I am the owner of an auto repair shop (Mechanicboss), and I have come across clients who want to install an 8-inch suspension lift kit on their trucks.
These truck owners wanted the aggressive look an 8-inch lift brings and all the ground clearance needed for extreme off-road adventures.
But all of these customers had the same question, do I need new shocks with an 8 inch lift? Yes, you do!
So what size shocks for 8 inch lift?
Well, if you installed an 8-inch suspension lift kit on your truck, you would need shock absorbers in the extended length of 25.91 inches to 29.70 inches, depending on your truck and the suspension lift kit you installed.
Today, I will explain what length of shocks you would need for your 8-inch lifted truck and why you would need them.
Read More : do i need new shocks with a 3 inch lift
Measuring Shocks: What size shocks do you need?
Do I Need Longer Shocks for an 8 Inch Lift?
Yes, you definitely need to buy longer shock absorbers to replace the old and shorter shock ones for your 8-inch lifted truck.
But how would you know what size you need for your new and longer shock absorbers to be?
Usually, you need to buy new and longer shock absorbers in the extended length of 25.91 inches to 29.70 inches.
So get the longer shocks!
After buying the longer shocks, you still might want to make sure they are the correct size to avoid further issues.
For this, you need to measure the compressed length and the extended length of your new shock absorbers to find out the perfect fit for your truck.
If you don’t make the correct measurements and buy longer shocks, there’ll be too much space between your suspension mounts, it’ll reduce the stock shock’s performance, and your shocks could top-out.
Measuring compressed length:
To measure your shock absorber’s compressed length, you have to take measurements of the shock’s length while it is installed in your non-lifted vehicle.
Then, you have to measure the clearance of your bump stops when the truck is at its normal height.
Again, at the truck’s normal height, measure the height of your bump stop.
Now you have to put all these measurements into a simple equation to find out the compressed length of your shock absorbers.
Measuring extended length:
This one is a bit tricky, as you have to get your hands dirty to measure the extended length of your shock absorbers.
First, you need to raise your truck with jacks and safety stands. But only put them under your truck’s chassis, as you want your suspension to be “hanging.”
Then, take out the lower mount of your shock absorber and lower your suspension slowly to a full droop while you maintain a bit of support underneath your control arm or axle.
If you find any extra travel distance and tension on the brake hose, you might need to use a longer hose.
And you need to make sure your shock’s extended length with your leaf spring is about 12 mm longer.
But if your suspension is a coil spring suspension, you need the length to be about 12 mm shorter.
What Kind of Shocks Do I Need for a 8 Inch Lifted Truck?
You can use any kind of shock absorber when you are looking for new shocks for your 8-inch lifted truck.
Do I need bigger shocks with an 8 inch lift kit?
As long as you are getting new and the right-sized shock absorbers to replace the old stock ones that won’t work for your newly lifted truck, you’re good to go.
Shocks are meant to control the coil springs of your truck’s suspension by managing how they move throughout your suspension travel.
So they need to be able to go up and down the entire length of your suspension travel to make for a smooth ride.
But when you install a suspension lift kit as big as 8 inches, it can alter the suspension travel by creating more distance between the suspension components.
Not getting longer shocks?
This is going to be a huge mistake on your part, as the stock shock absorbers of your truck, which are shorter, will start the topping out process on your lifted truck.
And because of this, your truck’s extended suspension travel will be reduced, among other kinds of damages.
What is topping out?
It’s when the piston in your shock starts to hit the cylinder head!
And if you don’t install longer shock absorbers at this point, the topping out will continue to happen.
This will keep on damaging the mounts and even the internal rebond stop of your truck’s suspension.
That’s not all!
Because of this continuous “hammering,” your shock absorbers would end up falling apart. This will damage the upper and lower mounts of your shock absorbers.
Also, this will ultimately deem the shock piston to be useless. And eventually, this might damage the cylinder head enough to make the unit start to leak oil.
Are the shocks too long?
Now, this is a problem of its own! You can’t get new shock absorbers that are longer than what you need, either.
In this case, your vehicle will suffer from your shocks bottoming out! And this will also hurt your suspension system.
What happens here?
When your truck is bottoming out, your shock absorbers will not be able to go the full distance of the suspension travel.
Before they even can, your longer shock absorbers will become fully compressed and cause more problems.
The top of the shock absorber’s body will contact the top part of the shock shaft. This is close to the top seal, which could easily become damaged.
Because of this, there might also be an oil leak from the top seal of the shock absorbers, and the mounts will also be damaged.
What to do?
Well, in this case, you have to take the right measurements to get the right-sized shock absorbers installed.
What size shocks for 8 inch lift? Well, if you want to install an 8-inch suspension lift kit to your vehicle, you need about 25.91 inches to 29.70 inches of extended shock absorbers.
If you do not use longer shock absorbers and stick to the shorter shock ones, you might have to face multiple problems, like your shocks topping out, for instance.
But you can’t go too long, either, as you might experience bottoming out, which is another kind of disaster.
So find the perfect size for your specific model of a truck!