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I recently ran into some stability issues with my 09’ JK that turned out to be partially due to a set of springs and shocks that did not play well together. I looked around to see if there was a thread specifically addressing this and didn’t find anything so I’ll start one here. If this turns out to be redundant maybe a moderator can strike it.

So... what works well together and what does not?

Balancing “stiff” with “soft “ seems to be the key.

I’ll start:

Fox 2.0 performance series shocks with non adjustable reservoir (considered a soft shock ) + Metalcloak dual rate springs (stiff) worked great on my 2- door JK.

Fox 2.0 performance series shocks with non adjusting reservoir (soft) + RK springs (also soft) did not work at all.

Bilstein 5100 shocks (stiff shock ) + RK springs (soft) balance each other to work well.



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So, to start.

RK 3.5” triple rate springs work well with factory Rubi shocks (and extensions) and with Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks set at 3 front 4 rear ( with no extra weight in the rear ) ..
vehicle weight basically stock no extra armor, factory rear bumper.


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You should mention the spring lengths (e.g. JK for 2.5” lift) and shock part numbers if you have them. When I switched from RK 2.5” to 3.5” springs and ran the same brand of shocks the ride went from semi-soft to fairly stiff. I also believe it’s going to depend upon the amount of aftermarket steel one adds to the base vehicle weight. Lots of variables to track, the more details provided the more helpful the info.
 

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I am not sure I would consider the Fox shocks "soft", but they are surely softer than the Bilsteins.
My experience;
I had stock springs with spacers and OME shocks. Worked OK, but not great.
I replaced the springs and shocks with Rancho 5000 shocks and their 2" progressive springs, which are a much stiffer spring than stock. The ride was great on the street but to firm off road.
I replaced the Rancho shocks with the OME shocks I had started with. They worked much better with the stiffer Rancho springs than they had with the stock springs.
I then replaced the Rancho springs with Mopar 2" lift springs, still running the OME shocks. That was worse than the OME shocks with stock springs and spacers.
I swapped the Rancho shocks back in, pairing them with the Mopar springs. That worked well, my only real complaint there was the front Rancho shocks did not have enough travel to them (the Rancho front shocks that come in the 2" progressive lift are pretty short).
Then I yanked all that off and am now playing with coilovers. I am happy with the coilovers, and feel that they have more room for improvement. But the Rancho springs with OME shocks worked great, and the Rancho shocks with Mopar springs worked great. I just like to tinker, and enjoy trying to make whatever I have better.

During all this the vehicle did not change that much, no significant extra weight.
The Rancho 2" springs are close to the same free length as the stock springs. The amount of lift they deliver mainly comes from less sag under weight.
The Mopar springs are a good bit longer than stock, their lift mainly comes from an increase in length and not so much from rate.
 

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I put a TF 3 inch lift springs with 5100's,,,, stiff. I now have OME 4 inch springs with Falcon 2.1's regular valve. Rides OK. I also have 315 BFG KO's C rated soft tire and I have the front sway bar disco'ed. If I was going to do anything else I would go to a softer oil shock or coilovers and long arms.
 

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Springs, shocks, suspension gets complicated fast. You are correct they need to compliment each other. If I was staying with the stock springs i would stay with the oem Red/Rubi shocks. Or second more expensive option is buy sets of springs/shocks from a reputable company that tested them to be compatible. Also, I assume you have a two door "you said jk" they are a different beast than a four door, the longer wheel base is more forgiving. If you have the time/inclination look into the videos from filthy Motorsports. It really is a science with a bit of art thrown in. Then it comes down to $, how much do you want to invest in it. I tried some highly recommended shocks from the internet, and they were the worst shock I ever had in a vehicle and I've logged more than a million plus miles in 40 years. I ended up with custom valved King 2.5" shocks from Filthy motor sports, tailored to my jeep JK. Had them close to four years now and about 35k miles. They are still riding phenomenally well and no issues at all. Not for everyone's budget though. FMS is worth a call, they will spend a good amount of time with you trying to get you the right product. Good luck.
 
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