I am the owner of an auto repair shop, and I get many clients here who want to lift their vehicles 2 inches.
A 2-inch lift can have several benefits, like better ground clearance, being able to fit bigger tires, smoother ride, better off-road performance, better visibility, and more.
But then they wonder, do I need longer shocks for a 2 inch lift?
The answer is yes! You would need to install newer and longer shock absorbers after lifting your vehicle 2 inches. This is especially the case for lifting the rear end of your vehicle. Without longer shock absorbers, your vehicle’s down travel will be limited by 2 inches.
Today, I will be talking about why you need longer shocks for a 2-inch lift, what kind of shocks to use, and what size of shocks you would need.
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Measuring Shocks: What size shocks do you need?
Do I Need New Shocks with a 2 Inch Lift?
Yes, you need to install new shock absorbers after installing a 2-inch suspension lift kit or even a spacer lift kit that lifts both the front and the rear of your vehicle.
You need longer shocks!
Shock absorbers help maintain the movement of the coil springs of your suspension throughout the suspension travel, thus, controlling the coil springs.
This is why the shock absorbers of your vehicle have to go up and down the entirety of your vehicle’s suspension travel.
And this will make the ride smoother!
But if you don’t install longer shock absorbers after installing a 2-inch lift kit, you might face a lot of troubles with your suspension system.
This is because after lifting both the front and the back of your vehicle 2 inches, your suspension travel will alter and create more distance among your suspension components.
The first thing that will happen to cause your suspension troubles is the process known as topping out.
This is when your 2-inch lifted vehicle has to work with the older stock shock absorbers to travel the entire length of your suspension travel.
But it can’t!
So the piston in the old shock absorbers will start hitting the shock cylinder head over and over again.
Without the installation of longer shock absorbers, this problem of topping out will keep happening.
And when this hitting of your piston continues, the shock absorber mounts and the internal rebound stop will start to become damaged.
This continual hitting and hammering will damage both the lower and upper mounts of your suspension’s shock absorbers.
And it will ultimately destroy the piston of your shocks. Eventually, your shock cylinder head will start to leak oil, and the entire shock absorber will become useless.
This is why you need newer and longer shock absorbers after installing a 2-inch lift kit of any kind in your vehicle.
What Size Shocks for a 2 Inch Lift?
After installing a 2-inch lift kit on your vehicle, you would need to use longer shock absorbers with compressed and extended lengths of 16 inches to 28 inches.
And after buying longer shock absorbers, there is a way to make sure that you have the correct size for the best outcome.
To find out, you need to measure both the compressed and the extended length of your new shock absorbers to see if it’s the right fit.
To find out the compressed length of your shock absorbers, you have to measure the shock absorber’s length while it’s installed.
But you can’t do it on your lifted vehicle. You have to do it while the lift kit hasn’t been installed yet.
Then, you need to measure the bump stop clearance of your vehicle without it being lifted 2 inches.
Lastly, you should measure the bump stop height!
Now you need to put these measurements into an equation to get the compressed length of the shocks.
And the extended length?
For this one, you have to use jacks and safety stands on your vehicle’s chassis, “hanging” your suspension.
Then, you have to remove the shock absorber’s lower mount and lower the suspension slowly to full droop while maintaining some support right underneath the axle or the control arm.
And now, you have to measure the extended length of your shock absorbers with your leaf spring and make sure that it is about 12 mm longer.
The length has to be 12 mm shorter if you have a coil spring suspension.
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Measuring Shocks: What size shocks do you need?
What Kind of Shocks Do I Need for a 2 Inch Lifted Truck?
There are many different kinds of shock absorbers, and I recommend you use monotube shock absorbers for your 2-inch lifted vehicle.
Monotube shock absorbers are high-performance and high-pressure. This pressure is about 200 psi to as high as 360 psi, depending on the brand.
They have separate chambers for both nitrogen gas and hydraulic oil that are separated with floating pistons.
So they can work without ever foaming or aerating! And they can even operate cooler than other kinds of shocks!
That’s not all!
These shocks have stiff valving for more efficiency. They can be expensive compared to other shocks, but they are worth it.
And they can even resist a lot of damage compared to other kinds of shock absorbers while maintaining better dampening capabilities.
Because of these things, you can experience better off-road performance and an overall smoother ride from your vehicle.
Here’s the kicker!
These monotube shocks will provide your vehicle with better handling ability and more stability, which you will need after installing a 2-inch lift kit to your vehicle.
And this is exactly why you need to buy this kind of shock absorber after lifting your vehicle 2 inches.
The other types of shocks are not a great idea for your 2-inch lifted vehicle for a couple of reasons.
A hydraulic shock doesn’t have great dampening capabilities, which you need for a 2-inch lifted vehicle.
And even a twin-tube low-pressure gas shock can create foaming or even aeration while dampening.
Do I need longer shocks for a 2 inch lift? If you lift both the front and the rear of your vehicle 2 inches, you would need to use longer shock absorbers.
I suggest you go with the monotube shock absorbers, as they are best for your 2-inch lifted vehicle.