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Old 08-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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How to tell if your shocks are finished?

Howdy folks, since owning my 2001 TJ last summer I've had a chance to get a good feel on how my jeep works in all the seasons so far. Unfortunately since this is my first wrangler and haven't had the chance to drive any others, I have no basis of comparison to work with.

SO on to the question: How can you tell if the stock shock is finished or done and needs replacing? My ride is very rigid since day one of owning it. Previously I've had two other small pickup 's prior and they were smooth in ride in comparison to my jeep(I realize there totally different). Nothing is sagging, its just every little bump seems amplified in manor of speaking. Are there symptoms I should look at? One thought is decrease the PSI in my tires. My jeep is great condition for its age, have about 189K KM or 114K Miles(give or take). Serviced regularly, no lifts(don't intend to add any either). I'm not an off-roader either(but I figure from the road conditions in my area, I may as well be lol).

Any advice would be great, and if you can recommend some shocks that are cost efficient yet has good quality for someone who is staying stock height running 31x10.5R15, that would a bonus for me and any others who share the same boat as I.

Thanks again everyone!

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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Have someone stand on the corner of the front bumper, then jump off, simulating a bump. The Jeep should rise up, then settle back to level in one movement. Multiple rebounds are an indication that the shock is shot, needs replaced. Repeat at all 4 corners.

What PSI are you running in your 31s?
Should be ~26-28 psi... even 30 psi increases harshness.

Consider some stock JK shocks as a good low-buck replacement. Look in forum classifieds or local 4x4 shop for take-offs. They provide a pretty good street ride (of course they can't compensate for over-inflated tires)

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Old 08-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
Knows a couple things...

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There are two kinds of shocks used in our Jeeps, hydraulic and nitrogen charged. If they are nitrogen, a good shock will extend out on its own with considerable force once unbolted. If they are hydraulic, they will not extend out on their own once unbolted, you test them by seeing if they provide substantial resistance as you push it together/pull it apart.

The standard factory shocks were hydraulic, the optional extra-cost 30" tire kit came with nitrogen gas-charged shocks.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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I'm beginning to think a jarring ride is normal. My ride is hard. tires at 26 PSI all the way around.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
Knows a couple things...

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A jarring ride is not normal, only when my previous TJ was running ProComp ES-3000 shocks did it ride like that.

It'd be useful if your 'Garage' link at least showed the basics like what size tires you're running, lift type, etc. which would be useful for those trying to make suggestions to help problems like a jarring ride.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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Nice to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't like the ride with the ES3000 shocks. I can't blame it on the PO though, I bought those on a tight budget.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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Drive over a speed bump/road heave at normal speed and if your butt gets tossed from the seat... they are shot.

Do you think they're original shocks? If they have Chrysler logos they may be originals (I wouldn't buy OEM shocks from a dealer/elsewhere, they are expensive--likely a previous owner thought the same if he went looking into replacing shocks). I just replaced mine with KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (nitrogen, monotube shock) and the difference is night and day. I also bought these shocks before for a Mazda RX-8; they're awesome.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:22 AM   #8
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I'll check my PSI today when I get the option, do some tests as lynn mentioned above. I'm about 90% positive they are stock shocks and according to this link below, they are gas powered (assuming nitrogen gas charged like Jerry mentioned above). Once I get more details, hopefully I can reply to some of the questions that have been asked. Thanks everyone, I appreciate all your help...

2001 Jeep Wrangler 60th Anniversary Edition specs, performance and photo (model for Europe )
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:54 AM   #9
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Exactly why lynn said: if you start rockin' they're done for. As an extra confirmation you could check your build sheet, unless your PO changed them. Also, Rancho's are a great option with the stock springs.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #10
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Mine gave me a hint when I jacked up the rear end, placed a jack stand under the frame, let the axle hang and all the fluid came oozing out of one of the shocks.
I am now assuming this one is dead.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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Sorry about the delay folks, been raining crazy and I think one of my kidney stones is acting up... I'll get to it. But again, thanks for the help!!

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