Firm or Soft Shocks...What's the difference? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 12-10-2008, 05:44 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
linz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon for the last 14 years, before that in the military and all over the place
Posts: 16
Firm or Soft Shocks...What's the difference?

I was curious to know the difference in the ride or feel of firm vs soft shocks. Firm to me means more of a jarring feeling due to faster dampening effect when going over a bump. Soft would mean less of a jarring feeling, a feeling of floating (sort of) due to a slower dampening effect when goinve over a bump.

Q: Is the above description correct?

Q: Is it possible to have shocks that provide firmness at slow speeds (quick jarring motion in the seat) and then bounce a lot when doing 60 on the highway? These are the symptoms I'm having now on my new 2" lift and shocks installed by Les Schwab. Is the bounce at highway speeds a normal symptom for so called stiffer shocks?

Q: When I do the bounce test on my brand new shocks, the corner bumper bounces more than once but it's subtle. I also hear a hissing sound coming from the shock (no visible oil leak). Is this normal?

Thanks.

linz is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-10-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
linz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon for the last 14 years, before that in the military and all over the place
Posts: 16
I found the hissing sound. It's coming from two holes in the boot that fits over the shock. The holes are drilled and look like they're supposed to be there. I guess you experienced folks out there are probably laughing at me now...sorry.

Anyhow, a new symptom: I grabbed onto the mirror and hard top and then pushed and pulled the vehicle into a good lateral wobble. It wasn't hard at all to make it move like this. When I released my grip it still wobbled for at least 3 times (decreasing each time). It just seems unlikely to me that this would be the case....but then again, I've never had a Jeep and never had a lift. The lift is only 2" and it's the type where you put a spacer above the spring.

Your comments are welcome...thanks.

linz is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
JCS05Rubi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: central md
Posts: 2,748
3 Bounces after pushing from the corner or the top is about normal for a good shock.

As far as the ride quality, only way to change that is to change the shocks. Lots of good revies for the OME or Rubicon Express shocks
__________________
Dad's Blog! http://justkeepliving.blog.com/
T-Shirts for Dad, based on his "Just Keep Living" philosophy. http://www.cafepress.com/justkeepliving


1997 Wrangler Sport - 5 spd. Retired
2005 Wrangler Rubicon - 6spd|KC 55watt fogs, IPF H4s with fatboys,Uniden CB radio/Teraflex mount
http://www.4x4s-pod.com/
JCS05Rubi is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-10-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
Jeeper
 
linz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon for the last 14 years, before that in the military and all over the place
Posts: 16
firm ride shocks verses soft ride shocks

I just don't know how to judge what will be good for my driving situation. With so many different opinions, some say this is good, some say not, and then there are terms like stiff, firm, or soft... it really seems like there is no way to predict what will work without laying out the $$...trial and error. One thing I can't find anywhere is information on how bouncy the ride should be with different types of kits.

For example: stiff ride = how much bounce?

Maybe I'm oversimplifying something that connot be simplified. Anyhow, thanks again for your advice.

linz
linz is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-10-2008, 09:52 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
KellyK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: spokane washington
Posts: 521
I threw a set of rancho RS5000's on the rear of my jeep and i do not like them. They seem to feel as if they are so soft that they are giving all the energy to the springs and i end up feeling like i am riding a bull
KellyK is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-11-2008, 06:53 AM   #6
MOz
Jeeper
 
MOz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Poconos
Posts: 2,484
IMO - the Jeep should have some firmness in ride quality to it if it's your DD but not to the point where you kidneys fall out. Low speed or high speed, the suspension shoud be capable of absorbing road deviations in a positive manner that offer confident control. If you are experiencing negative or neutral control, I'd say you have an issue with your shocks or your springs. In shocks, you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap shock and it will not provide a positive result for you.

I installed the Rubicon Express mono-tube shocks (with their 3.5") springs and I can't overstate how good a combination that offers (on the road and especially off). The ride quality on the road is predictable and offers positive control without excessive jarring or bounce.

just my .02
__________________


It ain't no fun unless you get some of it on you.
MOz is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 12-11-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
Jeeper
 
linz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon for the last 14 years, before that in the military and all over the place
Posts: 16
Smile Update

Thanks everyone for your replies; I really appreciate your advice. I did go back to the shop today and hashed it out with the tech there. He took me into the parts store room to show me the difference between shock response levels when they're new out of a box. Wish I could tell you the name brands but I don't remember them...sorry.

First he showed me the "Foam Cell" shocks which are currently mounted on my TJ. The piston could easily be pulled out and pushed into the body with minimal effort. He called this type of movement "SUPER SOFT". He then showed me another shock which he could barely pull the piston out of the body, it was almost maximum resistance and needed every muscle to make it move. He called this type of movement "VERY FIRM".

When visualizing the movement in this manner, it was easy to see how bouncy my TJ is with the "Foam Cell" shocks. It basically gives next to no (zero) resistance to the springs. With some research on foam cell technology, I found on Ford's website a claim to increased bounce when using the foam lining inside the body. Also easy to see was how the really firm (hard to move) shocks would provide a stiff ride, or a ride where you would feel like your teeth were rattling when going over a bump.

But both of these are two extremes, what I need is something in the middle, something that provides the best of both. His answer: Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. Les Schwab is ordering the Rancho and will install them on my vehicle at no cost. They just want to make me happy. AWESOME!

The ability to adjust the level between firm & soft according to the ride & comfort needed is an excellent option! I see from Rancho's website that they can be equipped with a remote control so that the firmness can be adjusted while in the cab. I don't think he's going the extra $$ for the remote but it sure sounds nice. I'm getting them installed tomorrow and will reply back to the group on how they feel.

Thanks again!

Linz

linz is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Tags
bounce , bounce bb lift shock , shocks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Soft tops for TJ 1997-2002, 03-06?? What is the difference??? Jeep2175 TJ General Discussion Forum 5 07-27-2008 11:29 PM
Longer Shocks For More Flex nicolas-eric TJ General Discussion Forum 2 11-03-2007 02:11 PM
Aftermarket Soft Tops TaylorHuston TJ General Discussion Forum 11 10-20-2007 06:50 PM
97 - 02 & 03 - 06 Soft Top Difference? Tee TJ General Discussion Forum 1 10-15-2007 09:00 AM
OME Shocks - Where is the Difference? nicolas-eric TJ Tech Forum 1 03-30-2007 06:30 AM



» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:52 AM.



Jeep, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC