2.5" AEV lift w/Rancho 9000 shocks - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:38 PM   #1
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2.5" AEV lift w/Rancho 9000 shocks

Hey guys - i would appreciate some advice here. I've read through many threads about the relationship between springs and shocks but am hoping for some real-world feedback on a specific configuration.

I have a 2013 JKUR with the AEV 2.5" lift and brackets and really am not happy with the ride quality. Where I live and travel the roads suck and while the ride is not bad it is quite a bit harsher than I'd like. I've done all the normal troubleshooting so I don't think there is any issue with the setup - it's working as designed. Cornering is fantastic but I don't regularly need to run racetracks... My use for my Jeep is a daily driver but ultimately for overlanding where I'll be travelling many thousands of miles, day after day.

I'd like to know if softer shocks (like the Rancho's) can compensate or provide any advantage given that they will be paired with the AEV springs? Do the springs override any ride quality advantage of the shocks or will there be a noticeable improvement in ride quality?

Has anyone here replaced their 5100's with the 9000's on an AEV 2.5 lift?

Thanks guys.

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:51 PM   #2
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What's your tire/tire size/psi ?

I'm in progress of installing my lift and have seen that tire pressure can cause a rough ride if set to high.

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Old 03-26-2014, 07:00 PM   #3
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Duratrac 285-70/17. Typically running 28 psi.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:02 PM   #4
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Scorpion II Build Thread

Highly recommend you talk to Dave, this is his second build and he knows his stuff. Great guy and very helpful
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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I'd like to speak to someone who's run the 5100's and then moved to the 9000's to get a before and after comparison but that's helpful - thanks. I'll get in touch with him.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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I just purchased the 9000s after researching between them and bilstien 5100
For a week.

There is many discussions on here saying how much nicer the ride is w 9000s
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
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Scorpion II Build Thread Highly recommend you talk to Dave, this is his second build and he knows his stuff. Great guy and very helpful Jay
X2 5100's can be a little harsh of a shock. Especially on a lightweight 2 door. I ran the 5100's for a short time and my next shock was the 9550 then the 9000's. Night and day IMO

Rancho RS9000's :cool:
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:29 PM   #8
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I think it is going to be a spring issue more then a shock issue. If you have any interest in selling that AEV 2.5 I sure might be interested.

I just checked your profile and see you are up north so that makes that not feasible lol. I think the rock krawler 1.5" lift might be better especially if running 285/70's
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:41 PM   #9
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4WDparts.com seems to have good price on the Ranchos. Others may have a better source...plus you get the rebate.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:48 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. Yeah ready to buy but hoping for some real-world feedback on the shock/spring combo. Are the springs a big part of the issue or will the new shocks help a lot?
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:49 PM   #11
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My 2-door was pretty harsh when I first got my 2.5" AEV lift. Thing that helped me the most was adding heavy rear bumper with tire carrier. That helped my ride more than anything. If you were considering that, might pull the trigger and see how it rides with the extra weight back there. It'd save you $2-300 on shocks you may not need.

Just a thought. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Honestly installing AEV 2.5 lift. The coils seemed to be the softest coils I've installed. RC, AEV, TFx2 and RK. Or maybe it was the wheaties that morning

Seriously though ... Talk to DAVE. He runs that combo.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:45 AM   #13
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The ride of the 5100s is on the firm side but these shocks are dynamically tuned to the AEV progressive coils. You can install a softer shock or the 9000XLs with a softer setting and they will feel smoother but the front and rear will get out of sync when you hit a series of bumps. If the shocks are too soft they won't dampen the motion enough and Jeep will cycle up and down more. The lack of tuning sometimes makes the rear end dance all over the place when you hit sequential bumps or pot holes. In an extreme case at higher speeds the rear end can feel like a bucking bronco.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:37 AM   #14
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Thought id share this

Overland Journal[/I] magazine just did a shock review, including the Bilstein 5100, OME Nitro Charger Sport, Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP, ICON Vehicle Dynamics 2.0 V.S. Aluminum Series and Ranch RS9000XL. The Rancho shocks used at only one setting (since none of the others are adjustable) were the Editor's Choice. The OMEs were the value award.

Rancho's Pros:
  • Excellent yaw reponse and damping
  • Limited body roll and heave-out
  • Limited thermal buildup
  • Adjustable

Rancho's Cons:
  • Cost
  • Reduction in force/damping at high temperature
  • Restricted installation positions (bear in mind this was not a JK specific test, but a JK was used for the test)

"Yaw control and damping, both on- and off-pavement were excellent, and body roll was limited and balanced. On our desert loop, the vehicle's predictability instilled confidence and we found ourselves traveling at higher speeds without feeling like were were going to damage the vehicle. Though they had the highest loss of damping in the 200° lab test, in the field they never surpassed 136°, which rendered this a non-issue. ... With solid performance and nine-position adjustability, the latitude of the Rancho's RS9000X< is quite impressive."

Bilstein's Pros:
  • Well balanced
  • Predictable handling
  • Limited axle chatter

Bilstein's Cons:
  • Runs hot under spirited driving
  • Light fade with thermal buildup

[I]"Trail and street manners were solid, and between our three testers we found little to complain about. Though the Bilsteins ran hot enough to boil water, ... fade, while detectable, was limited. Quality of construction is good, they are rebuildable, and their lifetime warranty is a measure of Bilstein's confidence in the product."
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:05 PM   #15
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Good stuff - thanks all. In addition to your comments I received some great feedback from Phaedrus as well and am going to give the shocks a try. At $320 per set it's money I'd rather not spend after the AEV lift but if it provides the ride quality then it will be worth it. Can anyone confirm the part numbers - 999329 and 999330 - are these right?
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Good stuff - thanks all. In addition to your comments I received some great feedback from Phaedrus as well and am going to give the shocks a try. At $320 per set it's money I'd rather not spend after the AEV lift but if it provides the ride quality then it will be worth it. Can anyone confirm the part numbers - 999329 and 999330 - are these right?
Don't forget the $100 rebate and sale of 5100's,
You should break even.

Yes 29/30 is the safe bet. If you want more travel the 31/32 will also work.

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Old 03-29-2014, 12:08 AM   #17
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Thanks Ken. On the 31/32's does the extra length mean these are a heavier duty shock and slightly firmer? Any chance the extra length might cause the springs to unseat?

Does Rancho's site really not have a list anywhere of all the shocks and their dimensions? Seems like it's dumbed-down in a big way.

Or maybe i missed it. Which would make me dumb...
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:27 AM   #18
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Thanks Ken. On the 31/32's does the extra length mean these are a heavier duty shock and slightly firmer? Any chance the extra length might cause the springs to unseat?

Does Rancho's site really not have a list anywhere of all the shocks and their dimensions? Seems like it's dumbed-down in a big way.

Or maybe i missed it. Which would make me dumb...
They are longer. Diameters remain the same. They have a longer body but not to the point of making them 'heavier' duty. You choose the shocks based on the coils. You can't choose long shocks on short coils otherwise there wont be any useful uptravel.

They may cause it to unseat and at the same time, you will need to bumpstop more.

For specs, you could try the rancho dude here on the forums. I have these numbers (below), but not really sure if they are 100% spot on.

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Old 03-29-2014, 02:03 AM   #19
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Duty cycle is determined by the diameter and internal structure of the shock not the length. As pointed out above, the max length determines how far the suspension can droop (extended travel). Minimum travel is determined by the bump stops which should limit travel before the shocks bottom out since they are not designed for that type of punishment.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:01 AM   #20
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Thanks fellas. The longer 9000's are comparable to any 4-6" shock in length. This is the list I have.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:04 PM   #21
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Gregbr, I ordered a set of these today so we can both ad our opinions between both shocks. Although I am not unhappy with the 5100's that come with the AEV kit, they do ride a little stiff and with all the great comments on these I thought I would give them a shot. Looking forward to how they work out for you as well.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #22
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4x4n - did you order 29/30 or the longer 31/32 set?
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:28 AM   #23
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Yes, 29/30. Looks like about a week for shipping, I'll try and put them on as soon as I can.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:51 PM   #24
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Awesome. I'm waiting for 4wd to call me about my order - expect I'll hear from them tomorrow. Still too cold up here to be laying on my garage floor so will be at least a couple of weeks before i get mine installed.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:56 PM   #25
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Awesome. I'm waiting for 4wd to call me about my order - expect I'll hear from them tomorrow. Still too cold up here to be laying on my garage floor so will be at least a couple of weeks before i get mine installed.
Ahh .... it's all your faulty lol
News is blaming our neighbors from the north on the cold temps here
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:21 PM   #26
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Come on man, tough it out for the rest of the forum

Not too cold here, just a lot of f-ing rain. Over 9 inches this month, wettest March ever recorded.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:16 PM   #27
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I'm a Sally. Looking for work down south
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #28
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Come on man, tough it out for the rest of the forum

Not too cold here, just a lot of f-ing rain. Over 9 inches this month, wettest March ever recorded.
My daughter was headed that way for spring break tomorrow she stopped by and grabbed all my rain gear. Look for a skinny 21 yoa wearing a fat mans rain suit lol.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:25 PM   #29
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Haha. We try to share with our neighbours any way we can. It's the Canadian way... eh?

Nothing like the combination of those 5100's and -40 temps when everything... everything is frozen solid. The ride is just one step removed from a wagon.

Impressive that the jeep started all winter without needing to be plugged in (block heater) and warmed up very quickly. Though at 60 on the highway the heater doesn't have enough jam to keep the top of the windshield frost-free.

I'm not looking forward to messing with the front shock installation - again... I might install the Rancho's in the back to start with since that's a simple installation - until the temps warm up.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:59 PM   #30
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Very good point made on temps and shocks. Both tires (rubber) and shocks stiffen up in cold temps.

The 9000's are a easier install set at their lowest setting. The firm HD shocks are a pain. Rears being harder unless the shock is strapped and released -then guided into the mount. Miss the mount, good luck lol

Fronts, have a ratcheting wrench ready. The shock shaft has a bolt to hold it from turning.
2012- you might have to trim some plastic away to access the upper nut.

Lastly... And just like with the 5100's. I use the factory bushings. Just easier to work with.

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