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Shock Measurement Guide

When ordering shocks for most vehicles, all you will need to do is enter your vehicle information into our shock finder and pick the best shock for your needs. Some vehicles do not have shocks built specifically for them, usually this is only the case with particularly rare vehicles or trim lines, or for custom applications. Vehicles with lowered or raised suspensions need different length shocks than a stock-height vehicle, and often there is not a shock built for the specific amount of lift or lowering your vehicle might have. In these cases, you will need to measure your vehicle to find the correct dimensions.

For lifted and lowered vehicles, there is often an easier way to find the correct shock for your vehicle than measuring the suspension. The best option, if you purchased a lift kit or lowering kit, is to contact the manufacturer of the kit and find out the recommended shock dimensions. If that is not possible, measuring the shocks that came packaged with your kit and finding a similarly sized shock will work.

How to Measure Shocks

A shock is measured by its extended and collapsed lengths, and is measured from the center of the loop mount or the base of the stud mount. To get the extended length of a shock, remove it from the vehicle and allow it to expand on its own or pull it to the fully extended position and take a measurement. To get the collapsed length of a shock, compress it by hand or by using a strap and take a measurement. With the expanded and collapsed lengths of your current shocks, you will be able to find a suitable shock for your custom application.

How to Measure a Shock Absorber

This shock has a length of approximately 25 inches.

How to Measure a Shock Absorber

This shock has a length of approximately 16 inches because the measurement is taken to the base of the mount, where the threading starts.

How to Measure a Vehicle for Shocks

Measuring your vehicle for shocks is a last resort if none of the other ways of finding a proper replacement shocks is available. To find the correct measurement for a shock absorber, you will need to measure from the center of a loop style mount and from the closest point on the mount for a stud type shock (since the shock is measured from the base of the stud, not the tip). To get the collapsed length measurement for your vehicle, you will need to compress your suspension fully. To do this, you can drive up a ramp with one side of the vehicle until the suspension is fully compressed or put a jack under one wheel to compress it *THIS CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND SHOULD ONLY BE DONE BY A COMPETANT, EXPERIENCED MECHANIC WITH A FULL ARRAY OF SAFETY EQUIPMENT. IF YOU ARE UNSURE IN ANY WAY ABOUT HOW TO PROPERLY JACK AND SECURE A VEHICLE, BRING IT TO A MECHANIC.* When looking for a shock, subtract half an inch from the compressed length to allow for bump stop compression.

To get the extended length of your suspension, you will need to jack and secure your vehicle and allow the suspension to drop. Jack the vehicle up until the wheel is off the ground, then lower it so the tire is just on the ground. Take a measurement with the suspension at this point. If your vehicle currently has shocks on it, you will need to remove them before measuring, as the shock could limit the suspension travel.

Once you have determined the correct size for your shocks, find one that is as close as possible to your measurements using one of the guides at the bottom of this page. Keep in mind that you may not find a shock that fits your vehicle exactly and that, if available, more travel (a shorter collapsed length and longer extended length) is preferable.

If you are looking for a replacement shock for a unique vehicle, be aware that it is very important to match the mounting points exactly between your vehicle and the shock absorber. A shock that does not fit correctly could have a reduced life or cause improper and dangerous handling characteristics.

Shock Lengths

Monroe Shock Lengths
KYB Shock Lengths

Off Road Shock Lengths
Bilstein 5125 Off Road Shocks
Bilstein 5150 External Reservoir Off Road Shocks
Bilstein 5165 Series Remote Reservoir Off Road Shocks

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