
- Compressed length: 10.950
- Extended length: 15.390
- Travel length: 4.440
The Rancho® RS9000™XL is a 9-position adjustable model that provides nine levels of performance. This is the worlds 9-position manually adjustable ride control series for the off-road market. The adjustable damping process improves the ride characteristics by counteracting additional non-sprung mass found in larger tire and wheel combinations
- 2.75-in. (70mm) tri-tube body for cooler operations via increased fluid capacity
- 18mm Nitro-Carb rod to increase scuffing resistance and provide added corrosion protection
- 9-position tuning technology that enables you to adjust for optimal performance in any environment
- Graphite-filled, Fluon banded piston that gives you a smoother travel with improved responsiveness
- 1-1/4-in. Diameter Sintered Iron piston that provides better structural conformity
- Rebound Bumper that controls rebound motion during harsh track conditions
- Low-Friction, self-lubricating as an extra layer of defense
- Protective red polyvinyl boot for shock rod and oil seal protection
This is the Skyjacker® Black MAX Shock Absorber that sits on the rear wheelbase of the Tahoe. Skyjacker has over 40 years’ experience in developing and supplying spare parts for the automotive industry, and their parts are exceptional in design and performance.
They use an advanced foam technology that increases the fluid capacity as well as maximizing heat dissipation. The design is a twin tube chrome plated shaft, and there is a 360-degree arc welded mount with a 180 degree directional mounting for sturdy reliability.
- Extended; 24.75 in
- Collapsed; 14.54 in
- Black polyvinyl boot for protection
Types of Shock Absorbers
Let’s have a quick look at the four different types of shock absorbers there are on the market, and help you decide which one is best for you.
Twin-tube shock absorbers are the common and popular choice of most drivers today. The design incorporates an inner and outer tube, where the outer tube is a hydraulic fluid reservoir, and the inner one is where the piston operates.
The operation is simple fluid mechanics when the piston is forced down during compression, oil moves into the designated space between the two tubes, oil moves from under the piston upwards through the valves on the piston, and this lowers downward movement. The rebound action is when the lower tube valves resist the upwards oil movement through the opening s above the tube. The stabilization chamber provides oil balancing, and that is why you get smooth movements.
These are low-pressure chambers, as such, the friction is also low, and therefore there is no overheating.
The process can remain efficient even when the shell casing is lightly damaged.
gas pressure is maintained at a minimal level in the base valve; this assures a smooth ride.
Due to a lower oil capacity, the system is less efficient than others.
The structural design limits installation angles.
Monotube shock absorbers are the product of design evolution that demanded the handling of more load bearing properties provided by the twin tube models. The monotube design has a single tube housing piston, oil, valves, and gas.
This system uses pressurized gas and oil for damping effect. During the compression phase, as the piston moves downwards, its top valves resists upwards oil movement which slows the movement.
During rebound, the piston moves up; this opens its lower valves that release the oil to move up slowly. Changing temperatures enable the separating valve to control air pressures which moves it either downwards or outwards.
- This design improves heat dissipation which leads to a more stable damping force
- There is no aeration since the oil and gas are separate.
- There are no installation restrictions.
- There is higher friction from high gas pressure on the seals
- If the shell is lightly damaged, performance will be affected.
Gas-filled Mono-tube Shocks
The gas-filled shocks are the next level of a monotube shock. These models use a combination of nitrogen and oil, which reduces bubbling leading to more consistent performances without fading. Therefore, these shocks are considered to be better for off-road conditions. The highly pressurized Nitrogen prevents heat formation, and this is why it’s more stable than oil. The end product is a high-performance heavy shock absorbing unit.
- The pressurized nitrogen removes heat formation.
- Nitrogen prevents foaming and oil bubbling, leading to improved performance.
- These units are expensive.
External Reservoir Shocks
You won’t find many Tahoe’s with this type of shock absorber, mainly due to their cost. These are high-performance racing shock absorbers found on professional motor racing vehicles.
The main difference between these shocks and the other models is the design; it is totally different. The oil reservoir is separated from the piston mechanism, as such this remote oil reservoir reduces aeration, increases oil circulation, thereby leading to a higher performance rating.
Since these shock absorbers can be sued on all terrains, they are best suited for racing and high-velocity driving.
- They have better cooling properties and produce less oil aeration
- They are easy to rebuild or exchange since they are modular
- They reduce the load bearing on wheels, which leads to improved road handling performance.
- These are extremely expensive
When do you replace shock absorbers?
These are the signs to look out for when driving, and if you do encounter one of them, change your shocks before it becomes dangerous to drive safely.
The older the vehicle, the older the parts. Part is not meant to survive forever; you need to replace them after a specific time has gone by. Usually, the manufacturer gives you the expected life cycle to replace. However, this also depends on how, where, and how frequently you drive. Age is not just time related, its time and load related.
If you sue roads and highways, and not much rough track, then your shocks will last well into the 100,000-mile zone. However, if you do a lot of off-road driving, and it doesn’t matter for what reason, you will expect to replace your shocks well before you reach 100,00 miles. In fact, you might need to replace them quite frequently.
If you don’t replace your shocks and you continue to drive with them, this will lead to unstable driving that affects every part of your vehicle. So apart from damaging your shocks even more due to the constant load bearing issues, you are adding damage to every other part in your vehicle. Don’t delay a replacement, or it will lead to more expenditure.
In many instances, shock absorbers that have been exposed to extreme circumstances can be damaged. The shell casing can be punctured, seals can be ripped, and pistons can be warped or cracked. Whatever the cause, be it rough road usage, a car accident or just bad parts, you need to replace the damaged unit immediately, before it impacts the rest of your car’s performance.
As with any product, you have to consider what is termed nonliner performance pricing, (NLPP) this is a professional way to buy simple products that have no more than two or three functions. Shock absorbers fit into this model clearly, and it is quite simple.
Make a table with the price your Y line, and the X line will be basic features you consider important, such as surface usage, external and internal length, cost of replacement, etc. Then place a dot where each model sits, where the higher the cost and the lower the functionality, means it’s not good value for money. You are looking for a balance between price and functionality.
There are different models demanding different prices, you have to balance the price versus the features you require, and while this is the first factor we are looking at, it is totally reliant on all the other factors to give it value.
Are you driving on roads and highways? Do you just need it to get to work and back? Maybe you drive around on weekends? The surface conditions and the frequency of use will determine this feature. If you lead a very active off-road life, perhaps in construction, or you just live in a rural area, then you have to consider this feature as the top priority.
If you use your Tahoe for racing, then obviously investment in the best parts is paramount to success. However, if you are only an average user, then you want to find the basic models that don’t rip a hole in your wallet.
Remember, the auto industry is not standardized; this means that all parts come in different sizes and gauges. Even between years of models, the parts can change. This has always been one of the major issues in car maintenance and why car maintenance is so expensive. How do you think car maintenance would make a living if everything was standardized and interchangeable?
So, check your vehicles year and a specific model, then check to see if this is included in the pack you want to buy. Do not buy if the manufacturer does not specifically note the unit is used for your vehicle.
Just with all products, there are reliable, sturdy materials and cheap substitutes. Shock absorbers are critical parts of your car; if you buy cheap ones, you will end up in the emergency ward. The cost of medical treatment might be covered by insurance, but lost time, pain and aggravation are not.
Do not buy cheap, this means buy from a recognized brand name, you don’t need to buy the most expensive ones, but buy one from a company that is proven to be customer centric and has been around for a while.
Most shock absorbers are not adjustable, take this into a note. Now, you don’t need an adjustable shock absorber for general use, like a family car. However, if you are a frequent off-road user or haulage user, then you might consider buying an adjustable unit.
Personally, an adjustable unit in the hands of an amateur, even an enthusiastic amateur can lead to problems. Although, if you do buy an adjustable unit, you can have your mechanic adjust it for specific needs, and this will always provide you with more opportunities to try out different surfaces and driving styles.
What kind to buy for specific uses:
Here is our comprehensive shock absorber list for deciding what kind you need for your specific requirements.
- Off-road truck: External reservoir shock absorbers
- Raised Off-road Truck: Monotube gas shock, longer aftermarket shocks
- Heavy Duty SUV: Air springs and monotube gas shocks
- Full-Size Van: Monotube shock
- Standard Pick up: Original equipment replacement shocks
- Standard SUV: Twin-tube shock absorber
Shock absorbers are as important as wheels; they connect you to the wheels that provide traction your car. The shock absorber takes away the bumpiness from rough surfaces and protects you and your car from unnecessary bodily damage. Investing in the best shock absorbers for your Chevy Tahoe means you are investing in your future, your safety, and your comfort. Oh, and the cost is really not that high.
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