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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting my 98 TJ SE (2.5L I4) ready for it's annual inspection and need to replace a few things.

First off, one of my shocks is literally crumbling apart on me and all the others are rusted too. So I want to replace all four and the steering damper. I was going to get the Rancho RS5000 because they have a four for the price of three thing going on. But then I looked at this forum and saw that the Rancho's seem to be frowned upon. So my questions, are they as bad as they sound? Does anyone have them? And is there a similar priced alternative (less than 175 for all four)? I currently don't have a lift (all stock) and will likely not have one for several years.

The next is exhaust. My exhaust is hanging on by one rusty hanger and the rear most hanger snapped and I am not sure how much longer it is going to hang in there. I am looking at the Dynomax Super Turbo Cat Back and the Banks Monster cat back. As i mentioned, I have a four banger and really don't want a "ricer" sound to my Jeep or anything that is so loud that it rattles windows and gets me evil stares from other motorists. Which of these has a nicer sound and would likely last a long time? Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I put Monroe sensatracs on my daily driver they are about $40 each. They replaced the original shocks. When you do the change, don't waste time trying to turn the top mounting nut, just drill through the nut/post.
Can't help on the exhaust, but I've seen others say they were happy with a $30 muffler off the shelf at the local parts store.
 

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I have a '97 2.5. I changed 3 sets of shocks in 3 years. Had Monroe-Matic Plus first. They were way worse then the original shocks with 140K miles on them. 3 out of 4 failed after 8 months. I replaced the Monroe-Matic with Sensatracs under warranty. The Sensatrac performed and rode better then the stock shocks. I had durability issues with them also. 1 was bad after about 14 months and another was on the way out. Got 4 new ones under warranty and one was leaking badly right out of the box. I was tired of replacing shocks even though they were replaced free under warranty. I replaced them with Bilstein 5100 / H&R springs and could not believe how much of a difference and improvement there was. Everything about them is superior. Ride over rough streets is much smoother with much better control. The 5100 are probably one of the best things I have done to the TJ. I wished I had done it sooner. I highly recommend Bilstein 5100 shocks.

I had a universal aftermarket muffler put on about 2 years ago. It was fine but always had a slight drone. It finally gave away a month ago and the shop put another muffler on under warranty. For some reason my mpg and power went down about the same time. It turns out the universal muffler might have been the wrong size. They expanded the pipes to make the muffler fit and there was a drone between 1500-2500 rpm. I replaced that muffler with a Walker S/S muffler after talking to another muffler shop. They recommended the Walker and told me to order it online for less money. Got it for $60-$65 delivered. They welded it in for $30. No more drone and much better power and mpg. I was most surprised with the mpg going up 2-3 mpg. Very happy with the Walker.
 

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I was going to get the Rancho RS5000 because they have a four for the price of three thing going on. But then I looked at this forum and saw that the Rancho's seem to be frowned upon. So my questions, are they as bad as they sound?
I have those shocks on a Cherokee. They are really stiff. The only time they ride well is when the vehicle is very heavily loaded. I would not buy them again. I wish I had taken advantage of their free 90-day trial (not currently offered on the RS5000) and gotten a refund.
 

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Mom sold the Jeepster said:
I put Monroe sensatracs on my daily driver they are about $40 each. They replaced the original shocks. When you do the change, don't waste time trying to turn the top mounting nut, just drill through the nut/post.
Can't help on the exhaust, but I've seen others say they were happy with a $30 muffler off the shelf at the local parts store.
Thrush mufflers.. You can pick one up at Autozone for about $25-30. I pit one on my jeep a month ago to replace a worn out borla muffler
Dont let the cheap price fool you these seem to be pretty quality mufflers and have been around for years. Just my. 02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the advice folks!

I have decided to go for the Dynomax exhaust after hours of You Tube research and an article from JP magazine. Plus it has all the pipes and fixins' to put it on my Jeep. The Thrush exhaust looks nice, but it is a universal muffler and doesn't have the pipes. Plus my local Autozones don't have it in stock and neither does any of the online retailers I am placing my orders with.


I have those shocks on a Cherokee. They are really stiff. The only time they ride well is when the vehicle is very heavily loaded. I would not buy them again. I wish I had taken advantage of their free 90-day trial (not currently offered on the RS5000) and gotten a refund.
Thanks for the warning! I have decided not to get the Rancho's. I originally considered them since that was what Pep Boys was going to put on if they had their way with my Jeep (they will never touch my Jeep again after I discovered loosened bolts on my diff covers:banghead:) But the Bilstiens look to be out of my price range. I wish I could get them. I have noticed Skyjacker has some decent priced shocks that seem to have favorable reviews and will likely get them (Hydro 7000).

Any opinions on the Skyjacker?
 
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