Gabriel Load Carier vs Monro Sensa-Trac Shocks

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Huntr, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Huntr

    Huntr Rockstar

    1997 Suburban 4x4
    I use my suburban to pull my boy scout troop trailer. It's a big 18' box trailer.
    Truck still has the factory shocks on it at 150k miles and 17 years. They're done.
    I am looking for shocks to help with rear-end squat when I hook up the trailer (in addition to using a weight distribution hitch).
    So far, I am looking at the Gabriel Load Carrier and the Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks.
    2 questions:
    Any other shocks I should look at?
    Anybody have a reason for one over the other?

  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I will tell you now that most members are going to recommend Bilsteins and will as well, but shocks do nothing to carry load they simply bring the truck back to ride height. Any shock that incorporates a spring to increase load carrying puts strain on the shock brackets they were never built for and risks ripping the brackets right off the axle. I would recommend a system that helps the leaf springs handle the weight like Roadmaster Active Suspesnion which actively helps the leaf handle the load.

    Here's a link to their site:
  3. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    That is not necessarily true Conlan. My 2005 yukon xl with the "premium smooth" ride package, Has Nivomat shocks in the rear.Nivomats are stout shocks and have interior valving that uses the motion of the vehicle to keep the ride height level even under a load. They do carry some of the weight of the vehicle and control the ride height. They are also over $300 each to replace! I plan on putting bilsteins on mine, but when you do that you also have to change the rear coil springs to make up for the loss of support from the nivomat shocks. If you change out the nivomats and do not change the spring 2 things happen. 1) the ride in the rear is supper spongy and dangerous 2) you go thru shocks like crazy. I found this out the hard way with my 03, the previous owner changed the shocks and not the springs. The ride was pretty odd in the rear and I kept going thru shocks. (a set a month). I totaled the truck about 2 days after I figured out what the issue was.

    As far as the brackets supporting the added stress goes. My premium smooth ride shocks have the same brackets on the axle and frame as the z71 and the autoride package (air). GM is going to use the same brackets for all the suspensions. They are not going to put a different axle bracket or frame bracket on because of a suspension change. So as long as he does not exceed the recommended weight he should be fine.
    - - - Updated - - -

    You could always install a set of Sensa-Trac Load Adjusting Shocks.

    or gabriels version
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I was only warning him because of the age of the truck. I have a buddy who rebuilds obs and nbs Chevys that have been "totaled" and he once tried out coil over shocks and ripped the brackets clean off. Also have read around other forums that its not uncommon. I bet there great shocks just warning it happens on vehicles that are older because of metal aging.

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