Best Jeep Shocks (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

| Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Upgrading your Jeep’s factory shocks is one way to improve your vehicle’s ability to traverse uneven terrain.

A quality set of shocks can improve the overall ride quality and handling, which is why they are such a popular upgrade amongst Jeep owners.

To help you make an informed purchasing decision, we are going to take an in-depth look at seven of the best Jeep shocks available in 2020.

When to Replace Shocks and Struts

For most people, there are two situations when they start to look at replacing their vehicle’s shocks and struts: if they have lifted their vehicle or if the original factory shocks have begun to wear out.

Many Jeep owners are also off-roading enthusiasts, which is why you often see various Jeep models raised. Increasing the height of a vehicle makes it easier to navigate rocky terrain, but it also requires a new set of longer shocks.

Then, like any auto part, shocks and struts can wear over time and need to be replaced. There are seals in shocks that wear out and can cause fluid leaks. 

Whether you have raised your Jeep for off-roading purposes and the stock shocks are no longer suitable, or your stock shocks have begun leaking, squeaking, or seizing up, you will need to find replacements.

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How to Tell if Shocks Are Bad

You can usually tell if your Jeep’s shocks have gone if you start to hear unusual noises, especially as you drive over bumpy and uneven surfaces. The excessive body leans and sways as you round corners is another sign that one or more shocks are damaged. 

Bad shocks can also impact steering quality. While steering issues are not always an indicator of bad shocks, it is worth a visual inspection to see if a shock replacement could resolve the problem. If you notice any of your shock absorbers looks corroded or damaged, you should consider replacing it before it causes further damage to your vehicle.

What Should I Look For When Buying New Shocks? 

Here are the main features to keep in mind when buying new shocks:

Suitability

The type of shocks you require depends mostly on the driving you do. City and highway commuting shocks are not the same as shocks necessary for off-road and trail driving. Make sure that you are choosing the right type for your driving style. 

Fit and Compatibility

Shock absorbers and struts are very different between one model and the next. Make sure you are choosing shocks that work with your Jeep model and year. Shock style, size, shape, and diameter differ significantly between one set and the next.

Durability and Material

As with any aftermarket part, quality can differ quite a bit from one brand to another. Choose shocks that are going to last, which means picking durable, yet lightweight materials, such as high-quality aluminum and steel. Also, make sure they feature corrosion-resistant coatings.

Ease of Installation 

If you plan on installing your new shocks yourself, you should take installation difficulty into account. Look for simple bolt-on shocks that do not require specialized tools and machining.

Value and Affordability

Cost does not always equal quality. Some of the more expensive shocks are for off-roading, so if that is not what you plan on doing, do not get tricked into paying more than you have to. Always look for a quality product that is reasonably priced.

Comparison of the Best Jeep Shocks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • There are 4 shocks included with this set
  • Compatible with 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive vehicles
  • Made from very durable materials to last longer
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  • Best for the Money
  • Compatible with a wide range of vehicles
  • A very strong and durable constructed set of shocks
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  • Best Shocks For Jeep JK
  • There are 2 front and 2 rear shocks included with this set
  • Comes with the Bilstein limited lifetime warranty included
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  • Best Shocks For Jeep Wrangler TJ
  • Everything you need for complete installation included in kit
  • There are 2 front and 2 rear shocks included with this set
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  • Best Jeep YJ Shocks
  • Compatible with most F250 4WD models
  • Uses the direct-bolt mounting method for installation
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  • Best Fox Shocks Jeep JK
  • Made from very durable materials to last longer
  • Everything you need for complete installation included in kit
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Review of the Best Jeep Shocks 

Let’s take a look at this year’s top picks.

Best Overall

Rancho – RS999324 Shock Absorber

Rancho RS9000XL RS999324 Shock Absorber

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most users were impressed by how easy it was to install these shock absorbers. While the instructions were lacking in detail, the installation was still straightforward.

Buyers also really like the ability to adjust softness with a simple control knob. Overall, most buyers noticed a significant improvement over their factory Jeep shocks.

Review

The reason the Rancho shock absorbers were our pick for the best overall Jeep shocks was their versatility. We liked that you essentially get nine shock absorbers in one package. The intuitive control knob was also a huge draw, as it allows users to adjust their shock performance without much in the way of hassle. Whether you wanted to take your Jeep off-roading or just wanted it for road-based commuting, this set of shocks can handle any conditions.

We also really value durability, and these shocks feature a heavy-duty metallic exterior, as well as a graphite-filled iron piston.

Bottom Line

These shocks are easy to install, designed to last long, and work exceptionally well in a variety of driving conditions. Overall, they are an effective aftermarket shock absorber that is perfectly suited for use in a Jeep.

Pros

First 9 position manually adjustable shock

Durable design and long-lasting metallic finish

Work well in all weather conditions and temperatures

Nitrogen pressurized to 120 PSI for long-lasting performance

Easily adjusted control knob allows you to customize dampening control and firmness for on-road and off-road flexibility

Cons

Poor installation instructions

Packaging could have been nicer

Runner-up

Fox Racing Fox Perf. Series

FOX PERF. SERIES IFP SHOCKS (FRONT/REAR) compatible with JEEP WRANGLER JK 07-15 W/1.5-3.5' Lift

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers immediately noticed a significant improvement over their stock shocks after installing the Fox Racing shock kit. Fox is a highly recognizable brand in the suspension market, so it was no surprise that most buyers were impressed with the build quality and performance of these shocks.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We liked that these shocks have the off-roading and racing market in mind, but we still considered the less adventurous city drivers. Whether you want to take your Jeep down some rocky and uneven trails or only want to drive it to work, these shocks will improve your vehicle’s performance capabilities. 

We also liked the overall appearance after installation. While these shocks were a little on the pricey side, that was not overly surprising for a brand with such an impressive reputation. If they were a bit more affordable, these shocks may have taken our top spot rather than the runner up position.

Bottom Line

These shocks are perfect for the weekend warrior-type that drives their Jeep around town on weekdays but still wants the option to take their Jeep into rockier terrain in their spare time.

Pros

1-year warranty

Precision cut impact aluminum body designed to never rust

Includes all washers, bushings, and nuts required for installation

Uses race-quality dampening control to ensuring comfort during driving

Designed for use in the roughest off-road conditions, but comfortable enough for on-road driving

Cons

Fairly expensive

Somewhat difficult to install

Best for the Money

TeraFlex 03-01-33-400-253

TeraFlex 03-01-33-400-253 Falcon 3.2.5'-3.5' 4 Door Wrangler, 1 Pack

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were impressed by the fact that they could install this shock set on their own. While it might be a little much for those that have zero mechanical background, many buyers install them themselves with only basic tools. Users also really enjoyed the adjustment knob and 8-position tuning dial.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Given that these shocks were our best for the money pick, the first thing we noticed was the relatively low price. Given that this is a full set and TeraFlex is known for offering high-quality products, the price came as a bit of a surprise. 

You get a versatile and reliable set of shocks at a reasonable price. We also really liked how well these shocks reacted to various speeds. Where some shocks are more suited to slower speeds, these shocks maintain high-performance levels even when the vehicle is traveling fast. If they are compatible with your particular Jeep, this is an impressive set of shocks that will not break the bank.

Bottom Line

These shocks are a noticeable improvement over the stock shocks you get on just about any model of Jeep. The adjustment knob is handy and incredibly easy to use. Overall, they are a great buy for the price.

Pros

Easy installation

Relatively low cost

Flexibility due to the simple 3-position fast adjustment knob

Volume Optimized Damping feature which improves vehicle feedback and stability

Velocity-sensitive shock absorbers make sure shocks perform well at any driving speed

Cons

Only available for certain Jeep models

Front shocks extend outwards, which makes it difficult to upgrade fenders after the shocks have been installed

Best Shocks For Jeep JK

Bilstein Shocks B8 5100 Monotube Gas

Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shocks Set - 07-15 for Jeep Wrangler JK with 1.5-3' lift kits

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were impressed by the immediate improvement they could notice over the stock shocks. The simple monotube design looks and works great; however, installation can be fairly time-consuming.

Most buyers were impressed and satisfied with their purchase and were surprised that the quality was comparable to more expensive brands, such as Fox Racing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We liked that Bilstein kept all types of Jeep JK owners in mind when they designed this shock set. The fact that they have significant travel and respond well enough for off-roading purposes but are still practical for daily commuting is a huge draw.

We also really liked that they have effective heat distribution, which means they should have a long lifespan. The fact that Bilstein also backs them with a limited lifetime warranty also helps. Overall, these shocks have a unique design that is both versatile and durable, which are two attributes we value.

Bottom Line

While these shocks can take a while to install, and the instructions could have been better, they work well and should last for a significant period. Bilstein claims they have over 100,000 miles in them, which is impressive. If you want reliable shocks and an improvement over your stock Jeep JK setup, these are worth considering.

Pros

Designed for both on and off-road use

Limited lifetime warranty offered by Bilstein

USA manufacturing and German engineering

Unique single tube design helps dissipate heat to extend the lifespan of the shocks

Set comes with all the necessary washers, bushings, clamps, and nuts required for installation

Cons

Installation can take a while

Tend to feel bumps at higher speeds

Best Shocks For Jeep Wrangler TJ

Rancho RS5000X Gas

Rancho RS5000X Gas Shocks set compatible with 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ with 2-3' lift kits

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were impressed with how well these shocks improved their day-to-day driving experience. They absorb potholes and make for a much smoother ride. Jeep TJ owners liked that these shocks reacted well during normal driving conditions, especially during braking and acceleration. While the highly-visible white and red color scheme was not for everyone, they were impressed with the overall performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We liked that these shocks feature a simple design that was a significant upgrade over the stock shocks in the Jeep Wrangler TJ. While we would have preferred some sort of dial to control stiffness, these shocks will meet the needs of most typical drivers.

While they lack some of the features you get with other shock kits, they do cost significantly less. Installation is straightforward; however, we were a little bit disappointed that Rancho did not include all new components and expected owners to reuse some of the bolts from their stock shocks. Again, these are some of the things you come to expect from a more affordable shock kit.

Bottom Line

If you own a Jeep Wrangler TJ and you would like an affordable, no-frills improvement over your stock shocks, you cannot go by swapping out your old set for this kit from Rancho.

Pros

Fits the Jeep Wrangler TJ perfectly

Designed for use in all weather conditions and temperatures

Uses Rancho’s patented rebound valve system for improved off-road performance

Large shock body for increased fluid capacity, which helps with performance at varying speeds

Rancho’s progressive engagement valving is specifically designed to reduce the impact of potholes

Cons

White paint tends to chip and scratch

Reuses factory shock bolts, rather than supplying new ones

Best Jeep YJ Shocks

Bilstein 4600

Bilstein 4600 Series Shock Absorbers For Ford F250 Super Duty 4WD 1999-04 - Includes Front Shocks # 33-028187 & Rear Shocks # 24-185981

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What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers find that these shocks are a significant improvement over their stock Jeep YJ shocks. Bilstein designed this shock kit for more typical commuting rather than off-roading purposes, so buyers find they work well for highway and city driving. Most buyers enjoy the yellow and blue color scheme, which stands out and adds some unique detail to their Jeep.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These Bilstein shock absorbers are available in a variety of sizes for use with countless types of vehicles. What we liked is that they consistently improve the ride quality in any vehicle.

They use a simple yet effective design, which is part of the reason why they are so easy to install. The lifetime warranty is another major draw. While these shocks are probably not responsive enough for off-road enthusiasts, they are considerably better than the factory shocks on the Jeep YJ.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an easily installed, affordable way to improve the comfort level when driving your Jeep YJ, you should look no further than this shock kit from Bilstein.

Pros

Lifetime warranty

Easy ‘bolt-on’ installation

Eye-catching, unique yellow and blue color scheme

Greatly improve ride quality over the stock Jeep YJ shocks

Monotube gas pressure technology improves control and stability

Cons

No control knob for stiffness adjustments

Not enough travel for off-roading purposes

Best Fox Shocks Jeep JK

Fox Racing 2.0 Performance Series IFP

FOX PERF. SERIES IFP SHOCKS (FRONT/REAR) compatible with JEEP WRANGLER JK 07-15 W/1.5-3.5' Lift

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What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are impressed with the high level of quality and customer service we have come to expect from Fox Racing. While some were disappointed with how difficult it can be to install these shocks, most remain convinced the performance improvement was worth the extra hassle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fox Racing is generally considered one of the premium manufacturers of suspension parts, so the overall level of quality you get with these shocks did not surprise us. What did stand out was how seamlessly they fit the Jeep JK. They are a massive improvement over the stock shocks and also look fantastic.

They work well for daily commuting and also allow your Jeep to handle difficult terrain. While the high price is a bit of a sticking point, with Fox Racing, you get what you pay for.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a high-end shock upgrade for your Jeep JK, you do not need to look any further than this suspension kit from Fox Racing. They are a significant upgrade over the stock shocks, and they will improve the overall appearance of your Jeep.

Pros

Includes all necessary washers, bushings, and nuts

Limited one year warranty against defects and failure

Designed specifically for use with the Jeep Wrangler JK

Uses race-quality damping control to provide a more comfortable on-road driving experience

Precision cut impact-resistant aluminum body for added durability, rust resistance, and cooling capability

Cons

Fairly expensive

Somewhat difficult to install

Informational Overview 

To learn a little more about shocks, let’s take a closer look at some in-depth comparisons.

Shocks vs Struts

The strut is a structural part of the vehicle’s suspension system, where the shock is a stand-alone component.

Coilovers vs Shocks

Coilovers are shocks that also feature a coiled spring around the exterior of the shock absorber. Coilovers are used in heavier vehicles or vehicles that haul significant loads. They are usually much more expensive than stand-alone shock absorbers. 

How to Change Shocks on a Jeep Wrangler

Replacing the shocks in your Jeep Wrangler does not have to be as difficult as you might assume. One of the most important things you can do to make the job easier is to make sure you have all your tools handy ahead of time. Also, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual ahead of time, rather than as you go. It also helps if you grease the bolts ahead of time.

Depending on where you live, some people spray their new shocks with a protective sealant ahead of time, as it is much easier to do when they are detached from your Jeep than it is after installation. A protective spray is useful if you live in an area that experiences harsh winters. 

For installation, follow the steps in this helpful video guide for a basic breakdown of how you can install new shocks on a Jeep Wrangler:

Conclusion 

There are a lot of things to consider when replacing the shocks on your Jeep, and we hope we helped make things a little clearer. If you’re in the market for new shocks, take a look at the products we chose to find the right one for you.

People Also Ask

We know you probably have some more questions about the best Jeep shocks. Here are some of the things people wonder about the most.

What Are Shocks And What Do Shocks Do?

hocks help stabilize your vehicle’s movement and enhance control when you turn, brake, accelerate, or traverse uneven road surfaces. They are essential for a comfortable ride.

How Long Do Shocks Last?

Shocks usually last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles; however, you can always upgrade before they have worn out if you want better performance.

How Much to Replace Shocks?

The total cost will depend on the level of quality you want to purchase. Replacing factory shocks with a new set of factory shocks will cost between $300 and $500 plus labor; whereas, higher-end aftermarket shocks can cost upwards of $1000.

How Do I Know if I Have Shocks or Struts?

Check under the carriage near the tires. Shocks will be vertical and resemble a pneumatic pump, while struts will be horizontal and look like an extension of the wheel mounts.

Who Worked on This?


Brian

Editor

A master of organization, Brian helps keep everything running smoothly for Your Jeep Guide.

No Jeep yet but we’re working on that!

Cory

Writer

Cory loves his XJ and frequently thrashes it through the hills. He’s constantly fixing something.


“What fenders?”

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