What Size of an Off-Road Coilover Do I Need?

Written by amy rodriguez
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What Size of an Off-Road Coilover Do I Need?
Large, lifted trucks use off-road coilover springs. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Many truck enthusiasts enjoy modifying their vehicles for off-road purposes. The off-road vehicle accessory industry offers a myriad of components for improving truck performance across dirt or rocks. Coilover shocks are specialised shock absorbers manufactured specifically for off-road purposes. However, these shocks come with many size choices depending upon the vehicle's intended off-road use.

Coilover Features

A coilover shock consists of a shock absorber body with a coil spring visibly surrounding it on the outside. The shock absorber assembly contains a cylinder body filled with oil. A piston moves inside the cylinder for dampening the vehicle's spring. The piston uses thin shims and small holes, as part of its design, for allowing oil to flow in a controlled manner. In fact, truck owners can change the internal shims for adjustment to the internal oil flow, resulting in more or less overall spring movement from the coilover.


Coilover shocks are available in 2-inch, 2.5-inch and 3 inch diameters. In addition, the shock's travel length varies between 6 inch and 18 inches. Truck owners that participate in lightweight rock crawling, but still require a street vehicle, can use either a 2-inch or 2.5-inch diameter coilover with 10 inches to 16 inches of travelling movement. A heavy duty off-road vehicle, such as those covering tough desert terrains, should use the 2.5-inch diameter coilover with the same travel spacing. Truck owners with trophy trucks can use the 3-inch diameter coilover for an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Coil Length

The coil's overall length will affect the spring rate or shock-absorbing power. The length of a fully extended coil should be double the length of the largest travelling space. For example, 10 inches of travel should match with a coil that is 20 inches long.


Coilover shocks offer flexibility for the off-road driver. Other shock absorber choices, such as leaf spring suspensions, do not allow for any adjustments to the shock's performance. Coilover shocks are also easier to mount than the other suspension choices, making it simple for a truck enthusiast to modify the suspension himself.


Coilovers offer many benefits, but their cost is substantially more than other suspension choices. Each wheel must be outfitted with an individual coilover shock. Each coilover costs between about £260 and £357, generating a complete install cost of approximately £1,300. Choose well-respected coilover manufacturers when investing this large amount of money into a vehicle's modification.

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