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Unread 11-20-2010, 06:40 AM   #1
stubbornspot
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Shocks - Stock or Upgrade

I know there are threads on this, but after lots of looking it seems like there isn't a definitive answer for my particular situation.
My Jeep has 40K miles on it. I'm planning on putting on the Rough Country BB, but I can't decide on one thing. I know I want to get the kit with the front and rear brake line brackets, rear track bar bracket, and rear sway bar links. This will hopefully correct everything that needs correcting for that lift.
Here's the problem...do I go the shock relocation bracket route and keep the stock shocks or do I get the Performance 2.2 package that comes with the RC shocks.
Some say they love the RC shocks, some say they hate them. My factory shocks don't seem terrible (but most say 25K-35K is the max for factory shocks). I bought the Jeep at 38K so I don't really know how different they are from new. I could put the brackets on for now and them upgrade to Bilsteins at some point down the road.
What to do?

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Unread 11-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
RockyClymer
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IMO if you have the stock hydraulic shocks on the JK then at 40k you are pushing their limit, if you have the gas shocks that came with the Rubi or the JK with towing option then they are good for another 40k or so - as I said, my opinion. That being said, I honestly believe that anytime one lifts they are better off with a shock that not only matches the spring rates but is also the proper length to give the advantage of full spring articulation - while I am not familiar with the 2.2 shocks, I would recommend getting a shock that is the proper length for the lift...just another opinion, I am not a fan of track bar brackets as they place additional stress on the factory brackets and have been known to crack/break the welds...and adj track bar would be better IMO.
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Unread 11-20-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
stubbornspot
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Thanks for the info on the shocks. I'm thinking that maybe my Jeep is riding rough and I'm just thinking, "Hey its a Jeep" when I should be thinking "Replace those old broke down shocks" I'll probably go for the 2.2 shocks and see how I like them.
It looks like the cases of welds breaking are on 4" lifts or more with brackets. It seems like the stress on the welds would be much less with only a 2.5" lift. I may be wrong though, I don't know much about suspension geometry etc.
Hmmm...now I'm looking at adjustable trackbars, but that adds even more money when I was debating dropping the cash for the shocks. Man it really does mean "Just Empty Every Pocket"
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Unread 11-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
Warlord2
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I would get some fresh shocks, the shock relocation bracket only allows for more wheel drop, however will limit your flex by not allowing the tire to travel up into the wheel well as much. May even act as a bump stop, and that is no good. The RC 2.2 shocks are pretty decent from what Ive read, they will be stiffer then the stock (way to squishy to me) but have a more crisp feeling for better cornering and solid stance. With a lift you want a little stiffer shock just because the center of gravity is higher. With the track bar relocation bracket I would at the very least run a new bead around the axle bracket, front at rear. Three JKs in my club have broken theirs and atleast one that I know of only has a 2.5" lift on.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 01:54 AM   #5
asknight
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I don't have direct experience to your situation but have history with RC 2.2 shocks and OEM JK shocks that may help you form a better opinion to make a choice.

On my TJ, the RC 2.2 shocks gave me a totally unacceptable harsh ride. Replaced with Rancho RS9000XL adjustables and am happy. The consensus that I've formed is that the RC 2.2s are still too stiff for the 2 dr JK, but more acceptable on the heavier 4 dr.

On the wife's JK X 4 dr with standard squishy hydro shocks, I replaced them with the gas shocks that are OEM to the Rubicon 4 dr and the ride is much more controlled, stable, and comfortable. When we lift the JK, the choice is going to come down to only two shocks. Rancho 9000XLs due to personal experience and Bilsteins since they're held in such high regards by a majority of Jeepers.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 11:06 AM   #6
JLC08JK
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I have the 4 door JK and started with the RC BB with 2.2 shocks. The ride was kind of harsh until I removed the BB and changed to the Old Man Emu heavy coil springs. I think that the 2.2 shocks are a better match to the heavier spring-rates, the feel is now firm but not harsh.
I do have 35" MTR's and run them at 28 psi, I can hit washboard roads at any speed without rattling my teeth out.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
stubbornspot
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How bad would it be to skip the bracket for the trackbar and just run the axles slightly out of alignment for a while? Will this also cause stress on these joints?

I've noticed that the rough country lift with springs is about the same price as the spacer kit that has the TB bracket, brake line brackets and swaybar links, but it doesn't have all of the brackets/links/etc....is this a better deal or do I need all of those things? Would I be better off to get the spring kit and then get the adjustable track bar and leave it at that?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
Mol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbornspot View Post
How bad would it be to skip the bracket for the trackbar and just run the axles slightly out of alignment for a while? Will this also cause stress on these joints?

I've noticed that the rough country lift with springs is about the same price as the spacer kit that has the TB bracket, brake line brackets and swaybar links, but it doesn't have all of the brackets/links/etc....is this a better deal or do I need all of those things? Would I be better off to get the spring kit and then get the adjustable track bar and leave it at that?
From what I have read, a lot of people do not even realize that their axles are out of line, and continue to drive without (imediately noticeable) issue.

I will, however, answer your question with a question:

How soon do you want to replace your tires?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 01:28 PM   #9
asknight
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This will allow for premature wear to ujoints and control arm bushings, at least in my case it did. The rear tb bracket is only about$ 25 anyway.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 01:57 PM   #10
stubbornspot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asknight View Post
This will allow for premature wear to ujoints and control arm bushings, at least in my case it did. The rear tb bracket is only about$ 25 anyway.
But I'm hearing that the bracket will cause metal fatigue and eventually a HUGE problem. I'm inclined to just go with the bracket, keep a close eye on it for any signs of unusual wear and then I'll just teach myself to weld when its time to reinforce the brackets (good excuse to learn a valuable skill right?)
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Unread 11-21-2010, 06:41 PM   #11
JLC08JK
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When the JK first came out the brackets were just extensions and time told everyone that this was a weak point.
Since then most of the brackets on the market have been redesigned to add strength and reinforcement to the factory mount.
I'm not sure if the RC bracket addresses the issue or not but that could be answered with a phone call. Currie, Poison Spider, and many others make a bracket that relocates and reinforces so you do have options.
P.S. you cannot use a relocation bracket on the front without using a steering relocation as well. (i.e. high steer or drop pitman arm)
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Unread 11-21-2010, 07:45 PM   #12
stubbornspot
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I assumed you didn't need to relocated both the front and rear...is that incorrect?
I thought that once you brought the rear in line then you were good. I'm going to call Rough Country and check to see if their bracket takes all this into account. Then I'll decided whether to go the Currie/Poison Spider route.
Thanks again for the advice. I found someone selling some Rubi shocks on craigslist for a good price and I'm going to go the shock relocation route with those and then based on my RC call decided what relocation bracket to go with. Perhaps eventually adding an adjustable TB...
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Unread 11-21-2010, 11:54 PM   #13
asknight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbornspot View Post
I assumed you didn't need to relocated both the front and rear...is that incorrect?
I thought that once you brought the rear in line then you were good. I'm going to call Rough Country and check to see if their bracket takes all this into account. Then I'll decided whether to go the Currie/Poison Spider route.
Thanks again for the advice. I found someone selling some Rubi shocks on craigslist for a good price and I'm going to go the shock relocation route with those and then based on my RC call decided what relocation bracket to go with. Perhaps eventually adding an adjustable TB...
Not correct. The JK and TJ have 5 link suspensions. 4 control arms and a track bar. When the suspension cycles through the arc of the control arms, it also has a side arc due to the trackbar.

The front axle is pulled to the drivers side and the rear axle pulled to the passenger side when a suspension lift is installed if the length of the trackbars is not adjusted/lengthened.

The rear is correctable with a bracket that raises the link point on the axle, and the front is usually corrected with an adjustable track bar. Like said earlier, the front axle sees more stress on the trackbar due to it being the steering axle, and a trackbar bracket is not recommended as it increases the geometry of the link point, but also because it's a cascade effect that requires other brackets/parts (drop pitman arm) to work properly.

Any "lift kit" of 2" or more that does not include an adjustable front trackbar and a rear trackbar bracket is not a "kit" in my opinion, but only a partial box of parts that won't complete the job correctly.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 04:07 AM   #14
stubbornspot
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So....perhaps use the rear bracket (with reinforcing) that comes with the "kit" and get the adjustable trackbar for the front. What if I'm running just the rear bracket for a little while and then get the adjustable trackbar in maybe a month or two? Would that be too long? I mean how long before it starts causing problem?
From the sounds of it a 2.5 inch lift puts you out of alignment by about .25"-.5" So if the rear bracket corrects half of that, its not too far off for the time being.
Sorry for the huge number of questions. Always been a DIY type person, just never with my cars. The Jeep has inspired me to learn how to do some new things.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 10:32 AM   #15
JLC08JK
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At this point I would suggest that you wait just a little longer
During the month of December Rough Country and many of the other companies have great deals on parts. Last year RC had the "Deal of the day" with a different lift kit or other product on a one day deal for about 30% off.
Just be patient and gather your parts throughout the next month, you will save allot of money and be better prepared to do the job right the first time.
To answer your question; You could get the track-bar for the front a month or so from now without having any serious problems but I suggest taking your time and doing things right the first time.
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