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Old 11-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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Just upgraded shocks (stock height)

I just installed a set of bilstein HD yellow shocks into my 2012 Sahara jku. Mainly to improve handling with my stock height. Did lots of research first and thought this was the best way to go. After install and a test ride I'm a little disappointed. Handling was only slightly improved in corners. But on highway there is a slight rocking left and right. And steering is a little twitchy. My springs are 16/58 with about 14000 miles on them. I was told they should be just fine as is. Did I install something wrong or is this normal?
The original shocks were similar to compress as the bilsteins but the front rebounded almost as fast but the rears would take about a minute to fully extend once compressed. I'm wondering if I should've kept the stock shocks or just got some rubi take offs for cheap like I originally planned.

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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I just installed a set of bilstein HD yellow shocks into my 2012 Sahara jku. Mainly to improve handling with my stock height. Did lots of research first and thought this was the best way to go. After install and a test ride I'm a little disappointed. Handling was only slightly improved in corners. But on highway there is a slight rocking left and right. And steering is a little twitchy. My springs are 16/58 with about 14000 miles on them. I was told they should be just fine as is. Did I install something wrong or is this normal? The original shocks were similar to compress as the bilsteins but the front rebounded almost as fast but the rears would take about a minute to fully extend once compressed. I'm wondering if I should've kept the stock shocks or just got some rubi take offs for cheap like I originally planned.
Shouldve gone rancho!

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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^lol play nice.

try driving it around for at least 500 miles. let it break in a bit. the rubi's are monotubes which are far superior than the stock. made by teneco, which also makes rancho. now i get it @tab22092. shouldve gone rancho! lol
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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I have the Bilstein HD's on two Wranglers and they are absolutely perfect. They are a huge improvement over the stock shocks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Shocks are meant to help with bumps. They won't do much for cornering.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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Shocks are meant to help with bumps. They won't do much for cornering.
What will? Stiffer springs?
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
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Actually they do help with cornering, however cornering is not a term usually associated with a Wrangler
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:57 PM   #8
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I installed a set of Rubi take-offs on my Sport last Sat. I could tell the difference immediately. I would say it is firmer and smoother. The excessive nosedive under braking is gone. I am very happy.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:47 PM   #9
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The wrangler just isn't built to corner well. You can try aftermarket springs but they're made for height, not handling, and extra height means less cornering ability.

You can try upgrading the sway bars if such a thing exists but then you're reversing articulation ability and un-wranglering the wrangler.

I don't what to tell you. Trying to make a wrangler corner well is like trying to make a Prius look cool.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input guys but I think some of you may have mis understood what I have going on. I'm not trying to get my jeep to handle like a Porsche. I just wanted to get rid of the the nose dive when braking, the boat rocking motion and the excessive bobbing up and down on the trails I was experiencing. What I may have ended up with is something worse than I had before. The steering is overly sensitive and a little twitchy on the highway. Almost feels as if something is loose like either the steering or the front wheels. I did buy shocks made for stock height no lift. I have no other suspension mods. I made sure I torqued all the top and bottom shock bolts and the wheels. Made sure nothing was binding. Didn't loosen anything else. Maybe this is normal? Maybe I need an alignment? Or like dawhitesjku said, I might need at least 500 miles for a good break in?
I've thought maybe the 16/58 springs I have might be too soft and something like the 19/60 mopar or eibach or terraflex leveling spring kits could help?
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the input guys but I think some of you may have mis understood what I have going on. I'm not trying to get my jeep to handle like a Porsche. I just wanted to get rid of the the nose dive when braking, the boat rocking motion and the excessive bobbing up and down on the trails I was experiencing. What I may have ended up with is something worse than I had before. The steering is overly sensitive and a little twitchy on the highway. Almost feels as if something is loose like either the steering or the front wheels. I did buy shocks made for stock height no lift. I have no other suspension mods. I made sure I torqued all the top and bottom shock bolts and the wheels. Made sure nothing was binding. Didn't loosen anything else. Maybe this is normal? Maybe I need an alignment? Or like dawhitesjku said, I might need at least 500 miles for a good break in?
I've thought maybe the 16/58 springs I have might be too soft and something like the 19/60 mopar or eibach or terraflex leveling spring kits could help?

I just replaced my factory "normal" shocks with the Rubicon reds. I have 17/59 springs to begin with, and it has always had the nose dive when braking, the boat rocking motion and the excessive bobbing you speak of. While all of this is still present, it has been mitigated greatly. The Rubicon shocks have been a marked improvement.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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I just replaced my factory "normal" shocks with the Rubicon reds. I have 17/59 springs to begin with, and it has always had the nose dive when braking, the boat rocking motion and the excessive bobbing you speak of. While all of this is still present, it has been mitigated greatly. The Rubicon shocks have been a marked improvement.
The rubicon reds were my first choice but after my research I was told the bilsteins were far superior. Having them in other vehicles, I knew they handled well. I'm wondering if I would have gotten same or better handling with the rubicon reds. Much cheaper too. $260 a set vs $100avg. A set for rubi take-offs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #13
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The rubicon reds were my first choice but after my research I was told the bilsteins were far superior. Having them in other vehicles, I knew they handled well. I'm wondering if I would have gotten same or better handling with the rubicon reds. Much cheaper too. $260 a set vs $100avg. A set for rubi take-offs.
I have the Bilstein HD and my wife has take-off Rubicon shocks. But pressing down on the shocks with all my weight I found zero difference between the Rubi's and the Bilsteins. Driving also feels the same.

You wouldn't be happier with the Rubi's, but you would've saved money.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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I have the Bilstein HD and my wife has take-off Rubicon shocks. But pressing down on the shocks with all my weight I found zero difference between the Rubi's and the Bilsteins. Driving also feels the same.

You wouldn't be happier with the Rubi's, but you would've saved money.
Your probably right with the only exception the bilsteins might last a little longer due to better materials and quality. My 15 month old 14,000 mile sahara shocks looked like they were 10 years old and a little softer than new. The bilsteins are supposedly self adjusting. Not sure if the rubicons are.

They weird thing is that when I compressed my stock shocks by hand they were pretty stiff, close to the Bilsteins. But the fronts rebounded almost as fast as the bilsteins and the rears took 60 seconds to fully extend. Really slow.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #15
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They weird thing is that when I compressed my stock shocks by hand they were pretty stiff, close to the Bilsteins. But the fronts rebounded almost as fast as the bilsteins and the rears took 60 seconds to fully extend. Really slow.
Your rebound circut was certainly cooked on those rear shocks. You would have been pretty packed-up in the travel all yhe time... yuck.

Side note. Gauging a damper by cycling it by hand can't tell you much about how it will preform under a vehicle.

It will tell you if the lsc rebound/compression circuit is functioning, but nothing about how it will control sprung weight, or hsc/r
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:28 AM   #16
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I'd give them some time to adjust.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #17
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OP: I had Rubi reds on my Safari for 4000 miles. While gifted FREE from a buddy who had gone to 35/4" lift & air shocks, they proved to not satisfactory, and I was considering putting the old (57000 miles) black OEM Safaris back on.

After tons of reading, I made a Big Leap and had Rancho 9000s installed about 3 weeks ago.....

but there is something wrong there too....

now all I want to do is drive around all day/all night/anywhere and leap out to make whatever adjustment I think I want for wherever I am.

As a geezer/conservative driver/rural mostly DD, I have none of the often-felt "post-purchase regrets" often expressed by any mod install.

Over the decades I've had all manner of shocks on a lot of different rigs. Given the Ranchos weren't all that much more than OEM Jeep shocks (New Safari set was priced to me by dealer @ $500/plus install, I went with the Ranchos especially with their Big Sale promo.

SO far on any setting I've used, performance has been well worth my cost. For my style of driving they are perfect, but "YMMV".....
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:59 AM   #18
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I have the Rancho 9000's as well as part of my 2" sport lift. Huge improvement and couldn't be happier.

Not sure if you could sell/return your shocks, but 9000's is the way to go in my book.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #19
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OP: I had Rubi reds on my Safari for 4000 miles. While gifted FREE from a buddy who had gone to 35/4" lift & air shocks, they proved to not satisfactory, and I was considering putting the old (57000 miles) black OEM Safaris back on.

After tons of reading, I made a Big Leap and had Rancho 9000s installed about 3 weeks ago.....

but there is something wrong there too....

now all I want to do is drive around all day/all night/anywhere and leap out to make whatever adjustment I think I want for wherever I am.

As a geezer/conservative driver/rural mostly DD, I have none of the often-felt "post-purchase regrets" often expressed by any mod install.

Over the decades I've had all manner of shocks on a lot of different rigs. Given the Ranchos weren't all that much more than OEM Jeep shocks (New Safari set was priced to me by dealer @ $500/plus install, I went with the Ranchos especially with their Big Sale promo.

SO far on any setting I've used, performance has been well worth my cost. For my style of driving they are perfect, but "YMMV".....

I jumped on the Rancho 9000s also and installed them this week. I have them set at 6/9 front and 5/9 rear and this is quite firm with little body roll in turns. My stock springs are 17 front and 58 rear. The downside is feeling road imperfections also. I like these quite a bit but need to literally dial them in to some happy medium, still TBD. What are you other 9000 users running at?

On my Nissan Pathfinder I installed Bilsteins on the back and they seem to be fine.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #20
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In regards to everyone that are using the Ranchos. I'll give it to about 500-1000 miles to see if there is any break in or improvement. Then maybe I'll switch to them.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:46 PM   #21
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It's just me, but I don't follow the crowd. Instead of the usual suspects I replaced mine with King 2.5 external reservoir shocks. They can be rebuild and re valved.

Call me crazy, but I love them and worth the money. I have heard for the money 9000xl/s are decent shocks.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #22
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It's just me, but I don't follow the crowd. Instead of the usual suspects I replaced mine with 2.5 external reservoir Kings. Stock suspension. They can be rebuild and re valved. Call me crazy, but I love them and worth the money.
So your saying you put 2.5 inch lift shocks with your stiock height springs and suspension?
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #23
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So your saying you put 2.5 inch lift shocks with your stiock height springs and suspension?
No. Shock body is 2.5". 0-2" lift. King also makes a less expensive 2" body without an external reservoir.

King Shocks Direct bolt-on performance shock kits for Jeeps from King Shocks « King Off-Road OEM Bolt-On Shocks : kingshocks.com
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:16 PM   #24
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No. Shock body is 2.5". 0-2" lift. King also makes a less expensive 2" body without an external reservoir. King Shocks Direct bolt-on performance shock kits for Jeeps from King Shocks « King Off-Road OEM Bolt-On Shocks : kingshocks.com

Dang... Those king shocks are sexy.... What was the wallet damage for them?
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:20 PM   #25
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Straight up... I sometimes don't understand how ya'll can find a difference between a stock shock to a rancho stock height shock, and that's because I mod Jeeps and trucks for a living
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:25 PM   #26
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Dang... Those king shocks are sexy.... What was the wallet damage for them?
$1500 for the external reservoir.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:29 PM   #27
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Straight up... I sometimes don't understand how ya'll can find a difference between a stock shock to a rancho stock height shock, and that's because I mod Jeeps and trucks for a living
What.... Your kidding right? Changing your shocks will change the dynamics of your ride vastly. Regardless of height.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #28
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I was going to say something but...never mind.

Everyone get what you want and enjoy your Jeep (!)
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:37 PM   #29
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What's the problem here ?
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #30
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I have Bilstein hd on my Sahara. They took a while.to settle in. I also first used spacers and now have wheels with a wider offset

The combination does improve cornering and handling a fair.bit.

Op you probably.also.want.to.check your alignment that makes a huge difference on.the jeep.

If you do go for the ranchos I'd be interested in the direct comparison to.the Bilstein hd as I'm not all the way happy with the Bilstein. I feel like they are too harsh on sharper road imperfections than I would like and they don't handle washboard roads like I think they should

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