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Old 07-16-2010, 10:02 PM   #1
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Better/smoother handling on road

I'm not an off roader by any means, just wanted a fun DD that can get through winter snow. I've been pouring through old articles on a million different things to do with suspension and it seems like most people would rather lift their jeep 4" and have a great time mudding than anything else.

Right now I've got monroe sensa-trac shocks and rubicon springs and the ride is rather bumpy and jarring. Basically I'm looking for stock to maybe two inch max (only running 29.5" tires) lift that will give me the best handling and smoothest ride on the road. I've seen different options too as far as the kits go for HD and LD, I've got a 99 TJ with a 6.0 LQ9, 4L60E, 8.8 rear, and hard top so I'm not sure how that is affecting things.

If anyone can help me in the right direction I'd greatly appreciate it!

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Old 07-16-2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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What's your tire pressure? Check that first, it's free and easy, too much air in the tires makes for a really cruddy ride....

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

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Old 07-17-2010, 03:56 AM   #3
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It's a Jeep.... get used to it.
The Rubi springs don't help. They're stiffer than standard TJ springs.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:32 AM   #4
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This is my 15th vehicle and the absolute worst ride comfort I've had. Getting used to it isn't an option but selling it is! However...I think if all jeeps road like my combo there wouldn't be so many jeep owners.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:34 AM   #5
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What's your tire pressure? Check that first, it's free and easy, too much air in the tires makes for a really cruddy ride....

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
Very true, I run 25psi in my 30x9.5 BFG AT's. Smooth as a 90yo old ladys rear.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:48 AM   #6
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If you are willing to put some money into it, Old Man Emu suspensions (springs/shocks) have about as good a reputation for road manners as you can get for a Jeep. They are not cheapest setup for a jeep, but handle well both on and off the road. This setup does net you some lift (usually around 2.5") but the ride is very good. I speak from first hand experience, as my Jeep came with what I believe to be a Pro Comp lift and the ride was awful. Replaced it with the OME and its much better. My GF even mentioned that the ride is better than her brother's stocker.

Edit: I think the OME kit with just springs and shocks runs about $700. Make sure to buy the correct kit based on the weight of your Jeep and accessories.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
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Would lowering the t-case offset the lift as far as handling? What about a set of sways? I don't need any discos or fancy off-roading setups but I'd imagine something like the addcos might also help.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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Dropping the TCase is done with a lift to return the driveline to stock angles and eliminate the vibrations that frequently occur when those angles are changed.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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I'm not an off roader by any means, just wanted a fun DD that can get through winter snow. I've been pouring through old articles on a million different things to do with suspension and it seems like most people would rather lift their jeep 4" and have a great time mudding than anything else.

Right now I've got monroe sensa-trac shocks and rubicon springs and the ride is rather bumpy and jarring. Basically I'm looking for stock to maybe two inch max (only running 29.5" tires) lift that will give me the best handling and smoothest ride on the road. I've seen different options too as far as the kits go for HD and LD, I've got a 99 TJ with a 6.0 LQ9, 4L60E, 8.8 rear, and hard top so I'm not sure how that is affecting things.

If anyone can help me in the right direction I'd greatly appreciate it!
Thats one heck of a modified jeep for someone that doesn't wheel it. If I were you I would ditch those shocks for some adjustable ones like Rancho RS9000, The problem your going to run into is all that extra weight from the hard top,V8 and the 4l60E needs to be supported by a heavy spring. Are your springs RE stock height or are they lift springs which have sagged from all the weight?
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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I understand the point of the T-case drop, was just wondering if it had the added benefit of (noticeably) lowering the center of gravity.

I'm a speed freak and could honestly care less about off roading. I'd much rather drive a rwd car all the time but since I just moved back to NY I wanted something 4x4 for snow (I've done rwd in snow, doable but not fun) that was still pretty quick. Thus the V8 rig at stock height. The springs are stock rubicons, I'm not sure which rate since it was originally an SE. I'd imagine even with the new drivetrain it isn't nearly as heavy as some of the rigs with the big brush guards, winches and whatever other accessories trail riders use.

So any thoughts on sway bars?
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:19 PM   #11
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It's a jeep not a sports car.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #12
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This is my 15th vehicle and the absolute worst ride comfort I've had. Getting used to it isn't an option but selling it is! However...I think if all jeeps road like my combo there wouldn't be so many jeep owners.
welcome to the wonderful world of Solid Axle Suspension. there isn't much that can be done to get a jeep's ride to rival that of a car, or IFS truck or SUV.

as others have mentioned drop the PSI some. then you need to invest in some good shocks. then the only other thing you can do is adjust caster. that's it. you simply can't make a SAS vehicle with a short wheel base ride like a Lincoln. the suspension and engineering just isn't designed for it. Jeeps still use SAS suspensions, and until they stop, the ride will always be "acceptable" at best. however when and if they indeed do move to an IFS system, it will stop being a Jeep and I won't buy another one.

this is why Land Rover, FJ Cruiser, and 4-Runner are IFS. people b*tched about ride quality, so they changed the suspension. this is the same reason pickups and SUV's SUCK offroad.

what you gain in streetability, you lose offroad, and vice versa.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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It's a jeep not a sports car.
REEAAAALLLY?

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the ride will always be "acceptable" at best.
Acceptable is all I'm asking for... I knew it wasn't going to be a caddy but I've driven a few jeeps that weren't anything near as jarring as mine. Just trying to figure out what the best direction to go is.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:21 PM   #14
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What im saying is that if you're looking for on road performance, comfort and handling you chose the wrong vehicle. You say you're more interested in speed than offroading but i suggest you take if off road just once and you'll see how much better it is then you might even change your mind.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
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Maybe I'm being misunderstood. I just want it to ride the best it can on road, I'm not going auto-crossing with it but would like at least better than stock handling and ride comfort even if it is only minorly so. That in itself would be a huge improvement over the setup it's got now. Like I said, I've road/drove other jeeps that weren't uncomfortable like mine before. Just trying to compare jeep to jeep not jeep to [name your plush suspension car].
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #16
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Very true, I run 25psi in my 30x9.5 BFG AT's. Smooth as a 90yo old ladys rear.

NOW, THATS SMOOTH!!!!
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #17
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If you look in to OME kits and want a good ride do NOT get the heavy rate springs... They are fairly harsh on the road. I had them and ditched them for a set of Rough Country 2.5" coils. Much better ride!
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #18
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ok. I'd try some high quality shocks and make sure the caster is good. try the PSI, and that's really it.

if it bothers you alot still and want a Jeep, buy a 4 door JK. even the 2 doors ride much better than TJ's
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:14 PM   #19
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If you look in to OME kits and want a good ride do NOT get the heavy rate springs... They are fairly harsh on the road. I had them and ditched them for a set of Rough Country 2.5" coils. Much better ride!
Did you READ what the OP has in his Jeep? A big V8 and a heavy tranny, not a 4.0 I-6.

All that being said, sounds like you have a nice rig. I would think about a long arm suspension system, it will give a MUCH better ride both on and off road.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:24 PM   #20
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I just put Rubicon Express springs and OME shocks on mine, and I love the ride on the street. I commute 70 miles a day in it, and it handles better then stock. I can't rave enough about how smooth OME springs are.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #21
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NOW, THATS SMOOTH!!!!
I think it was
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #22
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Did you READ what the OP has in his Jeep? A big V8 and a heavy tranny, not a 4.0 I-6.

All that being said, sounds like you have a nice rig. I would think about a long arm suspension system, it will give a MUCH better ride both on and off road.
ok, sorry but i have to say it. Did you read the original post?
he wants to stay at stock height, an inch or 2 of lift max. i doubt long arms are going to have that much of a benefit at that height, especially considering how much it would cost to put them on.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:53 PM   #23
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Have you ridden in a Jeep with a low lift and a long arm and Rancho RS9000s? Look at the TF LCG kit, long arms and short lift. Rides like a Caddy.

If the OP can afford a 6.0 swap, he can afford a LA lift.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #24
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Have you ridden in a Jeep with a low lift and a long arm and Rancho RS9000s? Look at the TF LCG kit, long arms and short lift. Rides like a Caddy.

If the OP can afford a 6.0 swap, he can afford a LA lift.
yeah, guess i see how that makes sense, just took some thinking and such.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:25 PM   #25
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just took some thinking and such.
damnit! thinking...thats crazy talk
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:40 PM   #26
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This should help in the handling department
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_...0053_large.jpg
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:49 PM   #27
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those long arm jeeps do ride nice. I missed where the OP said small lift. that's why I kept the options limited. I think that's a big reason JK's ride nice compared to the others. they're almost long arms stock.

that's a great idea. I say get some long arms too.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:51 PM   #28
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I occasionally disengage my front sway bar with quick disconnects. Makes for a pretty comfortable ride and its freaking fun too.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #29
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I occasionally disengage my front sway bar with quick disconnects. Makes for a pretty comfortable ride and its freaking fun too.
I did that once too. I pulled into a gas station parking lot that on a curve doing about 30. I thought she was going over
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:33 PM   #30
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More fun to leave the front sway bar connected, and disconnect the REAR! You can do 3 wheel slow donuts in a parking lot and look like you have hydraulics!

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