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Unread 02-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
DHRFX Joe
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Smoother ride?

Hey guys, I'm a WJ guy but I'm posting here for my old man hoping to get some recommendations for my mother's '08 Liberty. Pretty soon he's going to be putting a new set of tires on it, and at the same time he was looking into any other suspension upgrades that might be worthwhile doing. I've never driven it myself, but they say it's a bit of a stiff/rough ride compared to other SUVs they've driven in the past. He was looking at swapping out shocks/springs/struts. Anybody on here feel the ride was a bit hard as well, and what did you wind up doing? Thanks in advance.

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Unread 02-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
jonrjen
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Well it is a short based, narrow wheelbase SUV that is built more truck like than a passenger car. It is not so much of a rough ride as it is a jarring ride to me. I feel that it tends to bottom out the suspension more often than I feel it should on road imperfections. And it does deliver a great amount of smaller road feel than most smaller SUVs do IE: Ford Escape, Explorer. Bottom line it is what it is...a Jeep SUV which has never been know for it's ride quality.
So I guess I am saying to me it feels to soft for a Jeep/SUV vehicle and I would prefer a more firm but predictable suspension. Quick lane changes or evassive manuvers on a stock Liberty could result in a more dangerous ending than one would expect.
I have heard great things about JBA suspension systems. I may to ahead and bite the bullet on this but, I am looking for a little different ride and look for my KK also.
Tire pressure and tire rating when replacing the tires are also something to not over look. A softer sidewall allowing for more flex will help soften the ride.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
DHRFX Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrjen View Post
Well it is a short based, narrow wheelbase SUV that is built more truck like than a passenger car. It is not so much of a rough ride as it is a jarring ride to me. I feel that it tends to bottom out the suspension more often than I feel it should on road imperfections. And it does deliver a great amount of smaller road feel than most smaller SUVs do IE: Ford Escape, Explorer. Bottom line it is what it is...a Jeep SUV which has never been know for it's ride quality.
So I guess I am saying to me it feels to soft for a Jeep/SUV vehicle and I would prefer a more firm but predictable suspension. Quick lane changes or evassive manuvers on a stock Liberty could result in a more dangerous ending than one would expect.
I have heard great things about JBA suspension systems. I may to ahead and bite the bullet on this but, I am looking for a little different ride and look for my KK also.
Tire pressure and tire rating when replacing the tires are also something to not over look. A softer sidewall allowing for more flex will help soften the ride.
Between my father, brother and I we've had 3 XJs, 2 ZJs, 2 WJs and now this KK. Of all those Jeeps, the Liberty appears to be the most jarring/"truck-like" ride.....according to my father. I guess what he's looking to do through new tires and suspension upgrades is to get a bit of a softer and "flexier" ride like the XJs and ZJs/WJs we've had, if at all possible.


I guess I should find out if he feels it is overdamped or underdamped. You said you feel it's too soft and bottoms often.....when he said rough ride to me, I assumed it was too stiff and the suspension wasn't soaking up small road imperfections too well (much like how a pickup with nothing in it rides).
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Unread 02-22-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
Kappy424
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Have him look at Goodyear Assurance Comfortreds. Very good reviews on Tire Rack for a softer ride. I am looking at replacing our Wrangler HP's with these this spring.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
DHRFX Joe
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I'll look into that, thanks for the tip.
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Unread 08-02-2014, 12:05 AM   #6
kiwi_outdoors
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stiff in the rear

our stock 2008 KK delivers a more jarring ride to rear seat passengers than the front, and harsher than they should have to endure, on poor roads.

the KK does not roll hardly at all n turns, it is too stiff or its anti-sway system is too stiff.

you can see how stiff the KK suspension is by looking at that Australian video of a KK on some deeply rutted dirt road in the outback - when it teeter-totters on 3 wheels.
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Unread 08-02-2014, 05:22 AM   #7
josworth
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Very interesting conversation.

I see the point on the anti-sway bars. Here is where I think the problem lies. The bushings and anti-sway bars are stiff yet the springs are soft.

I had the pleasure of driving another user's Liberty. I will name him, Ted15. Ted's Liberty is lifted with larger off road tires. Not a set up I would want, but what I noticed right away is that his spring rates were darn near perfect for the truck. He has OME springs. Small imperfections in pavement came through as a small solid thunk, where my Liberty (bone stock with Bilstein shocks) would jiggle over the same bumps. When you would brake into a turn with Ted's Liberty it stayed balanced and controlled. When you do the same with my stock set-up the nose dives and it unsettles the balance.

I had hoped that going from stock shocks to Bilsteins would have changed things more than it did. That just confirms my feeling that Jeep got the spring rates all wrong with the Liberty. My issue now is I can't even think about changing the springs. It's not the financial investment. I have no problem spending the $600+ on springs if it gets the ride right. My issues are two fold. Number one, I don't want to lift my Jeep. Number two, I am in the middle of a major back and forth with Chrysler over a vibration. Even the slightest modification to the suspension at this point will give them the out they are looking for to cut me off from the warranty work, and to be honest, I wouldn't blame them. Lucky for me the vibration was documented before I changed the shocks and remained the same afterwords. In fact, me doing shocks, tires, and brakes all the way around has played a major part in their acceptance of the issue. Plus, my dealer is on my side, for the most part, believe it or not.

Lastly, if they for some reason can't fix this vibration, the Jeep and I will have to part ways. There is no way I am going to commute 90 minutes round trip daily with a steering wheel shaking in my hands... that on top of niggling trim issues will force me to bite the bullet and send it packing. I don't want to, I actually like my quirky little Jeep.

So, back to the topic at hand. It would be real interesting to see some input from the suspension lift guru's on your issue. I really think that with the same rate springs that OME uses the ride composure can be cleaned up. It will always be truck like, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The trick is how to get that when you don't want to lift it.
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Unread 08-02-2014, 06:33 AM   #8
tommudd
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Aftermarket suspension system helps with all aspects , no doubt.
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Unread 08-02-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
kiwi_outdoors
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steering sheel shake

steering wheel shake is a nice clear symptom -I would have though it easy to track down (compared to drive line vibration in my old station wagon).
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Unread 08-02-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
Drednot
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I wouldn't say its a "truck like" ride at all. Its more of a "sports tuned" ride. Its a combination of the springs, shocks , sway bars and tires.


I went from the stock 18" tires and stock suspension to 215/85R16LT Michelins and a JBA full adjust-a-strut lift with Bilsteins and front swaybar delete. Total change for the better.





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Unread 08-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #11
Gageraid
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I don't see it mentioned, what size rims are on the Liberty?
I thought the stock suspension was too squishy so I upgeaded to OME springs and shocks like many others.
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Unread 08-03-2014, 07:46 AM   #12
tommudd
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Stock spring rates on the KJ and KK are too weak which causes the bad ride, plus shocks are only there for looks when built.
For instance going over rail road tracks is a hold on tight tracks ahead affair due to the suspension not absorbing the tracks but rather letting it go through the whole vehicle. Installing a well balanced aftermarket set of springs and shocks ( and yes shocks that are tuned for the springs be it Ironman or OME) absorb the tracks and you hardly feel it in the cabin. Just installing new shocks isn't nearly enough to make up for the weak springs as well .
I can go over rail road tracks at 65 that a stock KJ would have to cross at 15-20 and I feel nothing, since the suspension is doing its job
If you're still running with stock shocks and springs at 50-55,000 miles you owe it to yourself to upgrade for the better ride and handling
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Unread 08-03-2014, 08:02 AM   #13
brunolambert
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I'm with everyone on this, the ride is hard on everyone in the Jeep (seems worse in the back) because the suspension is to soft. I'd like to add a question to this thread that doesn't feel like hijacking it: What if I want a stiffer suspension but no lift? I understand that OME or OME+Bilstein or Ironman gives about 2.5 inch of lift (and the number aren't exactly the same front and back). Is there a way to keep the same height than stock?
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Unread 08-03-2014, 06:28 PM   #14
josworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunolambert View Post
I'm with everyone on this, the ride is hard on everyone in the Jeep (seems worse in the back) because the suspension is to soft. I'd like to add a question to this thread that doesn't feel like hijacking it: What if I want a stiffer suspension but no lift? I understand that OME or OME+Bilstein or Ironman gives about 2.5 inch of lift (and the number aren't exactly the same front and back). Is there a way to keep the same height than stock?
Yessir......... The same question I have been asking... and it is right on topic here since the OP want's to help his Dad make his Mom's Liberty loose the loosey goosey feeling but I'm pretty sure they don't want it lifted up with 30" mudders.. LOL...
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Unread 08-03-2014, 06:34 PM   #15
josworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommudd View Post
Stock spring rates on the KJ and KK are too weak which causes the bad ride, plus shocks are only there for looks when built.
For instance going over rail road tracks is a hold on tight tracks ahead affair due to the suspension not absorbing the tracks but rather letting it go through the whole vehicle. Installing a well balanced aftermarket set of springs and shocks ( and yes shocks that are tuned for the springs be it Ironman or OME) absorb the tracks and you hardly feel it in the cabin. Just installing new shocks isn't nearly enough to make up for the weak springs as well .
I can go over rail road tracks at 65 that a stock KJ would have to cross at 15-20 and I feel nothing, since the suspension is doing its job
If you're still running with stock shocks and springs at 50-55,000 miles you owe it to yourself to upgrade for the better ride and handling
This man right here knows his stuff.. Like I said in my earlier post... I drove one myself and the composure is great...

I will probably just slap the OME springs in without any of the other lift stuff and hope for the best (read least lift). I am willing to be the guinea pig for those that don't want lift, but have to wait for Chrysler to fix the vibration. The quickest way to slam the case door shut in my face would be to install aftermarket lift springs....

Heck I would need my Jeep as well... I haven't seen her in a week.. Heck, I've only had her about 3 weeks in the past two months...
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