Monroe vs. Gabriel Shocks

by Jonathan Scales
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Choosing the right set of shocks for your vehicle can mean the difference between a smooth ride and one that leaves you wincing at the thought of the drive home. Both Monroe and Gabriel have a long history of innovation and technology; Choosing which shock to use comes down to personal preference and budget. If you are outfitting your car yourself, make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations and purchase a shock that will fit your vehicle properly.

Monroe and Gabriel--Similarities

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Monroe and Gabriel both offer shocks for cars and light trucks, including specialty items and aftermarket products to help your vehicle's performance on and off the road. Complete, ready-to-install units are available under both brand names. Both companies sell their products on-line or in stores.

Gabriel Specifics

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Gabriel shocks feature a 14-mm, hardened, chrome-plated piston that is super-finished to increase its ability to withstand the rigors of everyday driving or off-road adventures. The chamber is filled with high-pressure nitrogen gas and uses floating piston technology. Along with a large 46 mm bore, this increases the responsiveness of the piston enhancing its shock absorbing capabilities. Application-tuned valving increases control and the seamless mono-tube design helps keep the overall temperature of the shock cooler eliminating problems caused by heat. As of January 2011 the average price of a Gabriel shock was $30 to $40.

Monroe Specifics

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Monroe shocks have a 1/2 inch nitrocarburized piston rod designed for an extended lifespan. The 1 3/16-inch bore provides efficient control. The fully displaced valving automatically adjusts to driving conditions and can be specifically tuned for each application. Like the Gabriel shocks, Monroe features a nitrogen-filled tube; however, Monroe employs a special self-lubricating seal to help retain gas and avoid excessive wear. They also use an all weather fluid for lubrication to ensure a smooth rod reaction. A groove tube technology with a fluon banded piston enhances responsiveness and allows the shock to keep up with changing conditions. The tapered grooves on the tube function like an additional valve to provide a consistent ride. As of January 2011 the average price of a Monroe shock was $40 to $50.

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