Shock Comparison: Rancho RS5000X vs Skyjacker Black Max vs KYB Monotube


hosejockey61

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Just to add my two cents on the Ranchos, I really can't see where everyone was raging about them. They are somewhat equivilent to my 10 year old Bilsteins, but a little squishier. I'm not a fan of running can down either. I put less than 10 miles on them and I put my Bilsteins back on until I outboard here soon. Two thumbs down from me and they will be for sale shortly.
 

Mike_H

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One other thing I noticed with the KYB monomax, when I was checking bumpstop, and jacking the axle up, the whole Jeep would lift momentarily until the body would press down on the shock. That was weird...
 

TheBoogieman

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And the end result on the comparison is SOS! Everybody has a different opinion and nobody agrees on anything. Different strokes for different folks. :unsure:
p.s. I'm glad my discontinued Zone hydro shocks still work perfectly after 4 years. I have the Rancho ones for back up.
 

Irun

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Installed longer springs this weekend. No real difference. I'm using about 2" of travel up front and about an inch and a half in the rear, according to zip ties. I only have about a hundred miles on them, so I'll give em another half tank of fuel to break in... They are better than the Ranchos. Pretty stiff in compression though.

Also, the new springs make my tires look small...I wonder what I should do about that?View attachment 257680


Also, @Irun or @MountaineerTom, how are those black max shocks working out? Got any travel reports?
I'm waiting on new driveshafts, after the TT, and can't really put any miles on the new shocks yet. However, a buddy of mine ended up installing a set after he saw mine. He's running a TJ on a 2" suspension lift, 1" BL, and a 32" tire. He drives mainly back roads and is what I'd call a spirited driver. I warned him that these were on the soft side, but he bought anyway, based on price and available lengths.

He called me this weekend and said, overall, he's happy with the shocks. He has family that lives on a dirt road, which typically includes "washboard" sections. According to him, the shocks absorbed those easily and made the ride significantly smoother and more controlled than before. He did say that when he pushes the Jeep into curves, on the asphalt, he notices the shock softness, but it's something he's aware off, and can live with. FWIW, he's coming from a worn out set of Rubicon Express (monotube) shocks.
 

Mike_H

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And the end result on the comparison is SOS! Everybody has a different opinion and nobody agrees on anything. Different strokes for different folks. :unsure:
p.s. I'm glad my discontinued Zone hydro shocks still work perfectly after 4 years. I have the Rancho ones for back up.
So, We shouldn't discuss this? These kinds of discussion are the point of a forum, IMHO.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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I'm LOVING the way my LJ is riding with the Ranchos right now.

Also, I have 500+ pounds of automotive fluids, solvents and aerosols, jeep parts, guns and ammo that I'm hauling to Oklahoma in advance of our move next week. Wish they rode like this at my normal weight.

IMG_20210607_063732.jpg
 
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LittleTankTJ

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I'm LOVING the way my LJ is riding with the Ranchos right now.

Also, I have 500+ pounds of automotive fluids, solvents and aerosols, jeep parts, guns and ammo that I'm hauling to Oklahoma in advance of our move next week. Wish they rode like this at my normal weight.

View attachment 257769
I have really noticed that as it's getting warmer. With the hard top off and the doors off.(plus also removing a few hundred pounds of armor) the ride on the ranchos is just jarring
 
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Mike_H

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I emailed KYB customer service yesterday about the stiffness of the shocks... I've copied and pasted my email and response, below:


Hello,

I recently installed a set of KYB Monomax shocks on my 2004 Jeep Wrangler. I used the 565096 / 565097 combo because I have a 4" lift. My concern is that they ride VERY stiff. I'm not getting very much compression out of the shock at all. I have placed a zip tie on the shock shaft, and for normal driving, I'm using 2" of shock travel or less. I do not have very many miles on them yet (less than 150), and I know shocks have a "break-in" period. So, I'm wondering if I need to put more miles on them, if they might be defective, or if they are simply too stiff? One other thing to note, When I jack the vehicle up, the body will lift with each stroke of the jack. It quickly settles back down, like it takes a while for the shock to adjust. I want to like these shocks, but if they aren't defective and they do, in fact, ride this stiff, I'm afraid I'll have to return them.

Thanks for your help

Mike


Hi Mike,



From your description, it sounds like the shocks are working as designed. MonoMax units are high performance shocks that are designed to work well when loaded down or off roading a lifted vehicle. If you are judging the shocks with no load in the vehicle and mostly on commuter type roads, they will feel firm.



They may need to settle on the vehicle: you can raise the vehicle off the ground, loosen the upper mounting points a little bit (do not fully remove), then set the vehicle fully on the ground and tighten them back up to OEM spec. This will help the shocks settle on the vehicle and may or may not soften the ride, but aside from that, shocks don’t typically break-in and get softer unless they are wearing out. It is unlikely the units you have are defective.



Regards,

Technical Support

KYB Americas Corporation

techsupport@kyb.com


I have started the return process, based on this response. Next up on the list is the black max! It's for science....
 

JMT

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FWIW, he's coming from a worn out set of Rubicon Express (monotube) shocks.
Those were re-branded Bilstein 5100's. The valving might have been slightly different.
 
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Mike_H

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I emailed KYB customer service yesterday about the stiffness of the shocks... I've copied and pasted my email and response, below:


Hello,

I recently installed a set of KYB Monomax shocks on my 2004 Jeep Wrangler. I used the 565096 / 565097 combo because I have a 4" lift. My concern is that they ride VERY stiff. I'm not getting very much compression out of the shock at all. I have placed a zip tie on the shock shaft, and for normal driving, I'm using 2" of shock travel or less. I do not have very many miles on them yet (less than 150), and I know shocks have a "break-in" period. So, I'm wondering if I need to put more miles on them, if they might be defective, or if they are simply too stiff? One other thing to note, When I jack the vehicle up, the body will lift with each stroke of the jack. It quickly settles back down, like it takes a while for the shock to adjust. I want to like these shocks, but if they aren't defective and they do, in fact, ride this stiff, I'm afraid I'll have to return them.

Thanks for your help

Mike


Hi Mike,




From your description, it sounds like the shocks are working as designed. MonoMax units are high performance shocks that are designed to work well when loaded down or off roading a lifted vehicle. If you are judging the shocks with no load in the vehicle and mostly on commuter type roads, they will feel firm.



They may need to settle on the vehicle: you can raise the vehicle off the ground, loosen the upper mounting points a little bit (do not fully remove), then set the vehicle fully on the ground and tighten them back up to OEM spec. This will help the shocks settle on the vehicle and may or may not soften the ride, but aside from that, shocks don’t typically break-in and get softer unless they are wearing out. It is unlikely the units you have are defective.



Regards,

Technical Support

KYB Americas Corporation

techsupport@kyb.com


I have started the return process, based on this response. Next up on the list is the black max! It's for science....
What's so funny?
 

JMT

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Just to add my two cents on the Ranchos, I really can't see where everyone was raging about them. They are somewhat equivilent to my 10 year old Bilsteins, but a little squishier. I'm not a fan of running can down either. I put less than 10 miles on them and I put my Bilsteins back on until I outboard here soon. Two thumbs down from me and they will be for sale shortly.
I had Bilstein 5100's before I had the Rancho 5000X on my rig. The Rancho's were definitely softer from day 1. However, I noted that once you got to 45mph, there was no noticeable difference between the Bilstein 5100's and the Rancho 5000X. This was back in 2018 when I first noted this on the forum in a number of threads. Compared to the stock shocks on another TJ I own, the Rancho's are noticeably better. Compared to the KYB monotubes I have on another TJ, the Rancho's are noticeably better ride. I'm getting rid of the Rancho's on my rig and trying the Fox Savvy Valved shocks.
 

JMT

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It's actually very difficult to set up a true scientific experiment (meaning bulletproof, only one factor different with a control), because, while the shocks may be the only thing you change, the shocks you change from usually do not have the exact same amount of compression and extension and overall length, so you are not only comparing valving, but also other factors which affect ride quality that are tied in to up and downtravel. Since there is no control group, it's mainly a subjective discussion. That doesn't make it meaningless, just no hard data.
 
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bobthetj03

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You're saving me all kinds of monies Mike. I'll wait for you guys to get the skinny on the Black Max shocks, then make my decision. I have a set of JKS shocks collecting dust, so I can say I at least contributed to this so called science experiment, lol!
 
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