Choosing Shocks After switching From 265/15 To 235/15


Josh B

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Seems like shock threads are all over the place. I chose wheels and tires since one major part of the question is due to downsizing the tires.

I've been studying into shocks today and have seen Monroe and KGB? or whatever it was are two of the most favored brands.
Now I'm wondering how my recent shift from 265/70R/15's to much smaller 235/75R/15's could figure into the equation. I'm not sure exactly how much difference there is between the two tire size weights but think it would be notable.

How would you suggest this be considered when I go to the store to inquire of their shocks?
 


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Bgunner

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Because you went smaller on the tire size you have lost 1" total size, 1/2 inch on top and 1/2 inch on the bottom. Handling because the sidewall is smaller should be better with the 235's but anything over this will depend on exactly what you had before and what you have now for make, model and specs of the tires.

Shocks you wont notice a big difference between this small of a tire size change but keep in mind that KYB and Monroe make stock replacements ( both have decent quality ) till you hit the high end of their line up. When choosing the correct shock for your truck consider what you do with it, meaning off road use, strictly road or a combination of both. This will tell you what to look for in the shocks and what level to purchase, not including budget $$, so you can get the best performance for your application.

What are you looking to do, or do with this truck?
 

Josh B

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I had just realized my not having provided that information Bgunner. I'm actually on the pavement most of the time, with a rare trip to the river or through the woods into a back pasture, and an occasional trip to the mountains, but rarely ever any serious 4wheelin. Sad to say it but the most use my 4WD gets is in the winter, I park in a side yard, and when the ground gets soaked I'll click it into 4wheel while backing out, lol.

According to a site that posted variables in tire sizes which I studied when downsizing, there was closer to a 3 inch difference in diameter, meaning I lost 1 1/2 inches all around. It definitely sits closer to the ground with these, but I built up a set over time, and it will take some time wearing them out. I'm not totally dissatisfied, I get 2-3 more miles per gallon, even calculating in the 7% loss in each rotation, and I've since checked the odometer with interstate milemarkers and am certain their figures were correct. I truly thought there was a considerable difference in mounted tire weight, but have no exact numbers for that.

A friend just today told me he had some Re-Molded 31x10.5's he could sell me very cheap at his feed store/mill/tire shop, I might take that into consideration too, but it would almost seem a waste after getting these all set up nearly new now, but I could always put the others in the barn for a few years, just not sure I'll be making that many miles in the future
 

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You shouldn’t need to change your shocks when changing tires unless there was a massive change from, say 35” to 235/75R15 (29”). The inly other time you would be looking to change shocks is if you did a suspension lift. Then you need to compensate for the loss in stroke the lift just took away.
 

Josh B

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It had good 265's on it when I bought it in 2006, I'm in my 14th year now of driving it, not sure how long before that shocks were replaced(if ever, I have the old maintenance records but haven't dug back through them to see if they ever were), but I've added over a 100thousand miles to it. I'm just thinking it's probly about time to, and wondering which way I should go with it.
 

sgtsandman

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Do the bumper test. Push down on the bumper. If the truck just lifts back up and stops, you are fine. If it does more than that, it’s time to start looking for new shocks. Do that at each corner to check them all.

Also take a look at them. If you can see the piston rod because the shocks are so rusted away, you might want to look at replacing your shocks.

If they pass both tests, no need to change them. You can if you want but you don’t have to. As far as what shock to get, that depends on what you do. If you’ve been happy with how the ones that came with the truck work, just get new ones of them.
 

Josh B

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Thanks Sgt, it has such a strong suspension I'm unable to push it enough to tell by that method. I'm not sure what shocks they put on it but maybe I could find that in the maintenance records they gave me. I've only gone through them completely once and that was about 12 years ago.
It's rated 3/4 ton (1550 by the book) and has the tow package, and it actually rides a lot smoother when there's 500 pounds or more in the back. The springs may be fairly strong also.
I got behind on the upkeep over the last 12 years and now I'm able to do some things for it, so I was thinking maybe shocks would be in order also, but I'll maybe get up in it and bounce or something, but it's nowhere near some I've seen in the past where that test was very easy to perform.
Also I haven't really even looked at them very close, I'll do that also
 

sgtsandman

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You should be able to get enough suspension movement by standing on the bumper and jumping off. The front suspension should need that much weight to move it.
 

Josh B

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I did get a little bit out of them, seems the front more than the back, but the back is so stiff anyway. I figure probly at least the front would benefit
 


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