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How Do I Choose the Best 4x4 Shocks?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When planning on a purchase of new shocks for your 4x4 vehicle, there are several things to examine and consider to ensure that you get the best 4x4 shocks. The primary factor in determining whether or not you will get the best 4x4 shocks is the intended use of the vehicle. Suspension modifications and tire size are also important determining factors in the purchase of any type of shock package. You must also decide if the shocks will be required to fall under manufacturer's guidelines for warranty replacement. Ultimately, performance, warranty and visual appeal are surpassed only by cost for many consumers looking to get the best 4x4 shocks for their vehicle.

The shock absorber is responsible for both the handling characteristics as well as the ride quality of any vehicle. When attempting to choose the best 4x4 shocks, the type of use that the vehicle will undergo is the main criteria to be considered. For vehicles that will see primary use on public roadways, 4x4 shocks that aid in the stability of the vehicle in sudden turns as well as rapidly changing road conditions are commonly the best choice. In the event that the vehicle will see the majority of its operational time off-road, a shock that effectively dampens sharp and sudden bumps and holes will typically prove to be the best choice. As the off-road vehicle tops steep hills, the vehicle will usually stretch the suspension to its limits before crashing down and bottoming it out.

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The addition of radical or even subtle suspension modifications in the form of suspension lifts can drastically affect the 4x4 shocks. By installing the wrong length shock on a lifted vehicle, the 4x4 will operate with the shock absorber already stretched to its near capacity. This will cause the vehicle to lift the tire off of the ground prematurely and give the driver less control of the vehicle as well as a much harsher ride quality. The proper shock will commonly operate in the middle of its travel range while the vehicle is riding flat and level.

There are many different levels of 4x4 shocks on the market. Some of these shocks can cost as much as a small car and are intended for all performance vehicles. These shocks can be rebuilt and can be customized to each individual vehicle and type surface, however, they are not intended for daily use. The best 4x4 shocks will offer the best of both handling and performance on a daily basis.

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