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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings gentlemen. New Jeep owner here with a 2001 SE that I've had for about six weeks. I know that I have a problem with the suspension because this thing rides like a tank over boulders and I really HATE IT. :rant: It appears that I have a hodgepodge of suspension parts and I'd like some opinions on what's going on underneath.


The way I see it, I have three distinct problems:

1) The jeep bottoms out HARD over the slightest bumps.

*** Discovered last night that the shocks have 1.5"-2" of travel ***

2) The ride is exceptionally stiff, just driving on flat surfaces is teeth rattling.

3) The ride is generally bouncy.​


Goals:

1) Keep the current ride height (or close to it) over my 32" Nitto Ridge Grapplers, but level the front.

2) I want a softer ride.

3) Replace current shocks and springs with a respectable kit. Not looking for Fox titanium shocks with external reservoirs and a long arm kit :lmao: but something that is in the $400~$700 range and will not require me messing with the drive shaft angles and engine lifts and other things that I don't yet have an understanding of...​

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
FRONT SUSPENSION

I see the following:

1) 2" lift spacer
2) 10" spring
3) 13" spring perch to spring perch
4) Bump stop lengthened?

If better pictures are needed let me know. I'm going outside as soon as I post this and take off the wheel and shoot pics straight from the side with the axle supported at ride height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
REAR SUSPENSION

I see the following:

1) Why is the top of the spring not sitting on the spring perch?
2) 6" spring (approx. going to re-measure now)
3) 8" spring perch to spring perch
4) Lots of contact between bump stop and bottom perch
 

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What shocks are on it, these contribute the most to the feel of the suspension.
Sounds like the shocks are too long.

What tire pressure are you running? This is next in line of your Jeep rides rough.

If you are only 13" between spring perches on front, likely a sagging factory coil spring with a spacer on top.
Your bump stop extensions may be too long.

Did the previous owner have it lifted higher at some point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What shocks are on it, these contribute the most to the feel of the suspension.
Sounds like the shocks are too long.

What tire pressure are you running? This is next in line of your Jeep rides rough.

If you are only 13" between spring perches on front, likely a sagging factory coil spring with a spacer on top.
Your bump stop extensions may be too long.

Did the previous owner have it lifted higher at some point?
All excellent questions!

Not sure on the shocks. I'm taking the wheels off of one side now while jack-standed at ride height and will figure out the shocks. They are red with black boots and no real identifying stickers or marks but I'll look harder.

Not sure about the tire pressure (damn, that's embarassing!) but the jeep came with 2015 JK Sahara wheels/tires (BFGs on 18" rims) and the ride was harsher. I'll check pressure.

I can't seem to find bump stop lengths (factory) anywhere

What I *think* is going on here is that it was lifted at one point then someone changed the springs to get back to stock-ish height. Wasn't me and the PO didn't say anything when I handed him a 3/4" stack of $100 bills to buy it from him. :censored:
 

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"Easiest" option is to simply gut the current suspension and replace it with something better. It'll be much easier instead than trying to nitpick each suspension part.

Two quality kits that fall into your price range:

1) Zone 3" lift ~$460

2) BDS 2" lift ~$430

Zone to my knowledge is actually just a rebranded version of BDS. Both should work fine with your 32". I would favor the BDS kit over the Zone kit since Zone's hydro shocks are not the most comfortable from what I've heard.

Also check your tire pressure like Shark said. If they came off a JKU they could be overinflated to compensate for the unlimited's extra weight
 

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Yep, a new set of 2" lift springs should fit those tires nicely. Then check bump stop length.

Shocks such as rancho 5000X or 7000MT (they have a rebate on now) of the proper length, plus not over inflating tires, will help your Jeep handle well.

Be sure your caster and toe in is set properly too. Check sway bar and control arm bushings. Finally check ball joints, unit bearings, tie rod ends for steering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you @Shark_13 and @EatTacoCatTea for your thoughts. I agree that a full replacement is in order.

Shark: to answer your earlier question: my tires are inflated to 31 psi

EatTacoCatTea: Thank you for the recommendations. I was wondering about the Zone offroad kits having spent some time on their website the other day.

Question: Let's say I increase my budget to $1000 and my lift height to 3". For that money and lift I'm seeing the following:

BDS 1997-2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ Standard 3" Lift Kit - $755.94

JKS Manufacturing JSPEC 2" Suspension System - $1001.20

Zone Offroad 3" suspension system with Nitro shocks, JKS sway bar QD kit, steering stabilizer - $701.02​

Which of these would you go with?

Are the JKS progressive springs worth the money?

How badly do I need front sway bar disconnects in my life?

BDS strongly suggest enlarging the stick shift opening enlarged and front lower control arms. Why is that?
 

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Those kinda look like the KYB Monomax shocks I bought for my truck. You might want to take a closer look at them. Maybe call KYB. I would buy Monomax for any vehicle I own. Single tube shocks are good stuff.

Thanks for the laugh about the tire pressures.

I'm looking at the absence of RUST. You may have bought a cherry Jeep.

Might also want to rethink the half step lift kits. Where you live you might want to go whole hog and do some hunting for old mining trails, coach trails and such. Been to Crown King? Between you and Prescott is good Jeep country.
 

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Here's some more entertaining pictures:

Rear shock, markings on shock, front shock.

Talk about no travel!


What length should the bump stops be from the factory?
Looks like you found your problem... Stiff KYB shocks that are too long.
 

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Too long for what? Like someone said above it looks like someone robbed the springs before the Jeep sold.

Put on some quality 3" lift springs and those shocks might be just right. Call KYB with part numbers. (if they are KYB)

I might want those shocks if you replace them.
 

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Those shocks are definitely short travel and bottom out. Also it looks like the bump stops are short travel too, and they bottom out. With this configuration, you are not getting full flex or travel.
Possible the PO had even larger tires than the ones on it now and he was contacting the fenders or the frame.
 

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Too long for what? Like someone said above it looks like someone robbed the springs before the Jeep sold.

Put on some quality 3" lift springs and those shocks might be just right. Call KYB with part numbers. (if they are KYB)

I might want those shocks if you replace them.
The way I see it, going from a 2"BB to 3" springs is only an 1" difference, and I think those shocks are still going to be too long. They might be okay for 4" springs.
 

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Too long for what? Like someone said above it looks like someone robbed the springs before the Jeep sold.

Put on some quality 3" lift springs and those shocks might be just right. Call KYB with part numbers. (if they are KYB)

I might want those shocks if you replace them.
He said he wants to keep a similar ride height to how it is now. Therefore those shocks are too long for how it's setup.
There is only like 2" of up travel currently.

I'm sure someone in the past has much taller springs at some point. But the way it is now, not a good fit.
 

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Question: Let's say I increase my budget to $1000 and my lift height to 3". For that money and lift I'm seeing the following:

BDS 1997-2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ Standard 3" Lift Kit - $755.94

JKS Manufacturing JSPEC 2" Suspension System - $1001.20

Zone Offroad 3" suspension system with Nitro shocks, JKS sway bar QD kit, steering stabilizer - $701.02

Which of these would you go with?

Are the JKS progressive springs worth the money?

How badly do I need front sway bar disconnects in my life?

BDS strongly suggest enlarging the stick shift opening enlarged and front lower control arms. Why is that?
First off, all of which are great choices. JKS quick discos are more or less a comfort feature and are not necessary if you don't mind wrenching to disconnect stock sway bars. How often do you offroad? Progressive springs are not necessary but are great if you want a nice ride paired with good shocks. Nothing wrong with regular springs though as long as they are paired with good shocks. For the money, I think the Zone kit is pretty damn hard to beat. However increase your budget another $200 and I think its hard to overlook a DPG 2"-2.5" OME lift kit (remove the BL, MML, and JKS quick discos from the Ultimate kit). Comes with front and rear adjustable trackbars

I would imagine that BDS recommends new front lowers is due to the new angle at which the control arms will sit. Typically you can get away with using stock lower arms on suspension lifts below 3". Not sure about the stick shift opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Those kinda look like the KYB Monomax shocks I bought for my truck. You might want to take a closer look at them. Maybe call KYB. I would buy Monomax for any vehicle I own. Single tube shocks are good stuff.

I'm looking at the absence of RUST. You may have bought a cherry Jeep.

Might also want to rethink the half step lift kits. Where you live you might want to go whole hog and do some hunting for old mining trails, coach trails and such. Been to Crown King? Between you and Prescott is good Jeep country.
You are correct they are KYB Monomax, intended for 2.5"-4" lift. Stroke is 8.47". HAHA! Jeez...

Believe me I plan on blasting all over the state as soon as I get this thing sorted! The whole state is good Jeep country with 60% or more of the state being public lands. It's a Jeeper's paradise! :happyyes:

Looks like you found your problem... Stiff KYB shocks that are too long.
Indeed. Plus springs that are shot and bump stops that don't look right either. What a mess.

Wow, yep those shocks are way too long.
Agreed! I feel like I'm driving a ricer! :lmao:

I might want those shocks if you replace them.
You've got dibs. I'll reach out to you when I replace them. We'll work something out because I won't need them.

Those shocks are definitely short travel and bottom out. Also it looks like the bump stops are short travel too, and they bottom out. With this configuration, you are not getting full flex or travel.
Possible the PO had even larger tires than the ones on it now and he was contacting the fenders or the frame.
All true. Who makes/sells bump stops? I can't seem to nail a vendor/website down. Suggestions appreciated!

The way I see it, going from a 2"BB to 3" springs is only an 1" difference, and I think those shocks are still going to be too long. They might be okay for 4" springs.
Yeah, they're gone. I'm going with Shark and EatTacoCat's suggestions for a "DO OVER" in the suspension department with a matched kit. Looking at a tall 2" or a 3" kit. More below...

He said he wants to keep a similar ride height to how it is now. Therefore those shocks are too long for how it's setup.
There is only like 2" of up travel currently.

I'm sure someone in the past has much taller springs at some point. But the way it is now, not a good fit.
You're correct Shark. Previous owner was in a build process. The drivetrain is actually from a 1999 (4.0L, AX15) and I know that "life" caught up to him and he had to fire-sale this Jeep along with several other projects (based on a long discussion with him before I bought it). He may have just slapped on whatever he could to get it rolling. It's definitely a mish-mash of parts that don't belong together and how it got this way is probably an interesting story. If only the Jeep could talk!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First off, all of which are great choices. JKS quick discos are more or less a comfort feature and are not necessary if you don't mind wrenching to disconnect stock sway bars. How often do you offroad? Progressive springs are not necessary but are great if you want a nice ride paired with good shocks. Nothing wrong with regular springs though as long as they are paired with good shocks. For the money, I think the Zone kit is pretty damn hard to beat. However increase your budget another $200 and I think its hard to overlook a DPG 2"-2.5" OME lift kit (remove the BL, MML, and JKS quick discos from the Ultimate kit). Comes with front and rear adjustable trackbars

I would imagine that BDS recommends new front lowers is due to the new angle at which the control arms will sit. Typically you can get away with using stock lower arms on suspension lifts below 3". Not sure about the stick shift opening.
Oh no, you just gave me another suspension option! :pullinghair: :D

This is my first true offroad vehicle (other than quads (in the past) and my KLR650) so how much offroading I'll do is TBD. I'm still researching what the uses/benefits are of some of these parts and whether or not it is worth the money to do them now or later. Forum member NK24 has convinced me that quick disconnects are pretty useful in Arizona considering the rocky terrain and uneven trails of the low desert. I'm still researching the use of adjustable track bars (front and rear); and you just answered my question about lower control arms so ... baby steps.

You're right about the Zone kit's value. Still researching. Thank you very much for your thoughts and answers! Same to everyone that has replied.
 
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