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Old 09-19-2010, 10:40 PM   #1
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Ride quality differences? Dealers haven't helped...

Hi all, first post and I'm about to buy a JK!

You all seem to know the real facts, so here is the question - is there a difference in basic ride quality between the X, Sahara, and Rubicon models assuming they are all running the same tires???

I know the tires and tire pressure make a big difference, but I've been told that the suspensions are both totally different and exactly the same by my local dealerships.

Is that true? Does the Rubicon ride harsher? Are the suspensions "set" differently? Again, assume they all are running the same times....!

Any help would be appreciated as I am trying to pick between a 2010 Rubicon and a 2011 Sahara. I would probably swap the stock Rubicon tires out for snows in the winter, but not the stock Sahara ones.

I don't think I'll be doing anything that I need a Rubicon for, but I'd like to get it as I suspect it will trade in better someday (when the more powerful engine comes out!).

I'm a daily-driver type (sorry hard core guys!) and I'll be putting about 120 mile a day on it over half back roads and half highway. I really want a vehicle that will get me to work and back home regardless of the weather and I've always wanted a Wrangler.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-19-2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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First there is no "setting" for the suspension. The major difference in the Rubicon is the gas shock which will give a stiffer ride. Other than that there is not much difference in the ride quality. Your best bet is to test drive a few different ones and see for yourself.

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Old 09-19-2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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You're right about the tires making a huge difference.

There are a few other variables: some JKs have heavier springs, like if they have a tow package. I think the Rubicon has heavier springs as well. A 4 door is smoother than a 2 door, thanks to wheelbase length.

But the basic suspension among all the options and models is close. Not positive how much of a difference you'll really notice.

And they all suck. Jeeps just aren't designed for a smooth ride. They handle like drunk pigs, especially if you lift things. That'll make people here mad at me, but I bet they all secretly admit it's true. We love Jeeps in spite of this. We cheerfully accept the ride quality and handling compromise.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop
You're right about the tires making a huge difference.

There are a few other variables: some JKs have heavier springs, like if they have a tow package. I think the Rubicon has heavier springs as well. A 4 door is smoother than a 2 door, thanks to wheelbase length.

But the basic suspension among all the options and models is close. Not positive how much of a difference you'll really notice.

And they all suck. Jeeps just aren't designed for a smooth ride. They handle like drunk pigs, especially if you lift things. That'll make people here mad at me, but I bet they all secretly admit it's true. We love Jeeps in spite of this. We cheerfully accept the ride quality and handling compromise.
When I ride in a vehicle with a 'smooth' ride I feel like I'm doing something wrong...
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop View Post
And they all suck. Jeeps just aren't designed for a smooth ride. They handle like drunk pigs, especially if you lift things. That'll make people here mad at me, but I bet they all secretly admit it's true. We love Jeeps in spite of this. We cheerfully accept the ride quality and handling compromise.
I think that is subject to opinion... Night and day difference between my TJ, with it's bb and stock shocks, and hubby's JK Rubicon all stock... mine is bouncy and kinda like a ride at the fair, his is smooth as glass... like riding in the Charger we traded for it... It's amazing to me the difference. Both fun, but entirely different beasts! FWIW, I like mine better..

Edit: Oh see... now you've done it and made us mad... I love my drunk pig..... and like Seth, I feel like I'm being punished if it rides too smooth...
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:38 PM   #6
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Hey, I'd like to point out that I personally love bad handling old cars with style and class. I prefer them over new cars. I just know that the newer, boring cars, like my wife's Civic, have a really good ride and handle great. Can't go over bumps. Puts me to sleep. But rides nice.


My current automotive fleet:
1960 CJ5. It handles great. Compared to, uh, a 1936 logging truck.
1980 CJ7. I'm going to sell it. I'm just to old, and do enough liver damage in other ways.
1982 Alfa Romeo Spider. Railroad crossings can make your spleen bleed.
2000 Grand Cherokee with a lift. I've ruined it. But still the smoothest ride I have.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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I beg to differ. Ride quality is relative to the vehicle they are accustomed to. The 4 dr jk rides smoother, quieter and nicer than my Denali XL which is supposed to be a luxury truck. So it depends on what you are used to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop View Post
You're right about the tires making a huge difference.

There are a few other variables: some JKs have heavier springs, like if they have a tow package. I think the Rubicon has heavier springs as well. A 4 door is smoother than a 2 door, thanks to wheelbase length.

But the basic suspension among all the options and models is close. Not positive how much of a difference you'll really notice.

And they all suck. Jeeps just aren't designed for a smooth ride. They handle like drunk pigs, especially if you lift things. That'll make people here mad at me, but I bet they all secretly admit it's true. We love Jeeps in spite of this. We cheerfully accept the ride quality and handling compromise.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoGirl View Post
I think that is subject to opinion... Night and day difference between my TJ, with it's bb and stock shocks, and hubby's JK Rubicon all stock... mine is bouncy and kinda like a ride at the fair, his is smooth as glass... like riding in the Charger we traded for it... It's amazing to me the difference. Both fun, but entirely different beasts! FWIW, I like mine better..

Edit: Oh see... now you've done it and made us mad... I love my drunk pig..... and like Seth, I feel like I'm being punished if it rides too smooth...
The big difference is the shocks. The Rubi has gas shocks. If you put them in your TJ, the "bounciness" would be gone. It will handle better because it will have less body roll as well. I replaced the stock hyro shocks in my JK with gas and the ride was night and day better.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I'm getting a four-door, btw.

I guess I still don't get why there is a ride quality difference in ride between gas and hydro (I know the difference mechanically). Wouldn't the basic spring + damper suspension mechanism need to be nearly the same across the models given a similarly weighted vehicle? If it isn't that means it's tuned differently using different parts because the manufacter targeted the model to respond to a particular road condition. And that's why I used the word "set" before in quotes. No dials, just different parts.

Or is it simply that heavy-duty, like the Rubicon, requires beefier parts and you end up with a stiffer ride? If the ride is different then parts must be different.

I know a test drive is smart, and I'll certainly do that, but that isn't apples to apples either unless the dealer swaps the tires for me mid-visit!

Sorry for the newbie questions. I have a feeling I'll finally buy a jeep and slowly turn into one of you crazies (in a good way)! I keep saying to myself, "I know I don't need a lift, but it does look kind of cool...."

Thanks again.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:39 AM   #10
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The only things that change are springs and shocks. Gas vs. hydro, makes a huge difference. There is no formula for the spring rate. In general, Rubicons have stiffer springs that Sport or Sahara. However, a 4 door hard top with tow package tends to have the stiffest springs regardless of being a Rubicon or not. Lets Solve the Stock Springs Question
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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You should buy a vehicle for--

Economy/practicality/NEEDS/finanicial status and ride is ALWAYS adjustable

If you want a JEEP, there are 4/5 different ways of adjusting the "RIDE"

1) tire type/air pressure

2) shock type

3) spring rates

4) load carried

Don't base your purchase JUST on RIDE=

My '08 Rubicon has a tow package(stiffer springs) and I have adjustable gas shocks that I can set it to ride like a Lexus () or like an empty 1 ton pickup truck--

Put the ride on the botrtom of your "Checklist"

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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Good point, JIMBO, and thanks for the link daggo66.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:38 PM   #13
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I had a 2010 Sport and now have a 2010 Rubi - and the rubi rides so much better then the Sport. I remember the salesman telling me Rubicons rode alot rougher, but its the complete oppositte, imo. Maybe I just had a bad Sport, but its night and day in favor of the Rubicon.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:59 AM   #14
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Just purchased 2004 unlimited 85000 miles one owner hardtop

Considering procomp shocsk to replace oems for softer ride/beter handling-any experience comment-am I on right track?
Thanx
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:10 AM   #15
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No, Iif you want softer riding, you're not gonna get better handling !!


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Originally Posted by whlr13 View Post
Just purchased 2004 unlimited 85000 miles one owner hardtop

Considering procomp shocsk to replace oems for softer ride/beter handling-any experience comment-am I on right track?
Thanx
You are driving an un-aerodynamic "BRICK", you don't want SOFT riding, if you do, you probably want a different vehicle for your DD-

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