The C4 Corvette is a stylish collector’s car. It’s underrated, and will likely be one of the few cars that appreciate in value as a rare collectible. Should you want to ever make money off your Corvette, you’d want to ensure that it is in the best condition possible.
But even if you have no plans as of now for selling your Corvette, you want to have the best possible experience from driving the vehicle. The Corvette is known for a smooth ride, but old shocks can completely ruin this aspect of your car.
Top 5 Best Shocks for c4 Corvette
If you’re feeling every single bump in the road and having your bones jolted every time you go for a ride: there’s a big chance that you need to change your shocks. It is the number one recommended fix to any vehicle giving you a rough ride, and the C4 Corvette is no exception.
Replacing the shocks is an integral part of the general maintenance for your C4 Corvette. It is recommended that you replace your Corvette’s shocks every 100,000 miles. However, it is not completely unlikely that the original shocks might start to malfunction before you hit the 100,000 mileage point.
Here we have listed out the top 5 exhaust for your C6 Corvette to choose from. Be sure to check out the FAQs section we’ve included at the end of this article to help you make your decision!
AC Delco is one of the leading brands for high-quality shocks. This particular shock is a rear attachment and has a couple of unique features that provide a much better driving experience and will greatly boost your Corvette’s suspension system.
The piston rod of the ACDelco 520-396 is made out of Chromium. That means that it is naturally corrosion resistant. Having a corrosion-resistant shock is key since you won’t have to service or replace them any time soon. It also is much stronger and has better resistance to overall wear and tear.
One of the biggest problems with shocks can be leaks, but you won’t have that problem with the ACDelco 520-396. It has a piston seal that is adjustable. This shock is charged with gas and has an O-ring technology that keeps the inner tube at the optimum pressure. It is also equipped with a Drawn Over Mandrel pressure cylinder.
- Manufacturer: AC Delco
- Type: Twin-Tube Shocks
- Model: 520-396
- Weight: 5.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 19.9 x 4 x 3.2 inches
- Easy installation
- Instant improvement in ride smoothness
- Low-quality shock mount bushing
The ACDelco is our top pick because it has everything you would be looking for in a shock for your C4 Corvette. It is affordable and has all the necessary features, while also being durable for many years. Most people can feel an instant improvement in their riding experience. It is definitely a safe and reliable choice.
These heavy-duty shocks have been a favorite of Corvette drivers for years. The reason is that they have the unique ability to actually enhance your driving experience by increasing the stability and handling of the car. However, the ride isn’t too ‘stiff’ and you still get to reap the benefits of comfort with these shocks installed.
These Bilstein Monotube Shocks use gas pressure to perform a damping ability which improves the performance of your C4 Corvette. Since these shocks are so robust and heavy-duty they can also handle significant loads and definitely last longer than the average shocks to be found in the market.
Imported from Germany, you’ll enjoy spectacular lane-changing stability no matter what the weather conditions or type of terrain you’re driving through. Each of the dampers undergoes rigorous testing in order to certify if they are up to the OE standards since they are made to be paired with the OE factory spring. You’ll also find valve settings that allow you to adjust these monotube shocks according to your Corvette’s needs.
- Manufacturer: Bilstein
- Type: Monotube Shocks
- Dimensions: 7.111 H x 55.88 L x 7.62 W cm
- Weight: 4.25 pounds
- Model: 24-020534
- Great quality
- Durable for many years
- Not as affordable as other brands
If you want reputed shocks that will definitely perform, you’ll be happy with the Bilstein 24-020534. They are definitely priced higher than other shocks in the market, but it makes it worth it when you consider how long they last! They might not have some of the other fancy features, but who needs periphery features when you have top-notch quality?
This is a great option for someone who is looking to replace their front shocks only and currently has rear shocks that are intact and in good condition. Just like the other ACDelco shocks on our list (it is the top pick), these are also well-performing and competitively priced front shocks for your C4 Corvette.
Due to the chromium finish that has been applied over the piston rod, you’ll never have the problem of corrosion with these shocks. This is a unique and valuable feature; you’d be surprised how often perfectly functioning shocks need to be replaced because their exteriors have corroded.
With a great Piston seal, you don’t have to worry about any kind of leakages. You also benefit from the O-ring technology with these ACDelco Front shocks. What the O-ring does is simple, it prevents any kind of dirt or dust build-up from entering the shocks, and thus extends its life greatly.
- Manufacturer: ACDelco
- Type: Twin Tube Design
- Model: 520-380
- Weight: 1 pound
- Dimensions: 18.1 x 4 x 2.6 inches
- O-ring Design
- Bushings and Washers not as good
As an established brand, ACDelco is a great bet. If you want to replace your front shocks, but don’t want to entirely splurge during the process, this is a good option. You also get a lot of bonus features that ensure it will last a good couple of years and definitely improve your Corvette driving experience.
If you’re looking to replace all four of your shocks, you might not want to spend time looking for separate front and rear shocks. All four of these Detroit Axle shocks are high-quality and boost performance.
Detroit Axle is a leading supplier of parts to OE vehicles, and their front struts and rear shocks are exemplary of their brand. You can order them ready to install and they arrive with all the tools and additional hardware that you could possibly need, which makes life simpler.
The coil-spring of the shocks are made out of high-quality premium stainless steel that will last a while. It is also equipped with rubber boots that keep away dust particles and build-up from the tube itself.
The piston rod is specifically engineered to withstand very high frequencies. What this means is that you will get the same stability and incredible performance even when you’re driving at high speeds.
There is also a hydraulic circuit system that ensures there are no unnecessary vibrations in your vehicle while driving. Getting these shocks installed smoothens your ride overall.
- Manufacturer: Detroit Axle
- Type: Front Struts and Rear Shocks
- Model: 10104-4
- Weight: 46 pounds
- Dimensions: 27 x 10 x 14 inches
- Noticeable improvement in handling
- Mid-range priced
- Great for high speeds
- Hydraulic Circuit System
- Short term warranty
Detroit Axle is a relatively new brand compared to some of the others on our list, but they definitely put out competitively priced quality products. Purchasing this kit is a hassle-free experience, you order all four and enjoy the easy installation. As soon as you take your C4 Corvette out for a spin, you’ll immediately notice an improvement in the ride and handling!
These B6 heavy-duty front and rear shocks are an ideal choice. These are gas pressure shocks and provide great handling and stability to your C4 Corvette. While they might be more of an expense upfront, you’ll definitely enjoy having increased power reserves as well as service life.
One of the best things about the Bilstein shocks is that they don’t just perform well for daily driving under normal conditions. You’ll actually witness the same performance if not better in high-speed driving, heavy-load driving, or driving in extreme situations.
These gas pressure shocks have the best damping ability and that creates the perfect street ride. With optimum adhesion and incredible lane-changing stability, these shocks bring more safety and performance to your C4 Corvette.
You can also use your standard springs with these shocks, and no additional spring changes are required for further improving the ride quality.
Please note that while these shocks will work perfectly for your C4 Corvette 1989-1996, they do not fit and work with the ZR-1 and Z51.
- Manufacturer: Bilstein
- Type: Gas Pressure Front and Rear Shocks
- Model: 24-020534
- Reliable brand
- Extremely durable
- No need to change springs
- Great lane-changing stability
- Not as affordable as other brands
As we mentioned earlier with the other Bilstein product, it’s difficult to compare a premium brand with an affordable one. Bilstein shocks are known for lasting a really long time. These shocks also come with a warranty in case you’re unsure about how they will perform.
Make sure that you have the right model of C4 Corvette, however, since these shocks will not work with the ZR-1 and Z51.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about C4 Corvette Shocks
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about shocks for C4 Corvettes:
How do you know if your C4 Corvette Shocks are damaged?
This is a great question. How can you know for sure if you need to change your Corvette shocks if you’re not sure they’re damaged in the first place?
Luckily, there are a few warning signs that indicate that your shocks might be damaged. Here are a few of them:
- Instability while driving: This is something that most C4 Corvette drivers notice when they’re on the highway since they’re going at a greater speed. If the car seems to jerk every time you change gears or generally feels unstable, it can point towards the shocks.
- Too much bouncing: How much bouncing is too much? You might have gotten used to your Corvette bouncing around while driving, and maybe you ruled it out as simply being a feature of an older year. However, a lot of bouncing around is not normal, and you can take care of this by replacing shocks. In fact, many Corvette drivers only realize how bad the bouncing was once they’ve gotten new shocks!
- Leaking fluid around the shocks: If you’re doing a regular maintenance check and happen to notice fluid that is leaking around the shocks, it’s definitely a sign that they need to be changed. It’s also better to not drive after you notice this is the case and order a new pair of shocks immediately!
- Tipping or leaning towards either side: We tend to think that when there is any kind of tipping or leaning, the tires are completely at fault. However, it might actually be the shocks.
What happens if I don’t replace my shocks?
Many people falsely assume that the only thing that happens with bad shocks is an uncomfortable ride. They think they can make peace with a little bit of bouncing around and hence don’t immediately look for new shocks and struts.
However, there is more to bad shocks than simply a bumpy ride. You are actually putting yourself in danger! Your ability to control and maneuver the car is definitely compromised when the shocks aren’t working as they’re supposed to.
The best thing you can do for your safety and the maintenance of your C4 Corvette is to replace the shocks when the old ones aren’t functioning properly! Make sure to inspect the front struts and rear shocks carefully to determine if you need to replace either one or both.
We hope that the top 5 shocks we listed in this article will boost your C4 Corvette’s performance and give you a much better riding experience!