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Choosing Shocks for Your 2002-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche

So you need to replace the shocks or struts on your Avalanche, but not sure where to start. There's a lot of options out there, we'll do our best to guide you along so you can make the best choice.

How Do You Ride?

Choose your type of shock upgrade to see our expert advice:

How to check for worn or failing shocks and struts

  • Oil leaking from the shock shaft / rod, onto the body of the shock or strut. If it’s too dirty to tell, grab a rag and wipe off the shocks in question, and check again in 50-100 miles to see if there's liquid or noticeable moisture around the shaft / body area.
  • Bouncing up and down on the front or rear bumper, if the truck continues to bounce (after you stop of course), then the truck is riding solely on the leaf springs or front coil springs with no dampening provided by the shock.
  • Bushings / mounts cracked or broken, duh.

Questions to ask yourself

What is your primary and secondary use of your Avalanche?

  • Commuting and / or normal highway and street driving
  • Offroad / Trail / Sand Dune riding?
  • Carrying heavy loads for work, camping, dirt bikes, sport equipment?
  • Towing campers / trailers / other vehicles
  • Do you plan on keeping the vehicle for another few years, or are you replacing the shocks to get it on the road again and get through your current situation? (budget level shock vs high end shock that performs well)
  • Budget, typically strut and shock sets start in the $300-400 range, and can go all the way up to $1000 or more depending on quality and performance

icon commuting highway daily driver Commuting / Highway / Street

For the daily driver and general commute, a high quality shock or strut can last the life of your vehicle without issue. Potholes and speed bumps may compromise a factory shock, and especially a budget shock, but a quality monotube shock or strut will eat them up day after day, mile after mile. A thicker shock body will be better for longevity as well, providing better cooling capacity and lower internal shock pressure, leading to longer component life.

Bilstein 4600 Shock

Bilstein 4600

The 4600 is a monotube gas shock, and you’ll be hard pressed to find something that rides nicer for the same price, Bilstein is the gold standard in the shock industry and we highly recommend these for a ride-refreshment on your truck.

Bilstein 5100

Bilstein’s 5100 line of shocks are a good replacement for your truck if its lifted over factory height. Bilstein doesn’t have the 5100 in factory height for the Avalanche, but there are options for lifted trucks.

KYB Shock

KYB or Monroe

For normal driving behavior, either of these shock brands ride well and are inexpensive. If miles and longevity are important, we recommend going with KYB Monomax or Monroe Reflex shocks, both monotube gas charged design.

Pro Comp ES9000

Pro Comp ES9000 / Skyjacker N8000 / Rancho RS5000X

Pro Comp ES9000 / Skyjacker N8000 / Rancho RS5000X are all very similar shocks in design and life span. All are budget gas charged shocks, which will provide better handling than a typical OEM shock.

icon towing and hauling Towing / Hauling / HD

Before doing anything else, research Weight Distribution Systems that better allow your vehicle to tow the maximum allowable weight. When towing long or heavy trailers, it’s imperative to keep the ride steady and stable, shocks cannot always accomplish this alone.

Most higher end gas pressurized shocks will handle trailer loads and the increased oscillation that is present. Our most popular options, according to customer feedback.

Rancho RS9000XL Shock

Rancho Suspension RS9000XL

Adjustable shocks, which are twin tube and nitrogen gas charged. These have 9 settings of compression adjustment through an easy-turning knob on the bottom of the shock or reservoir, accessible any time while on the vehicle for on the go adjustment.

Fox 2.0 Performance with CD

Fox 2.0 Performance with CD

Adjustments are a premium level shock, designed from a company with heavy experience in off-road. These shocks are monotube gas charged, aluminum bodied, premium aircraft components, and look bitchin.

icon off-road truck Offroad / Trails

An offroad rated shock absorber excels at aggressive terrain and will provide durability, predictability, and longevity for related suspension components and the vehicle in general. These shocks are manufactured with high end components, and have been proven on our customer's vehicles with excellent feedback. There are no white-can shocks here, for good reason.

Bilstein 5100

Developed by Bilstein specifically for off-road applications, lifted or factory height, these shocks provide incredible ride characteristics for both the highway and light offroading situations. These are amongst our most popular sellers, for good reason.

Fox Factory 2.5 Series Reservoir with DSC

Fox Racing Shocks

Derived from true off-road racing experience, manufacturing, and shock technology. These parts are made from aircraft quality 6061 aluminum, providing exceptional heat dissipation. All aluminum bodied Fox shocks are rebuildable, and nitrogen gas rechargeable, extending the life of the shocks dramatically. Fox have numerous series of full coilover setups, with or without reservoir options, and with or without compression / dampening adjustments.

King Off-road Shocks

King Offroad Shocks

King doesn’t fuss with worrying about street comfort, so be prepared for a significantly firmer ride when equipping your vehicle with these shocks. Proven off-road technology outfits these shocks with some of the best materials available. King shocks are both rebuildable, and nitrogen gas rechargeable. King carries full coilover setups, with and without reservoir options, with or without compression / dampening adjustments.

icon lifted ride height truck Lifted Ride Height

If you have a lifted truck, here are some options from manufacturers that build numerous length shocks for your vehicle, from leveling kit height, all the way up to 6 or 8 inches of lift.

Skyjacker Shock


Stick with their M95 or N8000 shocks at the least, a gas charged shock is important for longer stroke shocks and heavier applications. The M95 monotube shock will perform the best, and last the longest, worth the money.

Pro Comp ES9000

Pro Comp Shocks

All series of their shocks are available for lifted trucks. The ProRunner or ES9000 series will be your best bet for ride quality and longevity. We don’t recommend the ES1000 or ES3000 unless your on a tight budget and don’t plan on having the truck for much longer, as these shocks will need replacing around 30k miles.

Rancho RS9000XL Shock


Rancho has some shocks available for lifted Avalanches ranging from 1-6 inches of lift. Pick up their RS7000 monotube gas shock if it’s available, and if not, then the RS9000XL adjustable shock (gas charged also). The RS5000 shock here isn’t a good option for your lifted vehicle, their dampening has problems with longer stroke length and handling the heavier loads and weight transfer of lifted vehicles, bigger wheels and tires, and aggressive driving in off-road scenarios.