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I'd first like to thank the Rancho guys for a couple things. Yes, I got the shocks for free, in exchange for a review, but also being so understanding due to a life event that kept me from getting the review up sooner.

Go here if you want to learn more of the technical aspects of the shocks:
http://www.gorancho.com/products/shock-absorbers/rs5000x-shock-absorber/. I'm not a shock guy and don't know technical shock speak, so I'm going to do my best to try and describe the differences.

My Ride is a 2014 JK Rubicon Unlimited with the max tow package. I've had it for roughly 8 months now. After X-mas this year, I installed the 2.5 Rock Krawler max travel kit with 35's and the Fox IFP Performance Series shocks.

To give you some background about me, I'm 39 and have been through more vehicles that I can count. Started off with several pickup trucks and my last couple of cars have been a Mitsu Lancer Evo, 2012 Corvette, and a Honda Civic. My point here is that I've driven a lot of different vehicles and I know things are different based on the purpose you buy the vehicle for.

With that said, this Jeep is the worst handling, worst riding vehicle I have ever owned. It truly is a brick on wheels. Riding on the stock rubi suspension was just brutal. I only test drove a couple of Sahara's, but ended up in a Rubi, and didn't realize how much harsher the ride was until a few days after owning it. I actually considered trying to sell it as my back would occasionally be jarred due to the stiff suspension and hard seats. Once I built up some Jeep muscles, I got used to the stock suspension. Didn't like it, but accepted it. I don't think I really have anything good to say about the stock Rubi suspension.

Issues with the stock suspension:
1) Doesn't recover quickly at highway speeds when going over multiple bumps.
2) Doesn't corner well, even for jeep speeds
3) Too much body roll for my liking
4) Shocks don't absorb potholes, your back does

In conjunction with installing the Rock Krawler Max Travel 2.5 kit, I also installed the Fox Racing IFP Performance Shocks. These shocks are shipped fully extended and are so hard to compress I actually had to use the jack to get them installed. They are a much higher compression than the stockers.

Improvements over stock setup:
1) Much better control over stock
2) Improved body roll, doesn't feel like you will tip over going around an on-ramp
3) Recovers more quickly than the stockers

Issues with the Fox setup:
1) Every bump is felt, but not as jarring as the stockers
2) Bumps under 40mph feel the same as going 60mph +

Fit/Finish:
1) These are aluminum so they won't rust
2) Finish and overall look of the shocks 10 out of 10
3) Shocks can be spun so the sticker faces out for some nice bling


Ok, finally onto the Rancho's. These guys shipped these out very quick after picking the winner. I had a tracking number within a day and got some good feedback from Matt about some differences between the Fox & The RS5000X.

Shock Install Notes / Tips:
Shocks install is much easier with the shocks compressed how Rancho sends them. I give them props for doing that. Granite, they probably save money on shipping materials, but it also makes it a tad easier to install. Because the Rancho's are a painted shock, I bought some clear rattle can paint. They won't hold up to the winters we have here in Chicago without rusting, so I hope the clear will post pone that as long as possible. I did 4 coats of clear, this does dull the white glossy color slightly, but I think that is a small trade off.

Install time takes about 2 hours if you are doing it by yourself. It could be done much quicker on a lift, but with jack stands and in the garage, two hours is a good gauge. Difficulty, if just doing the shocks, is probably 2-3 on the DIY scale. Installing the shocks is much easier on the rear than the front, rears probably take about 30 minutes, the fronts are slower just due to the smaller space. Also, the passenger side front is a pain. Some recommend cutting out some of the plastic, I don't think I did when I installed my shocks. It's just a pain getting a wrench in their to loosen the nut. I highly recommend getting a ratcheting flex wrench in order to help with the install here. It will save you a good 10 minutes or more since there is so little room in the front. Another trick is to not bolt in the bottom of the shock and actually spin the shock instead of trying to do it with the wrench.

Also, the rubber bushing on the Rancho's are about 50% thicker than the Fox, which probably helps a bit with dampening. This is important because on the front passenger side, you have to make sure that the top bushing of the shock goes in the right way. One side of the bushing has a smaller lip than the other. Make sure you flip the top bushing correctly so it sits flat on the top of the shock mount opening. That little bit kept me from getting the shock on with the metal hat. This only matters on the passenger side due to the lack of room. That lip is only 1/16" at most, but when I flipped it the right way, I was able to get the shock in. The first 20 minutes, I didn't realize and couldn't get the shock to tighten. I didn't have this issue with my Fox because of the smaller bushing thickness and is not a knock on Rancho, it's just something you have to pay attention to. Rest of the process is pretty easy and there are plenty of threads to help when you swap.

Ok, so finally onto the feedback. I've ridden on these shocks for roughly a week and they are probably not fully broken in yet. My Fox's took a couple weeks before they loosened up completely. So these may continue to improve.

These shocks have the best ride of all 3 between 0-40 MPH. Going at slower speeds they do a much better job of absorbing the bumps. I was really excited how they felt going over bumps at the slower speeds.

The overall handling is much closer to the Fox's than the stockers. They don't have the same body roll as the stockers and inspire more confidence in general driving than the stockers. I was actually nervous with the stockers if I ever had to do some evasive maneuvering due to our idiot Chicago drivers. These shocks seem to respond better and are definitely a step up.

Once you get to highway speeds these shocks seem to respond somewhat similar to the stockers. They don't rebound as quickly as the Fox's and of course that's due to the difference in charge in the shocks. Per Matt at Rancho the Fox's have a charge of roughly 200 vs the Rancho's of 100. I think this is the reason why they feel more closely to the stockers.


Improvements over stock setup:
1) Much better control over stock
2) Improved body roll, doesn't feel like you will tip over going around an on-ramp
3) Recovers more quickly than the stockers
4) Hands down the softest ride between 0-40 MPH

Issues with the Rancho RS5000X setup:
1) Highway speeds feel very similar to stock shocks


Fit/Finish:
1) Require some sort of additional protection for harsh climates
2) Finish on the shocks 8.5 out of 10, paint quality is not perfect and bushings were painted as well
3) Stickers were not placed properly so they don't sit in the right spot once installed.
(2 & 3 above are small issues, but when compared to the Fox's you see the difference. Of course there is a significant price difference too)

Recap:
The difference between all 3 shocks is very small in my opinion. None of the shocks are going to improve the ride quality to the level of a Cadillac, so set your expectations accordingly. I'm actually surprised how little difference there was between each of the shocks. I had to really try and find differences between the Fox's and Rancho's, they perform so similarly. It might have been easier to feel the differences if you could jump from one vehicle to the other and drive over the same section of road with the different setups. But doing it once they were swapped the differences are all subtle, with both aftermarket setups being better than stockers.

If you have a Sport or Sahara jeep and were considering buying Rubi shocks, I would definitely tell you to buy these over the stock Rubi's. If you have a Rubi, I would consider these a nice upgrade over the stock Rubi shocks.


https://www.facebook.com/ranchosuspension
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here are a few pics of the shocks:

Also, they are having a promotion on their shocks, right now, so head here for more info: http://www.gorancho.com/promotions/

This review must be generating some huge excitement as I think the Rancho website just went down, lol.
 

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Nicely done! The side to side rocking (low speed dampening) is what I dislike about the stock shocks, Rubi or Sport.

I used a Dremel to open up the area above the passenger side shock. I can now do all 4 in less than an hour...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nicely done! The side to side rocking (low speed dampening) is what I dislike about the stock shocks, Rubi or Sport. I used a Dremel to open up the area above the passenger side shock. I can now do all 4 in less than an hour...
I know I didn't open mine up that much. That would make that side easier for sure.

I rotated my tires when I swapped mine, so that is part of the reason for the jack stands. 2 hrs includes getting all the tools, getting the car in the spot you want....etc...etc. True install time is less for sure.
 

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Hey Doibugu2, how about an update.

Did you stay on the Rancho's? How are they after a couple weeks?
 

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I'm just going to throw this out there and see what sticks: If Rancho would like another review in exchange for some free 5000x shocks, I'm your guy!

In fact, the Jeep they will go on is my wife's DD, so you'd be getting not only my opinion, but that also of a woman. I have found women can be slightly more critical, so an unbiased opinion would be the end result. :)
 

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I'm just going to throw this out there and see what sticks: If Rancho would like another review in exchange for some free 5000x shocks, I'm your guy!

In fact, the Jeep they will go on is my wife's DD, so you'd be getting not only my opinion, but that also of a woman. I have found women can be slightly more critical, so an unbiased opinion would be the end result. :)
Good luck. I cant get the one's I ordered almost two weeks ago and I paid for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Doibugu2, how about an update. Did you stay on the Rancho's? How are they after a couple weeks?
Yep still on them. I really haven't noticed any changes since my update. I was hoping they would soften up a bit more but that really hasn't happened. Must be more broken in than my Fox.
 

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Huh, every review I have read about the 5000's said they were harsh riding junk and to step up to the 7000 or 9000xls. I guess ride is very subjective, but are you actually saying that the 5000's are softer/better riding then stock Rubi shocks????? That is exactly the opposite of what I have heard.
 

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Huh, every review I have read about the 5000's said they were harsh riding junk and to step up to the 7000 or 9000xls. I guess ride is very subjective, but are you actually saying that the 5000's are softer/better riding then stock Rubi shocks????? That is exactly the opposite of what I have heard.
Are you referring to the old 5000's or the brand new 5000X? A few of us are now running the new 5000X with good results. They are a bit firmer than the stock Rubi shocks, but they are so much more controlled and take big hits very well. The new valve design works really well for a $50 shock. No regrets here... @jadmt @kjeeper10
 

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Are you referring to the old 5000's or the brand new 5000X? A few of us are now running the new 5000X with good results. They are a bit firmer than the stock Rubi shocks, but they are so much more controlled and take big hits very well. The new valve design works really well for a $50 shock. No regrets here... @jadmt @kjeeper10
yup comparing the old 5000 to the new 5000X is like comparing Rosie O donnell to Megan fox. Rancho should have changed the designation from 5000 to 8000 or something.
 

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yup comparing the old 5000 to the new 5000X is like comparing Rosie O donnell to Megan fox. Rancho should have changed the designation from 5000 to 8000 or something.
:rofl:



I remember the original post and I thought it was well fairly well written until the OP lost me with this little nugget:


"With that said, this Jeep is the worst handling, worst riding vehicle I have ever owned. It truly is a brick on wheels. Riding on the stock rubi suspension was just brutal. I only test drove a couple of Sahara's, but ended up in a Rubi, and didn't realize how much harsher the ride was until a few days after owning it. I actually considered trying to sell it as my back would occasionally be jarred due to the stiff suspension and hard seats. Once I built up some Jeep muscles, I got used to the stock suspension. Didn't like it, but accepted it. I don't think I really have anything good to say about the stock Rubi suspension."
 

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:rofl:



I remember the original post and I thought it was well fairly well written until the OP lost me with this little nugget:


"With that said, this Jeep is the worst handling, worst riding vehicle I have ever owned. It truly is a brick on wheels. Riding on the stock rubi suspension was just brutal. I only test drove a couple of Sahara's, but ended up in a Rubi, and didn't realize how much harsher the ride was until a few days after owning it. I actually considered trying to sell it as my back would occasionally be jarred due to the stiff suspension and hard seats. Once I built up some Jeep muscles, I got used to the stock suspension. Didn't like it, but accepted it. I don't think I really have anything good to say about the stock Rubi suspension."
probably has the tires pumped up to 65psi.
 
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