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Old 06-24-2011, 04:47 AM   #1
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Stupid newb question?

I know this may sound like a ridiculous question, so forgive me in advance! Why is it that when I am driving over a speed bump or a small bump at a slow speed, the jeep feels like it has no suspension and gives a harsh jolting feel, when I thought the suspension and travel height of the wrangler was to soften the ride and have the vehicle articulate with the terrain? Is this normal for the suspension to be so stiff? Again, sorry if this seems like a silly question, but just wondering.

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Old 06-24-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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That's a good question. One thing that comes to mind is the standard shocks on the sahara/sports aren't the best. The rubi's have better shocks (or there are aftermarket) that might soften the ride during conditions like that.

Just a theory...perhaps someone with more knowledge that me can explain it better...but it seems to me that the hydro shocks need a little more force to "break loose". Sort of like those shocks that hold up a lift gate of an SUV or Mini. You know how when you go to close a lift gate it takes a little "oomph" to get it moving, sometimes you even hear a little crack of the shocks breaking loose, then it moves. When you drive over a small bump the perhaps shocks haven't broken loose.

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Old 06-24-2011, 05:40 AM   #3
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The sway bar does not allow articulation for a bump. With a speed bump both springs have to compress at the same time, so there is not articulation involved. Softer springs would help.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:49 AM   #4
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:59 AM   #5
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What pressure are your tires set at, vs what the side wall of the tire says.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:06 AM   #6
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Do you have stock suspension? Did you buy new?
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgdds91 View Post
gives a harsh jolting feel, when I thought the suspension and travel height of the wrangler was to soften the ride and have the vehicle articulate with the terrain? Is this normal for the suspension to be so stiff?
The suspension is not meant to "soften the ride." This is a Jeep, not a car. It is meant to tackle any terrain and survive it. That said, today's Wranglers are the softest ride of any Wrangler/CJ in history. Find an old CJ with leaf springs to drive for comparison. I actually disliked how soft the ride was having previously owned a CJ. I swapped out to HD coils and shocks in order to stiffen the ride.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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I have stock suspension in a 2011 sahara unlimited. I keep the tire pressure just under what the tire reads (-3-5 psi). I know how the jeep ride is stiffer, but on these types of bumps it feels way harsh!
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:22 AM   #9
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I have stock suspension in a 2011 sahara unlimited. I keep the tire pressure just under what the tire reads (-3-5 psi). I know how the jeep ride is stiffer, but on these types of bumps it feels way harsh!
Under what the tire reads or the side of the door? If you're 3-5 psi under max that may be way too much. Your door sticker will have the proper psi. Never go by what it says on the tire.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Under what the tire reads or the side of the door? If you're 3-5 psi under max that may be way too much. Your door sticker will have the proper psi. Never go by what it says on the tire.
I have been going by the sidewall! I guess I will recheck the tires and try it that way and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for your help
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #11
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:32 AM   #12
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The suspension is not meant to "soften the ride." This is a Jeep, not a car. It is meant to tackle any terrain and survive it. That said, today's Wranglers are the softest ride of any Wrangler/CJ in history. Find an old CJ with leaf springs to drive for comparison. I actually disliked how soft the ride was having previously owned a CJ. I swapped out to HD coils and shocks in order to stiffen the ride.
I went to stiffer springs too, spacer lift, and better shocks. Offers an improved ride.

the OP is describing the effect of a connected swaybar, fully inflated tires, and solid axle combined with relatively low-profile tires on a big wheel.

Ditch the Sahara wheels and tires. Get some 16s and run good 33s on them; it will feel much better.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:00 AM   #13
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I have driven lots of vehicles of different types. I fully expected the trucks that I have driven to be stiff but have been consistently surprised that the ride of the average truck is like that of a passenger vehicle. The jeep is by far the stiffest suspension of stock vehicles built for general public consumption. And, of course, older models are more like buck boards on the road. My YJ for instance is so stiff, it can be downright uncomfortable on the trail. But that is part of the experience. The only vehicles that I've been in that are even rougher are military. Some of the personnel carriers I've been in the back of make even older jeeps seem like a picnic.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:20 AM   #14
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Jeep DNA means even today's models ride like a stubby legged hobby horse and handle like a lawn tractor. I've driven 4x4 pickups most of the past 40 years, and find my 08 Sahara with gas shocks and coil springs, to be at least as pleasant as any of them.

Yes, the buckboard ride is one features about which such mavens as Click and Clack complain most bitterly.

Frankly I find the ride refreshing and reassuring.
Adjusting your speed a bit can also affect the rate at which your suspension responds to the double compression hit of speed bumps. Try the same bump adding or subtracting 5 mph and compare what is the least abusive to yourself and machine.

There's a huge list of expensive mechanical changes you can make also which will give a wide variety of results.

The general advantages of short wheel base and stiff ride intended for off-road and compromised for pavement, can be moderated somewhat by tuning components to your demands.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:25 PM   #15
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I agree with daggo66. Depending on what tires you have, anywhere from 28-35 psi would be best. Over inflated tires will feel like you’re riding on steel instead of rubber. So what exactly is the pressure you’re at now?
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:53 AM   #16
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I have a stock 09 Sahara JKU and, while the ride is certainly stiffer than other vehicles, it isn't uncomfortable (to me) although I have noticed what the OP is describing on speed bumps - have you tried turning into a speed bump so that only one wheel at a time crosses the speed bump? It definitely feels different to me. Also as JeeperJake says, try slowing up a bit. While the Jeep seems to handle rolling speed bumps at 25 or 30mph, it will definitely let you know you've hit one at that speed. And, as Tom pointed out - use the pressure on the door, not the tire. The mech at my dealer told me that as well.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #17
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Another thing to consider is that not all speed bumps are made the same. Some are short and abrupt (will always feel harsh) while others are wider with an easy rollover to them.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:11 AM   #18
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Diverging from (or maybe extending) this thread, with what may be a Dumb Newbie question -- How easy IS it to turn one of these things over ? (I once rolled a Volkswagen, and that was not fun.)

I'm on my first Jeep - a 2000 Wrangler Sport, with pretty much stock rubber (30x9.50 R15s) and suspension, and while it steers well, it FEELS dicey around corners. My wife hangs on for dear life (her usual car is an IS300, drives like it was on rails), although to me, the Jeep feels steadier than our daughter's Explorer.

SO... say you have a right-angle turn coming up - two lanes each way; you're taking the left turn (widest radius). Dry blacktop. How far can you push it before it goes over ?
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:25 AM   #19
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Now I don't know what was done to it, but our local off-road shop had a picture on the wall of a Jeep turning left off of the 4 lane onto a side road with the front left tire about 4" off the road!! Wish I had a copy of that pic
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #20
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Diverging from (or maybe extending) this thread, with what may be a Dumb Newbie question -- How easy IS it to turn one of these things over ?
There are situations where it is very easy.

This fellow tagged along with us on a ride last year and wasn't particularly honest about his experience level. He learned a valuable life lesson. I got him back on all-fours but he had to go home on a flatbed.




Although Wranglers are pretty forgiving, there are situations where there's a right way and a wrong way, sometimes several of each. It behooves the operator to know best practices in these cases.
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