I am needing to get some new shocks for my f250. It is a 1986 f250 4x4 reg cab long bed with a 460. What shocks should I get? I am wanting to get something that will be able to still haul to my gvwr (heavy duty version of f250.) but will still be able to handle some light offroading like going through a field or something. Not too concerned on if the ride is SUPER nice, just want to know I can haul and have a little fun without worrying about suspension and all.
I did a bunch of research on ride type (economy, original, performance, and heavy duty) when I was looking to buy shocks myself recently. Now you'll need to make sure the parts fit on your application, but here's the spreadsheet I built to compare parts/prices. The bilstein and rancho aren't listed because they were oppressively expensive. Enjoy!
Braggs- I like it. But, which shocks are which? I think the Monroe 370XX shocks are Sensa-tracs. Right?
Yeah, the 370XX are sensa-tracs. The 9110XX are the Reflex, and the 347XX are the gas magnum. The economy 590XX are gas-matic and the 322s are monroe-matic.
I ended up getting the Reflex Light-Truck shocks. Not sure if they're better or worse than any of the others but they seem to work ok. Whatever I got was better than the 30 year old Sears branded shocks that were on it.
My Sensa-tracs gave a much better ride than whatever was on the truck, and it handles loads better. I spent a long time on the phone with a Monroe tech and he recommended them for my usage - he was right.
I am liking the reflex ones so far! Just as long as I can still haul a load. Might do HD shocks in the rear and reflexes in the front but probably not. One thing is that 911034 on monroe's website is a picture of the kind we need but says image may vary and then below has a picture of the other kind. Ours has the little rod on the top for the front shocks you know and the other kind has a whole on both ends.. If I buy all 4 I dont want to be waiting just to get the wrong kind!
Yes, that sounds like the way my shocks were... "the little rod on the top for the front shocks" "and the other kind has a hole on both ends".
The part number determines the front/back, not the image. The front is 911034 and the rear is 911038. Many websites use stock photos, just be sure to get it from a "reputable" place.
From what I've read on other sites, the sensa-tracs are for a more comfortable ride and the reflex for better handling. Obviously, the HD shocks are for carrying heavier load without overheating so much (losing their ability to absorb shock) since it is a larger shock that holds more fluid. Then you can get the coil-overs which increase support (like adding springs) and then there are the auxiliary reservoir type (has another oil tube attached to the side connected with a hose) which also helps with heat management for off-roading.
Last edited by Braggs; 06-30-2016 at 02:21 PM.
According to the RockAuto page I found that part on, they were listed as "Original ride quality".
I would be very careful about what other web sites say about any vendors parts. I see way too many errors when someone interprets what another says.
I had a thread called What Shock and here's what I got from Adam at Monroe. His recommendations were:
Gas Magnums - Best if the truck is going to be used loaded more than 75% of the time. They'll handle the load very well, but will give a harsh ride when unloaded.
Reflex - Give the best handling the truck is capable of and would be good if the truck is loaded a lot of the time. But, will not have a smooth ride when unloaded.
Sensatracs - Best for trucks that aren't carrying heavy loads frequently. Will give the best ride and good handling as well. And, when the truck is loaded and the rear sags a bit the valving will move into the -firm- position and it will handle the load quite well. Given what I told him about how I use the truck he strongly recommended them for Dad's truck.
Good to know. I am thinking of reflexes for the front and HD for the rear. I dont really care about the comfort ride, its an old truck and I dont have to drive it far. Also gives it more of a "good old american truck feel" as my friends say. Though that is with worn out shocks. These new ones will probably still be more comfortable even though not aimed at comfort.
That last post i had at 1:36 was before I saw what you posted gary. Now it seems that if the sensa tracs are good for all then that is what i might go with. Was just thinking that the best comfort might not give the best load capacity but maybe i'm wrong. Mine is an f250 with the heavy duty gvwr so i wonder if they would provide enough support when fully loaded. I am only 16 and we have a newer f350 diesel, but I want to know I can haul if/when I need too.
Also gary, I was looking at your page and saw the 83 bronco. Looks amazing! Those wheels look newer though? I thought they were on the 92-96 fords? I am also looking at getting some newer wheels for my f250. Thinking 8 lug American racing outlaw 2's like on my f150. Or maybe the 90s style wheels. They look pretty sharp but maybe just a hair on the small side.
Call Monroe or go to their web site. Do not take Rock Auto's word for Monroe's product. It isn't just RA, but too many vendors do not communicate the OEM's words very well. What I posted is from a Monroe tech.