Advice on increasing on-road ride quality without sacrificing off road -

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post #1 of 16 Old 12-11-2008, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on increasing on-road ride quality without sacrificing off road

I'm trying to do what I can to improve the on-road performance of my 2001 Jeep TJ. Now, keep in mind I realize this isn't going to be a Caddy. I don't mind being bumped and jostled, but I don't think each speed bump or pothole should be spine-shatteringly rough. And the biggest thing that annoys my wife about my Jeep is the ride quality.

From my research, I believe the two big areas for me to address would be:

1) Suspension system
2) New Tires

Since I am 95% of the time on the road, but don't want to make this a pavement-princess Jeep, I am considering getting a Rancho RS-9000 adjustable system. However, my inevitable conclusion at this point is if I'm getting new shocks, I should just get a little lift and slightly bigger tires than stock while I'm at it.

Would a bigger tire size (32 maybe?) cause me to have to regear?
Would a larger tire and slightly lifted vehicle negatively impact the on-road ride quality?
Do new shocks really help the ride quality to a noticeable degree?

Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 07:38 AM
Little Green
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Not trying to burst your bubble but try a JK. They are really dealing from what I can tell and it is a night and day difference between the 2. It may not be in the cards financially right now but if you can save some money and not spend it on the TJ it may make more sense. You get a lifetime powertrain warranty and honestly a better on road and off road vehicle.

91 Grand Wagoneer(Winter vehicle/project)
Prior 08 Wrangler JK Lifted-Miss her
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 08:49 AM
Loose Screws
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If your not game for buying a new JK

I've had good results from Skyjacker Hydro shocks. They really smoothed out my ride on and off road!

2000 TJ, 4.0l, 5 speed NV3550, Interco Trxus 35x12.50, Skyjacker Long Arm 4" lift
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Little Green, but I guess I didn't emphasize in my original post enough that this is NOT a complaint about the TJ's ride quality directly. These shocks are now 7 years old and the tires are the same age and desperately need replacing - I'm NOT going to buy a new vehicle - I've only owned this one for 6 months.

I really am not upset at the ride quality, I just want to do what I can to improve it. If it's not possible then so be it, but while I'm buying new tires and new shocks I figured I'd see if anyone has any experience improving the ride quality with them.

Thanks for the Skyjacker advice Loose Screws - I'll look into those.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-13-2008, 01:23 PM
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Yeah you can inprove it alittle with new shocks and what not. Thats part of the lure of a jeep, is the ride, kinds bouncing and stiff, it's a jeep thing.

1987 wrangler, 258 I-6, 5-speed.
2007 liberty sport 4X4, automatic
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-13-2008, 01:32 PM
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IMO forget Skyjacker and Rancho and go for one thats primary advertising is word of mouth rather than billboards, magazine ads and sponsored trucks.

I absolutely love my Bilstein 5150 series shock absorbers and wish I'd done them years ago. Tip though - space in the back is tight so do 5125 in the rear as they don't have the reservoir pot attached.

Suspension - sure why not - give it a bit of a boost - but don't go too high on short arms or you'll start negatively affecting the geometry - introducing bad ride characteristics. 2 to 3 inches is generally acceptable to most people.

Tires - definitely go with All Terrains if you're using it on the road 95% of the time.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-13-2008, 07:58 PM
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Old Man Emu shocks / lifts are notorious for good ride quality. Also, going with an all terrain tire instead of M/T will improve the ride some. Try messing around with tire pressures. It doesn't take much to make your Jeep too bouncy. Whenever I have to bring my Jeep for service or something, it pisses me off that they mess with my tire pressure. I notice it immediately as when I go to leave the place my Jeep bounces a lot.

If you are on a really tight budget and a lift is outside the realm of your budget, a simple change of shocks will help. For stock suspension, Monroe Reflex are very good shocks at a reasonable price. Old Man Emu also makes good shocks. On my JK, I am having very good results with Bilstein 5100's, but they are kind of pricey.

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post #8 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 06:35 AM
Little Green
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My bad, sounded like you were going to spend a ton of dough on a vehicle you had owned for a long time. Agree with the above posts. Bilsteins are the way to go. I do a lot of mud, no rocks and a decent all terrain vs a mud terrain tire makes a huge difference as far as ride is concerned. I had MT's on my old CJ and my wife just hated it so for the JK we went with AT. I know there is a huge difference between both Jeeps in every aspect but MT are just more "squirrely" on the road than AT for daily driving. Goes with out saying that MT's are siginificantly louder than AT's

91 Grand Wagoneer(Winter vehicle/project)
Prior 08 Wrangler JK Lifted-Miss her
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 09:50 AM
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I run 20lbs of pressure in my tires all the time and it makes a big difference. At one point I had 35lbs in and it was awful. Made a night and day diff.

2006 Jeep TJ
1982 Toyota Pickup 20r/22r Hybrid, 5.29s, Lockrite frt/spool rear, Longfields, Hysteer, discs, armor, dents, smiles.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 09:58 AM
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We installed the OME Lift with JKS adj. trackbars----08 Rubi---The HiWay ride is much--much better, it feels like its gripping the road better and when you turn onto a rough road it dose not lift (sway). Hope to get it off road later this week.
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 11:11 AM
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i was thinking you should try suspension seats i heard good things bout those

some people say I am too hard on my jeep I say I am just diagnosing weak points.....
my build
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for advice all!

No worries Little Green, I wasn't clear in my post that I'm sticking with my TJ for awhile. Also, I got a good deal on it, and knew I'd have to replace the tires sooner rather than later at the time I bought the Jeep. Of course, I didn't plan on burning out the clutch on my first 4x4 outing... but live and learn

I've decided that unless the price goes over the roof, I'll be getting some Nitto Terra Grapplers that end up measuring 31.4" along with new 16" wheels - which should be drivable on the street if I'm careful for a little while until I get the small suspension lift and new shocks. And since I've got a D44 rear axle I'm assuming my gearing is good to go for larger tires without sacrificing any power. Wohoo.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 12:25 PM
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if you want a good ride, stay away from skyjackers, I have em, and cant wait to replace em, the only thing that will enhance your ride is a good set of progressive rate coils and some Old man emu or bilstien shocks, replacing your stock control arms will help too, get rid of those old bushings. Also if you are going to do a lift consider doing a long arm set up. I have a buddy that has the rough country 2.2 system and he swears by it, and the price is right too. I am considering just buying their coil springs and then getting bilstien 5150s, seems like that would be a pretty good combo


My Jeep

2000 TJ, 100" wb on leaves
2007 WK CRD
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 12:53 PM
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If you're going to upgrade your tires and want a compliment of good on road and off road performance - I'd recommend BFG ATs. The BFGs ride and wear well If you're going to opt for 32" tires the perfect lift would be a 2" lift. If your coils aren't sagging, a BB would be fine. If you think your coils are sagging - it may be time to replace them altogether with a suspension lift. It appears the most popular 2" lift for ride quality and flex is the OME lift, however you do pay for what you get - it is up there in $$$.

IMO, there is a cheaper comparable lift to the 2 OME, it is the BDS 2 lift.

I run a 2 BDS suspension lift and it actually runs better than a new stock TJ! Flex is awesome too. The 5500 series shock are spot on for a SWB Jeep. I would definitely buy again.

1998 Sahara TJ

Now Jeeping in Oregon
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-15-2008, 01:01 PM
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Try a progressive rate coil spring kit with new shocks. You'll get a much better ride on-road, and more performance off-road. There are a few kits to chose from, I run the Rough Country with their 2.2 shocks, I like them a lot. JMHO

08 Wrangler X DETN8R Yellow Rough Country 2.5" progressive rate coil lift, 2.2 shocks. 1.25" body lift, disco's, steering stabilizer. Benchmark EVAP skid. TeraFlex front bumper with shackles. 35x12.5x15 BFG A/T KO's on MB72 wheels.Cobra 75 on a Firestik. Arizona Rocky Road antenna mount. Ward bug shield, DayStar hood wranglers, upper dash panel. Qtech arm rest.

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