If you read my blog often, then you would know I am the owner of an auto repair shop. And I have extensive knowledge of lifting vehicles and the things that come with it.
There have been a lot of customers that have come into my shop to lift their vehicles 6 inches off the ground.
A 6-inch lift has many benefits, such as better ground clearance, bigger tires, and more. But you need to make other modifications, like new shocks, for better performance in your vehicle.
But what size shocks for a 6 inch lift?
You need to buy longer shock absorbers if you install a 6-inch lift kit on your vehicle. And these shock absorbers need to be 12 inches to 14 inches front and rear travel shock absorbers to get the best performance out of your vehicle.
Read More: what size shocks for a 4 inch lift
Measuring Shocks: What size shocks do you need?
Do I Need New Shocks With A 6 Inch Lift?
Yes, if you install a new lift kit on your vehicle that raises the vehicle 6 inches off the ground, you would also need to buy new shock absorbers to go with it.
So you might ask, do I need longer shocks for a 6 inch lift or short?
Yes, you do!
Shock absorbers are the suspension components that manage the coil springs of your vehicle by controlling their movement across the suspension travel.
This is exactly why you need your shock absorbers to travel up and down the entirety of the suspension travel of your vehicle.
Thus, you get smoother rides!
However, you would have to face a few dreadful issues if you do not get newer and longer shock absorbers after installing a 6-inch suspension lift kit or even a spacer lift kit.
The reason for this is that after you lift your vehicle 6 inches from the ground, your vehicle’s suspension travel will change, which will end up creating more space among the suspension components.
The most common issue you will have to face after installing a 6-inch lift kit without new shock absorbers is the process called topping out.
In this topping-out process, the older and shorter stock shock absorbers of your vehicle have to work inside your newly 6-inch lifted vehicle.
And those shock absorbers have to move throughout the entire length of your suspension travel, which is not possible for them.
What happens, then?
In this case, when the stock shock absorbers are too short for your newly lifted vehicle, their pistons will start to hit the shock absorber cylinder heads.
And if you do not replace your stock shock absorbers with longer and proper-sized ones, this hitting and hammering will occur continuously.
This continuity will damage the internal rebound stop and even all the mounts on your shock absorbers.
That’s not all!
When this hammering continues, it will damage the pistons inside of your shock absorbers so much that they will be rendered useless.
This will also impair your shock absorber cylinder heads so badly that they will start to leak oil and eventually destroy your shock absorbers entirely.
So you should always get new and longer shocks with your 6-inch lift kit if it already does not come with them.
Read More: What Size Shocks for 8 Inch Lift
What Kind of Shocks Do I Need for a 6 Inch Lifted Truck?
You can find several different kinds of aftermarket shock absorbers in stores. But not all of them will be perfect for your 6-inch lifted truck.
I suggest you get the monotube shock absorbers for your 6-inch lifted truck for reasons I will be explaining in a bit.
Why monotube shocks?
These kinds of shock absorbers are high-pressure and even high-performance. And the pressure is at least 200 psi or even as much as 360 psi, which is a lot.
They come with separate chambers for hydraulic oil and nitrogen gas, which are divided by a floating piston.
And because of this, they do not foam or aerate, which can’t be said about all kinds of shock absorbers.
They also operate cooler!
To add to their efficiency, the monotube shock absorbers also have stiff valving. And even if they might be a bit expensive, they are completely worth it for a 6-inch lifted truck!
And these shocks can even take a lot of damage if you compare them to other kinds of shock absorbers.
While doing so, they maintain amazing dampening capabilities!
So you can expect fantastic off-road performance and just not a better and smoother ride on-road with your vehicle.
These kinds of shock absorbers can give your truck the ability to better handle the truck, as well as more stability after lifting it.
And you would need all these for your 6-inch lifted truck!
This is why I have been suggesting you use monotube shock absorbers for your 6-inch lifted truck.
Why not others?
I do not think the other types of shock absorbers are going to be the right fit for your truck after you lift your truck 6 inches.
For example, hydraulic shock absorbers will not provide your truck with the best dampening ability that you would need on your lifted truck.
And twin-tube low-pressure gas shock absorbers are more likely to create aeration and foaming when they are dampening.
Again, if you go for adjustable shock absorbers, they are not going to be the best fit for your 6-inch lifted truck because you would have to get under your truck often to adjust it.
Too Long Shocks for a 6-Inch Lifted Truck?
So far, you have been asking, “Do I need bigger shocks with a 6 inch lift kit?” Yes, you do, but you can’t go too big, either!
If you somehow manage to get longer shock absorbers that are too big for your 6-inch lifted truck, you will have other problems to worry about.
Remember how shorter shock absorbers cause topping out? Well, too long ones will cause bottoming out!
You don’t want that!
Your new, longer shock absorbers will not be able to work with the entire distance of the suspension travel if they are too long, causing them to bottom out.
Before these shocks can even move through the suspension travel, they will be compressed fully.
So, in this case, the longer shocks will not perform to their fullest within the suspension travel of your truck and create more problems.
What kind of problems?
The top part of your longer shock body will start to come in contact with the top of your shock shaft.
And because of this, the top seal of your shock absorber will likely get damaged!
So you might have to face an oil leak from the shock’s top seal while having the mounts become damaged because of this situation.
What can you do?
Well, the best solution is to buy the right-sized shock absorbers after measuring the key components properly.
How to Measure Shocks for a 6-Inch Lifted Truck
There are a few things you need to do to properly measure the right size of shock absorbers you need for your 6-inch lifted truck.
I’ll explain all of them to you now!
Checking the Lift Height
You already know you want a 6-inch lift for your truck. That’s not the problem! But even so, you need to make sure your truck has been lifted 6 inches off the ground.
Without making sure of this, you can’t choose the correct size of shock absorbers you would need to invest in.
You can either check the instructions given in your lift kit or take measurements yourself from the axle and the chassis of your truck.
Checking the Make and Model of Your Truck
The correct size of shock absorbers for your 6-inch lifted truck would depend on the make and model of your truck.
If you do not take the compatibility of your truck and the new shock absorbers into account, you might have to face a few other problems you won’t like.
Make sure you get information about your truck that includes the make, the model, and the year before you look for your shocks.
Tip: If you browse for compatible shock absorbers for your specific model of the truck after a 6-inch lift, you will find multiple products you can choose from in stores.
Choosing the Lift Height
After gathering the above-mentioned information, you can go and try to find the right shock absorbers for your truck.
But you should double-check all this information and choose the correct lift height as well, or you might end up with more problems.
Deciding the Right Kind of Shocks
As I have already mentioned above, you should go for monotube shock absorbers, as they are the best fit for your 6-inch lifted truck.
But even with that in mind, you need to be able to choose the right brand of shock absorbers.
Don’t go for the labeled front and rear ones that you have to buy separately, as they are not worth it.
First, measure the compressed and extended lengths of the shock absorbers you would need, and then find the right brand of monotube shocks.
Measuring the Compressed Length
You have to measure the shock absorbers’ compressed length while they are fitted to your truck without the tuck being lifted.
Yes, you have to make sure your truck is at the normal height when you start measuring for the compressed length.
First, you should get the measurements of the clearance of the bump stops of your truck at its normal height.
Then, you have to be able to measure the height of the bump stops as well.
Now minus the bump stop clearance from your installed shock absorber length. Let’s call it A unit.
Then, divide 1.5 from the bump stop height measurement and subtract that from the A unit measurement.
The number you find is the compressed length of your shock absorbers!
Measuring the Extended Length
To get this measurement, you need to get your hands a little dirty, as this one is the tricky bit of measuring the shock length.
First off, you have to use jacks and safety stands to prop up your truck so you can get underneath it for the measurement.
Make sure you put the jack and the safety stands near the chassis of your truck so your suspension can “hang.”
Now you have to remove the lower mount of your installed shock absorbers. Then, you need to lower the suspension of your truck to droop fully but be slow and very careful about it.
While you do this, make sure you put some sort of support on the axle or the control arm of your truck.
You might see some extra tension and travel distance of your truck’s brake hose. If that is the case, you should use a longer hose.
Now you have to measure the extended length of your shock absorbers with your leaf spring. It needs to be around 12 mm longer.
In the case of your truck’s suspension being a coil spring suspension, this length has to be 12 mm shorter.
What size shocks for a 6 inch lift? Well, you definitely need longer shock absorbers after lifting your truck 6 inches from the ground.
While you do need to consider a few factors about the size and make the correct measurements before buying them, they should be about 12 inches to 14 inches front and rear travel shocks.