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

Jamesval035

TJ Enthusiast
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Nov 18, 2018
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Cameron, nc
I had the Skyjacker Black Max's out in Uwharrie yesterday. Lots of rocky, bumpy trails. They felt very good to me. Even my friend (not a Jeep owner) who rode with me thought they rode really good. I had a couple places in mind that I thought the rear bumper might drag when coming off a ledge, but it didn't. If I had come off them faster, probably,

On a different note, off-roading is crazy sometimes. Some places you think your going to have a little trouble and then the Jeep just goes with no issues. Then you drag your main skid on something you didn't even give a second thought too. :ROFLMAO:

Lots of this kind of stuff there:

View attachment 258422View attachment 258423

Nice man. I’m out here today. Let me know when you get back out here. I’d love to join up with a fellow forum member.

C91BB339-C405-4244-AB75-0B6063AA51A1.jpeg
 
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MountaineerTom

LJ Enthusiast, Retired USAF Weapons Loader
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Nice man. I’m out here today. Let me know when you get back out here. I’d love to join up with a fellow forum member.

View attachment 259634
We drove to the ledge on Daniel. Just wanted to see it because my Jeep isn’t set up to handle it. Then we wen up the back side of Daniel to the top of the mountain. That hill climb coming from the front side is no joke. Even the easy side looked too much for me. LOL Pictures and videos don’t do it justice.
 
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SSTJ

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South Carolina
Nice man. I’m out here today. Let me know when you get back out here. I’d love to join up with a fellow forum member.

Ditto. I'm in Greenville SC. It'd be a 2-hour drive for me, but I might be able to make it sometime. Do we have a Carolinas group on here yet? Will check.
 

Mike_H

Off-Camber is scary
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Feb 28, 2017
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Grand Rapids, MI, United States
All four black max shocks are installed. I think I can live with these for a while. They feel pretty good for the cost. Hopefully, they last me a couple years. It's been interesting experimenting with different shocks and feeling the vastly different ways my Jeep ride and performed.

In summary:

Rancho 5000x: decent ride, but the front and rear ends seemed to be doing different things. Made for a very disconcerting driving experience. I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad set of rear shocks. I didn't feel any real differences between them, but there was something definitely wrong, that I haven't felt with any of my other experiments.

KYB monomax:. Better than the ranchos, in that they controlled the Jeep and the rear started reacting predicably again. Very stiff though. High pressure charge, enough so that when I was checking my bumps without the springs, the Jeep would lift up, then settle back down on every stroke of the jack. Bouncy ride.

Black max: compliant, good travel for the lift height (4'ish inches). They didn't exhibit any of the handling weirdness that the ranchos did, either. They will give a bit of a jolt in big bumps. I don't really have much else to say about them. They feel like they will be decent off-road, but I won't know until I try it. An added benefit... Because they aren't nitrogen charged, they are VERY easy to install.
 

JMT

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All four black max shocks are installed. I think I can live with these for a while. They feel pretty good for the cost. Hopefully, they last me a couple years. It's been interesting experimenting with different shocks and feeling the vastly different ways my Jeep ride and performed.

In summary:

Rancho 5000x: decent ride, but the front and rear ends seemed to be doing different things. Made for a very disconcerting driving experience. I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad set of rear shocks. I didn't feel any real differences between them, but there was something definitely wrong, that I haven't felt with any of my other experiments.

KYB monomax:. Better than the ranchos, in that they controlled the Jeep and the rear started reacting predicably again. Very stiff though. High pressure charge, enough so that when I was checking my bumps without the springs, the Jeep would lift up, then settle back down on every stroke of the jack. Bouncy ride.

Black max: compliant, good travel for the lift height (4'ish inches). They didn't exhibit any of the handling weirdness that the ranchos did, either. They will give a bit of a jolt in big bumps. I don't really have much else to say about them. They feel like they will be decent off-road, but I won't know until I try it. An added benefit... Because they aren't nitrogen charged, they are VERY easy to install.
Are you running the 8525/8528 combo?
 

SSTJ

Inexperienced Overthinker
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Aug 24, 2019
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South Carolina
All four black max shocks are installed. I think I can live with these for a while. They feel pretty good for the cost. Hopefully, they last me a couple years. It's been interesting experimenting with different shocks and feeling the vastly different ways my Jeep ride and performed.

In summary:

Rancho 5000x: decent ride, but the front and rear ends seemed to be doing different things. Made for a very disconcerting driving experience. I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad set of rear shocks. I didn't feel any real differences between them, but there was something definitely wrong, that I haven't felt with any of my other experiments.

KYB monomax:. Better than the ranchos, in that they controlled the Jeep and the rear started reacting predicably again. Very stiff though. High pressure charge, enough so that when I was checking my bumps without the springs, the Jeep would lift up, then settle back down on every stroke of the jack. Bouncy ride.

Black max: compliant, good travel for the lift height (4'ish inches). They didn't exhibit any of the handling weirdness that the ranchos did, either. They will give a bit of a jolt in big bumps. I don't really have much else to say about them. They feel like they will be decent off-road, but I won't know until I try it. An added benefit... Because they aren't nitrogen charged, they are VERY easy to install.
Thanks for the summary.

Yeah, I do wonder about the rear shocks. The Ranchos are so popular on this forum, and I don’t think that anyone else has reported a similar experience. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.)

I have the Ranchos on mine right now, and will watch for any opportunity to pick up some black max shocks for cheap. Would be interesting to try, since my SE is so light.
 

pagrey

TJ Guru
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Apr 10, 2018
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Los Angeles, CA, USA
Yeah, I do wonder about the rear shocks. The Ranchos are so popular on this forum, and I don’t think that anyone else has reported a similar experience. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.)
I've pulled mine twice now because I suspected they were blown and posted about it once. The description of the 5000X being uncontrolled matches my experience pretty well. From what I'd call a detailed description some people called them blown. For my use way too soft or under damped on recovery from a hard hit whatever shaft speed that is.

 
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SSTJ

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I've pulled mine twice now because I suspected they were blown and posted about it once. The description of the 5000X being uncontrolled matches my experience pretty well. From what I'd call a detailed description some people called them blown. For my use way too soft or under damped on recovery from a hard hit whatever shaft speed that is.


Gotcha, thanks.

@TJim, you may be regretting that you ever started this thread, but how about we craft a summary of the findings and add it as a spoiler to the original post, so that others don't have to sift through all 15+ pages of comments? We could take Mike_H's summary as a starting point, plus any other testimonies that come in from others who have been trying out these three. Happy to help, I just don't have edit access of course.
 

Therbytj

Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
31
Location
Ontario, Canada
After lots of back and fourth I have ordered the rancho 5000x shocks
Running full currie 4” lift and 35” baja boss tires
Replacing bilsteins, hoping to smooth out the bucking wagon a bit

(can’t believe im putting $60 shocks on my jeep)

also, i almost bought the skyjacker m95 monotubes. Good price and good specs
They pull 10” of travel front and rear

but no reviews on them
 

jesseshoots

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
853
Location
Charlotte, NC
I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a set of the black max shocks. I'm looking at the 11" rears and 10" fronts. Right now I'm running the nitro's as listed below and have 6" shaft exposed on the fronts and 7" on the rear (at ride height). I have a 4" suspension and 1" body lift. I'm installing a tummy tuck and really need to get shocks with a shaft down mounting option.

Fronts:
ShockN8056S (Nitro)B8525 (Black Max)
Extended Length24.3"24.3"
Compressed Length14.52"14.52"
Travel9.78"9.78"

Rears:
ShockN8088S (Nitro)B8563 (Black Max)
Extended Length24.94"27.07"
Compressed Length14.91"15.94"
Travel10.03"11.13"

I wish they had an 11" front option, but the next best is 12.25" which is too much for the stock upper mount.
 

Therbytj

Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
31
Location
Ontario, Canada
Me neither. All four of yours won't even buy one corner for ours.
This is just a bandaid for the time being, I’ll be up there soon enough.
im still gathering ideas

5” stretch
Fox 2.0 resis tuned (outboard rear) fox hydro bumps

should be good enough for some go fast stuff while still crawling
 
OP
TJim

TJim

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Dec 23, 2019
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Athens, Greece
Gotcha, thanks.

@TJim, you may be regretting that you ever started this thread, but how about we craft a summary of the findings and add it as a spoiler to the original post, so that others don't have to sift through all 15+ pages of comments? We could take Mike_H's summary as a starting point, plus any other testimonies that come in from others who have been trying out these three. Happy to help, I just don't have edit access of course.
Hey! Sorry I am not very active the past few weeks. Because I don't really have much time, do you mind writing the the summary that I should post on the first post of this thread? So I can copy paste it? Credits will be given of course! haha
 
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Jamesval035

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
638
Location
Cameron, nc
We drove to the ledge on Daniel. Just wanted to see it because my Jeep isn’t set up to handle it. Then we wen up the back side of Daniel to the top of the mountain. That hill climb coming from the front side is no joke. Even the easy side looked too much for me. LOL Pictures and videos don’t do it justice.

It actually isn’t bad, just have to pic the right line. My buddy made it up the front side with his 01 grand Cherokee with 31’s and 2” spacers. Obviously not up the front ledge but the right side of it
 
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