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Replacing shocks

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Old 10-19-2016, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine: 5.9L V8
Default Replacing shocks
My '98 Ram 2500 standard cab 44 needs new shocks. I'm fairly certain that the suspension has been lifted by a previous owner. The existing shocks are dirty and rusty enough that reading the model number off of them is impossible.

1) How can I figure out what size of shocks to buy as replacements? I'm a newbie to the world of lifted trucks, but I understand the shocks have to be sized to the number of inches of lift. (My WAG is 4" or 6" but I don't want to order new shocks based on guesswork. )

2) Any wisdom on brands/models of shocks to buy is appreciated. The truck's primary duty is towing a 39' gooseneck horse trailer. (Roughly 9000# loaded trailer weight) It gets driven 3-4 times/wk, and I'm expecting to keep it for >>5 years. I'd love some "Does the job and lasts forever" type shocks

3) Are there any specific parts I should inspect/ replace while changing the shocks?

FWIW, I'm a pretty decent DIY mechanic and shouldn't needed much hand holding.

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Old 10-23-2016, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ram Year: 1997
Engine: 5.2
I have never owned them, but Bilsteins are something I would recommend. I recently put a set on my dad's f350 and it was quite noticeable how much better they were than the other shocks he had. He tows anything from 5th wheels that are over 30 feet long, to flatbed trailers with material on them. I work with people who had them on their truck and have had them on for more than a few years and they still ride great.

I myself just bought fabtech shocks simply because I have a huge 5.5" long arm lift on mine and I figured I would just replace with the same ones that are on it now. I have had Rancho shocks on a few vehicles and they last, but they are pretty stiff. My buddy has them on his 96 bronco that originally had a 302 5 speed in them. He put them on about 6 years ago. They are for a 4" lift. He swapped a 7.3 powerstroke and zf5 in about 6 months ago and they hold up to that extra weight and power quite well. Because of that I would recommend rancho to just about anybody after seeing them last as long as they have on his bronco and then with the added abuse from the diesel.

I don't think I have ever used the part store special brands or monroe shocks before, so I can't attest to what those are like personally.

Honestly, the only 2 ways I can think of to accurately determine the length of shocks on your truck now is to either get the model number (which I see you stated was basically impossible) or remove them and measure them. That being said, shocks generally have a range. The bilsteins I put on my dads f350 were listed as for trucks with a 4-5" suspension lift. He has a 4" lift on his so I assumed they would work, and they do. So if you posted a picture we might be able to tell you a ballpark. 3/4 and 1 tons sit higher from factory, and I believe on this generation dodge actually lifted the sport model 1500's an inch more so maybe they did the same on sport 3/4 as well. Don't quote me on that though.
If you have 35" tires on your truck, there's a pretty good chance it's lifted. I know some people said they have been able to stuff 35" tires under the stock height on these trucks, but my 01 2500 with a 24 valve had a 3" suspension lift and I had to smack the corner of the body out of the way in the rear of the front wheel wells for 35" tires to be able to turn.

Last edited by IrocRam; 10-25-2016 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 10-23-2016, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If your just going to keep the truck for a few years get a set of Monroes. They are good. I hope to keep my truck for a long time I'm going to spend the extra money and get the Bilstiens.

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Old 10-23-2016, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Find out how much lift you have first. If you're not sure post up a pic with the size of the tire from the sidewall


2001 Ram 1500 QCSB, 2" HBS level 285/70/17 Toyo OpenCountry AT2s, M1 2bbl, F&B 52x55mm TB, Pacesetter Longtube headers, CarvenTR, M1 91 Octane canned tune by FlyinRyan, 4.56 gears+Eaton TrueTrack remote start, HS 1.7 RRs, Custom RetroFit 6500K HID
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Guys hate to thread jack, but I am in a similar position. I have a 4.75 inch lift in the rear and need shocks 1999 2500 4x4 reg cab flatbed. I was able to make my stock factory shocks fit after the lift but they are literally maxed out and have no travel. I know the different brands of shocks and places to buy etc. but does anyone have model numbers or links to shocks for 4 inch lift or greater?
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am thinking about these, would this be correct for the amount of lift?

Bilstein 24-191203 Shock Absorber
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