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

Jerry Bransford

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PLEASE post another review after a month. First impressions are misleading. I had RC shocks on my 5.5" lifted XJ, rode like shit. Switched to Rancho RS5000X and it was great until I got used to a bad ride. I think shocks are like brakes and everyone just adjusts and thinks better than "NOTHING" is great.
I still don't like my Rancho RS9000xl shocks lol.
 

97JadeTJ

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Hot Springs, AR
The ironic part of that is it's a product that's good to the individual.
It's not a black and white topic of an engine misfire or the like...it's really a personal preference type of thing. Everybody is different.
You can bet there are people on this very forum right now running Rough Country shocks and they love them. They aren't wrong. It's just what they like
I’m running the RC N3 shock on my rig and I’m happy… but I haven’t tried any of the others!
 

Vasq

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Everett, WA
Huh, opened my black max's this morning, they... don't expand, or do anything of any sort. Almost like steering stabilizer's.
In fact, exactly like a steering stabilizer.

I'm assuming this isn't normal. Did any one else have a similar experience?
 

Irun

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Huh, opened my black max's this morning, they... don't expand, or do anything of any sort. Almost like steering stabilizer's.
In fact, exactly like a steering stabilizer.

I'm assuming this isn't normal. Did any one else have a similar experience?
This takes a little getting used to, but, as said, it is 100% normal. Keep an eye on the shafts after you install the shocks. I had a tiny bit of oil on one of my rears. However, it was a one time thing and never returned. After about 500+ miles, I've become a big fan of these shocks, at least on my lighter rig. They have a very compliant, but not overly soft ride. With other gas charged shocks I've run, I got a lot of negative feedback. I've noticed none of that with these.

We'll definitely be curious on what your take on them will be. It looks like your Jeep is a little heavier than mine, so it will be interesting to see if that impacts the shock performance negatively.
 

jesseshoots

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Feb 20, 2019
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Charlotte, NC
This takes a little getting used to, but, as said, it is 100% normal. Keep an eye on the shafts after you install the shocks. I had a tiny bit of oil on one of my rears. However, it was a one time thing and never returned. After about 500+ miles, I've become a big fan of these shocks, at least on my lighter rig. They have a very compliant, but not overly soft ride. With other gas charged shocks I've run, I got a lot of negative feedback. I've noticed none of that with these.

We'll definitely be curious on what your take on them will be. It looks like your Jeep is a little heavier than mine, so it will be interesting to see if that impacts the shock performance negatively.
You’ve sold me on these now
 
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Irun

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You’ve sold me on these now
These shocks have really surprised me. I bought them initially because they were the only one that had the lengths I needed. Frankly, my expectations were low, especially given the price tag. I typically don't recommend stuff like this to other people I know, because shocks are like tires, highly subjective. However two of my buddies are now also running them and their feedback is positive as well.
 
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jesseshoots

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These shocks have really surprised me. I bought them initially because they were the only one that had the lengths I needed. Frankly, my expectations were low, especially given the price tag. I typically don't recommend stuff like this to other people I know, because shocks are like tires, highly subjective. However two of my buddies are now also running them and their feedback is positive as well.
Just placed my order. Got the B8525 (9.8" travel) fronts and B8563 (11.1" travel) rears.
 
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TheBoogieman

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C-Ville VA
Huh, opened my black max's this morning, they... don't expand, or do anything of any sort. Almost like steering stabilizer's.
In fact, exactly like a steering stabilizer.

I'm assuming this isn't normal. Did any one else have a similar experience?
Hydro shocks. Normal.
 

TheBoogieman

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These shocks have really surprised me. I bought them initially because they were the only one that had the lengths I needed. Frankly, my expectations were low, especially given the price tag. I typically don't recommend stuff like this to other people I know, because shocks are like tires, highly subjective. However two of my buddies are now also running them and their feedback is positive as well.
I stopped reading this thread and thought they rode bad over certain road conditions? I took them off my list of Zone replacements.
p.s. I have the attention span of a 2 year old kid or monkey though.:unsure:
 

Irun

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I stopped reading this thread and thought they rode bad over certain road conditions?
In the 500+ miles I've put on them, there have been no on-road conditions where these exhibited bad characteristics. In fact, they have better on-road characteristics than shocks I've owned that cost twice as much. That said, I have not tried them off-road yet.
p.s. I have the attention span of a 2 year old kid or monkey though.:unsure:
Agreed! :)
 
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freedom_in_4low

Sacred Order of the Coil Spring
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My RS5000x story began last summer. I had worn out RS5000 that were no longer of appropriate length after I'd added some lift and rotated my rear axle for the SYE, so I bought RS5000x due to their popularity. At first I liked them...they were an improvement, and by the fact that I was going faster than my wheeling buddies on rough roads seemed like they were good shocks, but now, they are annoying me (and my wheeling buddies I think were ALL on Bilsteins...another TJ, a Tacoma, and a JKUR).

I spent 5 hours in my LJ yesterday and now with the tires better balanced I could really focus on how every time the rear would go over a bump...even just an above average expansion joint or a ripple in the asphalt, the rear would bounce enough that my head would bounce off the headrest like a dribbling basketball. I don't know if it's just a weird side effect of the change in weight distribution and wheelbase or what...I don't remember noticing that when the exact same suspension, shocks, and axles were under my TJ.

I'm meeting a guy to sell my hard top later today...so I'm about to lose another ~150 pounds off the rear axle which I don't expect to help. I may first try the SJ in the rear and keep the Rancho's up front. The B8528 is a really close replacement for the RS55256. I'll have to do some thinking for the front though. SJ makes me choose between keeping my downtravel but losing a half inch of uptravel with the B8549, or keeping my uptravel but only having 3.5" of downtravel with the B8525. KYB 565096 lets me keep my uptravel but lose 1.5" of down that I probably shouldn't be trying to use with shortarms anyway.
 
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Irun

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I'm meeting a guy to sell my hard top later today...so I'm about to lose another ~150 pounds off the rear axle which I don't expect to help. I may first try the SJ in the rear and keep the Rancho's up front. The B8528 is a really close replacement for the RS55256. I'll have to do some thinking for the front though. SJ makes me choose between keeping my downtravel but losing a half inch of uptravel with the B8549, or keeping my uptravel but only having 3.5" of downtravel with the B8525. KYB 565096 lets me keep my uptravel but lose 1.5" of down that I probably shouldn't be trying to use with shortarms anyway.
I was in a Similar situation with my TJ. Both front and rear SJ shocks required me to bias to more down travel. I was okay with that though, given my suspension setup and intended use. I'll probably get stoned to death, but 50/50 is a general rule and not a must. A lot of factors go into figuring our what shock travel is correct for your application. Plus, we all want no compromises, yet they are still there! ;)
 
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freedom_in_4low

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I was in a Similar situation with my TJ. Both front and rear SJ shocks required me to bias to more down travel. I was okay with that though, given my suspension setup and intended use. I'll probably get stoned to death, but 50/50 is a general rule and not a must. A lot of factors go into figuring our what shock travel is correct for your application. Plus, we all want no compromises, yet they are still there! ;)
agreed, for sure. I've been trying to shoot for 5" up and 4" down.

1626969673731.png
 
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jesseshoots

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Just placed my order. Got the B8525 (9.8" travel) fronts and B8563 (11.1" travel) rears.
They showed up this morning. The two tears and one front I was able to extend by myself. The second front shock sounded like a half drunk water bottle when I shook it and couldn’t for the life of me extend it past three inches. I’m going to return it/replace it. Thank god for Amazon.

95DD4C38-D545-47E2-9A39-953276E5A91F.jpeg