How to choose the right shocks? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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How to choose the right shocks?

I've been building cars and trucks for fourty years, and this is one thing that always baffled me. I always just bought the most expensive shocks I could afford.

I'm driving a 07 JKU with a 7" long arm, a few years old so it could be a 6" now, 40x15.5 TOYO MT's. Within the last month the shocks all self destructed leaking fluid everywhere, what was once a fun truck to drive around the windy rural roads up here has now become tedious. I'm currently running a shock with a reserve, but I doubt I'll be able to afford another set this time around with my son in collage, so I'm on a budget.

I've been looking all over at shocks, but I mean really, where do you begin?

I know I'll need a better shock considering the lift, any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Todd
2007 Unlimited
40 Toyo Open Countrys on Workz Rims
OrFab Rear Bumper, Smittybilt Front
Cree Light Bar
7.5 Long Arm Lift
Synergy Front Suspension
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2000 TJ
6" lift
37 TOYO MT's on Worx Rims
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Last edited by upalms; 04-18-2017 at 06:21 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 07:16 AM
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So the title should really read how do I choose the right shocks on a budget?


Bilstein 5100s are priced right and have been a staple for years...


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post #3 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 12:21 PM
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Suspension is the single most important system on a vehicle, short of brakes. A proper set-up isn't cheap. I can go on and on about shocks and tell you why they matter more than HP or any other consideration, but I won't...

Instead, check this out. The info presented here will be that much more relative if you know exactly how long your shocks need to be in the compressed and extended lengths, and for what type of "ride" you'd like them tuned. Plan to spend some time looking through it...

If you find something close but not quite right, remember that your shock mount points can be re-positioned using readily available aftermarket mounts.
(I suspect, based on you blowin' all four of your shocks at the same time, that you didn't have the appropriate shocks/mounts for your application.)

Bilstein generally offers two ride characteristics in their rebuildable shocks. AEV and others give airs of propriety when they sell you their "special valving". It's nothing special, Bilstein can do the same for you if you know what valving you want by way of the individual shims, etc... (Not trying to sell you on Bilstein, just sayin' what's possible with some shock MFGs.)
Otherwise, you could get them to set up a shock based on your ride preferences. IIRC, the two valvings they typically offer are described by their ride characteristics, briefly, somewhere in this document.
http://www.bilsteinus.com/fileadmin/...talog-2011.pdf

As a side, I've haven't bought the shocks for my, as yet, uninstalled lift. When that time comes, all the measurements will have been taken and any need for alternate mount points will be accounted for as will any "want" for fully adjustable, rebuildable shocks...$$$.
Bang for the buck? Cheap shocks = cheap ride, reflecting on the overall vehicle package.

I think you should spend at least as much on shocks as you do for tires, and that's a minimum.

Last edited by funfred; 04-18-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 12:25 PM
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Choosing shocks can be hard because there is very little information posted about them, and the technical details are hard to decipher on their own.

Twin Tube:
Actually a superior technology when done correctly.
But also allows for a cheap construction which is the route 99% of twin tubes take.
eg: small tube, inconsistent damping, bad tuning, cheap seals & oil

Monotube:
Bigger piston typically, more consistent and responsive to bumps in the road, better tuning (typically), better seals, higher quality and more durable.

Diameter:
Bigger diameter gets you more oil and more damping which is necessary if you want to go fast off-road. Bigger than 2.0 is not necessary on a JK unless you want to hit big sets of whoops like a competitive U4 car.

Remote Reservoir:
Decreases gas pressure resulting in less friction for better ride quality and longer life.
More easily tuned and serviced than IFP style (depends on brand).

Adjusters:
Adjusters serve two purposes. For most people they allow adjustment when weight is changing from loaded to unloaded. This can improve ride quality on both ends and prevent bouncing. For picky drivers they you to find the ideal trade off in road feel and handling. Not all adjuster work very well, be careful which ones you choose.

Brands:
Quality of components and tuning varies across brands & retailers.
Eg: Mopar & AEV are tuned differently than factory valving, that's good or bad depending on what you want to do.
Things like OEM contracts are good signals of quality.

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Coilovers, IBP's, Bypasses & Adjustable Shocks In Stock
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 02:14 PM
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"I have a jeep on 40's and am on a budget"

Some build info here:
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[COLOR="Red"]New to jeeps, check this link
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 04:54 PM
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At this height I am curious to the compressed/extended lengths and overall travel....


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post #7 of 7 Old 04-18-2017, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks for the info, all good I'll go through it again in the morning, one thing the shocks came with the long arm kit so they should be correct length.

Again, I'll spend some time on this and the links tomorrow, the replys are greatly appreciated

The wife drives the TJ, I have the JK

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Todd
2007 Unlimited
40 Toyo Open Countrys on Workz Rims
OrFab Rear Bumper, Smittybilt Front
Cree Light Bar
7.5 Long Arm Lift
Synergy Front Suspension
Artec Front JK Armor
5:13's
Tom Woods Drive Shafts
Hi-Lift & Much More
&
2000 TJ
6" lift
37 TOYO MT's on Worx Rims
$hitty Built bumpers
Air Raid
Bushwhacker Flairs & Trail Armour
Corbeau Baja RS seats
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