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Old 09-16-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
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Shock/spring upgrade

I've got stock front and back shocks and springs, and the ride is really jarring every time you hit a bump, hard. I thought shocks were supposed to get bouncy and stuff when they are old?
Anyways, I want a soft ride. I don't want to bounce up and down after hitting a bump, but I don't want a backache. I've heard the bilisten 5100s are good stuff, but are they really worth the price and are they soft enough? Do they handle well? Experiences?
Also, what is the best type of springs to get? Thanks

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Old 09-16-2012, 11:59 PM   #2
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Bds 2" springs and rancho 9000xl's. Adjustable shocks= whatever is comfy for you.

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Old 09-17-2012, 05:31 AM   #3
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I just installed the Rancho 9000xl's last weekend. Love them, great ride. Here is the best price I found.

Rancho RS9000XL Shocks, LOWEST PRICES on Rancho RS9000XL Shocks
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:57 AM   #4
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Quite impressive your Jeep surpassed the 300K miles mark!! I would consider getting new springs/shocks set to eliminate any ride quality/sagging questions with shocks only replacement. (especially with the added front bumper weight)..Now would be a great time to get a small lift out of it(2")..OME, BDS, Zone get good reviews for ride quality. But for stock height, Bilsteins are good but for a cheaper route, I heard the Monroe Sensa-tracs are good riding shocks.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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WOW...335K on your TJ! Impressive to say the least. You will love new shocks and springs and wished you had replaced them sooner so you could have enjoyed them sooner after riding on new ones.

I have been down this route with 3 different shocks in 3 years. The stock shock and springs were very bouncy over rough streets and roads, no control. I replaced the stock shocks with cheap blue Monroe-Matic Plus shocks. The Monre-Matic were really-really poor performing shocks, I would not take them for free. They were way worst then the OEM with 130K miles on them! They failed after 8 months or so, leaking fluid badly. After paying for a upgrade I replaced those under warranty with the black Monroe Sensa-tracs. The Sensa-tracs were much better then the Monroe-Matic, anything would have been. The Sensa-trac performed very well on smoother street and highways, much better then stock. Over rough roads and streets they were just OK, still bounced but way better then stock. The were not durable though. One was bad and another going bad after 14 months or so. I replaced them with Bilstein 5100. My springs had over 160K miles so I also replaced the springs with H&R +1" springs when I installed the 5100s.

Without a doubt I strongly recommend the Bilstein 5100 and H&R spring combo. Exceptionally good match. Performance and ride is excellent, totally transforms the ride and feel, much more enjoyable. Ride and control on very rough streets or roads is vastly superior. Doing this was probably the best thing I have done so far. I would have done this years ago if I had known the change was so dramatic.

Don't know if you want this or are interested but the Bilstein 5100 and +1" H&R spring combo will raise your Jeep about +1"-+1.375" also with no issues. Actually there was one thing, my steering wheel was turned to the right just a tiny bit after the slight lift. got a alignment to center my steering wheel and toe in.

The 5100s are much better and don't cost much more then the Sensa-trac. I paid about $290 shipped for the Bilstein and about $210 for the Sensa-trac. The Bilstein are well worth the extra $80 or so. The H&R springs were about $200 shipped. I ordered the 5100 from a well respected online vendor named Kolak Performance and the H&R springs from the Tire Rack.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by autopc25
WOW...335K on your TJ! Impressive to say the least. You will love new shocks and springs and wished you had replaced them sooner so you could have enjoyed them sooner after riding on new ones.

I have been down this route with 3 different shocks in 3 years. The stock shock and springs were very bouncy over rough streets and roads, no control. I replaced the stock shocks with cheap blue Monroe-Matic Plus shocks. The Monre-Matic were really-really poor performing shocks, I would not take them for free. They were way worst then the OEM with 130K miles on them! They failed after 8 months or so, leaking fluid badly. After paying for a upgrade I replaced those under warranty with the black Monroe Sensa-tracs. The Sensa-tracs were much better then the Monroe-Matic, anything would have been. The Sensa-trac performed very well on smoother street and highways, much better then stock. Over rough roads and streets they were just OK, still bounced but way better then stock. The were not durable though. One was bad and another going bad after 14 months or so. I replaced them with Bilstein 5100. My springs had over 160K miles so I also replaced the springs with H&R +1" springs when I installed the 5100s.

Without a doubt I strongly recommend the Bilstein 5100 and H&R spring combo. Exceptionally good match. Performance and ride is excellent, totally transforms the ride and feel, much more enjoyable. Ride and control on very rough streets or roads is vastly superior. Doing this was probably the best thing I have done so far. I would have done this years ago if I had known the change was so dramatic.

Don't know if you want this or are interested but the Bilstein 5100 and +1" H&R spring combo will raise your Jeep about +1"-+1.375" also with no issues. Actually there was one thing, my steering wheel was turned to the right just a tiny bit after the slight lift. got a alignment to center my steering wheel and toe in.

The 5100s are much better and don't cost much more then the Sensa-trac. I paid about $290 shipped for the Bilstein and about $210 for the Sensa-trac. The Bilstein are well worth the extra $80 or so. The H&R springs were about $200 shipped. I ordered the 5100 from a well respected online vendor named Kolak Performance and the H&R springs from the Tire Rack.
Thank you so much for the in depth story, il be sure to get started on this soon and I will let y'all know how it goes with the new springs and shocks!
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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Thank you so much for the in depth story, il be sure to get started on this soon and I will let y'all know how it goes with the new springs and shocks!
I read what you replaced after 335K miles. My '97 is a daily driver so I never want to get stranded. Never have been so far! I do a lot of preventative repairs/maintenance. I like to stay ahead of the problems. I just looked over my repair/maintenance log. I have a 3"-4" stack of records. I only have 161K miles and have replaced almost everything possible that is know to wear out on a TJ. Off the top of my head, I replaced the transmission, RMS, radiator, hoses, belt, idler, full tune-up, u-joints, injectors, muffler, front brake calipers, brakes, shocks, springs, valve cover gasket, 02 sensors, idle air control, distributor, cam position sensor, and what ever else I am forgetting in the last 3 months alone!

Anything except the Monroe-Matics should be a good improvement over stock shocks and springs with 335K miles on them. I think you will be every happy with the 5100 & H&R spring combo. Both products have lifetime warranties and are very well regarded companies with excellent reputations.

You can also do a "search" on this forum and on the other Jeep forum for Bilstein 5100 and H&R springs if you want more feedback or have other questions. Also contact Kolak and tell him what kind of roads you drive on most, he knows Bilstein and can make recommendations.

Good luck!
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
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Bilstein 5100s !!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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This is a dd. with that being said, I don't bring it off road, the roads here for the most part okay, but you know, bumps and pot holes here and there. It's those bumps that make the ride horrible, it feels like there is no shock, as opposed to my moms land cruiser and all you notice is the sound of the bump, nothing else. I know I'm not going to get that kind of ride with the light weight and the short wheel base of the jeep, but I want something soft, but not bounce when coming down the bridge or something. Haha anyone following? I was all bilstein, but now I'm leaning toward the rancho 9000s because of the adjustability. I don't have a lift on the jeep, and don't really want one, maybe a 1". But that's it. Any takers on me being overly difficult? Haha sorry
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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This is a dd. with that being said, I don't bring it off road, the roads here for the most part okay, but you know, bumps and pot holes here and there. It's those bumps that make the ride horrible, it feels like there is no shock, as opposed to my moms land cruiser and all you notice is the sound of the bump, nothing else. I know I'm not going to get that kind of ride with the light weight and the short wheel base of the jeep, but I want something soft, but not bounce when coming down the bridge or something. Haha anyone following? I was all bilstein, but now I'm leaning toward the rancho 9000s because of the adjustability. I don't have a lift on the jeep, and don't really want one, maybe a 1". But that's it. Any takers on me being overly difficult? Haha sorry
Don't quote me... I looked at the Ranchos as well as the Bilstein 5100s and from people I talk to they say they don't really tend to adjust them much.. If you end up with the Ranchos let me know how they are woiuld you? I'm buying new ones soon myself.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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Don't quote me... I looked at the Ranchos as well as the Bilstein 5100s and from people I talk to they say they don't really tend to adjust them much.. If you end up with the Ranchos let me know how they are woiuld you? I'm buying new ones soon myself.
I wouldnt adjust them often either, sometimes i will have to haul my scag in a trailer in the back, but i think of the adjustment as a little bit of leeway to how i like the feel, unlike the bilstein where i am stuck with how they feel.

I need more peoples opinions!
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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I had the same problem. Ride was really harsh, but I questioned if it was the shocks for the same reason. What I noticed was that I was getting some side skip if I hit any bump going around a turn, which has always been a sign the shocks had gone. I went ahead and replaces the with Bilstein's and the is a huge difference in the ride. I don't feel beat up anymore just driving down the road. I ordered them from
Kolak. Just send him an email at kolak@aol.com.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trisalsa
I had the same problem. Ride was really harsh, but I questioned if it was the shocks for the same reason. What I noticed was that I was getting some side skip if I hit any bump going around a turn, which has always been a sign the shocks had gone. I went ahead and replaces the with Bilstein's and the is a huge difference in the ride. I don't feel beat up anymore just driving down the road. I ordered them from
Kolak. Just send him an email at kolak@aol.com.
I forgot to mention that when I got the old ones off, they were almost impossible to compress and when I did, they never uncompressed.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:09 PM   #14
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You can have your cake and eat it too!

Tenneco owns and makes both Monroe and Rancho. Tenneco is a good company with a great warranty and huge dealer network. I read about the Rancho adjusting knob rusting shut. Tenneco will without a doubt replace the shock under warranty. Maybe ask around about how durable Rancho is?

Or take advantage of Tenneco's excellent 90 day warranty. You can buy Rancho shocks, drive on them for 90 days and return them if you do not like them for whatever reason. I think they even pay for labor! I considered doing this before buying the Bilstein. I changed my mind after thinking about how many of my Monroes failed. I was just tried of changing shocks every year even though they were replaced under warranty.

Maybe someone who owned both Rancho and Bilstein will chime in?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:27 PM   #15
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You can have your cake and eat it too!

Tenneco owns and makes both Monroe and Rancho. Tenneco is a good company with a great warranty and huge dealer network. I read about the Rancho adjusting knob rusting shut. Tenneco will without a doubt replace the shock under warranty. Maybe ask around about how durable Rancho is?

Or take advantage of Tenneco's excellent 90 day warranty. You can buy Rancho shocks, drive on them for 90 days and return them if you do not like them for whatever reason. I think they even pay for labor! I considered doing this before buying the Bilstein. I changed my mind after thinking about how many of my Monroes failed. I was just tried of changing shocks every year even though they were replaced under warranty.

Maybe someone who owned both Rancho and Bilstein will chime in?
That last part was what I was hoping would happen..
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #16
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Was he pretty good price wise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisalsa View Post
I had the same problem. Ride was really harsh, but I questioned if it was the shocks for the same reason. What I noticed was that I was getting some side skip if I hit any bump going around a turn, which has always been a sign the shocks had gone. I went ahead and replaces the with Bilstein's and the is a huge difference in the ride. I don't feel beat up anymore just driving down the road. I ordered them from
Kolak. Just send him an email at kolak@aol.com.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:11 AM   #17
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Was he pretty good price wise?
I bought from Kolak also. His prices were the best I could find. About $280-$290 for 5100s shipped.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:17 AM   #18
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I know going from the cheap Skyjacker Hydro's to the current Rancho 9000's made a HUGE difference in ride quality. I have it set at 5 for daily commute. Having had issues with the dial knob so far but I heard you can install the shocks facing forward so the dial knob is somewhat shielded from rocks/road debris but makes it harder to access. Personally, you can't go wrong with Bilsteins either but you are stuck with only one setting. I do know that OME light duty springs along with the Rancho's made the greatest improvement in ride quality over stock.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:35 AM   #19
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Was he pretty good price wise?
Yes, best price I found anywhere and helpful answering questions I had.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #20
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Yes, best price I found anywhere and helpful answering questions I had.
For me it was not even Kolak's prices. He knows Bilstein and Jeeps, he has knowledge and can answer questions and make suggestions based on his experience.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #21
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Any of yall running the HD Bilsteins?? He recommended those for my Rubi but I cant find anyone that has them?
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For me it was not even Kolak's prices. He knows Bilstein and Jeeps, he has knowledge and can answer questions and make suggestions based on his experience.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #22
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Anyone have Bilsteins 5100 with BDS 3" coil springs?
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #23
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I'm running 2" BDS coils with the 5100's and the combo rides and handles fantastic.

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