Best shocks for a smooth ride?


Goatman

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Going back to rs5000x shocks, has anyone seen theirs fail prematurely? Mine have only 20,000ish miles on them and two are leaking oil and have completely lost their gas charge.
Would say you are the exception and not the rule. Contact where you got them to see if they would exchange (replace) them for you. If no, contact Rancho directly. I have not heard them described as having poor customer service.
 
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SecondChanceTJ

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My fronts have less charge than I recall them having. I'm getting anxious to replace them.
I don't have a feel for 'charge' or 'harshness' or anything like that. Heck, I don't even have anything to compare it to. I do know I noticed a very slight improvement in smoothness over PO's worn out no name mystery shocks when I replaced them last September. But I feel every single bump with the Ranchos. I can't even rest my head against the headrest, or it bounces my head all over the place. Makes me wonder why everyone recommends these.
 

jjvw

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I don't have a feel for 'charge' or 'harshness' or anything like that. Heck, I don't even have anything to compare it to. I do know I noticed a very slight improvement in smoothness over PO's worn out no name mystery shocks when I replaced them last September. But I feel every single bump with the Ranchos. I can't even rest my head on the seat, or it bounces my head all over the place. Makes me wonder why everyone recommends these.
Mine are easy to compress by hand. I remember it being more difficult in years past. I've long thought they were mushy feeling, though.
 

rasband

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I can't even rest my head against the headrest, or it bounces my head all over the place. Makes me wonder why everyone recommends these.

Ive been wondering that myself. I think for the price maybe they’re the best, but I swapped mine out for fox shocks within a year or so and am incredibly happy with the change. I wouldn’t recommend ranchos to anyone unless it’s those vs something like a procomp shock.

I was going to give away my rear shocks but I’m not confident in how they work where I didn’t want to ask for a “buyer” to have to cover shipping.
 
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SecondChanceTJ

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Ive been wondering that myself. I think for the price maybe they’re the best, but I swapped mine out for fox shocks within a year or so and am incredibly happy with the change. I wouldn’t recommend ranchos to anyone unless it’s those vs something like a procomp shock.

I was going to give away my rear shocks but I’m not confident in how they work where I didn’t want to ask for a “buyer” to have to cover shipping.
I will definitely be looking into shock upgrades once I get my suspension properly cycled and get the tummy tuck squared away.
 

rasband

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I will definitely be looking into shock upgrades once I get my suspension properly cycled and get the tummy tuck squared away.

If our timing lines up I’ll be out boarding and paying mine forward, as @mvigo did to me when he did the same. Keep an eye on my build for that. It may be this fall as the 12” fox shocks are back ordered so the timeline is up in the air right now.
 

rasband

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All you guys complaining about your shocks going bad... Do you have 0-2" shocks on 2.5"+ lifts by any chance?

I had a set of longer shocks as well, and either they just rode poorly or I wrecked them somehow.
 

HornedToad

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All you guys complaining about your shocks going bad... Do you have 0-2" shocks on 2.5"+ lifts by any chance?
Mine are the rs55240's which are the 0-2 rear shocks. I have been running them with stock springs, a .75 spacer, and a small bumpstop extension to prevent them from bottoming but very recently I switched to 3 inch coils. Right now they are covered in oil and won't extend on their own and one of them only has damping for like half the stroke. When I hit bumps I can feel that corner of the jeep dip down much deeper than the other corners.
 

HornedToad

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I have a set of new rs5000x's (longer ones) still in the boxes but I have been very hesitant about installing them for two reasons. One - my experience with durability which could just be that particular part number (the fronts still seem to be working the same as they did when new). And two, I have never been thrilled about the ride. To echo what a few others have said I feel like they are harsher than they need to be on small bumps (yes my tires are C load at 26 psi). The problem is that the only other well regarded alternative is tuned, remote resi foxes paired with a rear outboarding and front poly towers. Sorry, rant over...I just wish we had more options.

I'm sure I still install the new ranchos one of these days. Their price tag definitely helps me get over the things I don't like about them.
 
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rasband

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The problem is that the only other well regarded alternative is tuned, remote resi foxes paired with a rear outboarding and front poly towers. Sorry, rant over...I just wish we had more options.

Just to be clear, I have the standard length fox shocks front and rear for a ~4" lift. They are a world of difference than the ranchos that were in the same locations. I will outboard eventually - but in the stock locations the fox shocks for this length are still way better than the rancho equivalents.

All that to say, with the factory locations you can get a nicer ride that may be worthwhile if you are not looking to do any relocations. If you are, plan on the 12" outboard rear and 11" extended front.
 

HornedToad

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Just to be clear, I have the standard length fox shocks front and rear for a ~4" lift. They are a world of difference than the ranchos that were in the same locations. I will outboard eventually - but in the stock locations the fox shocks for this length are still way better than the rancho equivalents.

All that to say, with the factory locations you can get a nicer ride that may be worthwhile if you are not looking to do any relocations. If you are, plan on the 12" outboard rear and 11" extended front.
Interesting. Are these the 2.0 performance shocks? I have always assumed they would feel similar to the other monotube shocks and be too stiff on small bumps.
This time around my shocks will be set up with more up-travel (I believe I can get a precise 5.25 up and about 4.5 down in the rear) and I am interested to see how big a difference that makes with the ranchos.
 

jjvw

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Interesting. Are these the 2.0 performance shocks? I have always assumed they would feel similar to the other monotube shocks and be too stiff on small bumps.
This time around my shocks will be set up with more up-travel (I believe I can get a precise 5.25 up and about 4.5 down in the rear) and I am interested to see how big a difference that makes with the ranchos.
Depends entirely on the tune. Foxes can ride really well or really bad. Out of the box, they are really jittery.

And that fact undermines everything the spring tuner guys are trying to argue for.
 

Goatman

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This is where I will sound like I contradict myself.

You can't expect a $50 Rancho to ride like a several hundred dollar high end shock with a custom tuning. This is why (and where) I say that your spring rate can make a difference in how harsh it feels.
Buuuuttttt.....
When you step up an do pay for that kind of shock performance, spring rate can play very little role in how the suspension feels. At this level a good balanced shock can make most any spring ride like a Cadillac (if that is what you are looking for)
It's down in the lower end shock price spectrum that the spring will play a bigger role.
But, again, it is everything working together that establishes the final outcome. Tire choice, tire pressure, springs and shocks all contribute to how the ground interacts with your backside. So does your seat, even seating position (angle) can make your TJ feel better or worse.
 

jjvw

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This is where I will sound like I contradict myself.

You can't expect a $50 Rancho to ride like a several hundred dollar high end shock with a custom tuning. This is why (and where) I say that your spring rate can make a difference in how harsh it feels.
Buuuuttttt.....
When you step up an do pay for that kind of shock performance, spring rate can play very little role in how the suspension feels. At this level a good balanced shock can make most any spring ride like a Cadillac (if that is what you are looking for)
It's down in the lower end shock price spectrum that the spring will play a bigger role.
This is where you get to explain how to do to tune the ride through springs.