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Old 02-13-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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Need Advise on Good Shocks but Nothing Crazy

My stock 97 TJ needs new shocks. I've been hitting the trail and killed the 16 year old shocks in 2 trips.

Any recommendations? Good shock for an affordable price. Looking on-line I see too many choices.

Thanks for your advise.

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Old 02-13-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Bilstien shocks are awesome but you'll pay a little.

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Old 02-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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You might want to look at BDS
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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ive been looking at the bilstein 5100s to replace the crappy rough country ones i have...found a set of 4 on ebay for like 280 shipped and thats for 2.5" lift so the stock size should be cheaper..those and Old Man Emu are unanimously decided the top 2 shocks on here along with Rancho adjustables which i think are the 9000's
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekaz99 View Post
My stock 97 TJ needs new shocks. I've been hitting the trail and killed the 16 year old shocks in 2 trips.

Any recommendations? Good shock for an affordable price. Looking on-line I see too many choices.

Thanks for your advise.
"Affordable" for some is not so much for others... You should throw out a price range and the folks who have tried certain brands can chime in.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Steve again,

I was hopping for $50 each but if a little more is a good idea then I'd go for it.

Thanks
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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There are plenty of good socks out there for 50 bucks each. Just make sure they are the correct size.

The standard bilsteins are a great option. Half the price of the 5100s. Those are the yellow and blue shocks.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Let me add, though, if you plan to do a lot of wheeling you may need something more robust.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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These are recent shots of a usual trails I ride in NJ. Steep short hills, rocky narrow fire roads and rutted dirt roads.

I am new to Jeeping (can count my wheeling trips on two hands) so not sure how hard they are on my TJ. I try not to run too hard but you know how it is.

The stock 16 year old shocks won't make another trail ride.

Thanks again to everyone.









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Old 02-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
Knows a couple things...

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Here are a few to avoid...

ProComp ES-1000, ES-3000, and ES-9000.
Skyjacker Nitrocharger
Rancho RS5000
Rough Country 2.2
Bilstein 5100 generic model not valved for the Wrangler
Rubicon Express Twin-Tube

Good shocks include:
Skyjacker Hydros (ride nice but not all that great handling-wise)
Rancho R9000xl (adjustable with 9 settings & much better quality/ride/handling than the below ProComp MX-6)
Bilstein 5100 (the model valved specifically for the Wrangler)
OME Nitrocharger
ProComp MX-6 (adjustable with 6 settings)
Savvy Offroad's specially valved Fox. Best riding/handling I've experienced. Period.

The above are just the shocks I have personal experience with.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:39 PM   #11
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Are any of these available for a jeep with no lift?
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:33 PM   #12
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What I used to do was buy the AutoZone Gabriel shocks, inexpensive, better than OEM, lifetime warranty, and replace them every year for free.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
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Not a bad idea! Gabriel makes a lot of the after market shocks too....you just don't realize it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Here are a few to avoid...

ProComp ES-1000, ES-3000, and ES-9000.
Skyjacker Nitrocharger
Rancho RS5000
Rough Country 2.2
Bilstein 5100 generic model not valved for the Wrangler
Rubicon Express Twin-Tube

Good shocks include:
Skyjacker Hydros (ride nice but not all that great handling-wise)
Rancho R9000xl (adjustable with 9 settings & much better quality/ride/handling than the below ProComp MX-6)
Bilstein 5100 (the model valved specifically for the Wrangler)
OME Nitrocharger
ProComp MX-6 (adjustable with 6 settings)
Savvy Offroad's specially valved Fox. Best riding/handling I've experienced. Period.

The above are just the shocks I have personal experience with.


I just put 4 Rancho RS5000's on.....I'll wear them out, and then go with the R9000xl's....
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #15
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What is the issue with the Rancho 5000's? I just put a set on also.....
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:18 PM   #16
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I have a theory on why many shocks get a bad rap. Shocks technology ain't exactly rocket science. First, I think many folks chose the wrong shock for the wrong type of driving. You can't take a shock designed for off-road use and expect it to to handle on the street wonderfully, or the other way around for that matter. Second, I am CONVINCED that many of the shocks that are provided in "kits" are not sized correctly and not matched with the correct bump stop extension resulting in degraded ride quality and poor longevity. Then, there is the issue of cost. For the most part, you get what you pay for.

If you pay $35 for a heavy duty, trail shock and you hit the trails weekly, I suspect you will be pissed.

I think it is important to understand how you intend to use your vehicle. Based on reviews and reports I have read, if I were intending to wheel a lot, Bilsteins and/or OME would be on my rig.

For me, I choose to go with BDS. Why? They have a good reputation, I don't wheel much per se (though, if I did, i think they would hold-up fine), and their reviews seemed good. If you hold up the BDS shocks AND springs that I have next to the OE stuff it is laughable. The build quality, weight, and thickness of the components are very different. Seeing the springs side by side confirmed to me that upgrading the springs was the way to go.

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