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Old 06-13-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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Fox 2.0 Performance ATS Steering Stabilizer Review

I have a 2012 Two-door Rubicon. Since day one, I have only had one major complaint, the light steering. Couple that with an aggressive tire pattern and the fact that its a two door, there is a constant need to correct the steering, or "sawing" at the steering wheel. Throw a good amount of cross-wind into the mix and driving the Jeep became a very focused challenge. Lifting (leveling kit) the Jeep and going with 35" tires just amplified the problem. So I started my search for a solution.

Typically this type of wandering can be associated to improper alignment or even varying tire pressure, but considering that this had been a problem from day 1 and the Jeep's alignment was done when the wheels were replaced, I eliminated that from the equation. Next up, was upgrading the suspension with stiffer springs/shocks and steering components. That's when I started looking at the steering stabilizer as another possible solution.

Misconceptions of a steering stabilizer: people's opinion vary from a godsend solution for anything having to do with steering and shakes, to absolutely useless. I came away with an opinion somewhat in the middle. Although I feel that if everything is set up correctly, you can drive your Jeep without a stabilizer, it just won't be a smooth easy ride, especially in a two-door. The steering stabilizer's main function is to absorb impacts to the steering. Things like bumps, large dips or even crowning of the road. The stabilizer plays a role in correcting the steering jolts. With that theory in mind I considered, would a stiffer stabilizer help absorb and calm a light and touchy steering?

If that were the case, then I would want one that equalized the absorption to both sides, a dual system instead of just the factory one. I then took a look at kits from Rough Country and Bilstein. Nice, but too much pressure and what if it altered my steering too much? Then I cam across the Fox 2.0 Performance Series ATS Steering Stabilizer. Right from the start I liked that it was adjustable, I can dial in a firmness that was just right. Second it was a much cleaner and lighter install, less to contend with and still offered the benefits of a dual system.

So how did it do? I was little apprehensive. It was extremely expensive for just a steering stabilizer ($325). But, if it solved my problems it would be worth it. I'm happy to report that it did. If you have ever driven a two-door Jeep you'll understand the cross-wind drifting and sudden jolting of the steering if you hit a storm grate on the highway. This eliminated that entirely. I have it dialed in at 20 of the possible 24 clicks and the steering is noticeable different. I equate the resistance to driving on pavement while your aired down. There is more of a resistance and feedback. The movements aren't as jarring and you have much more control.

Excited, I thought about how I could properly explain what I have been going through and how the stabilizer corrected my issues. I initially shot this video of under the Jeep to see if I can show the difference. You can tell that the fox stabilizer is doing more work but what does that really tell, after all the stock one is covered with a plastic sleeve and is hard to tell how far its compressing.



So then I headed to a notorious stretch of road by my house. Its by a local air strip and the cross-wind is often brutal, tossing my jeep around like a toy car. It just so happens that the days I shot the video wasn't as bad, but still winds in the mid-twenties. There is also some crowning in the road and you'll see in the video that the jeep tends to drift towards the shoulder of each lane, when I let go of the steering. With the occasional dip I tried driving straight with as little correction to the steering as possible. In the video you'll notice that I'm correcting the steering on both sides but far fewer on the Fox side. The Factory side required constant correction. Again, in large part to the cross-winds, and road conditions.



Am I satisfied? Yes. Although I still think the stabilizer is overpriced, I would have like to pay $250. I am happy that its gotten my steering under control. Whatever imperfections that are left will be corrected when I upgrade to stiffer springs/shocks and better control arms etc. Overall, I'm really happy with the stabilizer and would recommend it to anyone with a two-door or even if your upgrading to larger tires and want to tune the steering in a bit more.

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Old 06-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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Nice post. Got dizzy watching videos. LOL. I want one.

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Old 06-14-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
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Thanks. I had a hard time demonstrating how it helped me. The steering correction is so little but constant, which is what made it such a problem. Trying to record that correction and explain it was difficult.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
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I have an older version of the Fox SS and it too tightened up the steering.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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I was just going to ask your opinions on that SS


The 2nd vid was cool. What a difference
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
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I was just going to ask your opinions on that SS


The 2nd vid was cool. What a difference
Thanks buddy. I know you were waiting to hear about this SS. Given you handling issues and the fact that you have a two door, I would definitely recommend it.

Let me also mention something else. This mod, similarly to so many other mods we do on our Jeeps, isn't a necessity. In fact, if your lift is properly installed you shouldn't "Need" a stabilizer. What the stabilizer does offer is comfort and increased stability and handling, especially on a two-door. How much is that worth is up to the individual, but given that we sometimes spend over $2k on wheels & tires, and close to another $2k on a good lift. $325 to round things off and get everything dialed in perfectly isn't a stretch.

One last important thing. This stabilizer is on a national backorder. The only place that I could find that had a couple in stock was polyperformance.com
I called them up and they were cool enough to even give me a break on the price. The MSRP is $390, they were selling it for $350 but gave it to me for $325 shipped. I would call them up ASAP if your interested because like I said, I couldn't find anyone else that had it in stock.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
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While I realize the benefit of this is greater on the two-door JK, do you have any thoughts on how this would benefit a four-door JK?

Also, how would you describe the change in the feel of the steering wheel? Does it feel "tighter"? Is there more resistance when turning the wheel, etc.? How does it affect how the wheel returns to center (I realize there is no change to the caster, but I wonder if this introduces any drag on the wheel's natural tendency to return to center)?
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:47 AM   #8
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While I realize the benefit of this is greater on the two-door JK, do you have any thoughts on how this would benefit a four-door JK?

Also, how would you describe the change in the feel of the steering wheel? Does it feel "tighter"? Is there more resistance when turning the wheel, etc.? How does it affect how the wheel returns to center (I realize there is no change to the caster, but I wonder if this introduces any drag on the wheel's natural tendency to return to center)?
To be honest, I don't see it being that much of an impactful difference on a 4-door. The benefit of a longer wheelbase means that the Jeep's load is spread out more and its better planted on the road. Cross-wind drifting isn't that much of a concern. My wife has a 4-door, although stock, never has a hint of the issues I had in my 2-door since day one. I have also driven in several lifted 4-doors and they all seem very well planted.

If your looking to tighten up the front end and steering for better overall handling, this will help. I describe the resistance similar to driving on pavement while aired down. Its noticeable, especially the higher firm rate (15+) but never overbearing to the point that you think your power steering is shot. A stabilizer isn't involved with bringing the wheels back to center, it doesn't have a retracting force. Its solely an absorber. Absorbing large impacts so its not transferred to the steering. If your facing an excessive amount of steering correction and its overreacting to dumps and dips etc. then this will help eliminate those problems.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhilbush View Post
While I realize the benefit of this is greater on the two-door JK, do you have any thoughts on how this would benefit a four-door JK?

Also, how would you describe the change in the feel of the steering wheel? Does it feel "tighter"? Is there more resistance when turning the wheel, etc.? How does it affect how the wheel returns to center (I realize there is no change to the caster, but I wonder if this introduces any drag on the wheel's natural tendency to return to center)?
I have an Unlimited and while I don't have the Fox 2.0 I do have a slightly older version. While the wheelbase is longer, crosswinds can and will have an effect on the Unlimited. While living in Colorado, I noticed it on windy days. While driving from CO to NY a few weeks ago, it was more noticeable on the interstate at high speeds. But the Fox SS made the steering feel a bit tighter and more sure footed, if that makes sense. I didn't notice any negative effect on the steering wheel returning to center. While I don't see an immediate need to spend this much money on a SS, I got my version new for much less than retail. Win-win for me.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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Yeah, I feel that the ROI isn't there when your dealing with a 4-door like it is with a 2-door. It still will be a better option than anything out there and will improve your steering and handling but not like day/night with a 2-door. Personally, this is among the best mods I have done to date.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback guys. If I can summarize in my own words... It really excels on the 2-door, but not nearly as much on the 4-door due to the longer wheelbase of the 4-door. In addition to having greater stability on-road, it also changes the feel of the steering to be a bit more firm/tight/deliberate/etc.

So, for a 4-door, I think this goes on my list of potential mods. However, because of the relatively high cost, it probably lands pretty far down on the priority list.

Thanks again. Excellent information!
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
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I have the Fox 2.0 on my JK (not the ATS). It was installed in concert with my lift- never had any steering issues at all. I recently added new 35" tires. The Jeep felt a little more tippy and twitchy than I remembered- I was driving slower on the freeway because it felt less stable. A hard brake seemed to jerk the steering more than I remembered. I chalked it up to a higher sidewall. At the same time I had a new shimmy at around 40 MPH. I was looking under the Jeep to look at the wheel weights- and noticed I'd sheared the Schraeder valve right off the steering stabilizer. It had no air or nitrogen in it so it wasn't doing anything. (I must've done it the last time I was rock crawling)
Fixed it- and lo and behold the tippy/twitchy feeling went away. With the SS it feels much more stable/tight. I still have a shimmy- but its significantly better. Before I had to drive forcefully with both hands when it started- with the SS working its barely a twitch. I still have to have the balance corrected however.
So I totally agree with Matador- while it may not be necessary it makes a significant improvement on a 2 door. I wouldn't suggest it as a Band-Aid to cover other issues up (they should be corrected)- but if all else fails it can be a good problem solver.
And BTW my Fox Stabilizer isn't as fancy as the ATS (jealous) but it is cheaper. And adjustable- though not by much.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:31 PM   #13
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My fox ss does not have a schaeder valve. Its the 2.0 IPF. Am I missing something?
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:54 PM   #14
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You have the IFP maybe? Here is mine:
2.0 Factory Series Stabilizer Truck Shock | FOX
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
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This one ?
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:14 PM   #16
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My fox ss does not have a schaeder valve. Its the 2.0 IPF. Am I missing something?
And duh. I missed you have the IPF.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #17
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2.0ats

I'm using the 2.0 ATS on a 2013 Rubicon Unlimited with 35" tires. Before this mod I experienced a similar sawing type handling experience as mentioned by another user. Adding the fox stabilizer gave me a significant increase in handling when driving on rough terrain. In Saskatchewan (Canada) we have some of the worst streets in the country so this mod is definitely worth doing on the unlimited. If you drive primarily on smooth roads you may not see such an improvement with this unit.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #18
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FOX ATS 5 days in counting
My god it's so hard to spend money :P

I feel my jeep will be the ultimate test for this beast. Lifted 3.5" w/ E rated 35's. synergy Highsteer/tie rod,ball joints and bolt kit. TF monster track bar. Everything is tight and alignment spot on last time checked. My ride is smooth, not harsh in any way, but the roads here (Matador knows) are horrible.
My steering wheel doesn't jerk around its just twitchy and rolling to a stop over uneven road-a lot of wandering. Highway can get scary hitting a bridge abutment/bump/etc.

My Rancho 7000 shock does a great job but the push is there being a gas charged shock. I feel I will be using a higher setting with the ATS and hopefully the pass through design helps even out my steering.

Will update soon ...
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:40 PM   #19
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FOX ATS 5 days in counting
My god it's so hard to spend money :P

I feel my jeep will be the ultimate test for this beast. Lifted 3.5" w/ E rated 35's. synergy Highsteer/tie rod,ball joints and bolt kit. TF monster track bar. Everything is tight and alignment spot on last time checked. My ride is smooth, not harsh in any way, but the roads here (Matador knows) are horrible.
My steering wheel doesn't jerk around its just twitchy and rolling to a stop over uneven road-a lot of wandering. Highway can get scary hitting a bridge abutment/bump/etc.

My Rancho 7000 shock does a great job but the push is there being a gas charged shock. I feel I will be using a higher setting with the ATS and hopefully the pass through design helps even out my steering.

Will update soon ...
Bout damn time!!! Had mine for awhile now. Night and day difference. tried different settings have it set about 17.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #20
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FOX ATS 5 days in counting My god it's so hard to spend money :P I feel my jeep will be the ultimate test for this beast. Lifted 3.5" w/ E rated 35's. synergy Highsteer/tie rod,ball joints and bolt kit. TF monster track bar. Everything is tight and alignment spot on last time checked. My ride is smooth, not harsh in any way, but the roads here (Matador knows) are horrible. My steering wheel doesn't jerk around its just twitchy and rolling to a stop over uneven road-a lot of wandering. Highway can get scary hitting a bridge abutment/bump/etc. My Rancho 7000 shock does a great job but the push is there being a gas charged shock. I feel I will be using a higher setting with the ATS and hopefully the pass through design helps even out my steering. Will update soon ...
I can't wait to hear what you think. If it fixes your rig than that would say a lot.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:55 PM   #21
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:14 PM   #22
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Not much of a review for a $300 plus SS.

How long have you had it ?

Can you adjust settings on the fly ?

Does it correct any pull ?

Have you rock crawled with it ?

Is it better on the hwy than off road ?
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:40 AM   #23
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Not much of a review for a $300 plus SS. How long have you had it ? Can you adjust settings on the fly ? Does it correct any pull ? Have you rock crawled with it ? Is it better on the hwy than off road ?
if you are talking about the Op, best review I've read. Detailed IMO.
Me.... Don't know yet

1) Date
2) on the fly? Not really sure what you mean here. Obviously you have to get out and adjust the shock using the click adjuster.
3)this is a pass through shock meaning the rod passes through the shock so there's no force in either direction. He made this clear saying the other "option being dual stabilizers"
4) I'll let him answer that
5) a stabilizer is a stabilizer. Except this one is adjustable. On or off road this SS should excel IMO. Tighten up the steering and not push the jeep to the left like some shocks.

Personally never read 1 bad review. The cost maybe but people seem to forget about it rather quickly after install.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:20 AM   #24
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Not much of a review for a $300 plus SS.

How long have you had it ?

Can you adjust settings on the fly ?

Does it correct any pull ?

Have you rock crawled with it ?

Is it better on the hwy than off road ?
haha I'm not sure if this is directed towards me either. I thought I went into too much detail for a review but in any case I'll try to answer your questions directly, seeing as how you asked so politely.

1. Considering the thread was started 6/13, when I first installed it, I have had it for a little over 3 months now.

2. adjustments are done through the adjustment screw. you need to get out, crawl under the front of the jeep with a flat-head and turn a screw either left or right.

3. its a neutral system so its designed to correct jolts to the steering. I never had a pull. Pulls are a result of poor alignment, bad tires or an over aggressive single shaft stabilizer. Like Ken mentioned already, this is a through-shaft system meaning it acts as if it was a dual stabilizer, neutralizing the steering but more importantly stabilizing and absorbing any jolt to the steering.

4. no rock crawling yet, but I have taken the Jeep offroad to the beach a significant amount this summer. I think this is actually just as good of a terrain to test the stabilizer. I have to crawl over sand dunes and go over several washboard straights. Both scenarios really shock the steering system and the stabilizer has kept everything perfectly neutral. I hope to hit up Rausch in a couple of weeks and will be doing a significant amount of rock crawling then.

5. Its hard to say if its better on the highway or offroad. Its noticeable under both scenarios. I already mentioned the offroad feel above. In terms of the highway, the major issue were cross-wind drifts, couple with storm grates on shoulders. The combination would jerk the Jeep violently. This was especially dangerous if there was a cement divider as it would throw the Jeep into the divider. I had to white knuckle drive the Jeep whenever I went above 50. The stabilizer would neutralize everything and keep the Jeep running straight. I know can drive much more relaxed and not worry about slamming into the divider.

I hope those answers, along with the original post, satisfy what you feel would be an appropriate product review.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:17 AM   #25
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I actually thought the original review to be quite thorough, and helped me to decide to install the Fox ATS SS. Although expensive, I'm not disappointed. On-road, there is a very noticeable difference, even with my 4-door JKU. Tighter steering, removes some of the drift in windy conditions, and smooths out the ride going over bumps and potholes.

We don't do a lot of rock crawling in Florida, but I've been on severely rutted off-road trails, washboard dirt roads, and beach driving on soft sand requiring 4x4, and there is an improvement, although I'd say it's more apparent on-road at higher speeds, at least for me. Traveling at medium speeds on washboard dirt roads to reach our off-road trails does give a good sense of how well the SS dampens the effect of road bumps.

I'm not sure how much of a factor it would be for slow rock crawling, but I'll get a chance to go on some obstacles courses next month at Jeeptoberfest which is the closest simulation we have to rock crawling.

The adjustability was a major reason I wanted to try the Fox ATS SS. There is a very significant difference between the lowest and highest setting. I've left it at the middle setting on-road, but I'd like to experiment a little more with different settings off-road.

For people that say a SS is a SS and it doesn't matter which brand, just haven't tried the Fox ATS SS yet.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #26
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:11 PM   #27
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Great review. I just ordered one after reading this post.
Thanks
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #28
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I'm not Matador, but that is the Steering Stabilizer that's the subject of this thread and his review.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #29
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Yep

Wednesday for me
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #30
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As I mentioned in another thread, the biggest negative to me (besides the price) was the bolt it uses to attach both the SS and the track bar at the mounting hole for the track bar. While it relocates the SS higher than stock, it's a 14 mm bolt, so I'm no longer using the 9/16" replacement bolt for the track bar on the axle side. At least it's a shouldered bolt rather than threaded all the way like the stock bolt, but I would have preferred not replacing the 9/16" bolt.

I'm wondering if there might be an option to use use a different mounting location for the SS with a relocation bracket and then reinstalling the 9/16" bolt for the track bar.


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