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  #1  
Old September 7th, 2020, 20:59
khales6 khales6 is offline
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Want a soft riding XJ

For starters, hereís my current setup:

Front:
SFR four link long arms with Metalcloak duraflex ends
Rubicon Express RE1310 4.5Ē coils
Bilstien 24-188197 shocks (5100 Iím pretty sure)
Rough Country adjustable track bar
RE sway bar disconnects

Rear:
BDS 4.5Ē spring pack
Stock shackles (Yeah they will go)
Bilstien 33-066868 shocks
No sway bar

This Jeep is a total mall crawler. It rarely goes off road. Itís a 99 sport. Bought it as a 2WD in 2007 with 135k, now has 250k, a 242 Xfer, hp D30 and 8.25 with stock gears. Iím running TJ canyon wheels and 31x10.50ís. I have an XJ d44 in the garage, and plan on gears and some selectable lockers. I doubt Iíll go any bigger than 33ís. Want to keep the freeway stability and comfort more than anything. We do plan on visiting Moab and the passes in CO, but no serious rock crawling with this one. Not interested in desert go fast ability.

While it all works fine, the ride is not soft enough for my likes. It lacks any compliance over bumps and pavement irregularities. I describe it as to jouncy. Iím not scared to spend on some decent shocks, but to be honest I attribute the current ride to the shocks, so Iím not thrilled with the Bilstiens.

Iím almost ready to buy most of the DPG 4.5Ē hybrid kit. The OME stuff seems to have a great reputation, and supposedly have a nice ride, but the front springs need a spacer for my 4Ē or so height. Also intrigued by the Metalcloak dual rate spring. Anyone care to share opinions? My RE springs were reported to be a soft spring rate from what I had read. Maybe they are and the shocks donít play nicely with them? PAC springs used to be mentioned often, but donít appear to be available any more? Am I better off working on different shocks with the current springs?

I know the rear shackles need to go, and my shackle angle is bad, but I donít think that is the only thing off. I donít want to do a coil swap. Just some good leaves and shocks. I know Deavers are often suggested. They are pricey but Iíve bought enough cheap stuff and had to replace it, that Iím willing to spend more if itís right.

So... Let me have it! What do you think?
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  #2  
Old September 7th, 2020, 22:26
maxbraketorque maxbraketorque is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

I picked up a '00 XJ about 2 months ago that has a RC 4.5" Long Arm kit. It has the RC 2.2 shocks, and at the time of purchased the XJ, it had the RC 4" lift leaf spring pack, but with the bottom and second-to-the-top leaves removed. Also has some ghetto shackles that are 4.5" center-to-center. Rode like a Caddy, almost quite literally, with that setup. It would sag when groceries were added, but it was comfy for easy double-track exploration.

I just installed a new set of the RC 4" lift leaf springs. I tried first with the full pack of all five leaves, and that was a bit firm for my liking. I'm currently running with the middle leaf removed, and its pretty much a perfect ride for my needs. Its plenty smooth on the street, especially with a little weight in the rear, and its also still sufficiently compliant on the trails. Its also fine at freeway speeds as well. When it had the "custom" 3-leaf rear setup, it did 80 mph in a straight line fine on 31" tires. With my 4-leaf configuration, its about as good as I could hope for a lifted vehicle on twisty highway roads. I just got back from a weekend out of town, an the trip back was mostly twisty mountain highway road. The springs are firm enough to keep the lean to a tolerable value in the corners at slightly above the posted corner speed limit.

I know most people think RC sucks, but I'm very pleased with this setup. The RC 2.2 shocks are no longer available, but presumably the N3 shocks will ride similarly. I imagine that many enthusiasts would roll their eyes at the idea of swapping Bilstein 5100s for RC N3, but it may suit your needs just fine. Its only a $200 experiment for the shocks, and if you don't like them, I'm sure you can sell the set of four on eBay, FB market place, or Craig's list for $100. Leaf springs are only $260 with free shipping. Same deal if you don't like them.
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  #3  
Old September 8th, 2020, 03:44
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Tim_MN Tim_MN is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

What tire pressure are you running ? My 31's are at 28 psi.

Why not start with different shocks, all the other stuff is good quality and should not need to be changed. Tires choice is another thing that is overlooked when ride quality is brought up. IMO Bilstein are typically firm to very firm.
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  #4  
Old September 8th, 2020, 04:20
SlowXj SlowXj is offline
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Want a soft riding XJ

Get your shackle angle right first off. Then go to parts store and get some cheap monroe shocks or something similar... They will give a soft ride. Most ppl on this forum prefer stiffer shocks for the control on a lifted rig, but on my stock daily I run cheap monroe gas magic shocks and the ride is just fine to me. You can find a vehicle that will have the length you need I'm betting. Possibly a jk would have long enough shocks, but probably not...

My beater has the cloak coils, and they are a great ride. I chose an extremely stiff shock due to springs being soft. I personally like that combo

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  #5  
Old September 8th, 2020, 09:45
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WAZZUXJ WAZZUXJ is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

The most noticeable ride improvements I have made:

1) MetalCloak dual rate springs. I have been running them now for well over 4 years. A noticeable improvement over the Skyjacker coils I had been running. They are combined with Bilstein 5100's (255/70 valving).

2) Shackle Relocation boxes in the rear with proper shackle angle. Significant improvement in smoothing out the rear. Same Bilstein shocks, but I also ran them through the floor. (Rear Shock Towers)
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  #6  
Old September 8th, 2020, 12:17
Evan03 Evan03 is offline
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Want a soft riding XJ

Pull passenger uper arm off and test drive.

Call accutune

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  #7  
Old September 8th, 2020, 12:22
Evan03 Evan03 is offline
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Want a soft riding XJ

Dropping it 1" would be a notimprovrment in ride because arms will be flatter.

A winch would also help ridecdue to same reasons

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  #8  
Old September 9th, 2020, 01:56
Jeremiah Chaney Jeremiah Chaney is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

In terms of soft riding, you're better off with choosing a good set of tires for your XJ. Quite frankly, a Nitto Ridge Grappler tire should do the trick. I've been using it for months, and I must say, I've never had a bumpy ride ever since.
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  #9  
Old September 9th, 2020, 04:36
75SV1 75SV1 is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Chaney View Post
In terms of soft riding, you're better off with choosing a good set of tires for your XJ. Quite frankly, a Nitto Ridge Grappler tire should do the trick. I've been using it for months, and I must say, I've never had a bumpy ride ever since.
I was going to bring up this too. I went from Mastercraft 31's on Canyon rims, to Falken Wildpeaks on WJ rims. I used to get pucker on the Mastercraft and a lot of road noise. The Falkens no pucker, and much smoother ride. I do have Bilstein 5100's.
I think the shocks are part of the problem. Not sure which route on shocks I'd go. Doetch-Tech, Bilstein 4300's, Rancho 7000 or 9000. I did like the silver KYBs I had on the front of a stock A bit firmer than stock, but not much. I had G3s on a Neon. Probably firmer than stock. Handled well.
I'd also wonder about 6-ply vs 10ply. I haven't run 10-ply though. I know it is a heavier tire and some report a MPG loss.
Edit: As for springs: I went with OME for the rear to replace RC. They will be used on another build. I did look at Zone. I did see a set locally. They had anti friction pads and looked good overall. So, I doubt it is your rear springs. Also, RE springs have a good rep. I do have a set of front, but never installed them. I doubt they are your problem.

Last edited by 75SV1; September 9th, 2020 at 07:08.
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  #10  
Old September 9th, 2020, 06:01
Evan03 Evan03 is offline
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Want a soft riding XJ

I've been very impressed with the fox 2.0 ifp
An eye opener for me for sure.

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  #11  
Old September 9th, 2020, 19:35
denverd1 denverd1 is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by 75SV1 View Post
I was going to bring up this too. I went from Mastercraft 31's on Canyon rims, to Falken Wildpeaks on WJ rims. I used to get pucker on the Mastercraft and a lot of road noise. The Falkens no pucker, and much smoother ride. I do have Bilstein 5100's.
I think the shocks are part of the problem. Not sure which route on shocks I'd go. Doetch-Tech, Bilstein 4300's, Rancho 7000 or 9000. I did like the silver KYBs I had on the front of a stock A bit firmer than stock, but not much. I had G3s on a Neon. Probably firmer than stock. Handled well.
I'd also wonder about 6-ply vs 10ply. I haven't run 10-ply though. I know it is a heavier tire and some report a MPG loss.
Edit: As for springs: I went with OME for the rear to replace RC. They will be used on another build. I did look at Zone. I did see a set locally. They had anti friction pads and looked good overall. So, I doubt it is your rear springs. Also, RE springs have a good rep. I do have a set of front, but never installed them. I doubt they are your problem.
Unless you're hauling a bunch of cargo or a trailer, the 6 plys are perfect. Strong enough sidewall, aired down they ride great and grip really well. One regret I have on 33s, hard to find anything less than 10 ply. Sidewall is too stiff

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  #12  
Old September 10th, 2020, 04:30
75SV1 75SV1 is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd1 View Post
Unless you're hauling a bunch of cargo or a trailer, the 6 plys are perfect. Strong enough sidewall, aired down they ride great and grip really well. One regret I have on 33s, hard to find anything less than 10 ply. Sidewall is too stiff

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I don't know what ply the Falkens are. They are metric and about 32.5. Also, R17 on WJ rims.
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  #13  
Old September 10th, 2020, 04:35
Jeremiah Chaney Jeremiah Chaney is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by 75SV1 View Post
I was going to bring up this too. I went from Mastercraft 31's on Canyon rims, to Falken Wildpeaks on WJ rims. I used to get pucker on the Mastercraft and a lot of road noise. The Falkens no pucker, and much smoother ride. I do have Bilstein 5100's.
I think the shocks are part of the problem. Not sure which route on shocks I'd go. Doetch-Tech, Bilstein 4300's, Rancho 7000 or 9000. I did like the silver KYBs I had on the front of a stock A bit firmer than stock, but not much. I had G3s on a Neon. Probably firmer than stock. Handled well.
I'd also wonder about 6-ply vs 10ply. I haven't run 10-ply though. I know it is a heavier tire and some report a MPG loss.
Edit: As for springs: I went with OME for the rear to replace RC. They will be used on another build. I did look at Zone. I did see a set locally. They had anti friction pads and looked good overall. So, I doubt it is your rear springs. Also, RE springs have a good rep. I do have a set of front, but never installed them. I doubt they are your problem.
Those Falken Wildpeaks are also amazing. I don't know, but something about them makes you feel like a beast when going off road. I might even buy a few for spares.
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  #14  
Old September 10th, 2020, 06:00
75SV1 75SV1 is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Chaney View Post
Those Falken Wildpeaks are also amazing. I don't know, but something about them makes you feel like a beast when going off road. I might even buy a few for spares.
I bought mine off of a coworker. They were virtually new. I really hadn't heard about the 3-peak rating. I have not had mine off road, except a gravel or dirt road to the top of my property in WV, or my driveway in WV. So, not much of a test. I did have them twice on patch snow last winter. I felt confident with them.
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  #15  
Old September 10th, 2020, 06:46
Evan03 Evan03 is offline
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Re: Want a soft riding XJ

My xj feels good with 20psi.
10 or 6 ply air needs tuned to each rig and tire.

I work and play in the dirt will continue to run 10plys even though 6 seem to work for some.
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