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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short, divorce forces me to make my 2012 JK my DD. I commute 60 miles round trip at speeds of 65-75 and the JK is kicking my butt as far as comfort goes at that speed. It loves to follow every rut and bump on the road and considering I live in Buffalo it's like driving through a mine field half the time. I've heard that a lift with better shocks will help sort it out but as you all know there are about 50,000 brands of shocks on the market and most of the forum is geared towards off-road activity so I'm not sure where to turn for my situation. I plan to do a 2.5" lift but I most definitely want a shock that's softer than stock if that's even possible. Do you guys have any suggestions to help improve my ride? Please don't tell me to get a JKU as I can't afford it now and I'd hate to get rid of the Jeep but at my age comfort is a huge factor and in it's current state it's just too brutal for me. And no, I can't drive 55....

EDIT: I should add that I'm riding on 17" XD Addicts with newer tires and they did improve the ride from stock but only slightly.
 

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I finally settled on adjustable Rancho 9000s that have proven to be the best shock I've ever bought in 50+ years of driving.

ETA: forgot to mention, my Sahara has the OEM springs, IIRC 13/56? Relatively softer to begin with; I'm riding on 10 ply Kelly TRS with no harshness but marvelous sense of adequate control with no excessive side-wall flex. No lift. Very good in multiple thousands of mile road trip with 400-500 mile days.....although certain pavement conditions do remind the solid axles are intended for another purpose.
 

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Coils are really going to help with a softer ride. You should look into evo plush ride coils and mate them with the rancho 9000. Rancho has an amazing rebate right now
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can play with tire pressures and start there.
I'm running them at 32 and have thought about dropping them lower but I figured that was a safe number to keep them safely within their warranty. But my real problem is more with the steering wanting to follow every rut in the road and I don't think air pressures will solve that.
 

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It might not be your shocks at all. There was another thread in here somewhere where a guy took out his seats and had them reupholstered with better foam. Said it made a world of difference on his lower back. And from what I remember the price was pretty reasonable. The guy stripped the stock JK seat down to the bare metal frame and redid the whole thing. They came out beautiful. Someone else here may remember the thread and be able to find it for you.
 

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I've never had the 'following the ruts' kind of issue to solve. I've read a few threads where some front-end adjustments seem to help many.

Is this on 'every' road or just certain ones? We had a local stretch where out-of-spec paving, hot days & heavy trucks DID make subtle ruts which required repaving a six mile stretch to fix it.

How's your alignment?
 

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What tires are you running specifically? I've got a 2013 sport with the crappy 225/75/16 street tires it came with and a 1250 mile trip to Texas was smooth and comfortable. I don't know what your living arrangements are but if you have a garage and only go wheeling a few times a year you might want to consider picking up somebody's stock tires and run them during the week and then switch to off-road tires when you go wheeling. Just my $.02.
 

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I bought my JK already lifted 4" with 35" tires and it followed the groves in the highway too...

Turns out the tie rod ends were loose, the passenger side actually flopped back & forth. Once I tightened those and dropped the tire pressure to 28...it drove a lot nicer.

Later, I swapped out the ProComp ES9000 shocks for some Skyjacker M95 Monotube shocks and I really like the ride now.

Has the ride quality decreased as you've owned the Jeep? If so, maybe check all the steering components.

I have a 2008 and I'm not a big fan of the front seats. I hope to swap in a driver seat from a 2013+ JK one of these days, if possible.

EDIT: Sorry about your divorce...or CONGRATULATIONS!!! whichever applies:)
 

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Rancho adjustables.
 

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60 miles a day in a Wrangler five days a week? And it sounds like you're over 40? Google "masochism". You'd have to spend a small fortune on the suspension and tires just to take the edge off.
 

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He'll my wife is 50 and drives 65 miles round trip on 4" lift and 35s. I say put the top down and the radio loud and sing along. You are in a Jeep!!!
 

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If you're doing a lift, make sure to get arm relocation brakets to keep the ride smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
60 miles a day in a Wrangler five days a week? And it sounds like you're over 40? Google "masochism". You'd have to spend a small fortune on the suspension and tires just to take the edge off.
43 and you are indeed 100% correct about being a masochist! Especially here in Buffalo. Below 55 and she handles just fine--and absolutely incredible in the snow--but I drive the interstate to work and above 55 it's brutal no matter what road it's on. It was 10 times worse with the bone stock wheels & tires so I know it's not the replacements and likely just a Jeep thing. Honestly though I'm not expecting a cushy ride as the short wheelbase alone ruins that but figured I'd try something else to see if I can improve it. I don't really want to get rid of it but I know she's not the best vehicle for my situation.
 

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With the solid axles, there isn't a whole lot that can be done, but I just slow my pace and enjoy the ride.
 

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60 miles a day in a Wrangler five days a week? And it sounds like you're over 40? Google "masochism". You'd have to spend a small fortune on the suspension and tires just to take the edge off.
Hey! I'm 54 and do 40 miles every day with an additional 30 miles twice a week! I will admit it took me almost two weeks to figure out how to set my seat without killing my back. An additional small lumbar pillow also helped!
 

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something that really helped my sitting comfort too, was adding 1/4" spacers under the front 2 seat brackets, to give a little rise at the front which reduced the mechanical stress on the facetal joints in my lumbar spine.
 

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43 and you are indeed 100% correct about being a masochist! Especially here in Buffalo. Below 55 and she handles just fine--and absolutely incredible in the snow--but I drive the interstate to work and above 55 it's brutal no matter what road it's on. It was 10 times worse with the bone stock wheels & tires so I know it's not the replacements and likely just a Jeep thing. Honestly though I'm not expecting a cushy ride as the short wheelbase alone ruins that but figured I'd try something else to see if I can improve it. I don't really want to get rid of it but I know she's not the best vehicle for my situation.
Cutting tire pressure enough to feel better will eat the tires up fast. Your best bang for the buck will be swapping the 32s for some dorky looking but soft riding highway all-season radials like Michelins or Bridgestones. Anything that even hints at being an AT or truck tire is likely to be stiffer and harsher. Check for "tramlining" in tire reviews; thats the tendency for tires to follow lines in the pavement. I once had some Contis that grabbed the anti-skid cuts in the LA freeways like rails; I hated that. Second best improvement would be softer shocks. Both of these would compromise off road driving if that's a concern, but all-seasons can be better in snow than ATs. I don't understand how a lift is supposed to improve the ride except it extends the springs so they may act a little softer. Changing springs would help but is $$ and also changes fundamental handling. You'll have to judge where it just gets impractical to dump money into marginal-at-best improvements for interstate cruising.
 
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