Ride/Handling Problem - My plan to fix it. Comments needed
My Jeep is riding and handling terribly. When the dirt roads or the pavement get rough the jeep wants to bounce right out of the lane. In my urban commute I routinely hit the bump stops. To test the shocks I bounced it and rocked it back and forth. It will bounce a couple of times after I stop pushing. It will rock side to side many times.
On inspection, the shocks aren't visibly damaged. The axle sits about two inches below the bump stops. The steering stabilizer is dented and rusting at the point of an impact. I must have done that a long time ago. I should check the ball joints. But I've never done that so I might misdiagnose them.
My plan is to install a spring based leveling kit, shocks, and steering stabilizer. This would raise the jeep about 1.5" which I believe is within the safe range. If I were to go bigger I would need to address control arms, steering geometry, and drive shaft issues.
I would suggest going with RK triple rate 1.5" coils which would be cheaper and better coils in my experience. find a set of rear take off sway bar links to replace your front ones and get some OME shocks for a 2" lift or some Rancho 9000's for same. Definitely want to replace the stabilizer and get your ball joints checked by someone altho it is easy to check your self. just jack up one tire and put a long lever underneath the tire and see if you have up and down movement coming from the ball joint. have a helper help out if you are having a hard time determining if there is movement.
Not sure how many miles you have but stock shocks are worn out very early ie with in 20000 miles they are usually worn out but it happens gradually so people do not know how bad they are until they replace them.
I read the post about the sag in the teraflex springs and it mentioned the new RK springs. On the website I see three 1.5" kits. They all include the lower control arms and that pushes the price to $1000. This leads me to some questions. Will RK or Teraflex springs lift more than the 1.5"? Do I need to consider lower control arms, drive shaft length, or other items?
The reason I'm looking at the 1.5" springs is because I don't want to make all of the changes a bigger lift requires. I know accessory weight is a factor. I have winch plate, winch, and roof rack. I have no plans for big tires, bumpers or armor. Here is a picture of the Jeep in road trip mode. I don't usually carry this much.
you only need the coils and the longer shocks, front sway bar links and if you do hard off roading then you should add some rear brake line bracket extensions which are cheap or easily home made. you do not need control arms unless you want them. I have had the TF and they sagged right away. the rk fronts have not sagged and I have exactly 2" of lift with a stock bumper with winch and winch plate and front skid. My winch is pretty light as it is a VR10000S It feels great on and off road.
I would remove the SS and see if it cycles or not at all. A bad SS is not going to help the ride at all.
Ball joints. Just get each tire off the ground 3" or so. Pry the tire upward with a 2x4, shovel, etc.
The ball joints will clank if bad. You will be able to see movement as well. Watch PlanMan's 2 vidoes on DW. He shows how to properly inspect the front end.
I would not do the 9550 shocks if your looking for a good ride. 5100's are a better shock. Rancho 7000 or 9000 are good options.
If staying stock .. Rubi shocks will blow away the crap sport shocks.
Both of the others commenting in this thread are more qualified than I, but here's my take. The RK 1.5 springs can be purchased separately from their kits and if paired with the Rancho 9000XL's will provide a great setup and adjustable.
You could then put your rear sway bar links on the front and buy a new set of Warrior rears for 2" lift. Good to go.
Your SS is an easy and cheap fix, I'd do it just for peace of mind. I like the Teraflex kit.
jadmt has a good suggestion on bumper end caps and there is another option with the VDP Stubby kit.
You might need to use a couple different vendors to get the parts of your choice, but I say go for it!
By the way, your ride will look fantastic with a little "up".
Ok, I'm finally ready to order but I have one more question. The rear sway bar links move to the front so I need new rear sway bar links to suit the longer spring. Where is that part? Can you link me to it.
If a vendor has a better deal than I've find please let me know.
Rancho 9000 XL Shocks $327.96 @4wheelparts.com
Rock Krawler Tripple Rate Springs $279 Morris 4x4 Center
RK04186 1.5" Triple Rate Front
RK04187 1.5" Triple Rate Rear
Steering Stabilizer $39.99 Morris 4x4 Center
Rough Country OEM Steering Stabilizer