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.