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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been reading all these forums for quite some time and had planned to build a JKU. All my research and planning was around this model but when it came down to it I found a great TJ rubicon that I couldn't pass up. This has left me with a little more of a learning curve from what I had researched.

I have owned the TJ for a couple of months and have tried bring up to date basic maintenance items and tune up while exploring every back road. When I purchased the TJ it swayed in the tail end when driving 60+ MPH and I figured the shocks were worn out because the jeep has 155k on it with stock rubicon shocks. I purchased the higher end Monroe shocks at autozone because they were in stock and relatively cheap. Long story short they made it 2 days in the mountains and gave up the ghost. I found some wear in my JKS quick disconnect on the front and the stock sway bar in the rear. I have the parts coming to tighten them up.

Currently I am taking the wife and kids out every chance we get on old logging roads and forest service roads. These are washboard and bumpy. I also go down Jeep trails that are slower speed with rocks. I have taken the jeep to sand dunes near me and would eventually take a couple trips to Moab.

Finally my question. The suspension is stock height other than a front leveling bushing. Do I put a decent set of shocks on now or wait for a year until I plan to do a stretch and mild lift? I am leaning towards a Rock Krawler setup. I like the Jeeps run in the KOH and how well they handle fast and slow. I have done a ton of searching on the forums and it seems the Bilstein 5100 and the rancho 9000 series are adequate shocks. How would you recommend I approach this build? Any insight would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I think I am leaning towards the Rock Krawler rock runner 4.5" long arm lift with the rear stretch for later next year. Might keep trying el cheapo monroe shocks until then.
 

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Thanks. I think I am leaning towards the Rock Krawler rock runner 4.5" long arm lift with the rear stretch for later next year.
Having run a bolt-on long arm suspension once, I'll never run another. There's not a bolt-on long arm suspension made worth installing in my strongest possible personal opinion. All my long arms were good for was for getting hung up on way too many rocks and trail obstacles.

My current suspension lift is a 4" Currie short arm and it does EVERYTHING better than my previous long arm did. The only way to get a good performing mid-arm or long arm suspension is to have it custom installed. And even then I'd go only mid-arm.

I'll take trails with my Currie short arm suspension I wouldn't even consider with my previous long arm.

The first three pics are of my previous '97 TJ (red), its long arms nearly spent as much time being hung up as not. A rock crawler friend laughingly turned the first photo into that poster. The last two pics are of my current '04 TJ (black) with its Currie short arm suspension.

Never will I run another bolt-on long arm suspension. They just don't work well on tough trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the insight into the short arms, I do like the currie 4 inch kit. What shocks did you end up with? Your Jeep looks great.
 

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Thanks for the insight into the short arms, I do like the currie 4 inch kit. What shocks did you end up with? Your Jeep looks great.
On my current TJ with the Currie suspension, I ran gas charged OME Nitrocharger shocks for 8-9 years. They were amazingly good both on the highway and offroad. They finally went bad and I ended up replacing them with Rancho's new gas charged RS5000X shocks which was much less expensive. I was very happy and surprised to discover I like the RS5000X shocks just as much the OMEs. Don't confuse them with Rancho's older hydraulic RS5000 shocks that will make a TJ ride like a buckboard wagon.
 

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Thanks. I think I am leaning towards the Rock Krawler rock runner 4.5" long arm lift with the rear stretch for later next year. Might keep trying el cheapo monroe shocks until then.
On my current TJ with the Currie suspension, I ran gas charged OME Nitrocharger shocks for 8-9 years. They were amazingly good both on the highway and offroad. They finally went bad and I ended up replacing them with Rancho's new gas charged RS5000X shocks which was much less expensive. I was very happy and surprised to discover I like the RS5000X shocks just as much the OMEs. Don't confuse them with Rancho's older hydraulic RS5000 shocks that will make a TJ ride like a buckboard wagon.
You can also get the RS5000X shocks in the stock length. They will likely last longer than the Monroes and are likely no more expensive.
 
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