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Old 07-16-2019, 02:35 PM
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Question Replacing shocks - 3" suspension lift

I originally imported and installed a 4.25" Zone kit. 3 years later I need new shocks, trouble is in Europe we don't have a lot of options. I have a 2.5 97, metal bumpers, 33s, winch.



I researched on the forum and ruled out the crappy ones so I am left with the Bilstein 5100 or the Fox 2.0 Performance.



Comparing the specs did not really help, both have shorter travel than my original Zone shocks.



The Fox ones are actually double the price of the Bilsteins. And thinking about the extended/compressed specs, they seem to limit my travel , as the compressed length is the highest of the three. They have the best extended length, but I am not sure the stock arms will help with that extra length and I might actually benefit from that extra length.


But maybe I am not judging this right, so any advice is welcome.



So what would you get? Thanks in advance.



Zone 3"

Front Ext 24.66 Comp 14.79 Travel 9.87
Rear Ext 22.95 Comp 14.67 Travel 8.28


Bilstein 5100 3-3.5"


Front Ext 24 Comp 14.88 Travel 9.12
Rear Ext 23.07 Comp 14.63 Travel 8.44


Fox 2.0 Perf 2.5-3.5"


Front Ext 25.15 Comp 15.55 Travel 9.6
Rear Ext 22.65 Comp 14.55 Travel 8.1

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Old 07-17-2019, 01:19 AM   #2
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hello, Zone shocks are junk and i think that you may be overthinking the whole thing. Bilsteins are very good shocks at a good price for normal people, fox are also very good shocks but they cost too much for normal people. i think you should buy the Bilsteins and never look back. I run Bilstein 5100's on my rock crawler and my over lander and i have nothing but good things to say.

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Old 07-17-2019, 08:38 AM
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Thanks, this is the advice I was looking for, from people that have practical experience on this.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:38 AM   #4
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im in the camp that believes bilsteins are a bit too harsh for street driving and prefer the rancho 5000x.

Fox makes great shocks but the internal valving is very large and to really get the value out of them you should move the shock mounts so you can run a longer travel shock.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ironhead Jed View Post
im in the camp that believes bilsteins are a bit too harsh for street driving and prefer the rancho 5000x.

Fox makes great shocks but the internal valving is very large and to really get the value out of them you should move the shock mounts so you can run a longer travel shock.





to youre fist point, i'll go out on a limb and guess that the zone shocks are a twin tube design that will indeed run softer on the road, but their performance suffers in abusive off road conditions due to internal heat and oil foaming. Fox and Bilstein are a mono tube design that does ride a bit harsher on the road but they dissipate heat well and do not suffer from oil foaming in more extreme conditions. So it really matters what you're jeep will be doing, choose you're sacrifice and you're strength.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:22 PM   #6
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to youre fist point, i'll go out on a limb and guess that the zone shocks are a twin tube design that will indeed run softer on the road, but their performance suffers in abusive off road conditions due to internal heat and oil foaming. Fox and Bilstein are a mono tube design that does ride a bit harsher on the road but they dissipate heat well and do not suffer from oil foaming in more extreme conditions. So it really matters what you're jeep will be doing, choose you're sacrifice and you're strength.
you are correct on mono vs twin tube, but not all mono tube shocks ride rough on road. the only complaint that I have my current fox shocks is the size of the valving eats uptravel in OEM mount locations. went from zone hydros to rancho 5000x shocks on the wife's TJ and are very happy with the results. not that we disliked the hydros, just that the coating was coming off and got the rancho shocks for $150
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:51 PM
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Thanks for the opinions. I read about the Ranchos, unfortunately they are not easily available in Europe. And after shipping and taxes they aren't worth it.



My only options Bilstein or Fox. I am going to go with the Bilstein, as they are half the price and I have read a lot of good things about them. Indeed people complain they are harsh, I thought my Zone Nitros were harsh (no idea if they were mono or twin).
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
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Bilsteins ride like crap on a TJ. Take it from an expert like mrblaine.

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If you can tolerate the Bilsteins, that will invalidate any discussion you and I may have from now on. They are quite possibly the most annoying damper I've ever used.

Folks tend to brag about how nicely they eat up the larger events while failing to mention accurately in the same breath they are real handy at determining if a quarter is heads or tails simply by passing a tire over it.

Small event harshness is quite annoying to me.
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03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/LoD bumpers/Black Magic brakes
99' XJ under construction/ 5.5" lift/ Rancho rs5000x shocks/HP30-8.25/ 33" DC MTs. (JEEP #18).
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:09 PM   #9
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So it really matters what you're jeep will be doing, choose you're sacrifice and you're strength.
I don't have that problem with my Rancho 9000XL shocks.
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03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/LoD bumpers/Black Magic brakes
99' XJ under construction/ 5.5" lift/ Rancho rs5000x shocks/HP30-8.25/ 33" DC MTs. (JEEP #18).
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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If you’re in Europe call ASP Eberle in Stuttgart they’re Jeep people and you won’t have the cost issue of shipping shocks.

I have Fox 2.0’s from Savvy and like them enough that I don’t think I’d have another lifted Jeep without them.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:41 AM
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If you’re in Europe call ASP Eberle in Stuttgart they’re Jeep people and you won’t have the cost issue of shipping shocks.

I have Fox 2.0’s from Savvy and like them enough that I don’t think I’d have another lifted Jeep without them.

Thanks, that's where I bought them from. I went with the Bilsteins, they are a bit rough, but I think not as rough as my old Zone ones.



I am happy with the choice so thanks all for the advice.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:20 AM
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Coming back with an update, after a few weeks of running the Bilsteins.



Much better on the highway, especially for bumps, the Jeep is much more composed and more comfortable than with the Zone shocks.



The same thing in offroad, on rough surfaces, much better ride quality.



All in all, really happy with the Bilsteins.

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