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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to get a good quality, possibly soft, street ride on my JKUR. I did lots of research here and on lift mfg suites, made phone calls, got some big soft 315 BFG KO2's C and run them at low 30's psi. Finally decided on the TF 3 inch with all Alpine arms and their adj track bars, the complete set up. Went with the Bilstein 5100's as I was told they are very popular and have a great ride. Well, I got it all installed by a good local shop and I fine tuned it at home. It looks great. But,,, the ride,, is better than it was but it's really a little harsh on the city streets, tolerable, putting it mildly. I know there are lots of factors, CA angle and all. Don't want the brackets.

Just wondering if anyone has found the best combo of spring rate and shock for a nice or softer ride. One where the suspension moves more than the body. At this point I don't know if the springs are to stiff or is it the shocks. I know, it's not going to ride great but it should ride better than my Ram 2500 4x4 diesel and it's a long way from that. Perhaps it might ride better blasting through the desert but give me a good street ride and I'll be OK off road. If this is as good as it gets and mine has a "great ride" then we all need a reality check. I know many here have been through many springs and lifts and shocks and just looking for some insight.
 

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Since you went with a liner spring (TF), you can really pick just about any shock you want depending on ride preference. If you had gone progressive or dual-rate, you'd want to stick with a shock that is more tuned with the specifc spring dampening/compression rate IMO.

I'd go with an adjustable. I think they're still running a rancho rebate and the 9000XL is a pretty well reviewed shock. If you want to get spendy you could go Fox Res adjustable or even TF's own Falcon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Made a call to TF for some tech info from the Mfg. What a thought. The shocks are probably the biggest factor in the ride, stiff or soft. For a softer street ride they say their 9550 will do that over the 5100's. Their Falcon line will be stiffer untill you get to the new adjustable ones, then the soft setting will be better. I am not a fan of Rancho. Does anyone have a "satisfaction guarantee" on their shocks,,LOL.
 

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Not sure I can help you there...

Reason I recommended the Rancho is you can see if any adjustable will get you close to the type of ride you are looking for without spending alot of $$$$. I can't think of any other adjustable that comes close pricewise.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It was suggested that I remove the shocks and take a short planned route drive just to see if it is the shocks causing the unwanted ride qualities. I am already 300 in to the 5100's and don't want to collect shocks.
 

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I know you said you did not want to go with geo brackets but those will help take the edge off as will jks flex links. Curious to what your reason is for not wanting geo brackets. I would lower your psi to 28psi and see how that feels.
 

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How long have you had the lift on? You may have to put some miles on it and let the springs settle in.

I have a similar set up. I went with a TF 2.5" lift. Installed front lower TF fixed length sport arms with Fox 2.0 IFP Shocks. I also added SuperLift Front/Rear Track Bars to center the axles. For tires, I run 315/70/R17 Cooper STT Pro's which are E rated (Try to keep the pressure around 30-32psi). I installed all this with less than 800 miles on it. (Minus the track bars. Those went on at around 2000 miles.)

When I first drove my Jeep after install, I thought I may have made a mistake. It felt super rough and bouncy compared to stock. After about 2500 - 3000 miles or so, the ride was much better. I now have almost 30K miles the Jeep. No major complaints. Not sure I would do the same tires again. Will probably look for something a little more DD friendly. They're a little loud at highway speeds. But for the suspension, I am happy with the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Speaking with my installer, a quality 4x4 shop, he said that the 5100's take a few miles to break in and move like they should. I have less than 500 miles on the new suspension so I'll give it some more miles. Perhaps take it to Johnson valley and mash. The TF 9550 and many other shocks are made by the same company. I even hear good things about the OME line. If money was no issue I would love to try the new Falcon quick adjustable shocks and put them on mush setting. Oh well, the Off Road Expo will be 3 miles from me in a little over a month and they will all be there.
 

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I have the OME shocks. They do seem nice. The 5100s should be stiffer than the OME shocks, and that does not sound like what you want. But you may want to, as suggested, let the shocks break in before you condemn them.
You may want to, as also suggested, drop the air pressure in your tires a little more. 28 psi might help.
 

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5100's are about as harsh as it gets short of the skyjackers, if you were looking for soft, that was not a good choice... The 9000XL's would be an improvement, but you said you don't like Rancho. I'd suggest the OME long travels? Fox would be between Bilstein and Rancho. Lots of good reports on the Falcon's but not too many "comparisons" yet.

https://www.northridge4x4.com/fits/2016-jeep-wrangler-jk-sahara-3-6l-6mt-4wd-95-4wb-2dr/shocks/60066l-old-man-emu-nitrocharger-sport-shock-3-5-5in-lift-front
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now ya tell me. Why isn't there a standard test on them. Like :: pounds- travel distance- time, on compression and rebound. Would be easy to spot a stiff shock. I think almost everything is stiffer than factory. Should have titled this thread shocks. Would be nice to at least have the shocks in a list, harsh, moderate, soft and adjustable. I think the 5100's are good shocks, just valved a little stiff for the JK.
 

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Actually, I don't know that they are all bad when paired with the softest spring rated, like the Eiback 3.5's.

But, there are still many that like then with mid-rate springs like RK.
 

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I have had 5100's on 3 different builds and I love them. First was with RK triple rates 2.5/3.5 coils and now on 2 different AEV lifts. If I were building something else in the 2.5-3.5" range I would go with them again. Maybe I have a different perception of what harsh is but I do not feel like they are harsh at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OME shocks are made by Tenneco, same as Monroe and TF 9550's and many more. So it looks like just about all the double wall oil filled shocks ride softer than the double piston type. Unless you get into the expensive adjustable like the new TF Falcon. I am going to guess the Fox Adventure shock is a lot like the 5100's. A buddy has the Eibach 3 inch lift and says he bottoms out the springs at times as they are a light spring. Eibach does also make their own shocks. Many of the super shocks like King and Icon are just beyond me in $$$. As odd as it seems it looks like i am looking for an "entry Level" shock to get the soft ride.
 

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OME shocks are made by Tenneco, same as Monroe and TF 9550's and many more. So it looks like just about all the double wall oil filled shocks ride softer than the double piston type. Unless you get into the expensive adjustable like the new TF Falcon. I am going to guess the Fox Adventure shock is a lot like the 5100's. A buddy has the Eibach 3 inch lift and says he bottoms out the springs at times as they are a light spring. Eibach does also make their own shocks. Many of the super shocks like King and Icon are just beyond me in $$$. As odd as it seems it looks like i am looking for an "entry Level" shock to get the soft ride.
Not necessarily, but maybe... The damping curves are not all the same. Both twin tube and mono designs can have different valving even among their design type.

Jeff really likes the Bilstein's and I have much respect for Jeff... But if you dig, you'll see either people "like" the Bilstein's or they are too stiff. That tells you which way those shocks lean.

There is one cool deal about the Rancho's... Run for 90 days and return for full refund if you don't like them.

My next shock will be Falcons... I'll start with 3.1's and add the adjusters later if I need to play. Or maybe BP-51's... Sheesh.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A few have said to put some miles and desert on the 5100's before spending more money. When I bought the thing it had some plain non reservoir Kings, no leaks and look good. Might play with them if the 5100's stay stiff. The Kings have so much PSI in them I can't even move them. If I had to do it all over again not sure what I would do, perhaps the same, but find a deal on the new Falcon adjustable ones,,LOL. .
 

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A few have said to put some miles and desert on the 5100's before spending more money. When I bought the thing it had some plain non reservoir Kings, no leaks and look good. Might play with them if the 5100's stay stiff. The Kings have so much PSI in them I can't even move them. If I had to do it all over again not sure what I would do, perhaps the same, but find a deal on the new Falcon adjustable ones,,LOL. .
I'm going to have to recommend the Falcons in this scenario (3.2-3.3) so you can adjust them to your liking. The set we just recently installed on a customer rig(first set for us), were down right amazing! I personally like to rally my JKU, so I run everything stiff. But I do tend to run my 37's and 40's both at 25 psi on the road. This allows the tires to absorb all the annoying little bumps. I would start with tire pressure and get some miles on the new suspension before you do anything else...

Jeff
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I've run 3 sets of 5100s on 2 different Jeeps (stock height -2.5 and long versions). In my experience it takes 1000-1500 miles for the ride to really settle in to my liking. To be fair though, that could also be the springs settling a bit as I installed all 3 sets with new lifts. I also run a pretty heavy rig, not sure if your experience would be even harsher if you're not running heavy bumpers or armor.

Give'em some time and if they just aren't you give some adjustables a try. Unless you can return them (which you can with the ranchos), why play the lotto with non-adjustable shocks you've never tried?

FWIW, if I were going to run any other non-adjustable shock besides the bilstein it would be OME. They've always had a compliant ride in my experience.


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Discussion Starter #19
Doing nothing and just running them for a while is the cheap and easy thing to do, for now. I am going to keep the tires at 32 cold. Lowering the psi so the tires become the suspension is a band aid and not a fix. Unless you go big buck adjustable, the OME just might be the softest riding one out there unless someone else knows something. Perhaps this thread will help others looking for a soft ride and a lift. BTW my front has a HD bumper and a winch, rear has a HD bumper and a swing tire carrier. Maybe I can find a mall with big speed bumps to break in the shocks.
 

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Doing nothing and just running them for a while is the cheap and easy thing to do, for now. I am going to keep the tires at 32 cold. Lowering the psi so the tires become the suspension is a band aid and not a fix. Unless you go big buck adjustable, the OME just might be the softest riding one out there unless someone else knows something. Perhaps this thread will help others looking for a soft ride and a lift. BTW my front has a HD bumper and a winch, rear has a HD bumper and a swing tire carrier. Maybe I can find a mall with big speed bumps to break in the shocks.
Lowering tire pressure is not a band aid if the pressure is not correct. Do a chalk test and set your inflation based on that. Most people I know are running 28psi with 35's. This is what I have been run since day one and now have 30K miles on these tires with perfect wear. I could possible even go down to 26psi without any ill affects.
 
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