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Old October 23rd, 2004, 18:31
MGrobe MGrobe is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicagoland-area, IL
Posts: 428
Shock Upgrade Opinions

I have a shock upgrade dilemna that I wanted to receive some feedback on. Here is a little background.

I have a 98 that is sitting roughly 4.5" over stock. The suspension is a combination of OME springs/shocks and TeraFlex BB components minus swaybars front and rear. The roads in my area of Illinois are constantly in need of repair so my suspension does get a fair work out.

The front has OME ZJ V8 springs with ACOS for height adjustment. Currently has OME Long Travel Shocks about 2.25 years old. Also there is TeraFlex UCA and TeraFlex Long Arm lowers. With the OME shocks everything is dialed in as far as bump stops and brakelines are concerned. I do have a heavy custom front bumper and Warn winch.

The rear is OME JC1a leaf pack with the JCXL extra leaf and TeraFlex Revolver shackles. Once again OME shocks that are 2 - 4 years old.
I do have a heavy custom rear bumper with a spare and a quite a bit of equipment in support of my business, which I take out when going offroad.

I have always loved OME components so I can honestly say I have been very pleased with my setup. It works great for me as a daily driver and does what I ask of it offroad which is once or twice a month for about 8 months of the year.

What ultimately brought me to this point is one of my front shocks has failed, but I have been kicking around buying new shocks seen as I am getting ready to purchase another set of tires. Now on occassion I have had a OME shock weep some fluid (ARB kindly replaced one or two before under warranty), but this is the first one that has completely dumped all of its oil (although I am sure I am partially at fault by not adjusting the bump stops quite right).

So I am ready to buy 4 new shocks. I was just going to buy the same 4 OME LT's for all around, but then I wanted to investigate better performing alternatives. As much as I like the OME shocks, I occassionally like to try something different. I don't mind shelling out more than what I am currently paying for the OME shocks as long as I am going to get something back for the investment. Part of my problem is that I am going on a offroad trip in 3 weeks, so time is an issue, I don't want to dilly dally in making a decision.

Although I may stay the course with the OME LT's, I am considering shocks such as Bilsteins 5150, 7100 or something from Sway A Way or a better Doetsch Tech shock.

The 5150's are the least expensive, but I worry the two valving options might not be appropriate for my setup. I did read in Peterson's 4Wheel that they were characterized as being firm over three other vendors shocks that had been tested. I don't know how these would compare with my OME and which vavling would be appropriate.

The 7100's+SAW+DT are desireable to me due to the ability to modify the valving to better accomodate the vehicle. But how does this rebuilding occur? Do you send them in to be modified or is it something I can do? What is the time between rebuild on a mostly daily driver vehicle? Are these fancier shocks bought directly from the manufacturer? How long does it take to get them? Any pro or cons on brands?

How does the front upper shock mount work on these without the stab that the Cherokee normally uses? Is there some sort of adapter that one can buy or fabricate?

I am sure I can think of a few more questions, but hopefully this will be enough to get me going in the right direction.


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Old October 24th, 2004, 00:11
XJ_ranger's Avatar
XJ_ranger XJ_ranger is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Port Orchard, WA
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Talking Re: Shock Upgrade Opinions

hmm, as far as the brands of shocks that you have mentioned - i have no expierence. however - there is an adaptor that can be bought or made for the front shocks to have an "eye" on both ends instead of the stud.

Bar pin elimators (BPE) will help you with the bottom of the shock mouniting location (these can be made from the rear sway bar axle mounts or bought - many companies make them)

and for the stud top of the shock - these can be built or bought:

both of these pictures were taken from however i woudnt sugest ordering from them with your deadline - their shipping department has been known to be slower than most.

hope this helps
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Old October 24th, 2004, 01:29
Wiley Coyote's Avatar
Wiley Coyote Wiley Coyote is offline
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Re: Shock Upgrade Opinions

Iím using Warrior Products upper adapters, paid $25 for them locally. Iím also using Tera Flex front lower and rear upper bar pin eliminators. They fixed my shock clunking noise and Iíd highly recommend them. Mad4WD carries the JKS brand upper adapters (they are all pretty much the same thing), the Tara Flex units and will 2nd day air them to you if youíre in a hurry. Their Prices are pretty good too.

Iím running Doetsch Tech shocks now and I think that they are a pos. Iím looking to replace mine with Rancho 9000s. The ability to adjust the firmness has really sold me on them. I talked to a few people that use them and the only complaint that Iíve heard is the plastic lines in the in cab adjustment kits break. That is probably just an AK problem due to the cold. Iíve heard the same complains about ARB plastic lines breaking up here too. I donít think that it is an issue unless you plan on fooling around in Ė35 degree stuff, but it does get pretty cold in Chicago. Its not really a concern for me as I donít plan on using an in cab adjustment kit
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Old October 24th, 2004, 16:23
MGrobe MGrobe is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicagoland-area, IL
Posts: 428
Re: Shock Upgrade Opinions

Thanks guys for responding. I do already has JKS lower BPE's so I am taken care of there. I just couldn't find the upper bracket when I skimmed through on their site the other night.

Ultimately I think I am going to stand pat and buy the OME shocks. Like I said I haven't really any complaints about them that would stop me from buying them again, when combined with the spring pack 4-5 years ago it rode incredible over the stock Up Country suspension. But if there was a guarranteed upgrade I would certainly entertained it as I am interested in doing improvements when possible. But unfortunately I doubt I will encounter someone that was an OME user that went on to the other shocks mentioned in a timely fashion. So I hate to try somehing and have it backfire.

The OME shocks aren't going to be all that expensive for me, about 250 shipped, so with my limited window of time I am going to buy those again and go on my trip. I can always revisit it this coming spring and perhaps some of those that have bought the fancier systems will have had a better chance to work out the bugs.

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Old August 4th, 2005, 09:35
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raypla raypla is offline
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Location: Upstate,Eastern, NY
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Red face Re: Shock Upgrade Opinions

What about the Edelbrock long travel shocks, I have the stock height IAS ones (with the adjustable valve) and they soak up pot holes, speed bumps and so on with out a problem. Plus my CD player skips about 90% less, I know they're a little pricy but they might be worth it, maybe someone else will chime in.
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