Best Shocks For 2500HD Duramax – 2021 Reviews

| Last Updated: December 25, 2021

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Heavy Duty trucks are critical for moving heavy loads, traveling long distances, transportation, and much more. Their extreme performance requires a robust engine equipped with the best and toughest of parts. To support the large heightened tires and movement on rough terrains, such as for 2500HD Duramax trucks, a responsive and sturdy shock absorber is a must. The shocks need to be able to withstand stress without failing quickly and reduce downtime and labor. Good shock absorbers are a one-time investment that keep your truck up and going.

Comparison Chart of the Best Shocks For 2500hd Duramax

  • Supports from 0-6" lift
  • Zinc coating resists corrosion
  • Significantly improves 'lean' when turning
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  • Best for the Money
  • Ideal for stock ride height
  • Provides improved control and stability
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  • For vehicles at factory height
  • All necessary washers, bushings, and nuts included
  • Unique and patented rebound valving system
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  • Perfect to upgrade suspension performance
  • Rubber boot to protect the shaft
  • Gives up to 40% more damping performance
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  • Designed as a direct solution for lifted trucks
  • Feature monotube design for consistent fade-free performance
  • Assure optimal performance
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What Size of Shocks Do I Need?

The size of shocks you would need depends upon the intended use of your truck. Usually, stock shocks are enough to carry out most tasks, but some also require a stronger suspension system with a lift into the truck. Most shock absorber models are adjustable and can be increased or decreased in length, enabling users to set a suitable lift for the truck as needed.

To measure the size of the shocks that your truck needs, you need to take a few measurements. After parking your vehicle on a flat surface, measure the static height between the chassis mounting point and the suspension mounting point. In a compressed situation, the upper arm would be hitting the bump stop.

To get the measurements, measure from the bump stop down to the control arm and subtract the readings obtained from the static length. For an extended length, you need to lift the car so that the tire is just barely touching the ground. 

Now measure the length between the chassis mounting point down to the suspension for extended length measurements. With these readings, you can decide upon the shocks needed for your vehicle.

For towing and hauling heavy weights or loaded carriers or for off-roading in muddy and rough terrains, it is advisable to get shock absorbers that support a little lift to the truck’s body so that the truck does not buckle under large amounts of weight with its bumpers hitting speed breakers, nor does it get damaged by the rocks on the rough terrains.

Small-sized shock absorbers are, on the other hand, usually used for small vehicles and lightweight applications.

How to Pick 2500HD Duramax Shocks

The right choice of shock absorbers for your four-wheelers depends on how you plan on using the truck. Generally, Heavy Duty trucks are used for extreme off-roading and hauling heavy weights. However, they might also be used for regular drives on flat plains or for carrying lightweight objects between places.

Hydro vs. Nitro Shock Absorbers

The two types of shocks differ on the basis of material used to regulate the temperature when heat is generated after the rebounding of a compressed shock. The hydro shocks use oils to do so and are generally less expensive. However, the oil might form bubbles which make the shocks inactive. The hydro shocks are utilized for daily commutes.

The Nitro shocks use pressurized nitrogen gas to cool the system. Gas doesn’t form bubbles, and hence, these shocks are characterized for more heavy-duty functioning, involving driving on rough patches. Owning to their extreme performance, they are also a bit expensive.

Nitro Shock components (Source)

Adjustable vs. Non-Adjustable

This is another important characteristic to consider to ensure your vehicle delivers maximum performance. The non-adjustable shocks are more stable as the adjustment cannot change. They are used for trucks that perform a limited number of known tasks. The adjustable shocks can be optimized in length, depending upon the need at that moment. They offer more versatility in the truck’s usability, from off-roading and towing to commuting between plain terrains.

Seller Brand

Like all car parts, serious consideration needs to be put in the brand you buy the shocks from. Different brands have different specifications, and some shocks are better than others. The details lie in your annual mileage and the type of driving you do. In terms of car parts, longevity and quality are associated with price, but there are reputable brands out there with some affordable yet great options.

Review of the Best Shocks For 2500HD Duramax

A 2500HD Duramax truck would give high performance in the most extreme of conditions and hence, would require shocks that support its actions and adventures. Below we have reviewed some of the best available shock absorber options for a 2500HD Duramax.

Best Overall:
Bilstein B8 5100 Shocks

Bilstein B8 5100


  • Includes shock boots to protect them from flying dirt and stones
  • Gas-charged shock absorbers made to endure extreme driving conditions
  • Suitable collapsed and extended lengths for off-roading and heavy towing
  • Independent rebound compression keeps the machinery working on all surfaces
  • Zinc finish gives a smooth end product that works well with the whole suspension


  • Not supported by a satisfaction guarantee
  • Shocks become stiff when hauling or transporting heavy loads

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have found great ease and performance in these shock absorbers. They were so easy to install that most purchasers installed them themselves in their own garages. Along with that, they improve the overall suspension by a great score. The drive becomes smooth, and the change is so drastic that it is instantly noticed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The shocks feature a gas pressured monotube for utmost and fade-free performance. Its high flow piston reduces harshness, and the deflecting disk valve is self-adjusting. It is a great addition to the suspension system and gives superior control for large diameter tires. Fit to enhance the working capabilities of your heavy-duty truck, the shocks are built to give consistent performance.

Who Will Use This Most

These shocks are especially useful for off-road adventures and transportation. They cushion your engine against the most unforgiving and brutal of roads and work fine under all weather conditions, be it snowy roads, sandy desserts, or rocky mountain tracks. It, however, becomes a little stiff once the additional pulling weight of around half a ton is added to the truck.

Bottom Line

The Bilstein shocks are a great option to maximize your truck’s capability and give smoothness to the ride. They are gas pressured, meaning they are built for extreme usage and to be pushed beyond limits. They drive quite a mileage before they need a replacement and would protect your truck for long.

Best for the Money:
Bilstein 4600 Series Shock Absorbers

Bilstein B6 4600


  • Includes both front and rear shocks
  • Compatible with all Chevy models from 2001-2010
  • Easy to install without the need to visit the mechanic
  • Monotube design regulates heat quickly and is protected by a zinc finish
  • Gas-charged heating mechanism will not fade even under extreme conditions


  • Does not include a shock boot
  • You need to be very clear about the part numbers as these shocks are available for a lot of truck models

What Recent Buyers Report

With these shocks, the recent riders have found their trucks to drive equally well on rough surfaces as they do on smooth. The shocks have provided great stability and control over the truck while the truck feels more planted and less bouncy. Even though they are a little stiff, the stiffness doesn’t have any negative effect on its towing capability.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Bilstein 4600 Series Shock Absorbers are not only the best deal for the buck, but they also provide great comfort. They are easy to install; they only need to be bolted on without the need for modifications and give incredible control over your vehicle, which makes handling them so much easier. The control, combined with stability, promises a performance like no other.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is perfect for use by heavy-duty truck owners involved in all sorts of activities. Be it towing and transporting large and heavy loads or moving off the road for recreation or work, these shocks will cater to all needs. It is built with intelligent technologies that counter modern-day driving problems.

Bottom Line

To put it simply, this product is an investment that does not empty your bank account, yet gives the optimal comfort. The shocks would be a great addition to your truck and even greater experience, as they smooth out the drive and put all the control in your hands, making the vehicle move with stability over all sorts of land.

3. Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Set


  • Compatible with 4WD and 2WD vehicles
  • Contains a total of 4 shocks: 2 rear and 2 front
  • Supported by a limited parts lifetime guarantee
  • Progressive Engagement Valving gives stability and control
  • Gas pressurized shocks ensure the shocks are active all the time and avoid shock fade


  • Ride guarantee is limited to only 90 days
  • Shock boots to protect shocks against debris are not included

What Recent Buyers Report

These shocks were very easy to install and did not require a mechanic’s expertise to do so. After the installation, they boosted the ride performance by quite some degree, and the ride became smooth and stable. It got easier to control the truck and direct it to various directions. The shocks were responsive and withheld rough terrains as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These shocks have a large body that is supported by an all-weather fluid, which, in combination, produces a very efficient cooling system that is capable of enduring very high internal temperatures. The Progressive engagement Valving further tackles potholes and rough terrains by regulating the flow of fluid through the tube.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit works well for both pulling heavy weights and enduring rough and stony lands. The piston and the valve work in unison to allow a steady flow of fluid, which in turn, minimizes the impact upon encountering a rough road. The shocks are non-stiff and flexible, which is ideal for towing and hauling weight.

Bottom Line

These shocks are more capable when it comes to towing and hauling, thanks to their liquid flow design and responsiveness. They deal with shocks from hitting potholes with ease and can travel great distances supporting heavy loads.

4. KYB 565102 MonoMax Gas Shock


  • Rubber boot for shock absorber’s protection is included
  • Enhanced damping performance gives greater protection against shocks
  • Shock is adjustable and the length adjustability gives versatility in usability
  • Monotube design for optimal performance and cooling with supreme stability
  • Extended Length of 15.59” and compressed length of 11.06” is ideal for recovering from forceful impact


  • Mounting brackets are not included
  • Correct adjustable length for various uses might be difficult to find

What Recent Buyers Report

The shocks have turned out to work very well for Heavy Duty trucks. They support heavy loads and can endure harsh roads. The monotube design has withstood aggressive driving, and the shocks have significantly reduced braking and accelerating roll. They provide incredible stability over bumpy roads and a little bounce over smooth ones.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Heavy-duty trucks need the support of high performing shock absorbers, and these KYP models provide just that. The fade-free performance provides stability and puts all the handling control in your hands. The stainless steel body is resistant to corrosion, making the shocks last long no matter what weather conditions it encounters.

Who Will Use This Most

Bumpy paths or smooth roads, these shocks would tackle all sorts of plains and terrains, and are able to encounter snow, mud, water, and sand without fading in performance. When it comes to towing or hauling, the adjustable shocks support the extreme performance and keep the truck stable. It would make the most humongous of trucks feel like a lightweight car.

Bottom Line

This unit would level out your vehicle for smooth performance and handle the shocks from the road upon rough impact. It is reliable and built with state-of-the-art technology. The adjustability also gives versatility in use by varying the length of the shock.

5. Bilstein 24-186735 Front Shock


  • Front lift of 2-2.5” supports your vehicle on inclines
  • Utilize gas to maintain temperature during compressions
  • Includes shock boots to protect the shocks against mud, dirt, and grit
  • Zinc plated finishing gives smooth and corrosion protected end results
  • Suitable collapsed and extended length give cushioned protection against the road’s wear and tear


  • Includes only the front shocks
  • Supported by only a 90days guarantee
  • Won’t give optimal performance unless paired with rear shocks as well

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are thoroughly enjoying the improvement in their rides after replacing their worn-out shocks with these. Easy installment without the use of fancy tools, followed by an upgraded and enhanced drive performance in case of off-roading, as well as weight transporting, is what users are tremendously appreciating. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Consistency, longevity, performance, and durability are all packed in this shock absorber. It gives the truck a stable lift of 2-2.5” that would support the vehicle on downhill travel. The gas-charged temperature regulation would further maintain the system’s temperature without hindrance.

Who Will Use This Most

Drivers who need a little bit of a lift for whatever purpose on their truck would really find this unit useful. Moreover, it is suitable for driving in challenging lands, as well for hauling and towing large amounts of weights. In both cases, the shock offers prime performance and versatile usability.

Bottom Line

The shocks don’t go stiff under significant weight and can carry heavy loads to great distances. They promise enhanced performance and a smooth ride under all weather, road conditions, and weights. They are built using the latest technologies and materials to counter the problems of urban and rural driving.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

A few things that need to be considered before you invest in a shock absorber are discussed below:

Driving Conditions

Different usages are associated with heavy trucks. They are great for inter-city travel and daily driving or commuting while being equally capable of tackling rough roads or bumpy, rocky paths. They can be used as a family ride and can double as a tow truck or a load transporter. They can support heavy weights and transport them to great distances. Due to this versatility in usage, the shock absorbers available in the market vary in characteristics. The best model suited to your vehicle depends upon the intended use and driving conditions for the truck.


A good shock absorber will last long and would give you quite a mileage before it shows signs of wear and tear. However, being supported by a guarantee is always a plus point when the vehicle is intended to endure harsh conditions. A warranty backed car part is always a priority.

Custom Modification

In order to achieve your desired customization with the shocks, it is preferred to use Coilover sport shocks that would be adjustable, and you would be able to give your car the desired lift. The Coilover sport shocks support the vehicle well as it jolts, but might be a little stiff when it comes to towing heavy weights.

How to Replace Front Shocks on a 2500 Duramax

1. Raise the vehicle above the ground and remove its front tire.

2. To remove tension from the existing shocks, jack up the control arm.

3. Spray the bolts of the shocks with penetrable oil for easy removal.

4. Secure the shock with an adjustable wrench and use a 15mm wrench to remove the nut to unbolt the top of the shock.

5. Similarly, remove the nuts on the bottom of the same shock.

6. Using an adjustable wrench, secure the bolt.

7. Now use a breaker bar to break it loose.

8. Your existing shock is removed.

9. Take the new shock and place the washers and the cushions on its end.

10. Now, put the shock in the designated place from where you removed the previous one.

11. Put on the 15mm nuts and screw them in. Put both the top and bottom nuts in place.

12. Put the wheel back and tighten the lug nuts with your hand.

13. Lower the vehicle and torque them in place, securing the tire in position.

14. Repeat the same process on the other side.

For a visual representation, make sure to refer to the video below:

How to Replace Rear Shocks on a 2500HD

1. Raise your truck using a Jack tool.

2. Remove the rear tire and separate it from the car body.

3. Spray some penetrating oil on the bolts of the shock for easy removal.

4. Using a pipe or a breaker bar as leverage at the bottom of the bolt, take a 21mm socket and use it on the bolt.

5. At this point do not remove the bolt, just disengage the nuts.

6. After removing the nut from the top bolt, remove it from the bottom bolt.

7. First, remove the bottom bolt and then the top bolt.

8. Pull the shock-free out of place.

9. Next, take your new shocks and put them in the same place as the previous ones.

10. Put the top and bottom bolts in place and tighten the nuts.

11. Lower your vehicle and put the tire back.

12. Both your front and rear shocks are now in place.

For a better understanding of the replacement process, you can refer to the video below:


Selecting the right shocks for your truck is a tricky and sensitive business. They are a heavy and long term investment and need the most suited options depending upon the use of your truck. The market is saturated with a wide variety of shock absorbers, each with their own features. However, your decision should be based on your need, and the unit should be strong and durable enough to support the ultra-performance of a 2500HD truck.

People Also Ask

There might be a few queries that may have remained unanswered or some questions that might arise in your mind. Here we have answered the most sought after questions related to buying the best shocks for a 2500HD truck.

How Do You Tell if Your Shocks Are Bad on a Truck?

There are a few signs that might point towards a wearing set of shocks and hinting a replacement. These include:

1. The vehicle is making discernible noises when moving over bumps.

2. You observe swaying or excessive body leans upon taking a turn.

3. Sharp diving of the vehicle front during hard braking.

4. Out of control steering and uneven tire wear.

What Does a Bad Shock Sound Like?

When the shocks wear out, they lose their ability to support the strut. As the strut loses support, it buckles, and the resulting metal to metal contact produces a knocking sound from the front or rear tires. The knocking sound is quite loud and distinct and is produced with every turn of the wheel.

How Tight Should Front Shocks Be on an 06 Duramax?

The torque rating for each shock is different. While most manufacturers do not recommend a set tightening torque for the shocks, they do recommend to avoid using a rattle gun and use a spanner instead to tighten the shocks. This avoids over-tightening and still secures the shock in place. A rear shock usually has 70 to 75 foot-pounds of torque for tightening, while a front shock has a 110-120 foot-pound torque for secure tightening.

Sean comes from the forums actually and drives an OBS Ford. He writes fantastic DIYs and knows his way around a camera, too. We keep him caffeinated and away from DPF filters to avoid another rant about recent emissions restrictions.