I have been known to haul stone, mulch, firewood, tile etc. a few times a year. I was looking for a way to basically keep off the bump stops. Or haul the stuff I'm gonna haul anyway a little safer. Or increase my payload capacity.
My latest project is laying 1"-3" stone down as a permanent mulch. At a yard per load I estimated it at 1 ton. I needed the upgrade before my first load.
I did my research and I started (and ended) at Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks with coil overs.
Timbrens, Helper Springs, Add-a-Leaf, Supersprings, Air suspensions...All options, and all good ones. If you only haul (like me) a few times a year, this is a sweet fix. On top of that, if you need new shocks and need a little extra payload capacity this is a great value. $110 from Advanced Auto.
It raised my back end approximately 1/2" after all said and done. Not visible to the eye. When they loaded the first load of stone I still had a 1"-2" off my bump stops. I think this is a great upgrade when you are replacing shocks if you tow also. It is one more way to keep your back end off the floor. As an engineer I like the way it more evenly distributes the load out.
I did not do a load without the coil-overs so I cannot give a before-after, but I can assure you I would be on my stops without the coil-overs.
And for all the haters - Everyone knows the truck is only safe up to the manufacturers recommendations and air springs are expensive and give you bragging rights. But installing air shocks for a few loads a year is just not all that appealing an upgrade.
A few notes:
- Installation of these bad boys is not standard. You need a way to compress the spring to get them on. If not for the spring, these can be installed (like the front shocks) by virtually anyone.
- Unlike the rest of these yahoo's I took my stock shocks off and all were fine. 68,000 miles stock shocks. Brought them to my neighbor who owns muffler shop and does shocks also. As a note within a note, he has an GMC Sierra with 120,000 miles with original shocks. Change your shocks if they don't pass the jump on the bumper test and or if you want brighter colors. But save your money if after 20,000 miles you assume they're "shot."
- The ride was not noticeably different. And I did all 4 shocks. (Only the rear are coil-overs)
- If you need advice on how I got these installed ask and I'll describe. I'm not a mechanic and had never done shocks before.
Glad you like em! My only concern with them is that the rear shock mounts were not designed to bear weight. I have seen similar setups that have resulted in broken shock mounts, usually an upper. Buddy had this type of coil over helper shock on his truck, travelling down the interstate, a rear upper shock mount broke causing the shock (the one in front of the rear axle) to pivot down on the bottom mount and start scraping on the road. The shock caught on the road and pole vaulted the rear of that side of the truck up off the ground which then broke the bottom mount and the shock. Truck did a 360 as the truck bounced back down at 60 mph. He was luckliy able to drive away. Anyway the point is, just keep an eye on your shock mounts!
For all the people that only tow or haul a few times a year, the air bags are an EXTREMELY appealing upgrade (and arguably the best all around) because when you're not towing or hauling, you return your truck to it's original ride height and quality. Air bags ride completely unnoticeable when not pressurized. Well worth the money.
Of all your options, you picked about the worst one you could pick.
And your comments about stock shocks being fine after that many miles, and your buddy with 100k+...ahhh never mind. Not even going there.
I agree with Rotested also...and as an engineer, you probably should have known that those shock mounts are not designed to support that kind of load. They normally don't support any load.
Rotested - Points well taken. I kept an eye on the attach points and all are still structurally sound (at least visibly). However, my shocks are both behind the axle. I've noticed most manufacturers are going to the one in front-one in back. i.e. a failure will not pole vault my truck albeit not a welcome event. All that being said I went under the truck again to look at the top attach points. I'm not sure what year your buddies was, but the top mount on mine is a frame piece and has a another piece of steel reinforcing that.
Galaxy - Your comments are kind of embarrassing.
...and as an engineer, you probably should have known that those shock mounts are not designed to support that kind of load. They normally don't support any load.
Although you are correct that the mounts normally do not support any load, you are wrong they aren't designed to support any load. Your mere statement "SHOCK mounts are not designed to support that kind of load" is ridiculous. Shock mounts are designed to support tons of load [literally], i.e. a SHOCK load. When you hit a bump with 500lbs in your bed and the tires are sent up, do you not think the shocks and mounts are catching and stopping tons of force? (hint: they are).
As far as my buddy with 100K + on his shocks - I only point that out because if you read this site you'll find a bunch of people trying to justifying "upgrades" by saying everything stock on the truck is junk. Shocks, intake, tires, exhaust...If you are paying 35K for a truck that requires that many upgrades - you probably bought a Dodge. Before you spend the money to upgrade your 20K stock shocks, jump on the bumper and see if they do their job. Or buy the brightly colored shocks, put the sticker in the back window.
You think jumping up and down on a parked vehicle is a good indication of a shocks performance?? One of the reasons sooooo many guys on here swear by new shocks that early is because all these people have gone out and got good shocks, only to put them on and discover "holy cow, the stocks ones were junk!! Most guys don't have to justify the upgrade...thy do it cause ts worth while and they (we) just enjoy spending money and upgrading our trucks. I challenge your buddy (and you) to buy new shocks and come back and say "yep...my stockers were perfectly A-OK".
My tone was probably a little out of line, but so were your comments about the "yahoos" that like to upgrade their shocks and the air bags being just for bragging rights...both of which are far from accurate.
as soon as i can get to this, im switching to bilsteins 5100s all around, and im gonna put the stickers on the back window....heck ill lift it too and say the stock suspension was crap because it made my truck look like a car!!
u only have 13 posts good luck on this forum with that attitude? ur talking about bragging and showing off, u bought shocks from the corner store that sells car parts and your bragging about them too, dont go off callin people yahoos up in here cuz yah aint nobody to do so missy
Originally Posted by MGDfan
This is an adult truck forum -
What more do you need? A box of kleenex? Are ye a Millennial perhaps? Sorry - if yer looking fer hand-holding, Fisher-Price is down the street.....
Your shock mounts may be holding up for now but sooner or later, they will fail. They were not designed to take any weight.
A truck is designed to handle only so much weight. You may get away overloading it for one time but even that one time will set it up for premature failure. The more often it happens, the sooner the failure. When it will happen is a crap shoot but it will happen. I worked 30 years in heavy industry driving trucks and forklifts and we had plenty of classes on this.
Adding springs will not increase capacity. Capacity is determined by the frame, axles, wheels and tires, drivetrain components, etc. All adding springs does is to keep you from sagging and will give you a false sense of security if you overload the truck beyond its rated capacity. Too stiff springs will also decrease the life of the truck due to increased vibration.
Air bags (not air shocks) may be eye candy or bragging points for some but for people who haul occasional heavy or variable loads, they make sense. The idea isn't to increase load capacity beyond the manufacturer's ratings but to keep the truck level so u-joints aren't stressed by increased angles, front end alignment isn't changed by the sag of a heavy load, and driving visibility isn't compromised by being nose high. If the truck was going to be fully loaded on a daily basis, added leaves would be more economical but for occasional loads, air bags would allow one to increase the amount of spring capacity needed to keep the truck level then return to stock levels once unloaded.
Mayhap air bags don't appeal to you but they sure appeal to a lot of people who only occasionally haul heavy loads because they are easy to use and will not tear up the truck.
You claim to be an engineer yet seem to have no knowledge of load induced stress on components. What kind of engineer are you?
'08 F-150 XLT Supercrew, white, 5.4L, 3.73 rear, Leer 100RCC cap with side toolboxes
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