Improved Ride Quality

Discussion in 'Lift Kit Discussion' started by Atrus, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Atrus

    Atrus Full Access Member

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    I am currently on Medium Duty OME's with Rancho RSX shocks. I have around 50k miles on them. The KJ has become a complete mall crawler. I don't think I have ever actually had it offroad since I installed the "real" lift - last time it was offroad I was on a spacer lift with stock shocks/springs!

    I live in MI, so needless to say, the roads are shit. Especially when it cools down in the winter (or maybe it's just the suspension stiffening up). 22 Mile road almost feels like a washboard road at times.

    I'm trying to be frugal - the KJ mostly suits my needs, and it's paid off. I am just shy of 94k miles on it, and (knock on wood), all seems to be going well with it. That being said, the thing is downright harsh (IMO anyway) in the winter. I've read a couple of comments on other Jeep forums for other models (ZJ's, etc) that the RSX's really stiffen up in the cold. I am thinking that's a possible reason for this ride quality...in the summer, the ride is firmer than I'd like, but not ridiculous. Now, it's just irritating. I feel like the vehicle is almost bucking forward/backward at times due to the stiff suspension, rough roads, and short wheelbase.

    I really like the ride of the newer trucks/crossovers. My wife's Acadia rides really nicely. The new Rams, Tahoes, Silverados...they don't feel like a mushy boatish ride (like my parent's '99 Tahoe), but they aren't harsh at all - firm, not harsh. Ride real smooth.

    Is there a better shock setup that'll get me much closer to this "modern" feel? Would Bilsteins or OME's fare better? I remember reading that OME's were softer than the RSX and some preferred the RSX ride. Or, is the KJ designed such that it just ain't gonna happen with a spring/shock swap? If you have a recommendation, do you think it'll be a noticeable difference, or would I be spending cash with very little improvement?

    At the end of the day...I work for GM now. I'd like a GM vehicle, but the extra expense isn't necessarily worth it to me. Also, I'd like something more rugged than a car/crossover. I like the KJ's ruggedness...I'd drive a pickup or full sized SUV. I don't really want a crossover, but I'd consider it for budget reasons. I'd also consider the Colorado that's coming out if it has enough interior room...point is that if I can get the KJ to ride more forgivingly and suit my wants a little better, it'll be easy to justify keeping it. $500 on a set of shocks is like 1 month of new car payments!
     
  2. KJScott

    KJScott Full Access Member

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    I have the OME in front and Bilstiens in back. Granted they are only two weeks old, but I love the ride quality. As for whether or not keeping the KJ or getting something else... mine is paid off, and when something goes bad or need replacement, I can get an improvement over factory. And I have gone months and months without a car payment or any repairs. That is real savings.
     
  3. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The RSX line was a touch stiffer than OME but thats also what made them better
    Both OME and Bilstein ride about the same along with Ironman .
    Have you checked the suspension over to make sure everything is OK?
    To be honest if you think some of the new trucks etc ride better, I'd sell the KJ and buy one.
    For me ANY new vehicle coming out today would have the suspension replaced day one, since they feel like wallowing pigs on ice. But then I like a good well handling firmer riding vehicle.
     
  4. Atrus

    Atrus Full Access Member

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    Thanks, Tom...I'll have to check it out again, but as far as I can tell, everything was up to par. I DO know that the camber bolts in the front a-arms are seized up in their bushings and (allegedly) couldn't be fully rotated when I got my last alignment. Alignment was still pretty decent though, especially being lifted with stock upper arms.
     
  5. HoosierJeeper

    HoosierJeeper Gold Supporter/Admin Staff Member Administrator

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    In the cold my KJ rides better than the LR3 with the air suspension FWIW, I have the Bilsteins and actually would like something a bit firmer next go around perhaps.
     
  6. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There ya go switch shocks around
    one wants firmer
    one wants softer
    I just want a happy lifted KJ world :roflbow:
     
  7. Matto

    Matto New Member

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    Hey Atrus - resurrecting an old thread here. I'm considering the setup you have here - 926/947 (just without any extras in the front/rear for more lift). Also leaning towards 235/75/16 tires like you had.

    Any updates in regards to the ride quality? One of my main reasons for upgrading the suspension is for better/more comfortable ride quality... so this gives me some hesitation.

    For what it's worth, I'd be going with bilstein struts/shocks.

    Thanks -- if anyone else has any thoughts on this, I'm all ears.
     
  8. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    I have Bilsteins all around and really like the ride. When i switched from Firestone Destination AT's to Duratracs i noticed a big improvement again - tar s r r8ps and frost heaves weren't so harsh.

    My 2 cents.

    Bob