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Huge Soft top SaleRockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS!! You asked, we deliver!

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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
C11Gidasi
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STIFF Suspension!!! Help!

So I bought an '08 JK Unlimited with what I believe to be a "Black Diamond" 6" lift (sound familiar to anyone?). The ride is VERY STIFF. It's so stiff that the rear looses traction and slides out when I am driving over dirt roads that have become washboarded / rutted. It's embarrassing taking friends up the mountain for a drive! When I go over speed bumps at anything but a snail's pace, everything in the back flies up and gets slammed to the floor. Riding once in my friend's stock 2 Door 2010 Rubicon, it was like riding on a soft mattress or water bed compared to this.

Here are some general questions I have on the matter. (The later ones are just out of curiosity.) Any help with any of them is much appreciated!

1. I assume it could be the shocks or springs. Not sure what kind of shocks they are, but they're all white, thick, and have no writing on them. How do I know if it's the springs or the shocks?

2. I once broke a bar pin and had to drive down the mountain with only one shock in the rear. There was NO appreciable difference in the ride. I still lost traction over the ruts in the dirt road. So I thought SPRINGS! Any opinions?

3. When removed, the shock I tested compressed slowly, with no rebound on its own. I assume this means they're warn out, correct?

4. There is only 35,000 miles on the Jeep. How long does it usually take to wear out shocks?

5. If they are indeed worn out, I was always under the impression that it would make the ride much more soft / mushy, not stiff. Thoughts?

6. In considering replacements, how do I know what maximum extended length is good? A friend suggested the person who lifted it might have actually installed shocks that are too short. Also, I heard Rancho shocks tend to be on the stiffer side, even when set to the softest adjustment setting.

7. I see all these pictures with people rock crawling and showing flex that looks like one side is extended 3 feet! How can this be? Do these people have special shocks / disconnected shocks or something?

8. Why do some insist on installing shocks upside down? Does it make a difference?

Sorry - relative suspension newbie here. I really appreciate the help. Thanks!!!


Last edited by C11Gidasi; 01-24-2011 at 01:46 AM..
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Unread 01-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
Prot
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I doubt you have a 6" lift. What size tires do you have? Black Diamond shocks are notoriously worthless. I hate all Black Diamond products, with their shocks being the worst in their product line.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #3
Warlord2
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Quote:
When removed, the shock I tested compressed slowly, with no rebound on its own. I assume this means they're warn out, correct?
bad shocks, prolly bad springs as well if they are from black diamond. Call Dave at northridge4x4 and he will help you out. EMO are great progressive springs that I highly recommend, bilstein shocks are nice and are highly recommend on these forums. Travel is usually limited by the shock however you cant just get a longer travel shock then the lift can handle or you wont be able to stuff a tire well either. Dave will hook you up with the correct length, it depends on what your ride height is, atleast when using the stock shock bracket.

These Jeeps are pretty bad on washboard roads compaired to like a stock Jeep or 1/2 ton pickup. With a lifted Jeep you dont want a super soft ride or body lean will be a problem.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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What psi are the tires set at? If it's above 30psi, could be adding to the roughness. The BD stuff is on the low end. I think Super Lift bought them out. If you see any part numbers, they might be able to help. To answer #8, I think the aftermarket shocks are inverted for fitment. Otherwise, they would bind against the lower shock mount.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
C11Gidasi
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Thanks for the help. I'm running 35s. Why do you doubt I have a 6 in lift. You may be correct, just curious. The pressure is above 30 PSI, though I forget exactly where. I'll try deflating a little. But won't this cause a bad tire wear pattern?
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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
ytowntj
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Quote:
Thanks for the help. I'm running 35s. Why do you doubt I have a 6 in lift. You may be correct, just curious. The pressure is above 30 PSI, though I forget exactly where. I'll try deflating a little. But won't this cause a bad tire wear pattern?
6 inches of lift on a JK would be HUGE. you can fit 35s with 3" of lift and some do it on less.

The larger the tire size, the more weight the tire can support at the same PSI. For example I need 35 psi on my TJ with 30s, but only 25 psi on 35s. To fine tune the pressure for maximum ride comfort and tread life try the chalk test. Run a line of chalk across the tire (get it pretty thick). Now drive in ~ 10ft increments on flat pavement until you begin to see the chalk wearing off. if it wears off in the center first, lower the pressure. If it wears off on the sides first, raise the psi. Ideally you want it to wear off evenly across, or maybe slightly quicker in the center.

I agree BD products suck. When you say the shocks are upside down, so you mean with the can down and shaft/boot up? If so that is the proper mounting of a hydraulic shock which I BELIEVE BD shocks are.

If you are at 6" of lift, your control arm angles are terrible and you should consider lowering it to 3-4" IMO.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
jstrubberg
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When you are looking at lift, don't compare JK's to past Jeep models. The JK sits higher stock. 3 inches of lift is plenty to fit a 35 inch tire. That would have required six inches on a TJ.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 04:01 PM   #8
tavic
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The only kits out there from Black Diamond is a 2" Spacer Lift and a 3" Spring Lift. By the sounds of it you probably have the Spring Lift and I agree with the others that Black Diamond is notorious for stiff springs. If you're on a budget, try a different shock absorber to start with.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
Charles
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Air down when offroad. 15 PSI ish. You'll never regret it.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
Charles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
its called driving a jeep
Why did you change his quote around? Just curious. I thought that was a lot of work just to let someone know they are driving a vehicle with an inherently bumpy ride.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 06:01 PM   #11
Washi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
its called driving a jeep
It's called reading his entire post and adding useful inputs. He compared it to another Wrangler that rode a lot smoother and nicer than his.

Sorry OP, I would suggest (as others have) that the culprit is the BD Springs.
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Quote:
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Meh. Jake's is longer. I've seen it...
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Unread 01-24-2011, 09:03 PM   #12
C11Gidasi
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Thanks, tavic! It's a spring lift, so definitely the 3" - sorry about the incorrect observation.

And, SterlingArcher, thank you, but your post is useless.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 09:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
its called driving a jeep
Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
With that, I would like to say I stand by my post. He's trying to compare two completely different jeeps, when he's done he's going to come over and compare my tv with my microwave to see which makes phone calls better.
You sir did not differentiate between Jeeps with your original statement, but rather generalized ALL Jeeps with your condescending remark. You, therefore, are saying anything Jeep rides rough, thus negating your next statement about the models being different. In either case, you neither added anything helpful, or pointed out anything the OP did not already know as I am sure he already knows that he is driving a Jeep. Maybe, sir, you can therfore make some good observations about the difference between the two Jeeps to help the OP out?

If I rankled your feelings sir, I apologize. I was not trying to be insulting. I was simply asking you to please consider your responses to someones question before typing them as yours was neither helpful, insightful, or new. It was, however, completely useless and rather insulting. Not only is that, but so is this response. So, with my apologies to the OP, I will leave it at this and return to the thread. Again, sorry for the hijack.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00JGC00 View Post
Meh. Jake's is longer. I've seen it...
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