Finding the right shocks and struts is an important part of maintaining your vehicle’s performance, especially if you’re looking to make a big power gain or simply want to improve handling.
The best way to find out which shocks and struts are right for you is by ensuring that you have all of the information you need to make an informed choice – and this is where we can help.
We have put together everything you need to know about Gabriel and Monroe shocks and struts, including their pros and cons, so you can make the right decision when it comes to choosing between them.
What Are Shock Absorbers?
Shock absorbers are shock-absorbing devices used in vehicles to reduce vibration transmitted from the road surface through the suspension system to the body of the car.
They work by converting kinetic energy into potential energy as they compress during compression damping and then return the energy back to the driver via rebound damping.
There are two types of shock absorbers: coilover and gas. Coilovers use springs to provide the spring rate while gas shocks use air pressure to do the same thing.
Both types of shock absorbers come with different characteristics, such as ride height, spring rates, rebound damping, compression damping, etc, and we explored some of the main characteristics below:
Coilover shocks are typically taller than gas shocks because they require more space to operate. This means that they will absorb more force at higher speeds, but less force at lower speeds.
Gas shocks, on the other hand, are shorter and therefore don’t require as much room to operate. As a result, they tend to be better suited for low-speed driving.
Gas shocks are generally softer than Coilover shocks. This makes them better suited for high-speed driving, whereas coil-over shocks are usually stiffer and perform better at lower speeds.
Gas shocks offer greater rebound damping than coil-over shocks. In fact, coilover shocks only offer up to 50% of the rebound damping offered by gas shocks.
This means that coilover shocks are not as good at absorbing bumps as gas shocks.
Coilover shocks offer greater compression damping than gas shocks. This means they are better able to soak up large impacts and prevent damage to the suspension components.
When shopping for shocks and struts, you should consider the factors above when making your decision – this will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, as well as the type of vehicle that you drive.
How Do Shock Absorbers Work?
As we mentioned, shock absorbers work by converting kinetic energy (the energy created from movement) into potential energy (energy stored within the suspension).
Potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy when the car hits bumps or turns corners.
A shock absorber works like a pump and contains a chamber filled with air or oil. As the car moves forward, the chambers compress and expand.
The expansion of one chamber causes the other chamber to contract. This creates a pressure difference across the shock absorber.
As the pressure difference increases, the shock absorber begins to move. This movement converts the pressure difference into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy is then transferred to the vehicle’s wheels.
This process repeats itself over and over again until the shock absorber reaches its maximum capacity. At this point, the shock absorber has absorbed all of the kinetic energy.
What Are Struts And How Do They Work?
Struts are shock absorbers that connect the wheel to the frame of the vehicle.
They are designed to take the impact of bumps and potholes without causing excessive movement of the wheels and are essentially metal tubes located at each corner of the vehicle.
These tubes connect the vehicle’s chassis to the vehicle’s tires.
They also allow the suspension to move freely in order to maintain optimal traction.
When properly functioning, they are very effective at reducing the amount of noise and vibration experienced by the driver.
There are four main components of a strut: the upper mount, lower mount, coil spring, and shock absorber. The upper mount attaches to the top of the wheel hub, while the lower mount attaches to the bottom of the wheel hub.
The coil spring sits between the upper and lower mounts. Finally, the shock absorber is connected to the upper mount and lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Struts support the weight of the vehicle and prevent it from moving up and down.
Without struts, the vehicle would bounce up and down as it travels over uneven surfaces, leading to uneven wear of the tires and an uncomfortable drive.
The struts also allow the vehicle to turn more easily and smoothly.
Struts are made of steel tubing and rubber bushings. Rubber bushings are used to create a smooth connection between the strut and the vehicle.
Strut bushings wear out after several years of use; if you notice any unusual noises coming from your vehicle, check for signs of worn-out struts.
If you see any cracks in the strut, contact your local auto repair shop immediately, as worn-out struts can result in more serious – and more expensive – problems if they are not resolved quickly.
How Do I Know If My Vehicle Needs New Shocks Or Struts?
If your vehicle has worn shocks or struts, there will be visible signs of wear and tear, and these include:
Squeaking Sounds When Braking
If you hear squeaking sounds when you are breaking your vehicle, this could be a sign that you need to replace your shocks or struts.
You may notice that the squeaks become louder when you accelerate, which is an indication that the springs have lost their ability to absorb vibrations.
Wheels That Don’t Stay Level
Another common sign that your vehicle needs new shocks or struts is if the front or rear wheels start to wobble when you brake or turn.
This can happen due to worn-out shocks or struts, so it’s important to get them replaced before they cause any further damage.
Worn Out Suspension Components
Another way to know whether your vehicle needs new shocks is if the suspension components look worn out. For example, if the bushings are cracked, then you’ll need to replace them.
Low Tire Pressure
If your tires are low on air pressure or do not seem to be holding tire pressure when you top the air up, this could be a warning sign that your shocks are worn.
How To Install A Shock Absorber
Installing a shock absorber is an important part of maintaining your car’s suspension, prolonging the lifespan of your car, and ensuring that you have a smooth, comfortable ride behind the wheel.
A properly installed shock absorber will ensure smooth driving and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your car’s suspension components.
First, remove any existing shock absorbers from the vehicle. Then, measure the distance between the front wheels and rear wheels.
Next, determine how much space you have between the wheel wells and the frame rails. Finally, choose which type of shock absorber you would like to install.
If you’re installing a new shock absorber, first check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if there are any specific steps required – some will require specialist tools and equipment.
You may be asked to remove the tire or jack up the car so that you can access certain parts of the vehicle.
Once you’ve done these things, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer to install the shock absorber.
If you’re replacing a worn-out shock absorber, you’ll need to remove the old one before installing the new one. To do this, loosen the nuts holding the shock absorber onto the axle, and slide the shock off the axle.
Remove the old spring and adjuster rod assembly, and replace it with the new one. Tighten the nuts back down, and reinstall the shock.
Air Shocks Versus Gas Shocks
One of the main elements to consider when choosing new shock absorbers is whether to opt for air shocks or gas shocks, and there are some differences between the two.
Air shocks are generally lighter than gas shocks, and can be adjusted to suit any application.
They also feature a spring preload adjustment, which allows you to set the initial pressure before the shock starts working.
Gas shocks, on the other hand, are heavier and require no preloading. They also tend to be less expensive than air shocks, although this isn’t always the case.
As summary: air shocks work by using compressed air to push against the piston rod. Gas shocks work by compressing the gas contained within the shock body.
The best choice will depend on what kind of vehicle you own, and what kind of driving you plan to do.
For example, if you drive mainly on smooth roads, then air shocks might be better suited to your needs.
However, if you like to drive fast through rough terrain or on bumpy surfaces, then gas shocks would probably be a better option, as they tend to be a little hardier.
There are pros and cons to each system, and you should weigh up the advantages and disadvantages carefully before making a purchase.
Pros And Cons Of Air Shock Absorbers
Air shocks tend to be lighter than gas shocks, and this means that they are easier to install. This makes them ideal for cars where weight is an issue, such as convertibles, sports cars, and light trucks.
Air shocks allow you to adjust the initial pressure before the suspension begins to function. This gives you greater control over how stiff the suspension feels.
Spring Preload Adjustment
Air shocks usually come with a spring preload adjustment. This allows you to set the amount of initial compression applied by the shock. You can use this to tune the suspension to suit your driving style.
Higher Maintenance Costs
Because air shocks do not contain internal valves, it is necessary to regularly check the oil level and replace the shock absorber fluid. This is especially important if you drive in cold conditions.
Because air shocks do not have internal valves, they produce a lot of noise. If you live in a noisy area, then this may be a problem for you.
Difficult To Install
Air shocks are often harder to install than gas shocks. This is because you need to remove the wheel nuts first, and then loosen the bolts holding the shock body onto the strut tower.
Gas Shocks Pros and Cons
Cheaper Than Air Shocks
Gas shocks are cheaper than air shocks, and this makes them attractive for budget-conscious buyers.
Unlike air shocks, gas shocks are easy to install. All you need to do is remove the wheel nuts from the wheels, pull off the old shock absorber, and put on the new one.
Gas shocks are larger than air shocks, so they take up more space inside the wheel well.
Less Control Over Initial Pressure
Unlike air shocks, gas shocks don’t offer much control over the initial pressure applied by the shock. This means that you cannot fine-tune the stiffness of the suspension.
Gabriel Shocks: What You Need To Know
The Gabriel brand is one of the most popular brands of automotive parts available today. It offers a wide range of products including shocks, struts, and sway bars.
These products are made from quality materials and are engineered with precision to provide excellent
performance and durability.
The Gabriel shocking system consists of two shock absorbers per wheel assembly. Each shock absorber includes a piston rod, spring, and reservoir.
The piston rod connects to the vehicle frame, while the spring provides energy absorption. The reservoir stores oil that flows through the shock absorber during compression and rebound phases.
When you apply the brakes, the hydraulic fluid inside the shock absorbs the force applied to the vehicle. When you release the brakes, the springs return the fluid back into the reservoir.
Gabriel shocks also benefit from a unique shock absorbing mechanism called a “shocker.”
A shocker is an internal valve that controls the flow of fluid between the shock’s reservoir and the shock body. This allows the shock to absorb the impact forces applied to the vehicle.
Shocker valves can be adjusted to change the amount of damping provided by the shock.
Adjusting the shocker valves changes how much fluid flows through the shock, which affects its ability to absorb impacts.
Gabriel shocks are designed to handle heavy loads and high speeds. They’re engineered to resist damage caused by harsh road conditions such as potholes and rough roads.
Some of the main advantages of Gabriel shocks include:
Gabriel shocks are known for their superior quality and performance; they are manufactured using premium materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they perform flawlessly, and last longer than other brands.
Gabriel shocks are priced affordably, making them accessible to all types of drivers, and great value for money.
Not only are these shocks priced competitively compared to other shock manufacturers, but they are also backed by a limited lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.
In addition, Gabriel shocks offer a long lifespan – they are built to withstand extreme conditions and continue working even after years of use.
Range Of Options
Gabriel shocks come in various sizes, designs, and styles. Some of the different options include single-tube and twin-tube.
Single-tube shocks feature a single-tube design while twin-tube shocks feature two tubes. Twin-tube shocks are generally more expensive than single-tube shocks but offer better performance.
Gabriel shocks also come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large.
Small shocks are typically used on vehicles weighing less than 2,000 pounds while larger shocks are usually used on heavier vehicles.
Monroe Shocks: What You Need To Know
Monroe is another automotive brand with a strong reputation and great name in the industry – and this is backed by years of experience working with all elements of cars and other vehicles.
This means that Monroe shocks are manufactured by one of the most trusted names in the industry, and are known for their quality and reliability.
With over 50 years of experience manufacturing shocks, Monroe shocks are built to last.
Monroe shocks are available in both coilover and air suspension systems. Coilovers are typically found on luxury cars and trucks while air suspensions are often seen on sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Coilover Monroe shocks are made from steel and aluminum. Steel coils are stronger and lighter than aluminum coils, while aluminum coils are more durable and cheaper to purchase, but tend to weigh more.
Air suspension Monroe shocks use nitrogen gas to fill the shock bodies, and this offers a safer and cleaner option than traditional fluids like oil.
Air suspension Monroe shocks are quieter than coilover Monroe shocks.
Monroe shocks come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large.
Small Monroe shocks are recommended for light-duty applications such as passenger cars, while larger Monroe shocks are used for heavier-duty applications such as SUVs.
One major advantage of the Monroe shock system is the unique design that makes it easier to install.
It features a threaded collar at the base of the shock body that attaches to the vehicle using bolts, and this eliminates the need for special tools to attach the shock to the vehicle – a factor that can also make them cheaper and easier to install.
The Monroe shock system uses a piston rod that connects the upper and lower shock bodies together. This helps keep the shock aligned during operation and reduces the risk of damaging the shock.
The Monroe shock system has been around since the 1950s and is still going strong today. If you want reliable shocks that won’t break the bank, then Monroe shocks are the way to go.
Gabriel Versus Monroe Shocks And Struts
Now that we have taken a brief look at Gabriel and Monroe parts, it is time to put them head to head by comparing key elements of both systems, to ensure that you have the information you need to choose the very best part for your vehicle.
Key elements to consider when purchasing shock absorbers include:
As we have mentioned, shock size is an important consideration in your decision, and both Gabriel and Monroe offer a good range of options here.
The Gabriel vs Monroe shocks are the best on the market today, but which one is right for you depends on your vehicle’s needs and budget.
We will compare these two shocks to help you make a decision that works best for your car or truck.
Both of these shocks are designed to be used with coil springs, but they have different features. One shock has an adjustable
One of the main functions of shock absorbers is to level out your vehicle and, in some cases, lift the rear end of your car.
Air shocks are the best option to achieve these goals, and Gabriel emerges as the clear winner in this category if you are looking for a higher rear, with options ranging from 25 to 200 psi, compared to the 20 to 150 psi offered by Monroe air shocks.
It should be noted, however, that if a higher rear is not your number one priority, Monroe air shocks should suffice, and these have the advantage of being better for adverse weather, as we shall see shortly.
The quality of your ride is another important consideration when you are choosing shock absorbers, and the winner here will depend on your personal preferences and desires.
As a general rule, Gabriel shocks and struts will ensure that your car ride feels firmer and more solid, while Monroe parts ensure a smoother, more luxurious ride.
If you are tackling uneven terrain, Gabriel shocks may be your best bet here – they will be equipped to manage the bumps and holes of the road and can reduce the overall damage to your suspension.
If, however, you are focused on comfort while driving, then opt for Monroe products.
Installation of your new parts is another key element to consider, and here both Monroe and Gabriel emerge as equals.
Both companies provide easy-to-follow instructions, and their kits come complete with everything needed to get started.
Some mechanics and auto experts claim that Monroe shocks require less effort than Gabriel shocks to maintain, and installation is easier too, but this is a disputed point, and many experts state that there is little difference in terms of installation effort or ease.
Another factor to take into account when buying shock absorbers is how long they will last before needing replacement.
This is especially true if you are planning to use your shocks for several years, as they will wear down over time, and you will want to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Monroe shocks are said by some experts to last longer than Gabriel shocks, but this is something that cannot be verified, and both brands are said to last for 50,000 miles on rougher roads, ensuring that you can enjoy plenty of mileage for your money.
Cost is also an important factor in your decision, and there tends to be little difference between the two companies.
In many cases, the bulk of the cost will come from labor and fitting the parts, so you may be able to save here if you know what you are doing.
Ultimately, the best provider of shocks and struts is likely to come down largely to personal preference – many of us will have a natural leaning towards one provider over the other.
It is important, however, to ensure that your chosen brand will be able to match your needs and expectations when driving.
So, Which Is Better?
In the battle of Gabriel versus Monroe, it seems clear that both brands have their pros and cons, and that their products will both be perfect for a range of different situations and scenarios.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, but it is important to note that each brand scores highly in different categories.
In summary, it seems that Gabriel shocks and struts are the perfect choices for off-road driving, offering a firmer ride, while Monroe shocks and struts are the perfect choices for those who tend to favor highway driving, as they make the ride smoother and more comfortable on these types of surfaces.